It was five years ago we first met Nashville’s leading lady and now it’s time to say goodbye to her. The Queen of Country has passed.
Let’s start from the beginning. Rayna’s wheeled into the hospital on a stretcher, snapping everything into slow motion. She’s disoriented, but she comes to quickly. And soon enough, she’s up and cracking jokes with the hospital staff. She even asks Deacon to get his guitar. Even from her hospital bed, all Rayna can think about is making records.
The doctor says she’s going to need a lot of rehab, but she’ll pull through. She's lighthearted and says all she wants is a cheeseburger. True to form, Deacon’s a gentleman and goes out and gets her one. He sits with his guitar at Rayna’s bedside, singing her to sleep. Amidst all the trauma, it’s one of the greatest #Deyna moments.
Everyone rushes to Rayna’s side, including Juliette. Seeing Juliette with Rayna in the hospital, it’s hard to believe five years ago they were at each other’s throats. Juliette has plenty of shortcomings, but she’s shown real growth. Juliette’s no longer the bratty star arguing over stage time. She’s compassionate, and a true friend. When Rayna tells her she’s changed, it’s true.
“It’s like when you fell out of the sky, something shook out of you,” she says.
Unexpectedly, Daphne’s crush Flynn pulls a hero move. He convinces Daphne’s choir to come to the hospital because she has to miss their concert, then they file into Rayna’s room and back Maddie as she sings to her mom. Cue the waterworks. Daphne’s mid-song when all chaos breaks loose. The machines Rayna’s hooked up to start beeping and it’s clear something’s wrong.
When the room clears out, Rayna whispers to Deacon, “If something happens, you can stay strong for the girls.” Then he gives her one final kiss. It’s devastating to watch.
On the other side of the hospital, Juliette learns Rayna’s taken a turn for the worse, triggering a minor miracle. She drops her crutches and WALKS to Rayna’s room!
When they first met, they were fighting for the limelight and now we see Juliette crouched down next to her, admitting all she ever wanted was Rayna to be proud of her. There's not a dry eye in the room tonight.
In the end, it’s just family in the hospital. Deacon, Rayna and the girls. In their final moments together, Maddie starts to sing “A Life That's Good” and Daphne joins in. Through their tears, they sing: “At the end of the day, Lord I pray, I have a life that's good.”
And it’s true. Rayna James had a life that was good.