Diehard “Nashville” fans have been waiting since February for their beloved series and favorite cast members to return. While the June 7 Episode 9 of Season 6, “Pick Yourself Up,” was anticipated for months, faithful viewers have to face the sad news that these final episodes of the season are the last episodes of the series.

Most of the “Nashville” audience, who has been with the drama and its characters from the beginning, is in a quandary. The desire to see storylines end with satisfying conclusions is torn between knowing that these are last appearances in this context.

The melodrama that mixed authentic musical artistry from each of the cast with true glimpses into the journey of an aspiring star is ending with a proud history. Along the way, stories of heartache and family have brought issues of mental health, gender identity, addiction, diversity, and inclusion to the forefront in powerful ways. This kind of storytelling is even bolder than Robert Altman's “Nashville” from the big screen, and it's no wonder that the conflicts, the love, and the music drew fans in from week to week.

Intervention gone too far

The story picks up right where the audience was left hanging in the final seconds of Episode 8, “Sometimes You Just Can't Win.” Deacon (Charles Esten) and Jessie (Kaitlin Doubleday) are beset by the fallout of Deacon’s rush to protect Jake (Myles Moore) from a blow from his father (Jeffrey Nordling), which prompts an accusation of assault, and worse.

Just as they affirm their commitment, and Jessie forgives Deacon for the outburst, a knock comes at the door, and Jessie is served with court papers, seeking full custody of Jake, by her ex-husband.

The scene switches to a New York hospital, where Gunnar (Sam Palladio), Avery (Jonathan Jackson), and Alannah (Rainee Lyleson) hear from Deacon, in a phone call, as they await news of Will's (Chris Carmack) condition after he collapses on stage following a national television performance.

The doctor informs them that Will did not have a heart attack, but he does have a serious heart infection that may become just as serious. He asks if they knew about Will’s extreme steroid use, to which Gunnar confesses, though none of them were aware of the extent of his self-medication.

Will wants to be back on the road, but he is ordered to rest and be careful of any strenuous effort.

On the bus ride home, the band is notified that they will be the replacement headliners for Lady Antebellum at the CMT Music Fest. Will is even more determined to perform.

Grown up and going too fast

Alannah is still at her game of playing two ends against the middle, sharing a passionate interlude with Gunnar, but rushing to Avery's house in the middle of the night. She tells him that she just wants to “be here,” but her motives are transparent. She feels the passion that Avery still has for Juliette, despite his proclamation of being finished with the relationship. They share a time of dancing like teenagers, before falling asleep, him on the couch, and her on the floor. Later, Avery and Gunnar get into a ridiculous scuffle over the night time activity, especially after Avery refuses to fight, but a phone call hints that the feud can be forgotten.

Maddie (Lennon Stella) is “all in” with Jonah’s (Nic Luken) birthday week celebration, and she partakes in her first rounds of tequila shots and the aftereffects. Deacon definitely knows personally about those “morning afters,” and he warns her to be careful with her choices moving into adulthood. She tells him she’s considering moving into her own place, and he suggests she move in with Scarlett (Clare Bowen) before making her big move. Maddie also shares a dance with Twig (Dylan Arnold), Jonah’s closest friend, and he savors the time with her dearly. She last stayed with him through an overdose on the bathroom floor, and the dance makes a much fonder memory.

Daphne (Maisy Stella) feels betrayed because Deacon didn't tell her first about the situation with Jake.

Jake tells her the news himself at school. Daphne tearfully pleads with Maddie not to leave her alone.

Will pushes a little too hard, even on his first day home, and Scarlett suggests that he uses his recovery time for writing, giving him a notebook. He is perplexed but pleasantly surprised when Zach (Cameron Scoggins) drops by to check on him, saying he will be back before he leaves Nashville. Seeing as Zach’s infidelity was a major part of the hurt that resulted in Will turning the wrong way, this relationship being restored would be refreshing. A performance of Carmack singing a beautiful acoustic ballad, “My Turn” comes near the close of the episode.

Deacon and Jessie resolve to “fight” in faith and love against Brad after her efforts fail to persuade her son's father to settle the matter peaceably and with a conversation over conflict.

The episode ends with Deacon comforting Daphne in her bed, before Maddie joins them to make it a tender threesome, saying that she won't be moving. The scene makes a warm welcome back for “Nashville."

All the adult choices in life really get tough, and so far “Nashville” is doing its last season right.