Ever since we heard Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen) and songwriting partner Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio) sing “If I Didn’t Know Better” in the Nashville series premiere, we’ve been dying for them to hook up. A few weeks back, the pair kissed in the Bluebird, but Scarlett had just broken up with Avery, and she was hesitant to reciprocate. But at the end of Nashville Season 1, Episode 14, “Dear Brother,” they finally hooked up. So, what’s the problem?
Well, let’s consider the facts. The first is that timing has always been the issue, not attraction. It’s obvious from the way they sing together that they have great chemistry, and they must know that — or they wouldn’t continue to sow their seeds so close together in the music business. In the beginning, Scarlett was with Avery — and although Scarlett was single when she first kissed Gunnar, she didn’t feel right about it. So, why now would kissing him shortly after he found out his brother died be appropriate?
Second reason this might be the worst idea ever: Scarlett and Gunnar are too professionally and personally enmeshed to begin a relationship. Forget the fact that they work together at the Bluebird Cafe — Scarlett as a waitress and Gunnar as a sound technician / jack of all trades. They are also partners in music and have to spend all their time trying to get ahead in a very competitive business, with their future depending completely on their continued partnership. When they were in their songwriting residency, Gunnar took up with Hailey (Chloe Bennet), and that distraction caused friction in his partnership with Scarlett.
They also recently moved in together, and so they spend all their downtime in close quarters, with no room to breathe or unwind apart. Gunnar joked when they moved in that he might be bringing girls home, and although Scarlett said it was fine at the time, we couldn’t help but notice no one ever came back to their place — other than Gunnar’s brother.
The grief that Gunnar feels is also a huge reason why they should not have hooked up — and also presumably why they did. Scarlett, sensing Gunnar’s broken heart over his brother’s death, went to him to comfort him. And, finding him vulnerable and in need of human sympathy, she took her comforting of him too far. Being a shoulder to cry on is one thing, but ripping the tiny vest off Gunnar’s shoulders while stripping him naked is quite another.
Even if Scarlett and Gunnar wake up tomorrow and don’t feel awkward about what happened between them, Gunnar may forever resent Scarlett for smothering his moment of grief with conflicting emotions. Beyond that, he may not ever be able to think of being intimate with her without tying their first time back to the terrible tragedy that led to them having sex. And because of that, any future that they may have had, had they waited to maturely develop their feelings — or rip their clothes off in a moment of irresistible temptation — is in jeopardy.
What do you think — did Scarlett and Gunnar make a mistake, or was their hook up just the beginning of something more?