TVGUIDE.COM: Happily ever afters were a dime a dozen in the Nashville series finale, and honestly, we wouldn’t have had it any other way!
In the final hour of the show, we got to see Deacon (Charles Esten) finally forgive his father, the girls embark on their own journeys as young artists, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) and Avery (Jonathan Jackson) reconcile, Scarlett (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar (Sam Palladio) embark on new chapters in their lives, and about a million other lose ends tied up in a nice bow. Perhaps most satisfying of all though, we got to see one final moment between Rayna (Connie Britton) and Deacon!
Rather than give us a dream sequence or some kind of message from beyond, Nashville decided to keep Rayna’s return grounded in reality, making it a flashback to her and Deacon’s wedding night. The memory of Rayna forgiving Deacon for all that had passed between them — no matter how hard — was exactly what Deacon needed in that moment before going on stage to forgive his father. It was a beautiful tribute not only to Rayna’s character, but the relationship between Rayna and Deacon that was such a staple of the show from the very beginning. We even got to see her perform one last time in the final number with the entire cast!
“Rayna got to do the impossible,” Connie Britton said of the finale. “She got to come back from the dead. I got to do the most wonderful, which was to go back to my Nashville family and celebrate all the hard work and love and care that went into that show. Being on the Ryman stage, reunited with six years of cast and crew, is a moment I’ll cherish and never forget. I am grateful.”
To get his thoughts on what it felt like to reunite on that stage one last time, TV Guide also spoke with Charles Esten, who breaks down that touching reunion, all those finale twists and turns and his tenure on the ABC-turned-CMT drama in this interview.