Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist: Season 1 Episode 4 “Zoey’s Extraordinary Neighbor” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

In this Mo focused episode, we don’t meet his family or friends, but the topic of faith is explored. Also, David and Emily finally feel firmly established.


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Mo before they sing at church.

In this Mo focused episode, we don’t meet his family or friends, but the topic of faith is explored. Also, David and Emily finally feel firmly established.


Directed By Adam Davidson
Written By Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts
Aired (NBC) 3/1/2020
Introduced This Episode
Bonnie Naoko Mori
David Andrew Leeds
Emily Alice Lee

Plot/ Recap

20 Years Of A Slow Death: Joan, Zoey

Joan and her husband seem to really be over, and she is struggling with it. Happy in some ways, since it needed to end, but nonetheless mourning what was 20 years of her life. To which she credits Zoey in such a way Zoey isn’t sure how to process.

On A Happy Note: Max, David, Emily, Zoey

But, while Zoey is absorbing blame for a failed marriage, at least she can say she is the reason Max got laid, right? That’s something. Also, there is the joy of Emily and David, Zoey’s sister in law and brother, revealing they are having a boy.

A Fulfilling Thing To Do, And A Warning Attached: Maggie, Simon, Zoey

However, while Zoey has a good amount of things to be happy about, one of those things, Simon, Maggie feels the need to worry Zoey about. Why? Well, a long time ago, when Maggie was much younger, Maggie was a mistress – before she met Mitch. And with seeing how Simon and Zoey interact, and how Zoey talks about Simon, she just wants Zoey to remember Simon has someone and to not get too caught up in her feelings. Otherwise, she might be in for more than just having someone to connect with over daddy issues.

This Little Light Of Mine: Pastor Steve, Bonnie, Mo, Zoey

When it comes to Mo, they have primarily been this curious, boisterous, and joyous being. However, the truth is, they are suffering a little bit. Why? Well, with Mo being gender fluid, leaning towards expressing themselves in a feminine manner, they usually are very flamboyant in what they wear. However, at church, despite Pastor Steve being liberal, Mo dresses down and looks like they are from an experimental rock band from the 80s.

Zoey discovers this, and in pursuit of the truth, Mo reveals an experience he had as a child where a church he loved, that fostered his love for singing, turned their backs on him because he wasn’t like everyone else. So, when it comes to this new church, to avoid being rejected and the feelings which come from the words and rumors that precede that feeling, he dresses down.

But, while Zoey doesn’t come up with a magical reason for Mo to love who they are, she does present them a miracle. What miracle? Well, for who knows how long, Mo has been speaking to and delivering the mail of their downstairs neighbor Bonnie. Someone who deals with agoraphobia so, neither have either seen or heard her.

Bonnie (Naoko Mori) at Mo's door.
Bonnie (Naoko Mori)

However, thanks to Zoey’s power, she hears Bonnie sing and eventually coaxes her out and leads her to Mo’s apartment. Which, upon seeing her, it leads to him believing that her leaving her apartment is a miracle and a sign that Mo needs to get past their fear and appear as themselves in the church choir. Which they do, and they tear down the house.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

If you’re only motivated by proof, keep your eyes open, ‘cause you might just see a miracle.
— Pastor Steve

Review/ Commentary


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Highlights

Joan’s Wrecking Ball Number

There is a strange thing about covers. In essence, they automatically find themselves competing against the original, especially if that song is well known and popular. However, if the take is different enough, you may not even realize what song they are singing. Such was the case for Joan who, until she hit the chorus, I was wondering if they had an original song on the show!

Alas, it wasn’t, but the way Joan sang it made it so you almost forgot it was a Miley Cyrus original.

Feeling Like We Finally Got To Really Know David and Emily, And Their Dynamic

While David and Emily have existed, their names have rarely been said, and Emily just magically appeared in the last episode. But in this episode, it felt like we actually got to spend some time with them and got to know them. Emily is sarcastic, funny, and very much pregnant. David is a lovable brother, a good son, and while a little bit of a whiner, Emily loves him nonetheless.

The Simon Conundrum

I think there is a serious need to question what can become of Zoey’s relationship with Simon. Is it truly dancing about, on the verge of becoming romantic in the future, or are other people projecting? Now, granted, Simon has made it clear that Zoey gets him in ways his fiancée doesn’t, but that shouldn’t necessarily mean he is going to cheat or suddenly leave her for a woman he just met.

Which isn’t to downplay how awesome Zoey comes off but, even if Simon had a clean break and then got with Zoey, I’d still question their relationship. For if he’d jump ship just because the grass was greener on the other side, or he felt someone else got him more than his current fiancée, who is to say he wouldn’t leave Zoey? And that’s why Zoey’s potential relationships feel a bit too complicated. For even if you look at Max, and still believe something can happen there, he just had sex with Autumn. An act that doesn’t seem frivolous so if Zoey decides to assert herself, you again get this vibe that Zoey’s relationship could be doomed. Even if Max knew Zoey first.

For, just look at it this way, while it may seem romantic for him to drop Autumn to be with Zoey, what does that say about Max if he can sleep with a girl, go on a couple’s vacation, and then drop said girl due to Zoey? And, don’t get me wrong, I know likely Autumn will push him away or some other eye-roll-inducing storyline so that Max becomes available again. However, is it wrong to hope what seems like the inevitable won’t apply to this show?

Mo’s Story

Mo looking at a picture of his younger self.

There is something about happy go lucky characters who seem to not have a care in the world which bug me. Maybe it is because they come off shallow to me or, with Mo, there was this fear they’d be yet another Black sidekick who we barely got to know. Yet, there is some hope. Granted, we didn’t meet their parents and have yet to see their friends, but hearing their story and issues coming to terms with who they are is a first step. Not to imply their story has to be doom and gloom and make it seem being who they are is hell. More so, I’m just hoping Mo isn’t just used for their flamboyant looks and personality and primarily are a serious of one-liners with, every now and then, a bone thrown to prove they aren’t a figment of Zoey’s imagination, or someone whose life revolves around her, brought to life.

 

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Joan’s Wrecking Ball Number - 85%
Feeling Like We Finally Got To Really Know David and Emily, And Their Dynamic - 84%
The Simon Conundrum - 83%
Mo’s Story - 86%

85%


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One Comment

  1. I’m happy to admit I was wrong and you were right and there were layers to Mo beneath the funny, Black sidekick friend! They have a life outside of Zoey at the church, with choir practices and service every Sunday. Plus, I consider Pastor Steve an actual friend of Mo’s. He was concerned when they didn’t show up for choir practice so much that Pastor Steve wrote Mo a nice note and delivered it to their apartment, which he knew where it was. He just seemed more like a friend to Mo then a run-of-the-mill pastor, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I enjoyed having Mo in the spotlight.

    I also agree with you that I don’t want Zoey involved with Max or Simon. As usual, you reasoning is spot-on!

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