I don't want to think about it either, but we need to start preparing us for the possibility of Deacon Claybourne going the way of Derek Shepherd and Will Gardner. A last-minute liver transplant may not be enough to combat the brutal force that is a season finale on a nighttime soap. But forget our feelings, what is Rayna going to do if Deacon dies on Nashville?
The last few episodes have been emotional as Rayna scrambled to do whatever she could to ensure a future with Deacon. According to the official ABC press release for the finale, that struggle is not over yet.
Deacon’s life hangs in the balance, but Rayna and the girls are by his side. With the clock ticking and the future uncertain, will they celebrate a life together?
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Callie Khouri teased that the season finale would end somewhere between Season 1's car crash and Season 2's duel proposals. “It’s really emotional. ... it is a life-and-death situation.” As for Deacon's fate, Khouri reminded us that he and Rayna “...have never had an easy road, those two, and it doesn’t get an easier now.”
So, if Deacon does lose his battle with cancer, what will Rayna Jaymes do on Nashville next? There are a few ways that she could channel her grief.
Forget the fame and the money, the healthiest thing for an artist like Rayna to do at a time like this is to work through her grief in song. She should grab some notebooks and go on a retreat.
Rayna's not rash enough to leave Tennessee, but in order to avoid the emotional turmoil, she could pour herself into the business side of Highway 65 and put her own musical career on pause instead. I don't mean to be cold but this wouldn't be the worst thing to happen. With Sadie Stone's legal drama, Juliette Barnes' mama drama and Deacon's road to recovery, Rayna has not had much free time to run her record label. With Layla Grant's star on the rise at Jeff Fordham, Incorporated and Will Lexington finding musical success with Luke Wheeler, Highway 65 needs a hit.
However, it would be one of the most heartbreaking paths that the show could take. I would hate to see Rayne shut herself off like that. However, we know that happy endings are few and far between on Nashville.
Focus On Her Daughters
I hate to even bring this up, but I can guarantee that if Deacon passes, Rayna won't be pursuing any new love interests in the aftermath. She's gone almost seamlessly from Teddy to Liam and Luke with Deacon forever in between.
Not that Rayna Jaymes is defined by the men in her life, but after a tragedy like this, she could use a break. Plus, this will give her a chance to be more involved in Maddie and Daphne's storylines. Deacon's death would be heartbreaking, but it won't break Rayna for good. That's just not possible.
Images: Mark Levine/ABC