Nashville recap: 'First to Have a Second Chance'
Well, here we are again, Rayna. Here we are again. The reigning queen of country finally called off her engagement with reigning country king Luke Wheeler—on the day of their nuptials to the devastation, anger, and betrayal of Mr. Wheeler himself. While it’s obvious that Rayna knew she could never love Luke and their new life as much as the one she shared with Deacon, she didn’t seem to use her first love as the main reason for their end. In fact, it’s fantastic that Rayna’s jitters about the wedding began because she just didn’t like the way her life was evolving. But so much happened on the midseason finale of Nashville Wednesday night that rather it recapping by scenes, I think it’s best if we go character by character. And no, Teddy’s time with the prostitute will not be included in this list because that won’t get interesting unless (or until) said prostitute blackmails or leaks information about her sex-capades with the good mayor. So let’s start with the biggest surprise of the night.
Juliette and Avery: Well readers, who saw this coming? After toying with his feelings for what felt like an eternity (understandably) and getting a proposal of moving in together from Juliette, Avery finally came to a decision with the help of his mother: He could not live without Juliette. Ever since Juliette made a complete fool of herself during Avery and Sadie’s business meeting, it was obvious that the soon-to-be parents would never be able to deny their feelings for each other. I’m just surprised that Avery jumped so many steps in their relationship straight to marriage. Could the huge step be just for the baby’s sake? Does he just want their daughter to have a typical two-parent family? Or is he really just that ready to be married to Juliette? And another question: Does he really love her and forgive her that much? If so, that’s quite the leap of maturity from when Avery got busted for drunken disorderly conduct just a few episodes ago. Their quick wedding was surprisingly sweet, with just the two of them at City Hall. Although Juliette has had this kind of marriage before, this feels more real as she has finally matured into someone who knows what she wants out of life. She wants the family she never had growing up. And no one else could provide her with that happiness like Avery.
Sadie: Miss Stone’s ex-boyfriend came back into the picture on Wednesday night. At first his presence didn’t seem all that threatening, but he definitely sealed the deal as the new devil of the show when he punched Sadie. This guy needs to go. Soon. Hopefully Rayna and Sadie’s new producer, Avery, can help her out of this jam, if Sadie actually tells them what’s wrong—and doesn’t hide the abuse.
Jeff, Will, Lyla: The terrible three. What on Earth are we going to do about these guys? Will asks Lyla to go on tour with him, and she refuses; Will later finds out that she and Jeff had a romantic entanglement. In Jeff’s mind it was just a one-time fling—he was just giving her what she was missing from her fake marriage with Will (what a sleaze ball); in Lyla’s mind, the two were developing feelings for each other. Will and Jeff have a few conversations about his career. Apparently there are rumors of Will’s homosexuality—he’s not too careful about his trysts so how could there not be concrete proof by now—and Will needs to “butch it up” quick or the news will break, according to Jeff. But Will has advice for Jeff as well: He needs to end his “thing” with Lyla and make her go on tour with Will. Both agree and Will tries to romance a young woman (and does not look happy doing it) while Jeff breaks it off with Lyla and promptly gives the drunk, unstable girl some drugs “to take the edge off.” Seriously, he’s a gigantic idiot. Lyla, of course takes way too many pills and overdoses in the pool at a house party. We’re left with Lyla’s fate up in the air, and Jeff calling Teddy to get him out of future legal trouble—because if Lyla wakes up, she could easily tell the police that Jeff was her drug supplier.
NEXT: You are NOT the father!
Deacon and Scarlett: As Rayna and Luke’s wedding fast approaches and Luke’s solo tour comes to a close, Deacon decides that he needs to leave town and get away from the city where the love of his life is about to slip away from his fingers. Scarlett accompanies Deacon to Memphis (Really? That’s as far as he was able to go?), and the uncle and niece enjoy a night of karaoke until Deacon sees a TV news story about Rayna’s upcoming wedding. Deacon tells Scarlett he’s done for the night as he’s beat and has a headache. He goes up to his room, takes something for his pain, and notices a magazine featuring Ruke on the cover. He takes a look at some alcohol bottles and promptly passes out. We find out later that Deacon’s tumble was thankfully not booze-related; however, his blood test shows he might have cancer. That’s not going to make his inevitable reunion with Rayna as smooth as we hoped, but for the time being, Deacon doesn’t want anyone to know about his possible diagnosis except Scarlett. As if that girl could keep a secret.
Gunnar: Scarlett’s ex-beau (and hopefully one day future beau again) attempts to take custody of Micah from the child’s grandparents, but the only way to do that is if he takes a paternity test. After an invitation to the grandparents goes horribly awry—they don’t trust Gunnar to be a good influence on Micah because they knew him when he was still a troublemaker like his brother—Gunnar gets the news of his paternity test. He tells Scarlett the next day that Micah is not his kid, but he is related to him. Everyone say it with me now: Jason is the kid’s real father! Most of you have called this from the beginning and congratulations, your theories have officially been realized just in time for the holidays. Nashville‘s gift to you.
Rayna and Luke: And now for the main event. After dealing with a TV Christmas special, a red carpet, and a photographer from People attending her rehearsal dinner, Rayna starts to realize that everything she’s done to promote her business and everything she’s become throughout her relationship with Luke is not where she wants her life to be. And she’s extremely frustrated to find out that Luke is having conversations with Maddie and Daphne about them potentially attending boarding school behind her back. Rayna visits Luke at his home/their wedding venue and calls the whole thing off, “I keep making the same mistakes over and over again in my life. It’s a cycle and I’ve got to break it. And I’ve got to take responsibility for my actions… I can’t do to you what I did to Teddy. It’s Deacon, but it’s not Deacon. It’s me. It’s who I’ve always been, it’s who I need to be… And I can’t make you a casualty of my life.” The reasoning makes sense, and while Luke goes on a rampage against his wedding ceremony chairs (I hope he knows he’s not getting that deposit back), Rayna gets in her car, sobs her heart out, and drives away. As she drives to who knows where, she looks—for the first time in a long time—at peace. She’s 100 percent sure about this decision, and it’s about time she knows who she is again.