Nashville really threw fans for a loop when we found out that Deacon Claybourne has liver cancer. We've been worrying about his fate for weeks now, and based on previews it appears that this Wednesday, the call will come in: he is headed into transplant surgery, but who will give Deacon a liver? This is a television drama, not real life, so it’s definitely going to be someone we know and possibly love on Nashville.
Now, Deacon’s not without his list of friends or enemies. Sure, there are plenty of people who love him (his daughter, Maddie; Rayna; Scarlett; Juliette, etc.), but more interesting are those who hate him. On the list specifically? Luke Wheeler and Teddy Conrad. Country superstar Luke is still reeling over the fact that Rayna left him at the almost-altar (canceling a wedding the day of is almost as bad as canceling at the wedding, Rayna) because she couldn’t discount the romantic feelings she still had for Deacon. Luke and Rayna (or Ruke, as they were dubbed on the show) planned a whole wedding, only for Deacon to be the catalyst to stop it all. That’s sure to rub a man the wrong way, don’t you think?
Teddy, on the other hand, has always likened Deacon to a deadbeat. Though Deacon is Maddie’s biological daughter, Teddy and Rayna raised Maddie as if she were daughter to both of them. Teddy stepped in when Rayna decided not to tell Deacon was his daughter when she was born, since he was severely struggling with alcoholism at the time, but now that Maddie’s paternity has been revealed to the whole world, the relationship between Teddy and Deacon is frosty at best. They’re both fighting for the affections of their daughter, when, duh, they really don’t have to, but that’s a story for another time.
Like I said, this is a drama, so Deacon’s liver sure isn’t coming from someone we love. A storyline where Scarlett somehow discovers that she is in fact a match would be over in two shakes. But an enemy of Deacon giving him a liver? Now there’s an interesting plotline. I know there's all the business of blood types and rejection and this and that, but let me live in a world where that doesn't matter for right now.
Both Luke and Teddy were humbled and saddened when Deacon told each of them that he was sick, but Luke looked like he got the wind taken out of him. Teddy is too busy being implicated in an FBI investigation to give up a liver. He’s got his own problems, you know? That’s why I think Luke will be Deacon’s liver donor.
Luke was shocked and upset by Deacon’s diagnosis, and because he still obviously loves Rayna (his songs like “If I Drink This Beer” and “Can’t Help My Heart” are indicative of that), Luke will sacrifice a part of himself in order to make her happy forever. Luke knows that Deacon and Rayna belong together, and this will be the final act in his letting go of their relationship. He also cares for Maddie and recognizes that Maddie losing her dad would be a horrible thing for her to bear.
What about Luke’s health? Well, he seems fit as a fiddle to me. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, living liver donations only need a portion of the healthy person’s liver in order to donate, and Luke is so rich that he would have the best medical care in the entire galaxy. What’s a little slice of liver to make the woman you love exorbitantly happy?
With the admission of Deacon’s ailment, Luke and Deacon turned a corner in their relationship. There’s no room for superfluous hate here. That’s the great thing about tragedy: It forces you to put everything in perspective. I think Luke will literally give himself to Deacon in order to make Rayna happy, and then he can close the book on their relationship for good.
Images: Mark Levine/ABC; Giphy (3)