Nashville s6 ep 16

Last episode, ever ever ever. Juliette puts her house on the market, in order to buy a farm (?), and Hallie tells Avery that Juliette is pregnant. Juli, however, makes it clear to Avery that she doesn’t want him to come back to her for the baby; it has to be because he needs her, which he really doesn’t. Not that that’s going to be a problem, of course, But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Deacon is offered a tour as headliner. He seems overwhelmed. I kind of thought that he would have headlined a tour before now, but apparently not, given his reaction. Before he can decide what to do, though, he and The Girls have one or two more traumas to negotiate. Maddie is now hanging out with Twig, who has become… kinda annoying and a little needy, like the guy who can’t believe his luck that he’s dating the most popular girl in school. Maddie rips the plaster off. Sorry, Twiglet. It isn’t her; it’s you.

Deacon has kicked his father out, but makes the mistake of giving him the opportunity to come out with some more self-serving pap about his past, his alcohol use… so we know we’re not going to be rid of him. And to compound that, Daphne invites Gideon to the final of Brad’s stupid reality show, for which Brad has deliberately given her a song to perform which isn’t in her wheelhouse. Daphne loses the competition, and is pretty upset. On the plus side, her coach Ilse – who has actually been really nice – flirts rather endearingly with Deacon.

Avery, Will, and Gunnar decide to get the band back together, minus Alannah, who is now fully engaged in the final phase of Project Brad. He invites her to his hotel room and makes violent advances towards her, which she repels. He then runs through some #MeToo talking points: powerful women and beautiful women, that’s the deal, you’ll never work again, stopping just short of asking “Got enough?” Because, of course, Alannah recorded the whole thing. Thus Zach – I had totally forgotten about his Senate run – and Deacon, and a lift full of women, including Jessie, march on Brad’s office and tell him that he’s going to sell (name of record company – still can’t be bothered looking it up) for a tenth of its market value and give Jessie full custody of their son. Otherwise the recording, and the rest of the allegations, will be made public.

Now, hold on there. I appreciate that analysing the plot of Nashville is a fool’s errand, but it’s the last time I’m going to have that chance, so here goes. Much as Brad deserves to be screwed over, I’m not at all sure that blackmail is the way to do it. And in the event that Nashville’s Ronan Farrow equivalent breaks the story – and word will get out somehow, there’s no doubt about that, given how many victims there are – how is it going to look for a Senate candidate to be party to a deal which suppressed evidence of serious sexual misconduct in return for a business deal which is favourable to him? Oh, the hell with it; it’s the finale. Well done, everyone. #Time’sUp, Brad.

Then it’s flash-forward time! I do like a good flash-forward. Six months on Maddie is moving into her own house and Daphne is signing a record deal. Since this is the final round-up I’m going to say, yet again and for the final time, that I wouldn’t have believed how much these characters have improved, and how good Lennon and Maisy Stella have been. I hope they both have great careers doing whatever they want to do. (Particularly Maisy, who has been close to being the show’s MVP in the final season.) Alannah – hey! – is supporting – ho! – The Lumineers. I remain utterly steadfast in my view that she was one of the show’s good guys, and I liked the actor (Rainee Blake). Will and Zach are a couple. The Last Highways (sic) are a success.

As for romantic endgames: I don’t get my Gunnlett, because Scarlett is engaged to… well, whatever that was. Everyone else gets Julvery, though, because the writers decide to let Avery pretend that he can’t live without Juliette, and let the viewers pretend that this time Juliette isn’t going to pull the football away, so he travels out to live on her stupid farm with her and her stupid goats, and they live happily ever after, until the next time she makes his life miserable.

But the final scenes belong to Deacon, who is on his first solo tour. It’s worth noting that it’s only a year and a half since he staggered off with our Most Annoying Character award, something which seems inconceivable now. I mean, it’s completely inconceivable while we have Toby from This Is Us in our lives, but the way in which the character turned around to fill the Rayna-shaped void in the show felt organic, which is a huge tribute to Chip Esten’s acting throughout. And he – and we – get our reward, with the appearance of Connie Britton, doing a Clooney. 

So we get a lovely little scene in which they flash back to their wedding night – and Esten and Britton are so good together – which becomes a full-on, fourth-wall-shattering onstage finale, in which just about everyone who’s ever been in Nashville joins in with ‘A Life That’s Good’. It’s not perfect: I could really have done without Deacon and Gideon reconciling (“Son, I know all your songs”), for reasons which I’ve gone into in previous reviews, and I could happily have lived without seeing Beverly ever again. On the other hand – Rayna! Mayor Teddy! Both of the twins who play Cadence! Luke! And acknowledgement being given to creator Callie Khouri, and the people behind the scenes as well. 

Nashville, I loved you. May we all have a life that’s good. And that’s a wrap.

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4 thoughts on “Nashville s6 ep 16

  1. Bill August 26, 2018 / 7:55 pm

    I too am surprised at the 180 I have taken with Deacon, Maddie and Daphne. Juliette was woefully underused this season, but I am pleased she and Avery are living the country life together. Will and Zack together makes me very happy,l (though inhad hoped there would be a marriage), and I do wish Gunnar and Scarlett had sorted themselves out. I understand that her engagement was to her real life husband, who was possibly an extra on the show.

    Great wee ending for a show that peaked and troughed and probably should have ended a couple of seasons ago. No idea what will fill the gap Nashville has left now though!

    • Jed Bartlet August 26, 2018 / 7:57 pm

      NOTHING, Bill. NOTHING will fill the Nashville gap.

      (But we have reviews of Sky Witness’s new shows: 9-1-1 and For The People are already up, and Instinct will be coming soon.)

  2. CJ Cregg August 26, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    To be honest, I’m kinda disappointed that a show created by a celebrated feminist writer which started life explicitly focussed on two complicated, interesting, adult women devoted so much of its final season and its final episode to the well-worn theme of “man and his Daddy issues”. I don’t say that to minimise Deacon’s pain though – I agree with you, Jed, that the show’s attitude to the abuse he suffered and his father was bizarre and offensive – or Chip Esten’s performance. After years of Deacon being completely insufferable, he got a chance to be the heart of the show this year and he did it beautifully.
    Mind you, as far as the Girls are concerned, I never really found their storylines compelling, and it did feel like, latterly, Nashville was desperately using them to try to bring in a younger audience for what is very much a mid-range adult show, but the Stellas weren’t in any way to blame for that, and I agree they both did great jobs with often not great material.
    Bill’s right that Juliette was ridiculously under-used this year. The cult storyline was terrible. But even though Juliette was often a terrible, selfish person over the years, I think she was always a terrific character and Hayden Panettiere was always amazing. I’m with Bill – I’m glad she and Avery got their nice quiet country happy ending. Was Avery the first example of a Nashville male character who started off being the worst and was suddenly rewritten to be the loveliest? Does that make him the Proto-Deacon? Either way, Jonathan Jackson was great too.
    I think my problem with the season and the finale as a whole, though, was that the important stuff all had to happen off-screen. As Nashville is/was wont to do, it spent most of the season on random newbies (Alannah, cf Vita or Cash or Beverley in the past) and relationships that went nowhere (Maddie and her boyfriends, Scarlett and Sean, cf Scarlett and Damien or whatever that horrible Director dude was called), leaving itself no time to finish anyone’s story properly, so everyone’s happy endings just had to be pasted on at the end. Instead of spending the season getting to know Scarlett’s new fiancé with her, we glimpse him in a second in the flash-forward? I mean, I despise Scarlett, but WTF? And instead of Juliette and Avery finding their way back to each other gradually over the season, we waste weeks on him faffing about with Alannah and fighting with Gunnar over her, only for it all to mean nothing because again, just magically back together with Juliette in the ff? Ditto for Will and Zach. (FWIW, I genuinely thought Will and Gunnar were going to go there in that final too-long hug, and I agree with you Jed, I absolutely think we were meant to.) And the Last Highways being successful again!
    Having said all that, the finale was still pretty good. It was lovely to see Rayna again – I got quite emotional with Deacon at that point, and then when everyone came on stage at the end and sang together, it was so lovely and sad and sweet, I cried like a baby. And then your review made me cry some more. I hope we all have a life that’s good as well. As you said, Nashville had plenty of flaws, and I have been much less patient than you with it over the years, but something about it always kept me coming back so I think I loved it too. Goodbye y’all, it’s been fun.

  3. Jed Bartlet August 27, 2018 / 9:08 pm

    Oh yes. I completely forgot to say… quite a lot, to be honest, but top of that list is that Jonathan Jackson might well have been the show’s outstanding actor over the whole run.

    Also, I would have been VERY MUCH THERE for Will and Gunnar. Given all the Gunnars-of-the-Week we had to endure, I can’t see why we were deprived of Experimental Bi-Curious Gunnar.

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