Rayna and Deacon are in New York City for the benefit concert she promised to do a few episodes ago, although Vita, the car-dwelling thief who inspired it, has just disappeared from the show’s collective memory. Rather like poor old Riff, it’s like she didn’t ever exist. But then Rayna finds out that Older Girl is working with Big Name Producer, who is also a big sexual predator; he tried to force himself on Rayna years ago when she was young and vulnerable.
Rayna can’t get hold of OG, so manages to persuade The Huffington Post to publish an open letter which calls BNP out by name. This all seems to happen unrealistically quickly, but what the hell, it’s the last episode of the season. Then, unable to bear the thought of what might be happening to his daughter, Deacon disappears, which generally means that someone’s going to have to be hosed off a wall. He gets there, though, in time to stop BNP; and, for once, manages not to hit someone – although, paradoxically, it’s someone who deserves a beating – and he and OG get the hell out of there.
The most entertaining and moving storyline of the week, however, belongs to Juliette, who’s in LA for the Oscars. She invites Avery and Cadence – and, as it happens, Layla – to join her, which of course puts Layla’s pert little nose out of joint. Juliette then discovers that someone – *ahem* Layla *ahem* – has leaked details of Jeff’s rooftop plunge to the press, and Jeff’s sister sues her. She settles out of court – again, this all happens unrealistically quickly, but what the hell etc. – then gives an interview during which she admits everything, thus finally giving herself a chance to move on.
But does Layla get away with it? Well, no. Glenn finds out what she’s been doing, and sacks her as a client; then Avery finds out too, and sacks her as a girlfriend (“You’re crazy, and we’re done!” – great line), before more or less reconciling with Juliette by phone. I do feel kind of sorry for Layla, who’s had a rough couple of seasons. Which all started with her gay husband, Will. This week he manages to get himself on the Cynthia Davis show after launching a sort of country music protest outside her studio. (The song that he and Luke do, incidentally, is something like the best thing Luke’s ever done on the show.) Kevin watches approvingly. Luke matchmakes a little, then gets out of the way. What a season Luke has had.
The news isn’t so good for The Exes, though, and therefore not for me. Scarlett decides that she needs to tell Gunnar how she feels, but at the precise moment when she’s doing so Autumn dashes into the room and proprietorially coils herself around Gunnar. At that precise moment. My note on this scene is simply “OFFS”. A subsequent conversation doesn’t sort things out, and so Scarlett and Gunnar decide that it’s time to pursue solo careers, much to the horror of their manager dude (who, it should be said, displays the patience of a saint throughout, combined with tact, and with genuine affection for his charges. Rather like Glenn and Bucky, as CJ has already observed).
So The Exes – still on tour – hit the stage for the last time, faces grim; not for the first time, it’s very Civil Wars. But as they unfurl another of their lovely, angsty songs, they make eye contact, the onstage chemistry reasserts itself, Gunnar FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY realises what time it is, and they make out. On stage. On effing stage. As a very longstanding, and intense, Gunnlett shipper I tried manfully to underreact, but let’s be honest; I squee’d my head off. I suppose all that leaves is a nagging sense that I never quite worked out what Autumn’s game was, and that Alicia Witt, an interesting actor, was somewhat underserved. Still, Gunnlett!
And then… well, at the time the episode was being written and filmed, it looked as if it was going to be the Nashville series finale, so just about everyone else gets a happy ending as well. OG comes back to Rayna and Deacon, who kiss. Will and Kevin kiss. Luke realises that his ex-wife might just have been the love of his life, and calls her. (Whoever she might be. We haven’t seen her yet.) Juliette decides that the Academy Awards can get on just fine without her, so boards a plane to go home to Avery and Cadence. As it happens, though, the writers and producers had time to pull the happy Julvery reunion scene which had been filmed, and instead insert one in which a distress signal is received from Juliette’s plane, in order to give us a cliffhanger for a possible fifth season; then, after being cancelled by ABC, Nashville unexpectedly did indeed find itself a new home on cable channel CMT.
There’s no word yet whether UK viewers will get to see that fifth season, which has just started in America. Still, I will totally be there if we do. The advance word on season 4 was that it was something of a letdown. But despite the welter of annoying characters (e.g. Deacon) and annoying storylines (e.g. anything with Deacon) I generally loved it, and this was a terrific way to round the season off.