'Nashville' Season 1 Finale Recap: Juliette Mourns Her Mother; Deacon Spirals and Takes Rayna Down With Him

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NASHVILLE - "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" - A shadow has been cast over country music's biggest night: Juliette discovers a letter from Jolene revealing her mother's true feelings; Rayna and Deacon's fairytale evening at the CMA Awards, even performing with Brad Paisley - who guest stars as himself -- may not end in a happily-ever-after; and Gunnar will do whatever it takes to win Scarlett's heart back -- but is it too late? Meanwhile the U.S. Attorney's office is closing in on Teddy, and Peggy returns with a secret of her own, on the Season Finale of "Nashville," WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Katherine Bomboy-Thornton) CONNIE BRITTON, BRAD PAISLEY

The "Nashville" finale, "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive," begins with Juliette mourning her mother and their complicated relationship. The episode ends with a series of shocks and cliffhangers that could leave our favorite characters with even more grief to deal with.

Juliette goes through all the stages of grieving

Juliette talks with the authorities about her mother's death; her grief compounded when it appears her mother was back on drugs along with her not-so-sober companion Dante. She convinces herself to go to the CMAs, because she doesn't want her mother to ruin one more big moment in her life. Marshall and Glenn confront her in her dressing room, trying to talk her out of appearing at such a big, stressful event.

Juliette flies into an emotional rage, and it's not until she's said that she should be celebrating her mother's demise that she realizes she's not at all OK. She decides to get herself home but stops at the funeral home on the way to see her mother one last time. She feels alone and abandoned. When Glenn stops by the next day to deliver her CMA award, she's as cold as ice. He knows better, though, and gives her the hug she so desperately needs.

She's finally able to take comfort in the few people that come to the funeral, including Rayna and Avery. She's also extremely moved by a surprise last letter from her mother, which explains how she wanted to take all the scandal away from her daughter. Juliette realizes Jolene hadn't gone back to drugs, that she'd done that last terrible act out of love. Juliette plans a small tribute concert at the Bluebird, where her mother said she always wanted to see her play.

Maddie turns Deacon's world upside-down

Maddie skips talking to her parents and goes to Deacon's home to ask if he's her father. A distraught Deacon shows up late, plays for Rayna at her CMA performance, then confronts her in her dressing room. She can't deny that it's true, and Deacon is horrified that she's lied all this time. He storms out, and Rayna leaves in her own car, calling Teddy to come home and help her talk to Maddie.

Maddie isn't old enough to understand complicated adult relationships, and her parents have a hard time trying to explain how they did for her what they thought was best. The teen packs a bag and says she wants to live with Teddy. Rayna is forced to let her go for a little while, but the two eventually have a heart-to-heart, and Rayna is able to get across that she chose Teddy because she wanted Maddie to have a good father that would love her.

Deacon falls off the wagon

Rayna is less successful with getting through to Deacon, who won't return her calls. He's out binge-drinking, of course, and crawls home the next morning. Gunnar stops by the house to ask for relationship advice, but when he sees how drunk Deacon is, he quickly phones Scarlett. The two come back with his sponsor Coleman, and it's a violent scene as they try to keep him from drinking any more. Only seeing how frightened Scarlett is gets Deacon to finally give in, and he passes out for most of the day.

Will and Gunnar struggle with their love lives

In an effort to win Scarlett back, Gunnar cleans up his act and goes to his producer to confess that he's stolen his brother's songs. The producer still wants to use that to enhance his tough guy image, but Gunnar insists it's not who he is. He heads home with flowers and an apology. Scarlett's not ready to forgive him, so he heads back to Will's apartment, startled to find his friend in bed with a girl.

Will explains that he wants to be a famous country singer, which Gunnar understands means having a heterosexual persona. Will takes the girl out to dinner, but he's surprised and nervous when he sees a guy he recognizes that clearly has interest in him. He subtly gives the guy the signal to stay away, but he's clearly rattled by the moment.

Meanwhile, Gunnar is pursuing a very real interest in a girl. He's worried when he sees Scarlett performing with Avery and decides to make a big move. He takes her out, gets down on bended knee, and proposes to her.

Teddy gets shocking news

In boardroom wars news, Teddy finally finds himself being investigated for that embezzlement deal from the past. Tandy, who's just been demoted by her father, may end up hanging Lamar out to dry for his part in bribing an auditor. Teddy sets up a meeting with Peggy, who can obviously hurt him the most, but she confesses she turned down an immunity deal. The reason why? She's pregnant.

Deacon ruins everything

When Deacon finally comes to, he convinces Coleman that he's okay and will be ready to go to a meeting in the morning. After his sponsor leaves, Deacon gets a call from Juliette, asking him to come to the memorial. He agrees, and then washes down some aspirin with alcohol. He does turn up at the Bluebird but can barely keep it together, and he rushes out when Rayna spots him.

Rayna chases him down, stunned to see he's drunk as he gets behind the wheel of his car. She forces him into the passenger seat, and she drives instead. The two have a screaming argument as they race down the road -- Deacon still drinking and Rayna trying to get him to stop. It's a volatile combination, and suddenly Rayna is swerving to avoid an accident and flips their vehicle over multiple times.

We'll have to wait until Season 2 to find out how bad this all really is.

More from this contributor:

'Nashville' Recap: The Rayna, Teddy Fight Gets Ugly; Jolene Takes Drastic Measures to Protect Juliette

'Nashville' Recap: Rayna and Deacon Romance Already in Trouble; Juliette Drowns Her Sorrows

'Nashville' Recap: Rayna and Deacon Struggle with Their Love, Dante Proves He's Worse Than We Thought

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