Nashville” was apparently exploring the cycle of life in Season 3, episode 17. Sadie (Laura Benanti) realized that she killed her ex-husband Pete (Jay Wilkison) in last week’s episode and had to wait to see if they would press charges against her. While the hour began with Pete being pronounced dead, it ended on a much lighter note, with Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) giving birth.
Rayna (Connie Britton) had a stressful night when she and Deacon (Charles Esten) told Maddie (Lennon Stella) and Daphne (Maisy Stella) about Deacon’s cancer. That bad night became a stressful morning when Sadie called Rayna from the police station.
The country music veteran went down there with her lawyer. Though the police weren’t putting Sadie behind bars, the detective made it clear that there was a chance she could be charged with homicide. They didn’t definitely know it was self-defense and the gun was unregistered.
Rayna brought Sadie back to her house while Deacon took care of the girls at his place. Sadie was in tears. She said that didn’t mean to kill Pete and was worried that she was going to jail. Once she was alone, she watched news reports that speculated about her situation.
Rayna’s new significant other wasn’t having an easy day either. Maddie was angry after discovering that Deacon has cancer. Her parents had just gotten back together, but her father was going to be taken away from her. Maddie called Teddy (Eric Close) from Deacon’s house to pick her up. The two fathers almost got into a fight, but Teddy relented once Deacon revealed his diagnosis. “The harder you push, the farther away she’s gonna pull. Had to learn that the hard way,” Teddy advised.
Teddy talked to Maddie and soothed her worries. “What am I supposed to say? That every time I look at him, I picture him dying?” Maddie asked.
Teddy told her to say it if she felt it. He promised Maddie that he wouldn’t get sick and he’d be around for a long time. Of course, he didn’t mention that there was a chance he might be taken away to jail. Teddy has to hope that no one finds out that he is blackmailing the city’s financial planner to set up a hush money fund for his prostitute (Moniqua Plante).
Eventually, Maddie talked to Deacon and revealed that she was just angry. Deacon said that was OK, but he didn’t want to be shut out.
Deacon’s niece Scarlett (Clare Bowen) was dealing with a new love triangle on this week’s “Nashville.” Gunnar (Sam Palladio) was angry that Scarlett spent the night with Caleb (Nick Jandl) and gave her the cold shoulder on the bus. Scarlett asked Avery (Jonathan Jackson) if there was something wrong, but Avery told her to ask him herself.
Eventually, Gunnar told Scarlett that she was focusing too much on her new boyfriend. He criticized her morning walk of shame and Scarlett said she had nothing to be ashamed of. She also told him that he missed his chance. “I waited so long for you to come back for the right reasons and you never came back so I moved on,” Scarlett explained.
Avery interrupted their fight to tell them that he was leaving. Juliette was going into labor, so he had to go home. Gunnar and Scarlett played that night as a duo, and they sang one of their duets from their early days. Afterward, Gunnar tried to say that there was still chemistry between them. Scarlett said it was just music.
The comedic relief this week was Juliette. The pregnant singer was even crazier than usual with the baby on the way. When she realized hardly anyone could come to her baby shower, which Rayna planned, she was upset. Once she heard that Rayna was busy with Sadie, Juliette was just irrationally enraged. “I cannot believe she would choose to shoot someone on the day of my shower!” she said.
Juliette started throwing her cake and destroying her decorations. She said that they had to call off her shower. When Rayna showed up to drop off her gift, the two had a blowout fight. Juliette felt like everything was more important than her, and Rayna finally lost it.
“Please just stop it!” Rayna yelled. “I mean, excuse me for saying it, but you have no idea what I’ve been through these last 24 hours. You know and I am trying very hard to be strong for a lot of people, and I’m not doing a very good job of it. So I would appreciate it if you would just shut up for one second.”
Then Juliette’s water broke. Rayna took her to the hospital and stayed with her until the baby was born. Avery even made it in time for the baby’s birth.
As Rayna left Avery and Juliette to serenade their daughter alone, she got a call from Sadie. The D.A. wasn’t pressing charges for the killing of Pete and the charges for the illegal gun were taken down to a misdemeanor. Sadie was relieved that she didn't have to go to jail and revealed that she needed to leave Nashville for a while. She said it would be at least a few months. Rayna understood why she had to go, but it wasn’t good for business. With Juliette on maternity leave and Sadie on a hiatus, her label needed someone who could work.
Before Sadie left town, she went to see Luke (Will Chase). The singer was hard at work recording his latest single after signing Ron Pope (who guest starred as himself) to his label. Sadie knew it was Luke’s testimony that got the charges cleared. He claimed he was a witness even though he didn’t see Sadie shoot Pete. She thanked him for what he did, but she also said goodbye to him.
The episode ended with a minor cliffhanger. After debating baby names the whole hour, Juliette seemed to dislike everything she thought of, from Olivia to Sparkle. However, at the last second she finally knew what she would name her daughter -- but audiences will have to wait until next week to find out what that is.
“Nashville” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC. Do you think Sadie should’ve stayed in town for Luke? Sound off in the comments section below!