Nashville Recap Season 5 Episode 18

Nashville Recap: Under the Gun

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

I worried that Scarlett and Gunnar’s neverending “what are we to each other?” conversation might be the death of me, but I never considered that it might be the death of them.

Yet in this week’s Nashville, the couple’s insistence on hanging their emotional laundry in public nearly does them in, when pausing to fight in a grocery-store parking lot leads to their becoming victims of armed robbery and assault.

It’s a jarring incident in an episode otherwise filled with great, subtle character work, and it feels a little Season 2ish, especially in this new, less-soapy, Season 5 world. But you can judge for yourself as we recap the highlights of “The Night Before (Life Goes On).”

Nashville Recap Season 5 Episode 18A COAT MAKES FOR COMPLICATIONS | We get an update on Liv: FosterMore, the charity that Rayna worked with before she died, is helping Daphne’s homeless friend by placing her somewhere that’s good for her. (We don’t actually see Liv in the episode, which makes me wonder if maybe that arc is wrapped for good?) We know all of this because Deacon is playing a benefit for FosterMore, and as the director gives him the update on Liv, she also reminds him that he promised to donate one of Rayna’s outfits to the event’s auction.

Maddie and Daphne are not OK with this… until they realize he’s planning to part with a blazer covered in sequined sunflowers, which is truly not cute. (What? No one ever said anything about speaking ill of the dead’s taste in show clothes.) Then he goes into Highway 65, where we get the episode’s far-and-away best scene.

Avery stops by before heading out on tour, and as Avery marvels about Cadence and how she’s growing, Deacon gets a little teary. He confesses he’s having a hard time with the auction, and how he’s symbolically giving away a piece of Rayna, but Avery gently reminds him that “it’s just stuff, right? The life that you shared, the music that you wrote together, that’s eternal. Nobody can take that away.” That makes Deacon cry a little more, then they hug and Deke smiles at Rayna’s photo as Avery makes his exit. Sounds cheesy, right? SO WHY AM I UNDONE? (Answer: The exchange is totally believable — I credit Jonathan Jackson and Charles Esten for that — and a really great moment for those two characters.)

ALONE TOGETHER | On the night of the benefit, Deacon and Jessie are seated at the same table — she’s performing, too — and I loved the nod to Deke’s dog, Sue, when he was talking to another attendee. Jessie’s ex, Brad, is there, too. He’s a total jerky douche, and Deacon sees the douchery and says nothing about the douchery

When the bidding on Rayna’s jacket starts, Deacon can’t handle everyone’s jovial nature. Meanwhile, I can’t handle that that sartorial eyesore is going for upwards of $40,000; I don’t care how good of a cause it’s supporting. He goes outside to be alone and Jessie soon follows — though he assumes she’s there to make him feel better, she’s actually there to kick a few garbage cans in her frustration over Brad and his bullying of their son.

“I would never presume to know your pain, because I’ve never had a love like that,” Jessie tells Deacon. “But I’m watching someone I love die in slow motion, and I would do anything for that boy.” Her pain pulls Deke out of his own for a minute; as he’s pulled back in to play his set, he bucks her up just a little: “I think you’re tough. I think you’re gonna prevail.”

After a quick conversation with his band, Deacon decides to switch plans. “This is for Rayna,” he announces before performing Waylon Jennings’ melancholy “Dreaming My Dreams With You.” It’s beautiful.

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART… | On tour, a flirty hotel bartender named Nell goes after Avery — hard — but even when he’s drunk after a great set, our boy wants nothing more than to chat with Juliette. She’s had a hard day; post-accident Juliette doesn’t quite have the moves of pre-accident Juliette, a lesson her tour’s choreographer helps her learn after a fall during rehearsal.

Avery says he’s realized that he likes the new version of himself, “the one that has you and Cadence in his life,” better than the old version. But she lovingly forbids him to come home, because he needs to get his touring itch scratched so he won’t resent her. Probably true, given the way things were going a few episodes back, right?

MIDDLE SCHOOL DRAMA | Flynn asks Daphne to go to a friend’s party, but when they get there, it’s actually an intmate makeout-and-underage-drinking session for a few couples… and them. Neither Flynn nor Daphne drink or hook up, but they bond while chatting out on the swingset, and it’s sweet. Afterward, when she’s processing with Maddie, Daphne says she kinda wanted to kiss Flynn but also kinda didn’t. Her older sister assures her that she’ll know when it’s the right time.

Nashville Recap Season 5 Episode 18CRYING, SPILLED MILK | Alyssa has hooked The Exes up with a commercial for Birch Tree Habitat, an Ikea-like furniture company that is looking to update its image. The very annoying ad guy who pitches them the project notes that the store’s customer base is more than 50 percent millennials, “and they get that life is complicated.” Oh, dude, I already hate you. Neither Scarlett nor Gunnar seems super into the project, but Gunnar comes around a little and Scar grudgingly agrees to participate.

Still, on the day of the shoot, she’s grumbling and kvetching even before she learns that the table they’d agreed to assemble in the spot has been switched to a crib. But filming goes on according to plan… until Scarlett starts crying and halts everything, saying, “I can’t do this!” In case you’re keeping score at home, that’s three times (that I can remember, at least) in which Scar has agreed to something, then had a huge emotional breakdown in the middle of it. (Hiding under the piano on stage was the first, freaking out during the music video was the second.) “My baby’s not even born yet, and we’re already pimping her out for some Instagram followers,” she sobs to Gunnar, and I think I’m supposed to have sympathy for her here, but… nope. She agreed to do a job, for which she’s getting paid, and she’s an adult, so she should please just do it and stop wasting everyone’s time, cool?

On the way home, Scarlett and Gunnar stop for groceries and wind up fighting in the store’s parking lot. He claims to know why she was crying. “You don’t want to have this baby with me. You don’t want me, period,” Gunnar says, and she tells him that’s not the case, but they’re interrupted by some teens who want him to buy them booze. When he refuses, things escalate quickly, and pretty soon one kid has pulled a gun and is taking both Gunnar and Scarlett’s wallets. He also pushes Scarlett to the ground amid the milk she accidentally spilled, and he holds the muzzle to Gunnar’s forehead in a very menacing fashion. But in the end the youths just run off, leaving The Exes to cry and hold each other as the scene goes to black.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Hit the comments and let us know!

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:

    I hope that Scarlett doesn’t have a miscarriage next week.

  2. I don’t like where this is going cause they showed previews for next weeks episode. But I will still watch it cause I love this show & I love Nashville, Tennessee & country music.

  3. seller says:

    Completely agree about the Deacon / Avery scene. The whole cast is so talented but those two are the best of the bunch – so real and seemingly effortless from Jonathan Jackson.

    • Fan says:

      That time in soap operas paid off playing Lucky. Wish Emmys would realize he is doing some great things in Nashville.

  4. CSM says:

    Miscarriage and PTSD next episode

  5. Carrie says:

    I’m happy to see Deacon sing I thought he weren’t ever gonna sing he never singed n season 4 .I love the song and this episode Scarlet get on my nerves with all that crying she’s gonna lose her baby I wanted it to b Gunner but I didn’t want her to miscarry.

  6. Amber says:

    Dear CMT/Nashville execs and writers: If you guys wanted to get your Shonda on and start killing/writing people off left and right, starting with Scarlett and Gunner, I wouldn’t get mad. I will personally deliver some hot chicken or whatever local delicacy you enjoy to your office.

  7. Amy says:

    All other commentary aside for a moment just to say…
    Scarlett & Gunnar have been magic musically since the beginning and still are…some of the very best on this show. They need to remain a duo, no matter what.
    2nd..I agree..Deac/Avery, aka Chip/Jonathan…absolutely the best actors on a shows of decent actors all around. Watched Jonathan on GH years ago…he’s been brilliant since he was an 11 y.o. on that show; he had the depth, naturalness and soul even as a child then…hence the well-deserved Emmy then. And Chip…always amazes me…how he just. IS. Deacon. It’s why we all love him.
    I liked last night’s episode. Oh…except that gun scene which made me so nervous and was ugly. Will suck and be sad if she loses the baby. Not sure why they had her become pregnant by another guy if it’s just to end this way, unless it was just a means for them to figure out who they are to one another?…can’t guess where Scunnar is heading…yet…but I love them together.

  8. Amy says:

    Just happened to post that same time as above comment…not in response to it. Just sayin’. I realize peeps are divided on Scunnar. But I definitely do not want to see them gone. For my reasons above and because they are two important, core characters and I love the core characters on this show.

  9. WS says:

    I was kinda rooting for Scarlet and Gunner to die in that scene… i have really had enough of their storyline… time for it to move forward or end… they’ve been having the same arguments for three seasons now

  10. Rachel says:

    Am I the only one wondering why pregnant Scarlett was carrying the groceries out of the store instead of Gunnar

  11. Debbie Turnage says:

    I love this show. I can’take wait when the cast Haase a concert at the Ryman.

  12. Why is it that the poet, Scarlett, cannot find the words to say how she feels about the pregnancy to Gunnar – or how she feels about him for that matter? That’s the disconnect that I’m having with her character this season. It’s okay for writers to create a flaw in a character – something that the viewers would have never expected – to create a storyline. However, what they’ve done here is completely rewrite Scarlett’s entire “character”. We already had our Rayna stolen – why are they killing the viewer’s attachment to their other level-headed, likable female character?

    Also, why were no other people in the grocery store parking lot in the middle of Nashville? The whole scene was so cheesy even before they threw in the “crying over spilled milk”. Oy, we viewers deserve better than this.

    Lastly, since I’m so damn old that I have my text fonts set at JITTERBUG huge, what was it that the ex texted to Jessie at the charity event?

  13. Mae says:

    Spot on. Scarlett needs to meditate or something. Deacon and Avery…Chip and Jonathon both deserve serious accolades.

    I’m enjoying the teen drama. It feels authentic. And I love Maddie’s present tense use of her mom’s advice. “Mom says.”

    • Amy says:

      I have to say I’ve been loving a lot of Maddie/Daphne this year too, (even with the dramas…I mean, what’s being a teenager if not racked with some drama?!), but so much different than last few seasons of Maddie’s dramas and treating Daphne mean. That was one of my fav scenes last night–Maddie/Daphne in the kitchen, much like it “woulda/coulda/shoulda” been, and used to be, with Rayna…where she often gave her mom advice. Loved Maddie’s treatment all through of making Daphne feel ok about the whole party thing, before and after. And yes…loved when she said “Mom says” was a perfect scene.
      So…Nashville S5 and CMT are doing some things right, as they sort out this “new” Nashville. If CB just hadn’t wanted to leave, and that was really on her, they’d have had a different show to work with….well..that’s been rehashed to death.

      • Carol says:

        Yeah, I feel the same way. If only CB had stayed with the show. There was so much more story line to explore with Reyna and Deacon.

  14. Margo says:

    I wish Scarlets would stop acting like a little scared mouse she always looks like a abuse child that someone is about to Smack her get a grip and act like a normal person when Nashville first started that character was okay but now it’s getting to be a bit much wouldn’t mind her going off the program she’s like a ticking bomb

    • Isabella says:

      Could not agree with that more! All that constant crying is doing my head in. Seriously, it’s a crib! There’s hormones and there’s cray. She’s in the latter category.

      • Becca Knight says:

        Perhaps they are putting together a storyline for the future for a post partum emotional breakdown. Oh but they’ve already done that with Juliette.

  15. WANDA SOLES says:


  16. Lanieb says:

    I discovered this show last summer and watched all the seasons in a month!! I love Nashville and all the characters 💫 But Scarlet has to stop the crying although she has always been an emotional roller coaster and now she’s pregnant!! I love her and Gunnar together, they make an awesome couple and with this gun incident hopefully realize how much they do love each other💞 I love deke and Avery too..

  17. xomylifexo says:

    I want so badly to really love Gunner & Scarlet, but I don’t think we’ve ever had an emotionally stable Scarlet and that makes it real hard. She could be such a few character, but it’s like they refuse to let her be.

  18. Carolyn says:

    Scarlett does NOT need a Baby ! SHE is a Baby ! SO immature ! She needs to grow-up ! Deacon should Stop Coddling her & Gunnar too ! Getting annoying ! 🤔

  19. Becca Knight says:

    It is painful to hear Scarlette talk. For someone who is supposed to have a Southern accent she sounds like she belongs in a Special Education class.