Nashville season 5 episode 13 first started off with reminders of what happened last week: Deacon is struggled to control Daphne’s depression, while Maddie was working to get her music career of the ground. Juliette was still recovering following her gospel album bomb, and also from the ego bruise inflicted by Maddie not wanting to listen to her.
When the episode picked up, Maddie was still resistant to the idea of accepting advice, this time in terms of whether or not to forego her dream of a midnight release. She’s not an A-lister, so the idea of “letting the music speak for itself” isn’t all that great of an option for her.
The bulk of the episode, though, was about Juliette far more than it was anyone else — and it touched on some ground the show had skirted around the past few episodes.
For the first time since her plane accident, she was facing a big-time performance. The problem was clear: Anxiety in many forms. There was the crash coming back to haunt her, but then she also had to contend with the pressures of a label and her fans. The fact that she was being triggered by her past only added to her stress.
During rehearsals, the problems and the flashbacks to her childhood started to come right back into her brain. No matter how much that she wanted to be able to perform, there were issues standing in her way. Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues was herself, and her own inability to appear as an honest, sympathetic figure. Had she not purposefully lied about the label “demanding” that she avoid music from her album, maybe that would go a little bit easier for her.
Eventually, Juliette did take it upon herself to reach out to the people that she hurt the most — the choir she had lied to. She eventually went to the church and apologized to them, while also saying that she made her decision to pull them because she was afraid of failure and knew that the public had already turned on her over the album. She made them an offer — perform tonight with her, or not at all. Hardly an offer when you really think about it, but still one that they took knowing full well her condition.
Yet, there was still the issue of Juliette actually making it out on stage. There were moments were it looked as though she wasn’t going to do it, but in the closing minutes, she started to take those fateful steps up the ladder. She was home. She wasn’t the perfect homeowner to push the analogy further, but she did just enough to take care.
The state of Daphne
Remember that she forged a bond with Liz on the streets last week? She sought her out again tonight, learning in the process the sort of stuff that this life entails — having to take from people who may not appreciate being taken from, for starters.
Eventually, this inspired Daphne to bring Liz home, but the problem that she ran into here is that Liz isn’t a puppy. She can’t just bring her home and take care of her without any repercussions. Deacon confronted her over it, but allowed Liz to stay for the time being
Scarlett makes a move
She learned last week that Damien was her child’s father, and obviously, there were conversations that needed to be had. The story of the two tonight mostly just consisted of the two wrestling with feelings, especially Damien’s as he professed that he could come back and make a relationship work.
If this was season 5A Deacon, we’d proclaim that it was completely ridiculous for him to let Liz still with Daphne. Yet, this was season 5B Deacon who is trying to listen to his advice. The end result let do a powerful episode about trying to help with burdens. The choir sacrificed themselves to help Juliette, and Deacon sacrificed a bit of his security in order to help Daphne. Grade: B+.
Where do we go from here?
How about to Nashville season 5 episode 14? To preview this installment, take a look at the link here! (Photo: CMT.)