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Connie Britton, Charles Esten, Nashville

ABC/Mark Levine

On edge about the major cliffhanger Nashville left us to struggle with over the summer—namely, DID DEACON LIVE OR NOT?! Star Charles Esten, who plays your favorite recovering alcoholic country star, tells E! News that you won't have to wait much longer to learn the answer.

"They don't mess around. You find out rather quickly in the episode how it resolves and what happens," he says of tonight's season four premiere. "We already made you wait long enough so we're not going to make anybody wait any longer."

Many fans were able to tide themselves over until the new season began with the show's summer tour, which saw Esten team up with castmates Clare Bowen (Scarlett), Chris Carmack (Will), Aubrey Peeples (Layla), and Lennon and Maisy Stella (Maddie and Daphne).

Connie Britton, Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Maisy Stella, Lennon Stella, Nashville

ABC/Mark Levine

Esten tells us that there's no feeling like being able to take the stage in front of the show's passionate fans. "I have no words for how cool it is. It is literally the best thing," he gushes. "So many actors on TV shows that have a passionate following like we do can interact with fans through social media in ways that you [couldn't before], but there's no interaction like walking on stage in a theater that's full of Nashies."

He continues, "To get to feel all that love right there, we're very, very lucky to get to do that. And to get to play our own music, too, so they also get to know Chip and Clare and Sam [Palladio] and Chris Carmack—so many of us are so fortunate to get to go out and continue that relationship with this fanbase on another level."

Now that the show is returning, you might want to crank up the soundtrack's most maudlin songs, because there is the potential perhaps Deacon didn't survive the liver transplant he was about to undergo ( thanks to his reluctant donor sister). "[The premiere] has answers and heartbreak," Esten teases. "Wine, Kleenexes, a close friend—you'll want all of that."

Nashville airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.