Nashville 3×18 “Nobody Knows But Me” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

And the baby’s name is … Cadence – an English name meaning a rhythmic flow of sounds. Perfect.

Episode Summary: Juliette struggles with the first stages of motherhood and Avery tries desperately to balance his new life with his band. Maddie’s still lashing out at her parents, but this time, we’re given more opportunities to watch her grow. Natasha isn’t who we all thought she was and because of her lies, Teddy should consider how he looks in the color orange. Jeff’s ex-fiancé Jade St. John (Christina Aguilera) agrees to give Layla the chance to open up for her as long as she can meet Luke Wheeler. And Will finally gives in to the kind of love he’s always wanted.

Review | Analysis: The characters in Nashville are the only ones who can simultaneously frustrate me and move me. And if that doesn’t validate how realistically written they are, nothing else will. Perfection is nonexistent therefore, the fact that we’re given the chance to watch them fall apart and come up stronger than before is what makes for fantastic television. If I could swear off ever liking a character and then find myself respecting them, the writers have done an excellent job.

While I’m still unsure as to how I feel about Jeff being Layla’s manager, it was nice to see a bit of vulnerability from him this week. It’s clear that his feelings for Jade still haven’t gone away. It’s also clear that he isn’t going to be pleased with the fact that she and Luke may possibly get together. Wherever this plot leads, I hope it doesn’t involve him leaning on Layla in all the wrong ways. She’s already dealt with so much heartache from coming in second all the time, and she needs to find herself without carrying everyone else’s burdens. As stated in last week’s recap, if Jeff can continue being a good manager for her then that’s fine, but she doesn’t deserve him as a romantic partner. And I’m hoping that the final scene they held hands during was merely a platonic gesture. At least it felt like one to me.

So far, the relationship between Layla and Rayna is off to a beautiful start. One of the very reasons Rayna Jaymes is such an admirable female character is because of the way she supports other female characters. And I love how hard Rayna’s rooting for Layla now – she has full confidence in her abilities thereby it’s going to be great to watch them work together more often. Even though she doesn’t agree with her choice to hire Jeff as her manager, she knows she’s far too talented to ever give up, and I don’t doubt that their bond will be an exceptional one once we dive into it further. Layla needs positive female figures in her life and there’s no one more encouraging than Rayna.

It’ll be interesting to see where Jade’s character goes from here. And I’m certainly hoping she’s more than just a plot device for a catfight. Additionally, I’m hoping her storyline stems further beyond Jeff and Luke. I’m hoping she’s given the opportunity to be another incredibly layered female on the series. Aguilera’s introduction was awesome – it’s undeniable that she has one of the strongest voices in our industry and it’ll be fun to watch her do her thing on the series.

It may be wishful thinking to hope that Will’s blossoming relationship with Kevin leads him closer to coming out of the closet. You owe it to yourself, kiddo. You deserve happiness. Who cares what anyone else thinks? Oh, right we need drama. I forgot the series doesn’t have enough of it. The point is, I’m thrilled we’re off to a good start and hopefully, we don’t have to go through another season with him miserably dating girls when he could be happy with a great caring songwriter who’s also super attractive.

Last week, I mentioned that Teddy probably wouldn’t be able to keep his promise to Maddie and after everything we’ve learned about Natasha, it certainly seems as though he won’t be around much longer. The confusing thing about this entire scenario is that he was pretty much pushed to do everything he’s done by the F.B.I., but of course, it was all his choice to step on the number of people that he did. I can’t say I’m displeased with the fact that he’s finally going to get what he deserves, but for Maddie’s sake, it’ll be heartbreaking to watch her journey get more difficult. However, this could potentially be the thing that finally gives him the will to honorably do better. While most of Teddy’s doings are questionable, the number of lives he’s messed with lately are far from alright. And if he’s going to redeem himself, he needs to atone for everything he’s done.

Before we get into discussing Juliette’s overwhelmed state and the episode’s conclusion, let’s talk about the baby’s perfect name. I’m thoroughly pleased with the fact that they took a musical route and gave the baby a unique name. Cadence is a darling name for the child. A+ choice, Barnes and Barkley. A+. It’s saddening that Avery’s time with the band has come to an end because the Triple X’s are phenomenal together. However, it’s entirely understandable even though it doesn’t feel permanent. You don’t have to be a mother to know that the first few weeks and months with a new child are the most difficult. A child is constantly growing and it’s anything but easy to take care of them, especially as new inexperienced mothers. And for Juliette, it’s fathomable why she’s so anxious to leave the house.

It always seems as though the world’s having more fun than you, but the reality is, a compromise between man and woman is necessary – especially if both parents are a part of the child’s life. Both Juliette and Avery should have opportunities to do the things that allow them to unwind, but one shouldn’t have to sacrifice more than the other. It’s not wrong for Juliette to want to get back to work, but it was wrong of her not to tell Avery before she flew to Los Angeles. And that’s a confrontation I’m looking forward to seeing next week as the two of them discuss how they’re going to raise this child together. Additionally, it seems the series could possibly tackle postpartum with this storyline, and that’ll give viewers a chance to see what it’s like for it’s not something that’s often seen on television.

It was incredibly nice to see Deacon and Juliette share a scene together, but heartbreaking that it didn’t end on a positive note. This brings me to my next point – Deacon’s character development. It continues to floor me how impeccable his character growth has been since the diagnosis. Deacon’s desires to keep the cancer private are entirely fathomable. It’s difficult to go through something as horrifying as cancer and it’s probably even more frustrating when people begin treating you differently. That said, it’s great that even though he chose to run once again, the episode concludes with him choosing to embrace it all. I’d love for Deacon and Juliette to get another chance at writing together soon because there really is never a dull moment in their friendship.

Although Maddie’s behavior frustrates me beyond words, my heart aches tremendously for her. I personally believe that there’s no stage tougher than the teenage years, and with all the drama that generally follows teens, no one should have to see their parents suffer. Maddie and Daphne aren’t your typical kids, they’ve grown up with known parents and a great amount of tragedy that’s constantly followed them. While everyone handles changes differently, her behavior is entirely understandable. It’s normal to shut her parents out and it’s normal to lash out. And it’s great that the show acknowledged that even though it’s normal, it’s wrong. It’s also great that we’re constantly given beautiful father/daughter scenes because I am all in for these.

Deacon and Maddie have an incredibly special relationship – even from the very beginning when he was just her uncle, it’s always been easy, to be honest with him. Sometimes teens are most dishonest with the parent closest to them because they’re afraid of hurting them the most. And that’s why it made sense for Maddie to lie to Rayna. And though I hated the way she spoke to her mom, I’m glad she apologized quickly afterward.

Rayna’s a wonderfully understanding parent so for her to have to endure the kind of mistreatment from her own daughter is far from enjoyable to watch. And her parenting skills are fair, for it was wise of her to let Maddie attend the show in the end because it meant that she was giving her more opportunities to learn how to behave. While grounding kids works, other times it’s important to know that they’re forgiven for it gives them the chance to see that their parent wholeheartedly wants the best for them. Thereby both parents accepting the relationship with Colt will undoubtedly give Maddie a sense of freedom which makes it easier for her to lean on them when she needs to. Deacon’s choice to calmly confront her and showcase that he’s okay with the relationship as well also gives her the liberty to act on the news of cancer however it’s easiest. If being around Colt takes away her sadness, then that’s how it’ll be and both parents understand that completely.

I was never a fan of Luke’s and it had nothing to do with the fact that I have been Team Deacon since day one. At the time when Luke and Rayna were together, their relationship never moved me. And at times, I often got the sense that he loved the idea of the two of them more than he loved her. And let’s not forget the episode he called her a bitch to Deacon. For a very long time, I couldn’t respect him because of the way he’d treated Rayna. And while I was slowly growing to tolerate him more after everything that happened with Sadie, I never imagined he’d ever be in a scene that would tug on my heartstrings. Even though Deacon still fights his inner demons and truly doesn’t want people to look at him differently, his choice to come out in the open was an incredibly selfless one. And with Luke especially, it was all for Maddie. It was brave and selfless of him to thank Luke for the fact that Maddie has a place to go when she wants to be away from the sadness.

It was benevolent of Luke to wholeheartedly put his pride aside for Colt and for the sake of a human being he’s not at all fond of. While the two men aren’t going to go on a fishing trip anytime soon, a moment like this is something I had absolutely no idea I needed. Particularly in this scene, Charles Esten and Will Chase were at their strongest. Esten’s ability to manifest a form of strength during a moment of complete vulnerability followed by Chase’s delivery of sincere respect made for the night’s most commendable performances. I’ve never been more proud of Luke than when he uttered the words: “you beat this thing, brother. You’ve got a lot to live for.”

With a riveting earnestness, Chase showcased the prodigious amount of heart within Luke. Even though Luke has a multitude of hard feelings towards Deacon, it doesn’t mean he’d ever want anything terrible to happen to him. It’s admirable that the statement was father to father – man to man. As someone with children, he knows that there’s nothing more important in the world to live for. He knows that at the end of the day, you must always be the best version of yourself for your kids and be there to guide them through everything. That said, his choice to acknowledge Deacon as a brother, to showcase strength at a time he knows he could use it most was splendid. At times like this, it’s always inspiring to know that people are rooting for you to prosper. It’s inspiring to know that there’s humanity left in the world when selfish opinions and past struggles can be put aside because such matters are far too trivial when life’s threatened.

What I’m most happy about is the fact that Deacon’s a bit more confident now than he was a few episodes ago. The character growth is doing a beautiful job of illuminating how effortlessly heartening being surrounded by loved ones is. With Rayna’s unwavering adoration and faith in him, he’s able to cope with what’s occurring with a form of assurance he’d otherwise lack. Furthermore, knowing how loved he is by Rayna and the girls give him the desire to fight as hard as he possibly can. It’s beautiful that the conversation with Luke starts off with him stating that he’s going to get through it all because as viewers we know that’s a result of the greatness he’s seen in the past few weeks. Deacon’s always been a fighter, if he wasn’t, he would’ve never triumphed over his addition. However, now that he has a multitude of people rooting for him to beat cancer, there’s more will in him to live his life confidently and nobly – a happy ending is most definitely in the cards for him.

There’s nothing more lovely in this series than the way Connie Britton plays happy Rayna thereby the final scene at the Jaymes/Claybourne household was the sweetest. I don’t know what was more adorable, Britton’s hair or the shoulder bump, but considering Britton’s hair is always perfect, let’s go with the shoulder bump. As remarkable paradigms of excellent scene partners, it’s so easy to love Deacon and Rayna because Esten and Britton continuously exceed every single one of my expectations with the emotions they channel together. With Deacon officially moving in now that the girls have expressed that they feel he already lives there, I’m looking forward to more bonding with them. With Teddy presumably getting arrested soon, both Maddie and Daphne are going to need a fatherly figure to lean on.

There’s not much to comment on with the Gunnar and Scarlett debacle for at this point the only left to do is either temporarily part ways or learn to work together. And the one who needs to do the learning is Gunnar. It’s great that he’s chosen to finally fight for her because it authenticates just how real his love is, but at the same time, she needs to be given the space in order to make decisions without any form of pressure. If he does love her the way he states, then he’ll patiently wait for her. For the time being, she and Caleb are good together – he’s able to make her happy and with what she’s going through, she needs to remain in the state of bliss she’s in. As briefly mentioned above, while I certainly hope Avery’s departure from the band is temporary, I’m hoping the two of them working together doesn’t end with unnecessary arguments.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? Although I just wrote mine in 2k words, I’d like to add that my primary thought is: “is it next Wednesday yet?” Remember if there’s anything you’d like us to discuss, as long as it’s hate free, I will gladly do so.

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