Nashville Season 5 Episode 8 Review: Stand Beside Me

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Woah. What a surprise ending.

Before I get to that, though, let's talk about the rest of the episode.

On Nashville Season 5 Episode 8, Scarlett made a decision about her relationship, Juliette asked for a big favor, and Carl Hockney found a way to get close to Rayna.

Hockney Tests His Limits - Nashville

Juliette wants to record a gospel album with her church choir. The only problem is the choir isn't exactly thrilled about the idea.

Neither is Hallie. Juliette doesn't seem to care, though. After all, she's Juliette Barnes; she knows what's best. In fact, she also knows Hallie is going to make an album of her own.

I love Juliette, but she can be a tad too pushy at times. It was nice to finally see her old self though, when the choir questions her reasons for wanting to make a gospel album.

For what it's worth, I think Juliette is 100% sincere in wanting to make the album. It would be beautiful and meaningful and possibly help her heal and grow in the process.

Juliette and Hallie - Nashville Season 5 Episode 8

But I also understand the choir's hesitation.

Juliette has only been in the church a few months, they've been there their whole lives. Gospel music is so much more than music to them – it's religion; salvation; their lives; their history.

Juliette has to recognize and respect that.

Though she got a lot of pushback from the choir, I had no doubt she would go back and try again. This time, with more modesty and honesty.

I lived my life like a freight train and I ran over anybody who got in my way.


Juliette may have gotten what she wanted in the end, but I can't say the same for Gunnar.

He's suddenly without a girlfriend and maybe even a singing partner. I can't imagine he'll want to work with Scarlett after he finds out she slept with their producer.

Despite how she's been acting lately, I want to give Scarlett credit for breaking up with Gunnar before anything actually happened with Damien. Personally, I think she lied to Gunnar, but does she even realize it?

It seems like she's lying to herself or lying to justify wanting to hook up with Damien.

Scarlett: I met him for lunch.
Gunnar: So, in other words, you slept with him?
Scarlett: No.
Gunnar: But you're going to.

To be fair, Gunnar wasn't listening to a word she said because he couldn't stop thinking about her sleeping with Damien.

Still, I had a hard time listening to her and I wasn't the one she was breaking up with.

Deacon and Scarlett hug - Nashville Season 5 Episode 8

I would have believed her if she said she was confused or conflicted and just left it at that. But she didn't.

She told Gunnar she couldn't be with anyone right now. She said she needed to be with herself. But she wasn't by herself when she was naked in that hotel room with Damien.

Plus, wasn't she just pledging her undying love for Gunnar on Autumn Chases' tour a few months ago? She seems like a lost girl right now. I hope she finds her way soon.

Maybe Deacon can guide her through it since he's been there before.

All those years I was so out of control, I was always asking myself, is this who I am? Is this the deepest part of me trying to express myself or is this the dark part trying to drag me down?


Finally for the big finale.

A lot of shows build up and drag along storylines just to drop them without any real climax or consequences. Nashville has done it, too, but it didn't this time.

The last five minutes didn't disappoint. I literally couldn't look away from my screen.

Hockney finally got Rayna alone, but he only wanted to talk.

As he spoke, it's clear he has some mental issues, which were confirmed when he revealed he was abused as a child. He grew up listening to Rayna's music and thinks she's the only one who understands him and what he's going through.

It's heartbreaking to imagine him as a kid trying to escape his parents' anger and abuse through music.

How is it we can be so awful to the people we love the most?


Rayna handled the situation perfectly; keeping things calm, trying to relate and open up to him, and when that stopped working, finally running.

I was hoping things wouldn't escalate the way they did. Hockney was clearly in pain and struggling. You could tell Rayna saw his pain too. I even feel like she would have tried to help him under different circumstances.

Rayna faces her stalker - Nashville Season 5 Episode 8

I was hoping he would just go quietly. Unfortunately, he was just too unstable, and security had to interfere before Rayna got seriously hurt.

I really hope he gets the help he needs.

The most shocking part of the episode came when Rayna's car was t-boned. I did NOT see that coming.

On the other hand, I was never convinced Connie Britton would be here for the whole season. She repeatedly said she was committed to the show, but avoided saying for how many episodes she was contracted. So I'm very interested to see what happens now.

Would Nashville kill off their lead actress? It wouldn't be the first time a show did it, and it would certainly shake things up for the remaining characters. 

Side notes:

  • Where has Will been?
  • Deacon goes by his middle name, so what the heck is his first name??
  • I love that the show is finally doing something with Daphne.
  • Have I mentioned how much I love that Avery is performing again? I have? Oh ok, just making sure.
  • Clay may join Highway 65, what do you guys think about that?

If you want to re-live this tense, terrifying episode, or any others from previous seasons, you can always watch Nashville online via TV Fanatic.

Stand Beside Me Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (29 Votes)

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

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Nashville Season 5 Episode 8 Quotes

Scarlett: I met him for lunch.
Gunnar: So, in other words, you slept with him?
Scarlett: No.
Gunnar: But you're going to.

Because you're the beautiful girl and I'm the frog. You always get to decide.

  • Permalink: Frog
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