‘Nashville’ Season 5, Episode 19 Recap: Love and Loss
After Episode 18's robbery-at-gunpoint, fans of Nashville might have thought that the show's next installment would be a little more laid-back ... how naive. With only three episodes left in Season 5, it appears that the producers of Nashville have plans to pack in as much drama as humanly possible.
Episode 19 begins with Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen) waking up from a nightmare just hours after the robbery. She's too freaked out to leave the house, so Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio) -- who stayed over -- goes to see if the police do, in fact, have a suspect. Unfortunately, he doesn’t see the kid who held a gun to his head amongst the photos of potential suspects.
Even worse: While Gunnar is at the police station, Scarlett begins having pain in her stomach and notices blood on the sheets. She calls Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten), who takes her to the hospital ... where she learns that her baby no longer has a heartbeat. The doctor insists that the miscarriage was spontaneous and had nothing to do with the stress of the previous night's robbery; Scarlett also learns that she will have to deliver her stillborn child, leading Bowen to offer one of the most gut-wrenching performances in the history of Nashville.
It’s a truly sad moment, one that the show’s producers attempt to soften by interspersing more positive storylines. At Highway 65, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) learns that her song “Water Rising” — the one she “stole” from Maddie Jaymes (nee Conrad; Lennon Stella) — is officially a hit. Maddie stops by Juliette’s meeting with the label, during which Zach Wells (Cameron Scroggins) reveals that he wants Juliette to make a surprise appearance at Maddie's upcoming show, and invites Maddie to Juliette’s promo party. Perhaps they’ll even sing “Water Rising” together -- a suggestion that makes Juliette really, really uncomfortable.
But Juliette squirms even harder when she learns that Travis Stroud, the man who wrote "Water Rising," will also be attending the promo party. Because she’s Juliette Barnes, she immediately hatches a plan to keep Travis away from the party: She calls him and offers up coveted tickets to a sold-out Beck performance at the Ryman Auditorium. Whether or not that will solve her problem — aka Maddie finding out that she stole “Water Rising” away from her — remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, it appears that Deacon and Jessie Caine (Kaitlin Doubleday) are growing ever closer, if slowly. Deacon gets a phone call from a manager who’s interested in working with Jessie; when he calls her to tell her the news, she lets him know that she’s got an upcoming show at the Bluebird Cafe, and he promises to invite the manager to the performance. Unfortunately, Deacon's phone calls get derailed when he is called away to get Scarlett to the hospital; when he later explains to Jessie that he forgot, Deacon accidentally lets it slip that Scarlett had a miscarriage.
So, Jessie attempts to drop a care package on Scarlett’s doorstep but is busted before she has the chance to sneak away. Jessie reveals that she has also experienced miscarriage, and Scarlett invites her inside to talk and commiserate; she is able to make Scarlett laugh and help her work through some of her feelings, which mitigates Scarlett’s anger at Deacon for spilling the news. But Deacon -- who is maybe a little uncomfortable with how he feels about Jessie -- is upset by the gesture; he’s afraid that Scarlett is going to be upset with him, but he becomes a little more understanding once Jessie tells him about her history.
Gunnar, however, is dealing with his anger in a decidedly less positive way. After getting wasted, he wakes up with revenge on his mind and goes out in search of the kid who robbed him and Scarlett. When he finds the kid, Gunnar promptly begins to beat the crap out of him. The kid is obviously scared, and begs Gunnar to stop; fortunately, Gunnar regains some sensibility and drives away before inflicting any real damage.
After Gunnar ignores Scarlett's calls, she shows up, and they decide they need a little bit of time apart in order to figure out how they feel. The next day, Gunnar gets a phone call from Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson), who’s out on tour and headed to Gunnar’s home state of Texas. Gunnar tells Avery that he’s feeling a little directionless, and Avery invites him out on tour, if only to get a change of scenery. Gunnar agrees, but only after stopping by Scarlett’s to pick up some of his things; there, the two share a moment that indicates that their break is likely only temporary.
At her performance, Maddie sings to a packed house (her style is, of course, reminiscent of her late, great mother, Rayna Jaymes). At the end of Maddie's set, Juliette appears to perform the duet of “Water Rising” ... but she isn’t exactly a good duet partner and is obviously distant from Maddie. The situation gets even worse at Juliette's promo party, at which Travis, the songwriter, makes an unexpected appearance (nope, the Beck tickets didn't work). Juliette tries to keep Maddie away from him, but her plan fails: When Maddie runs into Travis, he inadvertently reveals that “Water Rising” was intended for her -- and she’s furious.
After learning the news, Maddie storms inside and confronts Juliette, who tries to diffuse the scene, but Maddie isn’t having any of it and throws a drink in Juliette’s face before storming out. It’s a moment that ends up on Entertainment Tonight, which means that Juliette has to strategize to deal with the aftermath. Her manager insists that she go smooth things over with Maddie, which means that Juliette has to head over to the Jaymes-Claybourne-Conrad household to eat a little crow.
When she shows up, Daphne Conrad (Maisy Stella) opens the door and says that Maddie isn’t available. Juliette still delivers her apology and admits that she was wrong in stealing the song, and Daphne agrees to relay the message. She doesn’t have to relay it very far, though, because Maddie was sitting on the stairs as Juliette spilled her guts. Their drama isn’t exactly resolved in this episode, but all signs point to Juliette and Maddie patching things up.
As she processes her feelings and tries to heal, Scarlett decides that she wants to go through with performing at a benefit for a women’s center; she and Gunnar had originally planned to perform there together, but because he’s heading out on tour, she has to go it alone. After breaking the news to Maddie and Daphne, Scarlett goes public, telling the crowd about her miscarriage; the monologue delivered by Bowen is especially powerful:
I had a miscarriage one week ago. In a way, this is me saying this for my daughter, because I imagined a future for her that was absolutely limitless. The only way that we can get there is to strip away the secrecy and the shame, because that’s what makes us stronger.
This episode ends with the reveal of Scarlett’s deceased child’s name, Amelia Rose. Scarlett tucks away the blanket that the baby was wrapped in after birth in a hand-painted box in an attempt to move forward.
At the same time, viewers learn that Jessie has decided not to sign with Highway 65, because she wants to keep her personal life and work life separate. Does that mean that Deacon is going to be part of her personal life soon? Hopefully that answer comes out before this season is over!
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