The Nashville series finale went out with a bang on Wednesday night with one of the series’ best episodes to date.
The bang? Juliette’s plane sent out a distress signal and went missing before arrival, leaving Avery and Cadence frightened at the airport, and preventing Juliette from reuniting with her family. As everyone else did.
The most disappointing part of the finale is it was one of the best episodes, if not the best, the series ever had. The writers tackled big issues this season, like Juliette’s postpartum depression, but in this episode alone they tackled sexual assault.
As Maddie started to work with a producer from Rayna’s past, a producer that tried to force himself onto her as just “part of the business,” which frightened Rayna and Deacon.
With a looming restraining order, Rayna reached out to the head of Maddie’s label, trying to stop the producer from working with Maddie, but it didn’t matter. He’s one of the best in the business, and you have to deal with people acting like that if you’re a woman, according to the head.
To get in touch with Maddie, Rayna wrote and published a letter on the Huffington Post, explaining the situation she was put in and encouraging others to speak out about their own sexual assault. Rayna became more than the Queen of Country, she became a voice of hope, encouragement. A voice of courage.
The beast tried to force Maddie into the same disgusting situation he’d put Rayna in, but Deacon saved the day, returning Maddie back home to her family.
Meanwhile, Scarlett and Gunnar reignited their relationship with a steamy, on-stage kiss, and Layla got everything she deserved for manipulating Avery and trying to destroy Juliette’s life.
But the show tackled more than just sexual assault in this episode, they also wrote a very realistic story about the fight for LGBT+ rights, having Will finally stand up for himself.
After four seasons, Will finally showed that he was okay with himself, okay with being gay, while Cynthia Davis tried to drag him down and destroy his career by igniting the fire of fear under every homophobic person’s ass.
He and Kevin had to put together a protest for Will to appear on her show and talk about “the domestic terrorism that is his homosexual agenda,” as Cynthia called it. Or proper rights, as every decent human being calls it.
If there’s anything this show got right, it is Will’s evolution from hating himself to being a proud, openly gay, country artist, reunited with Kevin, and building back his career. His story is so satisfying to watch.
Each of the characters found their closure, except Avery and Juliette, because of the cliffhanger ending.
Juliette’s plane never arrived, sent out a distress signal, and Avery was left alone and frightened at the airfield, worried for his love.
What you might not know is that the producers actually filmed an alternate scene, a scene where Juliette arrives and embraces her family, in case they were faced with cancellation. Only they opted not to use it.
Instead they used the major cliffhanger in hopes of selling Nashville to another network, which Lionsgate has said looks very possible at this point on their Twitter account (@LionsgateTV).
Understandably, they wanted to leave the story open for a better chance at selling it off. The alternate ending could’ve closed the series.
What a disservice to the fans.
We’ve stuck with this show for four years, saw these characters and the show through the ups and downs of the writing, yet we were left with an unfinished story.
What if the series isn’t picked up by another network? Then you ended on a major cliffhanger that could’ve ended with a character’s death.
What’s disappointing about the Nashville series finale is it was everything that could’ve left the show in a better state through the rough Season 3, and boosted ratings before cancellation.