The good news is that Deacon is still sober. The bad news is that he still found a way to land himself in jail. In “Nashville” Season 4, episode 18, Maddie had her emancipation hearing. Although Deacon wasn’t supposed to testify, his AA sponsor being the father of Maddie’s new manager complicated the situation. Deacon let his emotions get the best of him, which only helped Maddie’s case.
Deacon (Charles Esten) seems calm and supportive at the beginning of episode 18 of the ABC drama. He tells Rayna (Connie Britton) she is a good mother before she goes to court. However, Maddie’s (Lennon Stella) lawyer is out to make it look different. Rayna’s lawyer tells them that they have to keep their cool. Outbursts will look bad, and Maddie’s team is willing to use all the evidence they can get.
Deacon is immediately irritated when Frankie (Mark Collie) shows up. Cash (Jessy Schram) invited him, and he is supporting his daughter. The testimonies go well for Rayna’s side, though.
That’s a problem for Maddie’s team. Her lawyer and Cash say that they have to pull out some big punches. That means bringing up Deacon’s history. Maddie explains a few of the times that Deacon made her scared. When she is asked is she feared for her personal safety, she says she was. “I won’t feel safe living with him anymore,” Maddie claims.
Maddie’s lawyer has information on events in Deacon’s life that aren’t public. She reveals that he once hit Rayna in the early ‘90s and was in a drunken car accident that killed a friend. Deacon has to confirm this information. As his past mistakes are thrown in his face, Deacon realizes that Frankie gave the lawyer all of his darkest secrets.
Deacon and Rayna go home and hope that the law rules in their favor. Rayna lies in Maddie’s bed, crying. When she goes to look for Deacon, he isn’t home.
— Nashville (@Nashville_ABC) May 2, 2016
Deacon goes to the Beverly, where Kelsea Ballerini is playing. Frankie follows Deacon out to the alley. Frankie is angry that Rayna threatened Cash’s career last week. “She ain’t got no career and you know that,” Deacon says.
Frankie throws the first punch, and the two get into a fight. One of their employees comes out and breaks them up. “He tried to kill me,” Frankie tells bar patrons who come out to see the brawl.
The police arrest Deacon, and Rayna is at home worrying about where her husband could be. She is eventually called and visits Deacon in jail. She reveals that Frankie is still claiming that Deacon was trying to murder him and filed a restraining order against his business partner. It certainly doesn’t look good that Frankie has a cracked rib and broken nose while Deacon only has bruises.
Rayna is angry that Deacon didn’t control his temper. “Just once in your life you couldn’t have held back,” Rayna says. She leaves Deacon in jail.
Maddie is granted her emancipation, and her Highway 65 recording contract is void. She has a restraining order against Deacon, and Rayna is advised not to try to contact her daughter for at least 15 days. Rayna is a sobbing mess. “I’m gonna be okay, Mom,” Maddie says.
Elsewhere, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) has her own difficult relationships to handle. When she is nominated for an Oscar, she immediately calls Avery (Jonathan Jackson) and hears Layla (Aubrey Peeples) in the background. Only Avery could bring down Juliette on such a momentous day.
Juliette feels stupid for admitting that she still loved him, but she immediately sees what Layla is doing. “First she signs with my manager then she takes a spot on my old tour, now Avery? She is trying to steal my life!” Juliette explains.
— Nashville (@Nashville_ABC) May 4, 2016
Juliette calls Luke (Will Chase) and freaks out. She asks if Layla knows about Jeff (Oliver Hudson), and Luke says Juliette is just being paranoid. Of course, he doesn’t realize that Colt (Keean Johnson) told Layla everything weeks ago. Juliette is determined to prove Layla’s agenda.
Avery goes to Layla’s dressing room later and says that he thinks a relationship would be difficult. Juliette overhears their conversation and obviously can’t stop herself from eavesdropping. Layla says that she knows there are a lot of mixed feelings. She doesn’t want to make his life more complicated. “If it doesn’t scare you too much to be with me even though my life is a complete mess, I think we should give it a shot,” Avery says.
By giving Avery an easy way to leave the relationship, Juliette decides that she must be paranoid to think Layla has ulterior motives. Juliette decides to tell Layla the truth. She explains everything about Jeff’s death. “I’m sorry for taking away the man that you loved,” Juliette says. Layla appreciates the honesty, but she adds that their relationship remains the same.
— Nashville (@Nashville_ABC) May 5, 2016
It seems the country star just wants to keep doing the right thing. Juliette even decides to let Avery go. “I just have one question: Are you happy?” she asks. Avery says he is, and his ex says he deserves it.
The other exes that are on tour aren’t having such an easy day. Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Scarlett (Clare Bowen) have to deal with a Rolling Stone reporter poking into their past. Scarlett says that she made the first move after Gunnar’s brother died. Gunnar questions Scarlett’s motives. He think it sounds like their first time was pity sex.
The reporter has already interviewed Autumn (Alicia Witt) who revealed that Gunnar proposed to Scarlett. She explains that she thought Gunnar’s proposal was a reaction to his brother’s death.
Gunnar is upset that Scarlett interpreted his proposal that way. He says he proposed because he loved her. Before they go onstage, he says he has changed, but she is just as judgmental as she always was. The two play the show together, but they’re clearly disconnected.
— Nashville (@Nashville_ABC) May 5, 2016
The reporter asks why their partnership still works after going through all that drama. “It only works because we’re the Exes,” Scarlett says. It seems their reunion isn’t going to last for long.
Though it seems like everyone is on tour, Will’s (Chris Carmack) career is just getting started. His song gets played on the radio, but there is a lot of backlash against both Will and Luke.
Luke wants Will to fire back at Cynthia Davis (Mandy June Turpin), a conservative talk show host, but Will refuses to talk. Luke goes on the show by himself and tries to explain that Will is a good musician; that’s all that matters.
He is interviewed via satellite, and Cynthia asks Will if he’d be okay with his son being gay. “No, I wouldn’t be happy,” Luke says. He adds that he’d be upset because people like Cynthia would make his life difficult. The audience doesn’t hear it, though. The satellite feed cut out after Luke said he wouldn’t be happy.
Luke says that the critics aren’t going away anytime soon, and Will is going to have to talk eventually. That becomes extremely clear when he sees that his car has been vandalized in his own driveway.
“Nashville” Season 4 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.