Nashville S5E17 Recap: Cold Beers and Colder Hearts

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Nashville S5E17 Recap: Cold Beers and Colder Hearts

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Russ Martin

Created date

July 7, 2017

Who wouldn’t want to knock one back with Will Lexington? As we learn this week, research shows even straight men like Will Lexington. But let’s be real, so do gay men. (And all types of women.)

Everyone wants to have a beer with Will Lexington. And so Will is tapped to star in his very own Budweiser ad. It’s the first big brand deal cooked up by Highway 65’s newbie marketing exec Alyssa Greene. When Alyssa first put brand deals on the table, the artists all thought it was a terrible idea. Guess what? They can all eat crow because Will’s Bud ad is really, really, good.

It has Will saving young ladies from paint cans dropping out of the sky and old ladies from oncoming trucks.


He even makes pals with a dog. What more could you want? The ad’s ready for the Super Bowl. It’s totally perfect. Come on, when will your fave?

Off screen, though, things aren’t quite as slick for Will as they appear in Bud Land. While getting suited up like the original Man In Black, Johnny Cash, Will is reacquainted with Jakob Fine, who spills a little tea about Zach, branding him a “boy who’s got two billion dollars and decided he could buy whatever he wanted.”

But is Zach really a cheater like Jakob suggests? Will asks him about it and gets a very convincing response, plus a very romantic proclamation of love.

The trouble comes later when Will intercepts a late night call for Zach from a handsome mystery man, Jeff, on a second cell phone. Only two types of people have multiple phones. Drug dealers and cheaters. And Will doesn't need to be messing with either.

Zach tells a likely story about an ex who’s still in love with him, but Will’s not buying it.

After the big presentation of Will’s ad, Zach makes a big play for Will’s forgiveness by calling Jeff and breaking things off with him on speakerphone. It completely backfires. Will just looks at him and says, “That was horrible. And someday you’re going to do it to me.”

Looks like the Man In Black is single again.

Soon enough, cute boys will be sniffing around Will, just like the ladies now are with Deacon. Deacon even has one woman swinging by to drop off a home cooked pot pie.

There’s only one he has real romantic tension with, though: Jessie Caine. Zach wants to sign Jessie to Highway 65 and sets the them up for a coffee, where they end up talking for hours while the shop around them clears out. Jessie tells the whole story about her “irretrievably dead” marriage to an angry man who wound up with her assistant and best friend. Deacon opens up too and ends up in tears.

Alyssa calls the situation just as she sees it: Jessie Cane has a crush on Deacon. Her reasoning is right on the nose, too. Deacon, the handsome widower still married to his grief is, indeed, the plot of a whole library full of romance novels.

When Deacon tries to make things clear with Jessi, though, oh boy does it not go well. She gives me a verbal smackdown for suggesting anything more than business was going on between them.

Deacon still shows up to her gig and she plays a song he needs to hear. “I was a fool for thinking this would be that easy, because baby I’m still learning how to lose you.”

It’s still too soon for Deacon, but maybe one day a woman like Jessie will be just right for him.

From Deacon’s love life to Will’s Bud ad, Alyssa is firing on all cylinders this week. She even comes up with a great plan for changing the narrative about Scarlett after the cheating scandal: a surprise show and meet and greet; all social media, no press, then a benefit for a cause Scarlett cares about - a women’s health clinic.  

Alyssa sets up a private show where The Exes play for a tear-soaked room of teenage girls. But even in that safe haven, she’s not free from scorn. A superfan, Nadine, has some super harsh words for her.

Eventually, Scarlett finds a way to channel all the negativity into something positive. She holds a private talk with a handful of fans who have been hurt and opens about her experiences and why she now refuses to feel shame. 

The fans all share stories of the people in their lives who have mistreated them and realize together how shame works: when you start believing the things people say about you, you feel shame. If you choose not to, you can set yourself free from it.

It was a beautiful, healing moment for everyone in the room.

...Now, who’d like a nice cold Bud?


Tune in to brand new episodes of Nashville Thursdays at 9 E/P! 


charles esten
clare bowen
Rachel Bilson