Will has a health scare while Brad is just the worst
Credit: CMT
S6 E8
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Things start out pretty nicely for Deacon and Jessie in this week’s episode of Nashville as they snuggle in bed together, but then pretty much everything goes sharply downhill. Let’s just get into it, y’all.

An overall-clad Scarlett and Sean are moving around bales of hay and making conversation about music. She invites him to Deacon’s show later that night because she thinks he’s changed his mind about being done with music after that little impromptu guitar sesh a couple of episodes back. But she pushes a little too hard for him to attend and he walks away annoyed, meaning his all-seeing aunt is mad at Scar once again for meddling. Sean has agoraphobia, you see, and being in a crowded club would be traumatizing for him.

But apparently Sean has a change of heart when he shows up at Scar’s place the next day with a clean blanket (the one he borrowed when he slept on her couch; it’s not just a weird gift) and says he might come along to the gig anyway — only it was last night, so he can’t. Scar invites him to a writing room instead, to which he shows up drunk and is clearly anxious when people start cheering. Sean walks out, and when Scarlett follows, he tells her to leave him alone.

Scarlett tries to comfort Sean by telling him she can’t know what he’s been through but she knows how it feels to have the world close in on her. He wants to make it all go away and be like all the normal people, but he thinks he’s out of options. Scar tells him that just because everyone looks okay, it doesn’t mean they are; they all have stuff going on they can’t control, and it’s hard to be a person. Amen.

Some of what she says seems to get through to him since he asks her to meet him at the barn the next day. He plays her a song, and she cries and tells him it was beautiful and that other people will want to hear it. He doesn’t think he can do that, but she doesn’t think he has a choice in the matter. Um, didn’t Deacon tell Scarlett the same thing recently and she’s just chilling in some stables now? Pot, kettle, say hello.

To get back to the Deacon drama, he comes across Daphne putting together an EP of her music and tells her she’s too young. Daphne responds by accusing him of ageism. He advises her to use this time to figure out who she is as an artist because there are going to be people who will try to decide for her. She looks like she thinks about it, but she’s totally just going to apply to be on Brad’s competition, Nashville’s Next Country Star, anyway. Even after Deacon pointedly sings a song about good things coming to those to wait, Daphne still signs up and heads off to the auditions the next day. She performs an original song on the piano about being held down, and Brad watches smugly, excited to have ensnared Rayna Jaymes’ kid.

Not content with controlling one kid’s life, Brad is also intent on ruining his son’s. Jake informs Jessie that his dad is enrolling him in boarding school against his will. They’re both distraught, and Jessie doesn’t think there’s anything she can do to stop it, having limited legal power in the situation. She goes to see Brad regardless, and he informs her it was Jake’s rap performance that made him think his son needed more direction. He tells Jessie she’s holding him back, and despite her protests that she won’t let him do this, he tells her Jake starts next semester. In response, Jessie tells him she despises him. He tells her she looks lovely. Creep.

Later, Deacon is relaying the messy situation to Maddie and Daphne, and his younger daughter seems to feel guilty enough that she tells them about auditioning for Brad’s show. Deacon is annoyed and tries to reiterate that Daphne doesn’t need that show to start her career. Maddie tries to help too, but Daph just walks out. Ever the doting father, Deacon comes to her later and apologizes. He’s worried that Daphne will have no say and that Brad will exploit her because of who she is. But she wants to do it her way and tells him performing at the audition was the first time she’d felt happy since her mom died. Deacon can’t argue with that, so they hug it out, both crying, and Deacon relents. NOOOO. I don’t like it at all. The next day Daphne’s one of the three artists asked back for the second round of auditions at Nashville’s Got Talent or whatever it’s called, and Deacon’s there in the back supporting her. Sigh. (Recap continues on page 2)

Elsewhere, Avery has returned from his trip to Bolivia without his wife. He later takes off his wedding ring, completely dejected. He tells Deacon that he saw a completely different person in Bolivia and there’s nothing to do about it. He can’t be in this situation anymore, can’t spend rest of his life waiting for the next emergency, and he doesn’t even care. He’s done, just done. Avery doesn’t even know what that means for them when they’ve been together for so long, but he won’t live his life like this anymore. Ah, it’s sad. They’re such a perfect height for each other, but Avery deserves a break.

Luckily, Alannah is there to comfort him (ugh) while Will’s busy doing pull-ups at every opportunity because he feels small on stage with Alannah stealing the singing spotlight. Anyway, he can’t do as much exercise as normal and gets pretty lightheaded later too. Ah, the joys of steroid abuse. Anyway, no time to dwell because The Last Highways (Did I miss a memo? When did they get that name?) have been invited to perform on The Chew. Will’s miffed that the two songs the show’s producers want them to perform each have Alannah singing lead. Realizing this, she follows Bucky out and asks to change the songs so Will can sing one, but when they switch it up, Will is mad again, thinking he’s being treated as a charity case. Oh, the rage. Got to give it to Alannah: She’s trying to be everyone’s best friend. She even tells Avery she thinks Jules is amazing and that relationships are hard. Are they having a moment? I don’t like this at all.

On the way to New York, Will is still feeling feverish, so he’s Googling (sorry, Web MD-ing) his symptoms while Alannah goes to talk to Avery and tells him about her cheating ex she kept taking back because she couldn’t stand life without him. She says even now she drops everything for him so she can feel like a giddy teen again, but she keeps it secret because she’s ashamed she lets someone treat her that way. She think Avery knows something about that feeling. Does he ever, Alannah.

When they arrive in NYC, The Last Highways get ready to go on The Chew with a few beers backstage — isn’t it a morning show? Crazy country singers. Somehow/with the help of some illegal substances, Will is super pumped to get on stage, until he gets out in front of the crowd and is all sweaty. The others exchange nervous glances as he gets really into the performance, throwing down his mic stand and rocking out his guitar solo. Then he passes out, and EMTs arrive to tend to him while Gunnar cries on Avery’s shoulder.

Back at Jessie’s place, Jake is refusing to go to his dad’s house, so Brad barges in to get him. Jake makes things better by telling his aggressive bully of a father to shut up and locking himself in his room. Brad responds by breaking down his bedroom door and grabbing at his son. Deacon steps in, pushing Brad against the wall to stop him, AND THAT’S LITERALLY ALL HE DOES. But Brad gets this super-evil look in his eye and almost smiles asking Deacon if he just assaulted him. Remember earlier in the season when he was throwing rumors around that Deacon was a rageaholic? He leaves looking extremely pleased with himself AND COMPLETELY UNHARMED. Oh boy, this is not going to end well — and it’s the midseason finale, so we won’t even find out until summer! Noooooo.

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