If the best songs come from heartbreak, Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio) should have plenty of hits up his sleeve on Season 2 of Nashville. With his career prospects self-immolated and his marriage proposal to Scarlett (Clare Bowen) turned down, where will Gunnar go from here?
"It's never simple," Palladio tells TVGuide.com of his character's arc. "There's someone in the mix, or there's someone dying, or there's drink and drugs or something. But I think that makes a good story."
One thing is certain: fans can expect some awkward interactions between the now broken-up Gunnar and Scarlett.
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"I think he realized towards the end how much he had screwed up, and that actually Scarlett had been the one piece of bedrock that was there and supporting him through the whole thing, and he'd taken her for granted a little bit," Palladio says. "I think he's the kind of character that makes rash decisions sometimes, and maybe they're not the best decisions or they're not necessarily as thought through as they should be. But I think it comes out of a really genuine place."
The tension between the former couple isn't just personal though, with Scarlett suddenly being thrust into the spotlight as Rayna James' (Connie Britton) new protégé.
"Scarlett goes off skyrocketing and taking the world by storm, and Gunnar's sort of left in her wake," Palladio says. "Which is a frustration for him because he has the talent to be an artist in his own right, and that's what he's wanting to do."
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Without Scarlett as his musical partner, Gunnar finds himself embarking down a new career path this season. That leads to an "unlikely pairing" between Gunnar and his rival Avery (Jonathan Jackson) down the road, according to Palladio.
"The two of them have always had this standoff. But actually, throughout this new season, there's some developments in the relationship between Gunnar and Avery, and a bit of that bad blood does get washed away," Palladio hints. "[Music] is their common love — well, I suppose Scarlett is their common love. But at the end of the day, those two characters really are great artists and songwriters, and they find a way to connect through the music."
Having started to break out of his writer's block slump in last week's episode, Gunnar soon discovers that his songwriting talents are in high demand. And it may put a strain on his friendship with Will (Chris Carmack).
"[Gunnar] kind of becomes the go-to guy for other artists this year," Palladio says. "He has a bit of a run-in with Will over a potential song that ... puts a bit of friction between those two. ... He wants his music to be for him and not for other people."
Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.