I am writing this letter concerning the death of Rayna Jaymes on last week’s episode of Nashville.
Rayna Jaymes was an imperative & iconic character on television. Her journey, and how it ends, matters. The message it sends out into the world matters.
At the beginning, the premise of this show was that an aging country star was trying to stay relevant in the music industry. However, Connie Britton’s portrayal of Rayna helped elevate her to something we rarely see on television - one of the only well-rounded female characters over 40. She was passionate, pragmatic, level-headed, and dignified. She was a business woman, an artist, a mom, a lover, a fighter & the moral compass for the other characters. She was the heart of the show and the glue that held all the other characters together. She was a role model that many women aspired to be like.
Ending her life this way sends a contradictory message. Rayna continuously had to prove her validity and vitality in the music industry. She never gave up and eventually, she had a resurgence in her career. When she finally found her passion again, she lost her life.
It seems like the message the show is giving the viewers is that you can never escape your childhood trauma, that the cycle can’t be broken and that you can’t overcome it. Nashville seemed to be about uplifting the voice of great female creators, regardless of their age or their background. With last week’s episode, it chose to silence one of those voices instead.
On top of being such a vital character on her own, Rayna Jaymes was also part of what many claim is the greatest love story on primetime television. Although Rayna and Deacon’s journey together was filled with love, it was also quite tragic.
They wasted so much time being apart and dealt with so much pain – from deep betrayals to car accidents to cancer. Because of this, many fans wanted to see them get a happy ending. The amount of pain and suffering this family has already been through is almost unimaginable. I understand that sometimes, this is the reality of life. But people watch television to escape reality. We chose shows that we connect with and that make us happy.
The payoff needs to feel good enough that you are willing to endure the pain. And for some fans who were very deeply invested in the Rayna & Deacon love story, the journey ends here.
I realize that given the circumstances, you had no choice. However, we have loved this story and supported the show through everything.
For our peace of mind & to have a happier optional fate for these characters, please also add an alternate ending to episode 9. It can be online or on the next DVDs.
People can watch it if they want to. It can be very short. We have been loyal and we fought so hard for our beloved show. Now, our hearts are shattered into a million pieces. Having an alternate ending, just like for the season 4 finale, can help us find some peace for these characters. It could even help some people find it easier to continue to watch and support the show. For some of us, it is too painful to carry on and our purpose for watching has been destroyed. Many of us even feel like we can’t rewatch previous seasons knowing that this tragic death is the end of Rayna’s story. ALL Nashies supported this wonderful show.
You have claimed that this season was because of the fans and for the fans. As fans, we have a voice. And our voice matters. If we had not used our voice, Nashville may not have continued. We truly hope you will consider doing this as a gift to the fans that have supported the show over the last 5 and a half years by watching, live tweeting, going to the concerts, mailing in guitar pics and yes, even cakes.
Thank you for reading.