Zoey looking at Joan's boot close to her face.

Joan opens up to Zoey this episode as Mo struggles to decide if he is Team Max or Team Simon.


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Joan opens up to Zoey this episode as Mo struggles to decide if he is Team Max or Team Simon.


Directed By Daisy Von Scherler Mayer
Written By Sam Laybourne
Aired (NBC) 2/23/2020
Introduced This Episode
Charlie Justin Kirk

Episode Recap

Whose Team Are You?: Mo, Simon, Max, Zoey

With finding himself integrating into Zoey’s life, beyond hearing people do musical numbers in her head, the second most interesting thing about Zoey is her love life. I mean, she has the smoldering Simon, who gives Mo the butterflies, but then there is Max. He is cute, funny, boy next door vibes, and the two of them leave Mo torn. Though, what doesn’t help is Zoey throwing cold water on the fantasy with noting both are dating other people. Thus keeping Mo from living vicariously.

Can’t Get No Satisfaction: Maggie, Mitch, Joan, Charlie, Zoey, Simon

Charlie (Justin Kirk) after his musical number.
Charlie (Justin Kirk)

Maggie is struggling taking care of Mitch by herself, yet she sees it as part of what it means to be married. Her vows were for better or worst and the kids didn’t make any of those promises. However, as Maggie has a moment in a grocery store, which causes her to be banned, it becomes clear to Zoey and her brother they need to step up.

But they aren’t the only ones who need to step up. Charlie, Joan’s husband, he is shown to be this big name in tech but is an absolutely terrible husband. One that Joah puts up with possibly due to the time invested than anything actually being there to hold onto. And with her singing “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)” around Zoey, she finds herself forced, beyond her comfort zone, to get involved. Leading to her not just learning how unhappy Joan is, but also she feels like she is in her husband’s shadow and is in a place where she, unfortunately, needs his co-sign.

However, between Zoey’s advice and Charlie consistently proving himself unreliable, Joan breaks out from his shadow and roars to the front of the stage. And as this happens, Zoey doesn’t just provide Joan a sense of liberation but Simon too. For with him struggling with his father’s death still, there is an inability to celebrate his accomplishment or truly enjoy the party. But, with Zoey knowing what he is going through, when she says to allow himself to enjoy life, he finds her permission to do so freeing. And being that she freed him, he asks of her to also free herself and let loose.

Review/ Commentary

Highlights

Joan and Zoey’s Relationship

Meeting Charlie revealed onto us a side of Joan we didn’t get to see in the first two episodes. At least in the capacity we did this one. For, previously, Joan was painted as the boss who may be on Zoey’s case, but ultimately was trying to groom her for an industry that would be a challenge. Especially since Zoey isn’t the most assertive but is one of the most hard-working and talented. However, that has now evolved a bit. Not to imply the toughening up process is no more, but it does seem that Joan has had to be the sole woman for so long, has likely worked to the point of missing so many friendships, and potential relationships, that having another woman to talk to is a blessing.

Now, granted, Zoey is younger and hasn’t much in the way of life experience. However, she is willing to listen, she cares and doesn’t’ seem to be brown-nosing. That genuine connection seems to be what Joan needs after compromising what she needs as a human being for who knows how long.

Simon’s Vulnerable Side

Zoey giving Simon permission to show joy.
Zoey: It’s okay to dance, Simon.

I don’t think it can be stated enough how much you have to appreciate Simon, this cool Black dude, being willing to be vulnerable. Also, while Mo sees something there, I feel the need to add in how cute it is that he and Zoey have this platonic relationship where they can be open about the trauma of what their dads are going through, or have gone through. Also, they are each other’s rock at work without it being weird.

Which is why I find it hard to be team Simon, or Max for that matter, for while it is beautiful to see a friendship blossom into something more intimate, that shouldn’t always be the end game. Sometimes, just getting a different perspective, showing a man and woman being capable of being friends, without it getting sexual, is important. Especially in the workplace where there still are many who don’t know how to be cordial with a woman unless there is no sense of attraction.

On The Fence

Zoey’s Brother & His Wife

Is it wrong I don’t know either of their names? It was made into a thing Zoey’s brother is a public defender but without heading over to IMDB and trying to match a headshot to screenshot, I couldn’t tell you who Zoey’s brother is. Much less, was his wife in the first two episodes or was she just introduced? Considering at least a quarter of every episode focuses on Zoey’s family, these two should not feel like strangers.

[td_block_12 custom_title=”Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Directory” tag_slug=”Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” td_ajax_filter_type=”td_category_ids_filter” ajax_pagination=”next_prev” limit=”1″ td_ajax_filter_ids=”11, 4088,36471, 25″]

Joan and Zoey’s Relationship - 89%
Simon’s Vulnerable Side - 88%
Zoey’s Brother & His Wife - 70%

82%

As Zoey goes from character to character, it makes you wonder how serious it’ll make each task for Zoey and if she may ultimately fail in making someone’s life better.

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5 Comments

  1. Do you mean, for example, when Max was singing “Sucker” to her in the middle of the staff meeting, did the rest of the staff hear what Zoey was saying to Max and see Zoey move around Max while he was singing? I don’t think so, because when Max stopped singing and sat down, everyone else was just sitting there like nothing had happened. But then when Autumn and others were singing in the coffee shop, Mo could hear everything Zoey was saying directly to her. So this means Mo has special powers, or Zoey has to be talking directly to the person IF they are not singing to her, or there is no rhyme or reason to this and we just go along with whatever the writers decide in that particular episode (or until they work out all the kinks). Right now, the show is still new enough for me that I’m still having enough fun so the inconsistencies aren’t bothering me yet.

    1. I don’t think it is a big deal just yet, but I do wonder if they are going to flesh out how Zoey’s powers work or continue to pursue it as a just is thing which is necessary for a plot device…

      1. I don’t think HOW (sorry about the all caps, but I don’t know how to do Italics in here) Zoey’s powers work are a focus for Zoey and thus for the show. Zoey figured out that her powers are mainly to show her who she should help (as you put it, “a thing necessary for a plot device”). So I don’t think she’s going to dig deeper into how they work. I also think her powers (i.e. the songs) are to differentiate this show from “Touched by an Angel” or any other show where the main character helps someone new each week. And her powers (the songs) make this show different then almost all of the other shows on tv, so I see it as much, much more then just something necessary for a plot device, which I guess is why I’m not as interested in how they work.

  2. Starting with “On the Fence”, I don’t know Zoey’s brother’s name either. I remembered he was her brother, but I was thinking to myself, ‘Who the heck is this pregnant woman complaining about Pop Tarts?’ I’m going to go with she was just introduced, and maybe there was a scene cut from episode 1 or 2 because that was the worst character introduction ever!

    Regarding Team Simon or Team Max, I had never thought of your analysis of Zoey being just friends with both of them, but it is so much better then the whole annoying, over-used “will-they-or-won’t-they” trope. And all of your reasons why it is good that Zoey and Simon and Zoey and Max are just friends are very good reasons, and I will enjoy the platonic friendships as long as the show keeps them like that.

    This wasn’t in your recap, but I just wanted to add how much I like the focus of the main musical number Zoey hears – that it means Zoey has to help that person as it relates to the song. Some of the songs can be just for random fun (like “Jesus Christ Superstar” for Charlie, which made me literally LOL), but it’s good that the show has a purpose and a direction.

    1. I enjoy the musical element as well, even the strange one, which might have been the last episode (each episode blends into just being part of the show after a while) when a piano suddenly fell on her. Though, I gotta admit, I’m still questioning how it all works.

      Even setting aside her seeing the number, I wonder when she talks or moves around, do people, outside of her tapping into people’s heads, see and hear that? Like when she was talking and moving around Max before?

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