Nashville Recap

Nashville Recap: Sob Story

Ladies and gentlemen, Nashville‘s Beverly O’Connor — bless her heart — has left the building.

Yes, the aneurysm that closed out the last episode left Scarlett’s abusive mama/Deacon’s spiteful sister/Rayna’s jealous hater hitching a ride on the gleaming Greyhound to the great beyond. Only problem is, in the same way Bev never knew how to exit an argument gracefully, her brain-dead body hasn’t gotten the memo — creating drama, strife and freefloating sadness for her daughter and brother (and those who love them).

Which leads me directly to some real talk for Rayna’s man: Deacon Edward* Claybourne, don’t you dare use this tragic life event as a reason to push Rayna awayna. Cry it out, journal your feelings, punch a pillow and use your words — but do not shut Big Red out of your emotional turmoil. Ray’s shoulders are slim but strong; lean on them as needed.

Now that we’ve got that straight, and because Juliette’s situation isn’t getting any better the longer it sits, let’s recap what happens in the tear-soaked “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?”.

*Not his real middle name… at least, I don’t think it is…

GOODBYE, BEV | There are a bunch of characters worth pity in this episode, chief among them Beverly’s poor doctor who tries to convince Deacon and Scarlett that she’s not going to wake up. Man, that guy is patient! He suggests that what appears to be a spontaneous inhalation on Beverly’s part is just a reflex, but Deke isn’t hearing it and Scarlett literally runs out of the room and into Hot Doc’s arms as she — aka the one with her mom’s medical power of attorney — tries to figure out how to proceed.

When nothing else works, Scar heads to the hospital chapel, where Gunnar finds her forlornly sitting at the piano, literally singing a sad song. She runs to him and sobs; he tries to find a place to pat on her back that’s not covered by storybook-long blonde hair. (Seriously: Someone get me whatever vitamins Clare Bowen sucks down every morning.)

Eventually, Scarlett takes her uncle aside and tells him she’s decided to have her mother disconnected from the machines keeping her alive. Deacon loses it — and, judging by the way Charles Esten is pretty much real-crying instead of primetime-soap-crying here, I’m guessing this was a tough scene to get through. Scar asks her uncle to be there at noon the next day to say goodbye to his sister, and though Rayna tries to convince him to put aside his objections and make some peace, he chooses to go to Bev’s room at his place and weep on her bed. (Side note: Has anyone checked on Esten lately? Because that level of laid-low looks like it hurt.)

I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ‘BOUT MY BAD REPUTATION | During some downtime on a tour stop in Indiana, Juliette latches onto Luke. First they take a few laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but pretty soon they end up at a bar that Ju fills with her fans (thanks, Twitter!). And of course there’s a live band, so she gets up and performs Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” with abandon, then joins the crowd in urging Luke to take a verse. He’s all, “No, I couldn’t possibly, no no really” and then all of a sudden, he’s got one foot up on the monitor and Rent’s Roger is in the house!

It’s all fun and crowd-surfing until the joint gets too crowded for safety, and Luke has to remove Juliette from the premises in a gear case. Or, as she puts it, “You had to sneak me out in a box?” Count your blessings, honey: We know as well as you do that the moment you woke up in Luke’s hotel room and saw his stupid trucker hat on the nightstand, you feared that you’d been wheeled and dealed by the man himself. (I mean, given your nearly uniformly terrible choices when it comes to older men — well, men in general — I can’t blame you.) But no, Luke just knows a hot mess when he does a few laps around a major racetrack with it, and he offers up the sad story of his first marriage as a cautionary tale.

A LINE CROSSED | As fun as it is to watch Will and Gunnar juggle a cranky Cadence while Avery rails at Juliette’s stonewalling tour manager, there’s no denying that the Barnes-Barkley union is fraying faster than a cloth diaper snagged on a washing machine agitator. So when Avery stashes Cadence with Emily — who’s inexplicably still on Juliette’s payroll — we know he’s going to see his lawyer for divorce papers. All Avery wants is full custody of the ridiculously cute little bub; but later, when he’s listening to the lullaby he and JuJu recorded in the hospital after their daughter was born, he’s unable to go through with signing the papers… for now.

TEDDY’S READY TO TELL THE TRUTH | After Daphne gets suspended for fighting at school (defending her dad’s alleged honor), Rayna decides it’s time for Maddie and her sister to see their pop for the first time since he was thrown behind bars. The visit is tough to watch; the return, when Rayna and the girls make nice with Teddy and he cries as he tells them that he’s going to plead guilty because “actions have consequences” is even harder to get through. It is around this point in the hour that I wonder whether Nashville writer Debra Fordham (who penned the episode) is legitimately trying to kill us via ocular dehydration.

“WILL LEXINGTON: GAY COWBOY” | Look at the subhead at the beginning of this line; I would watch the hell outta that show, wouldn’t you? (Are you listening, spinoff gods?) Anyway, Will is angry because Kevin’s gay songwriter friends want him to use his newfound gayness for good instead of hermitty seclusion, but he just wants to pump the brakes a bit (not a euphemism) and love Kevin. “Can that be enough for now?” he asks, and Kevin is touched and kisses him yes.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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30 Comments
  1. Casey says:

    Such a good episode!! I only started watching Nashville but I am really enjoying it. I definitely needed tissues handy, especially when Scarlett was saying goodbye to her mother and without any support. I am not liking the doctor boyfriend at all!

  2. Tvgeek says:

    The best part of this article was the link showing Will playing roger in RENT on Broadway…. I had no idea…

  3. Bill says:

    Great episode. Well-written with great acting all around.

  4. RJ says:

    I haven’t seen the episode, so I’m not entirely sure, but I think you forgot an “-s” at the end of action in “action have consequences”. Sorry, don’t mean to be nitpicky!

  5. Bill says:

    Juliette is acting like Britney Spears did during her “Just havin’ fun, y’all” Phase when she went crazy, shaved her head and attacked photographers. JuJu needs some serious help and she needs it now. That girl is headed for a bad end.

  6. Normandy says:

    The show ignored the biggest part of this whole Teddy thing — that he’s going down because he won’t give up Lamar and Tandy’s dirty deeds which in turn would cause Rayna to lose everything because that dirty money funded her record company. Of course, when this show wants to get rid of characters they don’t know what to do with (Lamar, Coleman, Peggy), it’s done as quickly as possible.

    Also, Avery grew up with Juliet, so he knew her mother. Shouldn’t he have been told what was going on?

    • Lucie says:

      I thought about that too. Not telling Rayna was a classy thing to do.

    • Sarah says:

      I think you meant Scarlett and not Juliette – hopefully we see Avery at the funeral or something because he was with Scarlett for a long time and did know her mother as well as her relationship with her mother. And they are still somewhat friends, so he should be there.

  7. DT says:

    Charles Esten for Performer of the Week?

  8. Sissy says:

    Along with donating Bev’s, bless her heart, organs, Scarlett could donate her “storybook-long” hair to Locks of Love. And for Pete’s sake, please donate that frumpy, granny sweater to Goodwill. Now that Bev’s singing back-up with Angels, it’s time for Scarlett to come out from under the hair (or piano) and live her life! She showed us her strength to make that final decision, let’s see just what she can do.
    And Deacon, dude, guilt is an evil monster that will eat you up. Forgive yourself. It was Bev’s karma, not yours.

  9. Love Me Some Deacon! says:

    Gunnar!!! You sit around and whine and pout about Scarlett, then she runs to you sobbing and you stand there like you don’t know what to do! (Granted, the hair would have thrown me off too – who knows what’s hiding in that blanket.) But really!!!

    • tvjunkie says:

      That would have been the worst possible time to take advantage of her vulnerability. Granted those are the situations he usually tries to take advantage of, but perhaps this was the writers trying to grow his character.

  10. Sarah T says:

    Last night’s ep was definitely one of the best episodes of the entire show imo. Charles Esten is seriously a fantastic actor! He nailed that scene at the end when he went back home. I also liked the Gunnar/Scarlett interaction though I do feel like they’re starting to make out her hot Doc boyfriend to be a jerk so she’ll be forced to choose between him and Gunnar. My guess is that he’s going to propose on the midseason finale and that will force her to confront her real feelings.
    Elsewhere, I loved Rayna’s speech to Teddy. I actually felt like he made sense and fit into the episode (much more so than he has for the last 2 1/2 seasons). Though I’m not a fan of seeing him on all the time, a check in every once in a while will be good.
    I feel no sympathy for Juliette’s character. I get that she’s going through a lot but she’s being ridiculous. Normally I love to loathe her character but this is just incredibly off putting to me.

  11. Allison says:

    I enjoyed Luke and Juliette’s performance. The more I say it, the more I believe that I really liked Luke all along, but I just didn’t like him with Rayna. Will, Gunnar, Avery and baby Cadence had me in stitches. Gunnar in an apron making pancakes while they kept passing Cadence around like a football all the while Will wonders why all the fussiness and Gunnar responds with the baby or Avery! I loved it. They should do more scenes with those three and the baby. The only concern I have is why Cadence is shrieking so much. I am used to babies crying, but she doesn’t do that she shrieks and bellows. What is up with that baby? Maybe it will be addressed later. I was happy when Avery filed divorce papers, but mad when he didn’t sign them. I understand he doesn’t want to give up just yet, but there comes a time when you have to look out for yourself and your own happiness. The one bright spot was next week’s promo when Juliette reads that Avery has been spotted with another woman! Hilarity is bound to ensue! The only thing remotely interesting about Will’s story is the fact that somebody got up in his arse about hiding out after coming out. The dude has talent so he should be out there rocking a mic…sigh… Well maybe one day. I hated that Beverly died because I know Deacon is going to push Rayna away now out of guilt and that just sucks. Scarlett had to go through a very difficult and painful action all by herself and I kept thinking that maybe one of the men in her life would show up and lend her support, but nope, that hope was dashed. At least Beverly’s organs will do some good and save other people’s lives so at least Scarlett can take comfort in that. I respect Rayna so much after she chastised the girls for ripping Teddy’s photos from the picture book. She was right they are a family no matter what mistake Teddy made. He’s their father and was there for them all their lives. There aren’t too many that respect their exes or appreciate what their ex did for the family, so that was nice to see. I give Rayna props for that. It actually made me look at Teddy differently. Well, it was still a painful episode to watch – mostly because of Cadence’s shrieking – but still it was a good episode. I look forward to next week’s episode to see the inevitable and that is Deacon pushing Rayna away…again…sigh and smh…

  12. Jeri says:

    I’m really over Scarlett. Agreed, anyone would be out of their head with grief in this instance, choosing to take your Mom off life support. That would be awful. But, everything in Scarletts life is a tragedy. Her love life is always messed up, she doesn’t know what she wants in career, sing or not sing. She won’t sing with her bandmate. She has been miserable since the 1st season. The only normal relationship in her life is with Deacon. She does not know how to give or receive love and I am exhausted by all her tragedy. Earlier someone said something similar in a comment and I was “oh no.” Scarlett was one of my favorites on the show. All her misery has worn me down, she needs to go away and get her emotions sorted out. She cannot even sustain a friendship, they also betray her and none of it is ever Scarletts fault. She’s just a miserable creature in any situation.

  13. Sharon says:

    Have to say I actually cried when Bev died and I loathed Bev. Charles Esten was supreme, and heartbreaking.

  14. Shira says:

    I love Deacon but man, his guilt trips every time something happens and the fact he never gets things right the first time, are annoying. His “sensitivity” is ruing the lives of everyone around him because it forces everyone to take care of him all the time while he’s going around crying, yelling, sulking, drinking or “redecorating”. I don’t expect him to be strong and mature all the time but one out of ten would be nice.

    Also, if only ratings were a testament to quality Nashville would have been no.1 last night. Talk about depressing…

  15. Linda Gambill says:

    I’ve watched Nashville from beginning. The writers need to get with it or you will loose fans. The main ones are going in every direction. No good singing like it used to be. A new Mom never wants to go home and Rhina is just not the same. Please bring our good show back without all of this

    • Ann says:

      I agree –these writers have taken what could have been a great show and turned it into a cheesy mess. I started out as huge fan and I’m still hooked but starting to lose interest. The whole Deacon cancer/transplant story line was such a lame, weary soap opera theme and I (and I’m sure lots of other folks) could see the whole Beverly-dying-Deacon-in-crisis-AGAIN coming as soon as she showed up and agreed to do the transplant. Why can’t these writers come up with good plot lines that have Deacon and Rayna together so we can move past the on again off again — so tiresome and irritating. Chip Esten and Connie Britton have great chemistry and its fun to watch them together. When Deacon was starting to get a solo music career going , that was getting interesting, plus it is really entertaining to watch Chip Esten perform – anyway, there is plenty of potential for drama and interest with those talented actors and characters outside of the worn-out soap opera themes these writers keep going back to. If this show doesn’t change direction and significantly improve the quality of the writing, it will not get a 5th season and it won’t deserve one, I am sad to say.

      • Agreed. Do they ever go online and see what fans are saying? Because it feels like they always do the opposit of what people wanna see…a lot of people want less Layla – they made her series regular. Rayna & Deacon together – they barely get 3 min an episode. Juliette finally getting help – looks like that’s gonna take a while…

        • Ann says:

          apparently they don’t–or maybe these writers just aren’t very talented — I say fire the whole bunch and hire some new ones asap or this show is going to flatline…

  16. John says:

    I know we are supposed to be sorry for Juliette in her postpartum depression. But, it would be easier to do that if she hasn’t acted this way since the show started, with an occasional interlude of concern for others.

    As others have posted Scarlet keeps repeating being miserable and not knowing what she wants, Deacon has stopped drinking, but otherwise is always guilt ridden.

    I like all three actors and they all have had great scenes, but I wish they would all grow a bit.

  17. Nancy says:

    i agree with all the comments. However the writers or whomever is in charge of the show should read the comments and give them some serious thought. While we all like drama on TV, we really don’t want to see such deep personal drama each episode. We have tough enough things happening in our everyday lives we don’t need to relive it on tv. They should take a chapter out of the series “Empire”. They show mostly business drama and corruption. that’s what we want. great songs and how the singers and label heads make it happen or do each other in to move up the country music star ladder. Enough about Juliette’s depression, enough Avery carrying a baby seat everywhere (give him a back story where he is producing and writing songs and where he has a great career. he shouldn’t be seen as Juliette’s flunkey, make him strong like he use to be. Enough of Scarlett and Gunnar. Either get them together and let them sing great songs. alternatively, give Gunnar a girlfriend and stop bringing back old flames if they really don’t have an exciting role or if they don’t really shake things up.. End the sadness with Deacon and let him start writing and singing with Rayna so they can build that record company. they have had enough PERSONAL drama together. Give us some serious label competition between Luke and Rayna’s companies. they should have simultaneous tours and out do each other, omg, how great would that be with all of the awesome songs and singers, YEAH! Don’t get me wrong, some personal drama only adds the storyline but that should be the backstories, not the main event. Everyone has drama in their lives so we watch to TV to get involved in lives outside of our own, not an extension of ours. I may not be articulating this completely well but I hope everyone gets my drift..:)

  18. Emily says:

    I wept. I was holding it together so well, through all the heartbreak, and then Charles Esten SOBBED, and I couldn’t hold out anymore.