Nashville Recap Season 4 Episode 20

Nashville Recap: Beginning of the End

Need to catch up? Check out last week’s Nashville recap here.

The title of this week’s Nashville episode is “It’s Sure Gonna Hurt.” And given the series’ recent cancellation, well, it does.

Not because the hour is kicked off by a cameo featuring the co-hosts of The View (though that is painful). Or because after all these seasons, the show still can’t find something for Will to do other than “be gay.” Or because Elton John guest-stars mainly to prop Gunnar’s ego. Or even because Derek Hough tries to make spaghetti squash sound interesting.

This week’s Nashville is a hard one because, by tossing Rayna and Deacon into an intensive couples’ therapy session that forces them to review their entire relationship, we’re reminded once more that these two are the heart of the series. And though that heart is stuck on a destructive carousel and often sacrificed at the altar of less satisfying storylines, it’s still tickin’, y’all.

What might Rayna and Deacon’s love story, fraught though it may be, have looked like in a rejuvenated, revamped, Herkovitz-and-Zwicked Season 5? Would it have been Big Red-on-Deke’s-doorstep-Season-1 good? Would it have been so different from what came before, it would’ve felt disconnected from the rest of the couple’s narrative? Unfortunately, we’ll likely never find out. And yeah, I’m bummed about that.

But there’s a little more rock left in this crocodile, so let’s get to the highlights of the hour.

WERK WERK WERK WERK WERK IT OUT | Rayna and Deacon have booked the entire day with a marriage counselor, and they spend the time crying, yelling, looking hurt and bemoaning the cycle they always seem to find themselves in: “Betrayal, destruction, abandonment, forgiveness,” Rayna says as Deacon sits so far away from her, it looks like he’s trying to merge his physical being with the couch.

After separate sessions, the therapist helps Rayna see that she has a history of gravitating toward men who let her down (like Deacon and her dad), and Deke has a “great sense of guilt and remorse” about… pretty much everything related to Rayna. “The tough question you both have to answer is: What are you both getting out of this relationship?” the counselor asks them. Ooh, ooh! I know this one! Heartbreak and ulcers?

After a nearly silent ride home, Deacon declares, “I’m done being the screw-up in your life” and basically tells Rayna the ball’s in her court as to what comes next. But after they both agree that their chief desire is to bring Maddie home — UGH Maddie, why is everything about you?! — there is a tiny thawing when Rayna tentatively touches her husband’s back in bed that night, and he slowly reaches for her hand. You’re totally going to leave Rayna and Deacon in a not-great place, aren’t you, Nashville?

I GUESS THAT’S WHY THEY CALL THEM THE BLUES | Autumn’s tour is on a break, so Scarlett goes to Chicago to shoot that headphones ad they talked about last episode. And Gunnar joins Autumn on a jaunt to Boston “to see my old friend, Elton John” and DOUBLE UGH to you, lady.

So while a photographer pokes at Scarlett’s emotional soft bits in order to get a truthful shot — because God knows, when I’m ugly crying, I want someone with an expensive lens and no sense of boundaries all up in my face — Gunnar gets invited on stage by Sir Elton himself. “Please give a big welcome to Gunnar Scott!” Elton shouts to the crowd. “Who is that?” the crowd shouts back. (I kid.)

After the show, Gunnar is primed to buy what Autumn is selling: that he’s a solo-caliber artist who deserves to strike out on his own. Oh, “and in case it wasn’t already abundantly clear, I like you, Gunnar. A lot,” Autumn chirps. So while Scarlett is sobbing to Noel that “I’m in love with him, in love with Gunnar,” Gunny is getting ready to shag Autumn and HOLY SAM PALLADIO TORSO. Suddenly, I’m not so against this storyline.

JONATHAN JACKSONNOAH IS NUMBINGLY NORMAL | Noah decides he and Juliette need to spend normal people time together, so he flies to Nashville and shows up on her doorstep. But sadly, the Hollywood star turns out to be just kind of a boring guy who’s good with Cadence and knows his way around starchy vegetables.

But Noah’s appearance in Music City is enough to rile up Avery, who spends a significant amount of Layla’s album-release performance at The Bluebird preoccupied thinking about how many times Noah may or may not have Shenandoah’d his girl. And when Layla realizes, she causes just enough drama to turn the focus back to her. Gross. (Also, you wanted Avery’s tie to “match” your… black dress, Layla? It’s not exactly salmon or celery or cerulean. Couldn’t he literally reach into his closet blindfolded and pick an ensemble that would complement your LBD?)

A DAD REDEEMED | After that View bit, in which Luke once more defends Will against the Cynthia Davises of the world and Raven-Symoné nearly looks directly into the camera, the men of Wheelin’ Dealin’ Records decide that it’s time for Will to start doing his own press. But then Luke gets a call from the infirmary at Fort Benning, where Colt is stationed, and he has to hurry to his son’s side.

So Will handles a radio interview on his own, and it goes so well that a young gay man seeks out the singer at his home and informs him that he’s a role model who had a positive impact by living his “truth.” The encounter revitalizes Will, who decides that he’s going to go on Davis’ talk show and confront the bigoted bully in person.

Speaking of bigoted bullies, turns out that Colt’s arm is broken and his head is concussed because he fought some homophobic jerks on the base who were talking smack about Luke defending Will. And though he’s in rough shape, he’s proud of his dad for once, so maybe the stitches are worth it.

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. Dave says:

    Kill Maddie.
    Kill Cash.
    Kill Frankie.
    Kill Autumn.
    Kill Layla.

    Yes. I said all that last week but it still holds. And lol @ that preview trying to convince audiences next weeks finale will be closure. Sure. Sure.

    • Em says:

      Well, that would sort everything… I like your plan!

    • sarah t says:

      I’m for this. I haven’t even watched the last few episodes of this show (until last night’s ep) because it’s just been so unbearable. Even Rayna and Deacon were hard to watch. I wasn’t even crazy about their therapy sessions last night because it just seemed to talky. And really, only two (sort of) songs? One that was a replay of Scarlett and Gunnar and the other Layla? I remember when we would get maybe 4 or 5 songs per episode and they were all so good! And the storylines were strong too. Seriously, whoever has been writing for this show this past season needs to get their act together. And no proper ending. I wish ABC would at least give us a 2 hour wrap up movie (maybe with best of songs) so we could have a send off. Ugh.

      • Virginia Choice says:

        Love the show especially the music. My daughter and I both agree we are sad it’s cancelled. I pray another station picks it up . This show turned me on to country music. I want to buy the latest CD. It would be a good idea to kill off Frankie, Layla, and Maddie. Lol
        I agree 2 hour send off

    • LMAO, Dave! I got such a kick out of your comment. I’m still laughing. Help.

    • eunice clark-fields says:

      I just started watching Nashville on Hulu so I binged I have now arrived at season 4 episode 20 just wanted u to know u r so funny n correct lmao. Kill em all lol so sick of them

  2. Becca says:

    “Who is that?” The crowd shouts back. Oh dear lawd! I laughed so (possibly too) hard at this! #gigglesnort

  3. Get on twitter everyone!!


  4. Bwhit says:

    Gunnar is an idiot…. One episode to pull him out of Autumn’s cougar claws, I’m not hopeful *sigh*.

  5. B says:

    I’m so madsad that after having to endure watching the crap storylines of this season, that pretty much drowned the show, we won’t get to see Nashville end with any sort of satisfying ending. And that’s sure gonna hurt. At least I didn’t have to see Maddie on my screen tonight…

  6. Shira says:

    I can’t focus on the episode because it hurts too much last week will be the last! Yes, it was a bad season with some great moments but a great series that should have given at least a proper ending. Really hope the show will find a new home cause I am not waiting 7 years like Gilmore Girls! Do you know how many times Deacon can go to rehab by then???
    Also, kudos for the nashville fans for their twitter love for the show tonight! #BringBackNashville

  7. haylbass says:

    kinda a breath of fresh air without maddie this week

  8. Jill says:

    I don’t know, this was a pretty boring episode with some stilted dialogue, I guess I’m just grateful Maddie and Cash weren’t in it.

  9. Mollymoo says:

    They have ended the last three seasons with huge question marks. Any idea if footage was reshot after the canellation so we get closure? I will say this, nothing that was on last night made me think about missing the series next year. It was a bit of “really? Are we just that opposed to happy people?”

  10. Deb says:

    Every character on this show is so fractured or broken. It pains me that the show will quite possibly end with all of them like this. I would love to see what the new showrunner should have done, but if this was something they would’ve continued I feel like I’m glad it’s ending. :( as much as I love this show I don’t want to feel depressed after watching it, or feel like I need to medicate before watching it. Ugh! I’m so sad on so many levels…

  11. Whispergirl says:

    To me, the ongoing therapy session was the center of the show. The rest of it — Avery’s conflicts, Layla’s manipulating, Juliette and Noah, Gunnar being stupid, Scarlett’s pain, etc. (wow, until you start enumerating, you forget just how many storylines are being juggled) — was just varying levels of screen time around Rayna and Deacon, forever the raw center of the show. That last scene, where Rayna touches Deacon with her hand as well as her heart, and he accepts her reaching out, was so real it hurt.

    • Mollymoo says:

      Don’t you just want to smack Avery, though? I mean is he really that 2-dimenstional and clueless that he can’t see Layla completely manipulate him? I wanted to reach through the screen and say “Hey, dumba%*. Are you not paying attention?” For a while I was willing to forget what an SOB he was at the start of the series because he seemed almost normal and likable…and now he’s just dense and annoying.

    • Amy says:

      Yes, Yes, Yes to what Mallymoo says above (I have no idea this will print below her comment)…Rayna/Deacon therapy WAS the “raw center” of last night’s show and yes…”so real it hurt.”
      I am SO sad this show with SUCH POTENTIALLLL, PEOPLLLLE!!…is ending. I cannot recall being this bummed of a show ending. ie. and, (as someone said below here)…I DO have a life…but I LOVE great stories…TV is SO devoid of them now (reality TRASH) and Nashville was IT, man. They had fantastic actors, a fantastic comradarie & ensemble vibe to them, great core characters and chemistry, a unique and fascinating premise and locale in the music biz in Nashville setting, relevence since Nashville music scene is HOT in real life, concerts during off season to market the show (a la the American Idol model)…
      HOW THE BLEEP did ABC blow this and lose enough viewership from PASSIONATE FANS to make the suits, as suits do, make a black/white $$$ bottomline CUT to this great show. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. How did worse and also badly rated other ABC shows survive instead?!! (UGH. I watch nothing else on ABC.)
      #HULU #NETFLIX #CMT. Someone bring back our Nashville!!

      • Amy says:

        ps. Last but not least…thanks Kimberly for making this fun, for your witty writeups, and for giving us this space to vent, commiserate, fangirl/boy. I’m in denial. I want Nashville to be picked up. I just feel the plug was prematurely pulled on the show though perhaps rightly pulled from an unworthy vehiche (ABC), and would really flourish in the right hands. Unlike some shows that just peter out, or stay too long and start being redundant ..Nashville is being killed while it still has life in it, just because it was handled poorly. The premise for the show is still ripe with possibility..
        Are you listening Lionsgate?!! DON’T GIVE UP UNTIL YOU FIND A TAKER!!

        • lillianjane says:

          Isn’t there still a country music tv channel? They could bring back T-Bone and get rid of the soap. Make it about people in the music industry in Nashville again.

  12. Anne says:

    Who makes decisions to cancel good shows?????

  13. Mona says:

    I have stopped watching this show I loved because it was not making sense anymore. I keep skipping to the Rayna scenes because… Connie Britton the Red Queen of Everything. And I keep reading your recaps Kimberly because they’re fun and smart and they make me feel understood in my grievances againg this show, while making me laugh.
    But today, no laughing (ok, not true, at the “Who is that?” at Elton John’s concert I did laugh out loud. Wow, you’re good Kimberly, even a laugh out of today). I’ve been waiting for this show to be canceled and free the Red Queen (oh I’ll miss Rayna), but you made me peek behind the brick wall of disappointment and fantasise again at good Rayna and Deacon storylines, at “There’s a magic that happens. Still does”, and at why did we hardly get to see it after season 1? Why?? WHYYYYY?!!! Stomach in a knot and in a pool of magic at the same time and all. Yes, I realise it’s a tv show and this is fiction and I’m going to go on with real life when I leave this website. But we humans enjoy and need good stories! And they would have been in the hands of such actors, with great chemistry! Argh!! Yeah, I’m bummed about that too.

  14. adam says:

    Not sure how everything will get wrapped up, either. Much like a “season finale” (which is what it was supposed to be), I’m sure somethings won’t, unfortunately.

    The only thing about last nights episode was – Wow… Layla keeps getting SO much more whiny and ungrateful… ugh.

    Overall I really liked the show and this episode. No show is perfect, but this one was fun and entertaining and i think they pulled the plug too early. Any word of it might be picked up elsewhere?

  15. Ella Jasper says:

    I really wish that someone, somewhere could give us an explanation as to what happened to this once great show. Producers, writers, network, what went wrong? This was a great show with great music. They took away the music, made it a soap opera with characters that no on cared about. WHY? After watching the last few shows, I can see why it was cancelled, but why was it allowed to get to this point? I had great hopes that the new crew would turn it around, but I guess it was too late. WHY?

  16. shelby says:

    I cannot believe you are taking Nashville off the air, it’s a great show, and I look forward to watching it every week, just like I did Revenge and now that’s gone also. Nashville Is like
    real life and I am so bummed. Why can’t you move the time slot?? It seems like every new
    show that is coming out is based on Vampires or Mummies and based towards the
    Millenials, I thinks that what people are calling them, and that’s fine, they deserve to have
    good shows to watch, but so do the Baby Boomers, were still here, not dead yet, and a lot of
    those younger people are so busy on their cell phones or tablets so much, do they even watch TV. ABC is going down hill in my eyes, and guess I won’t watch that cannel anymore,
    sorry just my opinion.

  17. sheena says:

    What’s wrong with August’s mouth? She is so unattractive that the Gunner thing is not at all convincing. Ugh.

    • sarah t says:

      She has DBS, Drew Barrymore Syndrome where you talk out of the side of your mouth like an adorable stroke victim.

    • CurlyGirly says:

      That is how the actress talks, it’s really annoying. I cringe every time I see her on screen!

  18. Jess says:

    Favorite parts of the night:

    1) Rayna and Deacon in therapy… sooo long over-due for the emotional core of the show. Unfortunate these tender and raw moments had the least screen time of any story line last night. Should really have been the center of the episode as their relationship is the thread that connects it all. There was SO much material to work with here. A great example of how this show has gone down the tubes and is wasting the potential and talent it could possess. (I hate how emotionally invested I am in this show).

    2) No Maddie, Cash or Frankie… there were plenty of other worthless filler story lines

  19. debby risick says:

    I am so unbelievably bummed out about Nashville’s demise. It was and hopefully will still be one of the most honest and adult show about the music industry. C’mon TNT, pick up this show.

  20. VegasGal72 says:

    I recorded it but haven’t watched. Somehow I just cant bring myself to watch the end of this great show because I am afraid that we viewers will not get any closure.

  21. Bonnie W says:

    Kimberly….thanks for another of your clever and funny recaps.

  22. Jessica says:

    I had read that they filmed 2 episodes in case it was cancelled. It almost seemed like since the show was getting a “writers makeover” that maybe the current show runner and writers sabotaged the show. There is such great potential for the show I am hoping some other network picks it up and actually gives it the support abc should have. I think the music from the show is far better than most anything on the radio. #bringbacknashville

  23. The best part about last night’s episode: No Frankie, and no Cash!!!!

  24. Jeri says:

    Not a good idea to have every character on the show miserable or at the least, unhappy. A show needs some good times to spread some cheer. An entire season of misery is quite a lot, Scarlette has been miserable since the 1st season and just getting worse, Can’t say much more for the others.

  25. april-ann says:

    The show in its current state doesn’t leave us with much to miss. But the reason I will miss it is because I can’t stand and don’t watch Shonda shows and that’s pretty much all that’s left. There is one huge regret though – and that is I was really looking forward to see where HerSkovitz and Zwick would take Nashville.

  26. Ivanka Savic says:

    Please, get to another network! Please don’t go! Please don’t close your Bluebird place, just because ABC decided to cancelled you! Why? One of the reasons that I’m affected by is that they lost many viewers in mid Michigan, by being in “war” with Dish Network since December 2015. And Nashville was my main reason why I always plug in to ABC.
    IM PRAYING that there will be enough people requesting you to transfer to NBC or CBS. I TRULY ENJOYED your music talent. I love the drama (Decon, stop making problems, cause I can’t watch your hurtful looking eye. Yours and Avery’s. Both of you are such an amazing talent)
    Until then, please keep on making music, cause I learned it’s REAL!

    God Bless you for many seasons to come. Hope some of other stations will be little brighter then ABC.

    Ivanka Savic

  27. Sandy says:

    Nashville was a fun show, one of very few network shows I enjoyed and bothered to faithfully watch. Its cancellation over trivial stuff irks me. I keep wondering, if the show hadn’t gone down the ever-so-objectionable Maddie rabbit hole, would they have been cancelled? Keep the focus on Rayna and Deacon, bring back J.D. Souther… Phase out the manipulative Layla. We already have a ‘manipulative mean woman’ (Juliette) on the show. And, most important, find a new network that appreciates the fan base and keep this show on the air.

  28. Mar says:

    Why have you made Gunnar such a sap? He has no backbone at all; falls into bed with whomever is nearby. Very unappealing character. But then again, Scarlett is not appealing either. All she does is whine and mope.
    Enough of Will and his “issues”. Give me a break! Talk about a non-issue This anti-gay story line has been beaten to death. Enough already.
    In a real world, Maddie would have been laughed out of court
    So many things wrong with this season’s storyline No wonder the show was cancelled. I used lo love this show and it has deteriorated into a sappy soap opera.

  29. iakovos says:

    A rather weak episode, save for the Rayna-Deacon scenes, for the second-to-last of a season or now… series. All that Maddie build-up only to not see progress there? Again, the writers seemed lost this year. Maybe because of Hayden’s sudden leave of absence but so many starts and stops with stories, characters than meant nothing even in the short run, and the lack of opportunities to bring everyone together. Characters are so isolated. And the Rayna-Juliette frenemy relationship was lost long ago and wrongly not found. That is what caught my interest from Day One. Wish we could have seen a Season 5. I believe we would have seen course correction. Now we have a series final that would have anything final. Thanks ABC! Really, thanks! :-P

  30. Duckie says:

    The Episode was good. I did not know until it ended that it was the series finale! I was very sad when I learned it was the FINAL episode ever.
    I love that show! I can’t believe they pulled it. It was one of my very favorite tv shows!

  31. Kodajade says:

    Layla is so fricken annoying she basically guilted Avery into doing what she wanted instead of going to say goodnight and check on his daughter who is his number one priority. She is manipulating him and doesn’t care at all. She is making it all about her. I want Avery to see her for her she really is and dump her. She needs to go away forever. Avery needs to at least slowly give Juliette another chance I’m not saying jump into a relationship right away but slowly build up trust again and then see where he wants to be. But the way Layla played that guilt card was so manipulative. She will never ever change. I hope Avery dumps her.

  32. Virginia Choice says:

    Love the show especially the music. My daughter and I both agree we are sad it’s cancelled. I pray another station picks it up . This show turned me on to country music. I want to buy the latest CD. It would be a good idea to kill off Frankie, Layla, and Maddie. Lol

  33. Allison says:

    Sad, just sad. I watched hoping that the episode would be so unbelievably amazing that it would make the new network president regret her decision to cancel and at least give it a shortened final season to unbreak the hearts of so many fans and fix the mess the show has become. Well, after I watched the episode, I saw that dream set adrift and as I felt my heart sink to the pit of my stomach, all I could think was well this is it and I just shook my head and left the room with the episode still playing. I couldn’t bear to watch it anymore. When the series finale airs next week, I will be there to say goodbye because I have invested years in this show (despite how hurt I was when Lamar was killed, I kept watching) and want to see how it wraps up. One thing I do hope happens is that they right the wrong that is Maddie, Cash and Frankie and let the love of Gunnar and Scarlett just die once and for all. They are both immature, jealous and insecure and have no business being with anybody until they fix their own individual issues. Will was way more interesting when he was standing on the railroad tracks contemplating ending his life and Luke became more interesting after he ran over the wedding cake when Rayna didn’t marry him. Good times… Now we may never know what happens with these crazy kids because the show was not asked to return to ABC…sad, just sad…

  34. Ellie says:

    Mad that Tony left NCIS and now learn that Nashville is cancelled. How to ruin my week!
    Will download the music and replay the good stuff. Hope they figure out how to get the band back together!

  35. I really enjoyed Nashville, and they take it off, leaving horrible shows on ABC. I used to like shows on ABC, not anymore. Please bring Nashville back. The shows aren’t for our age group anymore, I am a senior and the shows anymore are dark and morbid.