Juliette Barnes wants her career back, and she’ll do anything to get it. The singer (Hayden Panettiere) was getting great publicity in “Nashville” Season 3, episode 21, but her friends and family weren’t so impressed. While Juliette was thrilled to be viewed as a star again, the people around her finally realized something was wrong.
Juliette was doing rooftop concerts in tons of cities, but she wanted to keep going even though Avery (Jonathan Jackson) wanted to slow down. When they got home, Juliette met with her label to discuss business. Bucky (David Alford) said that her unexpected tour, which was bringing in tons of fines from each city, didn’t mean anything without an album. She promised a full record in two days.
Later, Avery confronted Juliette about Deacon’s (Charles Esten) cancer, and Juliette claimed that she told him about it already. He must've just forgotten that their close friend had a deadly form of cancer. She also said it wasn’t actually terminal. It wasn’t the end of Juliette's lies. She claimed Rayna (Connie Britton) demanded an album in two days. Avery left the baby with Juliette, but she put her headphones on and ignored her newborn.
Juliette’s assistant Emily (Kourtney Hansen) came over, and Juliette ditched the baby for the studio. Emily realized baby Cadence wasn't being taken care of. She called Avery and told him something was up with Juliette. "I just got here and I don't think the baby's been fed or changed in hours," Emily said. "Avery, I think something's wrong with her."
Avery called Juliette home for an “emergency” that was more of an intervention. Glenn (Ed Amatrudo), Emily and her doctor were there. They all knew she was making bad choices and behaving in strange ways. Avery pointed out she never even called Cadence by her name. Her doctor suggested she was suffering from postpartum depression, but she didn’t believe him. She left and went back to the studio.
Meanwhile, news about Deacon’s cancer got out just as Rayna’s last hope died. She got that million-dollar check she wrote to Beverly (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) back in the mail. Deacon’s sister – and only match for a liver transplant – sent the check back in pieces. Juliette immediately came in for a meeting, but Rayna couldn’t continue after seeing Deacon’s last hope destroyed. She walked out of the meeting immediately.
Deacon went home and found Rayna crying while listening to their old albums. She told him about her meeting with Beverly. “Every time I’ve looked at my future, you’ve always been in it,” Rayna sobbed. “And I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”
After Rayna’s breakdown, Deacon decided to cancel his show at the Bluebird. He called Scarlett (Clare Bowen) and asked the Exes to fill in for him and put on a show. Yet she was having a lot of drama with Gunnar (Sam Palladio).
The duo met with Rayna about signing with Highway 65. Gunnar immediately wanted to sign there, but Scarlett wanted to keep looking. Their manager Noel (Scott Reeves) knew this was the third lineup change in six months. He said if they couldn’t work out their problems, he would have to leave them.
When Rayna asked Deacon why he canceled his set, the singer revealed he wasn’t happy that news of his cancer got out. He didn’t like that everyone was talking about him like he was already dead. Rayna convinced him to go back and put on a performance.
He and Rayna performed their song “Surrender,” and Gunnar and Scarlett talked backstage. Gunnar offered to look at more labels, and Scarlett said that he was right: Highway 65 was the best deal. However, she wasn’t sure she wanted to sign at all. She thought they were a mess, and Gunnar decided they needed to be business partners only.
Scarlett and Gunnar told Rayna that they would accept her offer, and everyone celebrated. Then Beverly came in at the last minute. “I want to do it,” she said. “I want to help you live.” Deacon finally had a liver.
Over at Luke’s (Will Chase) label, Will (Chris Carmack) was still hiding his sexuality. He and Kevin (Kyle Dean Massey) returned from a vacation together, and Will was abruptly met with the real world. His dad (Rex Linn) came to a show. Will immediately asked him to leave, but his father wanted to talk to him. When Will was 17, his father left him “on the side of the road with nothing.” The older man apologized for his actions and said that he was proud of Will.
Kevin was introduced as just a co-worker, but once they were alone, Kevin let his feelings be known. He reminded Will that his father once disowned him, and Will brushed him off. Will’s dad said that he prayed for this reunion and told Will he loved him. It was enough to give Will hope that they could have a relationship again.
However, Will’s life could be turned upside down soon. Luke’s publicist showed him pictures of Will and Kevin on vacation. They were kissing and clearly together. The publicist said a tabloid would print the pictures next week.
Will’s ex-wife was in her own trouble. Jeff (Oliver Hudson) let Layla (Aubrey Peeples) think that she drunkenly posted a photo from Jade’s party on Twitter. She was immediately dropped from tour. Jeff decided that Layla should throw some shade at the pop star on Twitter. Bucky called about it and Jeff claimed he would stop Layla. However, Jeff told Layla that Bucky was happy about the publicity.
Jeff later handed Layla a contract that said he’d always be part of her team, even if she wanted to fire him. “No one’s going to take care of you the way that I have, the way that I will,” he said. She signed the contract immediately.
Elsewhere in “Nashville” Season 3, episode 21:
- Teddy (Eric Close) was offered a deal to escape his own legal troubles: He could wear a wire and spy on a senator who was involved in even dirtier crimes. The investigators said that Senator Stern (Tony Sears) used to work with Rayna’s father Lamar before Teddy took over as mayor. Stern easily accepted Teddy into his inner circle and revealed that he never worked with the now-deceased Lamar much, but instead always saw Tandy (Judith Hoag), Rayna’s sister.
- Caleb (Nick Jandl) asked Scarlett if there were still feelings between them. Scarlett promised there was nothing to worry about.
- Kylie (Alexa PenaVega) was still at Gunnar’s house, and the two shared a kiss.
“Nashville” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC. Do you think Scarlett and Gunnar can simply be business partners? Sound off in the comments section below!