If Tomorrow Never Comes
Original Air Date: Feb 23, 2017
Jules– Managing Editor
After last week’s cliffhanger of an ending where we saw the car Rayna was in hit by a truck, this week’s episode couldn’t have come soon enough to learn the fate of Rayna Jaymes. So there’s really no time to waste as we delve into the ominously titled episode “If Tomorrow Never Comes” (which is a great Garth Brooks song if you’ve never heard it).
Rayna’s wheeled into the hospital, unconscious and with a shattered pelvis, hip and broken leg. Deacon is speeding to the hospital (but not in a crazy way) while he phones the family. Maddie finds out while in a car with Clay from Deacon, Scarlett is still in bed with Damien when Gunnar phones about the news and that Deacon wants her to pick up Daphne, who’s still at school choir practice. Daphne knows something is wrong when she sees Scarlett arrive and talk to her teacher. Juliette is searching online for the source of a recent leg pain (she thinks it’s rotting from the inside) when Avery gets a call from Gunnar I believe.
The look on Deacon’s face when he sees Rayna at the hospital is devastating. Rayna’s first words to him? “Can you believe this?”
Daphne, Maddie and Scarlett arrive at the hospital and Rayna is making jokes about herself and car accidents. She doesn’t remember much, but Rayna needs surgery and the doctor wants to play classic Rayna songs that Rayna jokes about.
Maddie starts to have a panic attack and runs out to throw up, while Scarlett follows her. Scarlett goes to comfort her and Maddie says it’s all her fault – a punishment for all the trouble she caused. She says her mom wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t come to see Clay play tonight. Scarlett assures her that’s not the case and that with surgery being four hours, she should take some time alone and Maddie retreats to Clay and they go on a drive while Maddie cries. Daphne and Deacon stay at the hospital.
Rayna’s out of surgery and awake (by now Bucky and Will have arrived) and talking and kind of remembering what happened. Best family a woman could ever want. Rayna immediately moves into continue working on their record and not just show all the pain in their songs, but the happy beautiful stories.
Meanwhile, Maddie is wandering with Clay post panic attack. They pair end up on top Rayna’s favorite Nashville spot at the bridge – same stop Deacon proposed.
Soon later, Juliette arrives at the hospital and powers through the media and despite being strictly told not to go in, she does anyway. Rayna’s happy to see her and says Juliette’s changed and wonders what will shake out of her. Juliette says something good.
Maddie talks to Clay about how all she’s done is given her mom a hard time – lied, took her to court, ran away – but that no matter what she did, mom was always there for her. She did it because she knew her mom and her would never be separated. Maddie said she wouldn’t know what to do if anything happened to her.
Rayna should be sleeping, but Deacon with his guitar are trying to write a song together. I bet it’ll be wonderful.
Daphne’s got a big school concert the next night and Rayna has Scarlett talk to her, because she is the voice of reason. Daphne thinks what’s the point if her mom and dad can’t come? She thinks no one cares. With that Scarlett texts Maddie, who immediately comes rushing back to the hospital.
Elsewhere, Juliette has her leg checked out. There’s an irregularity in the leg and ever the hypochondriac, she thinks it to be cancer. MRI first and it’s just some calcification in the leg. Nothing major.
The next morning Deacon brings Rayna a smoothie and a cheeseburger she was craving. Later Rayna’s thinking about their song and about writing a tag when appears a woman sitting in a chair in the room. The woman is her mother (played by Carla Gugino) saying she’s been watching her daughter. Rayna tells her she’s missed her and wants help with her song when mom responds “Maybe this song is finished.” This is when I realize it’s not looking good. After Rayna tells Deacon this, it freaks him out and gets the doctor to check Rayna out. Doctor says she’s doing great.
Rayna and Scarlett have a talk. Rayna thanks Scarlett for helping with the girls. Then talk goes to Damien. Scarlett says she’s intrigued and wants to explore more with him, but sees Gunner as miserable. Rayna says that women often find themselves the objects in relationships and not equal partners and that Scarlett she deserves to be happy, too. Rayna next talks with Daphne and about the concert and that Deacon loves her and they can all rely on each other.
Next Daphne’s choir mates and teacher are at the hospital. Seems Finn had a brilliant idea. If Daphne can’t make it to the concern, they will bring the concert to her. Cue group singing to Rayna, with Daphne taking a solo to a beautiful rendition of “Make You Feel My Love.” While the group is singing, Rayna is not looking too hot. Cue Deacon screaming for a doctor, the kids being ushered out and lots of chaos.
Deacon texts Maddie, who’s still in transit, stuck in traffic. Maddie, ever consumed with herself, wonders why she didn’t stay and ends up getting out of the car and huffing it to the hospital.
Rayna’s now in ICU and her kidneys are shutting down and the doctor’s hope circulation clears up on own. Deacon is so scared that he sneaks into the room and Rayna says, “If something happens, you stay strong for the girls.” Deacon blows it off because she won’t leave him and through tears can barely say anything else.
It’s not looking good when Juliette overhears a conversation between her doctor and a nurse. She knows it’s about Rayna. Downstairs, the doctor confirms the worst we were expecting at this point. Rayna’s being kept alive for now, but her organs are all failing.
By now, everyone’s there minus Maddie. Juliette powers her way through to the ICU without her crutches, kisses Rayna on the forehead and says a simple, yet kind of out of place line “All I ever wanted was for you to be proud of me.”
Maddie finally makes it and there are tears everywhere and everyone is still there.
In the closing moments, it’s just Deacon, Maddie and Daphne with Rayna. Daphne asks is mom knows they’re there and that’s when Maddie starts singing (through all the tears) the first lines of “A Life That’s Good.” Daphne joins in and then Deacon. At some point Rayna’s eyes open to see her family singing and then they close. She flatlines and the girls fall on top of their mother in sobs while Deacon falls on top of them.
And just like that, Rayna Jaymes is gone ya’ll. This week in TV has wrecked me and Charles Esten, Lennon and Maisy Stella broke me.
Also, I won’t be able to listen to “A Life That’s Good” for awhile now, too. To be honest, I’m really sad about this devastating turn of events, but I totally understand and respect it. The show wasn’t always happy-go-lucky, it dealt with tough issues and this is the biggest thing a show can do, by killing off its main character. What did you think of this episode and Rayna’s death? Share your TwoCents below!
And in the lines to tonight’s episode title, I think Rayna knew after she saw her mom and hence the conversations with Scarlett and Daphne… “So tell that someone that you love / Just what you’re thinking of / If tomorrow never comes.”
Next Episode: I’ll Fly Away