While "Nashville" fans are wondering what will happen to Hayden Panettiere’s baby bump in Season 3, the actress is a little more concerned about who she gets screen time with. Panettiere confessed to TVLine that she just really wants to see Juliette and Deacon (Chip Esten) together again.
“We were together so much the first year, and when you get to know somebody that well as an actor, it allows you to really delve into things in a way that is very free and real and raw,” Panettiere said.
How can Juliette and Deacon’s story lines cross paths again? We’ve got a few ideas.
Assuming the writers ignore Panettiere's pregnancy, Juliette could fall down an alcoholic path of destruction and Deacon would have to save her. At the end of last season, viewers saw Juliette drowning herself in alcohol instead of facing her problems. Juliette’s alcoholic tendencies didn’t come out of left field either. In Season 1, the country star used alcohol to escape from her problems often. Deacon, meanwhile, on a path of redemption and recovery from his own alcoholism, could feasibly become her sponsor and pull her out.
Deacon could also help Juliette deal with the fallout from her breakup with Avery (Jonathan Jackson) and her one-night stand with Jeff Fordham (Oliver Hudson). Of course, she’ll need help after losing the only man she’s ever been in love with, but Panettiere doesn’t think the aftereffects of Juliette’s tryst with Jeff are over.
“That was a pretty big mistake for Juliette to make with a pretty dangerously disliked character,” Panettiere told TVLine. “I would be surprised if [the writers] just let that go or resolved it very quickly.”
The writers could also choose to write in Panettiere’s growing baby bump. Might there be some baby-daddy drama with Jeff and Avery? Deacon made it clear to Rayna (Connie Britton) that he wanted to be the father he couldn’t be before. With Avery mad at Juliette and Jeff being the awful person that he is, Juliette could easily end up raising a child alone. Deacon could be her platonic knight in shining armor.
Panettiere implied that striking up a romance again seemed unlikely. “This is a man who Juliette had sexual relations with, who is now more of a father figure, and it’s not weird, it’s not uncomfortable," the actress explained. "You didn’t lose any respect for either one of them for doing it — which is really wild.” A good father figure for her could end up being a great father figure for her child. Either way, we’re all for seeing more scenes with Juliette and Deacon.
"Nashville" is scheduled to return to ABC on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET in the fall.