Welcome back to Nashville! We pick up with preparations for the heavily-promoted Rayna and Deacon nuptials, also known as “This is how we try to bring back viewers after a looooooong hiatus, especially as our odds of a Season 5 pickup sink ever lower.” Deacon is reciting vows during his fitting with Frankie supervising. Our glad and grateful groom muses about how all his good luck is finally coming to roost. Oh Deacon. This is Nashville, so know that at least one big hurdle awaits in this episode. Will it be a medical emergency? Traffic? A misunderstanding? We’ll see.
Meanwhile, Rayna and Bucky are meeting at Highway 65, discussing the media hype around her wedding while crowing about Rayna’s success is planning it while doing Marcus’s publicity tour. What does that even mean? Regardless, they have somehow gotten a second platinum single from the album despite Marcus bailing on the whole thing. Considering that we later learn that it has been just a month…yeah, this doesn’t sound realistic at all. But then again, in the real world, Rayna and Deacon’s wedding wouldn’t be the sole focus of public attention as this show is pretending, either.
Over to Casa Jaymes, Maddie & Cash have been writing. Daphne hides something amidst her notebooks as they walk up and she clearly feels left out. They are joined but Aunt Tandy, who is back for the wedding. Everyone is pleased about the wedding’s remote but local location.
Next, we visit a daytime rehearsal for the wedding talent, featuring not-a-couple Scarlett and Gunnar. Scarlett’s never sung at a wedding before. Gunnar’s never been to a wedding before. No references to turnip trucks in this conversation, amazingly enough.
Outside, we get our first Rayna and Deacon scene. Deacon is so impressed that Rayna managed to plan all this in a month. We learn that the lovely location for their wedding is her mom’s favorite spot, a lovely spot with green for days and lake. Rayna and Deacon dream about their future. Rayna misses her mom and says she knows Deacon’s missing Beverly (who would have been just so thrilled that their wedding day has come, amirite?)
Next, Emily brings back Cadence from a Juliette visit to a worried Avery. When Avery asks how “she” did, Emily observes that the therapy’s really working. But Avery was referring to Cadence, and prefers to keep his distance from Juliette. He says there’s no relationship left between them, but Emily is a loyal shipper. Avery believes that the only reason that Juliette hasn’t acknowledged the divorce is that she doesn’t want the bad press during her Oscar campaign. Indeed, Avery has been poring over notes for what he is supposed to say to explain Juliette’s absence from Rayna and Deacon’s wedding. Juliette wants him to tell people that she is in London prepping a possible West End adaptation of Shenadoah Girl.
Later that day, it’s time for the rehearsal dinner. Deacon is nervous and Scarlett is chatting some calm into him. Maddie & Daphne take the stage to perform “All We Ever Wanted,” written in real life by Matraca Berg and Kate York. Maddie says the song is one she wrote for her “mom and dad,” which puts Daphne off a bit. Daphne holds on to her harmonies for about half the song before thoughts of the happy family in which she is the odd one out take over. Bucky is excited they’ve signed the girls. After the performance, Maddie is miffed at Daphne for messing up.
To DOWNLOAD “All We Ever Wanted,” written by Matraca Berg and Kate York and performed by Lennon and Maisy Stella, click HERE!
As the rehearsal dinner winds down, the wedding planner tells Rayna her car’s in the back to avoid swarming paparazzi (really? in Nashville?). There must have been no back-end recon though, because everyone is just stunned to find the paparazzi parked out back too. .In the chaotic scene that follows a paparazzo troll asks Maddie which dad is worse, the criminal or the drunk. Deacon knocks him and his camera out. So can the paparazzo file a lawsuit fast enough to jam up the wedding schedule?
Later, the wedding planner finds out the florist leaked not only the rehearsal dinner location but the wedding location, meaning that Rayna and Deacon’s special day is now going to have uninvited guests like helicopter paparazzi (can they snag a permit to fly there that fast? I genuinely don’t know). Faced with the prospect of having to find an alternate location for the wedding in a pinch, the wedding planner remembers that she has a friend with a barn that can be done up overnight for the wedding. She plans to work overnight to get it ready and Rayna and Deacon agree to the location change.
Tandy checks in on Maddie after the paparazzi incident, and Maddie isn’t in much of a chatty mood. Maddie asks Tandy what Deacon was like when she first met him. Tandy says he’s come a long way, which covers nicely for Deacon’s difficult past.
Deacon and Rayna are in bed, and Deacon mourns that they have to move the wedding from its very sentimental location. Now Deacon’s freaking out about bad signs and Rayna calms him down.
The next morning at Casa Jaymes, the morning show is covering the Rayna/Deacon wedding and has video footage from Deacon knocking out the paparazzo. Deacon didn’t love the violence but Rayna knows he was just protecting them. Deacon checks in on Maddie, who brushes him off slightly. Maddie would like to head over to the wedding barn early with Rayna. We see that Maddie wants to talk about shoving incident, but Rayna is utterly unbothered by it.
Over at Gunnar’s, Will takes a call from Publisher Casey. Apparently he hasn’t been producing much in the way of songs, trying to write alone. Why has he been writing alone? Wade Cole has put the word out Will is difficult. Publisher threatens Will’s publishing deal if he doesn’t start producing or at least explain what happened with Wade. Will demurs.
Meanwhile at Casa Jaymes, Daphne’s sulking in bed. Deacon is shocked to discover that she’s not up and about, but when he tries to reason with her, Daphne shuts him down, accusing him of not really caring what she feels. Tandy arrives just in time to tell Deacon to go do wedding stuff, that she’ll handle Daphne.
Back at Gunnar’s, Avery is memorizing dates for his Juliette cover story. Meanwhile, Will is going to skip the wedding to avoid the who’s who and having to account for his recent turn of fortunes. He won’t listen to Gunnar’s friendly encouragement.
BONUS: If you want to know what happened to Will, since he disappeared from the episode, check out these deleted scenes:
Will goes camping
Will sings “Is That Who I Am?”, written by Aaron Benward, Steve Moakler and Shaun Shankel.
Post-performance reaction & conversation.
Over to the wedding barn, where Rayna thanks the planner for her great work. The planner is off to handle more things, and she is doing so without those hands-free mics all the movies tell me I should expect wedding planenrs to wear. Once the planner is out of earshot, Maddie tries to talk to Rayna about Deacon’s temper. Rayna doesn’t seem sure where all this concern is suddenly coming from, so Maddie reveals what she saw after Beverly’s death. Rayna is nothing but understanding of the turmoil and heart that drove the incidents, but Maddie accuses Rayna of making excuses for him. Suddenly, it matters that Deacon almost got Rayna killed in a car accident.
The wedding guests have started to arrive, and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Faltts greets Gunnar and Avery. The latter covers awkwardly for Juliette. Inside, Scarlett has decided this is a good moment to try to work on the chorus of a song she was writing last week. Gunnar reminds her that it’s her uncle’s wedding and that she should have some fun. Scarlett needs Gunnar about how Erin decided she “doesn’t do weddings,” and Gunnar retorts that she needs an Erin to help her have fun. In fact, he is going to find her one. What could possibly go wrong?
Deacon can’t help himself, he needs to talk to Rayna in her dressing room about Maddie & Daphne and how they seem cold to him today. Rayna admits Maddie’s concerns and Deacon promptly freaks out about Maddie thinking he’s a monster. Rayna is placidly sure that all will be well.
But when we next see Deacon, he’s clearly still stewing, and ultimately decides to drive off down the road.
Layla and Bucky meet up and however appropriate it may be given what she has gone through, it’s a bit strange to see Layla dressed in such a funereal fashion. She declares herself ready to get back to work and says she didn’t want to miss Rayna’s wedding after everything Rayna’s done for her. Bucky asks how she’s doing, and Layla says she’s finally at the point where she’s stopped blaming herself, that she understands now that this was just a freak accident for which there’s nobody to blame.
Wedding guests are still arriving, and Colt strolls in looking for Maddie. He couldn’t have texted her? He sees Layla.
Daphne and Tandy arrive at the barn. Rayna, of course, wants to talk with Daphne about what happened today, but Daphne informs Rayna that she doesn’t know how she (Daphne) feels. Daphne says the family is now Maddie, Rayna & Deacon, that she’s the odd one out. Rayna can’t seem to ease her fears just yet, and Daphne declares that not even Tandy wants Rayna to marry Deacon.
This is a good time for comic relief. Gunnar’s eyes are roaming around, trying to find meat for Scarlett. He sets her up with Mike, whose father goes way back with Rayna. But it turns out that Mike’s a taxidermist and Scarlett is grossed out. Meanwhile, Avery gripes about having to cover for Juliette. Scarlett, having escaped from Mike, Avery and Gunnar agree on a rescue signal (pulling one’s ear).
Cash finds Maddie somewhere around the wedding barn, and Maddie vents about Deacon and whether she can trust him. Cash gets the recovering alcoholic part because of her father Frankie, and reasons that they’re lucky their dads have committed to sobriety, that this is the ultimate act of self-control. Cash gently suggests Rayna knows better than Maddie ever could, given that she’s kept him around for 20 years.
Meanwhile, Rayna accuses Tandy of undermining Deacon to Daphne. Tandy denies it, naturally, but expresses concerns about Deacon’s volatility. That’s enough to set Rayna off into a defensive tantrum, and she tells Tandy that nothing is going to stop her from marrying Deacon and Tandy can leave if she doesn’t like it. Tandy turns to leave and Rayna can’t believe it. But it was a fakeout. Tandy’s just going to get the makeup team to get Rayna ready to marry the love of her life.
As Deacon is off in some remote space collecting himself, it turns out that Frankie followed him. Boy, that family is just saving the day left and right, isn’t it? Frankie tells Deacon that he can choose his diseased self-doubt or choose to embrace his good luck and good people and life.
Back at the wedding barn, Colt somehow finds Layla and with absolutely no build-up or context, tells Layla the truth about Jeff’s death. She runs to the bathroom, nauseous.
Avery is accosted by wedding guests who are big Juliette fans who want to gush about her movies and inquire about future husband-wife collaborations, personal and professional. Nobody’s rescuing him.
Sitting down with the girls in her dressing room, Rayna acknowledges that it has been a strange day for Maddie and Daphne. She wants to make sure that the girls don’t have any doubts left about Deacon, so it’s time to hash it out. But Rayna’s idea of hashing things out is just Rayna talking, not listening, apparently. Rayna explains that Deacon is an emotional guy and that he is sometimes going to overreact. She compares him to the impetuous 16-year-old girl that is Maddie, which doesn’t 100% play the way she means it. Meanwhile, Rayna tells Daphne she knows how left out she’s been feeling. But, Rayna says Deacon is the outsider, the two girls and Rayna are the family and Deacon is going to be joining them if they’re okay with that. Before they can answer, the wedding planner arrives to ask Rayna if she has any idea where Deacon is.
Gunnar observes to Scarlett never thought when he wrote the song they’re about to play that he would ever play it at a wedding.
Meanwhile, Colt finally joins Maddie, who wants to know where he’d been. He looks over at Layla, who sits down next to Bucky and tells him she’s never had it easy.
Avery continues to field questions from inquisitive wedding guests, this time about the fact that he and Juliette only ever had a civil ceremony when they got married.
Frankie arrives in apparent search of somebody, which Cash notices.
And meanwhile, Deacon isn’t answering his phone. The wedding planner offers to make an announcement, but Rayna isn’t sure what to do. Right on cue, Deacon arrives and suggests she put on her wedding dress. Whew!
Everything having calmed down, Scarlett & Gunnar perform a special string-supported wedding version of “When the Right One Comes Along” as Rayna walks up the aisle.
To DOWNLOAD the wedding version of “When The Right One Comes Along,” written by Justin Davis, Georgia Middleman and Sarah Zimmerman and performed by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio, click HERE!
Deacon recites his vows, recounting their journey of friendship and music. Rayna talks about Deacon being the one who almost got away, and affirms that together, they are stronger and wiser. The pastor declares them married, and Deacon kisses Rayna and dips her.
Rayna and Deacon have their 1st dance as a married couple to Jim Lauderdale singing the Buck Owens classic “Together Again.”
Meanwhile, Layla kind of corners Avery about Juliette and when he registers his growing discomfort with the subject by using the rescue signal, Gunnar doesn’t see him. Instead, Gunnar sees Scarlett’s signal as she is getting an earful about Batman and other comic heros from her current dance partner. It’s almost as if the show is telling us that Scarlett and Gunnar can only ever be right for each other. Scarlett and Gunnar enjoy a friendly, good-natured dance together that reminds us that they are much more enjoyable as friends than in a soapy romantic relationship.
Colt and Maddie have finally found each other, and their halting conversation shows us that they are living different lives. Colt likes the structure of chores, curfews and discipline but Maddie is attracted to a more free-spirited life. Colt has to leave because of curfew but promises to drop by next weekend after he’s doen with his chores.
Later, Deacon asks Maddie to dance, and apologizes for his actions the previous night. By now, Maddie is understanding. Meanwhile, Rayna and Daphne talk again. Daphne is in more of a listening mood now, and when she asks Rayna if she ever loved Teddy (hey, remember him?), Rayna says she’ll always love Teddy, if for no other reason that he gave her Daphne. Awh.
As their dance continues, Deacon asks Maddie to please interrupt him if he ever again does anything to scare her. He promises that he’ll stop immediately. He later asks Daphne to dance too, and she’s happy for the sign of reconciliation and acceptance.
Rayna greets Avery, who tries to cover for Juliette when Rayna observes that she was having a hard time after having the baby. Avery can’t squirrel his way out of the conversation fast enough, and retreats to some backdoor, secluded area.
Aglow in family bliss, Deacon sidles up beside Tandy and asks if she’s really okay with all this. Tandy reassures him that she made her peace with their relationship, but is all “bless your heart” when she informs that if he ever hurts Rayna again, she’ll come after him with the “force of a hurricane.”
Rayna and Deacon leave the wedding and head home together, unbothered by paparazzi. Deacon sings “From Here On Out,” a sweet ballad about commitment written in real life by Andy Albert, Timothy Bowen and Stephanie Lambring to Rayna.
To DOWNLOAD “From Here On Out,” written by Andy Albert, Timothy Bowen and Stephanie Lambring and performed by Charles Esten, click HERE!
Scarlett offers Gunnar a ride home after he sees that Avery bailed. We later learn that Avery returned home because he had a panic attack after talking to Rayna. He tells Emily he doesn’t think he can do this anymore.
As the episode wraps, we see a steely Layla asking Glenn to be her new manager. She is as focused and motivated as she has ever been and Glenn is ready for the job. Layla says she has 10 new songs that she thinks might serve as a better artist introduction than the ones already recorded for her record, though Glenn says that may be a tough negotiation with the label. But that’s why Layla is hiring him. She also wants a new producer for those songs: Avery. So…Glenn as manager, Avery as producer. Layla plotting her revenge by SWF-ing Juliette? Come back next week to find out, won’t you?