While Rayna deals with the two unreliable men in her life, both Scarlett and Avery make decisions about their futures
Credit: ABC/Mark Levine
S4 E10
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I’m going to warn you right now: if you’re still Team Deacon, you might not like what I have to say about tonight’s events. Fair enough? Alright then, on with the show!

Tonight’s fall finale, “We’ve Got Nothing but Love to Prove,” essentially takes place over a single night in Nashville. Markus is having an album-release show, Deacon is opening the Beverly, Will is writing with Wade, and Avery is, you know, saying nasty things about Juliette.

Let’s start with Markus. After weeks of ego, he’s suddenly freaking out when confronted with the release of his album. He’s worried about people not taking him seriously as a country artist, and when a reporter asks him that very question, it only exacerbates his anxiety. Thankfully, the Queen of Calm and Reason, Rayna Jaymes, is there to give him a pep talk and get him back on board, at least for tonight.

While Rayna is working to get her label to the next level, Luke’s lifestyle brand is potentially getting knocked down a few pegs. The IRS visits him and Gabriella, and they inform Luke that Hoffman has been embezzling money from him for years, so much so that Luke owes the government $40 million in back taxes.

Meanwhile, it’s Avery’s turn in the Nashville rotation of “be upset about everything in your life.” First, he sees that Juliette is getting some Oscar buzz for her film role and gets mad when he sees Cadence “recognize” her on TV. Then, when Emily comes clean about Juliette by saying that it looks like she’s getting real help for her sickness, he lashes out and fires her. Not cool, dude.

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Back at the outdoor show, Rayna gives one final pep talk to Markus as he prepares to perform in front of thousands of people. After a brief introduction from Rayna, he gets on stage and, according to everyone, nails it. I thought his rock voice sounded pretty thin, but hey, what do I know? Cash, Frankie’s daughter — who later connects with Maddie — leans over to tell Deacon that it’s good, so I guess it’s good.

With that show done and done, let’s check in with Gunnar and Scarlett. They’re back from their tour, and while Gunnar is just basking in glow of the whole experience, Scarlett is reluctant to go home and see Caleb. That’s understandable, considering where they left things.

Still, she does go home, and Caleb reveals that he’s been offered a job in Seattle as the head of his own department. The next morning Scarlett tells him that she can’t leave Nashville. He says that he knows, and that since he doesn’t want to leave her, he’ll turn down the job. Scarlett is getting everything she wants…or is she?

NEXT: I’d rather be me than you

After a successful show and an album going platinum off downloads, Markus wants to show his appreciation to Rayna. He gives her a nice view of Nashville and opens a bottle of champagne, toasting their success. Then he makes a big mistake and goes for a kiss, insisting the two have chemistry. Rayna shuts him down immediately and leaves, completely baffled that he didn’t get the message.

Back at their house the next morning, Deacon brings Rayna breakfast in bed. When she tells him about Markus’ kiss, he flies off the handle because that’s what Deacon does. His first words: “Where is he? What hotel is he staying at?” Seriously, Deacon?

Then, when Rayna has to go see Markus at the hotel because he’s cancelling his tour, Deacon freaks out and says that Rayna is choosing him once again. It’s BEYOND RIDICULOUS. Deacon is a stupid, stupid man if he can’t see that Rayna needs to deal with this mess, that it means everything to her and her label.

Anyways, Rayna heads to the hotel and begs Markus to stay, saying that they were just starting to see the rewards of all their hard work. He refuses, though, saying that his band is getting back together and there’s nothing that could be done. Seriously, that’s how we’re going to end this story line? Seems a little contrived to me, especially when you couple it with what happens at the end of the episode.

Meanwhile, Luke’s officially lost everything he had. The news of his back taxes gets out, he loses his sponsorships, loses Gabriella, and Colt forcefully turns him away. The guy can’t catch a break, but it’s hard to blame Colt. His father only came running once he lost everything else.

While Luke loses everything, Will at least gains back some self respect. After working with Wade at his home, while his family is away for the weekend, he has some success songwriting. Then, Wade makes a move on him, and Will shuts him down. He asks how Wade could have stayed in the closet all these years, and the country legend chastises him for not doing the same. That’s when Will delivers one hell of a line: “I’d rather be me than you.” Yes!

As for Avery, once he’s given hell by Will and Gunnar for firing Emily, he gets his head on straight. He tells Emily that he’ll agree to Cadence having supervised visits with Juliette. He’s not ready to give up sole custody, but at least this way Juliette can start to prove herself and maybe get healthy.

Everything else comes to a head when Deacon opens the Beverly. After he plays a set, he totally shuns Rayna, and when they talk outside, he criticizes her for being so close to Markus and then says it’s good that he’s not touring for Highway 65. Guess I have to say it again: Deacon is the worst.

The Beverly is also where Scarlett finally makes her decision. While Gunnar says they can make the band work somehow if she’s in Seattle, she realizes she’s not madly in love with Caleb. She breaks up with him and tells him that he needs someone willing to follow him anywhere. She’s not wrong; they’ve been an awkward fit ever since they got together.

Alright, onto the episode’s final big moment. Deacon eventually catches up with Rayna and apologizes for his behavior and for the tough loss to her label. He says he just got so jealous of her making music with Markus, that he remembers when it was them doing the recording. It’s a solid reason for his ridiculous behavior, but I’m still not happy with him.

Anyways, after the apology he says he wants to start over. He gets down on one knee and proposes, and after Rayna says yes, they both seem genuinely happy. I’ll be honest, though: After everything that came before it, it left me kind of cold. How did y’all feel about the proposal? About Deacon’s apology? And where do you see the show going when it returns?

See you all in a few months!

Episode Recaps

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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