Well that was both expected and unexpected, and it was also completely devastating.
Nashville just killed Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton). She spent the entire episode in a hospital bed after her car crash last week, and at first it seems like things were going to be OK. She had a shattered pelvis and a few other injuries, but no bleeding in her brain or anything like that.
Then, as one daughter sang for her and the other was rushing to get back to the hospital, Rayna crashed, and she never fully recovered. Apparently her organs were failing, and pretty soon everyone knew that Rayna would most likely not survive. Everyone had a moment to say goodbye, including Maddie (Lennon Stella), who made it back just in time.
Even Juliette (Hayden Panetierre) stopped by and helped break some hearts. "All I ever wanted was for you to be proud of me," she whispered to the dying Rayna.
And unless you're made of stone, you were probably also crying as Maddie, Daphne (Maisie Stella), and Deacon (Charles Esten) sang to Rayna, just before she flatlined.
It was, in a word, awful.
Rumors have been circulating for months that Britton wouldn't stay on the show for long. After the show moved to CMT following cancellation by ABC, Britton only signed on for 10 out of the 22 episodes.
Britton told TVLine that it was her decision to leave, saying, "It was something that had been percolating over time, and there were lots of different reasons behind it. But my priority was really making sure that the timing was right. My priority has always been Nashville."
She also headed to Instagram immediately after the episode aired on the east coast to say a few thank yous.
Thank you Rayna Jaymes. For your magic and your dignity. And thank you to all the creators of Rayna Jaymes, for there were many. Callie Khouri, who gave her life. Deacon, Maddie, Daphne, who shaped her as her family. Teddy, Tandy, Lamar too. Juliette, Scarlett, Bucky and the ones who crafted her into a business woman. Along with countless other compatriots and combatants. And then of course the crew of ?Nashville" who brought her to life, every crew member in every department who made Rayna live each week. And then there?s the music. T Bone, Buddy, Tim, Frankie and all the brilliant songwriters who gave Rayna a voice. There was no music, and no Rayna, without you. But finally and most importantly, the fans. You made Rayna. You supported her and loved her and gave her inspiration just as she was able to inspire you. You were the energy source, the power behind her heart and soul and life. Rayna lived for you. And, from the depths of my heart, I thank you, for her and for me. It has been an honor to be a part of that creation. And as I know she would want it, the show must, and will go on. Long live Rayna Jaymes. #RIPRayna #NashvilleCMT
Thank you Rayna Jaymes," she wrote, "For your magic and your dignity. And thank you to all the creators of Rayna Jaymes, for there were many."
After thanking writers, producers, songwriters, and fans, Britton finished out with a few final words on the character she played for four and a half seasons.
"It has been an honor to be a part of that creation. And as I know she would want it, the show must, and will go on. Long live Rayna Jaymes."
Did you see this coming? Are you inconsolable? Sound off in the comments!
Nashville airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CMT.