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Warning: major spoilers ahead for the fourth episode of Nashville Season 6, called "That's My Story."
Nashville has delivered its fair share of devastating stories over the years, and no character has escaped some kind of heartbreak. Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) hasn't had the easiest life, and the latest episode revealed something awful that happened to her way back when she was just a little girl. She recalled an incident in her childhood in which a man paid her mother to be allowed to sexually assault Juliette, which understandably horrified Juliette. Now, Nashville co-showrunner Marshall Herskovitz has explained why the show gave Juliette that huge shock in Season 6, saying this:
Because it actually opens the door to a lot of story that's going to follow. It's been very interesting to watch the reactions of the audience on Twitter to this guy Darius and to this movement she's getting into and they're saying 'Oh no, don't get involved in a cult!' What's interesting to me is that, regardless of where this is going to go, there's a lot that this man teaches that's absolutely correct and very helpful to her. So it's not a simple situation at all. What [happens] in this episode, the revelation of what was done to her, is life-changing to her. And he facilitates that. So there's an interesting combination of dark and light here.
Judging by Marshall Herskovitz's comments to TVLine in the aftermath of "That's My Story," we can safely say that Juliette's abuse won't simply be abandoned by the show after it was revealed. The tragic twist to her story wasn't for the sake of just heaping trauma on her; it will further the storyline of where she's going on her emotional journey now that Darius is involved.
It should be interesting to see if and how the revelation of her abuse changes her thoughts on Darius and the Movement for Coherent Philosophy. On the one hand, if not for the "witnessing" with Darius and other members of the Movement, Juliette would never have to face this horrible thing that was done to her. On the other hand, she now knows the truth of what happened to her. She could be relieved to know the truth, or she could be horrified and wish that she'd never learned of it at all. Darius has arguably helped her and hurt her while she was in a vulnerable place in her life. Her discovery of what happened will undoubtedly change her; perhaps it will also change what she feels is her place with the Movement.
Unfortunately for fans of Nashville, there aren't too many episodes of Juliette left. The show has finally been cancelled for good and will not return for Season 7 on CMT. We can only hope that the series is able to wrap up Juliette's story (and the stories of the rest of the characters) in a fitting way before the grand farewell. Only time will tell. You can catch new episodes of Nashville on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CMT. For your other options on the small screen, be sure to take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.