Post Mortems

Nashville's Connie Britton Previews the 'Cold, Hard Reality' Rayna and Deacon Face After the Wedding

You’d think that, after all of their romantic ups and downs over the years, Nashville‘s Rayna and Deacon would’ve at least gotten to celebrate their decades-in-the-making wedding with a little honeymoon. Perhaps sipping frosty umbrella drinks beachside at an all-inclusive resort where the housekeeping staff makes animals out of their towels each evening. Maybe strolling, hand-in-hand, down the romantic sidewalks of Paris.

Heck, we would’ve even accepted a secluded, pants-optional weekend at Deke’s cabin.

But series star Connie Britton tells TVLine that the euphoria from Wednesday’s episode, which finds the lovebirds finally becoming man and wife, burns off rather quickly.

“Basically it seems like the motto of Nashville is: Rayna and Deacon don’t get to be happy for very long,” she says ruefully.

If you need it, here’s a quick recap of the midseason premiere: Despite some hiccups — namely Deacon’s suspicion he’ll ruin Rayna’s life by being a screw-up and Tandy/Maddie/Daphne’s sudden doubt that Deacon is the right partner for Rayna — The First Lady of Country Music and her man get hitched in front of their family and friends (minus Juliette, who’s still in treatment, and Will, who backs out after fallout from his incident with closeted country star Wade Cole).

At the reception, while the happy couple dances into the night, Avery drinks too much and decides he can no longer cover for his absent wife, whom everyone thinks is abroad. Meanwhile, Luke’s son Colt tells a devastated Layla what really happened on the night of Jeff’s death, causing her to hatch a plan to bring down Juliette Barnes. 

Below, Britton gives us a sense of what Mr. and Mrs. Claybourne’s immediate future looks like and whether the pair will share a stage before the season ends.

TVLINE | I’m wondering if Rayna at all becomes involved in the plan that Layla formulates at the end of the episode, to take down Juliette?
Oh, no.

Nashville Season 4

TVLINE | Maybe “involved” is the wrong word — is she affected by it, moving forward? Does it mess with her plans for the label?
Not really. It doesn’t really end up impacting [her]. There’s a moment in one of the later episodes where I think Rayna starts to feel like, “I’ve done so much.” Basically feeling like it’s not all it’s cracked up to be to be a label head. I think part of that is feeling like Layla’s got her own agenda going on. Beyond that, no. You know, in later episodes we actually get into other story stuff. So Rayna doesn’t end up feeling it that much.

TVLINE | In next week’s episode, Riff (played by Shameless‘ Steve Kazee) shows up in town and wants Deacon to go on the road with him. What might Rayna have to say about that, so soon after their wedding?
Well, look, there are always things that happen that I’m like, I wish so much that Rayna and Deacon had a longer time before things start getting crazy. I actually don’t remember what Rayna ends up saying at that point. We shot that episode so long ago. I do feel like we very quickly move out of the la-la land of marriage and into cold, hard reality.

TVLINE | That’s no good. Will we at least get to see them sing together or make music together?
Nope. [Laughs]

TVLINE | You’re killing me here.
I know. Trust me, I’m with you. There is one moment where we’re on stage together, but we’re not actually singing together.

TVLINE | During the wedding episode, Tandy and the girls raise some last-minute objections to Deacon. In your mind, is she open to hearing any of that? Or does she 100 percent believe what she tells them before the ceremony?
I think she does. My feeling is, Rayna really has been through it with Deacon. She’s gotten to a place where she is making a very informed choice for her life. She’s also acknowledging her own part in it, which is that she loves the guy. She can’t get away from him. She’s tried for a good part of her life, so I do think she’s going into this with her eyes open and in the best way that she can… That’s the funny thing about when people are born, when people die and when people have weddings: The foundation of all families and relationships gets a little bit shaken. So that’s what we experience in this wedding.

TVLINE | What episode are you shooting now?
We’re on Episode 20 already.

TVLINE | Throw me a tease about what’s going on in that episode.
All I can say is as I said earlier: Happiness and contentment does not last long for Rayna and Deacon. That’s all I have to say.

TVLINE | Any final thoughts on Rayna and Deacon’s big day?
When I think back to the pilot of this show and all of my ideas of what I thought it was going to be, and looking at these characters and particularly the character of Deacon with Rayna, there certainly were satisfying moments in the wedding… with regard to that, because it did feel like we had built a story and an arc to get to this place. So that was very satisfying.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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36 Comments
  1. Claire says:

    I feel like everyone’s concerns about Rayna and Deacon came out of nowhere. It was really weirdly (poorly) done to add some conflict to a new marriage.

    • NM says:

      Especially the stuff with the Tandy and the girls. They’ve encouraged the relationship and now they’re against it? Ridiculous. I get this is a soap but c’mon!

      • quang says:

        Tandy was never a fan of Deacon. She always saw him as the bad choice, hence pushing Rayna towards Teddy and her getting snippy at Deacon when the wedding with Luke went bust.

    • Mike says:

      I agree it came out of nowhere! The show needs to remove all the drama from Deacon and Rayna, make them the stable heart of the show. All the drama can come from the rest of the cast. If everyone is crazy the show is just a cheap soap, you need grounded stability, Reyna and Deacon should be that!

      • Summer says:

        Agree. All the drama is taking the focus away from one of the most beautiful love stories ever told and brought to life by these two amazing actors, Connie Britton and Charles Esten, who have such on-screen chemistry that you’d swear this is a true love story. After all the build-up to this marriage, the focus should have been on Rayna and Deacon who are where they deserve to be: happy, with a renewed focus on each other and on making music together. But instead the drama casts a shadow on their wedding and their happiness. I have said this before but it seems to be relevant again: I get this is a drama series but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a solid, happy couple in the midst of the chaos that life can be! It would be refreshing to see such a strong couple find ways to deal with life’s challenges and at the same time be a rock for others to rely on.

  2. Jill says:

    The girl drama was ridiculous. Especially the stuff with Maddie. She’s always been crazy about Deacon and has been their biggest shipper. Seeing him push a dude and grieving has made her afraid of him? Give me a break. Most unrealistic storyline ever. Just drama for drama’s sake.

    • David H says:

      Could not have said it better than that. What happened to this show? It was so good the first couple of seasons and now it’s just so strained. There is nothing wrong with allowing two people to be happy together at the center of your show and letting the drama come from others in their orbit. This whole season has been an exercise in torture.

    • Bonnie says:

      Agree, at least you should have given them a few episodes of happiness. I think some will stop watching because we are sick of the back and forth stuff.

      • Rose says:

        I’m getting close to dropping the show. I have no problem with angst but angst forsake of angst is just annoying.

  3. Lauren says:

    She sounds lowkey bitter.

    • ChrisGa says:

      Yeah, there’s definitely an underlying tone of disinterest, or something else, going on. Sounds like she’s checked out and can’t be bothered.

  4. Amy says:

    Yes the wedding itself was perfect but why the last minute Deacon and daughters drama? Totally unnecessary. I don’t understand the writers on this show at all. A few of the first season episodes still stand out for me, but this show could be so much better than it is now.

  5. Sissy says:

    Daphne has been feeling left out for a while now and she’s in that ‘tween emotions-all-up-and-down phase. So I understand her issues. I think Maddie’s problem w/ Deacon is that she realized she wasn’t actually the center of his universe once he got sick and when she witnessed his real self-destructive persona she began to see him in a different light. Plus he’s moving from “friend” to “father’ and she doesn’t think she needs his “fathering” as seen in the previews. I thought the episode made sense with the girls and Tandy, who never hid her displeasure, feelings finally rising to the surface to hit Rayna smack dab in the face.

    • Jill says:

      I think you’re being far too kind to the writers. Yes Daphne has had some episodes where she’s felt left out, but then it’s been talked about and moved past more than once. Wasn’t it just last episode that Daphne is having tons of fun sitting on Deacon’s shoulder’s during the Markus concert? And now she won’t let him touch her? What? And what you said about Maddie could have made sense if it was written well, but honestly, if that’s what they were going for they’ve totally missed the mark with the writing the last few episodes. As far as what I’ve seen I feel like you made all that up out of thin air. They’ve given absolutely no reason for Maddie’s bratty attitude other than she’s a teenager. You don’t go from being devastated that your dad might die to hating him in a few months which is what the timing on this is supposed to be. I’ll give you Tandy, she’s always hated Deacon and that wasn’t a surprise to me at all, but the the girl drama was completely over the top an unnecessary. No wonder why Connie sounds so done with this show in the interview.

    • Andrew Hass says:

      I agree that with Daphne we can understand her point of view because she’s feeling left out in a way of the whole family situation.As for Maddie, maybe she realized that with her parents getting married things change in terms of Deacon acting as more of a father than a friend and if she and her mom gets into a fight she could be worrying that her dad won’t be on her side as much.

  6. Love Me Some Deacon! says:

    Go away again, Tandy!

  7. Love Me Some Deacon! says:

    Why can’t the writers give poor Layla some closure? Juliette didn’t push Jeff, it was an accident. So Layla is going to try to get back at her for it? Ridiculous. It should be enough that she now knows for certain that Jeff didn’t jump to get away from her. Drama drama drama.

    And really, Nashville, can’t you just give Deacon and Rayna a couple of weeks at least before stirring things up again?!

    • ABG says:

      Just when I think Layla might be a decent character. I like parts of this show but some are just too forced.

    • tvjunkie says:

      Jeff falling off the roof was and accident but it was all Juliette’s fault that he was in a position to have that accident in the first place or are you saying Jeff should have ignored her and let her jump off the roof? I don’t know how a rational person doesn’t blame Juliette for what happened to Jeff.

      • Love Me Some Deacon! says:

        True, Jeff was there because of Juliette, but it was a tragic accident. Juliette didn’t “take” Jeff’s life – she didn’t even remember it until much later and then immediately went into treatment. For the always irrational Layla to think she needs to be sneaky and try to hurt Juliette in exchange…well, that’s keeping with the unbalanced Layla that we all know and love(?), but let’s grow up already and bring the words to Juliette, don’t mess with her husband. And I do like to think that I am a rational person, thanks, and because this is only a tv show, I can state my opinion even if you think it’s not rational. :)

    • Andrew Hass says:

      Yeah Jeff falling was an accident but Juliette didn’t come forward and reveal what really happened.So Layla has a right to be mad at Juliette now and want her to pay in some way.

  8. Whatevah says:

    I’ve always felt the writers of this show were more about the music then story telling. They really don’t seem to know what they’re doing. So long Nashville, it’s not me it’s you.

  9. Peggy estes says:

    Loved this show, who was the band playing the music

  10. Linda Bryant says:

    As much as I’ve loved this show, I’m about ready to give up on the sloppy, inconsistent writing. The motivations and actions of the main character often don’t make sense. It’s hard to get invested in a character or a relationship. It’s just bad writing, and I hate to say it. I live in Nashville, and I’m a loyal fan. But it’s getting harder and harder.

  11. Boiler says:

    I will agree that it would have been nice to have one episode, especially this one, without the drama. However I didn’t see anything in the show that was not real life stuff. Faith Hill went nuts when Tim McGraw was groped. Think if it was the other way around. Of course Daphne feels left out s her Dad is in jail. Of course a dad wants to protect his daughter. If anything was over the top it may have been how Maddie’s character was written. I enjoy the show, the music is important to the show and hopefully it will be around a while. Ratings wise it is the only ABC show that came back better and it has better ratings than some ABC has renewed.

  12. TinLV says:

    I know Rayna and Deacon are the show’s stars.. but truthfully, I watch Nashville for Jonathan Jackson..He’s awesome and he can sing, too. I love his pairing with Juliette, Never a shortage of drama there.

  13. iakovos says:

    There was a blind item here about a broadcast series, as yet not renewed, killing off a main character. I have to wonder if NASHVILLE is that show. Seems we are being set up for a Layla revenge plan and someone might fatally be caught in the crossfire. Series is up and down writing wise — but, the music! awesome! — and if we could get back the frenemy relationship between Rayna and Juliette front and center, we would be OK. We see a lot of minor characters come and go without much consequence and some plots (Will’s stories) seem to languish. It seems every half season NASHVILLE reboots without enough attention to its short history.

  14. Andrew Hass says:

    I do think their career are going to cause problems for Rayna and Deacon oing forward.Plus the reality of them been married might be very different than what they dreamed it would be like.

  15. Sarah j says:

    Why can’t they allow them to be happy? It looks like they are going to turn Deacon into a bad guy. Next weeks preview supposedly shows him pinching a guy!!! Urgh

  16. Baz says:

    What has happened to Nashville? It’s just a Big Fat Day time soap… This actors are too good to put them in this low rent script writing…Hey back to the music focus.

  17. Mona says:

    As I feared, my interest-elastic for this show has truly snapped. Drama at every step for the pure sake of it, just poor, poor writing, while they do have so much strength they could build upon with the multiple talents of their actors.
    Of course loved Rayna and Deacon getting married but who cares, really, when the storylines are like this. I feel like rewatching maybe two 10-sec. scenes even of what is supposed to be the big episode for my favourite characters, and the rest just annoyed me. Pity. Done. They don’t even get to make music together?!?! Whaaaaaaaat??!!
    Love Connie Britton, love how smart and true she stays in this interview as well. Will ff to Rayna bits in June because she’s great and looking fwd to her next moves.
    And Kimberly, thanks for representing us fans with those questions, will be reading your recaps as they’re always fun thanks to / in spite of the material!

  18. Sharon says:

    No advertising about coming back on. I missed it. Very disappointed. I live for this show.

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  20. Kate Petreny says:

    Why can’t they be happy and forge strength together? Why can’t deacon be there or Rayna? We as a society need role models. Nashville can easily lose its viewership if they take those headliners down. Every TV show approaching 4th season crashes. Don’t let Nashville crash. We are too intelligent to fall prey for the heartless.

  21. Kate Petreny says:

    Also the writers waffling and not true to character development. You are just creating drama without a strong storyline. They love each other and this is a chance in a lifetime of second chances. Don’t undo that. We have waited 4 seasons for Rayna and Deacon to be together. Let them build a music empire. Let them sing for godsakes! (You changed Luke’s character too in such a short time….poor writing). Look at what made this show a success in the beginning. You must have a balance of the “drama” with singing, Nashville-style. You are losing this fan and we drove down to Nashville because of the show.