Connie Britton and Charles Esten Connie Britton and Charles Esten

Are Rayna and Deacon over for good on ABC's Nashville?

After Luke Wheeler (Will Chase) confessed his love for Rayna (Connie Britton) in last week's episode — and now that he's set to (mild spoiler alert) make an even bolder statement in the finale — will she push her feelings for Deacon (Charles Esten) aside for good?

"The whole Deacon and Rayna thing came from the mind and heart of [creator] Callie Khouri, and Callie Khouri wrote and directed our final episode," Esten tells "So, that should tell you that Callie will not leave that stone unturned. That is one of the things she loves to explore the most, is Deacon and Rayna. She would not leave you without some amazing storyline there."

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But it remains to be seen whether Deacon-Rayna 'shippers will be satisfied with the direction the storyline takes. Luke is certainly not one to go down without a fight. And, according to Chase, while Luke knows Deacon will always occupy a special place in Rayna's heart, he's ready and willing to be a partner to Rayna in all the ways her former flame has historically fallen short.

"All bets are off now," Chase says of the final episode. "Deacon could have been that, a man who stands up for his family and all that stuff, and not been a drunk. And I think the sad part for Rayna is that she wished Deacon was. They could have had a life. ... Of course, the great thing is that Deacon is now finally taking complete control — which is why all this is going to come to a head, because she's going to see him for that, and go, 'Oh, no.' I've got this great thing, I've got this great thing."

So, who will she choose? Chase, naturally, is on Team Luke. "The thing that I like about Luke, and I think Rayna likes about Luke, is he's got his kids. He had a life with someone else. He's a grown-up," Chase notes. "Besides being a superstar, he is this normal guy who rides a tractor and owns a ranch and does all these things. He's kind of stable ... whereas Deacon is volatile. We don't know what he's going to be."

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For his part, Esten describes Season 2 as "the remaking, the redemption of Deacon," thanks in large part to his new role as a father to Rayna's daughter Maddie (Lennon Stella). Regardless of how things turn out romantically for him and Rayna, it's clear that Deacon won't be going anywhere. And with the recent news that Nashville was renewed for a third season at ABC, Esten says he's looking forward to exploring a different father-daughter dynamic when the show returns.

"It's fine to be the cool dad for awhile, but what happens when we come through that and you're actually parenting?" Esten says. "If you're doing a good job, you're not just the cool dad. You've got to be the uncool dad sometimes. ... There's a whole lot of parents that just love being loved and like being liked. And it's the great ones that sort of know when to cross the line over into not being liked a little bit."

Who do you think Rayna should end up with — Luke, Deacon or neither one? Sound off below!

Nashville's Season 2 finale airs Wednesday at 10/9c on ABC. Watch clips from previous episodes here.

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