“Nashville” Season 4 finally brought back Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), and she’s more conflicted than ever. Even after working through her addictions and her postpartum depression, Juliette’s life is still complicated on the ABC drama. She has to figure out if she is willing to give up time with her daughter to further her career in episode 14, but the answer isn’t simple.
Juliette agrees with her doctor that she is ready to go home. She returns to find a pile of mail as well as a Steven Spielberg script. She doesn’t want to work, but it’s difficult to turn down such a high profile job. She reads the script, and it’s amazing. However, it’s really about Cadence. She wouldn’t even consider the role if she could spend more time with her daughter.
Juliette shows up on Avery’s (Jonathan Jackson) doorstep to talk to him about their daughter. She wants to spend more time with Cadence, but Avery says he can’t trust her yet. It’s her first day out of rehab. He isn’t so sure her recovery will remain successful in the real world.
It’s disheartening for Juliette to hear that she still can’t be trusted. She tells her therapist that she worries about working and spending time away. “Even though I’d only be missing six hours with her, it’s the only six hours I have,” she says.
She calls Avery to tell him that she accepted the role, and she is leaving tomorrow. Juliette wants to see her daughter before she goes. Avery vents to Will (Chris Carmack) that he only agreed to let Juliette come over because he felt guilty for turning down her request for more time. He says he isn’t even sure that Juliette is capable of putting their daughter to bed.
When Juliette arrives, Cadence is fussy, but she handles it well. Avery hears her singing a lullaby to their daughter and it brings him to tears.
— Nashville (@Nashville_ABC) April 4, 2016
At a press conference for the movie, Juliette is asked how she pulls off balancing her successful career with motherhood. She admits to the media that she isn’t on top of the world at all. She has been in treatment for postpartum depression for nearly two months. She adds that she shouldn’t have signed on for this movie, and she needs to be with her daughter.
After Juliette walks out of the press conference, Avery brings Cadence to her house. He says he’ll pick her up in a couple hours, and it’s the first time Avery has let Juliette have an unsupervised visit with Cadence. He assures her that it wasn’t Juliette’s career decisions that made him change his mind about how much time Cadence has with her. Juliette finally seems happy.
There is plenty of drama at Juliette’s former label too. Vita (Jeananne Goossen) is still missing, and Rayna (Connie Britton) is frustrated that the police have a stack of cases just like hers with no leads. But she has to work on Layla’s (Aubrey Peeples) launch.
This is Layla’s first album, but the young star already has a very public history that includes reality TV and being the wife of a gay country singer. It’s going to take some effort to get the industry to take her seriously, but she manages to show radio executives that her story makes for great music.
— Nashville (@Nashville_ABC) April 7, 2016
Rayna wants to put Layla on Autumn Chase’s (Alicia Witt) tour and brings her to Layla’s radio showcase. Autumn loves Layla’s music and goes with the rising star to the Bluebird that night. They see The Exes perform, and Autumn is impressed with them. In fact, she loves them so much that she decides that they should open for her instead of Layla.
Elsewhere, Frankie (Mark Collie) couldn’t keep his relapse a secret for long. He doesn’t show to a staff meeting, and Cash (Jessy Schram) stops by to tell Deacon (Charles Esten) that it’s his 15th anniversary of being sober. Deacon stops by the AA meeting to see Frankie blow out his candles. Deacon offers to take them out, but Frankie suddenly says that he and Cash have a father/daughter lunch.
Deacon asks Frankie to play a slot that night, but Frankie shows up 15 minutes late. After he threatens to kick out the guys who are talking during his set, Deacon knows he is drunk. Deacon sends Cash home and walks Frankie off stage.
Frankie reveals that he had his first drink last week. He feels like Deacon took his bar from him, and now he wants it back. Luckily, Deacon calms him down and convinces him that passing out is better than being knocked out. The next day, Frankie apologizes and says he didn’t mean what he said. Deacon knows he was telling the truth, though. He steamrolled his business partner, and Deacon feels guilty for Frankie’s relapse. However, Frankie assures him that drinking was his own choice.
Luke (Will Chase) also had to deal with some men who wanted to make their own choices. Colt (Keean Johnson) wants Luke to sign a parental consent waiver for him to join the army. The singer tries to reason with his son, but Colt says he only has to wait three months until he turns 18 anyway.
Luke goes to Colt’s grandfather to tell him to stop “polluting” Colt’s mind. The older man thinks that’s a hypocritical stance. “You’ll sing for ‘em. You just won’t let your son be one of ‘em,” Colt’s grandpa says.
After calming down a bit, Luke explains to Colt that he loves him. He just doesn’t want his son to get hurt. Yet, Colt says he can’t avoid something he believes in just because he is scared. Luke goes with Colt to enlist and says he is proud of him. The two share a hug, their first heartwarming moment in months.
The experience makes Luke rethink a few things in his life. Will asks Luke if he can have the songs he wrote back to record an album independently, but Luke doesn’t exactly give him much time. After returning from his trip to see Colt, Luke says he’ll give the tracks back, but first, he’d like Will to consider signing with him again. The country veteran says he was wrong to drop Will after he came out as gay.
“I’ve come to realize just cause something’s hard or scary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, especially if it’s something you believe in,” Luke says. Will seems happy to rejoin the label.
“Nashville” Season 4 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.