Nashville Season 5 Finale Recap: Deacon Gets Some (Kinda)
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Nashville Season 5 Finale Recap: Deacon Gets Some (Kinda)

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Russ Martin

Created date

August 11, 2017

We open this week with Deacon taking a good, hard look at Nashville. When the camera pans out, we realize where he is: the office of Big Shiny Records. Is he there to make a deal with Nashville’s local devil, Brad Maitland?

Of course not. Deacon hears out Brad’s offer to acquire Highway 65, but he’s not selling. Highway 65 needs a saviour, but Brad is not the guy. The label is, however, backed into a corner. Last week Deacon was trying to keep the proverbial lights on at Highway 65. This week they literally go out.

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Zach plays a infantile game of hardball with the label. He cancels the electricity, cuts the phones, and drains the bank accounts. The billionaire boy wonder doesn’t need the cash. It’s just an act of pettiness that shows, as Deacon puts it, how small he is.

When Deacon finally tracks Zach down, he’s acts like some kind of Soprano mafioso, telling Deacon, “You are going to watch as I hold this label down by the throat until every single one of you comes to me begging for air.”

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What does any of this even matter to Zach? What’s so broken inside of Zach that he needs to “win” against a band of artists who want to stay true to their art? It wasn’t so long ago Zach was telling everyone in Nashville how much country music – and Rayna – meant to him.

After the stunt he pulls, Will swiftly dismisses Zach, whose argument for keeping him around is that he made Will the face of Budweiser. That really proves that in all this time, Zach’s learned absolutely nothing about Will or what he’s looking for in life. (Also, didn’t Will already dismiss him when he caught him messing around with his ex on his shady spare cell phone?)

Elsewhere in Nashville, a whole different war is being waged. The press is still buzzing about Juliette and Maddie’s “Tennessee tussle” and when Juliette shows up for an AMAs party, Maddie sends her yet another death glare.

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Daphne finally tells Deacon Juliette stole her new single from Maddie and he snap into full-on dad mode. He completely shuts her down. “I’m going to keep battling for Highway 65, but not for you. For everybody else. When the dust settles, if there is still a label, you are off of it.”

It’s cold, but what did she expect? This is the bed Juliette made for herself.

Out on the road, Juliette has yet another problem. Avery’s roadie is still on a mission to break them up. She’s been going on for weeks about Juliette not making Avery happy, telling him all her theories about the impossibility of monogamy and the “destruction the Juliettes of the world leave in their paths.”

Girl, you just met this man, who is in a committed relationship with a child. Calm yourself.

She goes all 80s video vixen on Avery, going to town on an ice cream cone as he tries to talk to Juliette on the phone.

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Juliette, meanwhile, is also eating ice cream. But it’s...not quite as sexy.

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Remember when Juliette used to be fun? She used to be a total spitfire, now she’s the trope of a nagging wife. She needs to scoot on a sparkly mini dress and serve up a little sass again. It’s time for the old Juliette to come back.

That may not be happening any time soon, but at least Juliette does the right thing and fesses up. She calls up Mackenzie Rhodes and comes clean about stealing Maddie’s song, then withdraws herself from the AMAs.

When Avery hears the news, he rushes home to be by her side. In a way, he proves the roadie right; Avery is in for a lifetime of cleaning up Juliette’s messes. But at the very least, she shows she can clean one up herself now and then.

While Juliette and Avery are reuniting, Gunnar and Scarlett are breaking up yet again. What’s wrong with these two? They can never get it together for more than a week or two. Right before they take the stage at the Bluebird’s anniversary show, Gunnar tells Scarlett he’s done trying with her.

When Scarlett cleans out the last of her things from his place, it looks like the end for these two. Then again, it always does, and it never is.

Their performance is sombre and uncomfortable, but not nearly as uncomfortable as what’s going on in the Bluebird parking lot.

Deacon discovers Alyssa smoking outside on his way in and after a tense conversation about Zach, Alyssa lunges in for a kiss with no prompt or cue. Then she just shrugs and says Deacon looked like he “needed it.”

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WHAT! IS! GOING! ON! ! ! IN! ! ! NASHVILLE????

Is she drunk? Has working with Zach made her totally lose it? What. A. Doozy.

Elsewhere, more madness. Zach gets a call from Mackenzie, who says she’s writing a story about “a billionaire fanboy who destroyed the legacy of Rayna Jaymes.”

Of course, it’s Juliette selling him out behind-the-scenes, but Zach goes postal on Deacon and accuses him of planting the story. It’s the last in an exhausting string of childish fits, but after everything, Deacon still somehow manages to treat Zach with compassion.

He tries to get to the root of Zach’s tyrannical outbursts. His theory? Loneliness. He explains to Zach he and the Highway 65 artists disagreed, they didn’t betray him.

Then he makes him an offer that’s more than generous, all things considered: a partnership. Instead of doing everything Zach’s way, they make decisions together, like a family. Like how Rayna ran Highway 65.

We never find out if Zach takes the deal or not. He should - it’s more than he deserves. But he’s yet to show any humility, and he’ll need a great deal of it to set everything aside and shake hands.

As much as Deacon cares about Highway 65, he’s got more important things on his mind. Family has always come first for him, not business. He takes Daphne and Maddie to L.A. for the AMAs, where Maddie delivers an incredible performance of Tidal Wave.

Afterwards, they rent a red convertible and take a family drive out along the Pacific coast. It’s a rare breath of peace after weeks of drama. And after all they’ve been through, it's gratifying to watch them drive off into the mountains together. A beautiful escape. 

 

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charles esten
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