Nashville – If Tomorrow Never Comes
By: Julie Mante
As Rayna (Connie Britton) is being treated in the hospital, Deacon (Charles Esten) calls Maddie (Lennon Stella) to tell her about Rayna’s accident. Scarlett (Clare Bowen) is still spending time with Damien (Christian Coulson) when Gunnar (Sam Palladio) calls her. She was supposed to have dinner with Gunnar and Will (Chris Carmack), but lost track of time. Gunnar tells her that Deacon needs her to pick up Daphne (Maisy Stella) from school and take her to the hospital. As Daphne is rehearsing, she smiles as she sees Flynn (Ben Taylor) watching her from the audience. Daphne can tell something is wrong when she sees Scarlett talking to her teacher.
As Deacon gets an update on Rayna’s status, he is allowed to visit her. The good news is that she is conscious. It seems that Rayna does not remember the accident, but only her encounter with Wayne/Carl (Linds Edwards). Rayna tells Deacon that she wants to write another song for their record. Avery (Jonathan Jackson) tries to assure Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) that she does not have a MRSA infection. Avery feels like she is overreacting, but Juliette feels like there is something wrong with her leg. She feels like it is “rotting from the inside out.” The phone rings and Avery answers. He gets the news about Rayna.
When Clay (Joseph David-Jones) drops Maddie at the hospital he tells her that he will wait. She says that it is not necessary. The paparazzi swarm the hospital and pepper the young teen with questions that go unanswered as she enters. When Daphne asks Rayna if she feels pain, Rayna tells her that she does not feel anything. Rayna is currently on morphine. Daphne is worried she will be in the hospital for a long time like her last major car accident. When Maddie arrives, she wants to know more, but Deacon says that Rayna is preparing for surgery so they will answer her questions later. The doctor comes in and says that they are ready for the operation. While Daphne is laying her head on Rayna’s chest, Maddie is overwhelmed seeing her mother’s condition that the young girl feels sick and leaves the room. Scarlett goes to check on her as Deacon yells for his daughter. Rayna and Deacon exchange “I love yous” before she leaves.
Maddie starts throwing up and Scarlett asks her if she is okay. Maddie tells Scarlett that this whole thing is her fault. She is being punished for all the problems she put her parents through. If Rayna did not come and make sure Maddie was safe at Clay’s performance, Rayna never would have gotten hurt. Scarlett says this whole thing was an accident. Maddie did nothing wrong. Scarlett knows that Rayna and Maddie love each other, whether they are fighting or not. Scarlett tells Maddie that Rayna’s surgery is four hours so all they can do now is wait. Deacon notices that Daphne is tired and suggests that Scarlett should take her home. Daphne is adamant that she wants to be at the hospital when Rayna wakes up. Maddie walks back to Clay’s car and tells him about Rayna’s status. She is no mood to share more so she tells him to keep on driving as she cries for mother and herself.
As Deacon, Daphne, Scarlett, Gunnar, Bucky (David Alford) and Will wait for Rayna’s surgery to finish, the doctor comes in and tells the group that the surgery was a success. Everyone is relieved and hugging. Rayna tells Deacon that she is starting to remember the accident. Rayna tells Deacon that it is okay for everyone to come in and say hi to her. Rayna realizes that she will be unable to perform at the CMT Awards, but Bucky tells her that he already contacted them and everyone is sending their love. Rayna reminds Deacon about their song and Scarlett volunteers to bring Deacon’s guitar. When Rayna notices that Maddie is missing, Deacon tells her that she will be back soon. As Maddie and Clay are walking on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, Maddie begins to tell Clay how she is feeling. She tells him that this place is special for her parents. Deacon proposed to Rayna on this bridge. Not only is this special for her parents, but Maddie shares with him her own memory of the two of them on the bridge. Clay tells Maddie his conflicted feelings about his own mother. Because of her drug addiction, Clay saw two sides of his mother: the caring side and the disappointing side. Sometimes she was a good mother and sometimes all she cared about was the drugs. Deacon calls Maddie to tell her that Rayna is out of surgery. He tells her that he and Daphne are staying at the hospital, but she is free to go home and he will pick her up tomorrow morning to see Rayna. When Clay asks her what she wants to do, she says that she wants to continue walking with him.
Scarlett and Gunnar go to get Deacon’s guitar. Gunnar wants to talk about the fact that Scarlett ditched him for Damien, but Scarlett refuses to take the bait. Even when he asks her if Damien is so good in bed that she forgot all about dinner, Scarlett is speechless yet she decides to ignore all of his questions. When Juliette and Avery get to the hospital, the paparazzi ask her about her leg and Rayna’s condition, but the couple ignore their questions. When the nurse refuses to let Juliette see Rayna, Juliette disregards her orders. Juliette brings Rayna an eye mask as a gift. Rayna tells Juliette that she can see that the young starlet has changed. Maddie tells Clay that she has treated her mother horribly. She does not know what she would do without her mother. Rayna and Deacon start working on their song in Rayna’s hospital room. Deacon feels that they have enough songs for the album, but Rayna does not want all their songs to be focused on their past. Deacon admits that he was scared and Rayna assures him that it will not be easy to get rid of her.
The next morning, Daphne is feeling conflicted. She does not want to leave her mother’s side and yet she still wants to perform in the school concert. When Scarlett talks to her, Daphne feels that the concert is pointless without her mom there. She feels her older sister is wrapped up in her boyfriend and her real father is in jail. Rayna is the only person she can truly count on. Scarlett comforts her while she cries. Maddie gets a text that Daphne is upset so she and Clay race to the hospital. The doctor tells Juliette that there is an irregularity in her leg and Juliette is convinced it is cancer. The doctor suggests an MRI to investigate further, but tells her that these things take time. Her leg is probably taking longer than expected to repair itself. Gunnar finds Scarlett in the waiting area and hands her a coffee. Gunnar feels like he is in a lose-lose situation. He knows that if he tells Scarlett to stop seeing Damien, she will resent him. If he does not say anything, he could lose her forever. Scarlett tells Gunnar that she does not want to discuss their relationship now. Gunnar begs Scarlett to tell him what to do to gain her trust back. Scarlett admits that she does not know what he can do.
Alone in her room, Rayna sees her mother. Her mother tells her that she is proud of the woman she has become and she lets her daughter know that she does not need a tag for her song. The song is finished. Deacon asks Rayna who she is talking to. Rayna tells him that her mom was helping her with the song. Deacon shares his concerns about Rayna to Scarlett. The doctor assures him that Rayna is doing is fine, but Deacon has doubts. Rayna thanks Scarlett for being there for her daughters and they talk about Damien. Scarlett admits that she does not know what to do about her love life. She is interested to see where things go with Damien, but she feels bad about hurting Gunnar. Rayna tells her to make sure that she is happy and not to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. Scarlett should be with the man she wants to be with.
As Daphne and Rayna lay down in her hospital, Rayna reminiscences about touring when Daphne was a baby. When Rayna asks about the concert, Daphne says she does not want to go to it. Rayna tells her daughter that it is important for her to share her amazing voice with others. Rayna tells Daphne that she should know that Deacon loves her and that they can rely on each other. That kind of talk scares Daphne so Rayna decides not to say more. Later Daphne is surprised to see her fellow choir members at the hospital. Since they know that Daphne will not be performing tonight, they want to give her a chance to sing with the group. Her teacher tells her it was Flynn’s idea. Juliette is getting her MRI done while Daphne and her friends are performing Make You Feel My Love for Rayna in her room. As the kids sing, Deacon starts to notice that something is wrong. The monitor starts to beep erratically as Deacon yells for doctor to check on Rayna.
Unfortunately for Maddie and Clay, traffic is stalled because of a game. Maddie gets a text that Rayna was rushed to the ICU and Deacon tells her to come immediately. Maddie berates herself for leaving last night. She decides that she will have to go to the hospital on foot so she leaves Clay stuck in traffic. As the doctors try to explain what happened to Rayna, Deacon is overwhelmed and scared. According to the doctors, Rayna’s kidneys are shutting down and her potassium is high. Right now they are putting her on medication, but they may have to put her on dialysis. Deacon cannot understand how this happening. He did not think a broken pelvis could yield these results. The doctor says that the fracture Rayna sustained caused this. The fat tissue from her bone morrow leaked into her blood system which messes up her whole body. The doctors say they will try to stabilize her and hopefully everything will be alright.
Rayna is back in her room and Deacon comes to check on her. Rayna wants him to promise her that he will be strong for the girls. The nurse tells Deacon that he has to leave the room and Deacon promises Rayna that he will take care of the girls. Before he leaves, he kisses her. He begs her not to leave him. As the doctor goes over Juliette’s MRI results, she tells Juliette that her leg is fine. A nurse comes in and tells the doctor she needed because Rayna’s situation is severe. The doctor apologizes and cuts Juliette’s appointment short. Juliette knows that they are talking about Rayna. The doctors tell Deacon that Rayna’s body is not responding because her organs are failing her. Daphne is distraught and Deacon tries to be strong for her as they hug. The doctors tell Deacon that they will do their best to save Rayna’s life, but things are not looking good.
Juliette races to see Rayna while Avery tries to catch up. Juliette decides to ditch her crutches and walks on her own. Deacon asks if Maddie is coming and Scarlett tells him that Maddie is almost there. Deacon tells Juliette that things are bad. Maddie races in the room and apologizes to her mother for being late. Later, everyone is gone besides Deacon, Maddie and Daphne. Daphne asks Deacon if Rayna knows that they are there. He tells her that Rayna knows and he encourages her to talk to her mother. Daphne does not know what to say. Maddie begins to sing A Life That’s Good and Daphne and Deacon join in. Rayna opens her eyes, but her heart immediately gives out as she flatlines. Daphne, Maddie and Deacon sob as Rayna dies.