‘Nashville’ Recap: WTF Happened to Rayna

Spoiler Alert! The makeup of Nashville could be changed forever. 

Could this be the last of Rayna Jaymes? That’s the big unanswered question we were left with at the end of one of the most intense episodes of this or any season of Nashvillethus far. More on that later, but here’s what else was going on before things came, quite literally, to a crashing halt.

This week, everyone was exploring honesty and handling difficult situations with each other’s support, such as Daphne’s awkward transition into “becoming a woman,” as Rayna gives her daughter a “first moon” gift and shows up at the school to help her, even though Daphne told Maddie not to tell her mother she was getting her first “monthly visit.” Deacon cluelessly suggests they throw her a “period party” (if that were even a real thing, what it would entail we really couldn’t say) and Daphne’s potential new boyfriend, Flynn, checks in with her via FaceTime to make sure she’s OK, even though he probably has no idea what’s happening and she’s fine with that.

Juliette goes to Hallie’s church and asks the choir to support her by singing on her gospel album. They bombard her with questions about her intentions and whether or not she understands the context of a black choir singing gospel music, what with her “sexy” mainstream country image. She tells them she just wants to honor the Lord and His “mysterious ways” and wants to explore the music because it speaks to her. They warm up to the idea but we’re pretty sure this heavenly union will be one hell of a ride.

Then there’s Scarlett. Sweet, confused Scarlett, who honestly tells Gunnar that she can’t be with him because of the feelings she has for video director Damien. Gunnar doesn’t understand (and at this point we can’t help but think that none of the men in Nashville understand women). Scarlett comes to terms with her feelings, however, by the time she and Damien are sharing post-coital waffles from hotel room service.

But if there’s one guy who really needs help understanding women, it’s Carl Hockney, Rayna’s stalker, who gets out of jail and is seemingly taunting her by staying 317 feet away from her home. That’s 17 feet farther than he’s required, so the security guys tell Rayna and Deacon to just think of him as a terrorist. After all, nobody wants the terrorist to win by knowing they’re getting to them, right? That’s all well and good, except for when your terrorist stalker gets into your record label office and hides in a broom closet all night to confront you with a knife. A big knife.

Rayna is startled and ready to get the hell out of there, but instead, she engages Carl in conversation. He wants her to call him Wayne, because it sounds better than Carl and she tells him that her husband goes by his middle name, too. He just wants Rayna to know how connected they are but she’s really not sure that’s true, what with him currently holding her hostage. About this time, things start to get very honest, very real and very tense. Wayne says Rayna understands him better than anyone he’s ever known, but, again, since they just met and there’s the whole hostage thing going on, she’s not having any of it. Still, she engages him anyway in an effort to defuse the situation. He tells her he’s from West Memphis and that she “spoke to him in a way he can speak to himself.” When he tells her his father was an alcoholic abuser, like Deacon, she comes to her husband’s defense. But when he tells her his father beat him, she’s had enough. That’s when she tells him something she says he won’t find on the Internet – that her own father was a sociopath who killed her mother and covered it up when she was 12 years old. Checkmate.

Things escalate quickly in a scene that should be submitted to Emmy voters on Connie Britton’s behalf, as Rayna reveals even more about her life and how the terrible events of the past have caused her to overcompensate with her husband and her business. She also fears that her daughters will one day run away from her. “That horror is right there at the surface and I don’t want them to feel that and I don’t want them to think I’m feeling it,” she confesses.

Just as Wayne starts to come around and understand Rayna’s assertion that if he gives in his evil father will have won because he broke him, she calls 911 and runs out into the hallway. Wayne is apprehended and Rayna collapses. In the back of the squad car, she’s breaking down as she calls Deacon to tell her she’s on her way home. But she doesn’t make it – the police car is hit while crossing an intersection. Rayna has already survived one horrific car crash, so she’s probably going to be fine. Or maybe we’re just in denial.  

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http://www.rollingstone.com/country/recaps/nashville-recap-wtf-happened-to-rayna-w467621