This was an amazing episode. There were no filler scenes, which is usually a big problem; every scene was meaty and moved the plot line forward; many storylines came to well-deserved climaxes that have been coming for a long time; every major character had sympathetic motivations, even when they were at odds; and it was genuinely heartbreaking in several spots. Solid work, Nashville.
Previously on Nashville: Autumn hit on Gunnar after Scarlett confided that there’s always something going on with Gunnar; Luke took Will back on at Wheelin’ Dealin’; Avery went on Luke’s tour with Layla, and then Juliette replaced Riff on Luke’s tour; Maddie ran away and wanted to emancipate from Rayna and Deacon.
Rayna and Deacon are in their house, being photographed for Southern Living, for an article on “the amazing life of Rayna Jaymes.” They ask for pics with the kids, so Bucky steps in to deflect while Deacon and Rayna visibly panic. I feel like Rayna has a long history of inviting reporters into her life at the worst possible moment, and this was a case where she obviously should have known she was taking a big risk. The reporters want shots of the kids at the benefit tomorrow instead. Rayna and Deacon panic more.
When Bucky takes the reporters off to photograph some other area of the house, Deacon says he “can’t take all this posing, all this acting like everything’s fine and dandy.” Kinda married into the wrong family then, buddy. He wants to make a move, but Rayna says she doesn’t think the move is theirs to make. They need to hang tight and wait for Maddie to come to her senses. This will be utterly belied by everything that happens later in the episode, but it sounds good.
On tour, Juliette’s going up onstage. That’s the same time zone as Nashville, so presumably it’s a few hours later since Rayna and Deacon were just awash in afternoon sun (this is the kind of thing I never notice when I’m watching, but it seems to be some sort of Recapping Trope that you point out potential timing continuity issues. Just doing my job here). She coos into the microphone and the crowd goes wild as she dances in a slinky sequined dress and sings, “I can’t stay in one place too long.” Layla emerges to see Glenn and Emily dancing happily to Juliette’s music, and crosses her arms, looking peeved.
Kenneth and Luke watch a broadcast of the performance from his suite and gloat about how Juliette was a good replacement and everyone has conveniently forgotten about Riff. “The last question you want to hear on national television is ‘Hey Luke, how’s your former tourmate handling his sex addiction?’” Kenneth says, and that’s the wittiest thing Kenneth has ever said. Luke asks about Will’s showcase, and Kenneth says they invited 50 top programmers but “it’s a hill to climb” because Luke will be the first openly gay artist on country radio. “Which is why it’s time to climb it,” Luke says.
Layla stomps into her tour bus, making noises halfway between sobs and gasps. Avery is already there, putting Cadence down. “Oh, I’m sorry,” Layla says, looking genuinely apologetic. She confesses why she’s here: “Am I a horrible person for wishing that Juliette would just be a little wobbly her first night back?” He answers sweetly, “Horrible isn’t a word I’d use to describe you at all.” He reveals he’s working on their tracks, and asks her to work with him. She grins. All thoughts of Juliette zoom out of their heads.
Gunnar finds Scarlett on the bus, and she gives him the silent treatment, because having agreed to be mature about unresolved sexual tension has never stopped a single TV character from acting unreasonably petulant and jealous. Anyway, Will calls, and Gunnar’s all excited. “We’re on the radio in Nashville!” he reports to Scarlett, who’s like: BORED. Then she walks away while Gunnar’s still chatting with Will. Will’s excited about his own thing: the showcase, where he still thinks 50 programmers are going to show up. He asks to talk to Scarlett, but Gunnar has to admit she’s not talking to him. When Will asks what he did, Gunnar asks why he assumes that Gunnar did something. Will’s like, “Because you probably did!” Heh. Gunnar can’t argue with this, so he peers worriedly towards Scarlett.
At the hotel, a be-robed Juliette asks Glenn if Avery accepted her offer to ride in her jet instead of the tour bus. Glenn, clearly nervous about getting on the wrong side of Juliette’s crazy, says that Avery “politely declined.” Juliette can’t believe that he’d rather be on the tour bus for nine hours than fly one hour with her. “Is something going on between him and Layla?” she demands. Glenn, trying to get just one strawberry from the spread in her room, is like, “YES. They’re RECORDING AN ALBUM.” Juliette does not look convinced.
And she would definitely not enjoy what’s happening on the tour bus, where Avery and Layla are listening to a track on the same pair of headphones, their heads close together. She looks into his eyes, which are about two inches away from hers, and says, “Thank you. I wish there was a more powerful word for beautiful.” Then he says, looking at her face,“Me too.” They start making out until the headphones get accidentally unplugged, causing the music to blare out and wake Cadence. Layla giggles; Avery sighs and gives her a tiny smile before saying nervously, “I should really get Cadence back to the hotel…” Awkward.
Deacon and Rayna are bidding goodbye to the reporters from Southern Living, who are still hoping to get photos of the family the next day. So I guess they were here shooting for like eight hours, since it’s nighttime now? (Just doing my Recapperly Duty again.) Next thing she knows, she’s getting served (good thing those reporters finally left!) with an order to appear in court with Maddie. “For what?” asks Deacon, whose memory may have been negatively affected by all that alcohol he drank. “For an emancipation hearing,” Rayna answers. Duh, Deacon! What did you think it was for, a speeding ticket? Anyway, now Daphne’s overheard them and appears out of nowhere, as she does. Rayna explains what emancipation is. “Does that mean she’s divorcing us?” Daphne says. Dun-dun-dun! Credits.
The lawyer is at the Jaymes mansion, and Rayna and Deacon apologize for being late because it was hard to get their other daughter to go to bed. Rayna tries to get some basic information, like whether an emancipation hearing involves witnesses and testimony, but Deacon interrupts, with his usual hot-headed lack of helpfulness, “Put me on the stand!” He wants to tell them about how Cash is “like a snake, leading her away.” Ooh, I’ll testify to that too. The lawyer has to point out that he doesn’t have legal paternity and would have to establish it, which would take months – whereas the hearing is in two days. Rayna wants to talk to Maddie, but the lawyer advises them that it won’t be possible, and that Teddy will have to be prepared as a co-defendant.
Meanwhile, Maddie’s lawyer is meeting with her and Cash, running down all the proof she has that Maddie’s able to support herself. Cash adds, “And you’ll make sure they know that her mom blocked all those offers in favor of a bogus deal at Highway 65?” Shut up, Cash. Maddie says her plan is to get her GED and pursue a career in music. She asks if she can text Daphne, but the lawyer says, “For all we know your parents are using her phone to talk you out of this.” Cash looks all alarmed and says, “I hadn’t even thought about that,” then nods vigorously as the lawyer advises Maddie not to contact anyone in her household. She’s pretending to be Just So Shocked by the very idea of their parents getting to Maddie through Daphne, but she’s obviously just happy to have more ammo in her fight to isolate Maddie from everyone else in her life—and she didn’t even have to come up with it herself!
Avery meets Layla at a restaurant the morning after their kiss. She interrupts the beginning of a speech he’s about to make, telling him she likes him. He says he likes her too, but it’s complicated with Cadence. And Juliette, Layla prompts him. She’s not wrong: “Having my ex unexpectedly join the too-er, it’s a lot to deal with,” he says. He wants to keep things the way they are. She agrees and gets up to go. “It’s OK, you know, it’s just it’s too bad. Because we really do have something,” she says. Avery looks pensive. To be fair, he and Layla do have a cute, flirty, supportive thing going on. But I still can’t imagine she’s any better a long-term bet than Juliette, in terms of her sanity.
Gunnar catches up with Scarlett as she’s getting on the elevator, yelling for her to hold the door. When he gets on—no thanks to her, since she was actively pushing the close-door button, like a five-year-old—he asks her, “What the hell was that?” Scarlett does the dead-voice thing again and pretends she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He says she’s been ignoring him. “Maybe we’ve been joined at the hip for four days and I need some space from you,” she snots. She is wearing a sweater coat, a super fuzzy scarf, and a thick knit hat. WHAT MONTH IS IT? WHERE ARE THEY? Her outfit parts are not designed for the same weather, and none of them are designed for April, unless perchance they’re in, like, far-north Canada. But since Gunnar’s wearing a perfectly normal spring jacket, I think Scarlett is just making her normal ill-informed fashion decisions. Today’s theme is “Confused Winter Hippie.”
Then the elevator skids to a stop and the lights go off. Yay! You know what that means: they’re gonna hash out their issues, and after the hashing out comes the making out. Nashville is not a show to try to improve on a trope that has already worked well for a thousand movies before. Anyway, Scarlett goes nuts and pounds on the door, yelling “Haaayyyylp! Haaaayyyylp!” Don’t they have cell phones? You don’t actually live on the prairie, Scarlett, you just dress like it.
Teddy’s back! He’s still in jail, and Rayna is explaining everything about Cash. “She encouraged her to lie and go play at clubs and run away…” she says. When Teddy hears she’s the daughter of Deacon’s business partner, he’s like, “Oh. So he brought her into this.” Heh. Anyone would think this wasn’t the guy who brought actual prostitutes into his own life. Rayna doesn’t rise to the bait and goes on to say that Maddie knows about the Edgehill deal Teddy made. Huh. Teddy made that deal? I don’t even remember that. So much crazy stuff happened with Teddy and none of it made much sense. A little research leads me to the knowledge that Jeff Fordham blackmailed Teddy into the Edgehill deal. Eh, not a surprise. When bad things happen, Jeff Fordham is usually nearby. I’d completely forgotten that whole storyline, though. Anyway, Teddy looks embarrassed, and Rayna says Maddie only knows that Rayna got in the way. She says that she needs him to sign an affidavit. He says he wants to talk to Maddie first, and Rayna looks shocked at the very idea that he wouldn’t just sign any old thing she asked him to without even speaking to Maddie. Sometimes it’s almost like Maddie has a point about how Rayna treats her.
Avery is bouncing Cadence at some sort of museum and cooing to her about a treasure chest. Then Juliette pops up, all cheerful and cooing at Cadence, like, HELLO, DAUGHTER AND HUSBAND THAT I DEFINITELY NEVER ABANDONED! Avery asks her what she’s doing here. “Avery, this is where Cadence is. I can’t be a mom if I’m not near my daughter,” she says. Behind him, she can see Layla watching sadly from a distance. He is somewhat mollified, and Juliette asks him to play “Dirt” with her onstage, flattering him that no one can play the chords like him. Then she says it was Glenn’s idea, which is a transparent lie to anyone who’s ever met Glenn, except apparently Avery.
Layla stalks up to Glenn and demands to tell him her ideas about her album launch party. “I wanna hear them, I do, but Juliette needs me at rehearsal so I gotta go,” he says. Ouch. This is the man who last week said the two wouldn’t be in competition.
Rayna, sitting in the prison waiting room, gets a call from Bucky, answers and tells him that she’s sitting in a prison waiting room hoping to run into her daughter, “so if this is about business I’m not interested.” That’s actually not a real thing to say when you’re a CEO, Rayna. You are supposed to at least pretend to give a shit. Bucky says that she needs to call someone named, hilariously, Scott Bruschetta, because Cash has set up a meeting with Big Machine. Apparently Scott is waiting for the go-ahead from Rayna, and she tells Bucky to set up the meeting.
Meanwhile at Will’s showcase, we can see a tableful of unclaimed merch in the form of baseball caps, and about four people sitting at tables set for fifty. They haven’t started yet because no one showed up, Kenneth tells an alarmed Luke. Will sits down to the mic looking nervous. After the commercials, Kenneth is on the phone accepting someone’s fake excuse that they had an emergency. “Emergency my ass,” Luke growls, as Kenneth lists the excuses: food poisoning and car trouble. Will offers that a few producers is better than none, but Luke yells, “Bullcrap, they’re just too chicken to put a gay artist on the radio.” He’s awfully mad for someone who was doing the exact same thing until two episodes ago! Will says timidly that they might need to do a smaller launch. “Going smaller isn’t the answer. We gotta go bigger,” Luke says.
Gunnar is hanging up the elevator emergency phone, telling Scarlett that there’s a blackout for ten blocks. Scarlett, who’s clearly afraid she’s going to jump Gunnar’s bones if they get stuck in the same room for longer than five seconds, suggests prying the doors open, then leaving through the top. “Scarlett, it’s not Mission: Impossible,” Gunnar says, giving her a weirded-out look. Hee. Scarlett mutters that she needs a drink and whips out a bottle of what Gunnar calls “18-year-old Scotch.” He asks why she has it. She says “Since I found out Autumn was a lyin’ back-stabbin’ cooter.” She actually says the word cooter. Then she rants that this was a thank-you present for the spa day, but that when she went up there she found Gunnar wiping off Autumn’s lipstick, which means Autumn was just pretending to be her friend. Her voice rises to an actual holler. “You can sleep with whoever you want. I don’t care, but did you have to sleep with MY IDOL?” The two halves of that sentence really don’t agree with each other, do they? Gunnar tries to stop the crazy train by saying that he turned Autumn down even when she used James Taylor as bait, because he didn’t want to do anything to “jeopardize the band.” Sure. The band. Scarlett calms down a little and offers him a drink.
In her room, Daphne is practicing awkwardly, then throws away the guitar in frustration. Poor little kid. “The old throw-the-guitar-down trick,” Deacon says, arriving at her doorway. He cutely tells her he’s tried it himself but it won’t make the guitar play any better. He offers to talk about Maddie with her, but when she says she needs to learn the song, he says he can help with that too: he doesn’t just throw ‘em. Aww! I love those moments when they make it clear that Deacon is a father figure to both girls (especially because the constant fetishization of biological parenthood is really weird to me). Daphne needs a good dad even more than Maddie.
Speaking of good dads, Avery has decided to yell at Glenn’s answering machine for suggesting that they sing together. He gives a whole big speech about boundaries, and how he’s here for Layla and won’t be playing “Dirt” with Juliette.
Juliette is dismissing her crew from the sound stage and telling them to enjoy their night off. Glenn arrives, and as Juliette is blathering about Oscar nominations (oh, I guess maybe it is the middle of winter in this timeline? That would explain Scarlett’s get-up.) But Glenn, who’s had time to listen to his voicemail, calls her on what she says was “a little white lie.” In her defense, she says, “I just thought if he knew you were on board he would be too, and I think that us playing the song together is the best!” In other words, she’s sorry she lied but she only did it to get what she wanted! Glenn rolls his eyes and said he thought she was done with the lying and the manipulation. She insists she has changed and apologizes. “I just was hoping that if we spend time together, that…” she trails off. Glenn suggests that if she wants Avery to see how far she’s come, she should try being honest. I’ve got news, babe: if your manager has to tell you to stop lying, you haven’t come that far.
Luke is filming an appearance on Good Morning America. He says he has a surprise: “There’s an artist and an issue worth sacrificing my time on the national stage for.” It’s Will, who’s going to perform instead. He gets a big cheer.
Cash is in a restaurant of some sort frowning at her laptop when Rayna comes to meet her. She was expecting Scott Bruschetta, but Rayna says “He didn’t feel like there was any point in going to a meeting with someone who’s already signed with Highway 65.” Cash starts to pack up, but Rayna starts trying to persuade her to stop wreaking havoc. Rayna says if she were Maddie’s friend she’d encourage Maddie to go home. “To a controlling mother and a crazy father?” says Cash, who is by far the most controlling person on this show and probably also the craziest. She says that she cares about Maddie too much to let her opportunities slip by her the way Cash’s did. “Ohhh, sweetheart, you don’t care about her at all, you care about yourself,” Rayna says. Go Rayna! Cash looks like she’s about to cry. Rayna says that she will make sure no one in Nashville will ever work with her again. Cash asks if Rayna’s threatening her, but Rayna says she’s promising. I love it. Take her down, Rayna! Cash storms off, defeated.
Maddie’s in the clink with Teddy, finishing up with her dramatic story of Deacon’s sins. “Out of nowhere, Deacon just storms in, starts threatening this drunk guy, and pulls me offstage!” Teddy points out this was at a club. Maddie says Teddy’s always supported her dreams and that she wants him to sign the letter of consent. I love how both women know Teddy well enough to figure that they can just storm into the jail, tell him what to do, and expect him to do it. Luckily, Teddy resists this one. He admits that he signed the Edgehill deal because he was being blackmailed. When she asked him why he was being blackmailed, he wriggles out by saying there was a woman, neglecting to say she was a prostitute and that he embezzled money to pay her off. There’s only so much confessing a guy can do, y’know? “I’m sorry. I never wanted you to know, but you have to understand that your mother has always had your best interests at heart. Always.” Maddie is not convinced by this: “So all my parents are liars, then?” she wails dramatically.
At GMA, the anchor calls Luke out on having dropped Will originally. He says, “I guess I got a little too concerned about my image, not proud of it, but luckily I came to my senses.” Nice. Will is gracious, saying that he understood because it’s hard to break out any new artist, and a gay artist in mainstream country is even harder. The anchor compliments him and tells him he’s well on his way. Luke jumps in by saying that it will be hard to hear him again because some people are averse to playing him on the radio. “Radio programmers are scared they’re going to get calls from a small but loud group of angry intolerant haters,” he says, and urges everyone to call their local radio to request the song. Luke is certainly going big—and going bold—on this one.
At the Jaymes mansion, Daphne has finished playing for Deacon, and he makes fake crowd cheering noises. He tells her she’s going to be great at playing solo. But she says she’d rather play with Maddie. Is Maddie ever going to talk to them again? Deacon tries to put a good face on, and says that they’re doing everything they can to get her home, and sometimes people do things you don’t understand. Daphne sees through this: “She’s not coming tonight, is she?” Deacon says, “I don’t know, but I am.” They share a big hug. Aww. Daddy Deacon!
Teddy calls Rayna from jail and says he heard Maddie’s story. Rayna, assuming he believed her, pleads that Maddie’s just saying whatever she needs to. But he called to say he’ll sign the affidavit, and that he wishes he could appear in person because “I think what she’s doing is absolutely crazy.” He says he told her about Edgehill, but she just left. Rayna has a plan: she asks how long ago Maddie left.
In the elevator, Scarlett and Gunnar are sitting down. Scarlett asks if they should prep for tomorrow, which is when Rolling Stone is going to interview them. Gunnar points out that they’ve been doing interviews for four days straight and it’s always the same questions: their history, their influences (James Taylor and Autumn Chase, which, ooookay), where they first met. Scarlett suddenly reveals that Gunnar’s story of how they first met working at the Bluebird is false. She tells a whole long story about how she actually met him at a street fair in East Nashville where he was playing with a rockabilly trio, when she complimented him and he welcomed her to Nashville. I totally sympathize with Scarlett because [my husband and fellow Adversion blogger] jd and I had a chance meet-cute our freshman fall at college, and he had completely forgotten me by the time we became friends sophomore year—but why the hell did she let him do four days straight of interviews without setting the record straight? Scarlett is weird. He asks why she didn’t tell him, and she says “I didn’t expect you to remember,” because she was nobody special. Yes, but that’s what telling him is for. She jokes that she remembered him because he was the only boy who sings as high as her. Whatever. Let’s get to the kissing.
Maddie’s in the car with her lawyer, who’s dropping her off at Cash’s. As soon as Maddie’s on her way up the walkway, Rayna jumps out of her own car and chases Maddie down. Tearily, Maddie asks her why she didn’t tell her about Edgehill and her dad. Rayna says, sweetly, “It’s my job as your mother to protect you from things that are going to break your heart.” Maddie is completely right when she asks, “Like what? The truth?” Because frankly, she’s a teenager and as you get older, it’s really not your parents’ job to protect you from sadness. It’s their job to raise you to be the kind of girl who handles sadness well. It begins to snow as Maddie accuses Rayna of using the deal to control her. “This deal is absolutely real for you, just as my belief in you as an artist is,” Rayna says. “Honey, I want to support you and I want to build you. And I don’t want you to be exploited.” She begs Maddie to believe her, and to believe in their family. Maddie seems about to melt, and Rayna asks her to listen to her heart. “Don’t let some court and some lawyer decide how you want your life to be,” she says nonsensically. Maddie says she needs to think and goes inside, leaving Rayna staring after her.
Glenn shows up at Layla’s hotel room to find a very irate little starlet, who says she needed him hours ago. He says he was at Juliette’s rehearsal, apparently unaware of how she will react to that. I.e., poorly. She says that he promised her Juliette wouldn’t be his priority. He says he was also blindsided by this tour, and that she’s keeping him busy, but Juliette being on the tour is great for her because she has a much bigger audience overlap with Juliette than with Luke. Also, Bucky loves the rough cut of the video, and her show is going great, and “Everything is coming up Layla. Juliette is absolutely no threat to you.”
Speaking of people who are DEFINITELY threats to Layla, Juliette has come to Avery’s hotel room to talk to him. This is it, guys. This is the scene that’s going to make you cry.
Juliette admits that she wasn’t completely honest about playing being Glenn’s idea. She says she doesn’t want to lie to him anymore. “I still love you. And I know that you love me.” He begs her not to do this. She says, “It will work! It can work because I know what’s in there, I know that it’s in your heart.” Avery’s forehead vein is out of control as he says, “Yes, of course it is, of course it’s there because what we had was real, what I gave you of myself was real. And I hate it now, I hate the fact that you’re here because all I want to do is get on with my life because what you do to me is what you did, and you’re gonna do it again!” She says tearily, resting her hands on his chest, that she’s so sorry, that she destroyed everything and that she can’t do anything about it, and that they could rebuild. Cadence starts crying, and Avery says he needs to take care of her. Juliette says that he doesn’t have to answer now. Then she kisses his hand (somehow they have started holding hands) and rests it against her neck for a second before leaving.
Deacon arrives at the Opry with a trunk full of sound equipment. Daphne (offstage) and Rayna are already there, and Rayna updates him on her conversation with Maddie. He says that if Maddie doesn’t make it, “Daphne’s ready.” She smiles at him and thanks him for the guitar lesson. These two! They’re so good at parenting tweens and so not good at parenting teens.
As Maddie stares at Daphne’s plaintive string of sad, unanswered texts, Cash is busy tearing her family apart. She says the lawyer says not to worry about Teddy signing with Rayna. Maddie asks if they’re taking this too far. Cash says no, that she’s going to have a great career (which is not the question Maddie asked). Maddie says Daphne’s really sad about the benefit, but Cash has a ready answer for that too, thanks to the lawyer: “I mean, that could be your mom texting you.” Maddie reveals that Rayna wants to try to work it out. Cash laughs and plays her trump card: “Well, guess what your mom said to me.”
In Luke’s jet, Luke and Will are riding high, but Kenneth is very displeased. “Don’t give me that look. You ask me, that was a hell of a launch,” says Luke. Kenneth points out that he called out country radio on national TV, and that he’s made enemies now. He points out that it’ll be great for Will who has nothing to lose—but Luke does.
In the elevator, still trapped, Scarlett stands up to take off her coat because she’s hot. Gunnar stands up too, offering to help. They have a cute, flirty little moment. Then he stares at her and says he can’t believe he ever thought she was nobody special, because she’s extraordinary and he knew she would change his life. Then he leans forward—but not to kiss her, to grab the guitar. “Let’s play one of our old ones,” he suggests. They start singing “If I Didn’t Know Better,” still standing, and staring into each other’s eyes.
Montage time! In her hotel room, Layla is sitting in bed staring sadly at a video of her and Avery singing. Avery’s staring at the ceiling, thinking. Juliette’s trying to write a text to Avery, but keeps deleting everything she types, including “I really do love you.” Whoa. Then we see Avery pacing the hallway outside of someone’s hotel room. When his phone beeps with a text, Juliette saying “I’m scared too but we can be brave together” (yikes, should’ve stuck with one of the earlier ones), he knocks. Juliette lifts her head at the knock on her door, looking happy. But when she opens it, it’s Emily. “Hey, Avery said you could have Cadence for the night,” she grins. Ooh, sounds like someone was pretty confident of his reception at Layla’s door. And sure enough, Layla opens the door of her hotel room, looking a bit like a wreck, finds Avery. Avery kisses her and they back into the room together. Looks like he was right to book an overnight sitter!
Back in the elevator, Scarlett and Gunnar finish their song and are about to kiss when the elevator doors open to a big group of people including two workers and one lady in a giant Southern Lady hat.
Later, Scarlett and Gunnar walk slowly down the hall. At her door Scarlett pauses and gives Gunnar a long look before wishing him good night. She leans against the door for a few seconds, trying to resist, but then opens it to find Gunnar still standing there. They kiss, and fall on the bed. It is glorious.
At the Opry, Rayna thanks everyone for coming while Daphne stands alone backstage with her guitar, looking nervous. Maddie comes up behind her, and Daphne gives her the biggest hug. It’s so cute. They share a big smile and hold hands as Maddie takes the guitar. Rayna is saying “I have one of my daughters here tonight,” but sees them and corrects herself:“Actually, I have two of my daughters here tonight.” Maddie waves at the crowd, avoiding making any eye contact with Rayna and Deacon. She and Daphne start singing, smiling at each other. Rayna and Deacon are watching from backstage, tears in their eyes. The song is about needing someone to call you home. Look, no one wants subtlety in this soundtrack. The last two lines strike me as being about them in particular: “I’m gonna need understanding / when it’s hard to understand. I’m gonna need your love / No matter where I am.”
When they get offstage, Rayna gives Maddie a big hug and says she’s so glad she’s home. “I’m not,” Maddie says with a glare and runs away. Daphne chases her and asks what she’s doing. “I’m not emancipating from you, we’re still sisters, but you have to let me go,” she whispers. Deacon catches up and begs her not to do this, while Daphne sobs. He gathers her in for a big hug. Rayna, meanwhile, had to get onstage to sing, which was the whole original point of this benefit. But she does not look happy. Deacon watches with his arms around Daphne, and she keeps crying. In the back, Rayna can see Maddie leaving with Cash in slow motion.