Last time on Nashville, Juliette seemed to reconcile with her husband, Avery, and her infant daughter when her tour stopped in Nashville. While Avery planned on joining his wife on the road, it appeared that Juliette had a change of heart. She jetted off with a brand new phone without giving anyone her number and without her family. Ouch!
This episode of Nashville, titled “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye,” deals with Beverly’s tenuous medical condition, and Avery’s decision to file for divorce. I have my box of tissues handy for just this type of episode.
Beverly’s Dire Condition
Scarlett, Deacon, and Rayna stand a grim vigil outside of Beverly’s hospital room as she is examined by doctors.
Rayna is called away to Daphne’s school because Daphne has gotten into a fight. She is suspended for three days. Daphne finally confides in her mother that the girl that she hit was saying that Teddy is a criminal and is going to stay in jail for a long time. Rayna’s heart breaks as her youngest daughter cries about not being able to see her father. Rayna calls Teddy in jail and tells him that he needs to see the girls.
At the hospital, Deacon and Scarlett meet with Beverly’s doctors. They believe that there is very little brain stem function, and that if they take her off life support she will die within minutes. If she is kept on life support, she will need to be moved to a long-term nursing facility. Deacon presses the doctors, and they admit that they cannot know with total certainty that Beverly will never wake up.
A furious Deacon refuses to remove his sister from life support, but it’s not his call — it’s Scarlett’s. Deacon is convinced that all Beverly needs is time to recover. The doctor suggests an apnea test, where they would slowly remove Beverly’s life support and see if she can take a breath.
Three Dudes and a Baby
Meanwhile, a furious Avery calls Juliette’s tour manager and asks if his wife has been getting his messages. (I really love the “Three Men and a Baby” vibe as Gunnar and Will try to comfort a fussy Cadence while trying to also make pancakes.)
Luke is surprised to find Juliette still at the hotel since the tour has a few days off. As Luke heads off to see the finest that Indianapolis has to offer, Juliette asks if he minds if she tags along. Juliette isn’t impressed with their car racing, so Luke asks what her idea of a good time is. You guessed it – Juliette brings them to a bar and starts the tequila train. A drunk Juliette decides to loosen up Luke and pulls him onstage to perform. Of course, Luke is amused that she decides to sing “Bad Reputation.” After Juliette leads a chant for him, he takes the mike and belts it out.
Gunnar is shocked to find out from his manager that Scarlett has put The Exes on hold due to her mother’s health crises. He asks his manager to call Scarlett for more details, but he tells Gunnar to dial the number himself.
Failing the Test
During the apnea test, it appears that Beverly isn’t breathing on her own. Suddenly, there is a blip on the medical equipment, and Deacon believes that it shows that his sister is trying to breathe. Dr. Sugrue says that it is an involuntary reflex, and a distraught Scarlett flees the room as Deacon yells at the doctor.
Scarlett seeks out Caleb for his advice. He refuses to tell her what to do, and instead explains that she needs to be ready to make the decision herself. Scarlett goes to the chapel, plays the piano and sings as she wonders what to do. Gunnar appears, and she runs into his arms, sobbing. (I really do think that Gunnar is a better match for Scarlett than Caleb.) Scarlett feels guilty about not reconciling with her mother sooner, and she is afraid of making the wrong choice. Gunnar reassures her that she is the wisest person that he knows and that she will make the right choice.
Scarlett tells Deacon that she has decided to take Beverly off life support and donate her organs. She asks her uncle for his support. Deacon refuses, insisting that Beverly can hear and is aware like she was during her coma. Scarlett wants her mother’s life, and death for that matter, to mean something, so she stands her ground. She begs Deacon to be there the next day because she needs him to be with her. This is gut-wrenching.
Avery meets with an attorney about divorcing Juliette. Glenn’s chat with Avery about giving Juliette time because she isn’t well has fallen on deaf ears. The attorney thinks that he can get Avery a cushy settlement, alimony, and child support. All Avery wants is full custody of Cadence and he tells the attorney that Juliette won’t fight him on it. Back at home, Avery stops short of signing the divorce papers.
The Truth Hurts
Teddy finally sees Daphne and Maddie. Daphne tells her father that he is innocent and he doesn’t belong in jail. Teddy asks her to stop defending him, and then Daphne realizes that her father is guilty and has a melt-down in the visiting room. At home, Rayna is horrified to find the girls ripping up pictures from their family scrapbooks.
Will goes to see Kevin and finds him at home with his song-writing friends. One of them calls Will out on not standing up as a gay artist in country music. They argue and Kevin tells everyone to leave, except for Will. Kevin agrees that Will, with his success, could help shift public opinion. Will is fed up and storms out. They later make up.
Rayna brings her daughters back to see Teddy again. She thanks Teddy for being a great father and a wonderful husband. She says that he made some mistakes recently, but that “family forgives.” They all embrace. Teddy decides to be truthful, plead guilty, and stay in prison.
The next morning, Luke speaks to Juliette about how he missed his kids’ lives because of his partying and being on the road. He wants to help her avoid the same mistakes that he made. His words have no impact on her.
Rayna tries to comfort Deacon, urging him to go to the hospital and be with Scarlett. He turns down Rayna’s offer to go with him. Instead of going to the hospital, Deacon goes to his house, where he sobs while holding a picture of him and Beverly as children. At the hospital, Scarlett begs Beverly to forgive her and tells her mother how much she loves her.
This episode of Nashville was a real tearjerker. I like that Scarlett made up her own mind about what to do about her mother, and that Deacon grieved in his own way.
Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)