Primetime ‘Nashville’: Season Finale

Rayna and Juliette share a moment at Juliette's mom's funeral.

Rayna and Juliette share a moment at Juliette’s mom’s funeral.

I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive
Season 1 | Episode 121 | Aired 05/22/2013

The season finale of Nashville packed a one-two punch of cliffhangers which will leave fans wondering until next season. The episode ended with Rayna and Deacon in a terrible car wreck, Gunnar popping the question to Scarlett, and Teddy finding out that his ex-girlfriend Peggy is preggers.

Just when things were looking good for Rayna and Deacon’s romantic relationship, he found out that Maddie is his biological daughter. The secret Rayna had been keeping for 13 years drove him to a disastrous alcohol binge after more than a decade of sobriety.

At the CMA Awards, Rayna and Brad Paisley performed “Bitter Memory,” written by Lucinda Williams.

At the CMA Awards, Rayna and Brad Paisley performed “Bitter Memory,” written by Lucinda Williams.

Reeling from the news, Deacon tracked down mayor Teddy outside his office and tackled him. Years ago, when Rayna found out she was pregnant with Maddie, she and Teddy decided to get married and raise Maddie as Teddy’s daughter.

Now that Teddy and Rayna are separated, it turns out he might have another child on the way, this time with Peggy (Kimberly Williams Paisley). In another of the show’s ongoing storylines, Teddy and Peggy were contacted by federal investigators over an embezzlement scheme that could land Teddy in prison.

Deacon continued on a path of self-destruction until his AA sponsor, who is also Teddy’s former deputy mayor, Coleman, showed up to help. Deacon tried to physically fight off Coleman during one of the episode’s best played scenes (see video below).

Later that night, Deacon showed up at the Bluebird Café where Juliette was hosting a memorial service for her mother Jolene. In last week’s episode, Jolene killed the man who was blackmailing Juliette and then took her own life.

The CMA Awards served as a backdrop for the season finale, where Juliette and Rayna were nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year. In a maudlin scene, Juliette skipped the ceremony and ended up alone at the funeral home, crying over her mother’s casket. Juliette won Female Vocalist, but wasn’t there to accept.

Jolene had always wanted to see her daughter perform at the Bluebird, so Juliette arranged a small graveside burial followed by a memorial at the famed music venue.

At the Bluebird, Juliette performed “Nothing In This World,” joined by her band member Avery and the song’s real-life writer Kate York. York wrote the song with Sarah Buxton (see them discuss it here). While Juliette poured her heart into the song in her mother’s tribute, a montage showed Gunnar presenting an engagement ring to a surprised Scarlett, as well as Rayna and Deacon leaving the Bluebird together, and arguing in the car leading to a rollover accident in the SUV (see the video above).

Juliette and Avery grew close toward the end of the season, a storyline that could develop next season. Meanwhile, Avery still has feelings for his ex-girlfriend Scarlett. On the finale, he and Scarlett had lunch together and she joined him onstage at his show to perform the episode’s new song, “Moon Is High,” written by Elvis Costello. In one more season-closing storyline that is sure to leave viewers guessing, Rayna’s sister Tandy quit the family business where she worked for their scheming father, Lamar. Wonder what she has up her sleeve?

• • • •

Read more: The Nashville Scene explores the possibility that season two of Nashville won’t actually be shot in Music City.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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