Nashville season 3 will come to an end TONIGHT, 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.
Therefore, as we try to emotionally prepared for the finale and the LONG summer hiatus, we’re posting during this week here as well as on our Facebook and Twitter some of your picks for Nashville season 3 favorite moments. We also asked some of our favorite contributors to this site during the passing year to choose their favorite moments, the ones that made them look at the screen and say, “This is why I love this show. This is my why Nashville gets me”.
The scene I chose to end this ‘Favorite Season 3 Moments’ series is one of my favorite scenes but it’s also one of the most difficult and heartbreaking ones of the entire season (and possibly the entire series) – The closing scene of episode 3.19 ‘The Storm Has Just Begun’ (Written by Dana Greenblatt and Geoffrey Nauffts). I love this scene because it’s beautifully written, brilliantly acted and edited and because it stayed with me for days after the episode aired. This scene moved me in ways I didn’t expect and despite leaning towards the tragic, I feel it embodies many of the things I love about Nashville.
The closing scene of episode 3.19 is actually a montage of three separate scenes. At the first Maddie sits with Deacon on his hospital bed after his liver transplant surgery didn’t go through. She’s sad and scared and tries her best to find answers in order to make sense of it all. Maddie, the teenager that still has traces of childhood in her and view the world in black and white, needs answers and comfort and a promise that everything will be alright.
She doesn’t get her wish.
Not from her mother, not from the doctors, not from her boyfriend and at that moment, also not from her father. Instead, her honesty and open heart manages to touch the softest and most vulnerable place in Deacon’s heart – his inability to be there for the ones he loves and take care of them. He couldn’t be there for Rayna in the past due to his alcoholism, he missed out on being a father for the very same reason and now, when he’s finally ready and knows how to love – he simply can’t.
So they hug and cry. It’s a desperate and helpless embrace of two broken people who fight to find a way to get through it all. So far it’s with very little success; They need help. They need answers, a medical miracle and…Rayna.
At the second scene we see Rayna in a chapel praying. It’s not the first time we see Rayna pray. The last time was at the end of season 2 just before she got on stage and had a victorious moment. At that moment (see what I wrote about it last year HERE) Rayna counted her blessings .
One of those blessing was her strength.
It was her anchor and the thing that helped push through a very difficult year (and not so easy life) until she got back on top. But now her strength seems to be also a curse. That’s because, as Deacon told her more than once, “No everyone is as strong as her”. Rayna’s “secret power” is part of who she is and it may have helped her before, but it also puts her again and again in a place where she is required to give people a place to lean on and share her strength with them. To some extent it’s simply part of life but when someone is so powerful as Rayna and others are so far behind, it can be draining and exhausting. They all need her and she gives and gives but at the end is left alone. No one is strong enough to support her in her battles and help her fight. It’s all on her.
These two scenes are enough to call this moment powerful and emotional, but the truth is that even if that’s true, it’s not why I chose this scene. After all, this type of desperation is heartbreaking but expected; It’s the stuff that American golden TV tear-jerker moments are made of.
The reason I chose this scene is realted to what came after which is also the thing that Nashville excel at and one of the things that makes her unique – the small details in a familiar situations that turns the obvious and the ordinary into an unexpected and extraordinary.
You see, when Rayna sat at that chapel, desperate and lonely she could have pray for anything. All she wanted was to see her daughter happy and the man she loves, live; she could’ve pray for this burden to be lifted from or for a miracle.
But she didn’t.
Instead, she prayed for a way to keep sharing her blessing – her strength, with those that needs it the most without falling apart. In other words, Rayna chose to stay within the realm of this world and the possible. She chose to be a fighter and focus on what she can change. She chose to be Rayna, the queen.
By doing that we witness in how big her heart is but we also come to the sad realization that she’s not almighty.Rayna may be strong but she’s defiantly not a super-hero or mythical creäture who has it all and can do it all. No, she’s just human like the rest of us and at that particular point she reached the limits of her power.
That’s real, raw, relatable and heartbreaking
And then there is the last scene.
But then, while we still hear Rayna’s voice and feel heartbroken over this family, we jump to the third and last scene.
In this scene we see Juliette Barnes, the new mom who’s laying in bed awake at night next to her husband. Theoretically she’s supposed to be happy but she’s not. She’s sad, confused, overwhelmed and very, very lonely. She is lost.
(Brilliant) editing connects between Rayna’s cry to Juliette.
This connection emphasize the these women’s despair.
It also tells us that despite being in two separate place and very different situations there’s still something Rayna and Juliette they are not that different. Right now they are both lonely and helpless.
Rayna and Juliette are two very powerful women in very difficult situations. They are women with so much inner strength that it’s almost a force of nature but now, for both, that strength is working against them because how many people can understand them, let them be without trying to “fix them” and be their equal in this situation so they’ll also have a safe place to fall and hang on to? not many or if we want to be accurate only Rayna and Juliette can understand each other.
At that moment of despair, Rayna’s cry reached at least one person-Juliette, her equal. Rayna’s cry resonates in Juliette and Juliette’s despair recieve an echo in the form of Rayna’s prayer. Rayna is praying for both of them now.
In Nashville women don’t need to talk about their feelings all the time, call each other “my person” or braid each other’s hair in order to share a sisterhood bond. Sometimes all that’s required is a cry in the night when you feel no one hears you and you’re completely alone. It was Rayna and Juliette that night but it’s so many other women everywhere all the time. It can be any of us and we are not alone.
And THIS is why I love Nashville!