‘Nashville’ winter finale recap: Wedding day shocker

Connie Britton on ABC's Nashville (ABC/Mark Levine)

Connie Britton on ABC's Nashville (ABC/Mark Levine)  (© 2014 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The 'Nashville’ winter finale ended with a wedding, but not for the couple anyone expected. Juliette and Avery spent most of the season duking it out over her infidelity last season, but the ice between them had thawed in recent weeks. With the baby’s arrival getting even closer, the realities regarding their situation began to set in. Could they really handle being just friends?

The answer is no. After getting some advice from his mother Avery popped the question and just like that, they were down at city hall getting hitched. It was a no frills affair, a stark contrast to her last wedding, but the couple seemed genuinely happy. Which is more than we can say for just about everyone else.

Not even the return of sister Tandy could get Rayna to be excited about her wedding day. The days leading up to it were full of grimaces and worries about the future. Whether it was boarding school for the kids or extended tours, Rayna and Luke clearly didn’t want the same life. Perhaps more importantly, Rayna wanted Deacon. Rather than having a conversation about these reservations or confronting these conflicting feelings like an adult, Rayna waits until the morning of the wedding to break it to Luke. Even he realizes that this has more to do with Deacon than anything else and kicks her off his property, destroying the wedding decor displayed on his front lawn as she drives away.

As for Deacon, he decided to stay in Memphis with niece Scarlett to avoid hearing about the ‘Ruke’ nuptials. Unfortunately, thanks to the paparazzi and Luke Wheeler’s shameless self-promotion, pictures of country’s newest power couple were impossible to avoid. When Scarlett found him unconscious next to the mini bar in his hotel, she was sure he’d relapsed and drunken himself into a stupor. Unfortunately, a blood test reveals news that’s even worse, he might have cancer. He makes Scarlett promise not to tell anyone about his health scare, which means it’ll probably only be a week or two before she lets Rayna know.

Also on the receiving end of some disappointing news is Gunnar. It begins when the grandparents of his son show up, announcing their plans to take back custody of Micah. With baby mama Kiley still MIA, Gunnar decides to take them to court, but first must take a mandated paternity test. In a stunning twist, Gunnar learns that he isn’t Micah’s father after all, the real father is his deceased brother Jason.

Will is very unhappy to learn that rumors about his sexuality have begun to spread on the internet. His first instinct is to sue, but Jeff Fordham reminds him that it isn’t an option since in this case, the rumors are true. His advice? “Butch it up” and hang around more women. Will suddenly remembers he has a wife and asks Layla to go on tour with him. After last week’s dalliance with Jeff, Layla isn’t all that eager to leave Nashville to follow her gay husband to Australia.

Once Will realizes that Jeff is the reason Layla wants to stay behind, he forces him to end it. Jeff, knowing what is best for his label, does so and cruelly at that. After explaining that he figured he was just giving Layla what she wasn’t getting from her husband, he hands her a bottle of pills and tells her to take a few and relax.

Will barely has time to feel guilty about once again ruining his wife’s chance at happiness because he’s almost immediately proposition by a female guest at a house party. He brushes her off at first, but once she makes a not so subtle dig at his sexuality, he sets out to prove her wrong. He looks pretty miserable, but not half as miserable as Layla when she catches them in the act. To cope, Layla self-medicates with a handful of the pills Jeff gave to her earlier. Will finds her later, floating face down in the pool.

Will Layla survive?

‘Nashville’ airs Wednesdays on ABC.