As Nashville aired its final episode, it also teased us by giving viewers exactly what we wanted all along: reconciliation, romance and, finally, redemption. That’s not to say it did it with gentle subtlety or grace. The finale brought a rapid-fire series of events, managing to tie up at least six season-long plot arcs in a marathon-like manner that would have made Usain Bolt proud.
However, despite this admittedly admirable decision to attempt to restore balance to the Nashville world, this terrible, exquisite, inconsistent, honey-sweet, messy, beautiful country soap slipped off air for the (presumably) final time with many questions yet to be answered.
First, credit where credit is due: The show tied up the Maddie story line, (finally) and managed to do so in a tactful and believable manner while also touching on sexual assault in the music industry, which is especially relevant in the wake of Kesha’s current battles. It let Rayna and Deacon stay together without pushing Deacon off yet another wagon (which at this point barely warrants more than an eye roll, it’s so expected.) It gave Scarlett and Gunnar hope as both a band and as a couple, gave Will the strength to fight for LGBT rights, revealed Layla’s shadiness to those who mattered most, and gave hope to Javery shippers.
Nashville wasn’t expecting to be cut off at the knees, so we can’t completely fault them for what they left up in the air, despite their frenzied wrap-up. That’s not to say I won’t list the ever-lingering loose ends.
Questions I still have after the finale:
Juliette & Avery:
- Is Juliette OK? Also, why don’t I care more about this? When I saw this cliff-hanger, I don’t think my expression changed at all, not even a raised eyebrow.
- If she is OK, will this finally be the second coming of her relationship with Avery?
- Will they co-parent Cadence and bicker about adorable things like which preschool to send her to?
- If she’s not OK, will I ever watch this show again? (Assuming someone picks it up again.)
Maddie & Cash:
- What incentive did Cash’s dad have to destroy Deacon’s family? I mean, this guy clearly had a bone to pick with him.
- Literally, what is Cash’s deal? She is as indecipherable as a Rihanna song.
- Is Maddie legally bound to continue making music with that creep?
- Will Maddie go back to making music with Daphne, her poor, overlooked sister?
- Will writers ever give Daphne the attention her character deserves?
- Will this sudden martyr ever get a new love interest?
- Will it be his ex-wife, who he mysteriously asked to talk to near the end of the episode?
Scarlett & Gunnar:
- Are the Exes back together forever and ever and ever?
- Will these two finally stop fighting?
- Will they ever write another song as good as “Fade Into You”?
The rest of the cast:
- What psycho antics will Layla try next? (I see this heading in an ominous Cruel Intentions-esque direction, but that might not be entirely fair.)
- Will writers ever give Daphne a solo career?
- Will Cadence grow up in the limelight to be a singer-songwriter and try to emancipate herself from her parents to become uber-famous at 16?
To the show that made me laugh and cry, sway and smile, sigh and roll my eyes, and eventually pump my stress ball until it popped open, gutted like my heart after watching the mess that was this past season, it’s been one hell of a ride.
That’s not to say that this is the last we’ll see of Rayna’s wisdom, Juliette’s mascara-coated eye roll and Scarlett’s honey-butter voice. With #bringbacknashville trending at more than 70,000 tweets after the cancellation news broke and talks of other networks picking up the show, don’t put dirt on this grave just yet.