And so the night of the big finale comes around and Daph is nervous as heck backstage. She’s last to perform after a mediocre blonde girl and a light-on-his-toes friendly dude — the one she bonded with back on the very first day. When it’s her turn, Daphne heads on stage, where Brad points out for all to hear that she’s struggled this week. Daph agrees it’s been tough, but when she grabs her guitar and sings a slowed-down, hair-raising rendering of the song, all fears are allayed. Granddad is emotional in the audience and, in the moment, Deacon looks like he might forgive him. But Daphne’s not crowned winner. The average blonde girl gets it instead (whatever, Daphne was always too good for Brad’s crappy TV show anyway) and Deacon and Maddie head backstage to comfort a crying Daph. Everyone is supportive and loving. Deacon thanks Elsa for all her help and they make plans to write when he gets back from tour (the girls get all excited thinking it could be romantic).
Speaking of Brad and bad outcomes, he shows up at Alannah’s apartment to tell her she’s playing a gig the following night in Memphis. He’s going too but has got them separate rooms. Why is that not comforting at all? After the show, Brad invites her up to his room for a party with “people she should meet.” But when she gets upstairs, he’s the only person he wants her to meet — oh, and a glass of whiskey. He starts kissing her and is all, it’s just one night, no one has to know. When she protests, he starts to force himself on her and she punches him in the face. As she goes to leave, he says she knew what she was doing and what the deal was. He warns her that if she doesn’t hold up her side of things, he’ll make sure she never works again.
Remember last week when Alannah and Deacon had a private little convo we weren’t privy to? Well, it was so worth being left out in the dark for this next scene. Smug as ever, Brad is lounging behind his desk when in walks Deacon, Alannah, and Zach (yes the senator-to-be is back!). Zach takes a seat and nonchalantly tells Brad he’s going to offer him $15 million for Shiny New Records (Brad’s label) and Brad’s going to accept before he walks out. Brad laughs, but Zach’s entirely serious. That offer is only 5% of what the company’s worth, but if he doesn’t take it, Alannah is going to sell her story to the world (luckily she has a handy recording of their interaction). Then, to sweeten the deal, a bunch of other women show up who are also ready to tell their stories. Zach even has a paper trail proving that Brad paid for women’s silence. All together it’s pretty damning evidence, so in addition to selling his company for pennies on the dollar, Jessie adds that she wants full custody of their son as part of the arrangement. Woo! Win, win, win! See ya, Brad, you creepy, sleazy piece of garbage!
Elsewhere, Gunnar and Will miss being in the band and want Avery to come back into the fold too. Gunnar goes to Avery and asks him to play with them again, telling him he’s learned that girls can’t solve all his problems. They talk about all the growing they’ve done over the last six years. Remember when Avery was just Scarlett’s mean, manipulative boyfriend and Gunnar was trying to steal that same poem-writing girl away from him? How times have changed. Avery says he’ll think about rejoining the band.
Over at Juliette’s place, she’s sold her house and is packing it up, discarding emblems of her pop/country star success, including a pair of skyscraper sparkly heels. Avery’s pissed for a minute that she sold the house without telling him, but she assures him the new farm house is only 30 minutes outside the city and they’ll make it work. Avery knows she’s not telling him something but can’t figure it out. When he goes to chat with Hallie, she unnecessarily lets it slip that J is pregnant. Guess this is the final episode and we don’t have a lot of time.
Avery runs off to see his ex-wife, who says she wasn’t ready to tell him yet because she didn’t want it to influence how he felt about her. She didn’t want to trap him. Juliette wants him to come to her and tell her he loves her and needs her, not because he feels like he has to save her, but because he’s worried about himself without her. But she also says she realizes he doesn’t feel that way anymore and tells him it’s okay, she’ll survive without him.
Later, she sits down at her keyboard one last time in her big empty house (bet it makes for great acoustics!) and sings a song about beginning again. And then… (Recap continues on page 3.)