Recap: Nashville, “I’ve Got Reasons to Hate You” (5×12)

Tonight’s episode was about what love drags down the road with it as it goes by. It was about the pain love causes, about what it can do when it goes wrong, when it goes really wrong and when it’s ill timed. The solace that love provides was light on the ground tonight, though it appeared at spots. As Rayna and Maddie said, this is real life and sometimes it hurts.

Deacon’s doing his best to deal with his liver cancer at AA and at home with Scarlett. But he’s scared and he doesn’t want to tell anyone, least of all Maddie and so he keeps canceling her guitar lessons.  Scarlett, because she’s terrified of losing Deacon, reaches out to her mother in an attempt to mend fences and maybe find a match for him. Deacon doesn’t want to ask her for a liver and is so stressed by the confrontation that he has a mild seizure. Regardless, Beverly says no anyway. But Scarlett begs – if not for him, then for her.  So she takes the test – and offers a fresh start for her and Deacon. They have a lovely family sing-a-long before the doctors call. Turns out she’s not a match anyway – or so she says. She is, she just doesn’t want to help Deacon. She believes that he brought this cancer onto himself and she can’t see why she should help him. Scarlett is completely devastated and in the same moment writes off her mother and any hope she has for Deacon.

Jeff Fordham may not be motivated by love but he’s counting on his pawns to be. “Good Jeff” of the past several weeks has vanished and has been replaced with “Jeff from last season,” complete with Mirada Priestly clothes throwing and yelling at his assistant. He needs a young female singer and he’s quick to start sniffing around Maddie and Daphne. Seems the work he put into building a relationship (and blackmail file) with Teddy is finally due for some dividends. He straight up asks to put Maddie on a contract and while Teddy “doesn’t feel strongly” either way, he says he thinks she needs another year. So Teddy pulls the card we’ve all seen coming since the beginning of the season. Sign Maddie to Edgehill or the city and his ex-wife find out about the prostitutes. After the preview for next week, looks like it didn’t take long for Teddy to cave.

Juxtaposed with Jeff throwing scarves at his assistant, Rayna coming into the office to meet her assistant, knowing his name, being happy. She’s trying to get back to work, to forget the drama. Bucky suggests some PR and Rayna decides she’ll play the Bluebird. Walking in, she’s flooded with memories about her and Deacon and she can’t perform. The weight of the past is too much for her and she returns home, visibly upset. Maddie keeps pushing Rayna to explain what’s going on with Deacon and finally they talk. The two bond over some songwriting and a talk about Deacon’s struggles and even play together on stage at the Bluebird in the end.

The toll love has had on little Micah has been a particularly hard one. Dragged around from state to state for years by his mother, he was eventually abandoned by her with the man that he thought was his father only to find out he was really his uncle. The kid has been lied to, abandoned and lied to some more. It is no wonder that he’s having a difficult time adjusting to life with his grandparents. But he’s getting into fights and getting suspended from school. Gunnar flies out to see him and discovers Micah’s grandparents have offered a bit too much truth about his dad’s bad past – so Micah thinks he’s a bad kid, just like his dad. Gunnar spends some time rounding out Micah’s understanding of his dad and how the two of them grew up together and leaves him better than he found him. That’s about as good as anyone could ask for tonight.

Odds & Ends

– Sadie’s lying about being “sick” over the holidays and about not being able to go to the Bluebird. Not going to end well.

– Juliette’s going stir crazy and going to the recording studio at 2 am to try to finish her album. Avery pulls her back from the edge and it’s funny to think that Juliette and Avery, the two wildest characters from Season One, are the most stable, loving, normal people on this show right now.