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While many of us are still coping with the untimely passing of our favorite “Nashville” character, Rayna James, we’re also eager to see how and if life in the make-believe Music City can continue. Surely the absence of the leading lady and the true heartbeat of the show will continue through season five. Her death was certainly felt loud, clear and with many tears in the mid-season finale.

Time doesn’t stand still on television soaps, though. In fact, it seems like it moves in fast forward. When faux network television shows began to seek Maddie out to appear for interviews, Deacon, Daphne and Scarlet all felt it was too soon, but tenacious Juliet was ready to pounce. Fortunately, like most teenagers who are a combination of youthful rebellion and inexplicable maturity, Maddie realizes she’s not ready to re-enter the real world and runs home to Deacon crying.


RELATED: “Nashville” tore our hearts out and broke them into a million pieces

Poor Deacon. He’s trying to recover or even piece together something that resembles a normal life through his grief, but it isn’t easy. And when he cries, we cry. Then Daphne and Maddie cry. Dear lord, will the tears ever stop? The beautiful thing is, as promised, Rayna makes some unexpected appearances in the form of flashback videos during the show, which is part of what keeps Deacon’s broken heart gaping open.

But what we’re also learning is that the storylines that are now building in Rayna’s absence are interesting and complex, yet also incredibly human and real. And “Nashville” will be adding two new characters to the cast played by Rachel Bilson (“The O.C.” and “Hart of Dixie”) and Kaitlin Doubleday (“Empire”).

RELATED: We’ve finally got some answers on why this “Nashville” character had to die

And while we’ll never ever fully recover from Rayna’s death, we also care enough about her family to tune in next week to see how Deacon, Maddie and Daphne are holding up and.. spoiler alert… how Scarlett’s pregnancy is progressing.

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