‘Nashville’ Season 3, Episode 20 – Recap & Discussion Post!

Welcome back to Nashville! We start with Rayna checking in with Deacon from her private jet. She’s headed to close a new distribution deal, and he jokes about having forgotten that the girls have school before reassuring her all is well on the home front. Rayna hates leaving Deacon behind, but he’s all about her not sacrificing her label to look after him. Rayna tells Deacon she’ll be landing in New York soon, except we find out from the flight attendant that she’s actually headed to Biloxi, Mississippi. Now isn’t that Deacon’s hometown? No wonder the “previously on…” featured Scarlet’s mom Beverly.

Avery arrives at what appears to be a Juliette rehearsal grousing about her not having told him about it. Juliette is immediately defensive about how she may be a mom but she also needs to sing, when Avery tells her the reason he’s mad that she called a band rehearsal without telling him is that he’s a member of her band. Chagrined, Juliette admits she thought he was going to tell her to go home, and Avery assures her again that there’s room for her to be Juliette Barnes, singer, and a mom, it’s just about finding a balance. He just asks that next time, she schedule a band rehearsal when the whole family’s going to be awake. She agrees, but that’s before Manager Glenn arrives to tell her they’ve got a problem.

Meanwhile, Blandly Cute Young Dr. Caleb, who just woke up, is teasing Scarlett (who’s apparently been up a while) about how he thought musicians got up after doctors. Turns out she and Gunnar have a radio interview to go to. BCY Dr. Caleb is fine with all this, and as Scarlett prepares to head out, he mentions a hospital staff dinner at a country club. He wasn’t going to mention it to Scarlett, figuring she’s over the doctor scene, but Scarlett’s up for it. Which means something will come up with Gunnar and she won’t show up to the dinner, right?

Gunnar is headed out the door with guitar in hand when he finds Kylie waiting at the doorstep. She’d love to see Micah, and has no idea that he’s in Texas with her parents. Hey, so we haven’t forgotten about Micah! Well that’s good. While we’re at it, whatever happened to Terry, Scarlett’s homeless friend? We’re not just going to treat him as a plot device used to help transition Scarlett back into an on stage role, are we? Anyway, back to the show, Gunnar lays into Kylie for her lies about Micah’s paternity and her neglect of her son, and informs her that there’s nothing she could say to deserve forgiveness. It’s too early in the episode for this, so it’s going to turn out that there is something she could say to deserve forgiveness. But for now, Gunnar tells a teary Kylie that he wants her gone by the time he gets back.

Over to L.A., where a shirtless Luke is enjoying a “beach” view. He’s at Jade’s place, and as he heads down the stairs (fully clothed) to greet her, we see that her place is overrun by people setting up for a giant party that includes “aerial silk dancers,” a giant inanimate sea horse, and bubbles. Banter about her lifestyle ensues, and Luke and Jade sneak away for some alone time.

Meanwhile Layla going through her suitcase and grousing to a completely unsympathetic Jeff about how she has nothing to wear to Jade’s party. She wants to hire a stylist, which Jeff points out is expensive, to say nothing of the clothes the atylist would pick out. Layla won’t understand why Jeff won’t go after it – she killed it at the Staples Center and wants to capitalize on the buzz and be “seen.” But Jeff thinks she doesn’t need Jade and she can choose her own destiny. Well, Layla still has big stars in her eyes, and tells Jeff they’re going shopping.

We rejoin Juliette at the Highway 65 offices, where Manager Glenn and Bucky inform her that not a single promoter is interested in booking her for an arena tour. She doesn’t have any buzz from the CMAs, she hasn’t toured in a year and even then, she was struggling with arena sales. Bucky says they need to book her in some smaller venues, working on getting new music out there, and give it time. Juliette takes this in her usual calm, dispassionate manner, telling Bucky to go to hell.

Deacon arrives home and hear something in the house. Thinking it’s Scarlett, he asks why she isn’t at her radio interview and heads to her room to talk to her. Except…it’s Maddie rebuttoning her buttondown shirt from her school uniform…as Colt puts on his own. Awkward!

Meanwhile, Rayna makes her way into a diner, where nobody seems to recognize her until Beverly walks up with a perky greeting before realizing who she is.

Colton has quickly gathered his things and is yelling about how this isn’t Maddie’s fault and she didn’t even want to and can they please talk as a fearsome Deacon chases him out of his house. Maddie cries and apologizes as Deacon reminds her that she was doing this in his house, to which he had given her a key as a sign of trust. Deacon tells her to gather her things and get in his car.

Back in Biloxi, Beverly knows exactly why Rayna’s there, and her answer to Deacon is still no. Rayna says Deacon doesn’t know she’s there, that he’s too proud to beg, but Rayna’s not. Beverly protests that Deacon and Scarlett called her saying they wanted to be a family again, then went right back to ignoring her when she said no. Oh honey, that’s the writers more than Scarlett and Deacon ;) Rayna reminds Beverly that Deacon and Scarlett wanted to depend on her for a lot of things, but she wasn’t there. Beverly disagrees, but Rayna is ready with memories of Deacon calling Beverly from rehab and Beverly never visiting and talk of how Scarlett was left to fend for herself. Beverly protests that she was sick, and Rayna concedes that but says she’s not sick and this is a chance for her to make things right. Beverly is having none of it though. As she walks away, she flashes back to packing up the pickup truck with Deacon and heading off excitedly together to Nashville with dreams in their eyes. So maybe she will come around?

Juliette barges into Deacon’s place looking for Rayna, and Deacon greets her by asking her when girls start having sex. Juliette is taken aback, but understanding when Deacon fills her in on Maddie. Deacon knows this is an important moment that he has to be able to handle correctly. Juliette offers to talk to Maddie. Deacon doesn’t want to pass the buck, but Juliette tells Deacon she can be somewhat of a cautionary tale.

Gunnar arrives late for the radio interview, and when Scarlett tells him he’s late, he tells her Kylie showed up and that he kicked her out. He’s not sure if he should tell the Brenners or Micah, but there’s no time for that because the radio people are ready for them. Scarlett asks Gunnar if he’s OK to do this because they can postpone, but Gunnar wants to get it over with.

Jade and Luke are strolling hand in hand around her palatial estate with fountain, bantering about romantic comedies. He claims never to have seen Notting Hill and his idea of romance is Shawshank Redemption. After some cooing about how happy she is he’s there because he helps remind her to breath (with Luke observing that based on the past few days, he sees why she’d need the reminder), this ends with him quoting a line from Notting Hill, Jade pushing him out of mock offense at his lies, and Luke jumping into the pool.

Back at the WZPZ 103.8FM Nashville, Gunnar & Scarlett are performing “Follow Your Heart,” cowritten by Jill Andrews and Claire Guerreso, a pretty and uplifting folky number. Gosh, their harmonies really are lovely. The radio personnel are impressed, and mention they’ve been courted by every label in town. Gunnar admits they’ve had a few meetings (so no return to Highway 65, I guess?). After their interview, Scarlett asks Gunnar if he wants to get coffee and talk, but Gunnar declines.

Looks like Maddie didn’t wind up at school, because she’s weeping in her bedroom at Casa James when Juliette knocks. Maddie wants to know if Deacon called Juliette and Juliette chuckles that she’s the last person anybody’d call to give a young girl advice. But she’s here as a friend, she says. Maddie tells her she and Colt weren’t even having sex, that they wouldn’t have gone that far. But now Deacon’s not talking to her and her mom’s going to freak and she’ll never be able to see Colt again and…it’s the end of the world, basically. Juliette hugs her and says they have a lot in common – they’re both talented (said with a knowing smirk), they both have big dreams, and they both started early. She says it’s a dangerous combination. Maddie asks Juliette if she thinks Maddie should wait to have sex. Juliette says she’d be a hypocrite to put it that way, but she does hope that whenever Maddie does choose to start, she does it for the right reasons. Maddie says Juliette’s going to be an amazing mom, and Juliette smiles wanly.

Teddy’s on a call after a golf date with Buchanan (Steve of the Grand Ole Opry Group & Nashville executive production team?), laughing away and making plans to postpone a call until Monday. He gets another call, and this time it’s Natasha. She’s still in Nashville, and she basically warns Teddy that she set him up. Well, that’s nice of her, I guess?

Back to L.A., where a Poseidon/sea-themed party is on at Jade’s, complete with live mermaids and an octopus drink dispenser. Layla arrives and loves it. Jeff does not. Layla goes to try to talk to Jade, and is blocked by bouncers.

Rayna has followed Beverly, and confronts her again, this time with news that Deacon was in the hospital last week for what turned out to be a non-transplant. Beverly says if they found 1 donor, they’ll find another, but Rayna reports growth in his tumor that doesn’t give them much time at all. Rayna herself is not a match and Maddie’s too young to be a donor. You can see Beverly softening, and Rayna reminds her that when she 1st met them, Beverly and her brother were so close. We flash back to footage of Deacon and Beverly singing at the Bluebird – they’re performing a bluesy tune called “Trouble,” cowritten in real life by Nicolle Galyon and Chris Roberts. Rayna begs Beverly to at least think about it.

Juliette arrives back downstairs to assure Deacon that Maddie and Colt did not have sex. Deacon is relieved, but Juliette reminds him it’s a matter of time. Deacon jokes that he’ll just pray that time’s not for many, many years, and hugs Juliette to thank her for her help. Juliette says Deacon can repay her in 15 years when her daughter needs that conversation. “15 years, huh,” Deacon muses, before informing Juliette that there’s something he needs to tell her.

Teddy is gazing at his passport, and based on the calm, competent way he’s handled his situation over the past several episodes, he’s going to be arrested in the most embarrassing way possible.

Back at Rayna’s, Juliette is weeping and defiant over Deacon’s news, and Deacon comforts her. Their conversation is yet another moment in this show that proves that what it does best is friendship. Deacon wryly says he could use some pointers from Juliette about being spontaneous and seizing the day. Juliette jokes that it’s easy – just listen to what everybody tells you to do and do the exact opposite. They’re interrupted by a call from Teddy, who says he left the office early and offers to pick Maddie & Daphne up from school. Deacon has to cover for Maddie’s absence from school, but says it’d be great if Teddy could pick up Daphne. Teddy thanks him and says he’ll see him later. When the shot widens, we see Teddy has his bags packed.

Back at Jade’s party, 1 of Jade’s overeager bouncers tries to block Luke from rejoining her. He’s all, “Really? I was just here.” Jade takes care of it and tells Luke this bouncer is new. Layla managed to get in to see Jade, and she’s all perky and excited to see Sullivan Fitzgerald, as Jeff rolls his eyes and Luke feels like a fish out of water. Jade arranges an introduction, and Layla has Jeff take a photo of her with Sullivan and Jade. She wants to tweet it out, but Jade asks her not to, because what happens at Jade’s house stays at Jade’s house. Layla’s fine with that of course. Jeff and Luke are just not having a great time right now and head off to get another drink.

Gunnar arrives back at home, and Kylie is waiting on his porch. Gunnar is still not eager to talk to her, but she insists she didn’t cheat on him. Well, this should be interesting. Kylie takes Gunnar back to the night of Cody’s house, when he had an unsupervised party. Jason was supposed to drop the 2 of them off, but stayed for the kegs. Kylie remembers seeing Gunnar playing Cody’s drums, the happiest she’d ever seen him. She was drunk and tired, so she went upstairs to sleep for a little bit. Kylie says that when she woke up, Jason was on top of her. He raped her. Oh boy, I don’t know about this. The audience is probably conditioned to think of Kylie as a liar, Jason is dead, and this is a heavy, heavy storyline. It’s a way of explaining Kylie’s ambivalence towards Micah, I guess, but is this going to get the considerate treatment it deserves?

Luke and Jeff are over at Jade’s bar, and Luke comments he’s never in his life felt older. Jeff laughs, and says this was a typical Tuesday for him, but as he sees Layla flirt with Sullivan, he says he doesn’t have the stomach for it anymore. They’re interrupted by Deacon calling Luke.

Back in Nashville, Avery calls Emily to thank her for stepping in to look after baby Cadence. Emily is only too happy to do it, and says baby Cadence had 3 ounces of milk before falling right back asleep. Avery says he’s hoping that a different approach, where he helps Juliette get a professional win, will help her to relax on the family side. Juliette arrives, and when Avery asks how it went with Bucky, he is completely unsurprised to learn she told him to go to hell. He asks her what the plan is, but there’s no plan. She’s just making it up as she goes along, and for her next act, she orders Manager Glenn to get her a helicopter.

It’s night now in Biloxi, and Beverly is outside in a parking lot when she sees a bus. It reminds her of the bus that took Deacon out on the road with Rayna – Deacon tried to talk her into joining them, but she wasn’t content to be a backup singer for Rayna James. Deacon argued that after a year or 2 of backing Rayna, who had a record deal, they could move up in the world and get their own. But Beverly accused Deacon of putting Rayna and his feelings for her ahead of the music. She defiantly said she would go out on her own and become bigger than Rayna. We know how that worked out! She’s booked for a gig in the local bar though.

We’re back at Gunnar’s, where he asks Kylie why she lied to him about Micah. Kylie says she didn’t know who his biological father was, and convinced herself of what she wanted to be true. She also says she convinced herself Micah would be better off without her, and acknowledges she’s a monster. Is it false self-flagellation? Hard to say, but Gunnar’s convinced. He says Jason was the monster, and that he (Gunnar) should have protected her. He says he’s here now, and hugs Kylie. Meanwhile, his phone rings. It’s Scarlett, bored, & calling him from the country club. She finishes leaving a message when Caleb sneaks up behind her and kisses her. Scarlett is all giggles and when Caleb asks if everything’s all right, she says she was just checking in on a friend going through some stuff. She doesn’t have to leave, but she does ask if it’s OK if she doesn’t go home with Caleb tonight, because she just wouldn’t feel right not knowing all is well. Caleb loves her concern for others, she reminds him he’s a doctor, and he jokes he’s just in it for the boring staff dinners. Giggles ensue.

Beverly is singing “Trouble” at the local bar when Rayna walks in, unrecognized (again). Beverly spots her, and pointedly sings, “Trouble’s moving in.” The crowd applauds Beverly’s performance, and she walks out, past Rayna. Rayna says she just wanted to hear Beverly sing, that she’s still great. Beverly knows it, and she says it’s Rayna’s fault the world doesn’t know – Rayna took Deacon from her, and there went Beverly’s dreams. “You wanted Deacon? You got him. YOU save him!” says Beverly.

Back in Nashville, Deacon finally goes up to talk to Maddie, and talks about all the things he missed and his lack of on-the-job training. He knows they both hate this moment, but he loves that he gets to have it with her. Awh! Maddie melts along with the rest of us and hugs him. She asks if this means he’s not telling Rayna, but nice try, Maddie. Deacon is certainly going to have to tell her mom.

Luke is packing up in his room when Jade walks up to apologize for the party craziness. She’s surprised to discover his packed suitcase. Luke assures her he’s leaving to look after his son, and Jade is relieved because she thought he was breaking up with her. When he hesitates, she sees that’s also the case, and she tears up. Luke says it’s just a mismatch – he’s a cowboy from Kentucky, and she’s Jade St. John. He enjoyed every minute with her except the club with the snakes and whatnot. He kisses her on the cheek and leaves, so I guess that’s that arc.

Bucky leaves a voicemail for Rayna from the Highway 65 offices saying Juliette’s up to something and he’s not sure what. Juliette marches in with Avery and her entourage. Manager Bucky is fully aware he has no shot at talking her down from whatever she has planned and he’s right. Manager Glenn welcomes Bucky to his world.

Teddy arrives at Casa James with Daphne piggybacking on him – they’ve had a great afternoon together (hey, any afternoon where Teddy doesn’t get arrested would qualify as great, amirite?), and they even got Maddie something. Teddy got both the girls Tiffany heart necklaces, because he doesn’t want them to forget how much he loves them and always will. Well, that was loaded. Maddie & Daphne invite him to stay for dinner, but Teddy says he has to go. There’s a catch in his voice when he says he’ll see them later. I know we’re supposed to think he’s fleeing the country, but…he’s not going to do something worse to himself, is he?

Juliette is on the roof of Highway 65 Records, announcing her return with a rooftop concert. An appreciative crowd gathers as she sings “Mississippi Flood,” written in real life by Tofer Brown, Jamie Floyd, and Lucie Silvas, as Avery and her band back her. People are dancing in the streets and balconies as a news helicopter circles above. Maddie & Daphne watch the local news with an amused Deacon and ask to go to the show, but Deacon is not going anywhere near that crowd. Rayna calls, and Deacon tells her her label is all over the news. Rayna knows, she’s been in touch with Bucky, and she’s kind of rolling her eyes (though really, nice stunting, Juliette!). Rayna’s exhausted, and Deacon guesses her meeting didn’t go too well. Rayna chokes up when she says she couldn’t close the deal, and Deacon promises to salvage her day if she gets home quick. Rayna weeps after they hang up.

The party at Jade’s is still going on, and Jeff is still the adult with his arms crossed, watching Layla make out with “Sully.” He’s finally had enough and drags her away. A drunk Layla (really? She’s drinking and Jeff’s letting her after she tried to kill herself on pills and alcohol?) says making out with Sully is good for business. People will take pictures and be curious. Jeff doesn’t like it, and of course he’s right. Layla is sticking to her “big star”/notoriety plan though, and tells Jeff to work the room.

Manager Glenn and Bucky are meeting with cops about the permits necessary for Juliette to stage a show like this as Juliette and Avery escape to the elevator. Flush with triumph, they gush about the success of their stunt, which really turns them on.

Scarlett goes to Gunnar’s, and despite Gunnar’s attempt to cover, finds Kylie is still there. Scarlett isn’t sure why, and Gunnar starts to cover for Kylie without revealing her story. Scarlett is buying none of it, saying there’s no excuse for abandoning her 10 year old son, that they all had it hard growing up and know what it’s like to be rejected by kin. Somehow this escalates into an argument about Caleb, fancy clothes and both of them judging each other. Gunnar saying he doesn’t get it, Caleb is nothing like them. Scarlett agrees – Caleb is an adult, and more than anybody else she’s ever been with (daggar!) he knows who he is. Scarlett tells Gunnar she’s not better than anybody else but she wants where she’s going to be better than where she came from. She needles Gunnar about choosing to wallow in the past instead, and walks off. Is this going to result in Gunnar sleeping with Kylie?

Layla stumbles out of the party, with Jeff trying to get her to get it together. She drops her purse, and instead of cleaning up, she lies down on the nearest bench. Jeff picks up her things, which includes her phone. He takes the opportunity to draft a tweet of that picture with Jade and Sully from her account. Well, since Christina Aguilera’s arc on the show is over, I guess we have to get Layla kicked off the tour somehow?

Back at Gunnar’s, Kylie tries to call Micah, and he hangs up on her. She doesn’t blame him. Gunnar gives her a pep talk saying there was a time Micah wouldn’t talk to him either, and they got through it. Because the circumstances were totally the same. #not Kylie starts down that path of wondering if things would be different today if she’d just said something back then. Gunnar observes she wasn’t ready to talk about it, and he probably wasn’t ready to listen. He heads off to make Micah’s room up so she can get some rest. Before he does, Kylie says she really did love him back then. Gunnar says he loved her too.

It’s raining now, and Scarlett arrives at Dr. Caleb’s. He’s only too happy to hear her friend didn’t need her after all.

Luke runs from the rain into his pickup truck, which is being driven by a chagrined Colt. Luke looks over and says, “Guess you & I need to have a talk.” Colt is all “Yessir.” Luke says Colt made a mistake, but he squeezes Colt’s shoulder and says we all get a little swept up in the moment every now and then, and we know he’s talking as much about himself as he is his son. The trick is to learn from it and move on, muses Luke. Colt replies that Maddie isn’t a mistake, but guesses Jade was. Luke is a little amused, and grunts a confession before suggesting they head home.

Over at the Mayor’s office, Teddy has written individual letters to Daphne, Maddie, and Rayna which he places in separate envelopes and then together in a manila envelope labeled “DELIVER TO RAYNA JAMES.” He pauses and tears up as he looks at pictures of his girls. After a heavy sigh, he gets up to go…but before he can go anywhere, his old buddy Dash, the US attorney arrives. I’m going to be honest and say that at 1st, the profile of the guy made me think it was Albert the henchman and something bad was about to go down. But no, it’s the right side of the law, so it must be time, Teddy. Teddy covers and asks what the city of Nashville can do for the US Attorney’s office. But Dash closes the door and cuts through the nonsense. He lays out Teddy’s situation – he stumbled into a federal investigation of a prostitution ring and blackmailed a city official to get himself out of it. Teddy asks if he’s going to arrest him, but…I did not see this coming!…Dash is here to extricate him from the situation. No, seriously…what? Dash says he was best man at Teddy’s wedding, he knows his kids, and the last thing he wants is see Teddy lose everything. Teddy is confused, but asks, “So that’s it then? I’m free.” Dash says he will be, but ahhhh, here’s the catch – he needs Teddy to do something for him 1st. And we’re not going to find out what that is just yet.

Avery and Juliette are all over each other as they return home, only Emily has to remind them of her presence. Juliette wants to know what the hell Emily is doing there, and Avery is quick to ask rhetorically who she thought was looking after baby Cadence all day. He thanks Emily and asks how things went. Emily says baby Cadence was a perfect angel, and will likely need a bottle soon. Juliette and Avery are still worked up as Emily leaves, but before they can do anything else, baby Cadence pipes up. She needs to be fed, so everything else will have to be on hold for now, and Juliette is none too happy about it.

And in our closing scene, Rayna knocks on a door. It’s Beverly’s apartment, naturally. Rayna tells her she doesn’t want to fight anymore, hands her a piece of paper, and says she’s hoping that will change Beverly’s mind, and to let her know. When Beverly opens the piece of paper, it’s a check for a million dollars, and our jaws drop right along with Beverly’s. Well, Rayna is a businesswoman, but this can’t possibly be legal. And that’s it for this week! A few curveballs this week, so who knows what’s coming next?

Meanwhile, something that is definitely coming in 2 weeks: The Music Of Nashville Season 3, Volume 2! Check out the tracklist via Music Row:

1. “Borrow My Heart” (Lia & Phillip LaRue) – Performed by Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, & Sam Palladio
2. “Can’t Help My Heart” (Sarah Buxton / Jedd Hughes / Kevin Griffin) – Performed by Laura Benanti and Will Chase
3. “I’m On It” (Matt Jenkins / Matt Ramsey / Trevor Rosen) – Performed by Chris Carmack
4. “Longer” (Andrea Davidson) – Performed by Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio
5. “This Is Real Life” (Trey Bruce / Derek Cannavo / Maren Morris) – Performed by Connie Britton, Lennon & Maisy Stella
6. “My Heart Don’t Know When To Stop” (Allen Salmon / Shannon Wright)- Performed by Aubrey Peeples
7. “The Rivers Between Us” (Eric Kaz / J. D. Souther) – Performed by Connie Britton & Charles Esten
8. “I’ve Got You (and You’ve Got Me)” (Jacob Davis / Bob Moffatt / Clint Moffatt / Shelley Skidmore) – Performed by Lennon & Maisy Stella
9. “My Song” (Sarah Siskind / Femke Weidema) – Performed by Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio
10. “Sad Song” (Matraca Berg / Ashley Monroe) – Performed by Laura Benanti
11. “If I Drink This Beer” (Jonathan Singleton / Brad Tursi) – Performed by Will Chase
12. “Broken Song” (Cody Johnson / Tony Lane / Travis Meadows) – Performed by Chris Carmack
13. “Hold You In My Arms” (Sarah Siskind) – Performed by Jonathan Jackson & Hayden Panettiere
14. “Mississippi Flood” (Tofer Brown / Jamie Floyd / Lucie Silvas) – Performed by Hayden Panettiere
15. “This Is What I Need To Say” (Sarah Siskind) – Performed by Jonathan Jackson
16. “Heart On Fire” (Sarah Buxton / Blair Daly / Kate York) – Performed by Lennon & Maisy Stella
17. “I Found A Way” (Adam & Shannon Wright) – Performed by Aubrey Peeples
18. “Have A Little Faith In Me” (John Hiatt) – Performed by Will Chase & Maisy Stella

Target Deluxe Tracks:

19. “One By One” (Josh & Nicole Johnson) – Performed by Jonathan Jackson & Hayden Panettiere
20. “Novacaine” (Cary Barlowe / Steven Lee Olson / Caitlyn Smith) – Performed by Laura Benanti & Jonathan Jackson

About Deb B 432 Articles
Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.