____________________ And that’s the cliffhanger. Surprising? Nope.
Episode Summary: Deacon and Beverly prepare for the liver transplant but things don’t go as planned when one of their monitors flatlines. Juliette reacts terribly to Avery’s concerns and puts baby Cadence’s life in danger. Gunnar goes to Texas with Kiley to visit Micah and Scarlett decides to move in with Caleb. However, it doesn’t stop the two magnificent singers from almost rekindling an old flame. Teddy’s going to prison. Will’s opened up about his sexuality. And Jeff’s still the worst character on this show.
Review | Analysis: One of the primary reasons I stuck behind Nashville despite the impeccable music is the faultless performances each actor delivers even when I despise the characters. Sadly and strangely I don’t have much to say about this episode because as you all know I don’t like to spend too much time talking about things that aren’t exactly my favorite. However, due to the reason that this is a finale, there are things I need to discuss. Nashville’s had some pretty moving season finales and while this one was probably the worst, it was also well executed because of what it could set up for next season.
Before I discuss the great parts of the episode, let’s get the painful ones out of the way.
As I mentioned in last week’s review, it’s hard to pay attention to Teddy’s storylines because it’s hard to take him seriously. However, thankfully, he’s getting what he deserves. And as I’ve stated before, I really want to like and respect him therefore, this could actually be the way for that to happen. He’s a great father to Maddie and Daphne, but he’s not the wisest person. It was undoubtedly heartbreaking to watch him cuffed away without the opportunity to say goodbye to the girls, but surely they’ll get visitation time and make matters right with him. Time in prison will hopefully teach Teddy how to go about business justly. And it’ll hopefully teach him that you can’t climb your way to the top by stepping on others. He’s screwed up far too many times before this situation with Natasha and it’s all catching up with him. Here’s to hoping he’s a changed man soon because really he is great potential.
Here’s to hoping, praying, wishing, and whatever else is necessary to have the fourth season of Nashville kick Jeff Fordham to the curb. Sorry, Oliver Hudson – you’re awesome, but your character is the worst. I was always weary of his character but now I’m downright terrified. The series has done a great job of shining light on domestic violence, but what it needs to do now is showcase that sometimes it’s not so obvious. Emotional abuse is just as dangerous as physical abuse, and the fact that it isn’t clear is the most frightening part. When Rayna’s notified of the fact that Layla can’t be reached because all of her phone calls need to go through Jeff, a concerned voicemail leads Layla to investigate. Ugh, can I just get unprofessional (in writing format) for a second because seriously y’all, if anyone ever tells you that you need to lose weight or your phone calls need to be monitored, go out and eat a giant cheeseburger right in front of their face? Unless you don’t eat meat then eat something else that’ll piss them off because no one has control over your body or life the way you do. And no one should ever tell you what to do. Savvy? Good, glad I got that out of my system because my blood boils every single time Jeff speaks. I was thrilled when Layla figured out that he was the one who tweeted the picture from Jade’s party but was on the edge of my seat ready to throw a pillow when she told the police officers nothing was wrong. Abusers will always justify that their poor behavior is out of love and fear. And hopefully, in today’s generation, victims are more inclined to see these problematic behaviors before they get ugly. Jeff’s done an insane amount of things that showcase anything but love. And it all started with him selfishly taking away Layla’s agency and then emotionally manipulating her into believing that it was all going to benefit her in the long run. If Layla doesn’t get out of this relationship (professional and personal) quickly, who knows where she’ll be? As a viewer, I’m genuinely terrified for her. And I’m sincerely hoping the series chooses to shine a light on emotional abuse the right way. Jeff doesn’t deserve Layla’s or anyone else’s respect at this point and he won’t be worthy of it until he actually gets help for his revolting behavior. At the end of the day, as I’ve been saying for what feels like forever now, Layla Grant deserves better. And better means taking back her agency, speaking up, and freeing herself from the confinement Jeff’s placed her in. Real love is selfless, Jeff’s idea of love is abuse and it’s sickening.
I’m so sad Juliette’s story hasn’t been resolved. And while I of course wasn’t expecting happily ever after, I had hoped that we’d somehow be on the right track by the finale. Post-Partum Depression isn’t explored too often on television, so when it appeared as though Nashville was going to dive into it, I was thrilled to see how they’d spread the awareness. And it’s heartbreaking to say that thus far, I’m not pleased at all. After Juliette finally finishes her album and comes home, she states that she still has no time for the baby and an argument gets very dangerous for baby Cadence.
It was undoubtedly heartbreaking and frightening to see her angrily react to Avery’s refusal to hand over the child, but the performances floored me. Panettiere did an excellent job of showcasing hollowness down to the moment when she realized what she did and was immediately filled with remorse. And Jackson’s misery mixed in with his rage in a desperate attempt to keep Cadence safe was astounding. It couldn’t have been easy to film such a drastic moment and what’s ultimately the most disappointing is the fact that for a moment it seemed as though Juliette was ready to get help. I had figured that Avery desperately pleading with her would help her see the light, but she still refused to accept that something was wrong. But a little time alone I imagined may have helped her see clearly. Therefore, I imagine I wasn’t the only one who was shocked when she accepted Luke’s offer to the tour with “I’ve never been more ready.” I had wished that by now we’d not only feel more sympathy for Juliette but that we’d be on the right track to treating her depression. It’s unfortunate that we need to see diva Juliette back in action because not only was she one of my least favorite characters in the beginning, but the development she made was outstanding. That said, here’s to hoping that season four is full of well-written episodes that allow us to really understand what’s going on inside her head. It’s clear that her issues with her own mother play an enormous real in her life as a mother, and it’s essentially what would make for some enlightening storytelling. Juliette’s on the road to some great moments, it’s just uncool that we have to wait longer to see it. Avery’s an impeccable husband – I’m always in awe of his patience and especially the way he praises Juliette for all that she is. And that’s why it broke me to see her so unreceptive to his vulnerability and heartbreaking desperation.
And my oh my, did anyone else’s heart shatter as much as mine as a tearful Avery drove off with Cadence? Funnily, he was one of the characters from day one I never imagined I’d feel so much for, and here we are with me as an emotional wreck because he doesn’t deserve this. And I just want him to be ridiculously happy with his little family.
Will Lexington has spoken up about being gay and it was one of the loveliest scenes in this week’s episode. Strike that – the entire series. If we had actually dragged this story on a bit longer I’d probably lose my cool because for the first time, he’s in the healthiest relationship he’s ever been in and it’s good. It’s really good – therefore, it shouldn’t be hidden. And Kevin’s choice to lie on his behalf even though he wants Will to be happy with his life was commendable for it showcased the fact that this isn’t just some passing fling. It’s real for both of them. And they deserve to be in love without anyone judging their actions or condemning the work they do as musicians. It was a gorgeous moment in which Chris Carmack played with exceptional confidence. And the best kind of relationship is the one that brings out the best in you therefore, the fact that he’s now at a place where his career is worth the risk is fantastic. We are in 2015 which means that numerous countries have accepted same-sex relationships as part of the norm – let Will Lexington get both the guy and the career. Humans have no place to judge others and especially when it comes to a person’s gifts as an actor or musician, their personal lives shouldn’t even be a concern to the public eye.
I wanted to love the scene with Beverly, Deacon, and the girls but because you could feel the tension between her and Rayna, it made it difficult. And it shouldn’t have been like this because they’re family. And while Beverly’s anger is understandable, at the same time it’s still insanely selfish. Perhaps it’s just my bias and yes not everyone has a perfect relationship with their siblings, but for this duo, as I’ve previously said, without Deacon, who knows where Scarlett would’ve been? Beverly owes a lot more to her brother.
It’s fair to guess that Beverly’s the one who dies in the finale. It has to be. And even though Deacon will obviously survive, the struggle and guilt that he’ll go through along with Rayna will affect them drastically. He’ll blame the death on himself and the drama that’s to follow this will surely be very Nashville-like. Fingers crossed he doesn’t relapse because that’s all I’m hoping for.
Prior to the anticipated surgery, Deacon’s nightmares of death haunt him deeply. And I love that the series did this because really not many people go into surgery fearless. But what actually broke me was the very first scene because it reminded me too much of Jack Shephard (Lost) and well … However, the scene with the vows was probably one of my favorite scenes Deacon and Rayna have ever shared. Connie Britton and Charles Esten were as exceptional as ever. It was an impeccable moment for the two and reminded me of a song I’d much rather not talk about cause it ends badly. (Oops). Beautiful song really, but sad. Don’t hate me. “Forever and Always” by Parachute – give it a listen, but maybe prepare some tissues. It’s going to be okay though because I’m basically 100% positive he’s not going to die.
Nonetheless, the picture it painted left me in tears – it felt like a much stronger promise than we sometimes see in actual weddings. Deacon and Rayna are two people who’d give their all for one another in a heartbeat thereby having them promise one another that they’re in it for the long haul right before such a life-changing moment was lovely. Britton delivered Rayna’s promises with the hopeful certainty needed to outshine Deacon’s fears. And Esten conveyed the fact that the depth of Deacon’s love most notably. The nightmares have left him perplexed about the future, but no sickness or fear could ever be stronger than his devoted love for Rayna. And that’s what we saw – pure adoration – the reminder that love is selfless. In trying times, love will always prevail and I cannot wait to see where their story takes them next season.
I’ve never in my life purchased a song as fast as I purchased “I Will Never Let You Know”. Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio shattered me with the soulfulness and heart they sang with. It was a game-changing moment for the two because even though Scarlett was inspired by Deacon and Rayna, it’s fairly clear that the lyrics also reflect her relationship with Gunnar. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for these two and what this scene showcased is that the more they attempt to deny their feelings, the stronger it gets. Some people are better together than apart. And while the beautiful music comes from the situations that occur, it’s exciting to know that this finale has left them room to really fight for one another next season.
Until next season…
Thank you for keeping up with these reviews, it’s been an absolute honor writing them and I’m excited to come back for another season. Remember if there’s anything you’d like us to discuss, as long as it’s hate free, I’ll gladly do so. Have a wonderful summer (or winter depending on where you are)!