Juliette pleads her case with Avery, and Rayna has a very big (sparkly) decision to make

By Samantha Highfill
Updated March 13, 2015 at 06:37 PM EDT
Mark Levine/ABC

Nashville

S2 E22
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  • TV Show
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Thank you, Nashville! Thank you for not going too far with this finale. Thank you for bringing the focus back to the relationships on this show. And thank you, perhaps most of all, for that long overdue Gunnar-Scarlett duet. I don’t know about y’all, but I enjoyed this finale. Were there moments that I laughed at? Of course. This is Nashville, after all. But there were also moments that were supposed to be funny, and other moments that made me cry. This show is strongest when it focuses on character interaction, so consider me a happy camper. Let’s get to it!

In Rayna’s world, everything was about her album launch and how she was going to beat Jeff Fordham (and therefore, poor Will). And that meant calling in a few favors with Teddy — it pays to have an ex in high places! — and some guy named Sam Boone. Long story short: Fordham stole her GMA appearance from her, so she stole his deal for 200,000 downloads. Oh, and she set up a last-minute concert to knock Jeff down once and for all.

But when she wasn’t worrying about the album, her mind was on family. First, Maddie gave both Deacon and Rayna a framed photo of their little family performance from last week, and then Deacon returned the favor with a guitar for Maddie, which Rayna picked up at his house. But really, she just wanted to stop by Deacon’s place to ask his advice about screwing over Jeff Fordham. The bottom line was that Deacon told her to do what she needed to do. She wouldn’t ever find judgment coming from him.

Speaking of judgment, Juliette was still right in the middle of her gross affair aftermath. Jeff was leaving voicemail after voicemail trying to get Avery to chat about his “future,” and Juliette was just about out of cards to play. She tried to get Rayna to fire her, but Rayna was not having it. And as a result, Juliette pulled her second most questionable move as of late: She showed up hammered to Deacon’s benefit for an alcohol recovery center. And yes, I’m serious. Thankfully, Deacon stopped her before she made a public fool of herself, but Rayna followed her home.

In what might be one of my favorite Rayna-Juliette scenes, Rayna held Juliette’s hair back as she vomited — Finally! She has the right reaction to sleeping with Jeff! — and then the two sat on the bathroom floor and discussed options. The way Rayna saw it, Juliette had to tell Avery before Jeff could. And then she had to get up on stage and perform at Rayna’s album launch concert. Juliette agreed. The only problem was that after Juliette didn’t show to hear the song Avery had written for her, Zoey and Gunnar finally spilled the beans about Juliette and Jeff’s disgusting rendezvous.

We’ll get back to that after we touch on the least exciting couple of the show: Will and Layla. Will was stressed out over the release of his album, which, thanks to Rayna, went horribly. And after seeing how much he was hurting Layla by not being a good husband, he finally pulled her into the bedroom — where he thought there weren’t any cameras — and told her that he was gay. It was such a breakthrough moment for Will that I wanted to cheer, but knowing that there was a camera on him, I couldn’t do anything but cringe. Also, since when do hot trainers FaceTime with clients?

NEXT: With these rings …

Back at Juliette’s, Avery confronted her about sleeping with Jeff. She didn’t deny any of it, but tried to convince him that she really did love him. Instead, he decided she didn’t know what love was, because when you love someone, you’d rather die than hurt them. Guess he didn’t love Scarlett then, huh? Before he left, he told her, “You have no idea how much I love you, but that’s something I’m going to have to get over.” Watching Hayden cry is something that will never lose its power over me. Is it weird that I love these two more than ever now?

With Scarlett on her goodbye tour before leaving for Ole Miss, she went to see Avery when she found him drunk in his underwear. Surprisingly, Scarlett was the one to talk some sense back into him. She convinced him that Juliette was a good person. Meanwhile, that good person was about to go on stage with Rayna, but not until after she faced off with Jeff one last time. In another of my favorite Rayna-Juliette scenes, they basically burned Jeff’s house down. First, Juliette thanked him for the “worst minute and a half of my life.” HA! And then Rayna showed him one of the 250,000 gift cards she’d coordinated with Sam Boone to give people downloads of her album. Adios, Jeff! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Rayna and Juliette’s high five might be the best moment of the episode. Oh no wait. We haven’t gotten to the best part yet, I take it back.

After a quick prayer — did it take her a year to talk to God about the accident? — Rayna hit the stage, where she and Juliette killed it before Luke joined her for yet another performance of “Ball and Chain.” And then, get this, he asked her to be his “ball and chain.” Yep, he proposed on stage in front of the entire world. She didn’t so much as say yes as kiss him, put on the ring, and smile. Meanwhile, no one in her family was smiling along with her.

And now, cue the cameo from Jess Cagle, Editorial Director of People Mag and EW! He informed the happy couple that People wanted the exclusive on their wedding, but Luke assured him there was a little time before any of that was happening. Luke hated to propose and run — which was super crappy — but he had somewhere to be for his son. Like that, we went from one couple to another as Avery showed up at Juliette’s house.

Avery said he believed that Juliette loves him, but he wanted to know why she cheated. She didn’t know. Growing up the way she did, she said she thought he was going to leave her, and when she feels like somebody’s going to hurt her, she hurts herself first and “burn the house down while I’m still in it.” She claimed Jeff saw her for what she really is: “Trailer trash covered in rhinestones.” She knew she didn’t deserve Avery. What she deserved was nothing and nobody. And yet, she still asked him to stay. “Don’t make me be alone again,” she said. The last we saw, it looked like he took one step back away from her, but no full movements were made.

Before leaving town, Scarlett stopped by to see Gunnar, and the two did an impromptu performance of the song he’d written for her. We were reminded of the magical connection between those two, and I think they were too. The song made Scarlett cry and afterward, Gunnar asked her to stay. “I really don’t think you should go.” But why? Because he still loves her?

But most importantly, after the concert, Deacon showed up at Rayna’s house. He wanted to say congrats on her engagement, but he couldn’t because it was a lie. He knew that he’d broken her heart 1,000 different ways, but something has finally changed: “Me.” “I know how to love you now,” he told her as I gasped and grabbed the nearest tissue. He told her that he’s finally the man she always wanted him to be. He’s ready to be a husband and a father and to give her everything they were meant to have. Maybe he’s too late, but he can’t move on. “You and me Ray. That’s how it’s supposed to be. You know that. It’s Maddie, and Daphne, and you, and me.” Then. they. kissed.

Before walking away, he put her old engagement ring in her hand. “This is yours. I never should’ve taken it back.” And that’s one way for season 2 to go out. Can someone grab me a glass of water, please?

What did you all think of the finale?

Episode Recaps

Nashville

Legendary music icon Rayna Jaymes struggles to maintain her place in the spotlight while dealing with the ambitious rising pop vixen Juliette Barnes.
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