Nashville Season 4 Episode 12 Recap

Nashville Recap: Signed, Sealed, Dejected

That terrible, gut-wrenching sound you just heard? The one that sounded like your favorite music box crashing to the ground, fluffy puppies being denied kibble, and unicorn tears splashing in a rainbow puddle? That was the heart of Nashville‘s Avery as it finally, firmly tore itself asunder.

Yep, this week’s episode finds the Barkley-Barnes union officially undone after Cadence’s daddy reaches his breaking point. And guess who’s right there to help him realize that enough’s enough? A vengeance-filled former reality star with dramatic bangs and a yen to napalm Juliette’s world.

Read on as we review what happens in “How Does It Feel to Be Free.”

FREE TO BE IN MISERY | Avery tries to see Juliette at the treatment facility twice this episode. The first time, her probably-well-meaning-but-still-SUPER-annoying therapist says that Ju “doesn’t feel now is a safe time to be engaging with you”

due to her emotional fragility, and when Avery gets angry at that — as pretty much anyone in his situation would, I think — the physician ushers him out, saying, “The last thing Juliette needs now is this kind of drama.” Again, probably true… but as someone trained in helping people manage their emotional states, maybe a little empathy is in order, doc?

Anyway, Avery spends a lot of time at the studio, helping Layla with her second album. But when Luke comes looking for Avery because he’s had trouble getting in touch with Juliette, the overwrought producer decides he can’t lie anymore: He confides in Layla that Juliette is in treatment for postpartum depression, prompting her to lay a calculated hand on his forearm and gently prod him toward ripping of the Band-Aid by reminding him that he deserves to feel free, too.

Next thing we know, Avery is back at the hospital, demanding that Juliette’s doctor give her a message: “We’re over. We’ve been over,” he says, issuing an ultimatum that if she doesn’t go public with their divorce in the next 24 hours, he will. She complies, he cries and takes off his wedding band, and then he seems noticeably lighter the next time he and Layla hit the studio. Side note: Cadence isn’t in this episode at all. I hope she and Emily are off somewhere, having a nice spa day.

RISKY BUSINESS | A woman named Vita walks into The Beverly and asks Deacon for a spot on the already-full open-mic list. He grudgingly allows her to audition for one, then he’s so blown away by her talent that he has Rayna and Bucky come down to the bar that night to hear her play. Vita is pretty amazing, but when Rayna all but offers her a record deal right there and then, she acts really oddly.

Turns out, Vita has hit hard times and needs a job pronto. But when the felony question on the bar’s application sends her running, Rayna tracks her down and realizes the younger woman has been living in her car since arriving in Nashville. “I’ve done some things I’m not real proud of. But I’m not that girl anymore,” she says, copping to being arrested in her past. But Ray encourages her to go back and give the waitressing gig another shot; though Frank takes some convincing, she eventually gets the gig.

All is well until the end of Vita’s first shift, when $500 is missing from the till — and Frank is pretty sure it went straight into her pocket. I understand his suspicion, because Vita is a bit shifty, but would someone who has a potential record deal just waiting for her take the risk of lifting cash from a bar belonging to that label head’s husband?

ERIN EXITS | Scarlett sees Erin kissing a dude in a truck, and when Scar acts all squirrelly around Gunnar, he demands she tell him what’s up. So he confronts his lady, who counters with the fact that they weren’t monogamous… but she’s willing to be, because she likes him so much. Thing is, though? Gunnar doesn’t really care that Erin was swapping spit with Random Guy #1, because he’s not really into their relationship. That stings a bit, but she puts on her big girl ugly hat and bids him a fond farewell. Oh, and Scarlett? She has a date with “taxidermy guy from the wedding. Don’t say nothing about it,” she warns Gunnar. I’m just happy that she’s taking my advice.

HATE SLIME | Will happily agrees to sit in on Gunnar and Scarlett’s next live show, but his performance is cut short when a homophobic bag of garbage in the audience yells gay slurs and then throws a beer bottle at Will’s face, making him bleed. The cops come, and the detective in charge says all Will needs to do is give a statement so they can arrest the dude on hate-crime charges. But Will declines, choosing instead to return to the same bar soon after to finish his set. The violent gay-hater is there again, yelling terrible things, but the crowd is definitely behind Will this time. And when Scarlett and Gunnar get up in the guy’s face, he and his awful friends leave. I have my doubts about whether someone who thinks it’s acceptable to brazenly yell “Homo!” in front of a crowded room would be that intimidated by a blonde garden pixie and her lanky sidekick, but that’s neither here nor there.

Nashville Season 4 Episode 12 Recap

AND WHEN HE’S HOLLERED UNCLE, WE’LL TEAR UP THE TOWN | Luke’s feelings get hurt when his fans start to turn on him over not being a “real” country guy anymore, thanks to the money and the branding and the tax snafu and blah blah. And Luke’s still smarting over Colt’s refusal to return his calls or texts. So when he runs into old pal Riff, who used to be a huge star but retired a while ago so he could put his family first, Luke thinks he’s come up with the perfect solution to his tour woes: Riff will tour with him and help him get back to his roots! Riff is down with that idea, with one caveat: That he can bring his wife and teenage son and daughter with him. And just like that, they have a wheelin’ dealin’, er, deal. (Side note: What’s the over/under on number of episodes before Luke gets jealous of Riff’s family harmony and starts a fight over something stupid?)

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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26 Comments
  1. Jake L. says:

    Are we just going to ignore the part where the girl who is writing with Maddie (I forget who she actually is) told her “You’re so much more mature than you know?” Because that was the funniest line I’ve heard on this show in a good while, but that whole storyline with Maddie and Colt is annoying, so I’m good with ignoring it if you left it out of the recap deliberately. I just hope they don’t take it in a teenage-pregnancy direction.

  2. Jake L. says:

    On another note, can someone please explain to me how in the fall everyone thought Highway 65 was a joke vanity label, but now all of a sudden Rayna mentioned how many big-name artists (who we don’t see) are wanting to sign with her? I know she sad last week that Markus’s singles are doing well, even though he’s not doing any promotion for the album, but in the winter finale she was worried that the label would fall apart based on losing Markus as another high-profile artist who didn’t follow through for her. I mean, I’m realy trying to understand, it’s inconsistent writing.

  3. Gina says:

    I am so glad Avery and Juliette’s are over!!! They were so boring and I was really starting to hate them together.

  4. wrstlgirl says:

    Jonathan Jackson crying always just kills me. I don’t want him to hook up with Layla but she’s looking like his rebound girl,won’t last long. And finally Will stands up for himself. Can he have a meaningful story arc please. There’s so much potential there.

  5. Tedi says:

    This Javery breakup is seriously killing me. It is getting waaaaay outta hand.
    Are they officially divorced yet? Don’t these things take a while to finalise even if both parties are in agreement?

  6. Jill says:

    This episode was super boring. Who cares about Luke? He should have been off this show in season 2 when he said “see you when I see you” to Rayna. I hate how all of Will’s storylines for three seasons have been about him being gay. Come on, give the guy an actual realistic storyline that doesn’t revolve around his sexuality! This storyline should have been rapped two seasons ago. I hate Layla and think the girl who plays her is a terrible actress, but I have to admit, she did her best acting in this episode with Jonathan Jackson as her scene partner (not that I want to see more of her). Even Deacon and Rayna were boring in this episode.

    • J says:

      Yes! Everything about Nashville would have been better if Luke had exited at that point in season 2.
      Am not happy about Layla and Avery but am trying to swallow my revulsion for now. Blech.
      And yes, being gay should not be Will’s defining characteristic. There must be more the show can do with him.

    • Ella Jasper says:

      Well said.

  7. Sally McLinn says:

    I know one thing, the actor who plays Avery gave and gives a grand performance every week. I don’t know his name, but boy is he a good actor.

  8. Lisa Echerd says:

    I like how Will’s story is going as long as they stick with it and not let this one fall aside. What I don’t like is yet another character we are supposed to care about that we don’t even know. And I really hate continuing to push Rayna as a businesswoman at us when she is supremely bad at it. Once again, she is impulsively bringing on another artist. She doesn’t do a background check to at least know what she is dealing with, pressures her husband and his partner to hire her and ignores her daughters she just signed. I was hoping Highway 65 would die and Rayna would go back to performing. Not every artist is a businessperson, nor should they be.

  9. Love Me Some Deacon! says:

    I find it odd that there was no lead-up to Frankie calling Deacon to say that the $500 was missing, which causes me to think that it didn’t really happen. You’d think they would have shown him at the till and the look on his face as he realized it was gone. As it was shown, I think that Frankie is concerned that Deacon and Rayna are “taking over” what used to be only Frankie’s bar. So by him pinning that on Vita, he’s showing Deacon that they need to run the place the way Frankie said it should be – the way he used to.

    As it is, the Vita storyline might be ending already – it looked like that was her car burned out in the teaser for next week. Too bad, she was a great singer!

  10. Erica says:

    Does Deacon still own the Bluebird?? What happened to that place? I couldn’t figure out why Deacon would place Vita at the Beverly against Frank’s better judgement when he has another way he could help her out. (The obvious answer is plot advancement, but I am looking for logic)

    • Love Me Some Deacon! says:

      I don’t think “Deacon” ever owned the Bluebird. It is a thriving business currently in Nashville, presumably with owners that are not part of the show. He played there a lot in the show, that’s for sure!

    • sterling says:

      He never owned the Bluebird. The Bluebird is a famous bar that is known for featuring open mic nights for artists where record execs would hang out to discover new talent. He would play there often because it was where he and Rayna were both discovered.

  11. Why am I terribly suspicious of Frank… I really did not like what that scene (with the closing of the bar) alluded too. She left after cleaning tables and he was at the register. Just how did she get her hands on money?

  12. Kcg says:

    I kept expecting Juliette so show up! She was in the promos for this week. What gives ABC?

  13. Kerry says:

    I think it’s time Avery definitely moves on from Juliette, she has had so many chances to change but hasn’t. Avery deserves a better. I for one have had a soft spot for the character Layla and wouldn’t mind seeing them together of course that is if the show doesn’t turn Layla into the villain and Juliet into the injured party. The episode altogether was good and I like where it seems to be going

  14. margo says:

    Here are my predictions. 1) Maddie and Cash start a romance. 2)Vita and Deacon hook up. I hate both of my predictions :(