The past and its pain make for great country music, but not great parenting. This week’s Nashville offering, “Crazy” (Season 2, Episode 19) presents difficult paths for Scarlett (Clare Bowen) and Deacon (Charles Esten). One crumbles under the pain, and the other does what’s right for the future, while both are suffering. Juliette looks to an old lover for help, and Gunnar grapples with the thought of success all on his own.
Deacon is devastated that Megan (Christina Chang) is under pursuit from Teddy (Eric Close), despite protestations to the contrary. He demolishes his place in search of a bottle, but does he throw away his hard-won sobriety? Luke (Will Chase) admits to Rayna (Connie Britton) that he will always have a sore spot regarding Deacon because of a long past run-in over Rayna at a state fair. Maddie’s (Lennon Stella) video gone viral has gotten the attention of The View, so now, her parents must come forward to spare her any private life at all. Even going to school has become nightmarish. Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) is in despair that country radio is not running to welcome her back, and she’s given a tip that Charles Wentworth (Charlie Bewley) just happens to be in town, so why not give him a call? Of course, she takes the hint, Charlie wants his old flame, not just friendship, but Juliette tells him she’s seeing someone after a kiss. Charlie guesses that it’s Avery (Jonathan Jackson). He still agrees to push her song on his stations. Scarlett is rushing, thinking she’s late for her sessions, when she finds her mom, Beverly (Dana Wheeler Nicholson) with open arms and a snowglobe, as if Scarlett were five, welcoming her back from a tour. Gunnar (Sam Palladio) gets his first big royalty check, $400,000, but before he goes wild spending, Zoey (Chaley Rose) urges caution.
Avery hesitantly approves Juliette calling Charles, realizing what he’s up against with Wentworth’s past and his money. Luke and Rayna go looking for Deacon, and Rayna feels certain that Deacon has gone back to drinking. He promises her that he looked for the bottle, but he poured it out. He tells her there is no way he can be in a room with Teddy without killing him. When she asks why, he tells her the sordid tale of Megan and Teddy. Rayna pleads with him to do the right thing for Maddie. Scarlett is torn to pieces, saying that “everything’s a lie” with her mother, yet she still loves her. Gunnar spends part of his royalty on buying Zoey a proper studio demo. He gets a call for a prestigious gig for his old band, now defunct, but not for him as a solo act. When Beverly learns that Maddie is Deacon’s daughter, she goes off on Scarlett for hiding the secret. Juliette makes bathtub confessions to Avery about the kiss with Charlie. Zoey is told by the agent that she “has the tools” for what it takes to make it now, that she should broaden her connections by going to LA. Gunnar doesn’t like the idea, asking her to stay put. She declines his offer of being taking care of, career dreams pulling her too hard.
Hearing mom practice with the band is just too hard for Scarlett, and she sings “Black Roses” right to her mother at sound check, fresh from a charge of courage from the bottle. Backstage, mom has a meltdown from the past, detailing how it was all her sacrifice that brought Scarlett to where she is. Terrified, Scarlett asks Juliette for the night off, and while she understands the mother dilemma, J demands that she buck up in showbiz tradition, and deliver a good show, especially because radio stations will be out there. Maddie admits to Daphne (Maisy Stella) her mistake, and the sisters resume their tradition of singing on the bed! Rayna, Deacon, and Teddy present a unified front for Robin Roberts on TV, declaring their love for Maddie, and wanting only the best for her. Luke leaves for the airport amidst the throng of reporters. Deacon and Rayna have a hard heart-to-heart about Maddie, Deacon missing a being a dad through all those early years, and Rayna missing having Deacon and her dream. Scarlett can see only visions of her mother, taking the stage in a stupor. She collapses under the piano, Avery trying to coax her offstage, with Juliette having her own visions of terror.
Nashville will return with a special all music episode, “On the Record” on April 23. The season finale is shaping up to be sensational.