Juliette Barnes is back in control. The starlet decided that she wanted to return to work in “Nashville” Season 4, episode 16. However, balancing motherhood and her a career won’t be easy — especially since she doesn’t have custody of her baby. Yet Juliette seems to always find a way to get what she wants on the ABC drama.
At the beginning of episode 16, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) tells Glenn (Ed Amatrudo) that she wants to revive her music career. She needs a meeting with Luke (Will Chase), her label head, and she’ll need a producer. She already has someone in mind for that particular position.
Avery (Jonathan Jackson) claims he doesn’t want to tour. He thinks he should stay with his daughter, especially since Juliette is back. Will (Chris Carmack) thinks he is staying because of Juliette. When Juliette asks Avery to produce her album, Avery suddenly says he is leaving for tour.
He is bringing Cadence with him, but he promises Juliette is welcome to visit whenever. Juliette does her best to be supportive even though she is clearly disappointed. She offers to send Emily (Kourtney Hansen) on tour with him to help with Cadence.
Juliette tells Emily that she can’t do anything about Avery’s decision. She doesn’t have custody, and he still won’t let her watch Cadence full time. “After everything I put that man through, I guess I should just be grateful that we’re in a good place,” she says.
Meanwhile, Layla (Aubrey Peeples) isn’t happy that Glenn is working with Juliette again. Her day gets even worse when she hears that her upcoming show might get canceled. Heidi (Julia Barnett Tracy) tells Luke that Riff (Steve Kazee) disappeared. Luke is terrified that he’ll have another massive publicity problem.
Avery suggests to Layla that they use the event's camera crew to film sound check so that they can at least get something out of the night, even if the show is canceled. Juliette shows up at sound check just in time to see her ex and Layla dancing together on stage. To make matters worse, she is told that Luke won’t meet with her today after all.
Juliette goes home and freaks out. She asks Emily if anything is going on between them, and she is clearly a little jealous.
— Nashville (@Nashville_ABC) April 19, 2016
Luke can’t be too worried about Juliette, though. Riff was admitted to an emergency room, and Luke is struggling to find a replacement. He goes to the hospital with Heidi to discover that Riff had a stroke. He had been drinking, doing drugs and hooking up with prostitutes when he was brought in. Riff is officially off the tour.
Luke finds a temporary replacement. Real life country star Thomas Rhett fills in for Riff on the first night of the tour. He belts his single, “Die A Happy Man,” but Luke doesn’t know if he can go on with the tour as it’s a scandal no matter what. Juliette comes in and interrupts with an offer to join his tour.
Layla and Avery are shocked to hear the news. “Now I get to spend plenty of time with Cadence,” she tells Avery before going on stage with Luke.
Rayna (Connie Britton) wasn’t able to worry about her career this week. She had to focus on her daughter. She is in Dallas when Deacon (Charles Esten) pulls Maddie (Lennon Stella) out of the club, and she thinks he’ll be able to handle it. When she comes home, Maddie is missing.
Rayna goes to Cash’s (Jessy Schram) house, and Cash says that Maddie isn’t there. She shows Rayna a video of Deacon hauling Maddie offstage, but Rayna is unfazed. She leaves and tells Cash to call her if Maddie shows up. It seems Cash isn’t the most honest person, though. She goes to the back of the house and asks Maddie what she wants to do.
Cash offers to call Sony on Maddie’s behalf to see if they’re still interested. Cash reveals that Sony wanted to make her a star, and they’re still willing to sign her. Maddie says it doesn’t matter since she is signed to Highway 65, her mother’s label. However, Cash has more information for her. She tells Maddie that she was once signed to Edgehill Records. Of course, Maddie doesn’t realize her stepfather was blackmailed into signing the record deal.
The longer Maddie is gone, the more stressed Rayna and Deacon become. Rayna is upset that Deacon got so angry with Maddie. She says that Deacon’s anger escalated the situation, and they already know that Maddie has issues with Deacon’s anger. Deacon still feels like he did the right thing.
When he goes to work at the Beverly, he doesn’t get much sympathy from Frankie (Mark Collie) for dragging Maddie home either. “If you did the right thing, why do you suppose Maddie ran away?” Frankie asks.
Rayna goes to Juliette’s house and breaks down in tears. Rayna says that she keeps trying to hold on, and Maddie keeps trying to get further away. Juliette asks how anyone can let go of someone they love. The older singer says that you can’t.
When Rayna goes home, Deacon is out. On the phone, he says he is sitting in Cash’s driveway and that’s when he sees Maddie. He waits for Rayna to get there and they calmly approach the house. They ask Maddie to come home.
Maddie refuses to go with them. She says she is getting emancipated. She already talked to a lawyer. Deacon is still banging on the door after it is shut in the face, but Rayna just looks heartbroken.
— Nashville (@Nashville_ABC) April 21, 2016
Elsewhere, the Exes are on tour and finding drama around every corner. Autumn (Alicia Witt) and Gunnar (Sam Palladio) have drinks together, and she invites him to her home in New York, without Scarlett (Clare Bowen). Gunnar gets uncomfortable and makes an excuse to leave.
However, it seems Scarlett has her own one-on-one time with Autumn planned. She goes to a spa day with the headliner. During their spa day, Autumn comments on her chemistry with Gunnar. Scarlett explains that they made the decision not to act on their feelings a long time ago.
Later, Gunnar tells Autumn that nothing should happen between them because Scarlett really likes her. He doesn’t want to make the professional relationship awkward. Autumn tells him to make sure he takes care of himself. “That’s the other thing about duos: one always outshines the other,” she says. She kisses him on the cheek. Scarlett sees him leaving Autumn’s dressing room and wiping off his cheek.
Elsewhere in “Nashville” Season 4, episode 16:
- Layla gives Avery her bedroom on the tour bus since he has the baby. Avery says he isn’t used to someone thinking about him and putting him first. It’s a nice change.
- Will meets a backup singer that he seems to like, but when they go out to a bar, he realizes they aren’t on a date. His backup singer isn’t even gay.
- Scarlett and Gunnar’s latest single is taking off in a major way.
“Nashville” Season 4 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.