The penultimate episode of Nashville is now history, so with the series finale on the horizon, we’re left with several questions as to how it will all end before the show strikes its final, bittersweet chord. With that in mind, here’s a recap of this week’s action and scenes we’d like to see next week.
Juliette plots her revenge against Darius and the Movement and is not going down without a fight. Even though she’s pregnant and has yet to reveal that little tidbit, she’s not going to manipulate Avery to wrestle him from Alannah’s clutches. That’s a pretty far cry from Season One Juliette, who would have had her claws out faster than a Marvel super-villain. But Juliette does have some pretty impressive super-powers, including her ability to gather the press at a moment’s notice. Would be nice if her next move was to go all Independence Day on Darius’s ass and obliterate his evil lair.
Juliette’s willingness to just let Avery go, however, is beyond frustrating, especially as Alannah’s wishy-washy behavior would put Charlie Brown to shame. Her “clutches” are more like seal flippers. Maybe she’s just being noble, but after deflating Gunnar’s fragile heart like a flimsy beach ball one would think she’d fight a bit harder to hang on to Avery – even though he clearly still loves and belongs with Juliette. That’s blindingly obvious when their daughter, Cadence, ends up in the ER with a fever and the two are at her bedside.
Credit to Alannah, however, for continuing to play Brad for the slimy creature he is. He claims to be falling for her but that’s as much BS as her own eyelash-fluttering act. Perhaps next week she’ll finally reveal herself as a scaly purple succubus, pounce on him and devour him whole. When Deacon meets with her, she asks him… well, we don’t know what she has asked him yet. But if she turns out not to be a succubus, let’s hope she wants to borrow a shovel so she can bury Brad up to his neck and leave him to the coyotes. Jeff Fordham ushering Brad through the gates of Hell would be a nice touch.
Maddie is coming to terms with discovering that Jonah and his ex, Mia, were fooling around and decides not to go on the European tour. Maddie tells Twig, who tipped Maddie off about the pair in the first place, that he’s throwing his life away playing go-fer for a fake friend and fake human being. When Twig tells Jonah he didn’t deserve Maddie, the two come to blows. Well, we say come to blows – this one had all the aggression of a church picnic. Later, Twig tells Jonah he’s done. At the benefit he tells Maddie he decided not to go on the tour and has quit his job and is insanely happy. Their kiss pretty much says everything we were hoping for and even if it’s not exactly surprising it’s a sweet, satisfying outcome. Unless the show jumps several years into the future next week, though, we’re deprived of the opportunity to see the two happily married and raising a little family of musical Twig-lets.
Sean tells Scarlett the equine-therapy ranch is going to have to be shut down, and faster than you can say Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland (ask your grandparents), Sean decides they should put on a show in the barn. Of course, he wants Scarlett to sing. Sean’s wife, Angela, shows up with their son, telling Scarlett she would be better for him than she is. Basically, she’s giving Scarlett permission to take Sean off her hands, which is awfully nice of her, considering. And even though Scarlett and Sean’s benefit performance proves there’s a whole lot of chemistry between them, Scarlett says “thanks but no thanks” and encourages him to go after his wife before she gets away. We’d like to think maybe all this means Scarlett and Gunnar will get back together, but somehow we think Scarlett will just do something crazy like relocate to Australia. We’d love to hear her try an Aussie accent.
As for what’s next for Will and Gunnar, now that every incarnation of their erstwhile group has gone down in flames, Gunnar is moping around writing songs about being “a washed up douchebag” while Will is more philosophical about it. “We should have been more like Fleetwood Mac – they all slept together. It worked out great.” He might want to check with Lindsey Buckingham on that one. Will gives Gunnar a ticket to see Steve Earle at the Bluebird Café (Side note: You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Steve Earle at the real Bluebird), and Gunnar is summoned by Steve to meet with him. Gunnar tells the “I Feel Alright” singer he does not, in fact, share that feeling, confessing that he has a serious case of writer’s block. Like the Dalai Lama of Songwriters, Steve’s advice to Gunnar is to scare himself. Just as quickly the bearded bard disappears, leaving Gunnar to wonder if that actually just happened and what the hell it all means. (On another side note: That’s sort of what it’s like interviewing Earle; you’re left with many more fascinating questions than answers).
Gunnar rocks out at the benefit, brandishing his electric guitar like a bleach-blond Jimi Hendrix who has just experienced a spiritual awakening. Meanwhile, Will may or may not still harbor romantic feels for his friend, who was, after all, the object of his affection when he first came to terms with his sexuality in Season One. We’re pretty sure Gunnar is totally straight but these two have been shipped like crazy for a long time. They’re like the fictional Music City equivalent of Larry Stylinson.
When it comes to the heart and soul of Nashville, of course, there is Deacon. Having loved, lost, loved and then forever lost Rayna, he remains, perhaps, the most fragile of all Nashville‘s beloved characters. But that doesn’t mean the recovering alcoholic’s penchant for rage isn’t always bubbling just under the surface. Thanks to the barbed-wire relationship with his dad, Gideon, who passed his own issues with booze and anger down to him, their trips down memory lane remain murky and troublesome for both father and son. But just after the frosty relationship begins to thaw, the two are once again at odds as Daphne discovers a whiskey bottle under Gideon’s bed. He wants to keep it quiet but it doesn’t take long before Deacon figures it out. Can the two repair their fractured relationship before it’s too late? The more essential question, however, might just be “What would Rayna do?” While it’s extremely unlikely, it sure would be nice to bring Connie Britton back in some way for one last scene. Whatever transpires in the final episode, we’re certainly sad that the time has come to say goodbye.
The series finale of Nashville airs Thursday, July 26th, at 9 p.m. ET on CMT.