The $402,367 Question on Nashville

The drama between Deacon and Rayna never ever ends. And it’s good drama, don’t get me wrong. In fact, their deep, deep love for each other — despite all the obstacles they’ve overcome — made for the best three minutes on television at the end of Wednesday’s (April 2) episode of Nashville.

But let’s talk about the other big drama.

Not the surprise appearance of Scarlett’s cruel and abusive mother Beverly (actress Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, who portrayed Gail Stanwyk in the 1985 Chevy Chase movie Fletch), which also makes her Deacon’s cruel and abusive sister. “Black Roses” doesn’t even come close to painting a picture of this bitch.

Not Teddy’s inability to “keep it in his pants.” (Rayna’s words, not mine.)

Not Avery’s backstage run-in with Charlie. Charlie said, very condescendingly, “Look, mate, you’re out of your league.” To which Avery said, “You can’t buy Juliette. You never could. It’s over, Charlie.”

Not the fact that Luke has been secretly crushing on Rayna since some state fair in 1992.

Not Scarlett’s terrifying onstage nervous breakdown, fueled by pills, whiskey and years of emotional and physical torment from the aforementioned mother.

Not even Maddie’s homemade music video making it on to The View, where they let the world know that she was Deacon and Rayna’s love child.

The kind of drama I’m talking about came from Gunnar. That look on his face when he opened his mail and saw a check for $402,367? That took my breath away.

It was a royalty check for two hit songs he’d written, and watching Gunnar look at it was my favorite scene of the night. Maybe of this whole season. Because his reaction seemed to echo what I hear from songwriters all the time — that they never got into this line of work to get rich. So when it does happen, especially in such a massive way, the reaction is just so moving.

After the initial shock wore off, he brainstormed a few ideas to celebrate — dinner in Paris, a new motorcycle and, ultimately, he deciding to use some of it to buy Zoey the recording session she needed to get her background singing career off the ground. The question is, and it’s kind of the $402,367 question, is whether Zoey will take her brand new demo recording to Los Angeles to find work.

What might make her stay is a marriage proposal. I just know that’s what was going through Gunnar’s mind when he parked outside Deacon’s old house, which is still for sale.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.