'Nashville' Recap: Daphne Competes, Scarlett, Sean Connect - Rolling Stone
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‘Nashville’ Recap: Daphne Competes, Scarlett and Sean Connect

In the latest episode of the CMT drama, Rayna’s youngest daughter pays tribute to her late mom in song

Maisy StellaMaisy Stella

Daphne Conrad (Maisy Stella) makes her bid for country stardom in this week's episode of CMT's musical drama 'Nashville.'

Jake Giles Netter/CMT

Nashville‘s latest installment limped along for a whole lot of blather, rinse, repeat, with one major exception – a musical highlight belonging to future superstar Maisy Stella, as her character Daphne entered the Nashville’s Next Country Star competition only to have Brad cajole her into writing and performing a song about her famous dead mom to win fans and influence viewers.

Pretending not to know that her mom was Rayna Jaymes, it’s no wonder Brad’s angry ex, Jessie, hires a shark of a lawyer who’s ready to pull out the big guns to take him down and prevent him from getting custody of their son. But lawyers don’t come cheap and Deacon, who exacerbated the whole custody mess by attacking Brad in the first place, offers to foot the legal bill. Jessie insists she doesn’t want to be rescued … which would be a lot more believable if she weren’t whimpering like a wounded puppy. Jessie can’t subject Jake to taking the witness stand and she and Deacon decide to give up. Or break up, or something like tha t… honestly, with all the ugly crying onscreen it was hard to know – or care – what the hell was happening.

Speaking of not caring, the listless Alannah-Gunnar-Avery storyline is shaping up to be a boring, cliché-riddled romantic triangle as all three of them are nearing maximum un-likability. If Alannah doesn’t take however much money Brad offered her to sign a solo deal, we might actually start to think she’s got some character, but we’re not holding our breath. Her character, thus far, just seems like a catalyst for both Gunnar and Avery to find themselves again, and she’ll probably disappear before all is said and done, much like Hallie did after helping save Juliette’s life. Come to think of it, that hasn’t turned out so well as Juliette is presumably still in Bolivia getting brainwashed or weaving baskets or some such thing.

The real joy this week was watching Scarlett take PTSD-stricken ex-soldier and talented singer-songwriter Sean to an open-mic night at a coffee shop. At the gig, Sean is close to zoning out but he beautifully performs a dreamy tune called “Bring Me an Angel,” a not-exactly-veiled song about his fairy godmother, Scarlett. Later, he kisses Scarlett and gets embarrassed when he catches her off-guard. He also confesses he was a weak, terrible soldier, sharing a harrowing, detailed story about watching a buddy die right in front of him during combat. But in a sweet moment of clarity, he tells Scarlett he’s going to keep singing – then questions why she’s not. We’ve been wondering the same thing and really hope that the remaining episodes of Nashville will offer more moments like theirs and more inspired music to counter the too-often-tepid drama.

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