Nashville doesn’t really look much different without Rayna and it gives all the characters more room to grow without her there, especially Deacon, Maddie and Daphne. This is the first time I’ve seen Daphne have her own true storyline. We have so much more to learn about this young Conrad.
Rayna being written off the show was definitely a shock. When I first read that she hadn’t signed on for all the episodes, I thought it was more like Calista Flockhart on Supergirl, that she just wouldn’t be in all the episodes but I think this is better. There were two heartbreaking episodes with Rayna dying and her funeral but now all the characters have to figure out how to deal without her. That opens up more storylines like it’s doing for Daphne (Maisy Stella). She’s had storylines with Maddie (Lennon Stella) but never a true storyline on her own. The closest she came was not happy with Deacon (Charles Esten). Now she has a strong storyline and it’s great. It’s heartbreaking but isn’t those the best parts of this show?
We no longer have our Rayna and Deacon but we may still have our Scarlett (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar (Sam Palladio). At first, I was so mad because it’s not his baby. I thought, how can we lose the Nashville couple and not have the other Nashville couple. In reality, Rayna and Deacon never had it perfect. Yes, Maddie is his but he didn’t even find out until recently and Rayna had a whole marriage with Teddy. So, this isn’t perfect for Scarlett and Gunnar but I’m happy that they’re giving it another go.
Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) is also having a hard time. She got through her accident by making a Gospel album but her fans and her critics didn’t like it. I think Maddie is helping her find her love for music again. She helped Maddie make the song better and she really did make the song better. Maddie was too stubborn at first to see it. I would love if Juliette would produce this album. It would also be nice if Avery (Jonathan Jackson) put his finger print on it too, not that any indication of that has come up, yet.
Avery was more in the background this episode being the inspiration. He gave some great advice to Gunnar. Avery is always great for giving advice but so is Gunnar. He gave it to Will (Chris Carmack). It was so cute seeing Will so nervous. I get that his boyfriend is this big powerful person but as Gunnar said, Will can make a crowd feel something and his boyfriend can’t do that.
We were also treated to great performances. It’s great that Nashville is back and I’m excited to see where the writers take us in the second half of the season.