Tonight on ABC Nashville starring Hayden Panettiere continues with an all new Wednesday March 23, season 4 episode 12 called, “How Does It Feel to Be Free,” and we have your weekly recap below for you. On tonight’s episode, Luke (Will Chase) asks his old pal Riff Bell (Steve Kazee) to accompany him on tour.
On the last episode it’s the wedding viewers had longed for when Deacon and Rayna tied the knot, complete with captivating music performances by series regulars Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio, Lennon Stella and Maisy Stella as well as cameos by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts and singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale portraying themselves. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.
On tonight’s episode as per the ABC synopsis, “a familiar face is back on the Nashville music scene when Luke recruits his old friend Riff Bell (played by Tony Award-winning actor, singer, musician Steve Kazee) to join him on tour.
While the duo excitedly starts planning Riff’s return to the stage, newcomer Vita arrives at The Beverly, but while she convinces Deacon and Rayna she deserves a shot, Frankie has his doubts. In the end, more questions than answers remain. Radio personality Buzz Brainard also guest stars as himself.”
Tonight’s episode looks like it is going to be great and you won’t want to miss it, so be sure to tune in for our live coverage of ABC’s Nashville at 10:00 PM EST! In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek of tonight’s episode below.
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
#Nashville starts with Avery at the treatment center to see Juliette. They ask if he’s a family member and he says he’s her husband. Glenn and Layla come to see Rayna and she says she loves the demos Layla sent over. She says it’s good stuff.
Glenn says she’s been prolific. Rayna says they have a record ready to go and Layla says her new stuff means more. Rayna says let’s schedule your release date and a tour. Glenn says she’d like to work with Avery and Rayna says good.
Scarlett and Gunnar work on their song list for a show and he steps away to take a call from Erin. Will comes in and hugs Scarlett and says he actually got away and ended up playing. He says he might try a little acoustic gig.
Scarlett invites him to set in with them tonight. Gunnar ends his call and says it sounds good. Frankie and Deacon set up for the night at their club and they talk about how Cash is helping Maddie out a lot. A woman comes in and Deacon says the list is full.
She begs to audition for him and he says okay after she flatters him. Luke sees a Forbe’s cover about his troubles and is annoyed. He texts Colt and we see a long string of texts that weren’t answered. Maddie calls Colt and asks to see him but he says he’s busy.
She asks if he even likes her anymore and she’s annoyed and hangs up. Scarlett spots Erin kissing a guy in a truck as she gets out at the venue. Luke is on a radio show and they ask him about his IRS problems. Luke says his mistake was trusting the people who filled out his tax forms.
They take a call from a listener who says how is it that you’re so rich you don’t notice $40 million missing. Another caller says it isn’t true that he’s still a simple country boy. The deejay calls for a commercial break then tells Luke they’ll try to weed out the haters.
Avery waits an hour and is annoyed then Dr Kitley finally comes out. She says Juliette is in a fragile state and can’t engage right now. Avery is annoyed and says he just needs 10 minutes. Avery snaps and says he’s been pretending and wasting time.
Dr Kitley says come back when you calm down and says J doesn’t need this kind of drama. Rayna and Bucky show up to The Beverly for the show. Deacon asked her there to hear the artist who auditioned for him earlier – Vita Martin.
Vita is played by Jeananne Goosen (if you watch Walking Dead, she was one of the female saviors who just died at the safe house). Rayna says her voice is amazing. Scarlett and Gunnar ready to take the stage and he asks why her face is being weird.
She says forget it and ask me later. She says after the show but he refuses to get on stage until she tells him. She tells him Erin was making out with a guy in the parking lot. He says it’s fine and let’s start the show. Layla and Avery work at the studio.
Avery tells her that her voice is amazing. Layla says it helps that he’s a musician too and calls his producing style gentle and commanding. She says Juliette is lucky she has her. Deacon introduces Vita to Rayna and she fan girls. Rayna says she’s incredible and says she’d love to talk to her about her label.
Vita freaks and says is this for real. She says she’s been playing forever but mostly for fun and says it’s her escape. Rayna invites her to come to the label. Bucky says next week and Vita says she needs to find a job that lets her do this and Rayna says she knows the guy who runs the place.
Cash works with Maddie and says she’s holding back and says she’s more mature than she thinks and needs to go deeper and explore painful feelings. She tells Cash she slept with Colt and now he’s being a weirdo. She says she’s stupid.
Cash says she doesn’t think badly of her and says you have the right to make mistakes in life and have feelings about them. She says she deserves respect and says for guys that date girls like them, it sucks because they can write songs about them.
Luke is looking at online haters when his guy comes in and says the tour is not selling like it should. He says they have to find a way to fill seats and asks what about bringing Juliette on board. Luke is annoyed his fans are turning on him.
Gunnar and Scarlett introduce Will and he takes the stage. Some guy yells out some homophobic junk at him. The guy yells out they already have a queen of country. Gunnar says ignore him. He starts playing and Scarlett asks the waitress to deal with the guy.
Will sings and the guy, Wooten, yells get off the stage queer. The waitress tells him to stop it and he throws a bottle and hits him in the face. Gunnar yells for someone to grab the guy and he and Scarlett go help Will who is bleeding.
Paremedics show and they tell him that his nose is broken. Will says he prefers the days when panties were the only things thrown at him. The cop says it’s a felony hate crime. The cop tells Will to come make a statement and get justice. Will agrees but he’s not happy.
Deacon tells Rayna that Daphne is asleep and Maddie is heading to bed soon. He says Cash is a good influence on her. Rayna agrees. Rayna says she can’t stop thinking about Vita and says she’s got big names wanting to sign with the label.
She says the big names are more lucrative but she wants Vita and says her talent is unique. She says she needs a job and asks if there’s something at The Beverly. He says Frankie does the hiring but he thinks they can help her out.
Will sits at the station and Wooten is dragged in. He says try and send me to jail bitch. The cop asks Will to make his statement. He looks uncertain. Erin kisses Gunnar and says he feel asleep fast last night. He asks if she’s seeing other people and she asks why he’s asking.
She says they’re casual and he says he didn’t know that meant no monogamy. She says they can do that if he wants. Avery and Layla work at the studio. Luke shows up and asks to speak to Avery in private. He says he called the center where they dropped Juliette off and asks where she is.
Luke says he needs to know if she can go back out on tour. Avery snaps and says you don’t know what’s going on in my personal life and says Juliette can’t be counted on. Luke leaves. Avery sits and stews. Layla asks if he’s okay. He says Luke is looking for Juliette.
She asks where she is and he says treatment – rehab then or postpartum depression and says they’ve been separated a long time. He says he’s been lying about it but it’s killing him and says he feels trapped and just can’t do it anymore.
Layla sits by him and says she knows it’s not the same and says when she was married to Will, she was living a lie. She says it hurt a lot. She says the longer it went on, the more damage it did. She says the divorce wasn’t pleasant but it felt good to be free.
She touches his arm and says he deserves to feel free too. Riff approaches Luke – they’re old pals. Riff says his son Dayton is there cutting his first record. He says he’s sorry to hear about all the heat he’s taking and says it’s not right. Luke thanks him. Riff invites him by for a cook out and he says yes.
Will comes down and Gunnar says he should be proud at the way he handled it. He asks about the charges and Will says he’s charged with a misdemeanor and is out. He says he decided not to make a statement. He says that was awful.
Will says it won’t be the last time he’s called a queer and says he can’t spend his time filing charges. Gunnar says he can’t let him get away with it and Will says ominously that he won’t. Vita gets an application for a job at The Beverly but hesitates on the question about a felony.
Deacon asks why Frankie is being so grumpy then they notice she’s gone. Frankie says he had a feeling about her. Maddie sings and plays a new song. Cash listens. Daphne stops by and sees them working together and looks hurt.
Cash sings with her. She stands outside the door and watches them then finally walks away. Cash says it’s incredible and says she told a real story and said what she’s going through. She says writing from a real place helps you say things out loud.
Cash tells Maddie she has to learn to tell the men in her life what her needs are. Avery is back at the treatment center and the doctor comes out and says Juliette isn’t ready. He says he won’t keep lying. He says Juliette has 24 hours to come clean about their divorce in public or he will.
He walks out. Rayna comes to a cheap hotel and the manager recognizes her. He says Vita pays to park her car in the lot and doesn’t have a room. Rayna goes to her car and sees all her belongings inside. Vita sees Rayna by her car.
She says Deacon told her she left without finishing her application. Vita says sorry and then says she panicked and admits she was arrested before. Vita says she’s done some things she’s not proud of but has changed and says music is all she’s good at.
Rayna says she has had a messy life too and people took chances on her and she takes chances on people. She tells Vita she’s real talented and says go on back and fill that out and see what happens. Vita thanks her. Riff and Luke talk at the dinner table with his family.
Riff tells a story about how he took Luke snipe hunting when he was drunk. Luke sees their happy marriage and looks uncomfortable. He compliments them on their kids and Riff’s wife asks about Colt and Sage. He says Sage is with her mom and Colt wants to stay with his grandpa.
Riff tells him to come on. Frankie and Deacon debate the background check policy and Deacon says both of them have a criminal record.
Frankie says all right and Deacon says he’s a good man. Deacon tells Vita to get to work. She’s thrilled. Luke says he thought Riff was crazy for walking away from all of it and asks if he misses it. Riff says it was too much with Heidi and the kids.
Luke says Riff was the smart one for choosing what matters most. Riff says he’s the same good guy he always was. Luke says he needed to hear that. Luke asks him to go on tour with him and Riff says he’s out of his mind. Luke says no partying and no women.
Riff says he has to talk to his family. Maddie calls Colt and says he owes her an apology for being weird and distant since they had sex and says he owes her more respect. Erin comes to see Gunnar and he says they need to talk. She tells him sorry and says she is this way because she doesn’t want to get hurt.
She says she likes him a lot and it scares her. Gunnar says the problem is that he doesn’t feel jealous about what she was doing. She’s upset and says she gets it but it sucks. She says she’s not the one for him. She says someone will be lucky to have him and he says her too.
She gives him a kiss bye and heads out. Layla listens to the news and hears a statement from Juliette announcing her divorce. She said their marriage have had problems but Avery has been a good father and loving and patient husband. Avery listens too and pulls off his wedding ring.
Will sits in his car outside a bar waiting on Wooten. He gets out of his car. Gunnar gets a call from Rusty that Will is at a bar. He runs out the door. Gunnar makes another call and says he thinks Will is going to do something stupid.
Luke tells his guy that he offered Riff Bell a spot on the tour and his guy says the guy hasn’t toured in years. He says they need a more current act but Luke says he needs to get back to being real. Gunnar and Scarlett come in and see that Wooten is told someone bought him a drink.
Will says he bought him a beer and Wooten says get off the stage homo. Will says nothing will keep him from singing again. The crowd cheers him and boos Wooten. Scarlett goes over to Wooten and says he and his backwoods friends need to leave.
They walk out and the crowd cheers as they leave. Gunnar says Will is braver than him and Scarlett says braver than her too. Avery shows up a few minutes late and Layla says she saw the news and asks if he’s okay. He says it’s a lot to process.
He says he’s scared, relieved and resentful. He says he thinks Juliette destroyed the life he was meant to have. She says me too and Avery says he wasn’t a fan of Jeff’s but knows she loved him and says it’s impressive how she bounced back.
She says she had to find something to live for and lately that’s been making music there with him and he says let’s get back to it. Will thanks the crowd for letting his music do the talking and he gets loads of cheers.
Scarlett asks Gunnar if he’s okay and he says it bothered him but didn’t hurt him and that was the issue and says he broke up with her. He says it should hurt. He says he wants to love someone, not be casual. She says she has to go and he asks if it’s a hot date.
She says it’s a date and he asks with whom and she says the taxidermy guy from the wedding then says don’t say anything. Riff face times Luke and says he talked to his family and he’s in for the tour on one condition. He says the whole family is coming.
The family all gets on the video call and tells him they’re excited. Luke ends the call then he’s sad because he’s all alone in the big house. Vita does a hard night’s work and Frankie says she can go home. She thanks Frankie who says she earned her keep. She says see you tomorrow.
Deacon comes home and says Vita is a hard worker. Rayna says she knows she’s grateful and Deacon says Frankie isn’t sure about her. Deacon says if she keeps working hard, it’s worth it. Frankie calls Deacon and says he told him so. He says $500 is missing from the till and they both know who took it.