“Nashville” Season 3 almost gave fans what they wanted in episode 15. Deacon (Charles Esten) and Rayna (Connie Britton) reunited onstage and finally had a much-needed talk. The “reunion millions of fans have been waiting for” that was promised in a promo happened, but it wasn’t as romantic as expected. While Deacon and Rayna ended the episode in each other’s arms, it wasn’t the beginning of a joyful reconciliation.
Maddie (Lennon Stella) knew something was wrong with her parents. Deacon was avoiding going to Rayna’s house. He said it was complicated and Maddie asked if he still loved her mother. “Till the day I die,” he said.
On the 10th anniversary of Rayna’s induction into the Grand Ole Opry, she invited her daughters to play at the celebration. After Maddie asked her about Deacon, Rayna decided to ask him to play with her, too. Initially, Deacon was reluctant to see Rayna, but he decided he had to see his daughter’s Opry debut. He wasn’t the only one to show up: It seemed like half of Nashville was there.
Teddy (Eric Close) kept ignoring the person with a blocked number who was calling his phone so he could focus on his daughters. However, he couldn’t ignore the caller forever. It turned out to be Natasha (Moniqua Plante), and she came to the Opry to confront him. She believed her house was being watched by law-enforcement personnel and that they may have seen Teddy there last week.
He wasn’t the only one of Rayna’s exes having a rough night. Luke (Will Chase) decided he couldn’t avoid her forever. His son Colt (Keean Johnson) wanted to go to the Opry to see Maddie’s debut. He had trouble keeping a smile on his face when he saw Deacon enter the Opry.
Deacon played with Maddie and Daphne (Maisy Stella). Then he came back onstage to sing a duet with Rayna, and it was as if they had never stopped playing together. Even Luke could see their chemistry as he watched begrudgingly from the sidelines. However, Deacon pretty much ran away after the gig was over. He didn’t even stick around to talk to Rayna.
The country star went to Deacon’s cabin by the lake to confront him. Rayna told Deacon that the way he just left the Opry hurt her, and Deacon started to tell her he was sick. Rayna told him he could fight, and she clearly thought he was talking about his alcohol addiction.
“I’m sick, Rayna,” he said. “I got cancer, OK?” She stood there shocked, as Deacon noted that she always said his drinking was going to get him killed. Then Rayna slapped him before she broke down crying. “I’m sorry,” he said as he held her.
Elsewhere in Music City, Will (Chris Carmack) was paired with Kevin (Kyle Dean Massey), an out-and-proud gay country singer, to write songs. Will was nervous about being around another gay man, and he even considered bailing on the session. He decided to go through with it, but Will had trouble opening up about his feelings.
They weren’t getting anywhere with writing after a few hours, and Will claimed it was because they just didn’t mesh well. “Is that because guys like you used to beat up guys like me in high school?” Kevin asked.
Once Will actually talked to Kevin, they finally started connecting over their pasts. They both had unfair fathers, and Will was even kicked out of his home. Finally, they had some good material to write a song about.
Will’s ex-wife Layla (Aubrey Peeples) was attempting to relaunch her career. Layla heard a plan hatched by Bucky (David Alford) and Highway 65 Records that would pretty much kept her on the shelf until Sadie (Laura Benanti) had her album out. Jeff (Oliver Hudson) decided that wasn’t good enough, and the plan wasn’t good for an alternative artist, anyway.
Layla wasn’t mainstream, so a surprise single fit her new brand. Bucky wasn’t happy when he heard that she put a single on the Internet with no warning, but the results were undeniable. Bloggers were talking, and the song was being downloaded without any promotion. Bucky promised Layla they would rework their plan for her.
Meanwhile, Scarlett’s (Clare Bowen) date with Caleb (Nick Jandl), Deacon’s doctor, wasn’t a great start for any kind of relationship. She kept talking about things she’d read while researching Deacon’s cancer. Caleb apologized to her at the end of the night because he thought this was supposed to be a date, and he was clearly wrong.
When she came home, she told Deacon it was his fault her date went horribly. She talked about his health with Caleb because Deacon wasn’t letting Scarlett tell anyone else about it. “It’s too much to handle, all right? It’s too much!” she said.
With an apology coffee in hand, Scarlett explained to Caleb he wasn’t mistaken. She intended it to be a date, but she talked about the only thing they had in common, knowledge of cancer. She invited him to her band’s next gig as a second date, and she promised not to talk about diseases.
Scarlett, Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Avery (Jonathan Jackson) played the Bridgestone Arena as an opening act for Rascal Flatts. They couldn’t come up with their new band name until the last minute when Scarlett brought Caleb backstage. The new guy in her life was clearly intimidated by meeting two of her ex-boyfriends. “The exes,” he said. Suddenly, the band had its name -- The Triple Exes.
The second date appeared to go much better. However, Gunnar might not be that happy about that Scarlett is moving on. His smile faded as he watched Scarlett and Caleb share a kiss.
Not everybody is on good terms with their exes. Sadie was the only one not in Nashville this week. She was in New York to go on “Good Morning America,” but the producers of the show asked her ahead of time whether they could talk about the lawsuit with her husband. Sadie didn’t want to talk about her violent past, but after hearing a news story about a woman murdered by her abusive husband, she changed her mind.
“I felt trapped and afraid and controlled by an awful, violent man, and I am not going to let him get away with it,” Sadie said on national television.
Viewers saw a shocked Pete (Jay Wilkison) watching Sadie’s interview with Robin Roberts. This likely isn’t the last “Nashville” fans have seen of him.
“Nashville” Season 3 is shown on ABC Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT. Do you think Rayna will get closer to Deacon now that she knows about his cancer? Sound off in the comments section below!