Warning: The following contains spoilers for Wednesday’s fall finale of Nashville.
There were no near-fatal car accidents or crazy mistresses announcing pregnancies, but that’s about all that didn’t take place in Nashville‘s jam-packed fall finale.
A possible death? Check. A terminal diagnosis? Check. A paternity revelation? Check. A long-awaited reunion that ended far better than we might’ve hoped? Praise Reba, check!
A brief recap: As Rayna and Luke’s big day approached, her feelings of dread about what being Mrs. Wheeler would do to her life and kids finally propelled her to call the whole thing off… on the morning of the ceremony. Luke was (understandably) irate, and though Rayna was upset about hurting him, she looked at peace as she drove away at the episode’s end.
In happier nuptial news, Juliette asked Avery to move into her place to ease logistics after their daughter is born. After some soul-searching, the dad-to-be came up with a better idea: He proposed, and they were married in a quiet civil ceremony. Sniff!
Meanwhile, Deacon and Scarlett spent most of the hour in Memphis, where they did a fun karaoke duet before Deke returned to the hotel, saying he didn’t feel so great. Scar later found him passed out and unresponsive near some broken glass and minibar bottles of alcohol. Good news? He didn’t fall off the wagon. Bad news? He’s got a terminal illness. So far, Scarlett’s the only other person who knows — and Deacon wants to keep it that way. Different kind of sniff!
Elsewhere: Sadie’s ex matched the emotional punch of his reappearance with a physical punch on her front stoop; Jeff broke off… whatever it was he had with Layla, which sent her on a pill-popping, heavy drinking jag that ended with her drowning (maybe?) in his swimming pool; and — as many of you predicted — Gunnar learned that Micah was his nephew (AKA his brother Jason’s kid), not his son.
So much to process! So long to wait until the next episode! To tide you over, here’s showrunner Dee Johnson with some scoop on what’s next for your favorite Music City folk.
TVLINE | Let’s start with Rayna. Did you know, as you were conceiving the Rayna-Luke relationship, that it wouldn’t end well?
We knew that it was going to be a completely different way of living for her and it might not be all that comfortable when push came to shove. She was committed to it for a certain amount of time, she had her eyes on the prize, and then the goal post kept moving.
TVLINE | Let’s play a percentage game: How much of her decision to back out of the wedding had to do with her girls, how much was because of Deacon saying, “I’m still in love with you,” how much because of other factors?
That’s a tough one. Because the Deacon element is so deep and so intertwined in all of those emotional feelings for her, it’s hard to tell where that stops and any other issues begin. For the girls, there really was a tipping point. She was rolling with it, and then she was like, “It’s one thing for me to feel uncomfortable; its another thing to see them literally changing before my eyes.”
TVLINE | Early in the episode, we see her raising objections to another six months of touring. Is this the end of the tour for her?
It would be a pretty horrible tour, to be honest! [Laughs]
TVLINE | It would, but Luke dragged Deacon out there!
Yeah. I think that you get a good sense, with how the episode ended, that Luke pretty much doesn’t want to be in the same room with her. [Laughs] And not even a concert hall or stadium would be big enough.
TVLINE | Their wedding was shaping up to be such a spectacle. I’d imagine the public fallout from their not getting married be equally huge.
We basically have a fairly immediate pick-up in the episode that follows when we come back from our winter break. So we’re going to be right in the immediacy of what one does in this situation.
TVLINE | Will we see Luke around in the second half of the season?
Oh yeah. He’s not going anywhere.
TVLINE | Deacon doesn’t want anyone to know about his illness. How possible is that as the season progresses?
It’s pretty hard to keep it a secret for too long… Let’s just say: He can’t keep that genie in a bottle for too long. He’s gonna try, though. Because I think that he feels that it’s almost karmic in a weird way, that it’s as a result of some stuff he did at an earlier time in his life. Whether or not that’s true, he certainly believes it. And the last thing he wants is any kind of a pity party.
TVLINE | What’s his attitude toward the disease as we go on? Hopeful? Fatalistic?
He’s gonna go through all of that stuff. There’s a million reasons for him to survive, but it’s also pretty grim.
TVLINE | We saw Juliette and Avery marry, which I think will make many of the fans happy.
I hope so.
TVLINE | Ever consider doing a bigger wedding for those two, as opposed to going to town hall?
No. You know why? Because we knew it was going to happen in this episode, and we wanted the juxtaposition of the big ol’, honkin’, all out, huge, super expensive wedding which was all show versus the simplicity and the heartfelt thing that they had been through, keeping it simple and real for them.
TVLINE | Has Avery forgiven Juliette?
I actually do think he has. Look, you never forget those kind of things. But I do think he has forgiven her.
TVLINE | Poor Layla is face-down in the pool at the end of the episode. What can you tease about what we’ll find out when we get back?
That’s a hard one. It obviously affects Jeff and Will profoundly and definitely pushes Will to take an action that is selfless for the first time in a very long time.