There was so much happening in last night’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist that I felt a bit like Zoey has been feeling: there’s a lot going on and we’re just trying to keep all the balls in the air.
But despite having not one, not two, but four separate subplots, the NBC hit show managed to hit every single one of those storylines out of the park. As usual. With amazing music numbers. Do they ever get tired of being this excellent?
Zoey’s rebellious day
How precious is it that Zoey actually decided to write a to do list of things she wanted to do in her rebel day off?
After hanging out with her neighbor Aiden and being privy to his “go with the flow” lifestyle, Zoey decides that she will take a page off his book and be rebellious for a change. So she takes the day off, compiles a list of rebellious things she wants to do, but Aiden offers an alternative instead.
What if they just got high?
Bear in mind that our Zoey is not a “drug person at all”, but it is her wild day off, so she says what the hell, let’s do it!
And let me tell you, everything that followed after was one of the most entertaining sequences I have ever seen in my life.
Because, of course, the moment she swallows the pill, she finds out that there’s a major problem at SPRQ Point and that her boss, Danny Michael Davis, has been released from prison and wants to talk to her about the issue. When she tells him she took a personal day, he just says that it’s no biggie, he’ll just come to her instead.
So while Zoey is panicking, Simon calls her about a situation that Danny Michael Davis put him in, but she is spiraling into her terror about talking to her boss while super high, and doesn’t give him the time of day.
Obviously, a minute before Danny arrives, the drugs kick in. And then, to everyone’s surprise, her boss decides to join in on the fun. Every single scene that followed after this was absolutely hilarious and heartwarming and heartbreaking, as it is always the case with this fantabulous show.
They raid Zoey’s dad stash of popsicles, while having a heart to heart about what it means to care and why it hurts so much. Zoey decides that she’s done caring about anything and announces as much to the universe.
But we all know that’s not the Zoey we know and love, and Max tells her that he doesn’t like this new version of her, as what he loved most about her was the fact that she cared so much about everything.
That hits Zoey like a brick. She even tries to stick to her new philosophy, but eventually she sees it’s a dead end. Meanwhile, after their talk the day before while they were high, Danny tells her that he’s going to sell his share of SPRQ Point and travel the world. After Zoey realizes her new philosophy is a bust, she thankfully manages to convince her boss to not go through with it.
When the Chirp starts malfunctioning, newly exonerated Danny Michael Davis tasks Simon to address the public about the issue. The problem is that the Chirp’s facial recognition feature is unable to recognize black and brown faces. It only works with white people 99 percent of the time.
So, of course, completely insensitive Danny Michael Davis asks Simon, a Black guy, to smooth things over with the public. Simon is obviously very, very uncomfortable about the whole thing and doesn’t know what to do. So he calls his friends Mo and Tatiana — is she a friend? They were very flirty over the phone — and asks for a meeting so he can talk to them about this.
Mo immediately tells him to quit, while Tatiana says the opposite — that he is in a unique position to be able to make some change down the line.
So he follows her advice but decides to start making some changes now. He was so torn apart about this that his heart song was equal parts beautiful and heartbreaking. John Clarence Stewart delivered an incredibly moving rendition of Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by The Animals.
In the end, he addressed the Chirp issue and that a fix was already underway, but then he used his platform to talk about the real issue at hand, and that is the lack of black and brown people in positions of power in the company.
They need to talk about this now, or nothing will ever change, and I was cheering him on so loudly during this entire scene. It took guts to bring this up publicly, and I am so glad to see Simon dealing with something very real, and that for once, isn’t about the love triangle.
Meanwhile, Max is dreading his father’s visit. Apparently, his dad is a super-wealthy dentist, who owns a dental franchise on the East Coast. Because he didn’t follow in the family footsteps, Max feels like his father is constantly casting judgement on everything he does, and is also constantly disappointed.
When all their pitches to investors turn out to be a bust, Mo suggests that maybe they could pitch their new business to his dad. Max is obviously very reticent about this idea, but they’re running out of money, so he decides to give it a try.
And it goes exactly as he feared it would. His father is less than enthused about it, and Max’s heart song bursts out of him — a fantastic acoustic version of Linkin Park’s Numb that had my inner angsty teenager relating to Max so much. Skylar Astin absolutely blew me away with his incredibly powerful performance. As usual.
To Max’s absolute surprise, his dad decides to give him the money he and Mo need so badly. But when he realizes that his father doesn’t believe in him or in his potential, and is just throwing money at him because he has it to spare, Max decides to turn it down.
That must have been a very difficult decision to make — especially when they need the money so desperately — but I was glad to see Max standing up for himself and only deciding to partner with people who share his enthusiasm and believe in what he can do.
Other highlights of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
- What a total douche that guy who was flirting with Maggie turned out to be. While Jenna’s actions were reckless and a tad immature, I am actually sad to see her go.
- Jane Levy’s performance of Starship by Nicki Minaj while super high will remain one of the best moments this show has ever graced us with.
- I really like Tatiana and I hope we can see more of her soon.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist airs on Tuesday at 8/7C on NBC.