Nashville Recap Season 5 Episode 13

Nashville Recap: There's Our Girl!

Need to catch up? Check out the previous Nashville recap here. 

Juliette does a mean, lowdown, plain-old bitchy thing in this week’s Nashville and, I swear on Dolly Parton’s storied wig collection, it could not come at a better time for the CMT drama.

What better to pull us out of our post-Rayna grief haze than Music City’s other diva extraordinaire making a painfully on-brand return to form? With all of the feeeeeeelings that have been making the rounds since Big Red’s unexpected trip to the Grandest Ole Opry of All, it feels kinda refreshing to see Ms. Barnes — who, indeed, has grown and matured since we first met her — make a move that her Season 1 self would’ve happily co-signed.

Oh, and Damien shows up in Nashville, which is somehow way less dramatic than I envisioned.

Read on for the highlights of “‘Til I Can Make It on My Own.”

BUT NOW WE’RE STRESSED OUT | Juliette opens the episode by telling her doctor about that weird moment she had when she was waiting for Maddie in the café last week, a phenomenon he believes is “psychological, not neurological.” This enrages her, especially when he suggests that her mini-fugue states may be related to a childhood trauma and not her recent plane crash. Avery pipes up that Juliette’s father died when she was 4, but Ju shuts him down quickly and says she’s got no time for psychobabble, because she’s got a Music City Music Week festival concert appearance featuring the church choir the following evening. The doctor adds that her episodes are likely triggered by stress, and floats the idea of cancelling the show.

As she and Avery leave, Juliette can’t decide what to do. For what it’s worth, she’s convinced that her little check-outs were caused by the bad reviews of her gospel album, though Avery is skeptical. “My brain can’t process failure!” she cries. (Ha!) But then she comes up with a plan, right on the spot, and sends him off to play his Music Week slot… while she calls Glenn and tells him that she’s decided to perform at the festival without her new church besties. He’s like a) the concert is 40 hours away, and b) you’re a terrible person, then refuses to do her bidding.

So Juliette summons Hallie to her rehearsal and lies, saying that the record label is ordering her to play only her old stuff — solo — at the gig. Ju softens the blow with the promise of a five-date mini-tour with the choir, but Hallie can’t hide how disappointed/angry she is, and the whole interaction sets off another “foggy episode” in which Juliette zones out; she’s helped a little when Hallie coaches her to breathe and think about her happy place, which causes her to flash back to hanging out with her dad at the trailer they shared with Jolene. (Side note: Props to the show for bringing Sylvia Jefferies back to play Ju’s mama in the flashbacks.)

When Hallie breaks the news to the choir, they think she’s nuts: CLEARLY, Juliette isn’t telling the truth. And when Hallie later stops by Ju’s to pick up passes and such to watch the Music Week performance, Emily obliviously let on that the label had nothing to do with the abrupt change of plans. (Dude, Juliette, if you’re gonna be bad, at least let your assistant in on it!) “You selfish, narcissistic bitch!” Hallie spits at the blonde, who — frightened by the occurrence of another episode during a rehearsal — at least has the good grace to end the falsehood right there. “I can’t go back out there after all this time and promote something nobody gave a crap about!” she says, but Hallie doesn’t want to hear it, especially when Juliette maintains that she really cares for her plane-crash angel. “There’s only one person you care about,” Hallie says, leaving.

nashville-recap-season-5-episode-13-NEW ROOMIE? | Let’s take a break from JuDrama for a while. Daphne’s lying to Deacon about hanging out with Liv, the homeless girl from the last episode. (I’m going to recap this new teen storyline lightly in the hopes that it goes away soon: While I’ve got no beef with Daphne or Maisy Stella’s portrayal of her, I fear a Maddie’s Terrible Year redux, and nobody wants that.) Liv cuts her arm fleeing from getting caught stealing from a salvage yard, and when Daphne fears that the girl’s wound will get infected, she brings her home for some hydrogen peroxide and a few Daria episodes. Then Daph decides that Liv should stay in her room, a fact she unsuccessfully tries to hide from Deacon. Deke says no to Liv’s residency, but upon learning she’s 15 and was abandoned by her folks, he softens and lets her stay “until we can figure something out.” Later that night, while Daphne sleeps, Liv looks at a photo of Deacon, Rayna and the girls and cries.

BYE, BUCKY | Perhaps Deacon’s ability to think clearly is hampered by the fact that Zach is dogging him to fire Bucky. The tech mogul brings it up at every opportunity — including just before Voice winner Casadee Pope gives Deke the world’s most awkward hug at the entrance to the music festival (it was weird, right?) — and maintains that Buck’s adherence to traditional publicity models will hurt the release of Maddie’s forthcoming single. For what it’s worth, Zach wants to do a low-key midnight release targeting influencers, which only makes me think about that You’re the Worst episode where Sam and the guys want Gretchen to throw a secret show… and then they’re mad when no one shows up.

Bucky’s not dumb, and when he tells Deacon he knows something’s going on, Deke confirms it but says he’s not on board. Nevertheless, Bucky turns in his resignation by the end of the episode, tearfully advising Deke to “be careful, because I’ve got the feeling I’m only the first.” Aw, Buck!

nashville-recap-season-5-episode-13DADDY’S HOME | Damien’s in town, so Scarlett meets him to tell him he inadvertently put a little Yorkshire Pudding in her oven. He drinks a lot of vodka, then tells her he wants to make a go of it with her, but she turns him down. This is probably smart. But the whole situation probably isn’t as wrapped-up as it appears, given the way Damien watches The Exes share a close moment at the festival later on. (Side note: During The Exes’ festival performance, it looks like Gunnar is dabbling with a smoky eye. Let’s hope it continues, because I, for one, am 100 percent here for his Guyliner Experimentation Phase.)

ALWAYS BRING BACK UP (SINGERS) | Back to Juliette, who processes what she’s done — Avery’s expression when she asks, “Am I narcissistic?” is amazing — and then goes to the church to apologize, saying she acts out of fear that people will know she’s a fraud. (The fact that even her happy place memories have devolved to scenes of her parents’ fighting and her father’s death speak to her inner turmoil.) But Hallie & Co. don’t really care, and I can’t really blame them: For all her talk of not exploiting the choir and its sound, that’s exactly what she’s done. She asks them to join her on stage at the festival — the mini-tour was also a lie, so this will be their only chance to perform together* — but there’s no indication that they will.

So as she gets ready to sing later that evening ($10 to anyone who can define Juliette’s on-stage style for me, because right now, my best guess is “Egyptian-robot chic”), Ju is overjoyed to see the choir show up for her. I’ve said it before, but as long as this show keeps doing it, I’ll say it again: No rehearsal whatsoever? This should be AMAZING.

They go up on stage and vamp, waiting for Juliette to make her entrance, but it takes her longer than usual because she’s having a vision of her ghostly dad hugging her in a forest. But when she comes out of it, she proudly climbs to the stage and joins her church friends for a well-received version of “I’m on My Way.” Meanwhile, Avery turns down an opportunity to open for Edward Sharpe on tour, because Juliette “needs” him — though he never consults with her on the matter. There is absolutely no way that this won’t lead to some kind of trouble.

* (Start small rant) You mean to tell me in the southern United States, where seemingly every other station on the radio dial is a Christian one, there’s NO money to be made in having Juliette Barnes and Friends play their gospel numbers? (End small rant)

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. steven says:

    Is anybody ever gonna go back to the Bluebird?

  2. Amy says:

    Small rant: WTF Deac let Buck resign? Rayna just rolled over.
    And…I hate everything about Zach at Highway 65. And I don’t like him for Will either (even if Will does.) Rant over. For now.

    • Isobel says:

      yeah I still love Kevin for Will

    • Keri says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Can’t bear Zach and have no idea what Will sees in this guy. They have nothing in common and zero chemistry plus he’s just an all around jerk. I miss Kevin and want him back. He was perfect for Will.

      • abz says:

        Well it’s not like they even give enough screen time for the two of them together for us to see what Will sees in him or to see a relationship build. All we see is bits and pieces. We only really see business man Zach, but rarely get to see boyfriend Zach and if we do, it’s only for like a minute. I liked Kevin too, but after the way the show handled that relationship, I’ve pretty much given up hope for any of Will’s relationships on this show to be treated the same as any of the straight characters. Heck, now Scarlett has a love triangle going on with two men and no matter how tired her back and forth with Gunnar is after five seasons, it still gets more screen time than Will will ever get. And they’ve added Daphne’s new homeless friend which means even less screen time for Will. Even annoying Maddie and Clay get more focus.

    • abz says:

      I can see where Zach’s coming from in trying to move the company forward with new ideas. I don’t get why all these characters are acting like Highway 65 is perfect. The label has major issues. How many artists did they lose now? Sadie, Layla, Marcus Keen, Vida (?), Juliet (who then came back). Who else? Other than Rayna, how many successful artists were there for the label? Yeah Bucky’s been there since the beginning, but Deacon is too emotional and grieving to be running a label. He should be convincing Bucky to be more open to new ideas because Highway 65 clearly is in need of different business plan. In the end, Zach’s vision might fail (which they’re probably gonna have happen because they’re clearly trying to make him out to be the villain), but what the label’s been doing hasn’t been working so why not try something new.

  3. Jim says:

    I’m pretty sure Maddie is going to ask Bucky to be her manager.

    • stevie says:

      That’ll work. Unless she asks Deacon. I am a bit surprised though that Deacon hasn’t at least tried to hit the bottle yet since Rayna’s death. It’s been only 10 weeks according to EP’s and he’s sure to fall off the wagon.

      • Carla Krae says:

        Deacon isn’t going there again. Come on. He has too much to stay sober for and he’s grown a lot.

      • Jim says:

        Deacon has his sister’s liver and she died to give it to him. If there’s anything on earth that could keep him sober–and alcoholism is a disease, so maybe there isn’t, but if there is–it’s that.

    • JM says:

      I really hope Scarlett has a miscarriage or

    • JM says:

      I really hope Scarlett has a miscarriage or stillborn because I am not a fan of this storyline.

  4. JM says:

    I really hope Scarlett has a miscarriage or stillborn because I am not a fan of this storyline.

  5. Carla Krae says:

    It’s not difficult for a Christian artist to crossover into the secular realm. Not true for the other way around. The Christian music side has strict conduct rules and Juliette has a long way to go before she meets that standard. So yeah, with her rep it’d be hard to get her on Christian radio with an album that came out of the blue. People don’t trust her repentance at this point.

  6. David Hess says:

    Maybe Jules should have just done a cover of Jesus, Take the Wheel instead.

  7. Julie says:

    Too much ranting!

  8. Amy H says:

    I was so hopeful when CMT picked this up, but darn if it isn’t inching back down the same soap opera rabbit hole.

  9. ALevy says:

    **Small rant** You mean to tell me that just a few months ago, Ju’s leg was so jacked up that she may never walk again, but now she can not only walk but climb ladders in 6″ stilettos? I’ll buy that the choir forgave her…AGAIN…but the high heels are really testing my suspension of disbelief.

    • Alison says:

      Hammer. Nail. Head!

      I can’t figure out how anyone can walk in shoes like that (recently crippled or not ;-) ) but as soon as I saw her standing in front of that ladder I was like “Are you SERIOUS!?! – she would never be able to climb that”! Add in the fact that although visually appealing, having her descend from “the heavens” is totally contrary to the song saying she is finding her way out of the hell she’s been in, and it is even more ridiculous.

      Plus, if she could be mechanically lowered on stage why couldn’t they figure out how to use it to lift her mechanically beforehand without being seen by the audience (smoke machine, etc) – but then that would have eliminated the dramatic, and profoundly unrealistic, “moment” of her visibly gaining more confidence while climbing the ladder after having the memory about her father.

      Love the show. LOVE the music. I even love the drama, but I hate having my intelligence insulted for the sake of drama!

      I’ll just keep reminding myself (as a lifelong Tennessean who lived in Nashville for 18 years & misses it every day) how much I appreciate that the show has always put significant effort into portraying the home of my heart & its citizens in a realistic way instead of just going with Hollywood’s stereotypical (and incorrect) idea of what we are like (with gaggy fake accents to boot)!


  10. Ann bell says:

    Not feeling this series. I have no interest in Zach, Damian , Daphnes friend, maddies boyfriend, maddy and daphnes teenage angst. Deacon not believable as label head, concentrating on one character per episode makes the storylines disjointed. There is little interaction between the characters. Used to love the banter with Will, Gunnar and Avery but that is all lost. It is not working for me.

    • Frances says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Hate this new approach – characters disappear and then come back and I can’t remember what is happening. I’m not finding this writing deeper in fact it’s having the opposite effect to me. And please for the love of god can they dial back on the boring teen plots and give us more time with Avery, Will and Gunnar.

  11. abz says:

    Who wrote this? I love this show, but this was terrible. Juliette’s anxiety causes her to randomly flashback to her dad? I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it. I can buy that the anxiety came from her injury and performing again, and the negative reception to her album and her feeling that the limelight is fading, but this dad storyline came out of nowhere. Maybe they were trying to connect it to something going on in her present life, but they failed. Every time a flashback came on I rolled my eyes because of how poorly written this whole story was. I’m not saying that childhood trauma can’t come back and affect someone in adulthood, but when doing this storyline try to at least find a proper way to do it and don’t make it like a soap opera. Take it seriously.

    Again, does anyone care about Daphne’s friend? How is Daphne getting more screen time than so many other characters? How is the Scarlett/Gunnar drama still going on? Do they think we the audience find it interesting after five seasons? Dude, she’s pregnant with another man’s child. Move on, already. I’m over this storyline.

  12. abz says:

    I hate how they are trying to make Zach out to be a villain. And I hate it more because I want to see them give Will decent focus on his relationship and treat it better than the way they treated Will/Kevin. I can see where Zach’s coming from in trying to move the company forward. I don’t get why all these characters are acting like Highway 65 is perfect. The label has major issues. How many artists did they lose now? Sadie, Layla, Marcus Keen, Vida (?), Juliet (who then came back). Who else? Other than Rayna, how many successful artists were there for the label? Yeah Bucky’s been there since the beginning, but Deacon is too emotional and grieving to be running a label. He should be convincing Bucky to be more open to new ideas because Highway 65 clearly is in need of different business plan. Yeah Zach’s vision might fail (which they’re probably gonna have happen because they’re clearly trying to make him out to be the villain), but what the label’s been doing in the past hasn’t been working so why not try something new.

    And I hate how expendable Will’s character is to the show. Everyone else gets to be in every episode, but they just push Will’s character to the side whenever they want to because it’s clear they don’t care. They don’t even have the Avery/Will/Gunnar friend scenes much anymore that were fun to watch and added a little humor and lightheartedness to the show.

  13. tawnii says:

    no nashville recap this week? I really miss it.

  14. ellajasper says:

    I must have missed the recap for the June 15th show, so I am commenting here. Enough with the homeless girl and trying to work in new characters. Where are Avery and Will? This is crazy. We want to hear music! And how many times can Scarlett change her mind? Love this show, but please more music.

  15. Alison says:

    Does anyone know the name of the actor who played Juliette’s father in the flashbacks?

    I’ve looked on and can’t find any info. I looked through everyone listed (credited and uncredited) and it isn’t there (unless my eyes had glazed over from so much scrolling and I missed it). Thanks!

    • LeahS says:

      The actor was Ryan Dorsey, who is also the estranged husband of Naya Rivera from Glee. I saw his name in the credits and wondered if it was the same person because I didn’t know if he was an actor or not. His name wasn’t listed with the IMDB cast for the episode, so I looked him up that way and found him.