Everyone's favorite country sweetheart Rayna James had quite the year in Season 2 of ABC's Nashville . She bounced back from a nasty car crash and a few other tragic moments by creating a new music label and starting a seemingly perfect romance with country star Luke Wheeler, who also proposed to her in front of thousands of people onstage. But then the picture perfect new life got thrown into a blender of confusion when old yet never-burned-out flame and causer of the aforementioned car crash Deacon Clayborne also proposed to Rayna. So even though the series' other characters have plenty of their own drama, the cruical question that must be answered in Season 3 is who Rayna will choose, Deacon or Luke? And more importantly, will whatever decision she makes be the best one?
Deacon has had quite a few problems in the past, and Luke seems to be nice and free-of-drama. But it's important to consider what matters most to Rayna. She's had quite the tumultuous history with Deacon, a relationship that goes back a few decades, in fact. But her relationship with Luke seems so healthy and easy. Many fans are likely rooting for Rayna and Deacon's passionate relationship, but would that be the best choice?
Break out your yellow legal pad, it's pros and cons time.
Cons — We'll Start With The Bad News First
Let's go straight to the big one. Deacon has caused Rayna years of trauma due to his alcoholism. Having to watch Deacon relapse time and time again caused Rayna to not only put him in rehab and walk away from their relationship to marry Teddy, but to hide the fact that Maddie is Deacon's daughter from Deacon for many, many years. When Deacon finally discovered the truth, he couldn't handle it and went into a downward spiral, relapsing for the first time in years.
The biggest worry I have with Deacon is that if he and Rayna start back up again, is that she'll constantly be afraid of Deacon relapsing, especially when something bad happens. That would be emotionally exhausting and Rayna doesn't need any more stress or worries, especially now that she's running her own record label.
Deacon also has a history of being indecisive with Rayna. He kisses her, then they don't mention it for a while. He sees her with other men and gets angry and jealous. Sometimes it seems as though Deacon only wants Rayna when he can't have her. Why would have to propose to her right after she accepted someone else's proposal? It's pretty worrisome.
Pros — There Are Quite A Few
We all know that Deacon is an alcoholic and that addiction is a lifelong struggle. But for once in the show's two-season history, Deacon really seems to have changed. Now you may ask, why does it seem this time of change is different than the time before? Before, Deacon was unaware of the fact that Maddie is his daughter. Rayna kept that from him for years to protect Maddie from having an alcoholic father and likely to protect herself during Deacon's dark days.
Now both Deacon and Rayna have no more secrets from each other. Deacon had his relapse after finding out about Maddie and realizing he was unable to raise his own child with the women he loves more than anyone else. But he's taken responsibility for his actions and now, bonus: Deacon and Maddie have really started to bond. Remember that incredible duet they did together? It was very sweet. And it was even more adorable when the whole makeshift family sang it together.
Sure, Rayna accepted Luke's proposal in front of thousands and thousands of people. But from day one of this series, fans were introduced to Rayna and Deacon's love and many have accepted that as the OTP of the show. Luke may be the safer choice, he may be a more stable guy, and he is definitely not lacking in the looks department, but you can't break apart true love. It's against the rules of television. And the passion Rayna has with Deacon is just more interesting to watch than the stability she has with Luke. Now that Deacon seems to have finally matured and gotten a hold on his alcoholism, perhaps the passion he and Rayna have can be translated into a healthy relationship and marriage.
Sure, the Nashville writers can drag out the Rayna and Deacon relationship a little longer, maybe have Rayna mull over the two proposals for the first few episodes of Season 3, but you can only ignore the inevitable for so long.
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