Spoiler alert, do not read the following article if you've yet to watch Nashville's season four premiere on Wednesday night. Everyone else, read on!
Deacon lives! The season four premiere of Nashville very quickly resolved the major cliffhanger from the season three finale: Whether Charles Esten's cancer-stricken country music star would make it through a liver transplant.
But unfortunately, it was his sister, Beverly (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson), who'd donated part of her liver to her little brother, who didn't wake from their surgery. She hadn't disclosed certain medications she'd been taking to their team of doctors, and while Deacon emerged alive and better than ever, Bev was stuck in a coma thanks to hidden complications beyond anyone's control.
"That's what people keep trying to tell him—that this wasn't your fault," Esten tells E! News of Deacon's reaction to his sister's hospitalization. "But he's not going to hear that. How do you hear that? All he knows is she was fine and then she did this for him and now she's not."
Now, because of his incredible guilt over the whole situation, it looks like he and Rayna won't be able to have their happily ever after any time soon.
"This is definitely a road block," the actor admits. "It finally looks like they're going to [get to be together], but just when it looks like it's going to be good is when this happens."
However, the couple has endured years of obstacles in the way of their happiness and they won't simply give up. "They've come through so much after so long," Esten says. "She's always been his rock, even when they weren't together, so now that they are together she's there for him and there are things that she can speak to him that no one else would be able to. If anybody can get through to Deacon, it's Rayna."
Esten continues, "What happens in the beginning of the season is always going to impact him and lead him into other situations as the season progresses that have their roots in his guilt and trying to work through what happened with him and Bev."
Look for the fallout from the operation to continue well into Nashville's fourth season, which airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.