When Deacon loses his temper at a swarm of paparazzi on Nashville Season 4 Episode 11, Rayna and Deacon's special day is ruined by the media. The location is leaked and each member of this family reconsiders the decision to come together as the James/Conrad/Claybournes.
Though I miss Juliette, I enjoy that in her time away they're able to expand deeper into characters like Daphne and Maddie and the harsher struggles they face.
Deacon's temper causes Maddie's concerns to raise about his violent outbursts and she begins to worry about whether her mother will be safe married to him.
It's interesting to see Maddie concerned with someone other than herself for once. Hopefully she continues down this path, but the struggle with her music career still remains as she wants to go down a solo path without Daphne.
Poor Daphne. She takes the wedding the hardest. She sees the connection that Maddie, Deacon, and Rayna have, that she is "missing out" on because they don't all share blood. She lost her father. He just disappeared in prison, never to be heard from again.
Tandy's return to Nashville causes a stir and her distaste toward Deacon is clear as she tries to help the girls come around.
While Tandy didn't have much of a story, I appreciate the ability the writers have with her to really challenge Rayna in a different way than anyone else. Tandy knows her differently.
Surprisingly, Rayna's loyalty to this wedding never falters. She's proud and stronger than ever, ready to finally marry Deacon after 20 years of push and pull.
Her scene with Tandy where she defends the man he's become is an incredibly insightful scene, showing how far these two have really come over all of these years.
But Deacon struggles the most of all. He's so afraid to scare Maddie again that he takes great strides toward changing for her. He's so scared to be a monster in her eyes, because that's how he's seen himself for so long, because of his past.
He wants to marry Rayna more than anything. It's very obvious, but he's more concerned with how Daphne and Maddie feel about it, willing to give it up to make them happy. As is Rayna.
Meanwhile, Avery deals with Juliette's lies again. In order to protect her reputation and potential Oscar nomination, Avery has been giving out lies that are transferred to him by Emily, who takes Cadence to see Juliette every week.
I feel so sorry for him. He has to sacrifice his own feelings to protect his wife, who's in rehab, so her career won't be ruined.
His panic attack at Rayna's wedding was very fitting for the situation. He's told so many lies to protect her secrets, even just at that specific event, that they're bound to be overwhelming and catch up to him eventually.
Hopefully Juliette will be back soon to rid Avery of his responsibility and guilt.
Layla's return is shady. She comes back to town with 10 new songs to be recorded and wants to work specifically with Avery.
Is it because he's Juliette's husband and she knows what went down between Juliette and Jeff? Or is it just a coincidence? What are Layla's intentions?
It's a few weeks out, but how do you think Juliette's return will shake things up again in Nashville?
The writers gave a lot of attention to Deacon's violent past, both in this episode and in the promo for the rest of the season. Do you think he's going to lose it at some point and cross a line?
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Nashville returns Wednesday at 8/7c on ABC!
Jay Ruymann was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in January 2018.