Nashville Season 4 Episode 14 Recap

Nashville Recap: Homecoming Mean

What’s the opposite of the Welcome Wagon? The Get Out Jalopy? The See Ya Subaru? The Hasta la Vista Haycart? Because that’s what greets Juliette when she (finally!) returns to town in this week’s Nashville. Even worse, a red-eyed, out-of-empathy Avery is behind the wheel.

The old Juliette might’ve reacted to this rebuff in a number of ways. She could’ve fired him… then fired whatever employee of hers pointed out that Avery wasn’t on her payroll. She could’ve run out and slept with the closest, least appropriate person in the immediate vicinity. (RIP, Jeff Fordham.) She could’ve at least broken a very expensive piece of glassware.

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What’s so disheartening about JuJu’s reaction to her ex-husband/forever soulmate’s feigned ambivalence about their relationship — not to mention his outright disdain for her ability to be a dedicated mom — is that it’s all so quiet and adult and bloodless. Maybe I’m being a pessimist; perhaps the lack of raised voices and verbal kill shots means Cadence’s folks are moving toward a shared understanding. But I’d rather they moved toward a shared bed, which is a veiled way of saying PLEASE GIVE ME JAVERY BACK, Nashville. Amid Layla’s heartbreak and Deacon and Rayna sharing one (!) scene in this episode, I need a win!

Read on for the highlights of “What I Cannot Change.”

BABY STEPS | Let’s start with the most important aspect of the entire episode: the cuteness of the babies who play little Cadence. They are so deliciously adorable, they make me and my ovaries want to write checks that my one-bedroom New York apartment can’t cash. But can you blame me? Those little kiddos are acting, people. Just try not to melt when the baby actively hugs Juliette and smiles her goodbyes in that opening scene at the rehab center. Anyway, the doc that annoyed me in the last episode says it’s time for her to head home, and Juliette happily complies.

But back in Music City, Ms. Barnes returns to an empty house, tons of unopened mail and an offer of a cameo in a Steven Spielberg movie. She’s psyched about the opportunity… until she realizes that shooting it in Europe means she’ll miss out on two weeks of Cadence time. So she rules it out. But when Avery refuses her request for increased time with their daughter, Ju reconsiders and accepts the part.

Nashville Season 4 Episode 14 RecapAnd because Avery is so clearly still in love with the petite pile of problems, he allows her to come back and put Cadence to bed before she jets off the next day. Juliette softly sings the baby to sleep (again with the hugging!), while Daddy works on another chapter in his memoir, Crying in the Hallway: The Avery Barkley Story.

FILM VS. FAMILY | At the movie’s press conference in New York the next day — side note: Do movies hold press conferences before production has even begun? — a question from a reporter prompts Juliette to admit that she’s been in a bad way since Cadence was born. So she comes clean about rehab and her failed marriage, then abruptly backs out of the part, saying “I need to be with my daughter right now.” That’s sweet and all, Ju, but you do understand what a contract is, right? We’re talking about Spielberg here, which leads me to believe you’re about to have close encounters of the legal kind.

Back at home later, Juliette opens the door to see Avery there, saying she can have more time with Cadence. She tells him she didn’t give up the role to change his mind, and he responds that he didn’t change his mind because she gave up the role. They smile a little, and that’s something, right?

LAYLA LAID LOW | This week, in the extended sad trombone sound that is Layla’s life, she plays an amazing showcase set at Highway 65 — her song, “The Book,” is really, really good — and impresses country star Autumn Chase so much that the two make plans to talk business at the Exes show at The Bluebird later that night. But when they get there, Autumn is so blown away by Scarlett and Gunnar, she hires them as her opening act. Wah-wahhh. And then when Layla calls Avery, crying, he’s too busy mending fences with Juliette to pick up, so Layla ugly-cries on her bed, alone. Wah-wahhhh-wahhhhhhhh.

HEALIN’ DEALIN’ RECORDS | Will is planning to release his own, independent album, but he needs Luke to release the hold he has on the tunes Will wrote with Kevin. Or, you could just call Kevin, tell him you love him, make up and write more, Will. Just a thought.

But Luke is preoccupied by Colt’s insistence that his dad sign the parental consent forms so he can join the Army. Luke initially is dead-set against it, but a talking-to from the boy’s grandfather helps change his mind, and Luke acquiesces so his Maddie-deflowering son can enlist. And when Will demands that Luke give him back his songs, Luke instead offers Will his old Wheelin’ Dealin’ contract back. I give Luke a ton of grief in these recaps, but it’s a nice moment when he apologizes for yanking Will off the label months back. “I’ve come to realize just ’cause something’s hard or scary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, especially if it’s something you believe in,” Luke says, moving Will to tears as they shake on it, “and I believe in you.”

MEANWHILE, AT RAYNA’S… | I am sad to report that Rayna and Deacon’s only time together in the entire episode takes place at the very end, as they recap their recent woes to each other while cuddling on the couch. His update: The day after celebrating his 15 years of sobriety, Frank took The Beverly’s stage drunk, had to be hauled off by Deacon, and said some mean things to his business partner before sleeping it off. The next morning, he apologized, but Deacon noted the truth of the angry words and admits he “got caught up” in making the venue a hit and “steamrolled” his AA sponsor in the process. For the love of Connie Britton’s storied cinnabar tresses, Deke, please see this interlude for the cautionary tale it is and GET OUT OF THE BAR BUSINESS.

Her update: She’s frustrated that the cops can’t find Vita, and sad when a local detective informs her that girls like the missing homeless singer/songwriter often “just disappear.” (Side note: I also love how the detective is the one person in all of Nashville who isn’t wowed by Rayna’s name or presence. Stay hard-boiled, my friend.)

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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31 Comments
  1. Jake L. says:

    At least we got a break from Maddie this week, no?

  2. nadialus says:

    I am so glad that Juliette is back, the show really needs her. I do feel like there are too many characters right now though and someone should leave. I personally vote for that to be Layla but I don’t think thats going to happen unfortunately. Has she developed at all throughout the show? All she does is cry. I’m also not a huge fan of Cash and her father. Hopefully now that Juliette is back the show will work itself out. It’s identity crisis has been frustrating. Loved the moment with Will and Luke at the end.

    • The Beach says:

      I agree completely. If Rayna is the heart of the show then Juliette is the fire and the show gets pretty boring when she’s not on it. Welcome back! The recent thread about Deacon’s business partner was a complete throwaway waste of time. Gunnar and Scarlett getting picked over Layla was way too predictable…saw that coming a mile away. Vita has a really great voice that I would like to hear more of but I wouldn’t mind seeing less, much less, of Rayna’s girls and Luke’s son. The writing needs to tighten up. They seems to be throwing up a bunch of threads to see what might stick.

  3. CA Koesler says:

    I absolutely loved this episode, mainly because the writers kept the stories honest. I enjoyed the scenes between Luke and his son and of course the amazing acting of Hayden Panettiere and Jonathon Jackson. The Javery story line is one you can help but root for.

    • luv2cook says:

      I too loved it very much! I really, really wish that they’d get rid of Layla and Cash. Cash serves no purpose and Layla hasn’t changed a damn bit, she’s only after Avery to get back at Juliette. I sincerely hope that Avery sees through her bull. Kudos to Hayden P for coming out the other side of PPD in real life.

  4. Normandy says:

    So the point of Cash joining the army is to end the season on a cliffhanger that he was killed in combat, even though he should still be in basic training, isn’t it?

  5. ? says:

    She looked good! Relieved to see that, hope she’s solidly recovered.

  6. Ian says:

    Crying in the Hallway: The Avery Barkley Story – I screamed! LMFAO. How true it is!
    So glad to have Hayden back. Juliette may get on my last nerve a lot of the time, but she can always get me back with performances like she gave this episode.
    And I do wonder too what the point of Layla is almost constantly, but then she sings and I remember. Aubrey’s voice be kinda divine, yall.
    And Connie doesn’t have to be the only redhead. That brown was a horrible color for Alicia.
    And I nearly cried at just hearing Will say Kevin’s name and smile at the lyrics they wrote together. Come back and never leave again, Kevin.

  7. DT says:

    This was the best episode in awhile. Will Chase killed it in this episode. Every scene he was in drew me in with the emotion he showed tonight. Also, loved the Juliette and Avery scenes. Hayden Panettiere is really a great actress. Her performance in this show from day 1 has been incredible; for my money she should have won an Emmy by now.

  8. Bessie says:

    The Frank story is taking up too much valuable time. That said, this was a good episode because it got away from the Maddie story line! Plus, love Juliette!

  9. Boiler says:

    Agree with all comments about having Haydn/Juliette back and number of characters on the show. Hoping for a season 5 renewal and a whittling down of the number of people.

  10. Jess says:

    Let me preface by saying I truly love this show, or what it used to be and still could portray. It seems like the writers are just trying to find ways to fill up 22 episodes instead of digging for meaningful story lines and weaving together the core characters. I think people could skip this episode and they wouldn’t even realize it when they watch next week’s episode.

    I’m glad Juliette is back, but so much of that storyline was unrealistic (press conference pre-production, breaking her contract when she already has quite the difficult reputation… Do these writers remember their previous character stories? Sometimes I truly wonder).

    Even Scarlette and Gunnar who can usually bring something, felt flat. Good for Will for finally standing up and demanding something! I enjoy his relationships with the other characters and his voice.

    Layla, eh, I enjoy her voice but give the poor girl a decent storyline. How awkward were her scenes with Autumn? (Side note… Why are more people being added to this show, even if as brief guest stars.?!? There was waaaayyyy too many people already which takes away from the core.)

    Frankie…. How old are you? Stop throwing little bitch baby fits. Im glad his relapse has finally come to light. Hopefully he’ll get put into rehab and can permanently leave. Also, I hope he takes creepy Cash with him. She serves no purpose except to make any Maddie storyline that much more miserable.

    Deacon was probably the only character I enjoyed this episode. Part of me was hoping he would have to knock Frankie out… Just because he gets on my nerves. And I miss fiesty Deacon. Nicely done, Chip.

    Why did Rayna have two minutes of screen time? Probably because CB knows how terrible this show has become and wants to minimize her association. Good for you girl.

    Given there are new show runners for next year, maybe season 5 would be better. I can’t take much more of the current state.

    Hopes for the future:

    -To have Claybourne/Jaymes family scenes and storylines (that don’t have Maddie being pregnant or trying to become emancipated) and to focus on their music.

    -More grand performances and studio time! It feels like even the music on the show has become very sub-par… With the expedition of Layla’s song last night.

    Next week’s episode looks like an improvement over this week’s snooze fest. Rayna going on tour?! Yes please!

    Bring.it.on.

  11. Agree 100% with everyone that is happy (relieved) that we were not subjected to yet another teenage angst week with Maddie. The Colt storyline was not as annoying and frustrating. I was happy to see Luke finally get together with his son and talk. The grandfather has done nothing but force the wedge, that was already there, in deeper. Luke also had a wonderful moment with Will and I think all of us will be happier to see Will preform on the show again… And while we got off scott-free with Maddie this week, we still got Layla crying. What that opening act switch-up coming as soon as she brought her to the Blue Bird – it’s hard for anyone to deny the power of Gunner and Scarlet – they are divine together. Poor Layla cuz she rocked her debut. And I trust that Rayna will find her something. She hasn’t failed her yet. She has had a lot of crap thrown her way so I am not ready to throw that character away yet (plus I love her singing). The less said about Franks boneheaded, completely contrived fall back into drinking the better.

  12. Davey says:

    I don’t want Avery ever to be back with Juliette. They both need to move on.

  13. Ella Jasper says:

    Please get back to the music. I really think that is one of the reasons you haven’t been renewed yet. This show has added too many characters, too much drama, too many story lines. The first season was the best. Cash, Frankie, Vita and Layla need to go. Who cares about any of them? Layla was good, but nothing left for her. And the other three, again, WHO CARES? Please get back to the music. You are in NASHVILLE.

  14. Phillip says:

    Am I the only one who is starting to really dislike Avery now? He’s being a massive douche bag.

    • Avery has every right to deny Juliette access to their child… do you not remember the drunken party with the baby in the middle of it crying? Or how about her taking off and changing her number? Or any number of horrific things she did. Sure she had an illness, but that does not erase his experience and it would be disingenuous if he just forgave her and let her jump back into their lives. I am happy to see him protective!

  15. Jill says:

    I’m with everyone who was glad Maddie wasn’t in this episode. It made it much better, though the Frankie acting like a baby stuff replaced it. I liked him when he first came on and didn’t mind his daughter, but now he’s annoying and she’s super creepy. They can both go. This was the most I liked Luke in a while. Layla has a nice voice, but her character is insufferable. What was she even crying over? Boo hoo, I didn’t get a job. Suck it up, the music business is tough. They sorely underused Rayna and Deacon in this episode. I would have traded every Frankie/Cash scene and Rayna and the pointless Vita storyline scene for R/D together time. Them surfing the web together would have been better than the scenes we got with the other characters. Also, glad Juliette is back.

  16. luli101 says:

    Wasn’t Hayden just beautiful in every scene? I love her in the rose dress and braided hair. It was great to have her back. Really liked the episode tonight! And I agree that we need more music!!!

  17. abz says:

    Frankie, Cash, Colt, Maddie, Luke. How are they letting all these terrible and/or useless characters take so much screen time?
    Can Will pull himself out of his pity party and call Kevin already? I don’t even remember why they broke up in the first place.
    Great seeing Hayden back on the show. She is really is one of the show’s biggest assets. I’m just getting a bit tired of Avery. When he’s not endlessly weeping, he’s just bitching about Juliet. It’s annoying.

    • abz says:

      Also, will this show ever stop crapping all over Layla? I know she’s a polarizing character, but she has a beautiful voice and I don’t hate her. She’s basically the show’s punching bag. Was it really necessary for The Exes to get that opening spot? Do we really need to bring Layla into the Juliette/Avery drama when they already have enough problems? Every time something great happens to her it always seems to be accompanied by something terrible. The writers need to understand that constantly watching a character being brought down is not entertaining.

      • Jill says:

        If you think Layla is the show’s punching bag you haven’t met Deacon. The writers abuse him so much more than they do Layla, and he actually works towards improving himself unlike Layla who is constantly scheming and conniving.

  18. pinky says:

    Juliette is back! The show is finally interesting again

  19. Jack Crouse says:

    Heard a song called Countrified that is supposed to be on tonights episode. Great song wonder who is going to be doing it??