“Nashville” has every character going after something, and tonight’s (October 29) sixth episode of an eventful Season 3, “Nobody Said It Was Going to Be Easy,” bears out that every coveted thing comes at a cost. Whether it’s Rayna (Connie Britton) and Luke (Will Chase) craving CMA awards under individual acclaim, Avery (Jonathan Jackson) and Gunnar (Sam Palladio) trying to define their place in fatherhood, or Juliette (Hayden Panettiere), Deacon (Charles Esten), and Scarlett (Clare Bowen), all trying to find gratitude in the truly important things in life, everything comes with a cost, even a date.
Following Juliette’s dramatic onstage collapse, Zoey (Chaley Rose) calls. Avery, who drives all night to reach Cincinnati. Gunnar and Kiley (Alexa PenaVega) come to near blows over the revelation of Gunnar as her son, Micah’s father. Devastated by the loss of nearly all his family, Gunnar is determined to be a presence in the boy’s life. Rayna brings Sadie (Laura Benanti) champagne to celebrate the CMA nominations, and mostly the success of her Highway 65 label. Pam (Brette Taylor) persuades Deacon to at least show up and be pleasant, a hard task on this tour. The CMA nominations turn out to be big for Rayna and Luke, she with six, him with five, and Sadie getting recognition for best new artist, along with Will Lexington (Chris Carmack). “Good Morning America” hosts Robin Roberts and Amy Robach played themselves announcing the big news. Rayna and Luke are both vying for Entertainer of the Year, and equally determined to win it. Rayna feels insulted that the nominations are the result of the “Ruke” couple phenomenon that has overtaken the media with news of their impending marriage, Juliette is completely snubbed on awards, but celebrates with a new perspective, announcing that the fact that “I’m alive, my baby’s alive, and that makes a pretty good day for me,” marking a definite turn for the once diva. Avery arrives to see her, almost bringing himself to show true compassion, before Noah (Derek Hough) arrives, flowers in hand, leaving in a huff, not letting Juliette elaborate that they are only friends.
Gunnar explains his newfound father situation to Scarlett, who simply advises, “be there” for his son. Maddie (Lennon Stella) feels more isolated than ever when her father suddenly announces “plans” for the evening as he arranges another meeting with Natasha, care of a Jeff (Oliver Hudson) get together. Never feeling she has her own freedom, the elder daughter feels needled into looking after Daphne (Maisy Stella), but promises just to go to the one “coffee shop” with Luke’s son, Colt—meaning no drinks, no party, and Daphne will come along. The welcome prediction made in the last week’s review seems to be true, because Mykelti Williamson is gaining a growing role as Terry, the homeless pizza , hawker who helped Scarlett save her song. Refusing to take a hot meal or clean clothes without a barter, he agrees to clean gutters for the good offer. Will sees the scars Layla (Aubrey Peeples) is covering, concerned, but there is little doubt that the pair’s last shoot will wrap within any notes of serenity. Noah stays with Juliette while she hears news that she has a factor five mutation, telling her “you don’t have to go through this alone,” to her amazed reply, “You’re a great guy,” never trusting pure friendship. On medical advice, she is told to cancel her tour, and return to Nashville, where the film shoot can continue on restricted schedule.
Hearing that Luke is bringing and Sara Evans to sing with him on the road, Rayna considers campaigning for her awards, to combat the “Ruke” slight. Scarlett delight in hearing Terry’s glorious voice as he cleans gutters, but later, talk about his family becomes too much. He leaves, and leaves Scarlett wondering about him. Teddy (Eric Close) is totally taken with Natasha, showing off his daughters. Deacon ditches the last song of his set, feeling demeaned by all the signs held up from the audience for Luke. Maddie is driven to disobey with Colt, and they throw quite the forbidden party at her house.
Rayna swings her own solo deal for a “Dancing with the Stars” appearance, shutting Luke out for artistic reasons. Juliette goes to see Avery, letting him know she “kept the baby because of you,” and failing to see Zoey’s on stage save in Cincinnati as support. Sara Evans sings “Put My Heart Down” with Luke on stage, definitely creating a sensation, and saying “send me a jet, and I’ll be there.” Even favors aren’t free. Deacon observes a lesson in loving music for its own purity and impact from watching Pam on stage, and later he plays her one of his own songs. Maddie and Colt share confidences and a kiss, and Layla lets loose a little too much at the last shoot, as Will returns her to her hotel, and she throws herself at him with a kiss, in “can’t live with him or without him” turmoil. “I really do care about you,” he reminds. Jeff tells Teddy the truth that his “date,” Natasha, is a paid escort. Teddy misses a call from his desperate little girl, lapsed in too much passion to pick up. An emergency fly-home comes when news of Maddie’s mishap reaches the tour, with Rayna, Deacon, and Luke , all making the trip to handle the kids, despite the disdain of Deacon’s hands on Luke. Teddy’s parenting technique is called into question, still, Rayna defends him, while Deacon comforts Maddie. Teddy and Rayna decide the best course is to hire a nanny to supervise the girls. Avery calls on Juliette, saying “I don’t want to be angry,” but still refusing her terms, letting her know she would not be the one to decide his role in his child’s life. After sharing a day with Micah, Gunnar convinces Kiley that they should try things out as a family, just at the moment Zoey returns with “I’m home.” Juliette has a very short and sweet press conference. She reveals that she is pregnant, and that Avery Barkley is the father of her baby. Case closed.
New episodes resume November 12.
Additional source: “Nashville” broadcast, October 29, 2014 ABC Networks.