Nashville Departs with the Glorious Return of a Superstar

Umm...About Tonight.

SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t seen the series finale of Nashville, stop reading this article and don’t start back until you completed the episode and cried your eyeballs out.

Seriously, this is your final warning.

Okay, who else is absolutely wrought with all the feelings right now?! Firstly, kudos to Callie Khouri and the entire cast and crew for weaving six seasons of characters, storylines and magical moments into the perfect ending filled with so much love and light.

Last night saw the restoration of harmony and a return to peace for so many of our favorites, but can we just talk about the biggest “return” of them all?

Rayna Jaymes.

Good grief, Connie Britton, we’ve missed you and just like Deacon Claybourne, we were bawling our eyes out when you appeared in that doorway, too.

Mark Levine/CMT

The spirit of Rayna made a triumphant return last night to impart one final moment of wisdom, clarity, and love to Deacon before his big show at the Ryman Auditorium. I mean, you honestly didn’t think she wouldn’t be there in spirit for this one, did you?

“Is this real?” Deacon uttered as we all nearly simultaneous dropped our wine glasses at home.

It was almost too much for our hearts, and even for the cast the day Britton returned to film that glorious scene and the final group singalong at the end, which featured the entire cast and crew.

Lennon Stella told that is was absolutely magical having Connie and all the previous cast members return for those moments.

Mark Levine/CMT

“That last day was so wonderful because we were all back together. Everyone who has ever been on the show came in for this scene. It was so amazing. Having Connie back—no one had seen her since she left the show. It was such a sweet day having everyone there. She’s just the best. It wouldn’t have been the same if she hadn’t been there.”

Her sister Maisy, said it was like a big reunion.

“She’s just so amazing. We’ve kept in touch but she lives in L.A., so it was so good to see her.”

For the younger Stella, the final day was particularly hard because so much of her life has been spent on the set. It was hard to say goodbye to her home away from home.

“I remember the sound—the last scene I filmed was the crying scene and that was the easiest crying scene I ever filmed in my life, I could just cry so easily,” she told with a laugh.

Mark Levine/CMT

“But I remember, whenever I would go to cry, I would just close my eyes and listen to the sound of the set, you know, the clapping for calling the cameras—everything would make me so sad listening to my surroundings. It was really hard, but we had a really long run.”

We know this incredibly close-knit cast is going to miss each other so much, almost as much as we’ll miss tuning in each week to see them.

Mark Levine/CMT
Mark Levine/CMT

But what a glorious send-off. Connie, it was good to see you, girl.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.