Nashville – Reasons to Quit
By: Nicole Dintelman
This week “Nashville” ended Season Five with a lot of ups and downs. To begin with, Zach (Cameron Scoggins) decided to play hardball and turn out the lights. He’s just a little spoiled and thought a temper tantrum would make everyone see things his way. Too bad Deacon (Charles Esten) doesn’t play things like that. He’s a father of girls. He can deal with temper tantrums all day long! Jessie’s (Kaitlin Doubleday) ex-husband Brad (Jeffrey Nordling) wants to buy Highway 65, but Deacon knows that he has ulterior motives and immediately declines. Jessie is bringing her son to the office when she runs into Deacon leaving Brad’s office. She introduces Deacon and Jake (Myles Moore), who really doesn’t want to leave his mom, and Deacon tells her that he knows it’s not easy to leave him.
Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) is at home with no air conditioning when Avery (Jonathan Jackson) calls to check in. She tells him that she and Cadence are in the ninth circle of hell and the AC guy is taking forever fixing it. Groupie girl is licking her ice cream cone trying to turn Avery on while he’s on the phone. This girl just will not quit! When Deacon finds out about the power at the stuido he comes to the office and finds out the bank account has been emptied also. The office manager tells him the account is about to be overdrawn. Lori (Holly Morris) tells him that she might have an idea, just let her make a phone call.
Daphne (Maisey Stella) is getting ready to go to an end of the summer party. She’s totally stressed out because everyone who is anyone is going to be there. Deacon calls the girls and tells them to get over to Trax. Gary (Gary Nicholson) tells Deacon whatever he needs is his. Even Will (Chris Carmack) can’t reach Zach. Gunnar (Sam Palladio) is back and is out looking for Zach. Scarlett (Clare Bowen) didn’t know that Gunnar was back in town. Kacey Musgraves makes an appearance and tells Deacon that she’s going to start a protest. Lori tells Deacon that their credit card has also been declined. Zach is definitely a go big or go home guy, isn’t he?
The girls are all singing while everyone is setting Trax up as a makeshift Highway 65 office space. Deacon is still calling around looking for Zach when Jessie comes by with food and milkshakes. Daphne asks Maddie (Lennon Stella) what she thinks that their dad will do if Highway 65 has to shut down. Maddie tells her that she thinks that he’ll do what he did before. Daphne says that before he made music with their mom. Maddie tells her that he’ll still make music, just not with their mom. Daphne asks Maddie if she thinks that he’ll make music with someone else and Maddie tells her eventually. Daphne asks Maddie what she thinks of Jessie. Maddie tells her she doesn’t know yet.
Deacon tells the girls that Gunnar found Zach and he’ll be back. Deacon asks Zach what he’s doing. Zach tells Deacon that he tried to be nice, but when he’s pushed too far that ends. Zach says that he doesn’t ever lose and they’re going to watch while he holds the label down by the throat. Zach tells Deacon that he chose to have the fight and he wants every one of them to come begging for air. Deacon tells Zach he never realized how small he is. Deacon turns around to leave, but Zach keeps on trying to bait him. Deacon is the better – and bigger – man so he turns and leaves.
Glenn (Ed Amatrudo) tells Juliette that she deserves to be at the nomination party. He tells her to go over and congratulate Maddie and enjoy the party. As soon as Maddie sees Juliette she excuses herself. Deacon tells Daphne to tell her what’s going on right now. Daphne tells him that Maddie will kill her so she really doesn’t want to tell him. Finally, she gives in. Deacon goes after Juliette and tells her how disappointed he is in her. They’ve been through so much together and is appalled she would do something like that to her. They’re supposed to be family. Deacon tells Juliette that if there is still a label when everything is all over, she’s no longer a part of it.
Brad goes to see Zach and Alyssa (Rachel Bilson) to “negotiate.” He tells them that Zach has managed to create even more sympathy for Deacon, which he didn’t think was possible. Zach tells Brad that he did his research on him and knows that he’s an egotistical ass who masquerades as a nice guy. Brad asks Zach what his point is and tells Zach that he wants the end of Highway 65 to benefit both of them. Brad wants a multi-platform media company. He thinks they can do better than CMT.
Scarlett is dancing and having a great time when Gunnar comes in. He asks her if she wants to go for a walk. Scarlett tells him that The Bluebird asked them to play their anniversary show. Gunnar tells Scarlett that he’s ready to talk and he means really talk. Gunnar tells her that he doesn’t need her to carry him in the relationship anymore. He can stand on his own two feet. Daphne is at her pool party and sees Flynn (Ben Taylor) talking to another girl. Jake is also at the party, but Daphne’s friend thinks he’s creepy.
Avery calls Juliette and can immediately tell something is wrong. She tells him nothing is, but it’s obvious that something is up. She tells him nothing is wrong, but let’s face it this girl wears everything on her sleeve. Juliette tells him that she wishes he was home. Avery tells Juliette that Zach is in talks with Brad Maitland. He also tells her that he thinks it’s important that Deacon knows that they’re there for him. Groupie girl (okay, I’m sure she has a real name, but to us she will always be groupie girl.) is eavesdropping on Avery’s phone call as usual and offers him a beer. Juliette tells Avery that there has to be something they can do. Avery says that Brad and Zach deserve each other – “Two fame, ego driven jerks.” Juliette gets an idea and tells Avery that she’ll talk to him later. That idea is Mackenzie Rhodes (Amanda Brooks).
Groupie girl tells Avery that things must be bad. Avery tells her that he’s not going to keep to defending his relationship. Juliette makes him happy. Groupie girl tells him that she’s been in the business long enough to see the destruction that the Juliette’s of this world leave in their wake. She wonders why smart people want to be a part of that. Seriously, did someone ever bring us that slap-a-hoe hand we asked for last week? Avery tells her it’s not any of her business. AMEN! Avery, we could kiss you right now!
Flynn asks the girl he’s talking to if she’s seen Daphne and she says no then drags him off. Daphne gets the wrong idea and goes out front. Jake is out there by himself. He tells her that he knows 8th grade is going to suck. Jake says everyone is stupid, present company excluded. Gunnar and Scarlett are having a deep talk. Gunnar tells her that he’s always been afraid of being alone. Jessie picks up Jake and Daphne from the party. Daphne asks Jessie why Deacon couldn’t pick her up and Jessie says that a lawyer was coming by so she wanted to help out.
Will asks Zach what he’s supposed to do. He’s at Highway 65 trying to support his friends when basically his boyfriend is enemy numero uno. Zach tells Will that he did everything he could to avoid it and he didn’t ask for any of it. Will point blank tells Zach, “You’re being a real ass to people that I love.” Zach tells Will that he’s looking out for his future, he wouldn’t let anything bad happen to him. Zach throws it in Will’s face that he made him the Budweiser man. Zach tells Will that people accept him now for who he is. Will tells Zach that his friends have always loved and accepted him for who he is. Zach tells Will that he will call him later and Will tells him not to call him later.
At The Bluebird’s 35th Anniversary party, Alyssa is in the parking lot smoking a cigarette when Deacon arrives. She tells him that he can still make peace with Zach. Alyssa tells Deacon he needs to live in the real world. Sometimes people need to do things they don’t like. Alyssa tells Deacon that she’s looking out for her future and she doesn’t live in a fantasy world. Deacon says he’s looking out for people he cares about. Alyssa asks Deacon why he’s so impossible and he says because he believes in something.
Alyssa tells Deacon he doesn’t know what’s good for him. Deacon tells Alyssa to enlighten him on what’s good for him and then she kisses him. Well, we didn’t see that coming! Is she drunk? Alyssa tells Deacon that he looked like he needed it and it’s just her way. Gunnar tries to keep talking to Scarlett and she tells him that she can’t do this before their show. He tells her that it’s time that she realizes that not everything is his fault. No one has ever been good enough for her. She’s found faults in everyone that’s tried to love her. Gunnar tells Scarlett that he’s done trying with her.
Gunnar’s speech made for a very emotional Scarlett on stage. They sang a song about love and loss, which absolutely fits what they are currently going through. Hopefully, these two can eventually find their way back to each other. Zach gets a call from Mackenzie Brooks for a story she’s doing. Mackenzie tells him she’s fact checking some quotes from a source about a billionaire fanboy who’s destroying the legacy of Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton). Zach wants to know how she got his number. Mackenzie asks him if it’s true that he’s withholding funds, canceling ad campaigns and shutting off the power on his own employees. Zach asks her who her source is. Mackenzie tells Zach that she can’t reveal her source but she can quote them: “He’s an ineffective and temperamental leader. Working for Mr. Welles is like working for a spoiled six-year-old. He’s an outsider we wished would’ve just stayed out.” Zach tells her that she’s not printing that and he’s contacting his lawyer. When she hangs up, Mackenzie tells Juliette that is the weirdest thing she’s ever had to do. Mackenzie asks Juliette why she gave her all that information but she can’t print it. Juliette tells her not to worry she’ll be very happy with the story she can print.
Avery is in his room when Groupie girl comes by with sandwiches to apologize. She tells him that she has no right to project her beliefs onto him. ET comes on and the breaking news is that Juliette Barnes has withdrawn herself from her American Music Awards nomination. Mackenzie Rhodes broke a story that Juliette admitted that she recorded a song meant for Maddie. Avery immediately tries to call Juliette and she doesn’t answer so he starts packing. Groupie girl asks him what he’s doing and he tells her that he’s going home. She asks him if he’s serious. Groupie girl asks him if he’s going to clean up her mess again and Avery says that he thought she came there to apologize.
Groupie girl asks Avery if this is really what he wants the rest of his life. Avery tells her to book him a flight back to Nashville. Groupie girl tells Avery that with the storm the flights will be grounded. Avery says fine, get him a rental car. Groupie girl tells him it will take him forever to drive to Nashville. Avery tells her that he doesn’t care, he has to get home. This girl is desperate.
Daphne is tearing apart the couch. Deacon asks her if she’s building a fort. Daphne tells him no, she lost her phone and can’t find it anywhere. Deacon tells her that he’s sorry and asks her if she remembers the last time she saw it. Daphne says that she hopes that she didn’t leave it at the stupid party. Deacon asks her why the party was stupid. Daphne says it just reminds her how complicated 8th grade is going to be. Can we just stop a minute to wish we still had problems like these? Daphne asks Deacon why Jessie picked her up from the party. Deacon tells her that she was just doing him a favor. Daphne asks him if she’s going to be “around.” Deacon tells Daphne that he has her and Maddie and that’s all he needs. The love that Deacon has for his girls is infectious.
Jessie brings Daphne’s lost phone to Trax the next day. Jessie asks Deacon what’s next and he tells her Los Angeles. Jessie tells Deacon to wish Maddie luck for her. They hug goodbye and linger just a little bit too long exiting the embrace. They both wanted to kiss each other and, to be honest, we were totally shipping it! Zach is at the Highway 65 offices crying over spilled milk when Deacon arrives. Zach tells Deacon that he could sue him for what he wants to put out in the press. Zach says no one has ever treated him this way. Deacon tells Zach he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Zach says he’s not an idiot and tells Deacon not to lie to him. Zach asks Deacon if he thinks he can run this company without him. Zach tells Deacon that he feels sorry for Rayna that she only had Deacon to depend on. We have to give props to Deacon right now for not knocking Zach on his ass right here. The old Deacon would have. Deacon tells Zach that he has a question for him. He asks Zach if all of this is a smokescreen. Deacon says if it’s not he’d be gone back to L.A. by now. Zach says it’s because he doesn’t lose. Deacon tells Zach he thinks it’s because he’s lonely and that’s why he’s still there.
Deacon asks Zach if he’s been happy feeling like he’s been part of a family. Zach says it’s a family that betrayed him. Deacon tells him they didn’t betray him, they disagreed with him. Deacon says it doesn’t have to end. Zach has more money than he’ll ever need, why not let himself be happy? Zach asks Deacon if he should just let it be charity. Deacon tells him no, a partnership. Deacon wants to work together, make decisions together. Zach asks Deacon if he expects him to accept that. Deacon tells him that he thinks he already does.
Scarlett goes to see Juliette and tells her that Mackenzie called her and told her what she did. Scarlett tells her it means alot to everyone that she sacrificed herself to try and save Highway 65. Juliette says that she keeps trying to go back in time and not do what she did. Scarlett says that she might have made up for it now. Juliette says that she thinks she’s doomed forever. Juliette decides to watch Maddie on the AMA’s that night. She apparently likes to torture herself.
Maddie performing on such a big stage is reminiscent of her mom. She looks radiant. Scarlett gets the rest of her stuff from Gunnar’s. Zach is still trying to decide on the future of Highway 65 and his place. Katy Perry wins the award for Favorite Song, but Maddie is still thrilled. Avery arrives home and Juliette is so relieved and happy to see him. Deacon and the girls rent a car to drive home from L.A. If you remember, Rayna did the same thing not long before he death. Deacon asks Maddie how she feels and she tells him: “Free.”
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