Nashville Recap Series Finale

Nashville Series Finale Recap: Plane Wrong

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

It’s over, y’all.

Nashville‘s series finale aired Wednesday night, bringing to an end the saga of Rayna Jaymes, Juliette Barnes and the rest of the players in their soapy, soulful Music City circle. The finale itself followed the formula for a steel-toe-boot-to-the-heart country song: one part lovin’, two parts tears, 10 parts near-certain tragedy and one part repentant teenager, praise Reba.

But because these recaps have always come from a place of love, let’s start with the happier stuff first. Rayna-Deacon fans were rewarded with the couple’s reconciliation — that marriage counselor apparently was really good at his job — which came as they successfully freed daughter Maddie from the clutches of a predatory producer.

And Scarlett and Gunnar surmounted interloping country stars, the demands of fledgling fame and many hemp chokers, finding their way back to each other in the wake of his tryst with Autumn. So that’s good, right?

Yeah, I know — it’s hard to celebrate small victories while a chasm of unresolved Javery yawns before us. And yawn it will, for eternity or until the series gets picked up by another network or platform, whichever comes first. (Spoiler alert: Magic 8 Ball says: “Signs point toward eternity.”)

Read on for the highlights of “Maybe You’ll Appreciate Me Someday.”

* Maddie’s new label hooks her up with a New York producer, and when the teen posts a selfie with the man to Instagram — duckface and all — Rayna recognizes him as a predatory creep who played the Dr. Luke to her Kesha back in the day. Vowing to save her kid from a similar fate, Rayna writes a letter about her experiences with the producer (and as a woman in the business) and has it published in the Huffington Post.

Later, while Rayna and Daphne take the stage at Rayna’s sold-out benefit concert for FosterMore — at the same time that Deacon is mysteriously MIA — Maddie reads her mom’s open letter online and then tells the producer she wants to leave. He objects in the grossest way possible, forcing a drink into her hand and telling her he thought she wanted “a real, grown-up career.”

CONNIE BRITTONJust then, Deacon busts in, gets Maddie out of there and doesn’t beat the producer to a pulp, which is progress! Cash shows up and apologizes for basically feeding her “friend” to a letch, and Deacon tells his daughter it’s her choice who she wants to go with. Cut to the FosterMore concert, where Maddie runs into her mom’s arms while Deacon looks on approvingly. “You brought her back,” Rayna says, kissing Deke. “Thank you.”

* When professional hater Cynthia Davis refuses to interview Will on her show (something about him being an “avowed homosexual,” which is just the dumbest damn thing you can say), Luke and Will ask Kevin — aka “The only link to the community that I have,” Will says, which, what? The only link ASIDE FROM ACTUALLY BEING GAY YOURSELF — to help them drum up a protest and concert outside her studio. It works: Cynthia agrees to have Will on her show that day, provided the spectacle outside the building shuts down.

When the cameras roll, Cynthia kicks off her show by referring to Will’s “homosexual agenda” as — I kid you not — “domestic terrorism.” But Luke realizes that she’s scared that her audience “might recognize me… as their brother or their cousin or their friend or their co-worker.” As her vitriol increases, Will only gets friendlier and warmer. “There’s nothing to be scared of here,” he reassures her.

The interview is a hit, and Will exits the studio to see the crowd — and a very happy Kevin — waiting for him. They reunite. Yay!

* The lead-up to the Oscars is marred for Juliette when a paparazzo approaches her with allegations of her involvement in Jeff’s death. (Ju, honey, after all this time, WHY DO YOU ENGAGE WITH PAPARAZZI? WHEN HAS THAT EVER SERVED YOU WELL?) The gossip site the guy works for got its tip from Layla, and Ms. Grant goes a step further when she lets Jeff’s sister know that Colt Wheeler saw everything that went down (literally) on the night of Fordham’s death. And when a distraught Juliette won’t take Avery’s concerned calls, he figures that she’s changed her mind about wanting him and Cadence by her side in Los Angeles for her big night.

But Luke calls Avery and makes him aware that Colt told Layla about Jeff and Juliette at Deacon and Rayna’s wedding… at the same time that Glenn informs Ms. Grant that he knows she tipped off the press about Juliette, and therefore he’s no longer her manager. “What was I to you? A target? Some kind of revenge?” Avery asks, finally realizing that the woman he’s been sleeping with is “crazy, and we’re done.”

HAYDEN PANETTIEREHaving paid off Kate Fordham — to the tune of $3 million — Juliette laments that everything about her life is built on lies. “Tell me how I can help you,” Glenn asks. “You can’t,” she spits. So she arranges for a sit-down interview AT THE OSCARS in which she tells all about her involvement in Jeff’s death and her suicide attempt. At home, Avery watches with tears in his eyes, then calls his ex-wife and lets her know that he and Cadence are there for her.

So Juliette leaves the Oscars — she didn’t win, anyway — and boards her jet back to Nashville. But somewhere between the West and East Coasts, Avery, who’s waiting at the airport for her, gets word that Ju’s plane has gone missing. And… that’s it!

* Scarlett blurts out to Gunnar that she loves him… before he can tell her that he and Autumn have spent the past two weeks in Aruba, fleshing out each other’s harmonies, if you catch my drift. (Look, after four years, my cache of musical double entendres is growing a little thin.) With Autumn whispering that Scarlett’s a manipulator and that he should just stay on the tour as a solo artist, The Exes prepare to play their last show before breaking up. Right before they go on stage, Scarlett decides to come completely clean with her bandmate… which leads to them kissing on stage… which leads to Autumn firing them.

What did you think of the Nashville series finale? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to expand upon your choice!

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. GeoDiva says:

    What the hell? You wrap up everyone’s story except the one we care most about‽ Ugh!

    • april-ann says:

      It was wrapped up. She skipped the Oscars in favor of “I have something better at home”. He and Cadence were waiting for her. The plane thing was fine.

      • Carol C says:

        Yes, indeed.

      • Afmom says:

        Everything was perfect, except the ending!!!! What the heck?! Why couldn’t we just all go to bed happy tonight?!
        I’m so sad it’s over.

        • april-ann says:

          I know I’m happy. He kicked Layla to the curb. That’s pretty much all I needed. Yes, after two years of watching a bad show, my expectations were pretty low (hey – does anyone else think that what I just said could be the lyrics to a country song?). The ending was pretty near perfect. She was coming home to them, and they were waiting for her. That’s all I needed. And more than I expected.

      • DBF says:

        Except for the fact that Juliette played Patsy Cline and and Patsy died in a plane crash 90 miles from Nashville…the exact distance at which Juliette’s plane lost contact. Coincidence? I think not, especially because of the distance. They could have chosen any distance but they used the exact same distance as in Patsy’s crash?

        • april-ann says:

          OF course that wasn’t a coincidence. But Patsy Cline didn’t have Avery and Cadence waiting for her at the other end. Juliette did. And she knew it. Their story is intact.

        • Lesa says:

          Oh wow I never thought of that!! Thanks for reminding me of that!

    • Su Majewski says:

      The ending was ambiguous. The guy said they lost radio contact with the plane. He didn’t say the plane crashed. So, it’s up to each viewer to draw their own conclusion over what happened.

  2. JOANNEY says:

    Nooooo… Nashville

  3. april-ann says:

    Wow. Mind blown. I…think I need a cigarette. And I’ve never smoked.

  4. JOANNEY says:

    Awe..really K. Roots no one is even considering picking up Nashville…not even Hulu…. bummer

  5. Kathleen says:

    Absolutely horrible, canceling was bad, but killing off Juliet just as she has started to put her life on a positive track is nothing less than mean!

  6. LT says:

    OMG! I hope that ending laments a season 5 – I’m distraught!

    • DBF says:

      You need to learn the definition of ‘lament’.

      • grazelled says:

        Agreed. About Lament.
        To author Kimberly Roots unless you’re going for something completely different that I don’t know about, there’s a typo in this sentence “Cash shows up and apologizes for basically FEELing her “friend” to a letch” …shouldn’t that be FeeDing instead of FeeLing?

  7. Claire says:


    In my mind the happier ending was going to happen. Don’t be rude.

    • Izzie b says:



    • DBF says:

      So everyone should defer to whatever is going on in your imagination? Get over yourself.

      • Claire says:

        Are you seriously just responding to people to tell them how stupid they are? You seem to be the one with the problem here, friend.

    • Ann says:

      No. I think she died in that bit of Patsy Cline irony. Juliette would then become immortalized as the young starlet who matured to a grown woman with a loving family. Juliette Barnes a legend and outshines Rayna Jaymes through her death.

      • jakis says:

        I think it was a cliffhanger in case they got another season. If they had… Juliette’s plane would’ve landed in small airport somewhere because of bad weather or she’d land in five minutes and the pilot would say the communication equipment went out or… She’d get the big reunion with Avery and Cadence and then the season would start with more problems for everyone. That’s how they roll(ed) at Nashville. The missing plane was a cliffhanger for another season and they certainly weren’t going to do another season without Juliette.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I wish CMT or someone would save this show so Juliette can be saved. I’d be happy if it was just picked up for a 2 hour movie to wrap up her and Avery’s storyline.

      • Patti says:

        Need to bring Julliette back I hate that we have to always wait to find out what’s happening love the show

    • Amy says:

      So here’s my “little imagination” (everyone else, of course is free to think whatever they want and to share here..*cough*)…
      Scenario a) If this truly winds up being “the end”…I envision them finding Juliette alive, & happy ever after, or at least new beginning for Javery…cuz….I’m free to make that up in my little imagination. At least we know she & Avery were on same page and on the way back to each other…just that if that’s it…I’ll imagine a happy ending anyway. #hopelessromanticfantasizer.
      Scenario b) I wasn’t all that upset at the end, because my mind immediately thought…if they are ending THIS way, Lionsgate MUST be hoping, planning, seeing a possibility of or at least pitching with some leverage of unfinished drama …this show to other outlets. (although…Kim..your “spoiler alert” has me worried now….spill if you KNOW something?!!). So that ending made me hopeful for that. I do realize, depending what Tweet I read what day….there’s hope, it’s futile to believe, there’s hope, it’s futile….maybe the chances are low for a Nashville comeback…I’m going to move on for now, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
      I do acknowledge a different world due to streaming….now when shows go…(even American Idol left us with “Bye….for NOW”….there sure are other options…so I guess you never know.)
      All I know is this show had potential to tell interesting stories, with conflicts, drama, romance, MUSIC!…for years to come, lots of life to it in the RIGHT HANDS ….and I am disappointed they had to instead rush to an unrealistic, superficial “wrap up”….but…if it comes back, goes back to it’s glory of Season 1, with awesome drama between the great core characters and MUSIC…all will be forgiven here. #BringBackNashville!!

    • lori says:

      I agree. That ending with them left u hanging for sure

    • GRD says:

      That’d be perfect. :-) I don’t care if any of the other storylines go on. (Another round of ups and downs and ups and downs — not necessary, thanks!) I just want this one nicely and happily wrapped up.

  9. Ian says:

    With the exception of Gunnar giving Scarlett mono on stage in front of a concert crowd, it was a pretty satisfying finale. It’s gonna take more than Layla’s crazy being exposed and Juliette purifying herself and Avery being allowed to blow with the wind as he gets to react self-righteously to everything, though, for me to come back around to Javery. So the finale felt kinda appropriate.
    And Maddie’s got A LOT of singing with Daphne to make up for the endless brat drama.
    So happy for Will and Kevin! The warm looks and all the buildup tonight showed again just how much chemistry they have.
    So here’s praying the show gets picked up somewhere. It can’t be done.

  10. Carol Andrews says:

    We love Nashville! But leaving Julliette missing at the end of the final episode sucked, come on and bring it back one more time and wrap it up into a neat package.

  11. CarrieG says:

    Why not just cut the last scene since they knew it was the series finale at that point? Maybe it’s hope that it will get picked up by another network. But, I wouldn’t even want it to continue if Juliette was gone.

    • the girl says:

      My exact thought. Made even worse with the news that they shot a reunion scene and cut it in favor of the cliffhanger. Bad decision.

  12. GeekGirl says:

    The Juliette ending was lazy. It could have been edited to leave out the plane gone missing and her last scene being her coming home due to having better things than being in LA. I’m sure most viewers wanted her and Avery together, instead we get a dumb cliffhanger. After the cancellation they should have just tied it up neatly by cutting out the cliffhanger instead of leaving it in. Otherwise, a good ending for the series.

    • DBF says:

      What makes you think it was a cliffhanger? Did you catch how far her plane was from Nashville when they received the distress call and lost contact? Now go look up how far Patsy Cline’s plane was from Nashville when it crashed. Now remember that Juliette played Patsy in the movie. Put all of that together and do you still think it was a cliffhanger? By choosing the exact same distance as Patsy’s crash I think they told us all exactly what happened to Juliette.

      • april-ann says:

        Yeah, we caught all that. They may have chosen to embellish those things. This is an ABC nighttime soap. Juliette was on her way home, with Avery and Cadence waiting for her. The plane thing was fine. It posed no threat to their reunion.

    • Patti says:

      I so agree

  13. Connie says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that ABC never fails to disappoint their audience. They no longer know what good television is! Nashville was one of the best shows on television and now it’s gone. ABC used to be the top network many years ago. It will never be the same again.

    • Andrea Mansfield says:

      I totally agree with Connie – finally a show comes along that stands heads and shoulders above all the other formulaic repetitive junk being churned out – finally a network head saw a Great show with a unique, great story, good life lessons, well developed intricate and relatable nuanced characters – great music for all… I’m soooo disappointed but sadly not surprised that the very strength shown in the characters in the final episode didn’t translate to the execs. to continue to produce quality material with guts that awesomely stands on its own 2 feet. This is the 1 show that should NOT be cancelled! For the sake of happy endings, please tell us this will not be the end..

      • Amy says:

        Andrea & Connie…^^^^^^THIS!!^^^^^ What they said! All of it.
        #ABCsux ..for apparently not having a clue.

    • Caroline says:

      Amen! I agree 100 per cent!

  14. iHeart says:

    I wonder if Callie Khouri will tell us what the plan was going to be for season 5 if it had been renewed, which is a shame, tonight’s episode really undid all the damage that was done in the past few weeks

  15. Leslie shockley says:

    I’m so bummed. Seems every show I enjoy gets cancelled and the stupid stuff stays on air forever.
    Didn’t like the way this was ended. Don’t want it to end. Would be a great season finale but not a great series finale.
    I hope it gets picked up by another network. Please bring it back.

    • loralee kesler says:

      you’ve said it best – a great season finale but not a series finale – i want more too!!!

  16. Diane says:

    I don’t think it was F worthy, but it was lackluster.

  17. Rhonda Shaw says:

    Bring back Nashville. I choose to think the plane landed safely!

  18. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    My girl has grown so much and I was so looking forward to seeing her happy with her family again!!!! Where is she!!?? Deacon really should of knocked the heck out of that pervert.

  19. Bonita Roberts says:

    I don’t mean any harm but if there HAD to be some tragedy in this unfortunate finale, Lela should’ve taken a flying leap! Julia was just coming back to reality. So annoyed and unsatisfied. Too upset to continue……Y’all messed up ABC!!!!

  20. Jen says:

    Just like Patsy. :(

  21. jar says:

    I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this show since the second season, but I’ve had nothing but love for your recaps. I’ll miss them most of all, Scarecrow.

  22. Flor Johanet says:

    Hated that almost everything wrapped up at the last minutes. I felt chested out of another episode at least. And what kind of ending was that-the plane missing in the last second of the show. I truly hate when a show in cancelled with no true planning and respect for its followers/fans that watched from day one😡

  23. Barb Whiteaker says:

    Horrible What the heck happened to Juliett Barnes??

  24. Carol A. Bamford says:

    Would have liked the plane to land and have a happy ending for Juliette and Avery and their baby.

  25. Tina T says:

    Her jet landing and seeing the family finally together wouldn’t have been half bad, but plane missing!! Plane MEAN!!

  26. Lauri Winke says:

    I didn’t like how it ended to vague

  27. Danea says:

    I don’t want the show to end! However, if it ends don’t leave me hanging.

  28. wooga says:

    Great show, TERRIBLE ending!!!! What the heck?!

  29. Linda Freundlich says:

    Absolutely love show bad choice to cancel should reconsider !

  30. Mary Boone says:

    Really!!! I loved this should e but it went way down hill. Stop being about the music and bring about mostly bad people. Ok we can assume a few happy ends. Could we just she Deacon,Avery and Gunter sing!!!

  31. Terra says:

    I really hope it gets picked up!! I live for this show!!!

  32. Marla says:

    It was very good but it would have been great without the cliff hanger! I would have loved to see Juliette and Avery get their happy ending!

  33. Kate W says:

    So, sad I looked forward to Nashville every week. So much junk IMO on our TV why do they have to cancel a show I loved.

    Hoping someone will pick it up.

    Good luck to all the cast,

  34. Danielle says:

    Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!! SAVE NASHVILLE!!!!!!!!

  35. Cathey M says:

    I think it was awesome because of the show as a whole on the storyline of each character. I would be disappointed in the ending except for it’s my understanding it leaves an opening for another network to pick up the show instead of having it canceled altogether

  36. Bwhit says:

    I don’t know… I mean the good was, Will doing everything, Gunnar and Scarlett (even though it happened so late, oh and I love that their manager is the biggest shipper of them lol) and Juliette choosing her family over fame but I want more. I have hated what Maddie did with the emancipation but I am so happy her dad saved her, she is 16 and no matter what choices she made, she needs her family to have her back. I still want a fifth season. Oh and I will forever loath Autumn and Cash lol! Fantastic last song by The Exes.

  37. Violet Heath says:

    Please don’t ale Nashville off the air. It’s one of my favorite shows!

  38. RichieS says:

    Would’ve liked to see the plane land and her & Avery get back together until she finds out she’s pregnant with Derek Hough’s baby.

  39. sharishope says:

    Crappy ending
    Don’t know why they took it off the air.

  40. Shirl says:

    So hate for this show to end! Please say it ain’t really so! Please save Nashville.

  41. Maura says:

    Why the heck have Juliettes plane go down?????

  42. Darlene says:

    You don’t kill off the best character on the show!

  43. Gail Drennan says:

    Losing this show has a huge impact on me! I have never loved a TV show like I love this one. I don’t understand why it is cancelled. I and friends just returned from a week and a half in Nashville for the sole purpose of doing and seeing everything we could relating to this show and the actors. It means so much to us. Obviously…since we travelled from Utah. Is there a chance that it will be picked up? Is there anything we can do? We heard Charles Esten is working on it.

  44. Lisa B says:

    Why wouldn’t they wrap up Juliette and Avry’s story of reuniting their family???? They tied up everyone else’s with a pretty bow…..which I’m happy about…..but come on really writers????

  45. Lynnda Bek says:

    Dont want to be hanging about Juliette. Dead or not!?

  46. Velocisexual says:

    I get that lots of fans will be happy that all the ‘good guys’ get a super duper lovey dovey happy ending, but from a storytelling perspective this whole episode was frankly underwhelming.
    I know that the cancelation of the show meant they had to tie up a lot more loose ends than they probably wanted too, but as a viewer I found it to be an awful experience, simultaneously watching some pretty bad tv while also knowing it’s probably the last Nashville we’ll ever see so the show won’t even get the chance to redeem itself.

    Worst offender was by far the Rayna/Deacon/Maddie storyline. That whole ending was so deus ex machina convenient even the writers of Arrow are disgusted by it. When Deacon walked into this guys room at exactly the right time I literally laughed out loud. So disappointing, ugh.

  47. Sarah says:

    Horrible writing like tonight’s i why this once interesting show was cancelled. I kept watching after I heard there would be new show-runners next year who could possibly turn this trainwreck around. Watching tonight’s episode made me think abc did the right thing. Glad Connie Britton is now free to be in a show worthy of her.

  48. Suze Fatland says:

    Please bring this show back!!!!

  49. s.rouse says:

    I hate that the show is over. Bring it back. This is a great show.

  50. Lee says:

    Canceling Nashville? So wrong. Leaving fans hanging not cool.