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NASHVILLE Midseason Premiere: You Gotta Have Heart


On Thursday night’s Nashville midseason premiere: heartache, heartbreak, and heart damage were the order of the day.  Through the hour episode, the Nashville men took front and center stage through their emotional songs and their dramatic turns.  


We pick up right after Will (Chris Carmack) is rushed to the hospital after collapsing during The Chew performance in New York.  Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Alannah (Rainee Blake) learn from the doctor that their friend and bandmate is suffering from none other than a heart infection. The physician says, “Are any of you aware that he was using needles, injecting steroids?” Avery (Jonathan Jackson), and Alannah are stunned while Gunnar reveals that he knew about Will injecting himself once.  When Avery and Gunnar go visit Will in his hospital room, Gunnar is mad because he thinks it is “stupid” that Will did this to himself.

Will, as usual, sloughs it off and apologizes. But things don’t look good for Will. The doctor tells the country star to take it easy, and that he might need surgery, because there is something going on in his mitral valve in his heart. Will receives bad news; that he can’t play concerts or perform anytime soon.

When the news spreads through Nashville that Will has survived this heart scare, none other than Zach (Cameron Scoggins), Will’s ex, surprises him when Will is at home resting.  Zach gets a clue that Will’s steroid use may have something to do with the good-looking trainer, Mark, who he flaunted in front of his face when the two of them broke up.  As the two of them kind of flirt with each other, Zach mentions that Mark and him broke up, leaving a possible window of hope that Zach and Will might get back together again.  

Scarlett (Clare Bowen), who sees that Will is feeling sorry for himself, gives him a notebook and a pen and tells him to try to write a song about his feelings, even though Will protests that he is a showman, not a songwriter. But of course, in true Nashville fashion, Will comes up with an emotional song by the end of the episode, sung and played to perfection by Carmack.

As for Avery, is there anything cuter than Avery with his young daughter Cadence, while MIA mother Juliette (Hayden Panetierre) has once again put him in a position where he’s raising this child all by himself?  Meanwhile Alannah, who has slept with Gunnar, is very attracted to Avery. 

One night, after it appears that she hit the sack with Gunnar, she goes over to Avery’s to hang out for some drinking … dancing … and talking.  It is apparent that Avery enjoys her company, and she is clearly into him. Nothing happens between them.  They both fall asleep separately in the living room, and the next morning Avery thanks her for her support. 

However, a tabloid photo surfaces on Gunnar’s phone that says there’s a woman sneaking out of Avery’s house. When he sees that it is none other than Alannah, Gunnar is livid! He heads over to a rehearsal begging for a fight. They don’t have a fight, but instead, Gunnar gets hit in the nose by the band member’s guitar. The way it looks to us, maybe, just maybe, Gunnar and Will, who have been good friends, even though Gunnar hasn’t slept with a guy that maybe, just maybe, they could end up together?  After all, Gunnar and Will did kiss that one time.  Is this just wishful thinking, or could Nashville go down this road before its series finale?

As for Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten), who has been the epicenter of the show, since Connie Britton has departed, he has gotten himself caught in the middle and involved with Jessie (Kaitlin Doubleday) and her ex, Brad (Jeff Nordling). Brad is suing Jessie for full custody of their son. Deacon’s past of alcohol abuse and and fights don’t look good for them, and it’s tearing this possible new love affair apart.  Later, Jessie and Deacon profess they don’t want to lose each other.


However, the most poignant moment of the show happened when Maddie (Lennon Stella), who knocked back some booze during Jonah’s birthday week, showed up back at Deacon and Rayna’s home.  She’s defiant, and she wants to move out.  Deacon notices that she’s drinking water, looking dehydrated like she’s hungover from alcohol. 

He confronts her and says, “What the heck were you thinking?” She screams that she’s an adult, and she’s 18.  He says, “Not in this house you’re not!” She fires back, “Maybe I should move out!” As they’re both crying, and they begin to calm down. Deacon is fearful that he could pass the addiction gene of alcohol onto his daughter.  He reflects on how he lost so many years with Rayna, and so many years with his daughter, and that he doesn’t want Maddie to make the same mistakes as he did.

At the end of the episode, seeing how her sister, Daphne (Maisy Stella) is broken up over the fact that she doesn’t want Maddie to move out, she ends up in bed hanging out with her dad and her sister, and they hug it out now she’s going to stay, and not leave the nest.

So, what did you think about midseason premiere of Nashville?  Did it have a lot of heart? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Will can do so much better than sociopathic Zach. But they’ve never given him much of a love life. I like Jessie with Deacon, but hate Brad (Jeffrey Nordling, like Rob Lowe, keeps showing up in and ruining so many shows I like) and want him GONE. Gunnar’s jealousy is childish and boring…is this the best story they can find for this talented guy? Scarlett’s latest adopted puppy routine is also wearing thin. Overall, we need a massive blood transfusion into the show. Hate to see it go out with a whimper, like LOST.

Breaking News

NASHVILLE’s Chris Carmack Joins New Season Of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

From country western singing sensation to the new orthopedic surgeon dubbed “Ortho God” at Grey Sloan Memorial, Chris Carmack is joining the cast of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.

On Nashville ,which concluded its six season run, Carmack played Will Lexington, but on Grey’s Anatomy he will recur as a new orthopedic surgeon who will cross paths with some of the series main characters. More details of the character are being kept under-wraps including his name.

‘Grey’s’ 15th season kicks-off on September 27th at 8PMEST with a two-hour episode.

Upon the reveal of the casting news, Carmack took to his Twitter account to share his response to a tweet from Shondaland, who welcomed him to the show with: “Thank you! Can’t wait to scrub in!

Then, the official ABC Grey’a Anatomy twitter account welcomed him to the show, in which Carmack responded: “Honored to be a part of this! Thank you!” and Hollywood Reporter first broke the casting news

So, glad to hear Chris will be back on primetime in a new role? Comment below,

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NASHVILLE Series Finale Goes Out On A High Note In An Emotional Farewell

After six seasons (four on ABC and two on CMT), Nashville ended its run with a sentimental, heart-tugging wrap-up in its final episode last night.  Like any great soap opera, it’s all about those wonderfully rich characters that the audience has come to fall in love with; whether they be the good guys, the bad, or somewhere in between.  What was touching about the finale is that many characters lives ended on a happy note, or came full-circle.

Through creator Callie Khouri’s vision for six seasons, we came to love and care about Deacon, Avery, Juliette, Will and so many others, and of course, Rayna James.  And on the final installment, Connie Britton did make one final appearance as the late Rayna with her longtime music city scene partner, Charles Esten, that so many Nashies were hoping for before the final curtain came down.

So here’s what happened and where it all ended up, as we now imagine what these characters lives will be like, unless as now rumored, Khouri puts together a Nashville 2.0 spinoff.

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

Maddie (Lennon Stella) and Twig (Dylan Arnold) are in the recording studio.  He wants to be her everything.  She feels pressured.  In a conversation with Scarlett (Claire Bowen), she reveals she is just trying to get over her bust up with Jonah and doesn’t know if she can be in a relationship right now.  Later at this advice from Scarlett: “The only thing you need to do is honor what you’re feeling at the moment,” Maddie sits down with Twig and breaks the news over coffee!  “You need someone who can put you at the center of their universe,” says Maddie.  “What if I said I would take you as you are?” Twig replies.  To which Maddie lowers the boom, “I would say you deserve so much more.” Twig is devastated.  Maddie is emancipated.

Then we come to Maddie’s sister, Daphne (Maisy Stella).  It’s the finals of Nashville’s Next Country Star.  Daphne has got her work cut out for her, because of sexy frontrunner Jenny Lee.  Brad (Jeff Nordling) has set Daphne up to lose by giving her a song that is far from her comfort song to perform.  She flips it on him when it is time for her to go live. Daphne does her rendition of the tune with her guitar, stripped-down and soulful.  The crowd goes wild.   However in the end, Jenny Lee is named the winner.  Backstage, Daphne cries in Deacon’s (Charles Esten) arms, but then … Ilse (Daphne’s coach on Nashville’s Next Country Star) is making goo-goo eyes at Deacon, and asks him if he would like to write with her when he comes home from his tour?  Scarlett, Daphne, and Maddie look on and notice the spark. Could this be Deacon’s true new love interest?

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Avery (Jonathan Jackson) play pool and in a nice touch which harkens back to six-years-ago on the series. Gunnar says, “You were a total tool,” recalling that Avery was a snotty, bad dude when he first came to town.  Will (Chris Carmack) and Gunnar want to get The Last Highways together, if they can just convince Avery to put the past behind him and move forward.  Apparently, all is well, and they put the band back up on its feet.

Now, we come to the #MeToo socially relevant topic of the day, part of the last episode, where we finally learn Alannah’s (Rainee Blake) plan to nail Brad as the womanizing, power abuser, egotistical bastard he is, and how he uses his company and his status in the biz to lure woman to do “favors” for him.  In her hotel room after her performance, Brad calls and says there is a par-tay going down in his room with lots of people and to join them.  She heads over to find him alone and lascivious.  When he tries to plant a wet lip-lock on her, she slaps him.  He fires back: “The man helps the woman and the woman helps the man,” and that Alannah violated their “implicit contract.”  And that means of course, she will never work again in this town.

A few days later, Brad gets the shock of his life when in walks to his office at Shiny New Records, Deacon, Alannah and Zach (Cameron Scoggins)! The trio announces their plans to purchase his company for $15 million dollars. He laughs them off, but our smart gal, Alannah recorded the whole incident in the hotel room and has his voice on tape, which she happily plays it back for him. Then, to add an exclamation point on the proceedings, getting off the elevator are countless women who have all been harassed by Brad including his on-again off-again wife, Jessie (Kaitlin Doubleday), who adds, “And I want full custody of Jake (their son), too!”

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

How do we wrap up the other greatest and tortured love story of Nashville, with two of our favorite actors, who got their starts on the soaps, and who made Javery a couple to root for through the good and the bad?  Of course, we are talking about Jonathan Jackson and Hayden Panettiere.  Now together in one piece, and grounded from her experiences with the cult, and with a new lease on life, Juliette has sold her house for a farm 30 minutes outside of Nashville.  Avery knows there is something he is not telling her.  Avery finds Juliette’s savior and bestie. Hallie (Rhiannon Giddens) at the recording studio and when prompted she tells him that Juliette is pregnant with his kid, again!  Next scene, Avery confronts Juliette.  She admits it’s true, and she was going to tell him but did not want to trap him, because she loves him and wants to be with him, but only if he wants her too and, “Not because you feel like you need to save me or that you’re worried about me. But because you’re worried about yourself without me.”   Duly-noted by Avery, but he exits.

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

And then we get to the crescendo of the finale, as Juliette sings on her keyboard alongside her stilettos, the moving boxes, et al.  While the emotion of the song plays out, the show intercuts the action and brings us to a flash-forward in time.  This was done effectively on the series finale of One Life to Live and Guiding Light, among others soaps, that have to say their goodbyes.  In Nashville time it’s a “few months later” and we see how everyone’s life is shaping up:  Daphne has signed her first record contract!  Will is hand in hand with a boyfriend and it’s Zach.  Jessie has full custody of her son and they are eating popcorn and watching a scary movie together.  Maddie moved into her own place.  Alannah’s career is taking off opening for The Lumineers.  The Last Highways hold an album release party, with … of course, screaming fangurls!

Then it’s time to grab the hankies … we see Juliette with baby bump hanging out on her farm with Cadence on the swing set, and walking towards her is Avery with a large suitcase. He begins with, “Juliette, I need you.  And I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” He adds, “And if you would ….” she cuts him off.  “Yes,” she says. They embrace and kiss as Cadence yells, “Daddy!”  And there you have it … Javery is together at last!

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

The show’s last season largely centered around Deacon.  And in the last installment, it is Rayna who comes to him when he must make the decision whether to embrace his father who is longing to make peace with his son, or hold on to old grudges.  As Deacon’s career has taken off again as he is now headlining his own tour, Gideon (Ronny Cox) has come to see his son perform and comes backstage to see him, which takes Deacon aback.   He goes to his dressing room where in a ghost/ flashback experience, he recalls Rayna on their wedding night. “Is this real?” he whispers,  Deacon is worried that after all the mistakes and regrets that kept them apart for so long, and caused them so much pain, that things can’t work themselves out.  But the wise Rayna says. “Sometimes somebody gets into your bloodstream. It doesn’t matter how much we’ve failed each other.  We must choose each other.  And I choose you exactly the way you are. And I’m going to love you forever… and ever and ever.”

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

Deacon is in tears, but it’s time to hit the stage.  Now, feeling reassured that he should give his father a chance (thanks to Rayna from the great beyond), he realized that forgiving his father would not make him weak or less than, but would strengthen his family.  Deacon tells the audience he wants to bring someone special up on-stage with him, his dad, Gideon Claybourne.  From the audience, Gideon is shocked and honored.  Gideon straps on a guitar and Deacon begins to play and then whispers to his dad, “Do you know this song?” To which Gideon, replied, “Son, I know all your songs.” Hankies!

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

And then came the final note after six years of songs, and so much drama.  As Deacon and Gideon begin to perform the song, “A Life That’s Good”, all the characters begin to walk out on stage and join them singing in unison, but we soon realize the show has broken the fourth wall, and now we are watching the true swan song with the cast past and present, the crew, the executive producers, Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, and at the center of it all, Callie Khouri who says, “I want to thank the city of Nashville.”  She adds “The beautiful people of Nashville. The incredible cast and crew — the family that we’ve made.  And may we all have a life that’s good.  And that’s a wrap.”  What a touching and honest way to say goodbye.

So, how would you grade the series finale of Nashville? What did you think of how things were left for your favorite characters? What was your favorite moment in the last episode? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. But first check out the heartfelt thanks from the cast of Nashville in the video below, followed by three of the heart-tugging scenes from the finale.

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Breaking News

TONIGHT: ‘Nashville’ Series Finale: How Will It End For Your Favorite Characters?

Get the hankies and that box of tissue ready! After six seasons, it’s time to say goodbye with one last look at the lives of the characters of Nashville, as it airs its final episode tonight on CMT. (9EST/8CST)

The Nashies have been an incredible fan base that helped rally the show from its cancellation on ABC to finding its last home on CMT for the final two seasons.  But tonight, the series come to its conclusion with the airing of its last installment entitled: “Beyond the Sunset”.

In story, Deacon (Charles Esten) can’t forgive Gideon (Ronny Cox) and gets an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream. Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) makes a decision about her future. Daphne (Maisy Stella) prepares for the final round of Nashville’s Next. Alannah (Rainee Blake) confronts Brad (Jeff Nordling), Avery (Jonathan Jackson), Gunnar (Sam Palladio), and Will (Chris Carmack) discuss the future.

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

But how will it truly end for Deacon?  Will he find some happiness?  According to a recent chat with TVLine, EP Marshall Herskovitz revealed: “I remember talking about this with Chip (Esten) before the season started, and I remember Chip saying to me, ‘Whatever you do, just put me in the worst position possible.”

They tease: “Before the end of the hour, Deacon is caught up in reflecting on his life, which longtime viewers know hasn’t always been as good as his hit song suggests.”

Then, there is another major question: Will Avery and Juliette patch things up once and for all and make a go of their relationship?  Stay tuned!

Let us know how you things will be left for your favorite music city characters by the end of the episode via the comment section below.


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