Liver Cancer Won't Take Rayna's 'Nashville' Love

Nashville itself was saved from an early death recently; Season 4 is officially ordered, so fans have another year of country music drama ahead of them. It's seemed for a few months now that the character who's arguably the show's main male lead might not be so lucky. Nashville hit Deacon with a liver cancer diagnosis, breaking everyone's hearts as the newly devoted dad to Maddie may have everything taken away from him if he doesn't win this battle. So could Deacon die on Nashville ? Deducing that answer isn't exactly easy.

The last moments of recent episode "Is The Better Part Over" brought a surprise return and some encouragement on this front. After ripping up the $1 million check that Rayna wrote her, Deacon's resentful sister Beverly overcame her grudge and now wants to help. Still, there is a heavy amount of risk involved in the procedure. Hopefully Deacon's doctor hasn't been too distracted by whatever is happening between The Exes to give this patient his full attention.

Donor aside, the show is throwing out some heavy context clues that suggest to me Deacon's survival. Here are six reasons why Deacon has to live to see another season of Nashville.

1. It's Too Obvious

To borrow a page from the Soap Opera Book Of Storytelling: you don't kill off the character who's been sick. You blindside the audience by taking out one who's completely healthy, with some kind of freak accident. Those are the rules.

2. Teddy's Fall From Grace Leaves A Gap

No judgement if you've been using Teddy's recent plotline as a snack break. Let me assure you, things are not looking good for Rayna's ex. This scandal will affect his relationship with his girls, leaving the father figure gig open and waiting for Deacon. Rayna, Deacon, and the girls are the family unit now. It would be especially cruel to take that from them.

3. Charles Esten Seems Pretty Content

Whether touring with the Nashville live show or tweeting support of Season 4, the actor behind Deacon Claybourne is still very much in it.

4. Rayna's World Is Revolving Around Deacon Right Now

That's my girl, and I do not want to see her get hurt again. Do you hear me? Protect Rayna Jaymes, at all costs. Just let this woman be happy for five solid seconds.

5. Because Fans Love Deacon Claybourne

Like I said above, Deacon is our male lead. He's the wounded heartthrob; our leading lady's soulmate; and beloved by so many fans. He plays a vital role in the primetime soap structure; Nashville would be crazy to write him off.

6. Ain't Nobody Got Time For A Mourning Period

Letting Deacon die would throw Rayna, Maddie, Juliette, Scarlett, and basically the entire series into a depression. After such a weighty year of story, Season 4 needs to rediscover Nashville's sense of fun. Leading with the aftermath of a tragic death isn't the best way to do that.

Images: Mark Levine/ABC; Giphy (6)