With Juliette's starring role in the Patsy Cline bio-pic, she is at an all-time career high, but is hitting a personal low. Meanwhile Avery, separated from Juliette, tends to baby Cadence at his parents' home in Texas.
Juliette breaks down during a talkshow appearance, prompting Avery's concern. When she continues her pattern of irrational and volatile behavior, she leaves Avery with a struggle of his own. Meanwhile, Rayna is determined to show the world that Highway 65 is not just a vanity project and devises a plan to sign Markus Keen, one of the biggest rock artists around.
A second aneurysm leaves Beverly brain dead and Deacon consumed with guilt, while Scarlett is forced to decide whether to keep Beverly on life support. Meanwhile, Juliette continues a destructive pattern of erratic behavior, pushing Avery to make the heart-wrenching decision to file for divorce.
Rock star Marcus Keen makes demands on Rayna as she struggles to tend to those around her. Layla and Jeff get into a lover's quarrel. Jeff arranges for a journalist to shadow Juliette on tour, but after another emotional setback, she leans on pills and alcohol to get through her days, and Zoey returns to see Scarlett.
Rayna pushes back on Layla's romantic relationship with Jeff, and Markus pushes back on his producer, Avery – which does not go well. Maddie joins Colt on Luke's tour, giving the teens opportunities for more freedom than Maddie can handle. She turns to Juliette for advice and shocks Luke with the results. Meanwhile, Deacon and Scarlett head to Natchez despite their falling-out, and Gunnar enlists Kevin and Will's help as “wingmen” in an effort to pick up a new woman.
Juliette gets into a brawl with a fan that goes viral, and Jeff sees damage control as an opening for his own career. Maddie is grounded and misses Colt who is on tour with his dad. Markus butts heads with Rayna over his sound, and the two consider whether they can continue working together.
Rayna's concerns about Deacon's business venture with an old friend threatens their relationship. Luke's relationship with his son is on the line following recent events.
Rayna wants to turn down Sony's contract offer for Maddie to be a solo artist and finds her family life distracting her from her work with Markus. Luke is desperate to regain Colt's trust; Gunnar's girlfriend, Erin, causes issues on tour with Scarlett, and Avery scrambles to make money doing insipid jingles.
Rayna's new artist, Markus Keen, causes trouble for her when he scraps a song on his new album one week before its release. Is Deacon part of the solution or the problem? Luke attempts to reconcile with Colt, and Scarlett surprises Caleb back in Nashville when she gets time off on her tour.
It's a big morning for Markus Keen when “Good Morning America” comes to Nashville to broadcast a live concert in support of his new album launch, but come show time, Markus finds he's anything but ready. Meanwhile, Luke's relationship with Colt continues to be strained while Luke learns of another setback to launching his brand. And living in the same house, but feeling further apart than ever, Rayna and Deacon face a big decision.
When Deacon and Rayna are ambushed by paparazzi after their intimate wedding rehearsal dinner, Deacon's hot-headed reaction casts a pall on their plans and forces a change of venue.
A familiar face is back on the Nashville music scene when Luke recruits his old friend Riff Bell to join him on tour. While the duo 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.
Luke starts questioning his decision to bring Riff Bell on tour; Deacon and Frankie butt heads over Vita; Frankie makes a destructive decision.
Juliette Barnes returns to Nashville after receiving treatment for postpartum depression and finds herself at a critical crossroads. Layla, weeks away from launching her first album, courts a country-music superstar in order to secure an opening slot on her tour.
The Exes go out on the road with Autumn Chase; Maddie's closeness with Cash causes tension with Deacon; Juliette comes up with a plan to get Glenn back.
Thomas Rhett guest stars as himself, performing his #1 hit, “Die a Happy Man,” in this all-new episode. Rayna and Deacon are distraught when Maddie runs away from home, and Juliette is threatened by Avery’s connection to Layla. Luke is forced to find a new artist when Riff disappears, and Autumn drives a wedge between Gunnar and Scarlett.
Rayna and Deacon try everything they can think of to reunite with Maddie and avoid court, even involving Teddy (Eric Close) from jail. Juliette tries to rekindle her relationship with Avery, and her success on tour stokes Layla's jealousy, personally and professionally. Luke Wheeler leverages his own appearance on “Good Morning America” with Robin Roberts to try to jump start Will Lexington's career.
Rayna and Deacon fight to regain the trust of a determined Maddie as she seeks independence, but their efforts are undermined by someone they thought was an ally. Scarlett and Gunnar disagree on the history of their musical partnership during a press interview. Luke tries to do the right thing for an artist he admires, but it ends up backfiring.
Rayna makes a last-ditch effort to protect her oldest daughter from the perils that befall young artists. Juliette reunites with her “Shenandoah Girl” co-star Noah West on the Oscar campaign trail, where she meets Kesha, who guest stars as herself. Elsewhere, Scarlett grows wary of Gunnar’s budding friendship with Autumn Chase; Layla fears falling into obscurity before her career even takes off; and Will suffers a devastating loss.
After nearly two decades, Rayna and Deacon face the facts of their storied and often tempestuous relationship. Scarlett makes a startling self-discovery in between tour dates while Gunnar performs with one of his idols, rock-music legend Sir Elton John, who guest stars as himself. Luke stops by “The View” to trumpet a worthy cause—before a family emergency pulls his focus. Elsewhere, Juliette struggles to make a connection, and Layla launches her album at The Bluebird.
Rayna resorts to drastic measures when she learns that Maddie has crossed paths with a duplicitous figure from her past. Juliette must choose how to publicly reckon with the truth of Jeff Fordham’s death—a decision that directly affects Layla. Scarlett and Gunnar consider parting ways as bandmates, and Will finally decides to do what he should have done long ago—step up as the leader of a cause and a community.