Nashville – New Strings
By: Nicole Dintelman
“Nashville” is back for it’s 6th and final season. The episode opens with the Claybourne clan taking Christmas pictures after Christmas. During the photoshoot, Maddie (Lennon Stella) gets a call from Bucky (David Alford). They want her to play at the Staples Center in LA for a benefit concert. It will also put her away for New Years. Deacon (Charles Esten) agrees reluctantly but only after sending Scarlet (Clare Bowen) to chaperone.
Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) is freaking out about her New Years party that she’s planning. She also has a kick off to her tour coming up. We all know Juliette doesn’t do well under a lot of pressure. Avery (Jonathan Jackson) seems rather helpless in all that is going on. Avery thinks they should postpone everything and Glen (Ed Amatrudo) tells him he’s crazy. Gunnar (Sam Palladio), complete with a new blonde hairdo, is playing basketball with Will (Chris Carmack). He too has a performance coming up that he’s nervous about. This is his first performance without Scarlet.
Zach (Cameron Scroggins) shows up to Juliette’s show with boyfriend in tow. He makes it a point to rub it in Will’s face. Deacon has even come to support Juliette. She takes the stage and is singing a beautiful ballad when she notices some signs in the crowd. The fans are calling her a “fraud” and a “backstabber.” Why you would pay that much for a concert ticket just to heckle the entertainment is beyond us.
Juliette can’t take the signs and booing so she stops the show. She has a meltdown on stage. Someone yells out that she’s a fake and she responds with they don’t know how real she is. Juliette says she wants what everybody wants. She wants people to love her. Avery and Deacon are backstage in disbelief of what’s happening. Juliette tells the audience that she just needs to stop and walks off stage. We’re thinking this tour kickoff was a bust.
The next morning, Avery asks Juliette what’s going on. Juliette tells him that the past two months of her life have been a living hell. She just wants to be left alone. Avery tells her that he’s there for her. Will drops off Scarlet’s sunglasses for her trip. He asks her if he can come with and she tells him he can go instead of her. Scarlet asks Will how Gunnar is doing. Will tells her that he’s not the Postal Service and if they want to know about each other they can ask each other.
Maddie is packing for her trip with Daphne (Maisy Stella) shouting out who’s going to be at the show she’s playing. She then comes across a name, Jonah Ford (Nic Luken). This is exciting news for Daphne and she asks Maddie if she can come along. Maddie tells her that she needs to stay with Deacon so he’s not alone. Daphne says that Deacon will be fine, but Maddie really wants to make this trip on her own. Well, with Scarlet also. No room for little sisters on this trip.
Scarlet comes to pick up Maddie and asks Deacon if he’s okay. There are a ton of dishes in the sink so she’s worried. Scarlet asks him if he thinks he should start dating. Deacon tells her that he doesn’t need to kiss anyone at midnight. He’s a grown man and he’s very busy. Avery convinced Juliette to take a vacation without Cadence. They’re only three hours away but at least she’s away from the chaos.
Juliette sleeps most of the day and when she wakes up in the middle of the night she heads down to the hotel lobby. She meets a man who strikes up a conversation with her. Yes, he’s a bit weird. Okay, he’s a lot weird. He tells Juliette that he’s someone on her journey, but does not tell her his name. This guy seems to be up to something.
Gunnar is rehearsing with the band for his show. He lets Will go first and instantly regrets it. (We have to say the music on the new season is outstanding!) Gunnar feels like he can’t follow Will. Will tells him that he’s a performer, Gunner connects with the audience. Will says that he can just pretend that he’s up there with him.
Maddie arrives for her show at The Staples Center and gets eyes made at her by Jonah Ford. He introduces her as a personal favorite of his. Sounds like Maddie has an admirer. Maddie sings one of her new songs with Jonah looking on from backstage. Jonah has to greet fans, however, his gaze doesn’t leave Maddie the entire time.
After the show, Jonah introduces himself to Maddie. He lets it slip that he’s the one that got her on the ticket. Jonah tells her that he loves her EP and Maddie tells him that Daphne is his biggest fan. Jonah asks for Maddie’s number so she can meet him at the studio the next day. Once he’s gone, Scarlet expresses her disapproval. She wants to know how many people it takes to make one person feel important. We were wondering that too Scarlet!
Juliette is up again in the middle of the night, but this time she’s watching TV. She sees a commercial with the mystery man from the lobby. His name is Darius Enright (Josh Stamberg). The commercial really speaks to Juliette. To us, it looks like Darius runs a cult. Move over Scientology, here comes the philosophical movement!
Scarlet is walking around L.A. when she sees a couple singing on the street and it instantly makes her think of Gunnar. She picks up the phone to call him but instead removes him from her favorites. Back in Nashville, Daphne asks Deacon if he’s lonely. She tells him it’s his first year without Rayna. Deacon assures her that he’s going to be fine. Deacon gets a call from Scarlet telling him that he’s now number one on her favorites.
Glen tells Avery that a radio host wants Juliette to come on her show and tell her side of the story. Glen asks Avery if he’s ever heard of Darius Enright. Avery asks if that’s the guy from the TV commercials. Glen says that he left a message wanting to get in touch with Juliette. She asks what time he called and Glen tells her 2:02 am. That’s significant because it’s the exact time she woke up in the hotel. It is also the time she saw the commercial on TV.
Maddie shows up at the studio to meet up with Jonah. He, however, is a no-show. Stand up guy right there. Maddie sends him a text thanking him for the heads up. He wants to meet with her the following day and she does the mature thing and tells him no. Juliette calls Darius back asking him what he wants. Juliette asks him if he was following her. She wants to know why he was at the hotel. He tells her that their meeting was no coincidence. Darius says that she needs his help. He wants to help her change her life.
Zach and Deacon are meeting at a function. Zach says that he’s surprised that Deacon took Juliette back on the label. Deacon says that they’re not going to talk about that. Zach agrees to keep it positive. So he asks Deacon if he has plans for New Years. Deacon tells him he doesn’t want to hear it from him too. He proceeds to tell Zach all about how the girls want him to start dating again. Zach says that women would be lining up all over the city if he decided to get back out there. Deacon tells him that it all seems complicated. With all of the match dot whatever and timber. Deacon has jokes.
Brad (Jeffrey Nordling) interrupts their conversation. He says he just wanted to offer his condolences on Juliette’s meltdown. Brad tells Deacon that his date wants to meet him. He says that he doesn’t understand why she wants to meet a dinosaur but women want what they want. Man, someone needs to deck this guy. When he leaves, Zach tells Deacon that Brad is a tool. Interesting. We guess it takes a tool to know a tool? Okay, maybe Zach will be better this season.
Maddie and Scarlet are eating ice cream in their hotel room. Maddie asks Scarlet if she misses Gunnar. Scarlet tells her no, she misses herself. Maddie says that she just wants to go home. Gunnar is rehearsing and has to take a break. He can’t get over Scarlet. He tells Will that “it’s” gone. Will asks him if he even knows what “it” is. Will says that he’s not the one that Gunnar should be talking to about confidence. He tells Gunnar that he saw Zach and Mark the other night. Will says that he and Gunnar are pathetic.
Juliette goes to the church of what’s happening now to meet with Darius. This whole situation is just strange. Darius starts telling her a story about the “She Bible” he has in a case. Juliette tells him that her manager says that he’s running a cult. Darius says it’s not a cult. It’s a place for her to find her true self. Darius says that Juliette is lost. He asks her if she’s a good mother. She replies with “Yes, I’m a damn good mother.”
Darius asks the question again. He tells Juliette to close her eyes and count to ten before answering. Juliette starts to cry. Darius says the celebrity she’s been chasing is diminishing her true personality. He tells Juliette he wants her to join them. Okay, no matter how this guy spins this, it sounds like a cult. He gives her a homework assignment. After she completes it she’ll be ready for the next step.
Jonah shows up at Maddie’s hotel with flowers to apologize. He wants to make it up to her and offers to fly her home to Nashville. Only if she’ll have dinner with him. Maddie looks to Scarlet and Scarlet shakes her head in approval. Guess her opinion has changed. Maddie accepts his proposal.
Juliette goes on the radio show and the host is throwing so much shade you’d think it’s dark in the room. The host asks Juliette if it’s safe to call her “the Kanye of Country.” Juliette tells her to play nice. The host keeps probing her with difficult questions. She brings up Juliette stealing Maddie’s song, wants to know what is going to happen with Highway 65, and what is the status of her tour.
Juliette starts to fly off the handle then does what Darius told her and calms down. She then says that she struggles with depression. She’s been having a hard time lately. Juliette says that there may be a lot of listeners that know what it feels like. She says that she’s trying to get it under control. Until it is Juliette is putting her tour on hold. Both Avery and Glen are surprised by this news.
Gunnar goes on stage to perform at the New Years show. Will can see him struggling so he joins him on stage. Gunnar has never been a solo performer, it’s natural for him to struggle. Will gives Gunnar the confidence he needs to continue with the show. Scarlet, home from L.A., is going through a box of memories. There are pictures of her with a horse which make her smile.
Maddie has dinner with Jonah and seems to really enjoy the date. It will be interesting to see what happens with these two. Deacon is setting up an online dating profile. Well, trying to anyway. He gives up before he finishes and heads downstairs to find the girls ready to ring in the New Year.
Everyone rings in the new year surrounded by their family. Juliette and Avery ring it in with Cadence by their side. Deacon is surrounded by his girls, exactly where he should be. Gunnar and Will are on stage together when the countdown begins. Before the night is over, Juliette makes a phone call. She calls Darius and tells him she’s ready. Hopefully, this won’t be a call she comes to regret.