Jake Giles Netter/CMT

Proceed with caution, Nashville fans


S5 E9
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February 23, 2017 at 10:04 PM EST

Miss Rayna Jaymes, queen of country music and all-around darling person, has been through a lot. Her father was a crazy man who had her mother killed when she was just a tween; her husband went to prison for embezzlement; she was stalked and held at knife point (just last week!); her eldest daughter tried to gain emancipation (and is generally the worst); and she’s been in love with an alcoholic most of her life. But if one person can survive all of that, surely a mere car wreck can’t cause her demise, right? She already survived one. Let’s find out on this week’s ominously titled episode, “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” (And check out Connie Britton’s thoughts on the hour here.)

After last week’s episode-ending mega-collision, Rayna is rushed to hospital with a fracture to the pelvis — there’s no time for autographs, people! Her life is hanging in the balance.

The rest of our characters are dotted around the city when they hear about the accident: Clay is driving Maddie home and talking about how awesome Rayna is when Deacon calls; Scarlett is still in Damien’s hotel bed when Gunnar calls; Daphne is singing in the choir at school when Scarlett shows up; and Juliette’s at home fretting over a possible (but unlikely) bone infection she’s convinced she has since she’s still feeling residual pain from the break.

Having witnessed the car wreck with Ray directly over the phone, Deacon is on the scene at the hospital in no time. The doctors inform him that his wife has a shattered pelvis and hip, but fortunately there’s no blood in her brain. They’re hoping to get her into surgery as soon as possible, but for now she’s on a morphine drip, so she’s comfortable — if a little loopy.

Deacon walks into the room and looks at Rayna like all his worst nightmares are coming true, but Ray just asks drily, “Can you believe this?” Classic Rayna: never the needless drama queen. She doesn’t remember the crash so much, but she does remember the knife incident with her stalker. But, not one to dwell on the negative, she’s already moved on to telling Deacon that they need to write another song together for their album, and it should be a happy one – after all, it’s not all been pain and gloom in their lives, and they need to write the beautiful parts of their story, too.

Daphne and Maddie show up not long after, but Maddie is barely through the door before she’s overcome by a panic attack and has to run out to the bathroom. Rayna is wheeled out to surgery, cracking jokes when the doctor tells her it’s showtime — “I didn’t even get a chance to warm up.”

In the bathroom, Maddie is convinced this is all her fault, that her mom’s brush with death is punishment for all the trouble she’s caused. I’m going to refrain from commenting on Maddie’s ability to make any situation about herself considering the serious tone of this episode, but just know that I thought about it. Scarlett talks her down and tells her to get some air. Maddie walks to the hand drier and turns it on her face – pretty sure that’s not what Scar meant by air.

While Rayna is in a four-hour surgery, an appropriately concerned Daphne refuses to leave the hospital. Maddie heads off to go drive around with Clay. The young couple wander to the same bridge Deacon and Ray hung out on a few episodes back, and Maddie describes her panic attack to Clay, who can relate, having seen his mom go through similar situations. He’s opening up more about his mother when Maddie gets a text saying her mom’s out of surgery and she should just go home for the night.

They head back to Clay’s place, and Maddie resumes talking about what a hard time she gave her mom. She confesses that she’s lied, run away, and taken her mom to court, and yet her mom has always been there for her. She knows she’s been selfish, but she doesn’t know what she’d do if anything ever happened to her mother. Please don’t let it be too late for Maddie to become a bearable human being.

MORE: Rayna wants a cheeseburger

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Legendary music icon Rayna Jaymes struggles to maintain her place in the spotlight while dealing with the ambitious rising pop vixen Juliette Barnes.
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