Nashville Season 4 Recap

Nashville Recap: Glower Records

Markus Keen, you walking man-bun, take a page from a philosopher known as The Rock and know your damn role.

Now, because I’m fairly certain you’re made up of 60 percent eyeliner, 30 percent questionable facial hair and only 10 percent brain matter, I will explain this to you slowly, in terms you can understand: I don’t care that Nashville is telling us you’re some kind of alt-rock god; how about you alt-er your attitude and collaborate with the producer Rayna thinks is great for you and whom, may I point out, you chose?

And honestly, your rockstar preening is tiresome, given how much actual drama takes place in this week’s episode. The probably loss of virginity! The realization of terrible error! The dissolution of marriage! (That last one stings the worst, doesn’t it?) Let’s get to it, then, and recap the events of “Stop the World (and Let Me Off).”

RUDE AWAKENING | Juliette wakes up sticky-eyed and bleary, which is She Who Shall Not Be Named’s cue to hand the star some pills. In the bathroom, Ju realizes she is on the Elvis Presley Express to Dying on a Toilet, and flushes the meds. (Side note: My feelings during this scene are simultaneously 1) impressed by Hayden Panettiere letting the show’s make-up team make her look so strung-out and 2) bummed about what a tough time she’s having in real life with this stuff.)

Juliette gets a little lift from Maddie, who has accompanied Colt and Luke to Georgia for the Atlanta stop on the tour. Maddie is freaking because she kinda does/kinda doesn’t want to have sex with Colt, so she finds Ju backstage and admits she sometimes wonders: “What would Juliette do to make herself feel better?” Sorry, Mads, but I don’t think “vodka and sobbing” is the route you wanna go.

Ju tries to be helpful, bringing Maddie out on stage to sing “Telescope” with her. I know I’m supposed to think that Juliette is being irresponsible and all, but I’m just so psyched that we’re hearing some Season 1 J-Barnes girl-pop that I’m going to overlook it. Unfortunately, Luke’s eyes Luke’s eyes Luke’s eyes are like a telescope — and he sees all and reads Ju the riot act later. Don’t play mama to Rayna’s daughter, he warns her, “just because you’ve abandoned your own.” Juju, you’ve been wheelin’ dealin’ SERVED.

Oh, and while you both were having that little interaction? Maddie and Colt probably had very unsatisfying first-time sex in a tour bus. Quick question: To whom must I pray in order to avoid a teen-pregnancy storyline?

CLOSURE | Rayna urges Deacon to go help Scarlett clean out Beverly’s place in Natchez, Miss., and he does. Everything about their tenure there is sad, from the way they’re still so mean to each other at first to Scarlett getting leave-your-purse-at-the-bar drunk to Deacon finally apologizing to his niece for being so hurtful. He adds that he realizes she made the right choice in taking her mom off life support. “I’m just sorry I wasn’t strong enough to make it with you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there,” he says, and I hope those ugly couch cushions of Bev’s double as flotation devices, because now Deke and Scar are hugging and crying and it is getting soggy in there fast.

BAD TIMES FOR THE BARNES-BARKLEYS | Speaking of road trips, Will and Kevin hit the highway to hear Luke’s first performance of sing a song they wrote, and Gunnar comes along for fun. Gunny unlocks a new level of dorkiness in this hour and I’ve gotta say: I really enjoy it. First, he thinks he has a “spark” with Emily at the house, but Will shoots that idea down hard: Dating your roommate’s nanny is almost as bad an idea as dating your own nanny. Then, while trying to introduce himself to a lovely guitar tech backstage at the concert, Gunnar inadvertently blurts out that he and Will once kissed. (Side note: Kevin’s reaction is amazing.)

When Juliette sees Gunnar, she demands intel on Avery, but he can’t figure out why she wants it when she didn’t care that Cadence was in the hospital the night before. In that moment, Ju comes to terms with the fact that she’s surrounded herself with asshats, and confronts BFFdemort about the previous evening’s call. “Are you the stupidest person alive?” Ms. Barnes asks her new assistant (Ha! And also: Yes!) just before she fires her — and also terminates the employment of Gunnar’s guitar tech, just because she happened to be in the room and snickered. So guitar tech lady literally runs to Gunnar, grabs him by the belt buckle and pulls him into an empty room… earning her a ride back to Nashville with Gunny and the guys.

And Juliette? She jumps on her jet and rushes back to Music City, where she’s so happy to see Avery (whom she sent a tentative — and unreturned — text earlier in the episode). But after a day of waiting on Markus’ undisciplined butt, only to get fired three notes into trying to produce him, Avery is done. He’s signed the divorce papers and he’s offering a deal: Juliette can spin the story any way she wants, but he needs her to terminate her parental rights to Cadence. “I can’t have her grow up thinking she can depend on her mother when we both know she can’t,” he says, dry-eyed, giving her his lawyer’s card and 24 hours to make it so. Man, the way Ju tries to physically keep her hold on him — and the way that desire is not returned — for most of this scene is tough to watch. Nice work on both Panettiere’s and Jonathan Jackson’s parts.

BACK-TO-BACK BRATS | Also landing in Nashville, right about now: Maddie, who is back to being the worst after a brief respite of acting like a normal human person. Rayna is highly displeased that the teen directly disobeyed the rules and got up on stage to perform, and she’s apoplectic that Maddie thinks Juliette is a role model.

It’s too bad, too; the rest of Rayna’s day was spent shepherding an initially pissy Layla through writing a song about Jeff… who seems to want to be CEO of Luke’s brand or something corporate-speaky like that. But is he as willing to abandon Ms. Grant as he makes it seem?

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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  1. Christena says:

    top site I’m a massive games bettor from Holland

  2. Kenzie says:

    This episode made me sad to see what in real life Hayden is going through and have juliette come to her senses only to have avery tell her give up her rights to her daughter and that promo is so sad its hard to watch her on that roof knowing what going in her personal life.

    • laurelnev says:

      You beat me to it. ;) I can’t help but wonder if having to act THIS storyline is what pushed Hayden over the edge. Did life imitate art? My heart breaks for poor Hayden (whom I remember from when she played young Sarah Buchanan on OLTL as a toddler.) She is one of the few child stars who, so far, has lived a relatively normal life. I am glad she went public with her own struggle, just so it could help others facing similar issues.

      • Keri says:

        They may have written this in because of what she is going through, to bring awareness to it. I know that on GH, Sonny is bipolar because Maurice Benard is bipolar in real life, and he wanted to raise awareness for the disorder.

  3. laurelnev says:

    I hate the word d-bag, and I really reserve it for those who deserve it. I cannot think of any other word to use to describe Avery. He hooks up with women who are best described as “a hot mess,” and then he belittles and berates them for being a hot mess. Avery just about destroyed Scarlet, and now, Juliet. Yes, a lot of the blame falls square on Juliet’s shoulders, like Scarlet, she sent out a TON of warning signals, and instead of supporting her, Avery just pushed her over the edge. What makes you so high and mighty, Avery. THe world is NOT all about you! A little less selfishness there please. Reason you couldn’t handle that musician? Maybe because it was like looking in a mirror.

    • Lori Davis says:

      I disagree. Avery begged Ju to get help at the end of last season and she rewarded him by throwing a snow globe at his head and taking off on tour leaving him and Cadence alone for months. She wanted no contact and surrounded herself with true D-bags like Jeff and her newly minted BFF who kept enabling her. When she needed a photo op she came home begging for forgiveness (I do be love she did actually miss A & C tho). Avery gave it and she rewarded him yet again by taking off, changing her cell # and forbidding her new minions to give it to her Husband. I completely empathize with women suffering from PPD and I know Ju is sick but I can’t blame Avery for being wary and trying to protect his daughter. She isn’t behaving all that differently than she was before Avery reigned her in in Season 2 so it’s not like this Ju is a complete stranger to him. Besides I am pretty sure he will be the one to pull her back from the edge and will ultimately stick by her side when everything comes unglued.

      • Yes, he will. Of course she’ll only be at that edge because he pushed her, but you know, whatever,

        • LDMRNJ says:

          I completely sympathize with people that suffer from PPD or other forms of depression and mental illness. I can’t get behind this “he pushed her” take though. Ju is where Ju is because of Ju. Not Avery. Not “she who will not be named.” Not because of Jeff. The people that care for her have tried to reach her – Avery did. Emily did. Old-manager-who’s-name-I-blank-on did. Rayna did. Luke did. And Ju put the walls up, pushed those folks away and went on her downward spiral. Putting yourself (and in Av’s case, his child) ahead of someone who is ill but won’t seek treatment isn’t wrong. It’s what you have to do sometimes. Juliette has a history of being selfish and self destructive. Avery tried several times to make it work with her, to support her, begged her to get help. And now that she’s willing, he’s got issues believing it. I think it’d be much less believable if he put all that past behind and said “Well ok, Juju, if you say so. I’ll ignore the press-op love fest and I’ll ignore all the past broken promises and I’ll just focus on the fact that you now say you’re going to be different.”

        • smartysenior says:

          They’ve completely rehabilitated the Avery character from the dipsheet in the first season to the loving attentive Dad now. He’d got the goods over his crazed estranged wife at this point but I can’t tell where this will go other than she gets fixed up in rehab or something.

          • Ryan says:

            Totally agree. If this was Avery season one, or even married Avery and a child wasn’t involved I’d stay tough it out and give her a chance, but there is a child to think about and at the end of the day he has to put her first, which is what he’s doing. I think if anything, this decision shows how much he’s matured. The Avery of the past wouldn’t have said “say whatever you want about me but terminate your rights”, the Avery of the past would’ve been all about image just as much as Juliette. This is as grown up as we’ve ever seen him. He didn’t do this to her, she did this to herself and as much as he wants to help her and he has tried, you can only do so much when the literal safety of your child is at stake (and a drunk who throws things at your head can’t be trusted with a child).

    • Avery gave her a chance to deal with her issues. It hasn’t just been a week or a month since she had that child. Your venom is so unwarranted.

    • april-ann says:

      I felt uncomfortable after Juliette first had Cadence. Obviously there are not people in her life who truly care about her, or they would have shared some wisdom about what to expect. Juliette had no idea what to expect and therefore had no help in place, she was alone with the baby. And Avery had no problem whatsoever in leaving her like that. He’d breeze in, he’d breeze out just as quickly, maybe a little peck on the cheek before bolting. Off to do what he wanted to do himself for himself and enjoying his freedom to do so, while Juliette was alone with a newborn not knowing anything about babies and not naturally adapting to it. When you are alone with a newborn without any support and you are not adapting naturally to motherhood like society tells you you should, you start to feel very inadequate as a mother. You question yourself and feel that you can’t do anything right. You love your baby so much but feel worthless not only as a mother but as a person as well. To know you’re being counted on when you feel unworthy is too much pressure. It gets inside your head until you feel so bad about yourself it’s easier to distance yourself from it all because you feel the baby and everyone in your life deserves better, and is better off without you. Juliette loved/loves her baby but being left alone by Avery every step of the way during the most important time threw her over the edge. Much of what transpired is Avery’s fault. I hope he’s held accountable for the role his selfishness played in this. That’s how I feel about the show’s storyline. About Hayden though, hope she feels better and is taking (and being given) the time she needs to feel better.

  4. JP says:

    Minor point but it seemed to me that Avery actually met Juliette wherever she was, not v.v. (sounded like she was about to hop on a plane back when she saw him?).

    I love the guys together- we’ve been needing some comic relief and Gunnar certainly gave it to us tonight. This was probably my fav episode so far this season, in spite of ANOTHER Layla performance (that sounds exactly like the rest of her performances) and the continued lack of Deacon/Rayna time. Why must they withhold? I’ll take a whole show of just R and D scenes, thank you.

  5. Dee says:

    Is it me or does Colt look like he could be Colin Farrell’s son? Especially with the long(ish) hair?

  6. Allison says:

    Next week’s promo made me sad and really scared. I hope the writers don’t have Juliette kill herself. I get that it would be a poignant story to tell and that they could do so much with it, but it would just be so heartbreaking if no one was there to talk her off that ledge. I know they went that route with Will so I hope someone will be there for Juliette as well. I was pleasantly surprised by Layla tonight. Her voice on that song was so amazing. I found myself actually saying out loud “Wow! Is that Layla…for real…is that Layla?” Given how annoying she was when she first came on the show and how much I wished for her demise (along with Peggy and Teddy, but he has since earned redemption…kinda…sorta…) her vocals tonight made me realize why she was kept on the show. Way to go Layla! Scarlett and Deacon needed to have it out and I was so glad they did and have reconnected. I am also glad that Deacon is not pushing Rayna away. I do wonder if he and Rayna are about to become grandparents because I do believe Maddie is no longer a virgin and I also believe the writers will write in a pregnancy scare for the little whippersnapper. Maybe she won’t be pregnant, but if it scares her enough to stop being a brat, I am all for it. Lately my favorite scenes have been Gunnar, Avery, and Will with baby Cadence. Those are always the cutest and funniest scenes – especially how fast her screams can cause those fellows to make a quick and swift exit! I do wish she would work her magic on Markus Keen and cause him to make the same quick and swift exit. What was Rayna thinking by signing this dude? He is a head case and seriously doesn’t she have enough drama to manage in her personal life without adding any to her professional life? Well, maybe he will be worth it in the long run, but for now I think she invested in emu. I am torn about Luke’s decision to use the song written by Will and Kevin after he dropped Will from the label. I get that Will can still make a ton of money by being a songwriter, but the one thing he and Gunnar had in common is that dream of being onstage and performing. I don’t know, but I am sure that story will be dragged out just like his coming out story was dragged out. As much as Jeff has hurt Layla in the past, I really hope he won’t hurt her again by snaking his way into becoming CEO of whatever Luke has going on at the moment. I hope he won’t hurt her again, but I should know better by now.

    • Lori Davis says:

      The promo made me sad too and poor Hayden…this storyline must have been so difficult for her to play, but if it is what triggered her to realize she needed help then maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

      On a lighter note, what is it about Jonathan Jackson that he keeps getting storylines where the women he loves cheat on him and then try to throw themselves off of roofs when he dumps them lol? First Liz on GH and now Hayden.

  7. Does “guitar tech” have a name? Or does anyone know the actor who plays her? I swear I’ve seen her in something else recently and it’s bugging me!

  8. Sally McLinn says:

    I’m back watching Nashville after being absent for about 2 seasons and it’s really a good or better show. Good writing. The scenes and interactions between actors could be longer though. They seem to be quick to snip and edit scenes and they last only about 1 minute. I want more dialog.

  9. Alicia says:

    Brill review as always Kim. Reading ur review it made me realise the lack of #Deyna this ep really wish they had more storylines together they like to keep them with everything separate apart from their home life and even that is like one scene per ep boooooo. But I loved the Maddie scenes and Juju scenes this ep. Deacon&Scarlett so sad bt I’m ready for the sadness to end now xx

  10. Sissy says:

    Interesting dynamic with Will wanting to be on stage, singing “his” song while sorta insulting Kevin as being just a songwriter. I did enjoy the guys road trip and love their Three Men and a Baby lifestyle. Guitar Tech just needed a ride back to Nashville, I figured she will have some fun with Gunnar then move on (poor Gunny).

  11. joan says:

    Nashville is becoming too much of a soap opera with objectionable elements and less of a country music show – we have decided not to watch it any more.

  12. Love Me Some Deacon! says:

    Poor Juliette up on the ledge in the previews for next week – I’m pretty sure she’ll be teetering there for a few weeks while the network does a “fall break” or some such thing.

  13. RUCookie says:

    Seeing Luke sing his song (and see it well received) might just be the spark Will needs to GET OFF HIS BUTT and start singing again. HE has to sign with Rayna soon or later. She is gonna need some talent that brings in money cuz that emo-rock guy is just a money pit; he is gonna crash and burn.

  14. It was so refreshing to watch a show with so much music. I missed it. And Layla’s song was spectacular. I’m not a fan of her character but that girl has a textured, rich and beautiful voice.

  15. TJ says:

    I really can’t stand Luke Wheeler but boy was he on the money telling Juliette off. I’ve never liked the character and really wish he had disappeared when Rayna dumped him. I just don’t see the need for him on the show other than to be the other label for artist. (Since oliver Hudson is on Scream Queens… will we get rid of him on Nashville? How is he filming both shows?)

    • grazelled says:

      Don’t think we’ll have to worry about SQs for too long. I don’t watch that show but follow the ratings and read some of the comments about it so I didn’t know OH was on that show.

      Liked tonight’s show. Really glad they didn’t make Deacon mad at Rayna for his sister’s death…that he and Scarlet are working out their issues. Lots of good singing tonight!

  16. Jen howe says:

    When’s Deacon gonna find out Rayna paid Bev for the liver? As a high school teacher, I can’t take a preg scare either.

  17. Cobra says:

    This show seriously needs to get rid of Scarlett. I’m sick to death of her constant moping. (Yes, I realize she just lost her mother, but let’s not pretend this moping is anything new…it’s been her default mode since Season 1 Episode 1). I hope next week’s “Fatal Ending” is her.

  18. Kate says:

    How long do you think it will be until Rayna signs Will? And yes to more Deyna scenes! Also – what was up with Rayna’s hair this episode? No stylist should ever make Connie B’s hair look that bad. It’s the stuff of legends.

  19. Ella Jasper says:

    Get Markus out of the picture, QUICK. Forget about Beverly, she’s getting way too much airtime and get back to the Nashville we all know and love. You are going to write yourselves right out of a time slot. We want MUSIC. The scenes between Layla and Rayna were great. Glad Juliette has seen the light, way too much time spent on her pills and alcohol. This is a show about music, please get back to it before the ratings drop any lower.


    Blaming Avery for Ju is like, (I’m going to say it)… blaming Kloe for Lamar’s probs. That’s it on that. I had a rage – gasm when Scarlett FINALLY told baby Deacs to “SHUT! UP!

  21. Mona says:

    Also, yes, Kimberly, when you find out, please do let us know to whom we might direct our please-not-the-teenage-pregnancy-storyline prayers. Connie Britton’s tv daughters seem to consider 16 as their magic first time age, but how I miss the Julie-Matt build up!
    Will for Highway 65, supporting that storyline very much.
    And on another note, sending Hayden Panettiere lots of strength, best wishes for getting out of her ppd asap and kudos for speaking up and thus helping others.

  22. Mona says:

    Your recaps are what pulls me through Nashville these days, Kimberly! So fun and witty.
    Not so much the real thing, with soapy twist after soapy twist. Sure, it’s prime time abc drama, but pleeeeeeeese let’s go back to Season 1 style and, for my sake, much, much more Rayna and Deacon, back to feeling that special relationship, “even if” they’re fiiiiiiiinally together (which seems hard to do this second time around). Don’t need steamy sex scenes every episode( one every two will do!) but let us see them write, perform, raise kids, exchange a dialogue longer than three lines. TOGHETHER, Nashville, together. Side note: Kimberly, I’m so happy you confirmed with your rethorical question a couple of recaps ago that it’s totally normal to have your stomach explode with butterflies by watching fictional characters.
    Also, we need more of Rayna’s great presence on stage (and yes, love Connie Britton singing)! Rayna as kick-butt label head? Rayna Tami Tayloring Maddie, Daphne and whoever else she wants? Bring it on!
    I’ll keep checking in because I’d happily watch a whole episode of Connie Britton brushing her teeth (I guess it’s clear by now)… but shame for me it’s out of sight out of mind, I find myself not caring anymore.
    PS Nashville, please also bring back Jonathan Jackson’s country rock performances.
    Juliette and Rayna.
    Keep Juliette and Maddie.

    (Had posted this comment just before the one above but it had somehow gotten lost)