Can’t Miss Episode of the Week: ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ and That Twist Ending
Welcome to our new weekly column Can’t Miss Episode of the Week! Every Saturday we’ll be spotlighting a different episode of television from the previous week that we thought was exceptional and a must-see. Check back every Saturday to see if your favorite show got the nod — or to learn about a new one!
There’s nothing better than when the last moments of a season finale make you absolutely salivate for more episodes. That’s what NBC’s musical drama Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist achieved with its Season 2 finale on Sunday night. Zoey, which follows an introverted woman (Jane Levy) who’s gifted with the power to hear what people are feeling through big musical dance numbers that they sing to her, is one of the most special series on television at the moment. After that climactic season finale, it would be an awful shame if it didn’t get renewed, especially as it seems from that twist ending that the writers have some tricks up their sleeves for Season 3.
This episode is an effective season finale for a number of reasons. It caps off major multi-episode arcs for almost all of the characters — Zoey and Simon (John Clarence Stewart) break up, while Mo (Alex Newell) and Perry (David St. Louis) get back together, and Simon finds a way to bring real diversity to SPRQ Point, among others. It has a splashy guest star – Peter Gallagher returns as Zoey’s dad! And he helps her realize that her powers aren’t a burden, but a gift meant to bring her closer to others. But it’s the final scene that really gives the episode that wow factor.
The Zoey-Simon-Max (Skylar Astin)-Rose (Katie Findlay) love quadrangle is finally resolved with good news for Zoey and Max shippers. Evoking the Friends series finale, Max decides not to get on the plane with Rose to New York and tracks down Zoey instead. It’s heartstopping when Max appears on that pier, and tells Zoey that she’s the one he really wants to be with. This would’ve been more than enough to end the episode on, but the show went further than that by including a big, juicy cliffhanger. Right when Zoey is confessing to Max how she feels about him, she starts singing. Much like many of the other musical interludes in the series, Zoey dances around the park, complete with backup dancers, joyfully belting out Modern English’s “I Melt With You” (and I’ll admit, I’m a little biased because I love that song), except that usually it’s the other characters who sing to Zoey. When she finishes her song and resumes telling Max how she feels about him, Max realizes what has happened. Zoey sang a heart song to him! Max, somehow, has Zoey’s powers. And that’s how the episode ends, with this reversal of musical powers, and Zoey and Max’s stunned faces at what just happened. It’s both an emotionally packed final scene, and a game-changer all in one.
We could contemplate the implications of what this means for quite some time – did Max take Zoey’s powers, or do they both have the powers now? – but the only way we’ll find out is if NBC agrees to renew this wonderful show. As of right now, it remains on the bubble, meaning that it has neither been announced as canceled or renewed, so let this stand as an impassioned plea on behalf of fans to please renew this show. There’s clearly plenty of story left to tell, and we are not done watching yet.
Other observations that we thought made this episode stand out:
- The love song that Zoey saw Max sing at the airport was actually meant for her, not Rose.
- Zoey’s heart song to Max is a nice callback to the Season 1 episode where Max hires a flash mob to ask out Zoey.
- Mo’s investment in the drama of Zoey’s personal life, which makes him willing to listen to Zoey’s hot gossip first thing in the morning and drive her to the airport, continues to be hysterical.
- Zoey hearing Simon sing Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” is a nice triumphant reversal of that scene in the pilot where she hears him sing “Mad World” and learns of his depression.
- The show’s signature move where they use the theme music to cut off an expletive was used to excellent effect to finish off the episode.