I don’t know if y’all have heard, but apparently Nashville has the wedding everyone has been waiting for! As a relative opponent of the Deacon/Rayna pairing, I take issue with this label of “everyone” imposed by the ABC overlords. But, I promise that won’t affect this recap. For all the Deacon/Rayna stans out there, let’s do this. The wedding bells are ringing.
“Forever And Always” is, of course, all about Rayna and Deacon’s big day, but it’s also a typical episode of Nashville, meaning that everybody’s drama gets some time to shine because none of these people can put their nonsense on the back burner, even on a glorious wedding day. Things start off well enough though, with Deacon getting fitted for his suit and practicing his vows while Rayna basks in the success of Markus’ singles. She can take most of the credit after all, considering Markus bailed on his publicity tour because he’s a giant manbaby who somehow dresses like an even sadder version of Steven Tyler.
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Everything seems to be going well until the rehearsal dinner at the Bluebird. First, when Daphne and Maddie get up to sing a song to the couple of the hour, Daphne just stops singing. She’s been at odds with her sister for some time now, and it seems the wedding has only made things worse. It doesn’t get much better from there though. When Deacon, Rayna, Maddie, and Daphne leave the Bluebird through a back exit, they’re swarmed by paparazzi. When they get just a little too close to the family, Deacon calls on his typical anger and pushes one of them to the ground. So much for a small, quiet wedding.
The next day, not only has the footage of Deacon getting aggressive with a paparazzi gone viral, but the location of their wedding has also been leaked. Rayna’s publicist says this is a worst case scenario, that not only will there now be paparazzi posted outside her wedding the whole time, they’ll have to deal with helicopters. Damn, Nashville is intense! Luckily, said publicist has a solution and sets about reconfiguring a private barn for the ceremony.
So, what’s happening with all the people who aren’t getting married? Well, Avery is currently losing his mind over Juliette. He hears that she’s getting better every day, and that her time with Cadence has been good, but he’s sick of living the lie. He’s had to pretend that everything’s okay for weeks now, and he’s reaching the end of his rope.
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Meanwhile, Cole is putting out word that Will is difficult to work with after Will dissolved their songwriting partnership. That leaves Will in a tough spot, so he decides he’s not going to the wedding because he can’t stand the idea of being around all those people in the industry. Essentially, Avery and Will are in similar boats — they’re having trouble balancing the truth with lies — but whereas Will decides to just ignore it all, Avery runs head first into the drama of the wedding. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t handle it very well.
NEXT: So a taxidermist walks into a wedding reception[pagebreak]
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Nashville wedding without a solid freak-out. That comes in the form of Deacon, Maddie, and Daphne. Both of the girls are acting weird toward Deacon, and he’s not totally sure why because he’s often clueless. Essentially, both of them are worried about Rayna marrying him. Daphne is worried that she’ll just be a tag-along in the family, while Maddie has more legitimate concerns. After watching Deacon tear apart Beverly’s apartment in a rage, she’s scared that her mother is getting into a relationship with an angry man, that he might hurt her.
When Rayna tells Deacon about this, he freaks out. He starts to think maybe he isn’t good for Rayna and the two girls, that maybe they’d be better off without him. In typical soap opera fashion, Deacon takes off. It doesn’t help that Rayna’s sister Tandy is here for the wedding and has never approved of Deacon, especially considering his past with Rayna.
Meanwhile, Gunnar is doing his best to show Scarlett that he’s in no way attracted to her and begins trying to set her up with people at the wedding. It doesn’t go so well, especially when she’s stuck talking at length to a taxidermist. That’s a topic that’s not exactly in the romantic wheelhouse. (Apologies to all the taxidermists that read these recaps.) Don’t worry though. Those two crazy kids catch eyes later on and share a dance, so things will be all right.
Before the wedding can even begin, things start going downhill for everyone else. Avery is bombarded with questions about him and Juliette, and he’s drinking like a fish in order to deal with it all. Meanwhile, Layla has made it out to the wedding. She just wants to have a nice time, but here comes Colt to ruin it all. He tells her about Jeff saving Juliette on the roof of the hotel, and it sends her for a complete loop. You couldn’t find a more appropriate time to divulge that information, Colt?
Once the wedding is underway though — after Deacon’s bar buddy talks him back from the ledge when they visit Beverly’s grave — everything, for the most part, goes smoothly. Scarlett and Gunnar perform a great song while Rayna walks down the aisle, and her and Deacon share some charming vows and a first dance. For just a little while this season, Nashville actually indulges in joy. Hurray!
That can only last for so long though. Soon enough, Layla is having an awkward conversation with Avery about Juliette, asking all sorts of questions while never revealing the truth she just found out. That gives Avery a full-on panic attack. Maddie and Colt get super awkward too, because Maddie is interested in him and Colt is suddenly distant. The men on this show are consistently the worst. Not all of them, but many of them.
Everything seems to work out for the newlyweds though. Deacon patches things up with Maddie and Daphne, and assures them that if he ever makes them feel uncomfortable they can tell him. Then, Rayna and Deacon get a little candlelit alone time, if you know what I mean. You know what I mean.
The episode doesn’t end there though, because this is Nashville and we need a crazy shift in the plot. Layla is ready to record her new album and she seems particularly excited for some reason. Then, when she’s talking to the label manager, she gets a sinister look on her face and says that she wants Avery to be her producer. The way she says it is all menace and vengeance. Things are going to get ugly.