Nashville – the story so far…

As series 3 kicks off, y'all need a refresher on what Rayna, Juliette and company did last season

*SPOILERS FOLLOW*

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There’s never a dull moment on Nashville and, as the series returns, it’s the perfect time to dive back into the action of series 2. So many questions have been left unanswered after all. Who will Rayna marry, will Juliette be forgiven, is Will’s career over before it’s begun? You’ll need to be ready to leap right back in to the action with Hayden Panettiere, Connie Britton and co, so let’s catch up on how the latest action went down…

The deaths

Series two kicked off with good news: neither Rayna James nor Deacon Claybourne were dead, despite the first season ending with them in a huge car crash. Deacon had just found out Rayna’s daughter Maddie was actually his, not her ex-husband Teddy’s. It looked like Deacon would be put away for drunk driving. But, Rayna eventually admitted to having been behind the wheel – thanks to the detective work of Deacon’s lawyer Megan – and the pair both got on with recovering from their career-threatening injuries.

Teddy, having found out his former flame Peggy was pregnant with his child, rekindled the relationship and went on to marry her. Peggy had in fact already lost the baby and had to fake her own miscarriage. But as things seemed to settle down and Peggy realised Teddy wanted to be with her for more than an unplanned pregnancy, she was shot and killed. The assailant was actually hired by Teddy’s former father-in-law Lamar, who thought he’d gone to the Feds about his dodgy business dealings. 

Lamar then found out it was his own daughter (and Rayna’s sister) Tandy who was working with the police. He eventually had a heart attack in the middle of Teddy’s office, hours after being released from prison. Rayna had also just found out that Lamar was involved in her mother’s death, so he died with his family broken apart once again. 


The music

There was big drama at Edgehill records during season 2, thanks in no small part to the new chief Jeff Fordham. He managed to very quickly lose the label’s two biggest artists; Rayna James and Juliette Barnes. Rayna left after Fordham tried to push her to release a greatest hits album off the back of her car crash, as well as stealing Will Lexington from her new label Highway 65. Rayna poured all of her money into the new label, which she had to launch with just her own album and one artist: Scarlett O’Connor (yep, Deacon’s niece). 

Fordham then worked to push out Juliette after news broke that she’d been having an affair with a high-profile – and married – radio executive. It was all thanks to new singer on the scene Layla, a runner-up in a TV talent show, who was determined to have her moment in the ‘tween’ spotlight. Juliette considered a move to LA to launch a pop career, but wouldn’t turn her back on Nashville, eventually convincing Rayna to sign her to Highway 65. There were bumps in the road – Juliette didn’t feel she was being put back out into the market quick enough – but seemed to be going well. That was until Juliette, now in a relationship with Avery, slept with Fordham after getting jealous of Avery’s working relationship with Scarlett. Fordham then threatened to tell Avery if Juliette didn’t return to Edgehill. The series ended with Avery finding out from Gunnar, who saw it happen, and confronting Juliette. 

Scarlett didn’t take to fame very well and after a drug-fuelled breakdown on stage (made worse by the arrival of her mother) decided to quit Rayna’s label and return to school (whether she did leave remains to be seen). In addition, Gunnar made thousands of pounds after writing a hit record for Rayna and new Edgehill signing Luke Wheeler (more on him in a minute). But Gunnar was desperate to work on a new band with Avery and his new girlfriend (and ex Scarlett’s best friend) Zoey. However, Zoey wanted her own singing career and Avery started producing. Meanwhile Deacon had launched his own solo career, with an album recorded at the Blue Bird, so spent time back out on the road. 

Maddie had stirred up trouble for the family, too. After taking guitar lessons with Deacon, as a way to get to know her real dad, she posted a video on YouTube signed Maddie Claybourne. Rayna was forced to speak to the press about Deacon being Maddie’s real dad, putting further strain on her relationship with ex-husband Teddy who’s struggling to know his place in the family.


The relationships

As if that isn’t enough to be getting on with, the tangled web of Nashville relationships continued to grow. I said there’d be more on Luke Wheeler; the country heartthrob struck up a relationship with Rayna and proposed to her on stage. It seemed like a done deal, but then Deacon – having found out his now girlfriend Megan had cheated on him with no other than Teddy – proposed right at the last minute, too. Decision time will arrive in series three. 

Plus, Will Lexington, desperate to hide the fact that he’s gay from the music world, married Layla after a failed suicide attempt. He even signed up to a reality TV show, which followed them around their home. Will eventually came out to Layla, but was unaware that the cameras were filming them. The fall out from that is also headed to Nashville when the series returns.


The music you’ll want to download

If, like me, every series has you reaching for iTunes, the song you’ll want on your playlist from series 2 is Juliette’s Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet.

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Nashville returns Wednesday at 10:00pm on More4