'Nashville' Recap: Scarlett Faces Heartbreak - Rolling Stone
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‘Nashville’ Recap: Scarlett Faces Heartbreak, Maddie and Juliette Clash

While Scarlett and Gunnar confront an uncertain future, Maddie discovers Juliette’s betrayal

Clare BowenClare Bowen

Clare Bowen's brave, touching performance highlights this week's episode of CMT's 'Nashville.'

Mark Levine/CMT

As always, if you have yet to watch this week’s Nashville, proceed with caution, spoilers below

Country songs, especially those of the classic, traditional variety, are rife with heartache, tears and, sometimes, tragedy. This week’s episode of Nashville combined all of those elements quite beautifully in Scarlett’s heartbreaking miscarriage after she and Gunnar were mugged. Kudos to Clare Bowen for conveying the entire emotional spectrum of such a loss. As Gunnar, Sam Palladio returned to the angry young man we saw early in the show’s history. Enraged and hopelessly lost, even the doctor’s assurance that the mugging wasn’t the reason she lost her baby couldn’t quell his anger and need for revenge.

As Scarlett just wants to be left alone to grieve, Gunnar tells Will he should have done more to protect her. He drives around in East Nashville and finds him, proceeding to beat the living daylights out of the guy, but stopping before he goes too far. Nothing will bring the baby back and nothing he does seems to comfort Scarlett, who decides that she should let him go because she doesn’t want him to wait around for her to figure herself out. Avery calls him to talk and invites him out on the road. He tells Scarlett he needs to figure out who he is, too, and takes off for Texas.

Prior to visiting Scarlett and Gunnar in the hospital, Deacon had received a call from manager Hank Morris about Jessie Caine. Deacon informs Jessie he’ll be calling to invite Hank to her Bluebird show. Later, she’s at the Bluebird and Deacon calls to tell her that because of being at the hospital with Scarlett, he never had a chance to call Hank again. Although Scarlett had told Deacon and Gunnar that she didn’t want anyone to know about the miscarriage, Jessie goes to Scarlett’s and leaves a gift. Scarlett invites her in to talk and Jessie tells her she had been through the experience twice. She brings her raspberry leaf tea, calcium tablets and the new Ghostbusters DVD because she figures she needs something as a distraction – probably better than giving her a box set of Friday Night Lights, which has an actress who looks an awful lot like Rayna Jaymes. They talk about their shared experience and Jessie tells Scarlett that she had to forgive herself before she could even start grieving. Then they start laughing about incompetent cervixes and Scarlett envisions a poor little cervix sitting in the corner wearing a dunce cap. Deacon shows up, however, putting an end to the laughter and curious to know why Jessie showed up there. When she tells him about her two miscarriages, that puts an end to that discussion. So much about Jessie Caine remains a mystery and we have a hunch she will figure prominently in the upcoming season finale.

Juliette has a hit single with “Water Rising” but her guilty conscience about stealing the song from Maddie is not letting her enjoy it much. Zach suggests Juliette drop by the Wildhorse during Maddie’s show, but as if that’s not enough awkwardness, Zach suggests that she sing with Maddie during her show. He also invites Travis Stroud, the song’s writer, to the promo party to celebrate the song – and invites Maddie, too. Juliette gets flowers from Travis and tells him she can get him into a Beck show at the Ryman, which just happens to be the same night as the party, which she assures him will be boring. The spiritual enlightenment she went through after the plane crash is in serious need of a tune-up.

Maddie welcomes Juliette to the stage but Juliette is uncomfortable and distant throughout their performance, barely making eye contact with Maddie. It’s like a country-music version of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Later, Juliette tries to convince her everything’s fine, but once Travis shows up, all hell breaks loose. Juliette convinces Maddie that she’s sick and needs to go home, but first Maddie spots Travis and introduces herself, immediately confusing the both of them when he says something about Maddie passing on the recording. Maddie storms back into the party and goes off, soaking Juliette with a face full of a Watermelon Rising cocktail. Not exactly a Joan Collins-Linda Evans-on-Dynasty-style catfight but the cost of Juliette’s actions is starting to come back to haunt her.

Glenn encourages Juliette to bury the hatchet with Maddie before the details of their splashy encounter hits the headlines. She goes to visit Maddie, who doesn’t want to see her, but when Deacon asks her about it she says she wants to handle it on her own, which is a very Rayna thing to do. “I know how Juliette can get,” Deacon says. We do, too, and frankly the show could probably use a little more of it at this point.

At the fundraiser, Jessie tells Deacon she doesn’t want to sign with Highway 65, and Scarlett lets Daphne and Maddie know about her miscarriage. She then takes the stage where she tells everyone in the crowd about it before a performance that ranks among Bowen’s best in the show’s history. The entire storyline is an important one, nicely written (a trademark of so many of the classic series’ from Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick) and beautifully realized in Bowen’s devastating performance. 

In This Article: Nashville


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