On Thursday’s new episode of Nashville on CMT, the entire cast dealt with the devastating loss of the show’s protagonist, country superstar Rayna Jaymes.
A rainy day seemed to mirror the feelings of both friends and family alike, as Rayna’s husband Deacon Claybourne delivered a tearful graveside eulogy.
Deacon hid in his and Rayna’s room, as Scarlett O’Connor tried to comfort their daughters Maddie and Daphne. Maddie’s boyfriend Clay Carter struggled to stay by her side, as he realized he hadn’t dealt with the death of this own mother.
Both Rayna’s ex-husband Teddy Conrad and her sister Tandy Hampton returned to mourn her passing. Out of prison on a three-day furlough, Teddy found out he’d be released in a matter of months.
Since Rayna’s sudden death meant her affairs were not in order, the stage was set for a stand-off with Deacon. Since she was an initial investor in Highway 65, Tandy was eager to take control of the label, while Teddy was equally anxious to take custody of the girls. Rayna’s grieving husband assured them he’d see them in court.
Just days after Rayna’s death, CMT prepared to pay tribute to the country legend at their annual awards show. Juliette Barnes initially saw it as her chance to both stage her comeback after the near-fatal plane crash and remember her friend. As the performance grew closer, she was racked with doubt.
In the midst of their grief over the passing of their friend, Highway 65 investor Zach Welles and Will Lexington shared their first kiss.
Realizing what a court battle would do to Maddie and Daphne, Deacon told Teddy he’d step away and let him have custody of the girls, just as the CMT tribute was about to begin.
Moments before Juliette was to go onstage, she convinced Maddie to sing her mother’s song instead. When Maddie collapsed in tears, both Deacon and Daphne rushed to the stage, and all three united to pay tribute to Rayna. Even Teddy was so moved that he agreed Deacon should continue to be their father.
Find out what happens next, when a new episode of Nashville airs next Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on CMT.
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