'Nashville' Recap: Scarlett Helps Show's New Character Cope - Rolling Stone
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‘Nashville’ Recap: Scarlett Helps New Character Cope, Daphne and Jessie Talk It Out

Latest episode of the CMT/Hulu drama offers up a ‘Wild Kingdom’-worthy bunch of creatures, insects and beasts

Clare Bowen

Scarlett (Clare Bowen) communes with horses and helps a war veteran cope with PTSD on this week's episode of 'Nashville.'

Jake Giles Netter/CMT

Nashville continues to saunter toward the series-ending finish line with an hour that could have been confused with an episode of the classic nature series, Wild Kingdom. While the whole thing was pretty light on drama, there were some cool musical moments (thanks, new character Alannah!) and yet another chance to start warming up to Jessie as she continues to assert her position – especially with Daphne – that she’s not trying to take Rayna’s place as her mother. To be honest, there’s not even a whisper of hope that could ever happen, but Daphne still needs reassurance as she has only seen Jessie as an annoying interloper whose mere presence has been relentlessly vexing and irritating not only to us but also apparently to Jessie herself, who shares her myriad insecurities with Daphne in a cringe-inducing moment that only makes us wonder why Deacon is so enamored of her.

When Deacon, Jessie, Jake and Daphne sit down to dinner together the room fills with crickets. Not literally, but the deafening silence as the four of them try to either think of something to talk about or of some way of escaping this torture chamber gets more brutal by the second, until Daphne, bless her, breaks the ice with the delightfully nauseating detail of what it’s like to dissect a frog in biology class. Changing the subject from frogs to the giant elephant in the room, before the kitchen turns into the pie-eating-contest scene from Stand by Me, Deacon attempts to play peacemaker but doesn’t get far before Daphne escapes to her room and Jessie offers to have a talk with her. “Oh, boy,” Jake muses, as he takes cover under the table.

Jessie unloads a raft of confessions on Daphne, admitting that, “I’m scared all the time,” “I never felt like I was worth anything,” “I wasn’t cool, smart, talented,” and instead of thinking, “Aw, isn’t that sweet, she’s human,” our first reaction is that she could use some intense therapy and should run, not walk, to join Darius’s creepy cult so we can have Juliette – who is nowhere to be found in the episode – back before it’s too late. That, unfortunately, doesn’t happen, and, of course, Daphne and Jessie come to a tearful understanding. We’re still hoping, however, that Daphne has a bag of miscellaneous frog parts hidden in her bedroom somewhere for the next time Jessie pisses her off.

Meanwhile, Will is approaching some kind of “Hulk smash” moment as he grumbles about losing his “vitamins” (also known as steroids) and hasn’t warmed to the idea of Alannah joining the Will-Avery-Gunnar trio, even though social media is blowing up with raves for the group’s newest member. Alannah admittedly has a killer voice, but as it turns out, she is just as reluctant to join them on a permanent basis. But before you can say “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young” she and Gunnar have formed a new duo called the Beast With Two Backs. They wisely decide to keep their tryst a secret, but Gunnar, who has the attention span of a cricket (and the IQ of a cricket bat), blabs it about to his band mates. At the group’s performance later, Jessie’s viperous ex Brad slithers in to sleaze up the joint by telling Alannah she doesn’t need Will or Gunnar and can do just fine on her own as a solo artist. It’s at this point that we realize Jessie isn’t all bad and even we don’t think she deserved to be treated the way Brad treated her. The jury’s still out on Alannah, but so far she’s proven herself to be extremely musically talented. Whether she’s destined to break Gunnar’s heart remains to be seen, but there definitely seems to be more brewing in that fiery red head of hers.

Scarlett continues to volunteer at the equine therapy center and with her keen precision and eye for troubled souls in need of rescue, spots a young man out the window. The horse trainer tells her that Sean (played by cast newcomer Jake Etheridge) could have been next John Mayer but is instead dealing with post-war PTSD. When Scarlett looks him up on Facebook, she watches a video in which he sings with another young man and she’s impressed, convinced that music will be the cure for what ails him. Later she encounters him out on the street and he’s drunk. He opens up to her about being a war veteran and how his singing partner on the clip that she saw was killed in Afghanistan, which is why he stopped playing music. “Who does it help to give up what you love,” she asks him. Like Scarlett would with any stray creature in distress, she takes him home with her, which, of course, doesn’t go all that well. But, the next day, she finds him singing and playing guitar in the horse barn. Yeah, we knew where this was headed all along, but it was still a sweet, tear-tugging moment to end on. 

Stay tuned next time, when all the creatures from this week’s episode team up to re-enact George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

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