Even on “Nashville,” there are some pains that can’t be pushed through with any amount of drink, drug, or delusion of “the show must go on,” and in tonight’s November 11 return of the drama with Episode 7 of Season 4, “Can’t Get Used to Losing You,” the major players are all coming to terms with pain and truth in very different ways. These characters are coping with far greater life interruptions that making room for last week’s CMA Awards, and the losing is more than sore. Not on camera this week, but doing a fine job as director is Eric Close, who plays Teddy Conrad.
Always the queen of media meltdowns, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) has a blowup, and tries to blow off her part in Jeff Fordham’s (Oliver Hudson) untimely demise on the ledge of her hotel building, and she’s barely clinging to the ledge of sanity. Dismissing any wise counsel, she clams up, saying she’s better off “not talking to anyone.” Colt (Keann Johnson) is yearning for Maddie, and dad, Luke (Will Chase) keeps making nothing of his son’s feelings. Deacon (Charles Esten) is completely devoted to opening Beverly’s, as a tribute to his sister, and as a purpose through his grief. Rayna (Connie Britton) can only fear for what may happen, considering his alcoholic journey. With Scarlett (Clare Bowen) left high and dry for stage help for her tour, she takes on a new short hair doo, and turns to Gunnar (Sam Palladio), who has no problem asking “not serious” girlfriend, Erin (Scout Taylor-Compton) to try her hand– no issues there, eh? Business keeps cropping up to bother intimacy of Scarlett’s dinner with Caleb (Nick Jandl). Layla (Aubrey Peeples) is the one left a mess, and most in pieces through the ordeal. Offered no outlet to properly grieve the man she loved, and no invitation to his funeral, she finds a way to express the truth. Boxes in her apartment cannot lie, being only reminders of the future that she will never have. Will (Chris Carmack) concedes to stay at her side through the hurt. Juliette declines drugs, and also seeing her precious baby daughter, and her dad, before taking to the stage again. Avery (Jonathan Jackson) finds himself hunting for a home as a single parent. Luke wrestles with the probability of the truth and his son, and no self-medication from the bottle erases Colt’s eyewitness of events.
Scarlett lets Gunnar know how seriously she takes this tour, and she’s not just going to give in to his choice for stagehand. Will helps to heal Layla’s hurt through the piece of mind of unpacking to create home again. Layla feels all the more abandoned, and locked out of the grieving process. Rayna tells Deacon that she cannot be there for his debut performance at Beverly’s, but he decides to play on. Juliette portends to simply be upset because she has no manager, showing no compassion to torn-in-pieces Layla. Scarlett and Caleb agree to try dinner again. Sharing the evening with Avery, Will reveals his hurt over losing Kevin. The two share a kind of kindred commiseration of love.
Deacon continues to believe in Beverly’s, and build up manager, Frankie (Mike Collie), no matter how Rayna hesitates about the venture. Deacon delivers the perfect song, declaring that “after a million midnights I’ll be just like you,” to cheers from his new audience. Walking in as Juliette describes her wishes for the Jeff tribute, Colt confronts her. As Avery and Will share pain, Avery confesses that he has to “postpone hurt” for the sake of raising Cadence, but that the hardest part is “letting go of forever,” still wearing his wedding band. Cadence cries, and Will goes to soothe her, while Avery simply sobs. Luke orders that Colt be strangled by security. In a double treat of seeing some character expansion, along with very talented artistry, Will and Avery serenade baby Cadence with “Sweet Girl of Mine” in the episode’s most touching moment. Will makes an offer to Avery to join him on tour. Juliette stands motionless and emotion-less in her comments at Jeff’s tribute. Haunted by her mind’s shadows, she cannot escape the images of the deadly night. Layla wants to leap to the stage, offering her own powerful and real homage, with “Lost In You,” expressing her own heart and personal truth at last.
Calls come again to take Scarlett’s attention away from Caleb. When Luke is trying to re-work his set to cover for the erratic Juliette, she comes to him, saying “I need help,” and recalling memories of Jeff’s fall. Rayna arrives at the bar, standing by Deacon after all. Luke apologizes to Colt, having reckoned with the truth, but also saying that Juliette “needs this to be private.” The final scene shows Juliette responding that she’s “not ready” as she checks into Horizons rehab facility. In real life, thankfully, Hayden Panettiere, is said to be doing “awesome” in her recovery from postpartum depression, according to her cast mates, and hopefully her wisdom can guide her alter ego in “Nashville,” replicating her effort to regain strength.