Nashville Season 5 Episode 1 Review: The Wayfaring Stranger

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Nashville is back!

It's strong female leads may be struggling but their male counterparts could not have been better.

On Nashville Season 5 Episode 1, we pick up three weeks after the plane crash. The show is kind and doesn't make us to wait to see if Juliette is alive.

Of course, this is Juliette Barnes we're talking about. The woman is unstoppable. Plus, we all saw the previews.

I liked how they showed each of the main characters receiving and reacting to the new of Juliette's plane crash.

A Journey of Discovery - Nashville

This provided the first glimpse of Scarlett and Gunnar who just happened to be in bed together.

Juliette is alive but definitely not well, mentally or physically. She has cuts, a badly broken leg and can't feel anything from the waist down.

There's hope though since she can move a toe.

Avery is there and he's as sweet and committed as ever.

I was surprised he was so quick to drop an L bomb but I guess that's what happens when you almost lose someone you love. The past fights and issues don't seem so important anymore.

Juliette is hesitant to open up to him and I was somewhat confused by this. He's seen her through so much already.

I loved the scene with Juliette and Rayna though, where she admits how much pressure she feels, and how she thinks she brought this on herself because she's made so many mistakes.

I'm lucky. That's what they keep telling me.

Juliette

That was an honest moment and if it wasn't with Avery, I understand why it was with Rayna.

Despite their differences they've always been honest and understood each other on a deeper level.

Rayna is struggling too. Highway 65 is a financial mess in part because it had to buy Maddie out of her New York contract. The show tied that storyline up in a neat little bow rather quickly.

She's also dealing with some anxiety. 

It's so severe that when she has to fly to California to check out a business opportunity, she has a panic attack on the plane.

Rayna in California - Nashville Season 5 Episode 1

I'm not sure what she hopes to get out of the tech billionaire she visits but when it comes time to fly back to Nashville, she can't even get on the plane.

Deacon, being the perfect husband we all knew he could be, flies out to help her to no avail.

The two of them are great by the way. Sleeping in the same bed, constantly embracing and supporting each other. 

It's like all that drama from last season stayed at ABC.

Still, Rayna needs time to find herself. She thinks the best way to do that is to drive back to Nashville alone.

I'm lost, Deacon. There's so much coming at me all the time and it's all stuff that I asked for and it's all stuff that I want and love but it's just relentless and I feel like I've given up my life to it.

Rayna

Connie Britton is only signed for half a season so this may be a way for them to not have her around as much.

I was initially concerned with Juliette's reaction to Avery but the episode ended well for them.

It's obvious he wants to do anything he can to help her, even carry her in his arms when her wheelchair won't roll in the dirt.

She finally breaks down, desperately asking him why she didn't die. Hayden nailed this scene, and basically every other one she was in.

This episode had a lot of Juliette and Rayna, a little of Scarlett and Gunnar, and one shot of Will.

I guess to let us know that he's still there and didn't go the way of Luke and Layla.

Scarlett and Gunnar are back together and happier than we've ever seen them. I love this but I'm worried it won't last.

We see a shot of Will when he gets the news about Juliette's plane. He's in bed alone. Where's Kevin?

Maddie and Daphne had a small storyline as well where the former wanted to write a song without anyone's help, especially her little sister's and the latter wanted to do exactly that -- help her big sister.

Making Music - Nashville Season 5 Episode 1

It's clear Maddie is still adjusting to being back home. That has to be strange for everyone. After all, the emancipation doesn't go away just because she moved back in.

There was different feel to the episode; more emotion, less theatrics. I loved their use of the title song -- "The Wayfaring Stranger." It really set the mood for the episode.

I'm excited to see where CMT and the writers take it from here.

Will Juliette and Avery continue moving towards reconciliation? Are Kevin and Will still together? Will we ever see Luke again?

Let me know what you think in the comments.

If you want to watch the episode or one from a previous season, you can watch Nashville online via TV Fanatic.

The Wayfaring Stranger Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

Tiffany Staton is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Nashville Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

I'm lucky. That's what they keep telling me.

Juliette

Deacon: I'm a dinosaur.
Rayna: Yeah, but you're a handsome dinosaur. Thank you for that.