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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Nashville‘s “I’m Not That Good at Goodbye.”]
Relationship drama took center stage when ABC’s country music drama Nashville returned from its two-month hiatus on Wednesday.
Rayna (Connie Britton) continued to deal with the emotional fallout of calling off her wedding to Luke (Will Chase). Meanwhile, Luke reacted more violently, charging over to Deacon’s (Charles Esten) house, where the two got into a fistfight on the front lawn. In response, Rayna first went to Luke to insist that he deal with the end of their relationship privately, while he insisted that he was responsible for her musical success. Rayna then went to on-again, off-again flame Deacon and told him what fans of the couple have been hoping to hear: that she’s still in love with him.
“I’ve loved you since the first time I ever laid eyes on you, first time I ever heard you play a note on a guitar, first time I ever heard you laugh. And even through all the hell we put each other through, I love you now,” she tells him.
Elsewhere, newlyweds Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) and Avery (Jonathan Jackson) humorously struggled to adjust to living together, as she bristled at a chair he tried to move in. And unhappy couple Will (Chris Carmack) and Layla (Aubrey Peeples) finally seemed to be on the road to being happily divorced. Yes, Layla’s alive! But when Will finds out that she nearly overdosed on pills, he feels responsible and gets Jeff Fordham (Oliver Hudson) to quash the tape of him telling Layla he’s gay, which their reality-show producer was using to blackmail them.
Deacon’s health woes got worse, as he was told he needed a liver transplant, but he remained stubborn about not telling Rayna that he’s sick.
As Nashville viewers wonder how long until Rayna finds out (and what blood type she is), the actress behind the character, Britton, tells The Hollywood Reporter the stories behind some of Wednesday’s big moments.
When Rayna talks to Luke, he again says something similar to what he said to her at the CMA Awards, sort of taking credit for her success when she was with him. Do you think his character really believes that or is he just hurt by the situation?
I think both things are true. I think that comes out of being hurt, and I also think that — the Luke character is an interesting character because he’s a good guy, but he’s really playing a very specific type of man in the business who — his identity is so much built around the persona that he’s created. I think there’s probably a lot of ego that goes with that. So I can see there’s a part of him that actually believes that he did it for her.
You mentioned that you and the writers will sometimes rejigger some things in the scripts. Were there any scenes in this episode that you were particularly involved in determining the specifics of?
One scene that we really played around with for a while, and both Chip [Esten] and I felt really strongly that we wanted it there, was the scene where [Rayna] goes over to his house and tells him, finally, that basically that she did this for him. And that doesn’t mean that she’s necessarily ready to jump into it right away; she needs to get her life together.
Why do you think Rayna felt (and I guess you felt also) that this was the right time for her to say this?
The whole thing about canceling the wedding is that was obviously a huge move for her, and there are moments in life when you have to do something that’s really, really not going to be easy, and you have to do it because it’s the only thing that you can acknowledge, what is really true for you as a person. And I think this was one of those moments. I think along with that was, I think she felt a responsibility to also come clean to Deacon because for this entire Luke episode so much had happened. I mean, obviously Deacon found out about Maddie, and then Luke came along and so much has transpired. So I think that she needed to, as part of this revelatory moment of coming clean with herself, she also had to let him know that in fact he was right, and she really does want to be with him and has all along loved him.
Are we going to see Rayna interacting again with Juliette or with Scarlett (Clare Bowen) in the sort of mentoring role that she’s taken on throughout the series?
Not so much. I hope that we will later in the season, but that is not something that we’ve spent a lot of time with thus far this season.
What did you think about this week’s episode? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Nashville airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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