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#NashvilleCMT Recap (Spoiler Alert)

Highway 65's Fate Is on Deacon's Shoulders in Season Finale

It’s already established that everyone hates Jessie’s ex, Brad. Right? So the thought of him bailing Highway 65 out of its rough financial waters seems like a terrible idea. But what if it’s the only way?

Enter Deacon, the one man who stands for all that’s good and right in the world.

He was at the epicenter of Nashville‘s season finale Thursday night (Aug. 10) because the label’s fate was all on his shoulders now that Rayna’s gone and he was the one left holding the reins. But there was no way he was going to let Brad or Zach or Alyssa take down Rayna’s legacy.

Brad — the kind of grown man who needs to bring a fidget spinner to business meetings — wanted to buy the label because he basically said he would like for Deacon to fail. He wants the end of Highway 65 to benefit him and Zach. But Zach, who seemed to have his heart in the wrong place, did manage to get one thing right: He told Brad he was an impulsive, egotistical narcissist.

Zach wasn’t much better, though. He seemed to be on that same journey to end Deacon’s leadership because he turned off the phones and the electricity in the Highway 65 offices. And the staff couldn’t turn anything back on without a deposit. And, oh, yeah, Zach cleaned out their bank account, and their business credit card was declined. Even Zach’s boyfriend Will can’t seem to get in touch with him.

But there was a silver lining in their cloud: A friend with some empty office space let the whole staff move in, and Kacey Musgraves was there to hang while the whole label got settled.

NashvilleCMT_522_D5-456.cr2 Jake Niles Getter/CMT

When Zach finally came around, he was still not coming around. He actually revealed his very bad side.

“I’ve spent my whole life trying to be nice. But when I am pushed too far, that ends. I don’t lose. Ever,” he yelled to Deacon.

Zach had even had it with Will, who confronted him about the label struggles.

“You’re being a real ass to people that I love,” Will told Zach, who basically took credit for Will’s success, fame and acceptance. So, yeah, they’re kind of over.

And as if Deacon didn’t have enough on his plate, he finally got to the bottom of the Maddie/Juliette feud after Daphne explained the song-stealing fiasco to him. He switched gears immediately to make his daughter his priority and went to Juliette for some kind of explanation.

“How can I make this right?” she begged of him.

Um, how about you save his label? Sell your massive house and pay his debts? Offer to release a greatest hits album and give him all the profits? Juliette just stood there while Deacon told her off.

“I’m gonna keep battling for Highway 65, but not for you. When the dust settles, if there’s still a label, you are off of it,” he told her.

But because Juliette is Juliette and doesn’t have an ounce of integrity, she had an epiphany about how she actually could help the label. It started with Mackenzie, the reporter who had dragged Scarlett through the mud a few episodes ago. Juliette put Mackenzie in touch with Zach, and she casually told him that she was about to file a story about how he was a billionaire fan boy who destroyed the legacy of Rayna James. She never had any intention of printing it the story. It was just to get Zach to really think about what he was doing to Deacon and his roster.

And behind the scenes, Juliette gave Mackenzie an even better story: that she was withdrawing her nomination for the American Music Award and admitting — on the record — that her latest hit was actually a song meant for Maddie.

Eventually, it occurred to Zach that Deacon must have been the one feeding Mackenzie all that sordid gossip about him. So he confronted Deacon, again. And Deacon basically killed him with kindness, telling him he was the loneliest person he’d ever met. If he’s right, there might be a way the two of them could be 50/50 partners at Highway 65. Because, you know, aren’t you supposed to keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

In other news, Daphne went to an end-of-seventh-grade pool party, and her friend was watching their classmate Jake — Jessie’s son, who lives with his dad, Brad — and said she got a totes creep vibe from him.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.