Nashville Recap SEason 5 Episode 20

Nashville Recap: You Can Go Home Again, But You Probably Shouldn't

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

If you’d have told me a year-and-a-half ago that I’d be asking for more Maddie in my Nashville, I’d have told you to go shove your head in a Tupperware full of pink macaroni. And yet, as this week’s Gunnar-centric episode unspools, I find myself constantly wondering, “Yes, but what is going on with the Maddie-Juliette beef?” So here we are.

The hour spends a bunch of time with Gunnar in his old hometown, revisiting his childhood, which was even sadder than we’d been led to believe. Still, there’s only so much broody Gunnar a girl can take before she wants to move on. (Amirite, Scarlett? Too soon?) And I really, really want to know where the show is going to take the controversy brewing between Divas Barnes and Jaymes.

Alas, I don’t get my wish fulfilled during this week’s hour — though, with the American Music Awards on their way, there’s gotta be more bitchy goodness in the hopper, right? Read on for the highlights of “Speed Trap Town.”

OLD STOMPING-ON-YOUR-DREAMS GROUNDS | When Avery’s tour goes near Gunnar’s hometown of Aurora, Texas, he decides to visit his grandmother. The old woman is taciturn and rather ornery, insisting on smoking a cigarette in her nursing home room (while hooked up to oxygen!) because “I’m passing real soon.” Gunnar is a little unsettled by the interaction, and his kinda awkward conversation with Scarlett afterward doesn’t do much to make him feel better. But then he runs into Kelly, a girl he knew growing up, and she’s just flirty enough to get him to change his mind about leaving town that night.

So the pair wind up drinking near their old school, and from their talk, we understand that Kelly was popular and Gunnar was a loner who thought Kelly was “the prettiest girl in Aurora,” though he never acted on his feelings for her. When she avoids his question about what she’s doing these days, I write in my notes, “MARRIED.”

Gunny’s time in Aurora continues to trigger not-so-great memories of his life there, including his parents’ deaths and his cold, strict upbringing in his grandmother’s home. The flashbacks hit Gunnar hard, and by the time Kelly shows up to his room the next evening, he’s on the verge of tears. “It’s not like she hit me or anything,” he says sheepishly, but Kelly gets it: “Just because nobody hit you doesn’t mean you don’t have scars.” Then she kisses him, but he pulls away, and it’s just as well, because she’s (wait for it) married! “I’m not the answer to anybody’s problems,” she explains. “I’m just a girl with my own.

The next morning, Gunnar stops by his grandmother’s place to prove that he’s a good musician/a worthwhile human by playing her a song about burying fears and following your heart. Then he leaves town the same way he did everything while he was there: sadly.

HE’S NOT ME | Deacon likes a song Jessie wrote, but when he tries to help her get some studio time to lay it down, she keeps pushing him away. What’s really irking her: Her schmuck of an ex-husband is messing with her plans to go away for the weekend with their son, and then he shows up to needle her about how he’s the only one planning for the boy’s future. Jessie takes out her frustration on Deacon, who’s rather gracious when she realizes what she’s doing and apologizes.

Deacon adds that he’s fallen down so many times in his life, and he’s only gotten up again because kind people helped him out, and he got a little swept up in being on the other side of the equation for once. “That’s just really sweet,” Jessie says, and if she wasn’t smitten before, I’d say she’s in deep smit now.

NOMINEE DRAMA | Maddie gets nominated for an American Music Award in the “Favorite song pop/rock” category; her competition includes Katy Perry and Juliette. While Mads celebrates, Ju stews: She is bugged by the fact that things still aren’t OK between them. So she sends out a congratulatory tweet, and if you forgot your sunblock today, don’t worry: The amount of shade in Maddie’s reply should cover us all. “Thanks, @juliettebarnes. I wrote it myself,” she tweets. Meow!

Juliette sees the reply as a “screw you,” but Glenn suggests that maybe Maddie is protecting Juliette by not going public about the song-stealing. Still, at a press conference for the nominees, Maddie gives Ju the cold shoulder (while, coincidentally, wearing a cold shoulder top). Is it on? Because it feels like it’s ON. (And praise Reba for that!)

Nashville Recap Season 5 Episode 20KICK ‘EM WHERE IT COUNTS | Still shaky following the robbery and her miscarriage, Scarlett moves in with Deacon and the girls for a little while until she feels safer on the whole. On Maddie’s suggestion, she also signs up for a self-defense class. The teacher sounds like he’s straight outta Ivan Drago’s corner in Rocky IV, and Scarlett doesn’t like it when he challenges her. But later she gets all empowered and whales on the instructor like she’s Rocky in Rocky IV, but because she’s Scarlett, she has to have a lot of feeeeeelings about it after. But she doesn’t wind up crying in a ball on the floor, so I’m putting this one in the win column.

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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26 Comments
  1. Zee says:

    What do you know! The writers continue to be unoriginal by making julietts character imature again. So why did they bother give her that spiritual arc if they were planning on destroying all of that to make laddie look good?

  2. steven says:

    Whatever happened to Bridgit Mendler having a recurring role?

  3. So they just totally forgot Will existed?

    • Angie says:

      I really miss Will. Chris Carmack has such charisma and it’s wasted on 1) I’m gay and 2) my boyfriend’s a jerk. Same with Avery. He has nothing to do but lecture Juliette.

  4. Ben says:

    Here’s the thing – the actors on Nashville are good, and many of them have good singing voices. So when they get good material, you want more of them.
    .
    I was saying this about Lennon Stella last year. No way did I want her and her voice to vanish. I just wanted better writing.
    .
    Unfortunately it’s one step forward to steps back, as Scarlett has become the unbearable character this year, while Juliette can’t stick to her growth (one of the most problematic and unreal bits of many of these shows). At this point I almost wish the show would stop and they’d just put out annual music albums in character lol.

  5. Ryan says:

    How and why is this show still on? The writing is worse then when it was on ABC. Connie was smart to leave this sinking ship. Cancel this crap already. It’s over.

  6. IceTear1 says:

    This whole forcing new love just few months after Rayna is the worst ever!! You don`t just move on from 30 years love like that! And why oh why using Maddie Jaymes? That was bad already s4, Maddie Claybourne would even sound better…

    • TV Gord says:

      First of all, they weren’t together for 30 years, so it’s a bit of a stretch to use that as a reason not to move on. They were only together for a relatively short period of time. Second, who’s to say when an appropriate amount of time has passed before someone can move on? My sister died a few years ago, and her husband of 40 years found love a few months later. We were all thrilled for him, because we were afraid he was going to curl up and die without his true love. My sister made it clear as she was dying that she wanted him to find happiness. I think they way they are introducing this new POTENTIAL love is being handled nicely.

      • IceTear1 says:

        That love never went away. Yes few years now, but they did were together at start 11 years. And as for moving on, my mom has never moved on my dad and it’s now 30 years from his passing. So we have different perspective about that one.

        • TV Gord says:

          My mom didn’t, either, so I’m not saying some people don’t move on, but some people do. I don’t know any couple who loved each other more than my sister and her husband (which is why we were worried about him when she died), but he and another grieving spouse have found each other, and it’s beautiful!

    • Boiler says:

      I understand what you are saying but if the show goes that way it could have some good stories about merging families. Plus I like the Jessie character and she did one of the best songs this show has produced ever

  7. Michelle Sifre says:

    “In deep smit”

    I’m definitely stealing this. I burst out laughing when I read it.

  8. This episode was at least encouraging that the writers are moving Scarlett and Gunnar forward, even if it’s as individuals living apart. Scarlett interacting with Deacon and the girls was much more natural than that solitary brooding we’ve endured throughout this season.

    I do like Deacon and Jessie together – two people damaged by very different memories of their past relationships. There’s no right time frame for mourning a love – and sometimes you find a new love allows you to forget the pain of losing the one who has died – not forget them, but be able to appreciate what you did have together rather than reliving their death.

    The tweeted reply from Maddie was just vague enough to let Juliette know she’s not ready to make nice. If we’re lucky, the showdown could come at the awards show – CATFIGHT!

    I’m okay with Zach taking his money and leaving town (previews). There was so much potential for this character, but without Will appearing in episodes, there’s no reason to have him around. And if they’re not going to use the Alyssa character, why did they even introduce her?

    • Rebecca says:

      I agree that Scarlett and Gunnar are definetly growing seprately which makes me want them together more since they are fixing themself seprately and because they didn’t rely on each other to make the other better this time I think they are ready to be together, since Gunnar dealt with the ghosts from his past or at faced them and Scalett is trying to deal with her problems especially the mugging and her miscarriage

  9. Loolley says:

    LOL. What a foolish, poorly-written show. It amazes me that this is still on.

    • drhenning says:

      The current Nashville is getting many of the elements of the former Herkskovitz and Zwick family shows like Thirtysomething and Once and Again.. Even have former cast member like Jeffrey Nordling once again playing a lousy ex husband…. He has that bad husband role down pat.. Difference here is flipping in the music that was never on the old shows… Nighttime soap is what it is…. I do remember the commentary earlier this year after Rayna’s death and they discussed killing off Gary in Thirtysomething but that was near the end of its run…. Funny if you look at the audience for Thirtysomething in today’s TV world, it would be a top 10 show..

  10. Rebecca says:

    I really hope Gunnar and Scarlett find their way back together before the season end since they are starting to figure their stuff out seprately, Gunnar finally dealt with some of the ghost of his past and Scarlett is starting to heal from the mugging and her miscarriage.

  11. Martha Morris says:

    I love this show, and still think it’s good. Look forward to it every week, although I do miss Reyna.

  12. ellajasper says:

    Where is the music we were promised by the new show runners? We get about two lines of a song and most of them from Jessie who I care nothing about. Did Juliette forget how to sing? Come on people. We watch this show for the music. You have talented singers, use them! Why is Jonathan Jackson riding around on a bus instead of singing? And who cares about the little wide spot in the road that Gunner came from? We’ve heard his story before. I watch this show for the music, not made up drama. The best part of the show right now is the relationship between Deacon and the girls and you are trying to mess that up with Jessie. At least we didn’t have to put up with Zach this week. Please use your core characters and let them SING!

  13. Donna Rice says:

    I’m just not crazy about the story line this season. I used to wait with baited breath to watch Nashville. Not so much now. I’m not worried about missing an episode. New additions are not impressing me either. For me to stick with it they are going to have to make some changes. I for one am getting sick of everything Maddie.

  14. Ann A says:

    Will ? Avery ? Are they still saying they are regular characters? Why are they never used anymore? Why so little Juliette this Season ?

  15. Kay says:

    Please tell us the last song that Charles (Deacon) sang tonight at the Opry? I see a lot of people have been asking. Please respond by email. Thank you!!!