Well, they did it. Nashville killed off the Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton.) In a sick twist of fate, Rayna survived being held hostage by her stalker only to be hit by a truck while being driven home in a squad car afterward. At the hospital, everything seemed fine … until it wasn’t. Rayna’s body turned on her and her organs began to shut down. At least she went with her girls and Deacon right beside her to join her mother in the great unknown.
A Life That’s Good
After all they’ve been through, at least Deacon was right by Rayna’s side through the last moments of her life. They’ve suffered, they’ve thrived, but no suffering is going to live up to what Deacon is going to go through now. He finally had his life that’s good; the song he sang, that he, Maddie, and Daphne sang as Rayna’s heart stopped and she drew her final breath. Rayna had that life, too. She had a good life.
The song was such a fitting end to the life of Rayna Jaymes. Well, technically, there was no fitting end for this character who should’ve survived the duration of Nashville. She is, was, and will always be the main character. It started with Rayna, and so much of the series has focused on her life and the drama revolving around of it.
“All I ever wanted was for you to be proud of me.”
She was, Juliette. This moment captured the growth of Juliette, but also the growth of these two women. Nashville started off capitalizing on their rivalry and picking out their differences, whether that be their age or their music, so to see how much each of them have grown to the point where they’re actually friends is just magnificent.
She never admitted it before, but Juliette always wanted Rayna’s stamp of approval. Finally being invited to Rayna’s label, and having her support to do a Gospel album, gave Juliette the approval she’d always been looking for. This time the invitation wasn’t about money or business; Rayna believed in Juliette and wanted to be a part of the magical music that she’s going to create.
Scarlett played a big role in this episode, and it finally didn’t have to do with the men in her life (well, not completely.) She took on the role of emotional support as Deacon, Maddie and Daphne began to lose it. It’s great to see the relationship between Scarlett and the girls because that was never touched upon while the series was on ABC. With Rayna gone, they’re definitely going to need a woman to look up to and to learn from and have someone to ask questions about certain things (i.e. Daphne starting her period in the last episode.)
It also just shows how close Scarlett and Rayna had become. It started as a work relationship; Rayna had known her from when she was little and her relationship with Deacon, but it wasn’t until now that it was emphasized that they’d become family.
Rayna and Her Mother
Connie Britton is such a phenomenal actress, and her talent will be missed on Nashville. Rayna will be missed, and not just by the characters. She brought the show to life, and without her, it’s hard to see how much longer it can go on. It is an ensemble cast and CMT has made sure to emphasize that and work on that aspect of it, but Rayna is — was — the soul of the series.
This was the best sendoff they could do for the character. The “visit” from her mother in the hospital, before her organs failed, set a tone for where Rayna is going and that she’ll at least be protected and be with someone she loves while her family struggles to continue on without her.
Goodbye, Rayna Jaymes.
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(Image courtesy of CMT)