“Nashville” knows how to turn up the melodrama meter better than any show on network TV, and the 14th episode for Season 3, airing February 25, “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces,” held enough tears, torment, and twisting the knife to keep all eyes glued to the tube. Rayna (Connie Britton) doesn’t have time to take much pleasure in putting Jeff (Oliver Hudson) out of work with the revelation of all his misdeeds. Word comes that Edgehill is being dissolved, and there’s no time for nostalgia, as Rayna, Luke (Will Chase), Jeff, and everyone in between scrambles for survival.
Will (Chris Carmack) goes on air with the real-life hosts of “America’s Morning Show,” Blair Garner, Terri Clark, and Chuck Wicks to perform his new song, “I’m on It,” deflecting all relationship talk before learning the breaking news that he no longer has label backing. Once he looks at his messages, he starts answering them pronto. Rayna asks Bucky (David Alford) to head artist development at Highway 65, and get to work scouting abandoned Edgehill artists to sign. Deacon (Charles Esten) gets news that he is eligible for a clinical trial, but that means being off the donor list for six months, delaying possible surgery. Scarlett (Clare Bowen) is all for the potential of the trial, but Deacon is completely doubtful. Avery (Jonathan Jackson) is on the phone with Sadie (Laura Benanti) while he tries to put together her album, unaware that she is about to tell Rayna the real truth of her situation with her ex. In real life Hayden Panettiere is proudly showing off her baby girl, Kaya, and her post-baby body, but Juliette, her character, has yet to deliver. She is debating over doing a pregnancy shoot for Vogue, but doesn’t feel too good about wearing “designer tents.” Sadie confides her whole story to Rayna, and Rayna rushes to her attorneys, who advised that a hefty settlement of half $1 million is the best course of action, and that for now, all work on the album has to halt. Avery calls Deacon to add some guitars, and Deacon rushes to the studio, because he “knows what to do there” unlike with his health dilemma.
Juliette nearly gags over hearing “great, Babe” so many times. Avery and Deacon start bickering over slide guitar or straight picking, and it gets plain nasty. Jeff plots with Luke, urging him to start his own label, and let Jeff run the business side. Jeff tries to pitch Layla in the deal, but Luke will have none of it. Gunnar (Sam Palladio) finds Scarlett sobbing when she comes over, hoping to spark new writing. He gives her some creative comfort, and suggests that they play together, like in the early days. The impromptu set revives the fun they formerly had in making music. Rayna is getting a little ragged from all her interviews with those now label-less artists, but keeps her smile. She sees Layla (Aubrey Peeples) waiting so long and all alone, and tells Bucky she wants her to have a chance, and wants Highway 65 to stay true to its mission as a home for artists with something to say, commercial or not. Luke courts Will like a lost lover, and Will visits Deacon for guidance. With no place able to offer the protection of his secret that he had before, Deacon tells him that sometimes, it’s better to be with “the devil you know,” so Will makes the decision to go with Luke. Luke also tells Jeff that there will be no place for him in the new venture, so Jeff goes scrambling yet again. He meets Teddy (Eric Close), who wants to know if the sleaze king will still cover for him. Jeff whispers that it’s all different for “an elected official” who leaves behind a trail of receipts. Teddy tries to maneuver things with Natasha, but that’s no deal. Rayna reminds the notorious ex-husband that no matter if “the good Lord only gave you 2 inches,” she will come after him with everything she’s got if he ever bothers Sadie again. He signs the deal and leaves. Deacon declines the clinical trial, but Scarlett offers his doctor a deal that he doesn’t refuse– to go on a date with her for “support.” Deacon returns to the studio, apologizing to Avery and promising to put the licks down just the way the producer wants them. All is back on good ground with the album, and Avery comes home to see the photos of his pregnant wife, done the way she chooses, and he assures her that she is beautiful, pregnant or not. Rayna talk things over with Layla, who fell asleep with her long wait, and offers her a chance with the label, sticking to her guns that making great music leads to making money, and great artists.