Recap: ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ Season 2, Episode 13 “Zoey’s Extraordinary Goodbye” Plays on Love and Loss


The glitter-spliced disco ball splattering patterns on the stained karaoke bar’s floor has slowed to match the musical outro’s halt as Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist announces the final call on season 2 with “Zoey’s Extraordinary Goodbye.” Similar to any following sequence of events wherein a drunken stupor arms are found dangling across a friend’s shoulder in a touch of bittersweetness, we fade into a loved-up Simon belting out the Carpenter’s “Sing” as he plants a kiss on top of Zoey’s bed head curls. A tune that travels through breakfast time with the Clarke’s, airing the space in a soonly dinged elevator after a board meeting, and then as Mo slides the final wineglass of the hour over.

It’s lifeless as opposed to those first steps outside the bar where one’s hit with a gallery of noises from the harmonized cars honking to the chorus of other conversations acting as backup vocals. In this case, the dark shadow following Zoey around is clashed against two bright yellow New York taxi cookie trays, reminding her of the near Max exit. She feels that she’s made a mistake. When it comes to the love triangle entanglement, she accidentally pulled onto the wrong side, Simon, who she now needs to let go of by having “the talk.” Perhaps there’s another talk lingering; it’s sitting comfortably in Max’s suitcase over a folded Hawaiian shirt Rose has no particular interest in being flown over as well as having the memory perfume of his first day at SPRQPoint. He says the experimental toy made in the final round of the hiring process with the help of Zoey’s coding is nothing of importance. Still, Rose’s hesitant sideways glance tells of otherwise. 


There’s nothing quite as important jammed into the first topic of discussion at a board meeting rather than legality. See, there’s a newcomer tech business with a similar drone-like phone sketched onto their drawing board that could result in a claim if it’s not for Danny’s stretched-out sigh over how exhausting it’ll be to win them out in court. By the time the jury comes to a decision siding in SPRQPoint’s favor, the appropriate way of communication will be switching from tapping one’s forehead pressure point to read a text delivered through blinking. Or, depending on the sizeable evidence opting to a newcomer win could be just as fast as Simon and Zoey’s surprisingly amicable breakup after Tobin announces his HR-approved relationship with McKenzie. She’s the striking dark head he was playing footsies with when the meeting had only just started.

The dock where birds scuttle for that lonesome chip will be marked as the setting where Simon and Zoey reach their closure; that perhaps while neither of them would take back their time together, their bonded grief wasn’t as laced in romanticism as they once believed. Meanwhile, sitting on the corner sofa next to a lamp shading us from the conversation being initiated on her phone is a lively Maggie. She has reconnected with her high school boyfriend. She seems much happier than a startled David. He says he’s worried about the world wide web being this torturous place mixed up in catfishes, yet what’s under the surface is the weird notion of his mother moving on from his passed father.

It’s a cocktail of arriving problems at Max’s going away party, resulting in a poppy group ensemble of guitar string scarred songwriter Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” After their latest chat, Mo can’t figure out if Fire Marshal Haskins deserves a place in his life or if he’s simply another player who’s afraid of his true identity; therefore, he needs to let him play. One can find his heart located in a duet rendition of The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out.” It allows an overlooking Zoey who’s hand rests against the balcony railing, to come to the conclusion she needs to give her friend the push to fight for the relationship both parties so desperately want. There’s this unknown emotion unsettling Leif, and while he has a firm understanding it won’t entirely leave him on death’s doorstep, it will result in a prolonging of symptoms if he doesn’t tell Simon. It turns out, the newcomer tech group about to be split up in court is made of young people of color, the same people who align with the vision of SPRQPoint Simon’s fought for despite the priorly perceived consequences. There’s a passing of their details and an unsaid agreement he’s not going to let this slide under the underprivileged table.


Often when it comes to the idea of speeches, we simply think of one ringleader who knows the guest of honor so well that memorable events in time are spewed into a humorous speech, but when it comes to saying goodbye to Max, several faces stand up. First, there’s Mo, you know, he’s excitedly happy since his move will result in franchising hence the sound of dollar bills, then his west coast mother Maggie, friend Simon, and an eerie clatter from a fork colliding with glass as Zoey awkwardly launch into hers. It’s supposed to be sentimental; after all, we know by now the story of the first day they met, but there’s a couple of details missing that are being voiced around the table. She turns to Danny, who’s strategically sitting next to her. They’re right. It’s all over her face; the exploded bomb wired together with the acknowledgment Max had initially gotten the job. 

The red color scheme reflecting a tightened space reminds us of how heightened Max’s and Zoey’s emotions currently are, trapped in the restaurant’s kitchen. She has a great point. Her career has always been her focus, the pin of honor she wears around as an introduction to only now fall into the passed onto her so easily category. So does Max, however, delivering this powerful speech with the subtext of him having believed in her ever since their first meeting. More too, the elusive idea of love at first sight despite a tackle of witty one-liners spurting from differing backgrounds. She doesn’t know how to disagree with him, and neither do we. He stands near to the doors, ready to join the group once again, only for her stammering what could’ve been a love confession. It never does, but it’s undoubtedly felt, this haunting bookmark closing the chapter on Rose.

It’s the switching off of a PowerPoint presentation revealing her father behind her; the dream sequence comes when he’s most needed, one can pick up as Max is sat at his old desk before the boarding announcement news filters over the speakers. There’s a dark side when it comes to wants, a laundry list of fears telling us the minute we receive it, there’s an unimaginable series of events appearing for it only to be taken away from us. For those who seek control like Zoey, we latch onto the predictable, the safe choices, those things we aren’t so connected to so we don’t have to feel the gaping hole of loss if we were to go with the otherwise. Yet in between the verses stuck in OneRepublic’s “I Lived” with her arm twined together with the person she loves perhaps more than anybody ever has yet somehow imagined to watch on as the world survived after his time was up, came to the understanding everything he ever wanted for her was better than being kept tied to fear. She’s going to fight for Max, this she tells Mo. 


Perched on the two-step bridge between the study and living room sits Maggie backed against the wall. Emily finds her asking what’s wrong for her to show a message stating that her high school boyfriend now has a wife. She feels quite stupid for it, but the other doesn’t necessarily view it as a bad thing and, if anything, lets her know those emotions tied up with falling in love is something her body wants to feel again in this lifetime. Simon has an idea up his sleeve coinciding with the group of young people of color, an incubation program where he’ll be able to work closely to send them up the ladder. Does he remember he already has a job? Danny does, at least; doesn’t necessarily care, though as they shake on it, there is the question of Zoey. She’s no longer Simon’s girlfriend, which he comically thinks is what Danny’s bringing up; however, the boss who presumably won’t have a problem as she’s considerably rational.

This, of course, is contrasted with her honking up a storm as the blue jeep slides behind the yellow taxi reminiscent of the cookies decorated at Max’s going away party. Michael Bolton’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” was never viewed as a tune serenaded in rejection, although it’s seemingly the case as its coin slotted into the jukebox playing in Max’s mind. Zoey’s given a front-row seat, of him declaring his love to someone else and knows it’s time to walk away, let the idea of them become undoubtedly dated in expiry. The other one left on the shelf is Simon and her, a topic McKenzie’s asking about, worrying if she and Tobin will end up in the same place due to it transpiring in the workplace. It’s here where Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” is heard from Simon’s cubicle, not only knowing they made the right choice for the both of them, but they simply weren’t meant to be.

Relationships akin to experiences come into your life for a reason and leave when it’s time, although it doesn’t necessarily mean one wants to erase it, for, during those moments when its language was only spoken by the two of you, it was special. Maggie believes so, too, as she’s entertaining the possibility of truly dating again. The landscape is the San Francisco bridge where the dying sun sets before the night’s lilac colors start washing out the sky viewable from the park bench Zoey is sat on. She doesn’t think she’ll see Max for a long time, least of all here, but he’s showing up behind her with the announcement he never actually left with Rose. He was simply always thinking about someone else, and that heart song Zoey heard was meant for her. She gives in to the idea of them then, and he, uh? Lets her pick up the microphone for a special cover of Modern English’s “I Melt With You,” having this season’s cliffhanger land on the knowledge he suddenly has the ability to hear heart songs. Come again?

While there is no news of a season 3, take a musical trip through this past season by reading our previous Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’s recaps.

Joining the Nerds and Beyond team back in February 2019, Rachel Finucane graduated university with a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) majoring in Screen Arts. She’s been passionate about all things television and film-related since penning her first Neighbours fanfiction aged twelve, before inevitably taking that pen to dabble in fashion, sports, and music. She can be spotted on Twitter at @rachelfinucane_.

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