Nashville season 5 episode 17 review: Deacon’s version of heartbreak

Nashville season 5 episode 17 reviewThere have been some storylines on Nashville season 5 that leave a lot to be desired. However, the one revolving around Deacon on Thursday night is not one of them. This may be one of the more realistic portrayals of loss and mourning out there, mostly because it exemplified so well how the process comes and goes. Sometimes, you are feeling more than fine. However, at one moments everything falls apart and you don’t feel like you can take a step forward.

Deacon went through this process as he started to figure out whether or not Highway 65 should sign Jessie Cane, who was back in the picture this week. He felt some sort of chemistry with her during his conversation, but it wasn’t romantic. It was grieving in different ways. For him, it was grieving what happened with Rayna, whereas with Jessie it was an abusive marriage and the entirety of her life falling apart. It’s not something that she ever thought would play out the way that it did.

Now, enter Alyssa, who apparently specializes in giving terrible advice more so than she specializes in anything else. She was the responsible party in “hinting” to Deacon something further with Jessie, or at the very least recognizing that she may be interested in him. This led to an extremely awkward conversation with the two, and then him showing up to watch her perform at the end of the episode before getting choked up once more.

Grief often comes in waves. This episode did a wonderful job reflecting how some of that works.

Scarlett’s trauma

This was different, and in some ways also set up by Alyssa, who wanted to figure out a way to help her get people back on her side quickly after the report about her and Damien broke. Her planning a small, intimate concert was a bright idea, at least until it turned chaotic and one of her young, super-impressionable fans said that her actions ruined her life. Scarlett then made it her mission to track said fan down, tell her that her opinion mattered, and then lead what was effectively a support circle for other troubled youth to all share some of their problems.

Was this entire story a little too dramatic for its own good? Maybe, but this is Nashville and this is Scarlett, and given everything that she’s been through, we’ll let it slide.

As for Juliette…

We have a harder time letting this Avery nonsense slide just because this entire story feels a little too much like a rinse / repeat version of every other story that we’ve gotten from her over time when it comes to men. Some disagreement happens, things fall apart, and she acts like she’s okay in the end. Avery’s getting set to leave now on a tour, so we’ll see when he turns up again.


Everything with Deacon in this episode was fantastic, and arguably his best material since Connie Britton left the show. As for everyone else, that’s a little more debatable. Nashville continues to be a mixed bag through season 5, but what it did well on Thursday’s episode was over the moon. Grade: B+.

What’s next?

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