Nashville S6E1 Recap: The Beginning of the End

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Nashville S6E1 Recap: The Beginning of the End

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Russ Martin

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January 5, 2018

Happy New Year, Nashies! The holidays have just hit Music City when we drop back in on Deacon, Juliette, and the rest of the Nashville gang. There are still presents under the tree, but Christmas has already passed; it turns out Deacon just forgot to take a family portrait (sorry, Deac, that’s a Dad Fail!).

They all have big New Year’s Eve gigs. Juliette’s throwing a party to kick off to her soon-to-be ill-fated tour, Gunnar’s playing his first solo show without Scarlett, and Scarlett’s playing babysitter to Maddie, who performed at a big benefit at the Staples Center in L.A.

Before any of that, though, Juliette’s previews the Thicker Than Water tour in Nashville before heading out on the road. It’s an important moment for her – we all remember how her detour into gospel went. She’s still fighting bad PR from stealing Maddie’s song (deservedly) and seriously needs some positive news.

To say the show goes badly is an understatement. Actually, it doesn’t even really go. She goes on to waving arms and choruses of “Nashville loves you!” but then she spots some nasty signs, "SONG THIEF!" and "BACKSTABBER!"

Juliette loses her mind. She goes on rant then bolts from the stage, just one song into her act.

It’s not a cute look. Good on her for standing up for herself, but she needed to have the hecklers removed, not bail herself. Plus, she should probably just embrace her growing army of hate listeners. They bought tickets, girl. Money in your pocket.

You know what was a cute look? Maddie playing the Staples Center! That’s the big time. It’s just an opening slot, but still – pretty major. Maddie’s kills it, obviously, but more importantly, she meets a puppy dog of a pop star in the mold of Shawn Mendes named Jonah Ford.

It turns out the last minute gig came at his request. And it comes with an invitation for Maddie to join a studio session the next day. She’s straight swooning... until he stands her up, letting her know via text he can’t make it once she’s already there. Ugh, how L.A. (Aside: Maddie’s *thisclose* to living out the exact lyrics of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A." and we’re living for it.)

Right before she’s set to leave L.A., Jonah shows up at her hotel with peonies. The perfect flower, even if his assistant picked them out for him. They go for the most indulgently cutesy dinner ever before he flies her home in a private jet (guess he has Bieber money?).

It gets pretty saccharine, but they’re young so we’ll let them have it. It looks like Maddie’s landed herself her first famous boyfriend!

Way out in North Carolina, Juliette and Avery have decamped to a woodsy retreat to escape what’s been branded as “The Music City Meltdown” by the press. Juliette’s in a downward spiral dealing with a serious, dark depression. It’s in that vulnerable state she meets a man who’s either going to be her saviour, or a seriously dangerous leech.

Darius Enright sits down next to Juliette in the insomnia-soaked lobby of the hotel. He’s a total doublespeak-er, tossing off platitudes and answering questions with questions. A smooth talking spiritual type. As Juliette later discovers, he’s a sort-of new age TV preacher, but without any specific religion or school of thought.

He’s a guru in a business suit and Juliette, you better run. First: don’t trust someone named Darius. Second: Can’t you just go back to plain old Christianity? Damn what everyone said, that gospel album was *not* that bad. 

She gets a perfectly timed called from Darius once she’s back in Nashville and thinks he’s stalking her, which is Juliette showing good instincts for once. Darius tells her he recognized her pain, but come on. Anyone could recognize Juliette’s pain from the pages of a tabloid.

He denies he’s running a cult – or even a religion. He’s a “mind trainer,” which sounds creepy in a Criss Angel way. Here’s a lesson, Juliette. Next time someone tells you to close your eyes and count to 10, just don’t. Take 10 steps towards the door instead.

This guy is bad news, right? It certainly seems like it, but the old count to 10 trick ends up working for Juliette. When she sits down for a radio interview with a Nashville DJ who goes IN on her, we see her pull her new tool out of her belt. She stops and counts to 10, then calmly reveals she struggles with depression and it’s been very bad lately.

This is a whole new approach for Juliette. It’s relatable and vulnerable and even if it comes via advice from a cult-y weirdo, it’s a step in the right direction. She announces on air she’s putting her tour on hold, but she ends the interview with a smile.

Juliette’s certainly not the only one struggling this week. Can we talk about how Gunnar’s hair is Justin Timberlake-in-N’SYNC blond? He definitely stumbled on “Change your look” in a GQ article about how to get over a breakup.

Gunnar and Scarlett are using Will as their own personal postal service, which is the dreaded role of every gay friend to a pair of hetero ex-lovers. He’s being a *very* good friend to them both, but especially Gunner, who he’s coaching to re-swaggerize is his live show, a la How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

Will giving Gunnar pep talks and helping him prep for his first solo gig is beyond endearing. The male friendships on Nashville are rock solid and Gunnar and Will and the perfect buddies in bad times. (Will, for his part, is super wounded over Zach moving on with a “perfect” guy, but he shouldn’t be. Will’s the perfect one and Zach’s just a grown, gay Richie Rich.)

When Gunner starts to lose his confidence on stage at his NYE gig, WIll appears beside him, singing into the mic along with him. It’s an adorable little friendship save. Can these two just date? Or, at the very least, start a follow-up duo to The Exes called The Friends?

Across town, Deacon gets the ultimate NYE surprise: all three of his best girls in one place. He may not have a woman in his life, but he has something even better – three.

And, just after the stroke of midnight, Juliette makes a call to Darias. We get just two words of the call: “I’m ready.”

Ready for what? We’re not sure we want to know.


hayden panettiere
charles esten