Forget Superman or Batman, the true hero on Nashville is Avery Barkley. From trying to help Juliette not get caught up in a cult to mending the strained relationship between Gunnar and Will, he’s really doing the most.
First off Avery has been trying to deal with Juliette’s issue for multiple seasons. He confessed to Deacon he was scared she was falling into a trap and that he would soon lose her to what he believes is a cult. Deacon assures him that she would be fine and some people just need distractions before the “real healing can begin.”
Unfortunately for Juliette, it might take some time for her wounds to heal. During a terrifying revelation, Juliette opens dark memories from her childhood. She has always been open about her love-hate relationship with her drugged-out mother but “That’s My Story” took their relationship to a disturbing level.
It was revealed that Juliette was sexually abused as a child by a man her mother called “Uncle.” In her flashbacks, it shows a young Juliette in a lavish home where twenty dollar bills are spread out like Monopoly money. At first, it appears that it’s her mother being pimped out be “Uncle,” but later flashbacks show it’s really a young Juliette. She reveals that after they would leave the house her mother would take her to her favorite restaurant where she could get whatever she wants.
For her entire life, Juliette has struggled with the mistakes her mother made and the ones that have impacted her life decades later. It’s a sad storyline that continues to shed light on Juliette’s complicated past. It’s also a sad story that Avery still doesn’t know about and hopefully, it’ll be one that will bring them closer together instead of tearing them apart.
However, Avery is able to bring Gunnar and Will back together again after their creative differences cause a rift in their “boy band.” Gunnar has accused Will of being too flamboyant and showboating during their set while Will states Gunnar is too sad and emo and this is why he had to show out.
I just love that Avery has become the ultimate mediator on Nashville. Not only is he the caretaker of his daughter, but also his friends. Avery’s best line of the night is when he compares Will and Gunnar to a peanut butter cup and how they’re both great separately, but even better together. He tells them, “You need a little bit of his chocolate and you need a little bit of his peanut butter.” With these words, he walks away.
His words definitely got to them and the gang even do a special song that ends up being the highlight of the episode. Previously Jessie mentioned they had to work through their problems like all the other boy bands. Since none of the guys are 90s girls, they had no idea what she is talking about when she drops the iconic names of N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, and so on.
But with the help of Avery’s great one-liners and Deacon’s old man advice, the guys are able to surprise Jessie with a performance of the classic “Tearin’ Up My Heart.” I kid you not, you could hear every 90s boy band fans’ heart flutter during their performance.
Hopefully, with the guys finally coming to terms with their new roles and Juliette’s new revelations, Nashville will begin to get back on track right in time for the series finale. For the first time this season, it actually felt like the good ‘ole days.