A Little Nightmare Music is the third episode of the second season of Wings. It focused on Helen, in particular her struggling music career, and contained no B-plot.


Helen is tending the lunch counter when she sees Edward Tinsdale, a renowned conductor, is a passenger on Sandpiper. Tinsdale has just gotten married and is having his honeymoon on Nantucket. Upon the encouragment of Brian and Joe, they challenge Helen to prove herself at the cello in order to make a move to advance her music career. Joe intentionally misplaces one of Tinsdale's bags and gets the address. Brian delivers the bag, to which he refuses to hand it over unless Tinsdale listens to Helen play. Although bothered, Edward Tinsdale is actually fine with this in order to get some time away from his overly-amourous wife. However, Tinsdale determines Helen's cello work is unsatisfactory, which leaves Helen crushed, saying that if she has no future in music, she is relegated to the airport lunch counter until she dies, causing Tinsdale to brusquely remark "then be the best counter girl you can be".

Angered by Tinsdale's attitude, Joe then visits Tinsdale and forces another cello session. Tinsdale actually consider Helen's second performance even worse, which causes Joe and Tinsdale to get into an argument. Edward Tinsdale tells of his life and accomplishments in music, and that he gets multiple applicants for a limited number of symphony seats. Joe counters by telling the story of Alan Shepherd; as a young man he took an introductory flying lesson only to be told he should stay away from aviation, but that scouring remark did not dissaude him from eventually going to the Moon.

The next day, at the terminal, Helen tells Joe she is glad she got told she is lousy at the cello; all her life she felt like a slave to music. Now she is free to get on with her life. Edward Tinsdale and his wife appear at the airport, looking to leave Nantucket. Before leaving, Tinsdale tells Helen that he was too hasty in judging her performance and concludes that with redoubling her efforts, she could have a music career. This leaves Helen angered as now she is unsure about her future with the cello, and will have to spend more hours of practice.