UPDATED with video: Last spring’s shocking death of Rayna James reverberated throughout the second half of Nashville‘s fifth season. But as Rayna’s extended family were coming to grips with her passing, they also went on with their lives. Season 5B followed Rayna’s grief-stricken husband Deacon as he tried to steer her label Highway 65, butting heads with brash Silicon Valley investor Zach and a new executive, Alyssa, played by Rachel Bilson, who pushes a branding agenda. There was more drama between the perennial on-again-off-again couple of Gunnar and Scarlett, and between Maddie and Juliette over the song the latter stole. Here is Nashville co-showrunner Marshall Herskovitz with a preview of what to expect in the finale, along with an exclusive clip below, airing tonight.
“All conflicts will be addressed in the season finale,” Herskovitz said. “There will be some resolution in some conflicts.”
And on the romance front, “two characters share an unexpected kiss and a goodbye.”
As for the branding plotline, which culminated with Maddie’s refusal to change the lyrics of her song for a mascara commercial, driving a wedge between Zach and Alyssa on one side, and Deacon and the artists on the other, “it comes to a very interesting and dramatic conclusion in the final episode,” Herskovitz said. “I think it’s somewhat unexpected.”
Two more clues about the big battle for Highway 65. “There’s an emotional face-off between Deacon and Zach,” Herskovitz said. “There is a wonderful sense of family — and when I say the word family I don’t mean just the immediate family of Deacon and the girls, I mean all of these characters who are at Highway 65 — there are circumstances in the finale that cause them to come together as a family that I think are very moving and powerful.”
Also among the conflicts tackled in the finale, Deacon confronts Juliette about stealing Maddie’s song to surprising consequences, and Will and Zach’s relationship comes to a head (you can watch the exclusive clip below). In addition, Scarlett and Gunner once again reach crossroads.
And then there is the budding relationship between Deacon and Jessie.
“Jessie Caine is a powerful dilemma for Deacon because at once, she is a very attractive person, and I mean pretty and a lovely, generous, kind person, but also has her own pain and her own reason why she can’t be in a relationship right now.”
Jessie has been met with mixed reaction by Nashville fans who do not think Deacon is ready to date so soon after Rayna’s death.
“It was meant to be respectful to that because the man has lost the love of his life, he’s not going to just jump into another relationship,” Herskovitz said. “I think there is a question that goes into the finale, what is this relationship, does it have a future or not.”
The finale also features Grammy-winning country star and Nashville fan Kacey Musgraves. The digital after show, NashChat, will have Nashville creator Callie Khouri as a guest, with Chris Carmack, who plays Will Lexington, set to perform.