YOU GUYS. I can't even. Everything is horrible. The Nashville finale has left me too emotionally distraught to write this recap, which may be the stupidest thing I've ever said.
UGH, okay. So, everything in this episode happens in really quick succession and jumps around a lot, because the whole thing is designed to make you feel like you're the sex tape SD card that Jolene put in the garbage disposal. And speaking of that, the police are trying to figure out why Jolene killed Dante, and the best they can come up with is "lover's quarrel." Juliette quite mysteriously just seems to think her mom got all crazy and fell off the wagon, and even goes to the CMAs to collect the award she's pretty sure she won. Glen and Marshall show up in her dressing room and are like, "Ummmm… are you SURE that you want to be here?" And then she gets so crazed that she loses her southern accent for a minute before leaving to go sit by Jolene's casket and make us all terribly sad. Rayna shows up at Jolene's burial and she and Juliette actually bond (in sadness!). Avery also makes an appearance, and Juliette enlists his help in having a memorial at the Bluebird. Somewhere along the way, she gets the mangled SD card from the cops investigating the murder, as well as a letter in the mail from Jolene (written before she died, not from beyond the grave… even though ghosts might be a twist we can predict for Season 3) explaining that she did this to protect Juliette. First of all, how could Juliette not realize that Jolene killing Dante was for her benefit? And second, Hayden Panettiere is amazing, per usual. We'll get to the memorial in a minute.
And THEN. You guys. Ugh. I can't even talk about it. But it is my professional duty, so I have to solider forth. Rayna tells the girls that she and Deacon are boyfriend-girlfriend, and while Daphne is typically cute about it, Maddie makes some snarky comments rooted in her paternity discovery. She shows up at Deacon's door to say she thinks he's her dad. Deacon was supposed to pick Rayna up for the CMAs, but didn't. He shows up just in time to play with her and Brad Paisley for their big CMA number, but barely will look at her, except with a sidelong scornful glance. Backstage he confronts Rayna about what Maddie told him, and she admits that it's the truth. He… doesn't take it so well. She tries to impart that he wasn't exactly suited to be a father at that particular time (noting that he broke all of her furniture, assumedly in a drunken rage), and that she and Teddy did what they thought was best for Maddie. She adds that Cole thought it would be best if she cut Deacon loose, so he could get sober. Way to make him distrust his sponsor in this relapse-laden time! Deacon freaks and walks out just before Rayna has to go on stage and present an award. Awesome.
Rayna leaves the CMAs and calls Teddy so they can have an emergency intervention with Maddie. She's packing and wants to go live with Teddy, and blames Rayna for everything. (Though eventually, after a good heart to heart, she comes around a little.) And then… NOOOOOO! Deacon is at a bar. He asks the bartender to turn off the CMAs. He looks at his drink for a long moment, and then drinks it. NOOOOOOO! And then he asks the bartender for another. NOOOOOOOO! I mean, we all know this was probably going to happen, but didn't you still hope it wouldn't? Ugh. Rayna goes to see Cole, telling him what happened and that she can't get in touch with Deacon and has a bad feeling. Good instincts, since Deacon has passed out in a dive bar booth. He then proceeds to attack Teddy right in front of City Hall, which, bad call. Gunnar later spots him puking off the side of his own porch, unable to get into his own house. He calls Scarlett to call Cole, who manages to ward off Deacon's attacks until he passes out. When Deacon wakes up, he says he's going to go to a meeting, but once Cole leaves he proceeds to wash down some Advil with a bottle of brown liquor. Juliette calls to ask if he'll attend Jolene's memorial at the Bluebird. He does, and when Rayna spots him there she follows him outside. He doesn't want to talk, but she realizes he's drunk and won't let him drive.
And then, you guys, it's the worst. All we hear is Juliette's song as we see Rayna driving and Deacon drinking and the two of them screaming at each other. And screaming at each other some more. And drinking and screaming and ugh. And now the times when I'd see them together and think, "TRUE LOVE!" are but a distant memory. Whyyyyyyyyy. And then Rayna tries to grab the bottle from Deacon, and a car crosses their path and they flip over in their giant stupid vehicle and that is the END OF THE SEASON. So, I mean, obviously they are going to live since they are the stars of the show, but everything is ruined, for always. I was actually relieved when the car crashed, just because it meant we wouldn't have to look at them screaming at each other anymore. Douchey Teddy isn't looking so bad now, right? AND -- may I point out -- none of this would have happened if Rayna had just gone ahead and boned Liam in St. Lucia. Ugh. Help. I am not going to go so far as to put a frowny face emoticon in this recaplet, even though it's a struggle not to.
Speaking of Teddy, the feds are looking into the Cumberland deal again, which, snore. Peggy didn't give them any info, because she's preggers. You know she showed him a sonogram which -- while inconclusive of the baby's sex -- showed a prominently placed beret atop its head. Also, thirteen years later we'll find out that Deacon is Beret Junior's father. Lamar demotes Tandy and she quits. Gunnar comes clean with his producer, who is like, "What's so wrong with just pretending to be an outlaw?" Despite Gunnar returning back to his former self, Scarlett is still unsure about their relationship. She has lunch with Avery and goes to see him perform, and doesn't even protest when he brings her on stage. Gunnar, who's been tipped off by Will, sees them. At the end of the episode he proposes to her, but we don't see her answer. And Will is REALLY committed to the closet, even going so far as to bang chicks in his wood-paneled apartment.
Oh! And Juliette won the CMA Award. I'm sure in Season 2 she'll use it to club somebody to death in self defense.
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Previously: Jolene got real, real high and shot Dante so she could pat down his corpse and get an SD card with Juliette's sex tape on it. Scarlett bailed Gunnar out of jail before basically telling him she was all set with his outlaw fakery and, perhaps, their relationship. Ooooh, and many episodes ago Rayna and Deacon had it out on his steps, and she reminded him of the days when she had to drag him out of hotel rooms because he was so wasted she didn't know if he was dead. Foreshadowing alert! Maddie found a paternity test indicating that Teddy was not her father. What could be worse than that, you may wonder? How about: being Juliette, who found her mom dead from an overdose on the couch.
We open in the court house, where a police detective tells Juliette that they're still going through Jolene's apartment and will hopefully find something to shed some light on what happened. He confirms that they found Oxy in the apartment, as well as a few vials of coke on Dante. The guy adds that Dante turned out to be a pretty lousy sober companion. And a pretty lousy human, I would add. The detective thinks that the murder-suicide might have been a drug deal gone bad or, more likely, a lovers' quarrel. Juliette, who is red-eyed, puffy-faced and without makeup, says that she wasn't aware of a romantic relationship between the two but wouldn't put it past them. She learns that, with the autopsy complete, Jolene's body will be released to the funeral home, and then walks out into a swarm of paparazzi.
At home, Rayna cooks with the girls and turns off the news report about the "drug-fueled murder-suicide." She says that it's awful, and Daphne adds that she feels sorry for Juliette. Rayna notes that no matter how old you are, it's a terrible thing to lose your mother. A sullen Maddie adds, "OR YOUR FATHER." Um, hint. Rayna, who apparently has not discovered the busted-open box of secrets in the bottom of her closet, says that the girls won't be losing her or Teddy anytime soon. Daphne guesses that Juliette won't go to the CMAs, which allows Rayna to segue into an awkward family conversation. She says that "Uncle Deacon" has asked her to go as his date to the CMAs because they're seeing each other. Cute-as-ever Daphne asks if that means he's her boyfriend, and Rayna says that they care a lot about each other, so she guesses so. Daphne adds a very teenage, "Duuuuhhhh." Rayna wants to know how the girls feel about this news, especially since they'll be photographed and whatnot at the CMAs. They both say that they like Deacon, though Maddie is of course more sullen about it. She tells Daphne that Rayna and Deacon used to date. Daphne asks when they dated, and Maddie pipes in with, "Right before she married dad." Rayna gives her a little look and sends them off to school, but neglects to run to the bottom shelf of her closet and get wise to what's actually going on here. Context clues, people! Use them!