Nashville Recap SEason 5 Episode 15

Nashville Recap: Girl, No

Need to catch up? Check out previous Nashville recaps here. 

There’s a brief yet fitting refrain that I found myself chanting at several points during this week’s Nashville: Girl, no.

When new Highway 65 marketing wunderkind Alyssa Greene makes a joke about writing songs about toilet paper in order to pay the bills: Girl, no.

When Hallie considers ditching her first recording contract because she’s in love with her shady guitar player: Girl, no.

When Juliette continues on this ridiculous path of stealing Maddie’s song: Girl, no!

When Maddie starts thinking of herself as a victim, however small, in Clay’s racially motivated traffic stop: Say it with me now — Girl, NO.

I was on vacation last week, but I’m back, and do we have stuff to talk about or what?! Read on for the highlights of “A Change Would Do You Good.”

NOT READY TO MAKE NICE The video of Maddie has gone viral, with talking heads debating whether or not her speaking up when Clay got pulled over was beneficial or un-American. (The country music world, by the way, is pretty heavily tipped toward the latter.) A Nashville city councilman suggests that she apologize publicly, and Deacon’s inclined to agree, because he just wants the whole thing — including the abuse Maddie’s taking online — to go away. But Mads maintains she did nothing wrong and refuses to play along.

That feistiness earns her praise from Juliette (who has the nerve to run through the song she filched from the unwitting teen while Maddie is sitting right in front of her) and even more distance from Clay, who has become an unwilling participant in the media circus surrounding his non-girlfriend girlfriend. All of the unwanted attention sends him into a bad emotional place, one in which he doesn’t sleep, ignores his phone and manically makes music for hours on end. When Maddie finally shows up at his place, he tells her with certainty (and a significant amount of sadness) that whatever they had is over. “There was never a real place for us. We just couldn’t admit it,” he says, and she hugs him but doesn’t protest.

Back at home, she cries and apologizes to Deacon for all the trouble that she’s caused. Then she decides to put out her own apology, live-streaming a mea culpa for escalating the incident but refusing to say she’s sorry for standing up for Clay. Then She and Daphne — who’s the only one who knows that houseguest Liv posted a mean meme of Mads — sing a song to wrap up the broadcast. Elsewhere, Clay packs up his life and drives away.

Side note: Did it feel weird to anyone else that Maddie became the focus of the Clay-getting-pulled-over storyline? Granted, her actions seem very much in line with what an outspoken, somewhat dramatic girl of her age and upbringing would do in that situation. But a lot of time was spent talking about how many people were being mean to Maddie online, and not a lot of time was spent talking about how the troll treatment pales in comparison to what really matters: how people of color are often treated differently by law enforcement officials in America. If you’re gonna do social justice, Nashville, better to go all in, right?

NEW GIRL | Meanwhile, at Highway 65, Zach introduces Deacon to Alyssa Greene (played by Rachel Bilson, [INSERT “WELCOME TO MUSIC CITY, BITCH!” OR “CHINO? EW” JOKE HERE]), a tech-savvy marketing person whom he calls a “go-to person when your company desperately needs to pivot.” She’s with the label as a tryout, but her first meeting with the musicians — Will, Juliette, Scarlett, Gunnar and Maddie, not to mention Deacon — gets off to a very rough start when she admits that she knows nothing about the music business. It goes even further south when she suggests brand partnerships, which the assembled artistes equate with shilling for mops and tires and such. There’s more, but I’ll just let Juliette’s face sum it all up:

Later, though, when Alyssa sets up a meeting for Will to talk to Budweiser about a sponsorship of sorts, Zach’s boyfriend finds himself suddenly, excitedly on board with brand partnerships.

BACK, BACK, BACK AND FORTH | If I were to write a novella about tonight’s episode, I would title it: Scarlett and Gunnar: What are they even? Because the last I saw, he was telling her he wasn’t going to sit by and watch her weep over Damien’s exit. Now he’s cooking her candlelit dinners and caressing her face? Even weirder, as she confesses to a highly uncomfortable Deacon, she doesn’t really want to jump ol’ Gunny’s bones anymore. Deke calmly suggests that she wait it out, because feelings can change, and isn’t Gunnar a good guy for wanting to stand by her and raise some other man’s kid? And OH MY GOD I JUST REALIZED THAT DEACON IS ADVOCATING THAT SCARLETT PLAY THE RAYNA TO GUNNAR’S TEDDY. I’m sure that will work out just fine.

CHOOSE OR LOSE | Juliette sets up a showcase for Hallie at The Bluebird, and the newbie is barely three lines into her first song before Avery and Deacon are planning her entire first album in their heads. Deacon offers her a contract soon after, but she hesitates in accepting after Avery suggests that she record with “great” musicians instead of her usual band… which includes George, the guitarist she loves but who is married to and has kids with another woman. When Hallie balks, Avery asks for two hours of her time in the studio with musicians he picks. And when she sings with those guys, she can’t deny that it sounds amazing. (Side note: Speaking of which, holy heck, does Rhiannon Giddens have a gorgeous set of pipes or what?!) While nothing is decided for certain in this episode, George? I’d start packing.

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. Simon says:

    Girl Yes, everything you says in this article was on point! I’d like to add, maybe I’m wrong but Bucky saying Natalie Maines’ career was never the same after her Bush comments was kinda false. They won Album of the Year at the Grammys. And although we haven’t heard much from her and the Chix I think that was more of her own doing.

    • Jack says:

      Dixie Chicks may not get radio airplay anymore, but I saw them play in Detroit last year and it was sold out (and this was a 16,000+ seat ampitheater).

    • DryHeat says:

      The talent of the Dixie Chicks didn’t change, but it is true that they were 100% blackballed, and true that their careers were never the same.

    • iHeart says:

      it’s funny that you mention it because the next episode is entitled “I’m Not Ready To Make Nice”

    • Pat says:

      Exactly, Simon. They were laughing in Bush’s face again when they had their super comeback response (“Not Ready To Make Nice”) and showered with awards & sales because of it.
      And you’re right about their disappearance being most of their own doing, with Natalie’s failed solo career/later meltdown mostly responsible for why they’re never heard of much anymore.

    • E. D. Boddy says:

      He mentioned Bush, but left out the part where they went on to dismissed country music fans as people who insist they play red-white-and-blue guitars sing rah-rah America. As for winning a Grammy – from a like-minded voting base? Big deal!

  2. jason says:

    What happened with Clay made it feel like he was nothing but a token to be used to further Maddies story. Which I find a slap in the face, if you’re gonna go there you have to show one of the only PoC characters you have on the show more respect than that. They used him then tossed him out.

    • Quang says:

      > token to be used to further Maddies story

      Pretty much, but that was what was promised in this new Nashville. People often complained that supporting characters like Luke, Layla and Biff and getting too much screen time and made the show lose focus.

    • Paula Stiles says:

      I agree and it made me dislike Maddie even more that her PoC boyfriend was used to prop her up and make her look good, then discarded. Sure, he wasn’t the greatest character ever (he seemed more like a checklist of tragedy than a character), but she’s been hated by a significant number of fans for years and she’s not going anywhere.

      The show has never done PoC storylines well, but this one was particularly insulting.

  3. The Beach says:

    I’ve tried to stick with this show since I liked the first few seasons a lot but I think it’s time for me to pull the plug. Every episode now is this overly dramatic, maudlin mess. Deacon is now totally boring, the story line about the new owner/tech millionaire is terribly written, all Scarlet and Gunner do is mope around, and I couldn’t care less about Maddie and her sister. I miss Juliette, the self-centered diva who fought with Rayna and had such chemistry with Avery. I miss sneaky Jeff and what he was going to do next and I miss a wild, crazy drunk Deacon and scheming Teddy. You folks that are still enjoying it, have fun. I just deleted it off my DVR.

    • Nikita J says:

      Ummmm-the only time we had a crazy, wild, drunk Deacon, was for a couple of episodes, after the Maddie reveal, at the end of Season one.

      Question though.Am I the only one that wonders what that was, at the end, with Deacon coming up from the basement or dungeon, or whatever that was?

      Please don’t tell me he’s going down there for a belt or two! Maddie made that comment about him always working late. Say no-we can’t go back there again!

      • Murn says:

        He was walking upstairs to the bedroom. That’s the same staircase he walked up after he came home from the funeral. So no dungeons.

        • Nikita says:

          I thought of that later. That house has to be enormous. The kitchen is fabulous, the rest, I’m not so crazy about it!

    • Dini says:

      And please get rid of the horrible Scarlett and her constantly bringing everyone down. I’ve gotten thoroughly sick of her and her endless gloom. Gunnar deserves so much better!

      • Pat says:

        I agree. Scarlett is unbearable.

      • Ella says:

        I agree too. Scarlett is so depressing. Maddie is becoming a better person, but too much air time. Please get rid of Liv, unnecessary storyline.
        I liked Clay, wish he could have stayed.
        Avery and Juliette need more time, together! Bring back Zoe!

  4. Tim says:

    I might stop watching this show. Maddie and Scarlett are driving me crazy—and they are getting the most air time!

    • It’s pretty evident now how much of this show relied on Connie Britton’s presence. Even with new EPs this show has devolved into something that a soapy melodrama cannot be–boring and repetitive. Scarlet’s character suffers from extremely chronic neuroses and immaturity and has become insufferable. Maddie is at best a secondary character that has been elevated to a diva status to fill the vacuum left from Rayna’s death–unless you are a teenager yourself, teen drama gets old fast unless it is grounded with superior writing (e.g., Friday Night Lights, My So-Called Life). This plot line of the smiley-faced hostile takeover of Highway 65 is not working. I would keep focus on the business of making music in Nashville, and follow the stories of Juliette, Avery, Deacon, Will and Gunner. I am almost ready to remove this show from my queue, but not yet. And P.S., the new songs aren’t even that good overall. Ta-ta-take that Maddie!!!

  5. Danielle says:

    I have all the episodes since they came back from the break sitting on my DVR. I don’t want to watch them. Maybe some day when I’m sick I’ll speed though them. After reading these recaps it doesn’t feel like I’m missing much.

  6. Amy says:

    So, bummer…I’ve missed Nashville’s last 2 episodes and I see I no longer get it “On Demand” unless I upgrade my cable, which I’m not doing..I hate all those bait/switch cable games. Don’t know if Hulu would be less…don’t know if I’m going to bother checking into it either. No time for all that, getting sick of being played by just about every service with no time in one’s lifetime to check it all out or get on the phone to “get it right” again. Rant over. I’ll read the review tho’…glad it’s back.

    • drhenning says:

      Hulu is a bargain…

    • Stacy says:

      I watch Nashville through Hulu and pay $9.99 per month

      • Amy says:

        Tks for the info…probably about the same as if I upgrade my cable; I think the difference may only be about that…but I’ll compare pricing if I even consider it.

        • JoviChick says:

          You only pay 12.99 a month if you want to skip commercials. To me the $3 is so worth it to not see them. I started even watching other shows on Hulu that I normally tape on my DVR and just tape those I can’t get on Hulu. Much easier than fast forwarding through commercials and then going too far and having to go back etc.

    • Amy says:

      Meh…doesn’t sound like I missed much. I think this show we all loved is losing it’s way..
      Hated that they “went there” on that stereotyped treatment of the Clay/Maddie storyline. Sick of Scarlett stringing Gunnar along…it’s time to pull that plug too..he deserves a woman who “still wants to jump his bones” and loves him. Highway 65 billionaire takeover, with the new millennial marketing whiz… Budweiser Will. Teenage drama. Under-utilizing Chip Esten’s acting chops, as Deacon is just kicking about, lost. ughhhh. But thanks, I feel much better about not upgrading cable now for CMT On-Demand.

    • Molly says:

      I have Concast and it plays on Nickelodeon a few hours later, no additional charge.

  7. Jess says:

    I can’t believe people like Avery and Deacon are actually advocating this relationship between Scarlet and Gunnar. IRL, Gunnar’s ‘true’ friends would’ve asked him to cut his losses and leave such a toxic relationship. Would Deacon be ok playing second fiddle to some guy who Rayna took a sudden fancy to? It just seems that Gunnar is so lovesick and Scarlett settled for him cause she believes that Damien guy is unavailable. This is not romantic it’s just sad. And for some reason Gunnar seems to be thinking he has failed Scarlett. I don’t remember him suddenly dumping her for a girl he just met. But Scarlett did and still refuses to make up her mind about him. She used to be my fav till season 4 but now she has drastically disappointing!

  8. funny says:

    I’m not enjoying this season at all….there are no good moments. While I love Deacon and Avery, I’m thinking of giving up. Hate Scarlet, hate the new Highway 65 guy….hate the Maddie storyline…I miss the loving relationship between Avery and Juliette. The show is awful.

  9. Donna Wachtler says:

    I loved the first 5 seasons but like everyone e else i’m getting bored. Deacon is doing nothing really and Maddie’s story is over done glad to see that it’s over with clay and we can move on from there. Rayna was the glue to this show you can see that now. Scarlett and gunner give them some stuff the writers need to stop sleeping on the job because I like them but the story line is a snoozefest. In fact this whole season is quite boring!

  10. Diane says:

    Fast forwarded most of the show. Do Avery and Will actually have a storyline? And Scarlet needs to run away with her baby daddy and not return.

  11. kat bird says:

    Agree with much of comments here. The show has lost the plot. Deacon is boring now. Very little will. I really miss luke, layla, Jeff, teddy. They add d some heart to the show and had talked connections to other characte rs, plus glen and bucket have little to do which is a shame. Zach, this new girl, clay just don’t work. Juliette still not back to her old self. The show would survive Rayna if they got rid of some of new characters
    and brought in some of the old ones. And deacon does not work asa label hhead, Rayna and Luke were believable as label heads but not deacon.

  12. Amy says:

    So I did finally get to watch both last week and this week, On Demand, after all (mistake in the service made it look like I’d have to upgrade to HD to see it, but it was really still there)…anyway…I still stand by some of my original complaints & with what others say here…the show still is losing it’s core to me, which makes me sad…I just loved original Nashville. And agree (or at least am trying to remain optimistic) that it could survive losing Rayna…if it was done right. But all these new directions….I get that the runaway girl is to create some Daphne struggle/growth…same with Clay/Maddie, I’m guessing…same with Scunnar/Damian…same with Juliette/Hallie…but seriously, it’s just too all over the place. Nashville already had such a TERRIFIC group of CORE actors/characters, that are now getting no screen-time….AVERY (Jonathan Jackson…underused and SO freakin’ talented), Will etc.
    I was glad to see a little more of Glen with Juliette in recent episodes…I agree, we need more. I am HATING the Buckey firing..and he better remain more than just a superficial character. I HATE Zach head of Highway 65 and Will’s bf, and new girl all of that….Hey, whatever happened to Luke joining forces with Highway 65…that would have been much better as him taking over, unless Will Chase wants out too. I will say one thing that surprised me in my own reaction…I liked the new blonde woman (sorry forgot her name) at BlueBird with Deacon 2 wks ago….I actually could see that going somewhere…chemistry seems good and her character seems cool so far…however, a little too much “emotional damage” to overcome for them both? Too co-dependent rather than healthy? Hope not. So #sigh. Just don’t know…I keep tuning in because there’s so little on tv I watch or like and I’m still hoping to see a great Nashville evolve again.

  13. Ann says:

    I agree with a lot of these comments Nashville has completely lost its way this Season. Don’t know if the new writers haven’t done their research or if they just don’t care but they are writing Scarlett & Gunnar so out of character. There is WAY too much screentime spent on Maddie & Daphne. The guys can’t get a story and Avery & Will are always the ones sitting out episodes which is crazy. They can’t write for Juliette and Javery – well what are they actually ?? Divorced /married ?? I have no idea this Season, they are more like roommates than lovers. I couldn’t be less interested in Hallie and her married boyfriend not when Javery haven’t had a proper conversation in forever.

    Also the songs aren’t as good and every other one is by Maddie or Daphne. 15 Episodes in and only two songs from Juliette the lead character? That’s just plain stupid.

    Yeah I’m hanging on by a thread.

  14. LemonLime623 says:

    ‘Chino? Ew.”

    Oh, Kim Roots. #SummerAndSeth #RIPMarissa