'Nashville' Interview: Creator Talks 'Unexpected' Finale, Plus Challenges Faced by Rayna, Juliette and Will
'Nashville' Interview: Creator Talks 'Unexpected' Finale, Plus Challenges Faced by Rayna, Juliette and Will
Michelle Carlbert
Michelle Carlbert
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The Nashville Season 2 finale airs on Wednesday, May 14 with an episode called "On the Other Hand." BuddyTV spoke exclusively with the show's creator Callie Khouri about the finale episode, plus the journeys of some of the characters who faced the biggest challenges this season, including Rayna, Juliette, Scarlett and Will. 

What can you tease about the finale? What can fans expect?

They can expect the unexpected.

Will there be any cliffhangers?

Yes, definitely. But certainly not in the same manner we did last year. Quite a bit differently. It's not a more quiet way to go, it just doesn't involve any screeching tires or crumpled metal, but it certainly is a lot of upheaval. 

What characters will be affected by the events in the finale?

It's pretty much everybody. 

It seems every facet of Rayna's life fell apart at some point this season, yet she has stayed so strong during all of it. You've given women quite the role model in her. Was that done purposely?

Oh yeah, absolutely. Because that's really what has to happen for a lot of these women who've been in the business for a while. The business has gone through a lot of changes and if you want to stay in it, it's not an easy place to be. We really wanted to kind of show what Rayna was made of a little bit. 

From the beginning, Juliette was someone I alternately loved and wanted to scream at. She's made a lot of mistakes, but recently she's been trying so hard to do right and now she's made yet another mistake by cheating on Avery.

She is a forehead slapper, for sure. Obviously she has a lot of problems that she hasn't yet dealt with. As much as she would like to be past everything and feel like she's got everything under control - with herself and her career and all of that - she clearly doesn't. Every so often we remind everybody that, no matter how together she can be from a career point of view, from a personal standpoint she's still got a long way to go. 

And then, added to that, she wintered the whole thing this year with kind of watching how the press can take something out of context and totally destroy you. So she's been coming back from that all season, sometimes a lot less gracefully than others. Really having to overcome some stuff that, not quite like the Dixie Chicks but kind of in that same realm. In her case it was taken totally out of context and she was kind of a victim. It was just the way she decided to respond to it was [not so good]. She took lemons and made sour lemons out of it. 

That's kind of how she does. There's always an element of self-sabotage in her. There's always this feeling that she has, that maybe she doesn't deserve to be where she is. [She feels] somehow so damaged that things are never going to be right for her.

Scarlett has also been put through the wringer this season and recently announced her decision to get out of the business. That seemed like an interesting place for her to go on a show that is basically about people who are trying to make it in music. 

We knew when we started her out that she was somebody, even from the pilot, didn't ever see herself, even as a musician, much less a big start. It's just interesting how some people just find themselves in it. There they are in this world where people would kill would be where she is, they would kill to have the opportunity that she has, and yet it was the kind of thing that would kill her. That wasn't her dream. It was Gunnar's dream and it was Avery's dream. 

With so many different kinds of stories you've been telling this season, has there been one character's story that has been more challenging to create than the others?

I think this year Gunnar has been the biggest challenge. Because we're showing what it's like to be successful in one area and yet totally. he wants to be a performer, that's what he wanted. Yes, he wanted to be a successful song writer. [He wants] to be on stage and perform and I think he finds that very tough to deal with. 

He's like the guy who keeps getting left behind, unfortunately.

Yeah. And yet he's having success and there's a whole lot of, 'Hey buddy, what are you complaining about? You're getting your songs cut, you've got number one singles. What's it going to take to make you happy?' But, at the same time, what it's going to take is him having what everybody seems to have fall in their lap. 

I mean, even Jeff offered him a record deal, then offered him a publishing deal, which is, like a no-brainer. So I think [Gunnar] is very frustrated and trying to make that story resonate for people who don't live that [is a challenge]. Showing that is something that we've enjoyed, but it's a tough character to write. 

I have to admit, I really thought that Will would come out this season, but I really love how his story is playing out. Have you gotten any feedback from the gay community on his storyline?

Well, I think a lot of people in the gay community are like, 'When is he going to come out? He's got to do it.' But there's only one artist that you can name that's out in country music and it's a very tough world. That's the part we were interested in talking about. There are plenty of out gay characters on television, [but] there are not many closeted gay characters on television. 

To me, it's just a lot more interesting dealing with the pain of not being able to be who you are. Rather than making that stand and taking whatever comes with it. That's kind of a more interesting point of view for us. 

First of all, Chris Carmack, who plays him - who is of course, not gay - is brilliant at playing this character. He gets the pathos of what this is doing to this guy so beautifully. He has so much compassion as an actor for the character that he's playing. Just watching him negotiate these stories has been a real joy because he can just break your heart. Of course, that's what we want. We want people to know what that feels like - to be judged and not be able to be who you are. It's been very rewarding to work on that story. 

Whose story are you most excited to see played out in the Nashville Season 2 finale?

Nashville airs on Wednesday night at 10pm on ABC. 

(Image courtesy of ABC)