5 Awesome Things from the Nashville Winter Finale

Nashville (Screen: ABC)

When Ruke’s wedding is one of the duller story lines, you know it’s an exciting episode!
Luke wraps up the pre-wedding1 leg of his tour in Memphis, where he says “TTFN” to Will and “nice working with you” to nemesis Deacon. Meanwhile in Nashville, bride-to-be Rayna welcomes sister Tandy back to town. Scarlett meets up with uncle Deacon after the Memphis show and they decide to hang there for a couple days before heading home. Jeff the skeevy exec corners secretly gay Will, informs him of fresh rumors regarding his sexual orientation, and suggests he try appearing more hetero. Super preggo Juliette asks ex-boyfriend/baby daddy Avery to move into her guest room so they can co-parent more conveniently. Rayna tells Tandy she’s under pressure to extend the Honeymoon Tour an extra six months but doesn’t want to be away from Maddie and Daphne that long. Deadbeat mom Kylie is still M.I.A., but her parents show up at Gunnar’s door with a court order to take Micah back to Texas. On his lawyer’s advice, Gunnar decides to fight this in court and undergoes a paternity test. Ooh, Maury-riffic!

Mayor Teddy and charming prostitute Natasha discuss the “freebie” he received at the CMAs and decide they should keep it professional and paid from now on. Scarlett takes Deacon out on the town and tries to help him forget Ruke’s much publicized wedding. Sadie’s creepy ex-husband Pete shows up at her recording studio, still demanding compensation for the song she wrote about him being an abusive dirtbag. Hoping to quash the gay rumors, Will asks beard wife Layla to join him on tour, but she’s more interested in staying home and texting a certain “someone”. Rayna’s unpleasantly surprised when Maddie and Daphne DGAF about her and Luke extending the tour, and is especially irked when they say they’ve been talking with future stepdad about boarding school. Ahh yes, just what this coffin needs – one more nail.

Here are five awesome things from the Nashville winter finale.

Beard Marriage Breakdown OH MY GOD. Will and Layla go to a raging house party where he later spots her flirting with Jeff. Will confronts the boss man, who admits to sleeping with Layla once. “I figured, better she be getting it from me than some stranger that we can’t control, right?” Eww. But once Will lays out his plan to bring Layla on tour, Jeff decides to ditch her. Later, drunk Layla tries making out with Jeff. He shoots her down, she gets desperate and weepy, so he hands her a bottle of chill pills. Will (who’s been watching the entire Jeff/Layla exchange from a bathroom window) is accosted by some ‘freelance reporter” chick who wants to do him. When he tells her to go away, she’s asks if the gay rumors are true. So he sexes her! And then Layla walks in on them!! Pretty soon, beard wife’s chugging more booze, popping more pills… and next thing ya know, Will finds her cutesy little Santa cap laying next to the hot tub where she’s DROWNING. He screams for help. Meanwhile, guess who Jeff phones? His new pal, Mayor Teddy. Time to call in a favor from his fellow John!

More fun times with Deacon and Scarlett Scarlett drags Deacon to a Memphis karaoke bar. Of course, he complains. Of course, he and his niece are amazing. Their badass duet of Elvis’s “It’s Alright Mama” rivals Scarlett and Zoey’s “Come See About Me” for Outstanding Karaoke Moment (bonus points for Deacon channeling The King with a windmill arm and some pelvic thrusts). Between this and the CMA viewing experience, I’m starting to think these two loner weirdos oughta be my new BFFs.

Shotgun! Avery gets anxious after he agrees to be Juliette’s live-in baby daddy. As he confides in both Sadie and his mom, trying to be friends ain’t easy. So what’s it gonna be – will he bolt or might he try making the boyfriend/girlfriend thing work again? Screw those half-assed plans. Avery flat out asks Juliette to marry him. And she does! In a lacy tent dress!! OH HAPPY DAY!!!

(Not) a real son of a Gun(nar) In the most belated predictable plot twist of season three’s first half, we learn the truth about Micah’s lineage. The paternity test proves Gunnar is not his real father, but also not unrelated. That’s right – crazy Kylie cheated with Gunnar’s good-for-nothing dead brother all those years ago, making him Micah’s dad. Sobbing Gunnar reveals all this to Scarlett moments after she’s learned that Deacon may have cancer. So she starts bawling, then they’re hugging, and I think we all know where this goes. Something about terrible family news always makes these two randy. Hey, maybe Gunnar’s dead brother is good for something after all!

Free Rayna Luke could never be right for Rayna because he’s in a constant, shallow state of self-promotion, as evidenced by his obnoxious red carpet rehearsal dinner that she hates. And yet, I wasn’t sure if she’d figure that out. Yes, we got a few of those lingering shots of serious Rayna — reading her Rolling Stone cover story, staring deeply into space — but we already saw plenty of that in the season’s pilot, when she SPURNED DEACON2 FOR THIS DOUCHE. But the second she shows up at Luke’s estate on the morning of their wedding day, wearing an ugly brown jacket3 and haggard expression, I could tell she was ready to call it quits. Then came those four magic words. “I can’t marry you.” Hooray, hooray! Now we never have to say “Ruke” again.

  1. Correction from last week – Ruke’s wedding is scheduled to take place in Nashville (not Australia), while the honeymoon/Honeymoon Tour is set to kick off in the land down under. Sorry. Soaps get confusing.  
  2. In fairness, let’s take a moment to remember the elbow to the eye – oof!  
  3. Hair still fabulous, as always  

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