The “Nashville” Season 3 winter premiere proved that news travels fast in Music City. Rayna (Connie Britton) broke up with Luke (Will Chase) only minutes before she called her manager Bucky (David Alford), but he already knew. Luke’s manager had already called him. Rayna realized the whole world was going to find out a bit sooner than she’d like.
First, she had to tell her daughters. Maddie (Lennon Stella) asked the question on the mind of every “Nashville” fan: “Does this mean you’re going to marry Deacon then?”
Unfortunately, Rayna explained it was never an “either/or” situation. She wouldn’t marry Deacon (Charles Esten) just because she broke up with Luke. Daphne (Maisy Stella) wasn’t happy, either. She wanted new siblings and was very attached to the Wheeler family. The four siblings hung out while their parents were busy, and it was clear that Maddie and Colt (Keean Johnson) were a different kind of attached. It looks like their romantic relationship might start back up since they’re no longer future stepsiblings.
However, Luke was the one who took the news the worst. After Rayna dumped him, he ran his car into the wedding cake, and then he went to Deacon’s house to look for Rayna. Deacon was thrilled to hear they broke up, but he said it didn’t have anything to do with him. He hadn’t seen Rayna in weeks.
“It’s always been about you,” Luke yelled. “Every damn day since you two met. I should’ve known better than to sniff around that b----.”
That was all it took for Deacon to tackle Luke to the ground. Unfortunately, fans outside got a video of the fight, and it went viral.
Scarlett (Clare Bowen) broke up the fight. She was concerned for Deacon’s health. He attempted to avoid a doctor’s appointment to see Rayna, but she was already off to deal with Luke. He had no choice but to go to his doctor and find out whether he had cancer. Not only does he have a tumor on his liver, but he could die. He needs a transplant, and he’ll need to do it soon. If his tumor grows just a little more, it’ll be inoperable.
Rayna’s day wasn’t quite as tragic, but just as painful. She went to talk to Luke while he used their champagne bottles for target practice. When Rayna tried to talk to Luke, he claimed he was responsible for her success. He thought she had used him to help her career. Once he made it clear he would continue to be a jerk, Rayna went to the press and released a kind statement that didn’t place blame or show resentment. Luke decided that he would show the world that he was totally fine after the breakup with a free concert using all the food and decorations from the wedding (for which Rayna was given the bill).
Rayna’s night was a little less lively, but way more exciting for “Nashville” audiences. Rayna went to Deacon and declared her love for him -- but she wasn’t ready to get back together with him just yet.
“I love you,” she said. “I’ve loved you since the first time I ever laid eyes on you, the first time I ever heard you playing a note on the guitar, the first time I ever heard you laugh and even through all the hell we put each other through. And I love you now. But I said yes to Luke, ’cause I didn’t want the pain.”
Rayna asked for some time. She loved him, but she wasn’t ready for a relationship. She didn’t realize Deacon was short on time, and he wasn’t about to tell her. He told her to take as long as she needed -- and Scarlett reprimanded him for it later. She said he needed to tell her about the tumor.
“I don’t even know what we are, OK?” Deacon said. “But I know that I don’t want her like this. Feeling sorry for me, taking care of me -- that’s all she’s ever done, all right? I want to be the one to take care of her, and I can’t do it right now because I’m sick!”
Other lives were in danger in the “Nashville” midseason premiere. Layla (Aubrey Peeples) ended the midseason finale face down in the pool at Jeff’s (Oliver Hudson) house. Teddy (Eric Close) used his political powers to stop the police from making any arrests at the Edgehill party. They dropped charges the people at the party, but Layla could press charges. She still hadn’t woken up after being found passed out in the pool. Will (Chris Carmack) was in the waiting room, but Jeff was busy dealing with lawyers and making sure he didn’t jeopardize his career. Luckily, Layla woke up, but apparently that wasn’t her plan.
“I tried to kill myself and couldn’t even get that right,” Layla said.
Layla was so upset after she saw Will with another woman that she took Jeff’s pills and attempted to commit suicide. She told Will she wanted a divorce, and he promised to let her out of their marriage. Jeff wasn’t sitting by her bedside, but he did work to help Layla. He got her reality show canceled and made sure the footage of Will coming out of the closet stayed hidden.
Gunnar (Sam Palladio) had his own secrets. He tried to keep Micah (Gunnar Sizemore) in the dark about his paternity while he was fighting for custody. He just couldn’t bring himself to tell Micah that his mother (Alexa PenaVega) lied again. Unfortunately, Micah didn’t take it well when Gunnar revealed that he was his uncle instead of his father. Micah told the court he wanted to live with his grandparents. They took him back to Texas, and he refused to say goodbye to Gunnar.
Sadie (Laura Benanti) would have loved for her ex Pete (Jay Wilkison) to leave the state, but that clearly wasn’t going to happen. She bought a gun. Pete came to her house to apologize for punching her in the face. He attempted to bring her food and be nice, but Sadie wouldn’t answer the door. She had the gun in her hand, ready to shoot if Pete tried to come in. He left, but he made it clear he’d be back. She filled out forms for a restraining order.
Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) and Avery (Jonathan Jackson) proved to be the comedic relief once again. The day after their wedding, Avery moved into Juliette’s house, but she didn’t really want his stuff there. Eventually, Juliette made some more room for him and found a home for his favorite ugly chair in the nursery.
“Nashville” Season 3 is shown on on ABC Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST. Will Deacon tell Rayna about his illness -- or will Scarlett do it for him? Sound off in the comments section below!