The latest Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist delivered another delicious mix of emotional songs including a shocking outburst from Zoey and a good old fashioned battle between Joan and Ava at SPRQ Point over both Max and their latest device. Without further ado, lets get to the recap!
The episode kicks off at Mo’s place as Zoey shows him Simon’s Instagram post, proving that he is indeed alive. She reads way too much into the post, and Mo tries to help her practice a casual greeting when Simon inevitably tells Zoey about his split with Jessica (he has no idea she knows.) Mo suggests acting human, which she hilariously struggles t0 do. After five different, very awkward “hey” attempts, she leaves for her parents’ place.
She greets Mitch who is very clearly much more tired than usual. In walks Maggie and David, discussing Maggie and Mitch’s anniversary plans. While they usually celebrate at their favorite restaurant, David points out Mitch shouldn’t be going. Zoey, however, vows to call the restaurant and ask if they accommodate wheelchairs. We cut to Zoey yelling at the restaurant on her phone about their inaccessibility. As she hangs up she runs into Max, who is all packed up and moving to floor six.
Max seems disappointed that no one said goodbye and even Zoey confesses she meant to get him a gift, but didn’t. The two hug, and Max begins singing “Here I Go Again” as he heads to the elevator. Still singing, he gets in the left elevator which closes at the same time the right one opens to Simon stepping out and taking over the song. He seems upbeat and focused walking to his office to start the day.
When Joan arrives, Zoey meets her to ask about the conspicuous way Leif obviously called in sick while Joan was away at a conference. Joan confirms there may have been some “canoodling” between the two but she brushes it off as fun and meaning nothing. It’s now that Zoey tells Joan that Max left to work on the sixth floor. Joan is more than a little mad that Ava (her rival) swooped in and stole Max (and his work on The Chirp) from her team.
Upstairs a nervous Max flips through flashcards (very reminiscent of Zoey’s first pep talk) as he talks to his new team. He doesn’t get very far before he throws those aside and speaks from the heart, “I can’t believe that Ava hired me for this job. I’m not a better programmer than any of you, I know that, but what I really want here is to foster an environment where everyone feels like they are appreciated and heard and valued. Because you are, you’re the damn sixth floor!” (Well said, Max!) The team bursts into applause and Ava can be seen watching from her office doorway.
Simon finds Zoey at her desk and tells her he and Jessica split and invites Zoey over to his new apartment for dinner. She’s excited and calls Mo to tell him all about it.
Later in the day, Joan checks in with the team to see where they stand with The Chirp. She quickly informs the team they all suck and need to up their productivity. We were about due for a song here and it’s surprisingly from Leif rather than the frustrated Joan. As her ranting fades, Leif sings “Let’s Stay Together,” following Joan around and serenading her in a dreamy, lovesick way. He’s got it bad and when the song ends Zoey quickly follows Joan to her office to tell her about it. Well, not the song, but her hunch that Leif is a little too head over heels for Joan. As Zoey leaves, Leif enters to tell Joan that they can’t complete their work on The Chirp without Max’s data and when he suggests they make a trip to the sixth floor together (she’s the only one with an access card), Joan rivals Zoey for the most awkward moment award by quickly telling Leif he can go alone, that they shouldn’t go together, and he has his whole life ahead of him. Very smooth.
Leif and Tobin arrive on the sixth floor, with Tobin quickly distracted by their giant seafood bar. Leif finds Max and tells him they need the files, but Ava appears and things go downhill fast. Leif attempts to impress her by talking up The Chirp and it works. Ava demands Max withhold his files as the sixth floor will also be working on The Chirp going forward.
Zoey arrives at Simon’s new place for their dinner date. The two are a little awkward at first but even though Simon seems fine with the situation, his inner heart song reveals otherwise. From the kitchen he begins a reprise of “Mad World.” She watches as he dances and sings the familiar tune he sang in episode one. Following, Zoey decides to leave given that he is clearly upset, and in her eyes, he is exactly as he was when they first met.
Later, Mo attempts to talk some sense into Zoey who wants to double down on helping Simon rather than accept he has always been emotional drama for her.
She talks with him at the office and Simon reveals that his mother called prior to their dinner to let him know she is getting remarried. A part of him is angry and upset with her moving on after his father’s suicide.
Joan grabs Zoey to tell her they are now in a bake off with the sixth floor over The Chirp. Joan retrieves her access card and heads to the sixth floor with their team and a few other fourth floor employees. The two face off over Max, who didn’t sign any transfer papers, but Ava is insistent he will be staying with the team that “values him.” Joan and Ava then break into an all out, epic face-off battle complete with back up dancers from each team of “The Boy is Mine.” (I might have applauded at the end, Lauren Graham and Renee Elise Goldsberry are amazing!) Max breaks up the argument, stating that his opinion in the matter should decide where he works. Max decides to stay on the sixth floor because “not one person fought to keep me” when he was trying to decide about leaving fourth floor. While it’s true of all of them, it’s clear he aims most of that statement at Zoey.
Back at her parents, Zoey vents to her mom but says she is glad their anniversary dinner is back on. She agrees she’s happy to get another shot at their anniversary as she got a speeding ticket the year prior and it totally ruined their evening. That’s when the two rush into the living room upon hearing Mitch aspirating as it’s becoming more difficult for him to swallow.
At the office after hours, Joan puts her foot down with Leif when he accidentally confesses he is in love with her. She apologizes and ends the relationship after he admits it.
The next morning Max is retrieving his lumbar support pillow for the fourth floor when Zoey arrives. The two finally have it out over Max leaving. Zoey argues she thinks he only left to try and teach her a lesson because she wouldn’t say what he wanted to hear. Max defends that he has been treated better on the sixth floor in the last two days than he was on the fourth floor all along, and also says it’s a career advancement move. As he walks away, Zoey takes a low blow and says no one on the fourth floor understands why Ava would pick Max at all. Angry at her for that, he tells her he has spent far too long putting other people (including Zoey) before himself and wants to focus on his own happiness. The emotional performance from both Skylar Astin and Jane Levy in this moment is spectacular.
At her parents’ place later that evening, Zoey tries to talk with Mitch but he is barely responsive to her. She asks him for a heart song so she knows what’s going on with him, but Mitch falls back asleep. She’s horrified to find out Howie gave him a sedative to help him sleep after a few rough nights. She screams at him for robbing Mitch of his last moments of clarity and a chance for her to talk with him. Jane’s performance from this moment through the rest of the episode is phenomenal. Watching her, we truly feel the pain and fear coursing through Zoey in this moment. Maggie demands a private chat but she barely gets a word out before Zoey cuts her off and walks out.
Simon arrives at her apartment after she calls, and she doesn’t say anything as she pulls him inside and kisses him straight into her room. Simon however can tell something is off and the two end up in a huge fight. It’s clear something has snapped in Zoey, this is the meanest we have seen her as she yells that Simon’s grief over his father is boring and he needs to just get over it already. He fires back that she has no right to judge his grief and yells back he doesn’t like this version of Zoey. The yelling escalates as Simon yanks the door open and Mo screams “Enough! Come with me,” at the two of them. Mo tells them there is only one rational thing to do now, puts on a record, and demands they dance as passionately as humanly possible to “I Don’t Care” which is a fantastic song choice on Mo’s part. The two jump around and dance themselves out. Both Jane Levy and John Clarence Stewart deserve an Emmy for this highly emotional and intense scene. From start to finish you are consumed by their rage at one another and their situations, unsure how or if they will ever be okay after it.
Back in Zoey’s apartment the two are worn out and much more rational. They talk out their issues and Simon tells Zoey all her anger is a stage of grief and she is stuck in it right now. He tells her it will subside eventually. Zoey then asks about his mother, but he shares he is jealous of her moving on, not angry. They nearly kiss but Simon stops it, fully aware he is not fully emotionally available to Zoey.
At SPRQ Point, Max and Leif share an elevator ride during which Leif asks if there are any open positions for a coder on the sixth floor. Max decides to hear him out.
Zoey takes the day off to spend with her parents on their anniversary. She apologizes to Howie for the way she acted and then asks if Maggie and Mitch are going to do anything special. When Maggie says no, Zoey comes up with a plan to make the evening special in their own way. Howie dresses Mitch to the nines in a suit and wheels him into the indoor patio area where they have set up an elegant table and beautiful lighting. The two get to share their last anniversary together in an even more special moment than their annual plans. Zoey starts to leave but she gets to witness Maggie and Mitch sing a beautiful duet of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” while dancing together which is sweet and loving and definitely had me diving for the tissue box. I’m not ashamed to say I cried through the entire moment. They do a fantastic job of showing just how in love Maggie and Mitch still are.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist airs Sundays at 9 p.m ET on NBC.