It remains to be seen if the show can function long-term without Rayna, but this week’s episode did a nice job of highlighting some potential silver linings of her death. The most interesting thing about this episode to me was Maddie and Daphne’s continued, and completely different, reactions to Rayna’s death. Maddie in particular already seems destined to be Nashville’s connection to her mom, though I didn’t expect them to explore it this soon.
If you’re reading this, then I’ll assume you already watched the latest episode of Nashville, “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” episode 5.09. To call Rayna Nashville’s lead undersells her importance. Due in no small part to Connie Britton’s balanced performance, Rayna consistently made Nashville keep one toe in the sand of realism, especially when soapy elements threatened to overwhelm it, and I have no idea how the show functions without that.
Okay Nashville fans, this is going to be a bit of a combo review with some thoughts about the latest episode (“Stand By Me,” episode 5.08) and a few about season 5 in general. In episode 8, Rayna and Deacon continued to show off their sweet, sexy, healthy marriage, even in the midst of the stalker drama (more on that in a bit).
More than most shows, Nashville famously loves taking its viewers on a roller coaster ride of quality. For every episode focused on the main characters, the music, and storylines that actually have time to breathe, there’s another that feels like a bad soap opera wasting great actors. That being said, I was cautiously optimistic about this premiere, hoping that new showrunners plus a network change would allow for a reset of sorts, back to Nashville’s season one roots and the show Callie Khouri intended to make. ...