It’s A “Nashville” Recap, Y’All: Rayna & Juliette Vie For Deacon’s Country Soul

Well, the premiere episode wasn’t a fluke — “Nashville” is the best show of the fall season and episode two did not disappoint. Grab yourself a tumbler of whiskey and let’s recap some of the best moments from last night’s episode!

Rayna’s begrudgingly supporting her husband Teddy’s bid for mayor, at least in public, but behind the scenes is steaming mad that her JR Ewing-esque daddy Lamar is so dismissive of her own career and is using Teddy as his puppet. After all, now is not the time for her to slack off — her new album hasn’t sold well, her tour doesn’t have the support of her label, and conniving pop-country upstart Juliette Barnes is after her man. Her band leader and former flame, Deacon, that is, who’s already fallen prey to Juliette’s feminine wiles and is possibly on the brink of being own over by her money too. In the clip above, Juliette and Deacon (playing a pricey new guitar she bought for him) practice a duet in the back of a pickup truck by a lake because obviously.

As much as I want to hate on Juliette, I’m actually really loving Hayden Panettiere’s portrayal. I’ve been told by people who know these things that her twang is a big over the top — and that huge head o’ wig is certainly making her look even more pint-sized than usual — but I’m finding her quite believable. Plus, I like the fact that though she’s had success as a fluffy flirt, Juliette really wants to be taken seriously as an artist, and is willing to do what it takes to improve her chops — including stealing well-respected Deacon for herself.

Not that Rayna is gonna have it. She and Deacon have been at odds over his relationship with Juliette, but in this episode we got to know a little bit more about their past. It seems Deacon battled alcoholism back in the day and during his last trip to rehab that Rayna took up with Teddy. When sober Deacon came back to town and to his role in Rayna’s band, she was married. I’m not sure yet whether the show wants us care about Teddy and therefore Rayna’s relationship with him. Is this a love triangle (Rayna-Deacon-Juliette) or two love triangles with Rayna overlapping in the center? It remains to be seen, but after watching Rayna and Deacon duet (above), I’m already turning nickname ideas around in my head. Ray-Con forever?