Once again, The exes are just that — exes.
If nothing else, this should at least give them some new material for their next album.
On Nashville Season 5 Episode 22, Gunnar decided he's done trying. He shouldn't have to convince Scarlett that's he's worthy. He learned some things while he was in Texas.
First, he doesn't need her to be happy. Maybe he used to but not anymore.
Second, he learned that he's always jumped from girl to girl, relationship to relationship. He let those relationships define him and guide him.
Scarlett thinks this is great until she finds out who doled out these life lessons — a girl.
Not that Scarlett should be giving anyone advice on how to soul search when she's perpetually lost herself. Still, she's right.
I hope one day, for your sake, you can figure out how to search your soul on your own.Scarlett [to Gunnar]
These two have gone through so much together — his brother's death, a denied engagement, him dating her best friend, her breakdown, their mugging, the miscarriage. There truly has been a lifetime's worth of struggles.
What's amazing is that they always come back to each other.
Gunnar always rushes to protect her and Scarlett always lets him; whether that means she's in love with him is a whole other question. Maybe they're bound to be connected, just not in a romantic way.
Gunnar questioned whether Scarlett had ever really let anyone in, if she ever fully trusted anyone.
The only person that came to mind was Deacon.
She never fully trusted Avery, most likely because he was a disrespectful ass when they were together. She doesn't trust Gunnar despite how hard he's worked to show he's worthy.
I can't help but think these issues go back to her mom.
Their relationship was strained, to put it mildly. Beverly was too preoccupied with her own feelings to really consider her daughter's. How could Scarlett not have trust issues when she couldn't even rely on her own mother?
The same goes for Juliette. We know a lot of her issues stem from growing up in an unstable family.
That instability made her and Scarlett strong and that strength got them far in their careers, but they push away love. They sabotage their relationships over and over again making the same mistakes.
I think I'm doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again, never able to see them before they happen, constantly cleaning up the mess like some darkness in me that'll never go away.Juliette
They have two great guys willing to fight for them and neither of them can trust it.
Avery has been more assertive which is why he's made some progress with Juliette. Still, when he came back from the tour to be with her, she was surprised. She actually worried he might never come back which is silly because they have a child together.
That's how deep her insecurities lie.
I hope Scarlett can find a way to trust someone one day. It doesn't have to be Gunnar, but she will never be able to make it work with anyone if she doesn't tackle these issues.
Speaking of tackling issues, Deacon confronted Zack about his.
I thought Zack was overreacting from the beginning. All Deacon did was say no to one of his ideas — changing the lyrics of Maddie's song. He basically went along with everything else, even if he complained the whole way.
So when Zack canceled the utilities and drained Highway 65's bank accounts, I wondered if something else was upsetting him.
After all, he's a business man and this was just business, right?
Wrong. Turns out Zack doesn't just care about money. He's enjoyed being with Will and around Deacon's family, and just people in general, so much that he freaked out thinking he was going to lose those connections.
You're being a real ass to the people that I love.Will [to Zack]
It's kind of out of left field, but it got me thinking.There has always been something off about Zack. His social interactions seemed a little awkward or forced which in turn made them seem fake.
It could be that he was a self-made millionaire at such a young age that his social and relationship skills never really developed or were stunted.
We don't actually know when Zack made his money, but if it was sometime in his twenties, then he was still maturing and changing into the man he is now.
If he was surrounded by "yes men" or people that were only interested in his fame or fortune, that could have made him guarded and distrustful. Maybe he isolated himself and now he doesn't know how to have normal relationships.
I really don't know why he is the way he is, or even how Deacon was able to pick up on that and win him over the way he did, but it's interesting. I still don't like the guy, but I definitely didn't see it coming.
Another thing I didn't see coming was Alyssa kissing Deacon!
I don't live in some fantasy world where artistic integrity comes without a price.Alyssa
There was absolutely no lead up to that.
Aside from that one dinner where she teased Deacon about being straight out of a romance novel, their relationship was all business. Does she actually have feelings for him, or was she just drawn in by his pain?
Whatever it is, it's going to be awkward when they go back to Highway 65.
Even more so when Deacon starts dating Jessie. If anyone was going to kiss tonight I would have sworn it would be them. They came close, too. They shared that hug that's just a little too long, then lingers as they slowly pull away, staring into each other's eyes.
It sounds corny, but Deacon and Jessie executed it perfectly.
The chemistry is there and very obvious, but I still feel like it's too soon. I was they didn't decide to kiss just yet, especially considering Alyssa's random smooch. A long build up will be much more satisfying in the end.
Not to mention the offseason will provide more time for fans to accept that Rayna is gone. Nashville Season 6 will be a fresh start for them and Deacon.
The rest of the finale centered on Daphne and Maddie. The former dealt with her feelings for Flynn and the idea of Deacon dating again, while the latter struggled with her anger at Juliette.
I love that the show has focused more on Daphne. I really love how they've given her traditional, teenage things to worry about. She's growing up, her body is changing; she likes a boy, she feels insecure. It's normal stuff that every teenager can relate to.
Maddie has come a long way the second half of the season. She's become a good sister again, helping Daphne with her make up and talking to her about her first kiss.
She hasn't been whiny or entitled. She even worked through a horrible commercial with the producer from hell and didn't quit or go off on him. That was impressive.
What impressed me the most though, was how gracious she was when she lost the AMA. She didn't pout or even make a face, she just clapped, smiled and cheered for Katy Perry. Deacon was proud of her in that moment and so was I.
In the end, Nashville Season 5 ended the way it should have — peacefully. No deaths, no drama. Just love, honesty, and freedom.
What did you guys think?
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Tiffany Staton is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.