Nashville Season 5 Episode 21 Review: Farther On

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Whew. A lot happened in Nashville Season 5 Episode 21.

Avery and Juliette fought then made up.

Deacon and Zack fought then split up.

Jessie did her best to help Deacon, while everyone did their best to help Maddie.

It's a lot to cover.

Deacon Opry - Nashville Season 5 Episode 21

Let's start with Maddie. As part of Highway 65's branding effort, she is doing a mascara commercial.

The writers of Nashville don't seem to like directors. First Damien, now this guy?

He yells because there isn't enough water drenching Maddie as she tries to sing then there's too much water. Oh and don't shiver, but be transcendent.

Basically, the guy is a nut job.

Alyssa is going between him and Maddie; trying to please the former and protect the latter. The fake plastic smile she had on her face when the clients handed her the flowers was hilarious.

She's just trying to do her job and considering the people she has to deal with; it can't be easy.

Lady: We know everybody from Nashville sings!
Alyssa: I'm from Seattle.

Maddie was frustrated and justifiably so.

She was soaking wet, freezing and doing everything wrong according to the director. The one cut she got right couldn't be used because her hair was in her face. This, of course, caused the manchild to throw a tantrum.

If that wasn't enough, they asked her to change the lyrics to refer to the mascara she's marketing.

Deacon: Being a grown up means sometimes having to do things you don't want to do.
Maddie: Then I don't want to be a grown up.
Deacon: Yeah, me either.

On the one hand, it's a good idea because she is marketing a specific product and you want that to be as obvious as possible to your target audience.

On the other hand, it's Maddie's song. It's her first hit, and she wrote it herself. I can see why she would be upset. Plus, she owns the rights and shouldn't have to change it if she doesn't want to.

Except no she doesn't own the rights, at least not all of them, because she granted some to the client in the contract she signed.

Specifically, the rights to change, alter, amend, revise — I'm not going to list them all because attorneys like to use a lot of words that mean the same thing just in case someone tries to find a loophole.

By the way, where the heck were Highway 65's attorneys? Who let Deacon sign a contract without reading it? He clearly didn't read it; I'm sure Maddie didn't.

These people are not new to the music industry. They should know better. No wonder Highway 65 is flailing.

Deacon didn't have the heart to make Maddie change the lyrics. Besides, that's not the kind of label Rayna wanted.

Rayna signed us because she loved our songs, not because she saw dollar signs.


He tried to tell Zack it wasn't going to happen but to say it didn't go smoothly would be an understatement.

Nashville's current most hated character responded as most would have probably guessed — his way or the highway. As in, stick to the contract, or he's leaving and taking his money with him.

I really didn't think Deacon would cater to him, but labels can't run without money, so a discussion needed to be had.

He gathered Scarlett, Will, and Gunnar, via Facetime so that everyone could cast a vote. We know this group is big on integrity. Rayna was too, and that's why they signed with Highway 65.

Deacon Maddie Daphne - Nashville Season 5 Episode 21

I don't really get why it had to be one or the other though. Deacon fighting for music, Zack fighting for money. Music and money go hand in hand. Couldn't they compromise somehow?

If the branding was bringing in money, keep doing it, but don't butcher the music in the process? 

For now, it seems like Zack is going to declare war on Deacon and the label.

Juliette might do some fighting of her own if she finds out how many girls are throwing themselves at Avery.

Avery: It's not like we're gonna crash and burn.
Juliette: Bad analogy.

Tonight it was someone on tour with him, though I'm not sure what her job was. All she seemed to do was watch him perform, walk him through the crowds, and randomly show up on his bus.

This girl was all about being fun and uncomplicated. She had a boyfriend she loved, but he was back home and understood how things were on the road. Realistic is what she called it. An open relationship is what I would call it.

I know every relationship is different; what works for some may not work for others and that's fine. You shouldn't do anything in your relationship just because it's what others do. You should always do you but dang, girl.

She wasn't trying to do her; she was trying to do Avery.

Avery on tour - Nashville Season 5 Episode 21

On more than one occasion she, not so subtly, offered herself to him.

I can see how it would be alluring. No feelings, no strings, no responsibilities. But Avery has a sweet little girl back home, and a woman, who may be crazy, but seriously loves him.

Luckily, he is a good man, and nothing happened. But I wonder why these storylines keep going up.

Is it because that's really how it is for musicians on the road? Girls throwing themselves at you, left and right? Or is it foreshadowing something?

As tough as life on the road is, Deacon was having a much harder time at home. Not only was he dealing with Zack and trying to make the best decision for the label and his daughter, but he's also still struggling with missing Rayna. 

He just can't move on from her. Everything he does is for her.

Including taking the stage at the Opry. Every song he sang was for and about Rayna. The love of his life. How will he ever get over her? Is Jessie the right person to help him? She definitely seems to be making progress.

Deacon in woods - Nashville Season 5 Episode 21

What do you guys think?

Side notes:

  • I REALLY hope Zack leaving doesn't mean Alyssa goes as well. I like her character, and I feel like there's so much more we can learn about her. For instance, Rachel Bilson can sing! Who knew?
  • Will was back, but we really didn't see much of him. How will Zack leaving the label penniless affect their relationship?
  • Deacon stomping through the woods having a mini-tantrum was seriously cute. That man can do no wrong.
  • Daphne was not happy when she saw Deacon hugging Jessie. That's the reaction I was expecting from Maddie. Will she confront Deacon about it? Will Maddie support her dad or sister?

If you missed this episode or feel like re-watching any others, you can always watch Nashville online via TV Fanatic.

Farther On Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (33 Votes)

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

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Nashville Season 5 Episode 21 Quotes

Rayna signed us because she loved our songs, not because she saw dollar signs.


Lady: We know everybody from Nashville sings!
Alyssa: I'm from Seattle.