When C.M.T picked up Nashville Season 5 after ABC’s cancellation, fans were ecstatic. Now it’s time for reality to set in, as the network and new showrunners develop the storylines for the season. It does involve the departure of two main characters, one of which was one of the favorites on the show.
While the goodbye for one will likely be sad, Nashville can honestly survive without both characters. They’ve not exactly been integral to the storyline due to previous events in the show. However, there is hope that the two characters will be written out legitimately, rather than suddenly just not showing up.
The first character to come out is Layla Grant, who was brought in as a recurring character in Nashville Season 2, and became a season regular in Season 4, as Cinema Blend reports. Her storyline started with some dislike between Juliette and herself, and has continued that way since the death of Layla’s boyfriend Jeff. It didn’t take long for Colt Wheeler to tell Layla what happened on the roof top the night that Jeff died.
Admittedly, her storylines have seemed forced over the last year, and she isn’t one of the most likable characters on the show. Layla isn’t integral to the Nashville Season 5 storyline, especially now that everyone knows that Juliette was trying to kill herself the night that Jeff died.
The second character to leave will be Luke Wheeler, who is another character who doesn’t have an integral storyline. He was introduced in Season 2 as a recurring character, and become a series regular from Season 3. While he initially got engaged to Rayna, the wedding was called off and Luke sort of lost his way.
Nashville Season 4 showed him struggling to deal with Will Lexington’s sexuality, but he later realized the view he should have had all along. By the end of the season, he focused on building Will’s career again.
It’s unclear how the two characters will be taken out of the show, or whether they will both get some scenes in the first episode of Nashville Season 5. There is hope that they will both get some goodbyes, as many fans won’t like seeing storylines just suddenly dropped.
The most important point to take from this news is that Juliette Barnes will survive this plane storyline. Whether the plane has crashed or not is unknown, but Hayden Panettiere has been back filming for the new season.
Panettiere had to take a step back from Nashville in Season 4 after giving birth to her daughter. She suffered from postnatal depression in real life, and needed to get help dealing with that. The showrunners decided to write that storyline into the season, explaining Juliette’s absence from the show. It was an intriguing and dramatic storyline that spoke volumes to many of the fans watching. It’s a very real problem that is often left avoided on shows like Nashville.
Connie Britton will also return as Rayna. However, this has already been confirmed as Britton’s last year on the show, so there are now questions over how her character’s exit will be handled. Is it possible that Rayna will be killed off at the end, or is she going to decide to step out of the country music scene after all these years?
Season 4 was a difficult year for the character. Rayna had to deal with her elder daughter Maddie wanting to gain independence from her parents to go for the music contracts being offered to her. The independence was granted, but Rayna and Deacon managed to win their daughter back.
It’s unclear what the exit of Layla and Luke will mean for other characters, as they do all have storylines entwined within them. The new trailer does show that Rayna, Juliette, Deacon, Scarlet, Will, Gunner, Avery, and Maddie will at least return. We won’t find out until Nashville Season 5 premieres on January 5, 2017 on C.M.T.
[Featured Image by ABC]