After Thursday’s season finale, Nashville’s most notorious on-again, off-again couple may finally be over.
Moments before playing a 35th anniversary show at the Bluebird Café, Gunnar Scott told Scarlett O’Connor he was done pursuing a relationship. Admitting his own faults and acknowledging he had work to do, the male half of The Exes went on to point out that Scarlett rarely truly lets anyone in and constantly picks apart the people who try to love her. Realizing everything wrong with their relationship wasn’t his fault, Gunnar was finally ready to walk away.
Highway 65’s artists pulled together to try to keep the label afloat after Zach Welles took all of his money out of the company, cancelling its credit cards and having the electricity turned off. Jessie Caine’s mercurial ex-husband even tried to enlist both Zach and Deacon Claybourne in a takeover deal.
Meanwhile, Deacon and Jessie continued to grow closer, and even his daughters Maddie Jaymes and Daphne Conrad seemed to be noticing it -- perhaps realizing their dad might find love again after Rayna's death.
When Deacon learned the root of the disagreement between Maddie and Juliette Barnes -- that Juliette had hijacked the song originally intended for Maddie -- a bridge was burned. Even though Juliette desperately wanted to make amends, Deacon assured her if Highway 65 survived, she’d no longer be a part of it.
In the nick of time, Juliette mounted a brilliant plan to help both Highway 65 and her relationship with Maddie. She publicly confessed, apologized and withdrew herself from the American Music Awards, where she was nominated against Maddie. Juliette also reached out to the duplicitous journalist who’d earlier wronged Scarlett, and used her to threaten to out Zach’s misdeeds in the press.
Though Zach blamed Deacon for the maneuver, Deacon proposed a compromise to keep Highway 65 afloat. Since Zach hadn’t left town once he pulled his money from the label, Deacon believed he was hanging on to a life in Nashville he’d come to love. Rayna’s widower offered a vision of a new future: one where Zach wasn’t a dictator, but Highway 65 was run as a partnership.
We’ll find out what happens next, when season six of Nashville kicks off early next year on CMT.
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