‘Nashville’ Gets Us: A Watershed Moment Takes ‘Nashville’ Home

Nashville season 3 will come to an end this Wednesday May 13, 10/9c on ABC and we at Nashville Forever choose to mark the occasion by being a little nostalgic and celebrating the (great!) season that was.

In the upcoming days, as we try to emotionally prepared for the finale and the LONG summer hiatus, we’ll post here as well as on our Facebook and Twitter some of your picks for Nashville season 3 favorite moments (for details click HERE). We also asked some of our favorite contributors to this site during the passing year to choose their own. We asked each one of them to choose a moment that made them look at the screen and say, “This is why I love this show. This is why Nashville gets me”. 

Related: About Nashville Forever
Related: Fans write about their favorite season 3 moments (episodes 3.01-3.10)

Now, let’s jump straight into the deep water or more accurately to the rivers between Rayna and Deacon in the moment chosen by Ellie.

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Related: Nashville 3.06 – ‘Nobody Said it was Going to be Easy’: Family Matters (Ellie)
Related: The Nashville Characters Defense: Luke Wheeler – Where’s the Love? (Ellie)

It’s hard to imagine a moment or moments in Nashville Season 3 that encapsulate everything I love most about the show more than the Opry moments in episode 03×15, “That’s the Way Love Goes.”  These beautifully orchestrated scenes, starting with Deacon braving his sorrow for the significance of the occasion, to the Deyna family celebration of the whole Opry experience, speak volumes about the show and its actors’ constant communication of respect and awareness of the depth, history and beauty ensconced in the walls and rooms of the Opry and Ryman auditorium.  The music, the musicians, the artistry and the experience are always front and center.

Then you add to that the beautiful love story of Rayna and Deacon, and of course the perfect song, “The Rivers between Us,” written by Eric Kaz and J.D. Souther.  Is there a better metaphor than a river for the story of this couple?  A river is always moving, never repeats itself exactly in any one location, but is always constant.  It can be a chasm that’s hard to cross, or it can lead you to the place you’ve always been destined to find. It’s at once peaceful and calming, or tumultuous and jarring.  Like life.  Like love.   A river holds life, can separate life, it witnesses life, it renews life, and it can take life, but it is both central to life and yet just one part of a bigger picture. It’s a force of nature that can’t be controlled.

Gradually we see this watershed moment for Rayna.  She and Deacon share the joy of watching Maddie and Daphne perform on stage and it’s obvious something has shifted. She seems lighter somehow. Rayna takes Deacon’s hand and invites him to sing onstage, where they’ve always belonged.  But it’s different now– at least for Rayna. She’s on the other side and though she doesn’t know it, she’s helping Deacon ‘hold on.’  He’s still on a crazy ride, not ready to let go, still letting the river stand between them.  But Rayna is ready to take the ride wherever it leads her, because finally she realizes it’s her truth. It’s where she’s supposed to be and she testifies with the whole audience as her witness.  No more secrets, no more denial, no more regret, just love and all of the peace and chaos that come with it.

And then they sing.  The light hits Rayna and Deacon from above and behind, like a Rembrandt painting or a stained glass window. And through their profiles and the gospel-like overtones of the music, we see & feel Rayna’s blush, Deacon’s warmth and the love that eventually carries them through the pain to a better place; we see the connection that Connie Britton, Charles Esten and the crew of Nashville have portrayed so elegantly – and the reason viewers like me have been drawn to this tv couple since the beginning of the show.  Now that’s a piece of art. What’s not to love about that?

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