Archie Bunker, Titus Andromedon, Luke Cage, Maddie James, Rose Nylund, Don Draper, Tyrion Lannister. Let’s play the game where one of these things doesn’t belong, CMT. If you picked Maddie, you would be correct. Start making these characters memorable or find ones who matter. PLEASE. Let’s think about that as we go into the season finale…
Anyway, Deacon is meeting with Brad (Jessie’s creepy ex) wants to help Highway 65 since Zach is most likely pulling his money and walking. Oh and Brad’s messing with a fidget spinner, like we need another reason to hate him. Anyway, Brad is offering to buy the label and letting Deacon run it without any interference. By the way, CMT, you are shooting Nashville in your office, now? The scene between the two takes place in a building suspiciously EXACTLY like your downtown offices. Brad’s record label is called Shiny New Records. I didn’t know it was possible to come up with anything more ridiculous than Wheelin’ Dealin’ Records, but congrats, CMT. ABC upped the stupid and you made it your bitch. As Deacon leaves, he runs into Jessie dropping her son, Jake, off. Jake doesn’t want to go with his dad and Deacon watches their sad goodbye.
At Highway 65, the power goes out and, of course, Zach cancelled the account. He also cleaned out the bank account and Deacon is livid. They move the entire operation into the recording studio where Maddie is interning. Scarlett, Will, Maddie and Daphne all show up to help out and can I please point something out? Artists do not just hang around their record labels. They go for meetings and that’s about it. Anyway, no one can get in touch with Zach, including Will and – oh yeah – Gunnar is back in town. Kacey Musgraves is at the recording studio and moseys over to say hello. She ends up doing a jam session with Maddie and Daphne along with a group of musicians that were there to record Juliette’s new album. Juliette called in fake sick and left everyone hanging. Jessie comes in with food for everyone and Daphne, again, sees the connection between Deacon and Jessie.
When Gunnar locates Zach, Deacon, rushes over to confront him. Zach is very petty about the whole thing and says he never loses and will hold the label hostage until they come crawling back to him. Wow. And I thought I was petty.
The American Music Awards are coming up and there’s a party for the nominees that will include Juliette and Maddie. Glenn (YAY! GLENN!) finds Juliette (who is nervous AF about seeing Maddie) and walks her into the soiree. When Maddie spots Juliette, she stomps away, forcing Daphne to explain to Deacon why they hate one another. Okay, I’m sorry. Deacon is the head of the record label where Juliette recorded a huge hit song and he is clueless Juliette stole it from Maddie? Oh Lort. This could turn out to be one of the worst plotlines ever. Will Nashville outdo itself? Let’s see.
Deacon runs after Juliette who takes off when she sees he knows what’s going on. Deacon is so livid that he kicks Juliette off the record label. Oh yeah, good move, Deacon. Kick off the wealthiest artist on your label. Ya know, the one who could bankroll Highway 65 for awhile?
Zach and Alyssa meet up with Brad to talk about Highway 65 and Zach literally tells him to his face he’s an “impulsive, egotistical narcissist who masquerades as a nice guy.” Wait, are they talking about Brad or the POTUS? Anyway, Brad wants to own a multi-platform media company where he would own the touring, recording, and every aspect of an artist’s career. Then, he says “Think we can’t do better than CMT?” YES, BRAD. You absolutely can! I challenge you to name one hit show that was ever on CMT. Can’t come up with anything? Me neither.
Back at makeshift Highway 65, Will and Scarlett are jamming with the musicians still waiting around for Juliette when Gunnar shows up. He takes Scarlett outside to chat and really chat about their relationship. Gunnar explains that he has always been afraid of being alone. He is a serial relationship person who always has to have somebody. He mentions the high school friend from back home helping him realize that and Skinny says she hopes he can one day learn to search his soul on his own. Well, sweetie, we hope one day you won’t be uncomfortable in every situation you’re in, but that ain’t happening!
Daphne is at an end of summer pool party with her friends and Jessie’s son, Jake, is there. All of the kids think he’s a freak. Daph sees her crush, Flynn, talking to another girl and when she goes to leave, she sees Jake sitting on the front porch. They start to chat and we establish that Jake’s dad is mean to him. OMG, if this storyline gets any lamer, I am going to have to break into the liquor cabinet. Again. Anyway, Jessie picks them up from the party and it gets mentioned that Jake has social anxiety.
Avery is still on the road and the roadie hottie chick is making it tough for him to deal with Juliette, who does nothing but complain to him when they talk. She really needs him in Nashville and breaks down in tears when he tells her that Zach making a deal with Brad could be the end of Highway 65. Then, Juliette, gets an idea and looks up the reporter who wrote the scandalous baby daddy stories about Scarlett Boo Boo.
When Will confronts Zach about the Highway 65 debacle, Will jumps his shit about hurting people he loves. Zach tries to explain that he is trying to do what is best for Will, but Will isn’t buying it and essentially breaks up with him.
At the Bluebird, the real Pam Tillis is welcoming Maddie, Will, and Daphne to the club’s 35th anniversary party. Deacon runs into Alyssa outside and she tries to explain to him how he needs to live in the real world and not some musician’s fantasy about not selling out to make music. Then, when she tries to tell him what he needs, she kisses him. THAT BITCH. Then, she apologizes and says she can see the pain in people and he looked like he needed it. He ALWAYS looks like that. He’s Deacon!
On the tour bus, roadie chick is still trying to figure out why Avery is with Juliette (join the club, lady). In Albuquerque. Storms are brewing and she goes to his hotel room with fast food as a peace offering for hitting on him all the time.
Backstage, before performing at the Bluebird, Gunnar tells Scarlett that she can’t trust anybody and she finds faults with all of the men she has had a romantic connection with. He explains that not everything that went wrong in their relationship was his fault and he’s done trying. #TEAMGUNNAR Um, can someone get him directions to my house? I’m not far from the Bluebird. Anyway, they hop on stage and sing a sweet tune called “As the Crow Flies.” Scarlett gets choked up as they perform.
Later, Zach gets a call from the reporter, Mackenzie, wanting to check some facts about a story she is doing about how he is destroying the legacy of Rayna Jaymes by cutting the funds and power to her record label and gutting the business. When he threatens to get his lawyers involved and destroy her, she asks him if that quote is on the record. Juliette put her up to the phone call and will give Mackenzie all of the dirt she needs for another story because Mackenzie can’t write the one about Zach.
Still trying to charm Avery in the hotel room, the roadie and Avery see a report on Entertainment Tonight where Juliette has withdrawn her nomination for the AMA’s after a story (written by Mackenzie) has surfaced where Juliette admits to stealing Maddie’s song. Avery obviously didn’t know about any of this and begins packing to go home, but it’ll be tough because of the storms in Albuquerque. Roadie tries to talk him out of going, but he insists.
Later, when Daphne asks about Jessie, Deacon says he has his two daughters and that’s all he needs. But, later, when he sees Jessie, there is an awkward moment where they want to kiss after hugging, but the nitwit walks away. YOU NEVER WALK AWAY FROM KISSING DEACON!
At Highway 65, a sobbing Zach runs into Deacon, accusing him of going to the press. He lashes out and says he feels sorry for Rayna because Deacon was all she had to depend on. Hey, Zach. You watch it. That’s our Deacon you’re talking about and I can gather up an angry, Drag-filled mob in less than an hour. Instead of being a jerk, Deacon sits down and tells Zach he thinks he is doing all of this because he’s lonely. He’s a very lonely person and Deacon questions his happiness. Zach finally found a place that seems like a family to him and he feels like that family betrayed him. So, Deacon proposes a partnership with Zach, where they will both have a say in the creative process.
Scarlett goes to Juliette to thank her for what she did for Maddie. Juliette points out that she can’t help it and keeps making the same mistakes. Later that night, Juliette watches the American Music Awards to see Maddie perform and it leaves her in tears. Katy Perry wins the award Maddie is nominated for because the people who vote live in reality.
When Avery gets home, Juliette is excited to see him and they make out.
Scarlett and Gunnar tearfully end it. AGAIN.
And it looks like this monstrosity will be back for another season. Thankfully, not until January. That gives me plenty of time to forget how bad this season was.
NASHVILLE recap: "Reasons to Quit" (Season 5 Episode 22: Season Finale)
NASHVILLE recap: "Farther On" (Season 5 Episode 21)
NASHVILLE recap: "Speed Trap Town" (Season 5 Episode 20)