When Nashville‘s second season bows Wednesday (ABC, 10/9c), it does so with the weight of many unanswered questions resting on its fringed shoulders.
How will Rayna and Deacon’s accident affect their relationship – if they still have one? Is Deke back on the wagon? Will Scarlett say yes to Gunnar’s impromptu proposal? Will Juliette ever smile again?
TVLine lobbed these questions – and more – at showrunner Dee Johnson, who provided lots of scoop on the country-music drama’s sophomore run. Read on to see what’s about to unfold in Music City.
TVLINE | Does the “Red Lips, White Lies” tour go on hold as a result of half of its act being in the hospital?
It does for a time.
TVLINE | What is the state of Rayna and Deacon’s relationship – which was already in a bad place before the crash?
For Rayna, it’s a wake-up call… That said, you know what? They are star-crossed lovers and now, especially, will always be tethered because they have a child in common.
TVLINE | Speaking of which, how’s Maddie doing?
All those feelings of anger were, for a short time anyway, put on pause because of the accident. But coming out of it, she’s a 13-year-old — which is hard under any circumstances… She’s very much confused about what she’s feeling and in what way she’s going to react to that. She’s going to be a little bit all over the place. Initially, she’s not going to seek Deacon out, and he’s not going to seek her out, for his own reasons. But down the line, how could you not be drawn to wanting to know more or develop some kind of relationship with your biological father?
TVLINE | Is rehab in the cards for Deacon?
He is in his own form of rehab.
TVLINE | I imagine Coleman will play a strong role in that, as well?
As much of a role as he’ll let him play.
TVLINE | Scarlett and Gunnar: I can’t hope in my wildest dreams that you’re going to tell me how that plays out now, are you?
You’re absolutely right.
TVLINE | But we will get an answer on that in the first few hours of the season?
TVLINE | Does Rayna’s accident affect Scarlett’s career trajectory?
She questions what her future is, given the givens. Her fortunes were tied to Rayna, so a lot of it depends on Rayna and how Rayna does.
TVLINE | Scarlett’s best friend Zoey (played by Chaley Rose) shows up in town, and she wants to be a singer, too. Will she have an experience similar to Scarlett’s?
I don’t think so. It’s going to be a totally different experience… She is Scarlett’s childhood friend from Mississippi and has a gospel background. [She] has a tremendous voice and is drawn to Nashville like many others who want to do music.
Her trajectory, musically, is going to be a little more full of fits and starts. But there is definitely an interesting relationship that evolves in how much she knows about the Scarlett-Gunnar relationship. She’s working at the Bluebird and so is Gunnar, so there you go.
TVLINE | You’re going to bring in a new character named Layla (played by Sharknado‘s Aubrey Peeples). How will she be introduced?
She’s coming in with a completely different trajectory than anyone else has, which is having come in second on a singing competition… It’s a way in that even Juliette can sort of look down her nose at.
TVLINE | Which is hilarious, because Juliette got discovered when she was trying out for a singing conversation.
Which is hilarious – but she feels that she’s done the hard work. She’s been performing since she was 14. She pursued it. She didn’t just drop into a competition and get second place and then get a deal. So she has an opinion about that particular way in.
TVLINE | Edgehill gets subsumed by a larger record label; is Layla going to be an artist on that new label?
Yes. There’s always somebody nipping at your heels, even when you’re only 24.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about Juliette: What’s ahead for her?
She had such an emotional journey with her mom last season – and what’s happened with Rayna, too – initially she throws herself into work like most people do when they’re dealing with grief. She’s sort of embarking on trying to protect her heart as much as she can, as the song in the finale alluded to. But how long can a person do that? [Laughs] She’s gotta open herself up eventually to a true, emotional romantic situation. And that’s going to unfold along the course of the season.
TVLINE | Is Avery someone who’s going to be in Juliette’s orbit this season?
TVLINE | What else is ahead for him?
He had a pretty crazy journey himself last season. He was on the precipice of doing something big and then he just ended up right back at the bottom again and has had a healthy share of humble pie. He is more comfortable with his truer self going into this season, which is something Juliette appreciates. It’s hard in her world to trust anybody’s motivations. He has come full circle in terms of being as honest as he can be.
TVLINE | Is Glenn back as her manager?
He is. I love my Glenn.
TVLINE | The hotel hallway scene –
When she fired him? Oh, that was awesome. I loved that. We all live vicariously through Juliette.
TVLINE | I was bummed we couldn’t hear the argument Rayna and Deacon were having in the car before the crash.
[This season], you’re going to be able to hear parts of what they were saying.
TVLINE | Was it scripted? Improv?
I will say it was a little bit of both.