After last week’s explosive episode of “Nashville,” fans had a lot of questions and angry comments to yell at the TV (well, those “angry comments” were all directed at one Ms. Juliette Barnes after she cheated on Avery with none other than skeazy Jeff Fordham!).
Zap2it could barely wait for the next new episode, “All Or Nothing With Me,” airing on Wednesday (May 7), so we got “Nashville” creator Callie Khouri on the line to field all our questions and tease what’s coming next. Check out our full Q&A with Khouri below.
Zap2it: Where to start, where to start. Last week’s episode was, no pun intended, crazy!
Callie Khouri: Yes, this last one was a fun one. All the writers were watching together while live tweeting, and we knew what was coming, and were all just like, “Oooh, I can’t wait to see this blow up!” People were going crazy.
After Scarlett’s big breakdown, and everyone was blaming each other for being at fault, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to see Scarlett stand up and take responsibility for her own actions.
Leaving her in a mental hospital is not really something we wanted to do anyway. And we researched all this stuff quite a bit. We had her on an unnamed ADD drug, and on top of the alcohol, that’s something that happens, unfortunately. All of sudden, you can start hearing voices and all kinds of crazy stuff.
So now that Scarlett is walking away from a career as a country music star, what’s next for her?
Scarlett is throwing all of her cards in the air. She’s not sure what she wants to do now, but she’s sure of what she doesn’t want to do. She’s going to be on this journey trying to figure out if she goes back to being who she was, does she try to undo all that she’s done, who is she now that she’s had this experience? We’re going to watch her navigate her way to a place where she can feel like herself again. And we’re not really sure what that means to her. We were excited to show this journey with Scarlett, but the part we knew everybody would be freaking out about was the end with Juliette and Jeff’s scene.
Yeah no kidding! I knew Juliette was going to make some kind of bad life choice, since she was drunk and upset and she’s Juliette. But Jeff Fordham?!? Why would she hook up with him, of all people?
As we come up towards the end, we’ve really gone back and looked at where these people started off all the way back in the pilot. If you could even possibly recall the pilot now, which I can barely even recall it, there’s a scene where Juliette gets a phone call from her mother and is very upset, and she drags her producer into a closet with her. You can see that it’s a pure anxiety-driven response. It’s just something that she’s not doing because it’s right, it’s her reflex, for better or worse. So that’s where this Jeff thing comes into play, it’s harkening back to the pilot.
Obviously this is going to bite her in the butt, since people never get away with cheating on TV shows. Plus Gunnar spotted her and Jeff walking out of the room adjusting their clothes. What can you tease or reveal about how this is going to affect her relationship with Avery going forward?
As you would expect it’s something that is definitely going to factor in to the last few episodes. She’s finally in a relationship with somebody that she actually really, really cares about and it’s one that was born out of a friendship. This relationship with Avery has different stakes for her than any other relationship she’s ever had. This is someone that’s been changing her slowly. And again, if you can remember back to the pilot, she bumps into Avery in the hallway at the Grand Ole Opry when he’s with Scarlett, and she says, “We oughtta try that again sometime, only slower,” getting them together was a real slow burn. We knew that we were going there from the pilot. And now it’s become a relationship our fans are really invested in. Obviously, she’s just put that in peril.
So what can you tell me about this week’s episode, including a few very big guest stars?
This week’s episode is very emotional. We’ll start to really understand what Rayna and Luke’s feelings are for each other, there’s a big Maddie story line, and then we have this big fundraiser that takes place at an army base. The episode is very family-focused. Plus, we have Kellie Pickler doing a song, which we are very excited about, and the First Lady makes an appearance.
How did the First Lady get involved with the show?
That was thrilling to get to do. We reached out to them. And they’re so committed to the cause of taking care of veterans and their families that they really jumped at this chance to send a message on primetime television. They are so utterly invested and sincere in this issue that it was kind of a no-brainer that they would be a really good fit. So we went to the White House and Michelle Obama made her address. She’s an absolutely lovely and incredible woman and the whole experience was so wonderful. It’s such an amazing moment, being able to bring this issue to the forefront of our show since country music has always had a very close connection with the military.
Something that’s going to be less amazing is Will and Layla’s new reality show. Obviously, having cameras following him around is just a terrible idea. How risky is it for him? Is this going to speed up his inevitable coming-out moment?
Yes, it is risky. But he is extremely committed to maintaining this persona, this good-ol’-boy, bro personality. He is going to keep that going at all costs. But it’s certainly not without its challenges. That, you’re just going to have to watch and see.
“Nashville” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.