Nashville Season 5 Episode 12 Review: Back in the Saddle Again

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It's back, y'all!

Nashville is back, and it's still bringing the emotions.

The series has been great about focusing on real life emotions and experiences, but you can never fully escape drama; especially when musicians are involved.

Nashville Season 5 Episode 12 picks up ten weeks after Rayna's passing.

Juliette and Maddie talk about her song - Nashville Season 5 Episode 12

Juliette has released her gospel album, and the reviews are not good. At least, not the reviews about her. The critics loved the gospel choir. Jule's attempt at salvation, however, is strange and inappropriate.


Honestly, Juliette should have been prepared for this kind of response. She can't expect to go from bad girl to saved girl so quickly and not have people question her sincerity.

Sure, she was in a plane crash, and monumental experiences like that can change you monumentally, but to turn around and do a gospel album was a bit much, even for her. It doesn't seem genuine as much as it seems opportunistic.

Glenn: You took a risk. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes..
Juliette: It blows up in your face.

Plus, gospel music isn't exactly flying off the shelves and has a very specific target audience. That audience is not the same as Juliette's. It'd be like Taylor Swift doing a jazz album.

Even if she was sincere in doing the album, she's not going to convince everyone, and she needs to be okay with that. I'm looking forward to her returning to her roots. If nothing else, at least the gospel album helped her heal from the crash.

Also helping is her new role as Maddie's manager.

Maddie is still trying to find her voice. She's spending all of her time in the studio and at first, I didn't really care. I thought it was just Maddie being self-absorbed and fame-obsessed, but there may be more to it. 

At one point she admitted she wished she could just ask Rayna what song she should use. Of course, she would.

Not only did the poor girl lose her mother but she also lost someone who knew exactly what she was going through. Rayna too had to navigate the start of her career (all of it actually) without her mother.

Maddie diving into recording could be her way of distracting herself from her grief; channeling her emotions into something positive. Unfortunately, it's not making things easy on Daphne.

Helping Daphne - Nashville

She's struggling BIG time.

She misses her mom, her sister isn't around because she's starting her solo career, her dad's in prison, and she's a freaking teenager. She probably has so many feelings and emotions running through her that she doesn't understand and can't control.

Her simplest issue: she was failing history.

It's physically impossible to turn in homework everyday.


Her biggest: she may be suffering from depression.

Deacon does the best thing he can do in this situation and has her begin therapy. Most parents would try to fix it themselves and maybe make it worse in the process. Bravo to him for realizing this was over his head.

Although, if it is depression, then maybe he's more equipped to handle it than he realized. Deacon has battled depression, along with alcoholism, for years. He knows how lonely it can be.

Daphne just wants to run away from it all, and that's what she did, making a new friend along the way.

Daphne: I don't even want to be here.
Counselor: Here, in therapy?
Daphne: Anywhere.

Liv doesn't seem like the best influence though. She tells fortunes on the street during the day and lives in an abandoned building at night. I feel sorry for the girl, but I don't think this is the kind of person Daphne needs in her life right now.

Daphne is lost and vulnerable. A friend like Liv could get her into trouble fast.

The last scene with her, Deacon and Maddie was hopeful. They didn't push her to talk; they just assured her they were there for her. That's all you can do when someone you love is dealing with depression.

You can't fix it. There is no single solution, no magic words. You can just be there or not if that's what the person wants. You have to remember; it's about them, not you. No matter how sad or frustrated you may become.

Deacon was great in this episode, the perfect balance of concern and frustration, but both overshadowed by the love he obviously has for his step-daughter.

It's okay, you don't have to talk to me. You're angry, I get that. I keep trying to make everything okay and it's not. It's not for me either. It's not for any of us and I don't know what to do about that. But for now maybe it's okay, not being okay.


The rest of the episode focused on Scarlett.

You're sure there's only one other potential father?


That's a question every girl loves to hear.

Apparently, she was on the pill so she can't believe she's in this position. She also seems to be judging herself a little bit. Especially given that she still doesn't know who the father is.

For what it's worth she looks great performing in her tight lacy black dress. She has a ton of energy, and she and Gunnar seem good. Are they together, though? Just friends? It's hard to tell.

Gunnar's trying to be respectful, but he's anxious to find out if he's the father. The poor, sweet guy is already reading up on fatherhood for sobbing out loud.

Gunnar reads up on parenting - Nashville Season 5 Episode 12

He would be a great dad. Remember how he was with Micah?

Scarlett is avoiding Damien altogether which seems strange. Weren't they just on good terms? He obviously doesn't know about the baby. She may have been waiting to tell him until she knew for sure Gunnar wasn't the father.

Unlike him, we don't have to wait to find out.

In a very heartbreaking scene, we see that Gunnar has been excluded as the biological father. You can tell they're both disappointed as Gunnar pulled Scarlett into a hug and assured her he still loves her. It doesn't change anything between them, he says.

But of course, it does. How can it not? She's going to have another man's baby.

We know Gunnar is still fully capable of loving the baby, but what kind of role will he play, especially if Damien wants to be in the kid's life? He'll be the dad, and Gunnar will be like a fun uncle? Scarlett's boyfriend? 

It's going to be awkward if not down right painful for him to be a part of that threesome.

Avery: Look Gunnar, if you really want to be with her, you'll find a way.
Gunnar: I just don't want to mess it up again, man. I've failed her so many times.
Avery: Of course you have and she's failed you. I mean, that's what people do, they fail each other. So try again. Fail better.

Side notes:

  • Of course, Gunnar would think the shirts look the same. Typical guy.
  • Clay's dreads are gone! I barely recognized him.
  • I LOVED all the great advice given. Avery to Gunnar, Clay to Maddie, Deacon to Daphne.
  • Did something happen between Juliette and Hallie? Things seem a little icy.
  • Will and Zack are together and thriving, apparently. I'm still not sold but maybe over time.

What did you guys think of the episode? Let me know in the comments!

If you missed it, you can always watch Nashville online via TV Fanatic.

Back in the Saddle Again Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

Tiffany Staton is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Nashville Season 5 Episode 12 Quotes

You know you're not just pretty, you're smart too.

Juliette [to Avery]

You're sure there's only one other potential father?