"Nashville" fans received a shock this week when one of their favorite characters was killed off. Connie Britton decided to say goodbye to the show, and it meant that something had to happen to Rayna James. This week saw Rayna die after being involved in a car crash -- just minutes before escaping her stalker at knife point. While some TV shows would usually bring characters back -- "The Vampire Diaries" and "Supernatural" are just two that keep doing that -- "Nashville" certainly won't.

Why did Rayna James have to die?

Fans had only just got "Nashville" back after a fight.

ABC had decided to cancel the show last season, but CMT fought to move it to their network. It's one of a few shows that have had a saving grace after cancellation, as many disappear into the void of forgotten shows. However, just days after CMT picked it up, Connie Britton shared that it was time for her to move on. While she loved the show, she just wanted to do something different with her life.

There was nobody at the show HQ that was going to force her to stay on. Considering it would be a new contract, there was plenty of space for negotiating for all involved. Showrunner Marshall Herskovitz made a promise that he would find a way to write out the character in a way that was perfect for the show.

Rayna James wouldn't just leave Nashville

While there were signs that Rayna was going to pack it all up and leave, that wouldn't have been true to her character. Nobody else connected to the character wanted to leave, and Rayna wouldn't just leave her daughters behind. The only way to write Rayna out was to kill her off. Herskovitz didn't want to kill off the character, but there wasn't another option.

While Britton was initially looking to leave right away, she did agree that waiting for half a season would be better. It would give fans closure for the character and would allow for a bigger storyline for the second half of "Nashville" season 5. Unfortunately, it also meant that fans would get a major depressive shock for the midseason finale.