‘Nashville’ Season 3, Episode 22 – Season Finale Recap & Discussion Post!

Recap follows below!

To DOWNLOAD the just-released Nashville Original Soundtrack: Season 3, Volume 2, click HERE!

As a special bonus treat you won’t find anywhere else on the internet, check out the demo of a feature track on the soundtrack, “Mississippi Flood.” The sultry and energetic “Mississippi Flood” is cowritten by Tofer Brown, Jamie Floyd and Lucie Silvas, all talented singer/songwriters in their own right. Here, Lucie Silvas sings lead vocals.

Special thanks to Tofer Brown for sharing the demo! You can check out more music from these singer/songwriters here:

Tofer Brown released his own music several years ago and has been focusing on the songwriter side, with most recent credits on the current Greg Holden single “Hold On Tight” (Holden cowrote Phillip Phillips’s “Home”).

Jamie Floyd on Itunes – also look out for “The Blade,” a song she cowrote with Marc Beeson and Allen Shamblin on Ashley Monroe‘s upcoming album, due 7/24, with Miranda Lambert on background vocals, as well as on her own album.

Lucie Silvas released a rootsy adult pop EP earlier this year, which you can check out HERE.

To DOWNLOAD “Mississippi Flood,” cowritten by Tofer Brown, Jamie Floyd, and Lucie Silvas and performed by Hayden Panettiere, click HERE!

Welcome back to Nashville, season 3 finale edition!

We open with Deacon in a dream, with Jim Reeves singing “Such A Fool As I” for a soundtrack. A sunny day quickly becomes clouded over, and before Deacon knows it he’s 6 feet under with dirt being shoveled on top of him. He wakes up in a cold sweat, and Rayna is there to comfort him.

Juliette triumphantly returns home, crowing about an album she finished in the last 36 hours with Buddy Miller. An exhausted Avery is holding Baby Cadence, of course, and thinks they need to talk. Juliette brushes off what she calls the “ambush” he staged with Emily and Glenn, but doesn’t respond well when Avery tries to reason with her about their concerns. Juliette is in fact not very interested in talking and decides she has to get ready to play the album for Rayna. Avery rhetorically asks whether she doesn’t have 2 minutes to hold their baby, and Juliette waves her hands claiming she doesn’t have time “for that” today. When Avery reminds her that “that” has a name, Juliette throws the fact that she carried and delivered the baby in his face before walking off.

Will is sharing coffee and breakfast with his Cowboy Bill of a father, who is sticking around to see Will open for Luke the following night but will leave after that. Will asks what else he’d like to do while in town, and Cowboy Bill chuckles that he’d like to meet the lady or ladies in Will’s life. Will squirrels his way through a claim that he doesn’t have much time for dating these days, and says he should go meet with Luke. Having spotted a gay couple being affectionate, Cowboy Bill says he’s lost his appetite.

Layla is doing a phone interview with a sycophantic radio DJ claiming she’s won her Twitter war with Jade St. John, with Jeff scripting her responses. She’s ready to check out his claim that she now has nearly 2 million Twitter followers, but Jeff shuts that down on grounds that there are too many haters out there and they would distract her. When she claims she can handle haters, Jeff jabs her by asking what she’d think of somebody talking about her “girth,” and when Layla goes after him for implying she should lose weight, Jeff says this is what trolls do. So it’s no internet until she finishes her album, according to Jeff. While not a bad policy in general, Jeff is obviously using this to keep her in the dark about his shenanigans. As Layla agrees to his policy, Luke storms in and lays into Jeff for not telling him about Will being gay. Jeff claims he didn’t mention it because it wasn’t an issue for him, but Luke is, predictably, concerned about what this means for his label. Luke tells Jeff he just lost himself a friend, and he doesn’t have many in this town. Luke considered Jeff a friend? I guess that works well rhetorically.

Scarlett has dressed Dr. Caleb and in between giggly banter he asks if she’ll be attending the pre-surgical consult with her mom and Deacon. She can’t because she has to work with Gunnar, she says, but she brighten Dr. Caleb’s mood immediately by telling him she’ll be back at his place tonight. He muses about how the place never really felt like home until she came along, and, forgetting all his Gunnar-based reservations from last week, invites Scarlett to move in with him, despite the fact that post-op Deacon and Beverly are both likely to need some caring for. In fact, he seems to realize that he’s asking a lot and asks Scarlett to just think about it. She doesn’t need to, because she immediately agrees.

Over at Gunnar’s, he’s being the responsible one asking Kylie if she got her car checked out before her long drive to Austin. She has scheduled an appointment! She asks Gunnar if there’s any chance he’ll go with her to Austin, since her parents are still quite mad at her and Micah would love to see him. Gunnar doesn’t think that’s such a great idea, and apparently that’s because they haven’t discussed Kylie kissing him. So apparently Kylie did have romantic intentions? Huh, guess I misread that last week. Well Gunnar says he can go with Kylie for moral support but that’s all he can be right now.

At the pre-surgical consult, the surgeons are reviewing how the operation will go down…Beverly will go in 1st, Deacon shortly after, and with a small overlap they’ll both be out for 6-8 hours, with 7-10 days of post-op hospitalization and 8 weeks of recovery after that. Dr. Caleb pipes up to say that based on Deacon’s latest test results, the growth of his tumor is such that he has been taken off the transplant list, so Beverly really is a life-saver. Deacon takes Rayna’s hand and squeezes it, then likewise Beverly’s.

Will blithely strolls into a bespectacled Luke’s office, ready to take care of whatever problem there might be. Luke hands him the photos and tells him the Enquirer’s going to be running a story about him being gay. Will barely hears what Luke is saying, but stumbles out an unpersuasive claim that the photos aren’t what they look like. Luke tells him he doesn’t care if Will is gay, his priority is getting out in front of the Enquirer. Either the photos are of 2 guys working on material, or of 2 guys in a relationship, and they just need to decide what the answer is going to be, because the answer may change up their game plan a little bit. Well, I’m glad Luke isn’t being hard on Will, because it wasn’t clear how he’d deal with him after that confrontation with Will.

Manager Glenn and Juliette await their meeting with Rayna, and Manager Glenn is not a happy camper to say the least. But before he can further express his concerns about Juliette to her, Rayna and Bucky walk in. Juliette hands in her album and demands a release date. Rayna is surprised – she says she’s looking forward to listening to the album and then they’ll sit down and have some conversations about release dates and things like that. This does not sit well with Juliette, who appears to think creative control includes release date and marketing plans? But Rayna believes that as her label head and friend, she’s concerned about some of the decisions Juliette’s been making lately. This immediately leads to Juliette accusing Manager Glenn of having shared his concerns with Rayna, and as her anger escalates, she grabs her masters and all but spits in the faces of the 3 adults who are actually acting like adults in the room.

Juliette has already stormed out of Highway 65 offices and is in her car when Manager Glenn tries to call her out on her out-of-control behavior – as her manager, he is trying to look out for what’s best for her, he says, but Juliette insists that what’s best for her career is best for her. She closes the door in Manager Glenn’s face and drives off. Meh. This has happened before, though not with a newborn baby in the picture, and the story here is Juliette’s callousness.

Teddy is working away in the mayor’s office when he learns from his assistant that the US Attorney is here to see him. He glumly invites his old friend Dash in and Dash wants to know why Teddy hasn’t followed up with his State Senator target since making contact 2 days ago. Teddy tells him Tandy Hampton wasn’t part of their original deal. But US Attorney Dash doesn’t care – they were so close to untangling a web of corruption in the city before, and taking down a woman who got in the way would be an added bonus. Teddy resists, and Dash reminds him what awaits him if he doesn’t cooperate. Yea, so Dash is suddenly not concerned with his friend’s wellbeing or that of his friend’s daughters, considering their aunt would be implicated in all this.

Scarlett and Gunnar are trying to write, and are suffering writers block because they are trying to keep their personal lives separate from their lives as artists. They finally spill the respective developments in their lives – Gunnar hopes Scarlett won’t judge him for thinking about going to down to Austin with Kylie, and Scarlett mentions she’s moving in with Dr. Caleb. They decide to wrap their session for the day and resume when Gunnar’s back from Austin. Gunnar asks Scarlett to pass along his best wishes to Deacon for his upcoming transplant, and to Scarlett as she copes with the uncertainties of the situation, as well as her mother.

Speaking of Beverly, she has joined Maddie, Daphne, and Deacon for a pretty acoustic performance of “Anywhere From Here,” written in real life by Sarah Buxton, Sarah Siskind, and Kate York, and they’re having a grand old time when Rayna comes in. Beverly is still shooting those hard looks at Rayna. But Daphne just loves Beverly and gushes to Rayna about how Beverly and Deacon used to be a duo. “A pretty good one, too,” says Deacon. “Could’ve been great!” needles Beverly. The look on Rayna’s face when Beverly teases that she may just be making Nashville her full time home again is priceless. Rayna has come to summon the girls to help prepare dinner, but Aunt Bev begs for just 1 more song, which the girls are all about.

To DOWNLOAD “Anywhere From Here,” cowritten by Sarah Buxton, Sarah Siskind, and Kate York, click HERE!

Will goes to see Kevin, who apologizes for having been so judgmental about his father. Will is past that due to more pressing problems. When he reveals that a tabloid has pictures of them during their cabin getaway (though none of them completely incriminating), Kevin sympathizes and thinks Will is going to accept being outed. But Will tells him he needs to deny their relationship, to protect his career. Kevin understands that, but he says he’s worked so hard to stay out of the closet, he can’t climb back in every time somebody takes a picture of them. Will delusionally thinks they just need to be more careful, but Kevin knows this means the end for them. He tells Will to just tell him when and where he needs to be for the press conference.

Avery has gone to see a doctor about Juliette’s symptoms – most of which seem like typical Juliette, except for her lack of interest in Baby Cadence. The doctor says this is classic detachment, reinforces the remote diagnosis of post partum depression, and says, as long as his wife resists treatment, he should try positive reinforcement of what Juliette does well and right, and give her more of a sense of what she’s missing right now by being away from the baby.

Meanwhile, Juliette has gone to see…Jeff? Really? She vents her frustration about her label sitting on what she considers her best work in a time when she’s generating so much press. She thinks she’s on the verge of something huge, her team thinks she’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Her single moment of clarity comes when she tells Jeff they both know he doesn’t give a damn about her wellbeing. Unfortunately, that’s why she went to him to figure out how to leverage her moment into something bigger for her career.

Will is back at Luke’s Wheelin’ Dealin’ office, and assures him Kevin is on board for a press conference where they deny everything and cast the photos as evidence of nothing more than a work trip. When Will promises, unprompted, that this wll not be an issue moving forward, Luke looks at him pointedly and says, “Shame. Kevin’s a good guy.” But he also says he thinks Will should probably lay low until they see how the public response shakes out, which means not opening for Luke at the next day’s show. Will is not happy about that part, even though Luke assures him they’ll have him back out on the road in a couple weeks.

Over at Gunnar’s, Kylie has cooked a thank you dinner, and admits she needs to fix things with Micah before she even thinks about getting into another romantic relationship. She acknowledges just dragging Micah around as she jumped from relationship to relationship, hoping 1 of the guys would fix her. Gunnar good-naturedly tells her she needs no fixing, but um, yea, she needs to learn not to be a flake. Micah calls, and is thrilled to find out Gunnar’ll be coming down to Austin too.

Beverly is set up in her room at Casa James when Rayna checks in. Beverly assumes it’s to make sure she’s taken her meds, but Rayna is there to thank her for her sacrifice. Beverly is quick to remind Rayna that she isn’t doing this for her and needles her about the terrible position Rayna left her in – she was either going to be the bitch who needed to be paid to save her brother, or she was going to be the bitch who wouldn’t even save her brother for a million dollars. The way Beverly sees this, Rayna was going to be the hero, but Beverly is here to reassert her position as Hero-In-Chief. Rayna suppresses an eyeroll as she tells Beverly that for saving the man she loves, she’d pin a medal on Beverly herself. I mean, sure Beverly’s a cartoon, but I’m kind of enjoying their dynamic here, I’m not going to lie.

Rayna rejoins Deacon in her bedroom, and wryly comments about how Beverly does not make it easy. Deacon is sorry and knows Beverly has some rough edges. Fact of the matter is though, she’s stepping up here, and so they’ll grin and bear her. Rayna and Deacon assure each other they’re OK, but the moment weighs heavily.

Scarlett is up in the middle of the night writing feverishly. This wakes Dr. Caleb, who is sleeping next to her, but she tells him to get to sleep. She texts Gunnar that she was inspired by Rayna and Deacon, and sends him lyrics. Naturally, Gunnar wakes up when his phone vibrates and reads the text.

Deacon is asleep, and again he dreams to the soundtrack of “Such A Fool As I.” This time, he’s in the operating room for his transplant, and flatlines during the surgery. He wakes up in a cold sweat again.

The next morning, Bucky calls Rayna and apologizes for his timing. But the contract Jeff had Layla sign gave him complete control, including power of attorney. Ugh. They are going to keep trying to reach Layla, hoping that one time it won’t be Jeff answering for her.

Juliette slept on the couch because she got in late and didn’t want to wake anybody. Avery tries the positive reinforcement thing and starts well, talking about how he played 1 of Juliette’s old records for Baby Cadence, and she smiled at the sound of her voice. He’s trying to encourage Juliette to sing to Baby Cadence when Juliette brushes him off because she has a meeting. And Avery is exasperated that she won’t even hold Baby Cadence. This escalates into Juliette demanding that he give her Baby Cadence (if only so she can prove a point), Avery saying he won’t when it’s like this, Juliette starting to yell, the baby starting to cry, and Juliette hurling a snow globe that Avery has to duck to avoid. Is this the moment Juliette needs to finally realize she needs help? Here’s hoping. But for now, Avery kicks her out.

Layla is in Jeff’s office looking for a book when she hears her phone buzz. She calls for Jeff but when he doesn’t answer, she sneaks a listen to the message Rayna left for her. She hides the phone as Jeff approaches and says she was looking for a book to read while on the treadmill. She brags to Jeff about already losing a pound, and Jeff approves. Is the Dr. Luke/Kesha relationship the inspiration for this? Because ugh doesn’t even begin to cover this. Jeff says he has a meeting (with Juliette?) but won’t say what for, and tells Layla to focus on the art while he focuses on the business. Did I mention ugh?

Teddy is meeting with Albert, trying to get the kind of information he’ll need on Wyatt Industries dealings, and Albert snarks that if he didn’t know better, he’d guess Teddy was trying to build a baseball stadium. Teddy chuckles and claims he’s nothing like Lamar, that he’s more like Tandy. Oh, so he’s fishing to ascertain her level of involvement in all this. Albert tells him Tandy was a full beneficiary of Wyatt Industries’s corrupt dealings, and that’s how she had a spare $2 million to invest in Highway 65. Spelling it out for us, Teddy rhetorically asks if this means Rayna’s label was funded by corrupt dealings. So now if he goes on, he could take Rayna’s label down too.

Will goes to see Cowboy Bill to show him the tabloid story and to break the news that he can’t open for Luke that night because of it. Cowboy Bill is understanding of the lost gig and just wants some affirmation that the story is untrue, and Will assures him that he has “changed.” Bleh.

Avery is cleaning up the shards of the broken snow globe when Manager Glenn walks in with even more bad news. Juliette fired him and signed with a new manager. Oh dear. And yes, that new manager is Jeff, who has brought her to Wheelin’ Dealin’ Records to sign with Luke. Luke agrees that the album is a career-defining album, and Jeff claims this is his make-up gesture, bringing to Luke a superstar act who has already had every part of her life exposed. Oh Jeff, you and your pointed pointiness. Luke doesn’t think he can steal Juliette from Rayna. Juliette says you can’t steal something that is already free. Huh? How?

Beverly is prepped for surgery, and Scarlett is sitting with her asking if she needs anything. Beverly is just anxious with all the waiting. She admits to being a little scared. Scarlett promises to be there when she wakes, and as Beverly is wheeled past Deacon’s room, she snarks, “Don’t say I never gave you anything.” That triggers more anxiety for Deacon, who seems to remember that from his surgery nightmares and thinks they’re coming true. He panicks and asks Rayna to marry him. Rayna recognizes the desparation and its source, and when Deacon admits to his scary dreams, Rayna tells him she has dreams too, beautiful dreams of them raising their 2 girls together, of their beautiful wedding, of them growing old together. She is not going to marry him now, but they recite traditional wedding vows anyway, and Rayna smiles as she directs him not to leave her a widow.

Gunnar is on piano, working out a melody to Scarlett’s lyrics. Kylie arrives with a sandwich, and says she likes what she’s hearing. As he sings bits of the song, we see the doctors arrive to take Deacon in for surgery, and he’s wheeled off as Maddie & Rayna embrace.

While Jeff is out, Layla gets on the internet, sees a positive review of her single, some gossip about her being a party girl, and then digs up an archive of tons of pictures from Jade St. John’s party (wait, wasn’t Jade prohibiting all pictures from getting out?). The trove of pictures reveals a couple of Jeff on her phone while Layla was passed out on a bench and now finally Layla is wise to what happened.

Teddy walks into US Attorney Dash’s office to tell him that he can’t take down his ex-wife’s sister and label in the process of trying to save himself. He says he’ll take responsibility for what he did, but he didn’t anticipate that meaning he would be arrested immediately, without a chance to talk to his daughters 1st.

Deacon is in the OR and the surgeons encourage him to relax. He’s about to panic when he hears a surgeon say, “Let’s get some music on” as in 1 of his dreams, but the music is classical, and he fades under the influence of anesthesia anyway.

We are now at Will’s press conference, which Cowboy Bill is attending but Luke isn’t? Kevin is wrapping up his remarks about how there is no relationship between him and Will beyond a professional one, and how his own sexual orientation has no bearing on Will’s. Kevin walks out, leaving Will to take the stage with a chuckle about how “Ya’ll got it wrong.” But as Will sees the back of Kevin’s head, he stops short of saying he’s not gay. He starts to stumble, and finally, he says, “It isn’t true.” What’s not true? Kevin’s remarks. Will comes out, and with new strength in his shoulders and in his eyes, he says he’s not ashamed of being gay. Cowboy Bill’s eyes harden into a “Is this how it’s going to be?” glare. Will looks right back at him and nods, and Cowboy Bill walks out. The press has many more questions, but Will tips his cowboy hat to them and thanks them for coming.

Over to the Bridgestone, where Luke takes the stage a little early, to the screams of adoring fans? Why? He’s there to introduce his opening act, somebody he believes in so much, he just signed her to his label! Yes, that’s Miss Juliette Barnes. No but seriously, how? Also, didn’t Juliette scoff at the idea of opening for Luke Wheeler in Season 2? But Juliette is all smiles as she takes the stage and launches into the bluesy “Last Honest Man,” written in real life by Marcus Hummon and Laura Veltz. Luke is joined by Jeff as he watches approvingly from the side of the stage, and Luke reaches out to shake Jeff’s hand, a gesture Jeff gladly reciprocates. Juliette’s

To DOWNLOAD “Last Honest Man,” written by Marcus Hummon and Laura Veltz and performed by Hayden Panettiere, click HERE!

As the surgeons work on Beverly and ready the transplant, Scarlett, Daphne, Maddie and Rayna are passing the time with a game of cards. Rayna is staring at the door, and is all ready to hear news of the transplant’s progress as a shadow approaches the door. But it’s Gunnar, there to see Scarlett. He asks for a moment to talk in private. Maddie doesn’t want to play cards anymore anyway. We hear the strains of “Such A Fool As I,” so ruh roh, something’s about to go wrong as they transfer the liver to Deacon.

But before that happens, Juliette is all smiles when she returns home with the good news that Will Lexington is gay and she’s joining Luke for the rest of his tour, as opener (no, seriously – she was demanding a co-headlining tour with him instead of an opening act slot last season). She even got a new snow globe, because that’ll fix everything. But Avery is sitting in the dark, so you know he’s in no mood to forget what happened. A closeup reveals that he’s been crying. Baby Cadence is with Emily, where she’s safe, because she’s not safe with Juliette, says Avery. Juliette tries to brush it all off as the function of Avery’s stubbornness and her lack of sleep, but Avery is, quite reasonably, not buying it. He says he’s been trying so hard to understand her and what she’s going through, but he can’t understand what would make her go to Jeff Fordham of all people after what happened. He begs her to see a doctor and get help. But Juliette refuses to go to a hospital – she “needs” to go out on tour and have a career, and doesn’t understand why Avery doesn’t get that. Avery asks, rhetorically, whether she needs those things more than she needs them (Avery and her baby). When Juliette doesn’t answer, Avery grabs his bag and walks out.

Meanwhile Jeff arrives at the gates of his mansion, I guess? Layla is there to smash in his windshield with a golf club. Jeff admits his manipulations, but claims he had to do all this because he can’t lose her. Just then, lights from a security car shine on Layla’s face asking if everything’s OK. She says things are fine and the security guys just drive off. *sigh* Jeff apologizes and they embrace and this is just a disaster.

Gunnar and Scarlett have gone to the hospital roof, where Gunnar is playing her the melody he wrote for her lyrics. I guess this is a welcome distraction as Scarlett waits, but the timing is a little weird. Gunnar asks for her to sing the song. The lovely “I Will Never Let You Know” is written in real life by Erin McCarley, K.S. Rhoads, and Kate York, and it brings Gunnar and Scarlett closer together, physically and emotionally.

To DOWNLOAD “I Will Never Let You Know,” written by Erin McCarley, KS Rhoads, and Kate York and performed by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio, click HERE!

As they sing, we see Luke call Juliette (who didn’t stick around for his set, apparently) to make sure she’s really up for a full tour with him given that she just had a baby. As she gazes at the snowglobe picture of her with Avery and the baby, she says she’s never been more ready for anything in her life. Oy. Meanwhile Avery takes Baby Cadence into a car and promises her everything will be OK. Will goes to see Kevin, who tells him he didn’t have to do what he did. But Will says of all the things he was giving up, nothing made him feel like he did when he was with Kevin – like himself. He tells Kevin he loves him, and Kevin smiles and squeezes his hand. Will’s eyes are full of tears of relief, while Avery’s are full of grief (as he’s driving away) and Scarlett’s (on the roof with Gunnar) are full of longing. She and Gunnar move in for a kiss, but before it happens, we cut to the doctors frantically trying to resuscitate a flatliner. Dr. Caleb asks Rayna for a private moment, and says he has some bad news. She and the girls turn away from the TV that’s on in front of them just in time to miss the shots of Teddy being arrested on corruption charges. And….so the season ends.

Well, we’re getting Season 4, and let’s face it, we know the show won’t kill off Deacon. So even if he is the flatliner, don’t worry. If Beverly is the flatliner, they could kill her off, but it seems like there are a lot of juicy possibilities for conflict with Rayna if she survives and bears some lingering issue from the transplant (have to wonder how responsible that would be in terms of contributing to a culture of fear for the sake of drama). But we’ll see what the writers choose to do moving forward. Meanwhile, we see how Teddy will be kept on the show for the timebeing – he is trying to spare his ex-wife and by extension, his daughters. Rather than poaching Bucky from Highway 65, Luke appears to have poached Juliette, so I guess she’s his headache for now? More importantly, now that Juliette has rejected several calls to deal with her postpartum depression, how will the show get to the point that she finally does? Hopefully it won’t be another on stage breakdown a la Scarlett. And maybe most interesting of all, how will Nashville write Will’s story? Luke seems to have signed Juliette for the sake of his label’s bottom line, so will that make him feel free to come up with something creative and supportive for Will? Nashville will now be in unchartered territory when it comes to the country world – there isn’t a young & out hitmaker charting right now, so here’s hoping the show can still make this storyline feel real. Meanwhile, Layla is going to find out that Jeff’s taken on a new management client, at least temporarily, somehow, and I’m not going to be happy if this means doubling down on her naivete when she’s shown plenty of savvy and smarts until this Jeff management debacle.

So what do you think will happen on Season 4 of Nashville? Weigh in in comments, and please come back in the fall to find out who was closest to the mark! And thanks for sharing another season of soapiness here. Here’s to the show doing more of what it does best – showcasing some of the terrific music that comes out of Music City!

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.