Nashville Season 3 Finale Recap: Will Comes Out, Deacon Might Not Survive Surgery

Charles Esten and Connie Britton in "Nashville"
Deacon underwent a vital surgery during the Nashville season 3 finale. ABC/Mark Levine

Southern shenanigans! Season 3 of Nashville has dealt with everything from surprise pregnancies to accidental shootings, terminal diagnoses to whatever it was Mayor Teddy (Eric Close) was doing with that prostitute. The surprises only continued in the series' third season finale, “Before You Go Make Sure You Know.” There were label shake-ups, couple breakups, makeout sessions, and maybe even a death! Just how did things work out for our favorite Nashville citizens in the May 13 episode? Read our recap to find out!

Juliette's Baby Blues

Throughout the final few episodes of season 3, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) has been spiraling in her post-pregnancy haze, focusing on her career at the expense of her newborn baby Cadence. It's troubling to all of those closest to her, but especially her husband, Avery (Jonathan Jackson), who visited a psychiatrist to try and figure out a sensitive way to handle Juliette's postpartum depression.

Juliette did not have time to worry about her increasingly worrisome behavior as she continued to sink down the rabbit hole. She quit Highway 65 after confronting Rayna (Connie Britton) about lack of support for her new album. She decided to sign to Luke's (Will Chase) label and join his massive arena tour, even though it would take her away from her new family. Worst of all, she fired her beloved manager Glenn (Ed Armatrudo) to sign with the devil himself, Jeff Fordham (Oliver Hudson)!

nashville finale - HAYDEN PANETTIERE, JONATHAN JACKSON
Juliette was suffering from major postpartum depression in the Nashville season 3 finale. ABC/Mark Levine

The career decisions seem to have come during a confrontation with Avery, in which he berated her for her lack of concern about their family unit. When he refused to let her hold the baby, she became hysterical to the point of throwing a snow globe across the room. Between that act of violence and Juliette's new working relationship with ex-fling Jeff, Avery decided that their baby was not safe around her and left to places unknown. Juliette seemed to be visibly shaken by this turn of events, but still decided that she wanted to tour with Luke for the next few months anyway. Seems like Juliette's downward spiral is not done with just yet!

Yep, He's Gay

Will Lexington (Chris Carmack) started the episode off terrified because a tabloid magazine published photographs of his steamy “gay-cation” with his new love, Kevin (Kyle Dean Massey). Making things worse were his father (Rex Linn) and Luke's strong disapproval of Will possibly being gay. As a result, the musician tearfully convinced Kevin that he had to deny the true nature of their relationship to the press. Kevin was less than happy with the request, saying that he didn't want to “go back into the closet” every time a rumor about them came up, but acquiesced anyway.

Throughout the episode, Will continued to try to placate both his father and Luke, saying that nothing happened between him and Kevin. But when it came time to try and placate the media at large, he couldn't make himself do it. That's right: After three seasons of being closeted, Will finally (and surprisingly!) came out in a massive press conference.

Why did he do it? Because of the love he was starting to feel for Kevin! Will ended the season the happiest, basking in his new love and his newfound self-acceptance. Aww!

A Kiss, An Arrest, and a Golf Club Gone Rogue

Jeff may have landed a big fish with Juliette Barnes in the finale, but he also had to deal with his original client and erstwhile love interest, Layla Grant (Aubrey Peeples). After making her sign a controlling contract that gives him control over all aspects of her life, including Power of Attorney, Jeff did his best to make sure Layla stayed off the internet and didn't read the press he riled up by creating a feud between her and former tourmate Jade St. John (Christina Aguilera).

nashville finale - CLARE BOWEN, MAISY STELLA, LENNON STELLA, CONNIE BRITTON
Scarlett, Maddie, and Daphne visited the hospital while Deacon had his surgery in the Nashville season 3 finale. ABC/Mark Levine

While Jeff was successful for a time, Layla eventually succumbed to the siren call of the Internet and read all the bad press about her — and discovered Jeff set up the feud in the first place and lied to her about it! Yikes! Rightfully furious, she took a golf club to his car while he was still sitting in it! Jeff managed to cool the situation for the meantime, telling Layla how much she meant to him, but it certainly looks like the relationship will remain complicated for the foreseeable future.

Teddy (Eric Close) tried to get out of the hot water his relationship with the prostitute landed him in by working with the State's Attorney to take down bigger fish. Originally he did his best to implicate fellow government workers, but reached a crisis of conscious when he realized that the office's final target was none other than Rayna's sister, Tandy (Judith Hoag).

He became especially nervous because he realized that by taking Tandy down, he also would be taking down Rayna's label, Highway 65, which was mainly funded by Tandy's corrupt money. While Teddy's morals meant he doesn't implicate Tandy after all, it also meant he would be spending his near future learning how orange is the new black without even getting a moment to say goodbye to his daughters. Harsh! 

Gunnar (Sam Palladio), meanwhile, was planning on a family bonding trip to Texas with Kylie (Alexa PenaVega) to go visit his nephew, Micah. But those plans were derailed by an emotionally charged rooftop kiss with Scarlett that happened after they sang an emotionally charged song based on Rayna and Deacon. Now it seems like the family trip may have to be called off.

Pardon Me If I'm Sentimental When We Say Goodbye

Throughout the finale Deacon was haunted by dreams scored to Willie Nelson's “Now and Then There's A Fool Such as I,” wherein his upcoming liver transplant surgery went south for various reasons. As a result, he became increasingly nervous as the time of the surgery drew nearer, especially since he was told by his medical team that it was his only probable chance for survival.

nashville finale - NICK JANDL, LISA MASTERS, TIM POWELL
Deacon's doctor had news for Rayna following surgery in the Nashville season 3 finale. ABC/Mark Levine

Not making things any easier was the fact that his liver donor, sister Beverly (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson), would not stop gloating about how she was a “hero” for finally coming around on giving some of her liver tissue to her brother. After a singalong bonding session with Rayna's girls (Lennon and Maisy Stella), she even taunted Rayna with the idea of her permanently staying in the area. Rayna was definitely not thrilled with the idea, but she kept her mouth shut with her dissatisfaction because “the love of her life” was being saved.

Thankfully, in between all the taunting and nightmares, Deacon and Rayna shared a genuinely sweet moment before his surgery by swapping unofficial wedding vows. Rayna was positive they would have a real wedding one day soon, but for now Nashville fans can rejoice in their fake wedding at his bedside.

Or can they? Soon thereafter the finale ended on a massive cliffhanger as Deacon's doctor pulled Rayna aside to tell her he had some bad news. Is Deacon alive?! 

Tell Us: Do you think Deacon will survive his operation? What did you think of the season 3 finale?

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