On this episode of Nashville, titled "Beneath Still Waters," Gunnar tries to fight his attraction to Alannah, Scarlett learns more about Sean and Deacon and Jessie deal with an angry Daphne.
Alannah's performance with Gunnar, Avery (he's dealing with Juliette's absence but will only say about how he's pissed at the way she left) and Will was a big hit which pleases Avery and Gunnar but not Will. Twitter is blowing up with high praise for the new back-up singer, but Will is more about three men minus the little lady. But his objections seem to have less to do with Alannah and more to do with his increasingly bad mood thanks to his steroid usage.
Making Sweet Music Together
Gunnar approaches Alannah about taking on a bigger role in the group, but she's worried if she devotes too much time to the band, she'll lose her focus which is on singing and songwriting. Gunnar tries to convince Alannah that she won't have to, and Alannah points out that he doesn't even know her music. So, she invites him over to listen to a few of her songs.
Misery Loves Company
Jessie and Deacon plan a family outing to an art fair, and neither Daphne or Jake are particularly happy to be there. Daphne doesn't even try to fake being polite and wants to leave, but Deacon isn't about to let her get away with the sullen-teen behavior, even though Jessie is willing to put up with anything to get Daphne to like her.
Scarlett is still working at the equine therapy center, and she's keeping an eye on Sean, the director of the program's nephew. She notices him through a window talking to a woman who's holding a child and crying. She asks his aunt, Dell, about it, and she says Sean had a ton of potential as a musician, but his time in the military broke him. The woman is Sean's wife, Angela (Kathryn Kelly). The two were high-school sweethearts, but Sean's aunt isn't sure how much longer Angela is going to hang in there.
Gunnar and Alannah Get Closer
Will sees Gunnar getting ready to go to Alannah's and suspects Gunnar's interest in the singer is more than professional. Gunnar insists he's just going to check out her music to see if it suits their band's style, and Will reminds Gunnar of what happened the last time he slept with a band member. (Gunnar does have a pattern of mixing business and pleasure which always ends badly.)
Alannah plays Gunnar a few songs, and he's impressed. Alannah talks about her family. Her mother who was big into country music gave her daughter the guitar. Her dad wasn't a fan, calling it "hillbilly funeral music." Whenever Alannah's dad left for work, her mom would play all of her favorites: Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris and Joan Baez. Alannah's mom had a thing for strong, resilient women, which is probably why nothing changed when her husband left for good. She played her records and took care of her daughter, making sure Alannah had everything she needed. Alannah thinks those singers reminded her mom that she wasn't alone. Heartache is just another rite of passage.
Alannah questions what's next, and it's obvious Gunnar is equal parts excited and terrified that she's talking about them, but she means with the band. Gunnar is eager to play Avery and Will a few of her songs to see if there's a way to fit them in. There's chemistry between the two, but Gunnar makes an excuse to leave. He mutters to himself to "be smart" over and over on the way to his car, but he looks back and catches sight of the curtain falling back into place, a sign that Alannah isn't happy to see him go. This is all the encouragement Gunnar needs to turn right back around and head back.
Alannah is all about hooking up, and Gunnar makes a half-hearted effort to explain why it would be a terrible idea. But Alannah doesn't think it has to be all that complicated. Gunnar also explains he just got out of a relationship, and he's not ready for anything serious. Alannah makes it clear she's not looking to settle down, it's just sex.
Daphne Acts Out
Deacon and Jessie meet for dinner, and Deacon can't get over the way Daphne treated Jessie. Daphne barely spoke two words to Jessie, and when she did talk, she was rude as hell. Jessie defends Daphne, saying it's no big deal. Daphne is a teenager. Jessie admits that she noticed the frostiness, but it didn't upset her or anything. Deacon is determined to talk to Daphne before things get worse. Jessie thinks this is a bad idea because the end result will be Daphne hating her more. Deacon doesn't think Daphne hates Jessie, but Jessie says she would if she were in Daphne's place.
Deacon comes home from his date and has to deal with a sullen Daphne. He calls her out for her treatment of Jessie. He's determined to figure stuff out. Daphne doesn't understand why she has to be dragged along on their dates, and Deacon explains he wanted her to give her a chance to get to know Jessie better. He's sure that if Daphne would give Jessie a chance, she'd like her. Daphne wonders why it's so important to Deacon whether she likes Jessie or not. Deacon points out that Jessie is just as important to him as is Daphne is, and he doesn't want to feel like he's hiding some part of his life from her.
Daphne questions when people are going to start caring about her life. Maddie has Jonah, Deacon has Jessie, and Daphne's always left feeling like the third wheel. All she wants is to be left alone and can't figure out why Deacon can't just understand that.
Daphne complains to Maddie about Deacon's determination to figure out the Jessie situation, and Maddie says the whole thing reminds her of when Rayna dated Luke. Daphne doesn't agree with the comparison. Daphne has no idea what Deacon sees in Jessie. Maddie thinks Jessie is sweet and makes their dad happy, but Daphne isn't convinced that's true. Maddie says they don't have to love Jessie; they don't even have to like her. Jessie's part of Deacon's life. Daphne questions why she has to be dragged along like some little kid, and Maddie promises her that won't go on for much longer.
Scarlett Takes an Interest in Sean
Scarlett does some research on PTSD and then sneaks a peek at Sean's Facebook page. There's a clip of him performing, and he's just as talented as his aunt described him to be. He's playing at his graduation with a guy named Billy.
Two of the girls in the therapy program recognize Scarlett and want her to sing for them. Try as she might to leave music behind, Scarlett can't seem to break free. But she relents, and Sean can't help but listen since he's standing just a few feet away in the barn. Scarlett invites Sean to join them in a song, but he can't get away fast enough.
The Worst Kept Secret
Gunnar has some morning after regrets, but Alannah reassures him that all they're doing is having some fun. It doesn't have to get messy. They agree to keep their hookup a secret from Will and Avery.
At rehearsal, everybody is digging the sound except for Will. Gunnar also does a terrible job hiding the fact that something is going on between him and Alannah. She dips out for a drink, and Avery and Will confront Gunnar about his poor judgment. Avery thinks this might even be a new record for Gunnar. Avery reminds Will that you just don't sleep with bandmates, Rule 101. Gunnar swears it's no big deal, totally casual. But Will knows it's never casual for Gunnar.
Alannah Gets an Offer and Scarlett Tries to Help Sean
Jessie, Deacon and Scarlett all turn out to support Gunnar, Avery and Will who finally have a name for the band, The Last Highways. Also in the crowd is Jessie's despicable ex, Brad Maitland. He's apparently heard about the guys and is interested in staking a claim. Deacon reminds Brad that Highway 65 has first dibs.
Scarlett can't help but notice how cozy Gunnar and Alannah are together on stage, and she's bothered enough by it to leave. Alannah also catches Brad's eye, and he tells her that a woman with her talent shouldn't be surrounding herself with boys. He slips her his card and slithers off. But Deacon witnesses the interaction.
While sitting in a diner, Scarlett notices Sean outside, and he appears to be drunk. She takes off after him down the street and tracks him down in a dark alley. He wants to know why Scarlett is following him, and she clarifies she saw him and just wants to make sure he's okay. He's definitely wasted, and Scarlett offers her help, but he accuses her of taking pity on him.
Sean remarks how beautiful Scarlett's voice is, and how it's the prettiest thing he's heard in a long time. Scarlett comments how much music must mean to him and asks if he misses it, but Sean changes the subject. He tells Scarlett she shouldn't be out alone late at night, and it's her turn to say she doesn't need his pity. This lightens the mood.
Scarlett lets Sean crash at her place. He wants to how she knows music is important to him, and she confesses that she looked him up online out of curiosity. She wants to show him the video footage, but Sean doesn't want to see it, and it's obvious that Billy is a sore spot. Sean reveals Billy died. They joined the military together, and Sean watched his friend get his jaw shot off. Scarlett realizes she screwed up, and tries to apologize, and Sean lets her know that every time she brings up his music, it's like she's rubbing his face in it.
Sean wants to leave, but Scarlett pleads with him to stay. She promises to go in her room and stay out of his way. But being Scarlett, she can't help but ask Sean who it's helping that he's given up what he loves.
Scarlett and Sean arrive at the equine center. Sean immediately takes off, leaving Scarlett to deal with Dell. Scarlett knows their showing up together looks bad but explains she found him drunk downtown, and since he was in no condition to drive and it was real cold, she took him home with her. Dell questions if anything else happened, and Scarlett tells her about the video and Billy. Dell suggests that the next time Scarlett wants to help, she's better off bringing him back to the ranch.
Scarlett is frustrated. She tells Dell that whenever she tries to do the right thing, it blows up in her face. Dell gives Scarlett a pep talk reassuring her that nobody is perfect, and some stuff about cracked bells and light shining through. What's important is that they hear Sean singing.
Daphne and Jessie Clear the Air
Deacon has the worst idea ever. He decides to arrange a dinner with Jessie, Jake and Daphne. He thinks it's the perfect opportunity to clear the air. Daphne wants to know why Maddie isn't included, and Deacon says this doesn't have anything to do with Maddie. Daphne abruptly storms off. Jessie wants to be the one to talk to Daphne because the problem isn't Deacon, it's her.
Jessie admits to Daphne that she's scared. She sees so much of Rayna in Daphne; she's beautiful and talented, and Jessie really wants to get to know her better but worries she's been going about things all wrong. Jessie doesn't want to screw things up and let everyone down. Jessie knows that Daphne is Deacon's entire world, and Jessie feels like she's messing that up. She delivers the inevitable "I'm not trying to replace your mother" line. Jessie also wants Daphne to know she's not trying to take Deacon away. She believes he's got enough room in his heart for all of them and Rayna. By the end of the chat, both Daphne and Jessie are in tears. All Jessie wants is to be Daphne's friend if that's possible. Daphne apologizes, so maybe she'll lighten up moving forward.
Will Brad poach Alannah? Is a romance with Sean in Scarlett's future? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
(Image courtesy of CMT)