To be a Nashville fan in the last year is to be riding the most extreme roller coaster, emotions strung high and low with wins as prolific as losses.
Over a year ago, the show was cancelled, only to be picked up again by a different network.
And now, this week’s episode has taken fans on another downward spiral, killing off the star of the show Rayna Jaymes in a move that’s seen many call for a boycott and many more wondering how the show can proceed without her.
Connie Britton, who playes cult-hero Rayna Jaymes, has posted an emotional goodbye on Instagram to a character that captured the hearts and minds of many, saying the “the show must, and will go on”.
“To the fans. You made Rayna. You supported her and loved her and gave her inspiration just as she was able to inspire you. You were the energy source, the power behind her heart and soul and life. Rayna lived for you.
“And, from the depths of my heart, I thank you, for her and for me. It has been an honor to be a part of that creation. And as I know she would want it, the show must, and will go on. Long live Rayna Jaymes,” she wrote.
Thank you Rayna Jaymes. For your magic and your dignity. And thank you to all the creators of Rayna Jaymes, for there were many. Callie Khouri, who gave her life. Deacon, Maddie, Daphne, who shaped her as her family. Teddy, Tandy, Lamar too. Juliette, Scarlett, Bucky and the ones who crafted her into a business woman. Along with countless other compatriots and combatants. And then of course the crew of “Nashville” who brought her to life, every crew member in every department who made Rayna live each week. And then there’s the music. T Bone, Buddy, Tim, Frankie and all the brilliant songwriters who gave Rayna a voice. There was no music, and no Rayna, without you. But finally and most importantly, the fans. You made Rayna. You supported her and loved her and gave her inspiration just as she was able to inspire you. You were the energy source, the power behind her heart and soul and life. Rayna lived for you. And, from the depths of my heart, I thank you, for her and for me. It has been an honor to be a part of that creation. And as I know she would want it, the show must, and will go on. Long live Rayna Jaymes. #RIPRayna #NashvilleCMTAdvertisement
Beyond their confusion at a Nashville that doesn’t involve the country music sensation, producers have found themselves having to defend the way in which they killed her off from angry fans. After spending the season surviving an attack by a stalker, seemingly surviving a car crash only to die rather anti-climatically in hospital, executive producer Marshall Herskovitz told TV Guide why they chose such a “random” way for Rayna to die. (For those yet to watch, Rayna died in hospital after being hit by a truck while sitting in a police car.)
“People think it’s arbitrary and I can understand that, but it’s not arbitrary,” Herskovitz told the website, going on to explain that “thematically” it was all about how built-up “trauma” throughout her life led to her untimely death.
And as for the fans who are convinced they won’t be coming back, and won’t be watching another episode? Herskovitz promises the next episode is “best episode [he has] been connected to on any show in 20 years”.
“I really feel that, once someone looks at that episode, they will understand that this show will go on.”
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