Spoiler alert: This post contains plot from the Feb. 22 mid-season finale of Nashville.

If you thought Nashville was going to slow things down for its final season, think again. In the show’s midseason finale, Deacon made the mistake of putting his hands on Brad, which will surely bring him legal trouble. And then there’s Will, whose steroid use caused him to collapse mid-performance in the episode’s final moments. “It certainly plays a bigger part in the second half [of the season] because now it’s an active issue in his life that he’s got to deal with,” showrunner Marshall Herskovitz says of Will. “He can’t avoid it anymore, and it has an impact on the lives of the people around him as well. That’s something we’re going to play.”

But Will won’t be the only one dealing with his issues when the show returns for its final eight episodes, starting Thursday, June 7 at 9 p.m. ET. As for Deacon and Jessie, Herskovitz says, “I think it’s clear they’re going to be tested. What you see in this finale, what I feel really good about is that, in some ways, it’s inevitable. Because of the particular character of Deacon, the particular character of Jessie, and the particular character of Brad, it was inevitable that this would happen. So it wasn’t manufactured, and it wasn’t manipulated; it sort of came out of who they are.”

And yet, Deacon will have someone else to worry about besides Brad. Nashville has cast Ronny Cox in the role of Gideon, Deacon’s father. “As soon as I heard we could maybe get Ronny Cox, that was it. I had no idea he was such a great musician. It’s a thrill for us to have him be able to sing and play on the show,” Herskovitz says. “He’s just the perfect person to play Deacon’s dad because as we’ve heard about this man, in the past, he was brutal, he was mean, he was a horrible father, and yet Deacon hasn’t seen him in a long time, and people change. One of the things that fascinates us as writers is: To what extent can people change? What does change look like? How is Deacon going to handle the father he has now versus the father he remembers from 30 years ago? That’s at the core of that story, and that’s why having somebody who’s as wonderful an actor as Ronnie Cox is such a gift for us.”

The show is also adding Mia Maestro in the recurring role of Rosa. Rosa is a dedicated follower of Darius’ moment who starts to have doubts. “I can’t say much about that except since she is one of the followers of the movement in Bolivia,” Herskovitz says, adding, “That tells you we’re going to Bolivia.”

Credit: Courtesy CMT

And based on the teaser trailer above, it looks like Juliette might be wanting out of the movement. “I think it’s safe to say that Juliette’s coming back,” Herskovitz says. “What happens when she comes back, what she’s like when she comes back, I cannot talk about, but I think it’s going to be a great ride.”

Fans will have their questions answered by Thursday, July 26, which is when Nashville will air its series finale.

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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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