We love Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist around here. A whole lot. And, well, we are in the middle of a quarantine, with very few new content coming till 2021.
So, yes, we are doing a re-watch of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, and yes, we are going to be talking about every episode as if it just aired. Because, we love the show, you love the show, and frankly, what else are we going to do to fill the time?
Joining me this week for “Zoey’s Extraordinary Outburst” are Fangirlish writers Lizzie and Jacqueline as well as guests Jacquie and Amanda.
This was a hard episode to watch because of its unflinching look at the uglier side of grief. How did you perceive Zoey in this episode? Did you sympathize with her behavior, or do you think she was over the line?
Jade: She was definitely over the line. She was so far over the line, the line was a tiny speck from where she stood. But I still sympathized with her. I cringed a lot of the time, but I sympathized. I also really loved being allowed to see a less pleasant side to the character. I think a lot of times on television, women are constrained into these little boxes of what the audience will accept of their behavior. They can grieve, but they have to do it in a “pretty” way. They can be angry, but there’s a line they can’t cross. It was refreshing to see Zoey let loose and break free of these constraints. It was ugly, unfair, and at times unpleasant, but it allowed her to be a real, three-dimensional character. I loved it.
Lizzie: Oh, I thought she was way over the line, but in a good way, if that makes sense. I didn’t like seeing her like that, and I didn’t agree with her, but I appreciated that the show went there. Grief is so often sanitized, made into this thing that you can only feel one specific way, and that specific way TV always shows us is …well, tears. Sadness. But there’s much more to grief, and I really, really appreciated that the show let us see this ugly, but real side of it, especially as we have a female protagonist, and female protagonists are rarely allowed to be ugly in anything, even emotions.
Jacqueline: So much pain. I felt for Zoey overall in this episode because she is in so much pain that she can’t help but lash out, unfortunately innocent bystanders got hurt. Sure, she crossed the line but I don’t believe she had total control. Like we all say things in the heat of the moment when we are upset and that’s the best way to describe this. I’m glad Mo and Simon called her out and they danced it out. And while the rage was hard to watch – I love that they showed it because it was real.
Jacquie: There have been episodes that were hard to watch, but those were in a fun-loving, cringey way that is usually a side effect of Zoey’s powers. But not here. Zoey’s pain in this episode is so evident, and Jane is so good you can see it in her eyes; with or without her saying a word. I understand the rage that bubbles up when one thing sets off a chain reaction of things you can’t control. Zoey’s outburst(s) stem not just from her grief over Mitch, but also her office crush singing the same song, two of her best friends calling her out, and the cherry on top, an uncooperative maitre’d. I sympathised with Zoey, but at the same time her words were harsh and usually when we say things like that it’s not a new thought – but something that may have been festering. Some of what she said may have been over the line, but it needed to be said for Zoey to make peace with it and be able to move forward.
Amanda: Zoey is a lot to handle in this episode, something that was intentionally done because we know that overall the show does not shy away from the difficulties and messy sides of grief. I want to sympathize with Zoey’s anger because I know that her grief is driving it, but she definitely crossed the line with her behavior. Zoey has been using her powers and helping everyone with their issues as a distraction from her grief, focusing on everything but the fact that she is losing her father. She’s pushed her own grief down so much that it’s not surprising when it does come to the surface that it explodes in a volcanic fashion, and is aimed at the people closest to her.
Zoey’s anger came from a place of grief, but do you think there was a kernel of truth (either from your perspective or from hers) to anything she said? Was she justified in any of her outbursts?
Jade: I don’t know if the things she said were true from the audience’s perspective, but I think several of the things spoke to how she really feels. I’m sure she really did feel that Howie took away some of the precious time she had left with her father. She wasn’t right to yell at him about it, and her anger was more at the situation than at him, but still. I also suspect that she is frustrated with Simon’s grief, and although she understands it, she wishes he could move on. Not just for the sake of their relationship, but because it has to be scary for her to see him and wonder if she’s a few months away from being similarly unable to let go. As for Max, I certainly don’t think it’s true that he is actually selfish, but I think she’s so used to being able to rely on him, it threw her through a loop when he changed that dynamic. He isn’t selfish, but in gaining more independence, it probably felt like he was being selfish to her. To whatever extent she was expressing her real feelings, I think it was important that she do so. She needed to get those things off her chest. But, you know, there were better ways to do it.
Lizzie: I’m saying things that might have some truth to them doesn’t really translate to I have a right to say those things even if I KNOW they shouldn’t be said, and they especially shouldn’t be said the way I said them. Like, yes, some of what she said to Simon and even Max – because the rest was just her being frustrated, and yes, the restaurant was at fault, but not Howie – has some truth to it, but it’s also the kind of things you don’t say, and you especially don’t say like THAT. So no, she wasn’t justified, but I really don’t think that was the point. The show wasn’t even trying to justify her. She was just processing her grief and pain in the destructive way.
Jacqueline: Zoey’s anger showed a selfish side of her, I don’t know if there was a kernel of truth to anything. It seems like nothing she wants is coming true for her and she’s had it with Simon and Max. But I think her frustration is part of her anger and she can’t see anything but the rage. I can’t think of any outburst where she was justified.
Jacquie: (see above answer) … just kidding, I have so much more to say here. Her grief put her in an emotional enough place to speak without thinking, and I think what she had to say had been festering – more so with Simon and Max than anyone else.
With Simon: Zoey has been trying to help him through his grief, semi-selfishly because she likes him. She thinks that fixing Simon will make one less hurdle to jump before she can get what she wants from him – especially now that Jessica is out of the picture. So when she sees that he is stuck, that she has had no real effect on stopping his grief, that causes her to get frustrated with him. And she finally cracks as he brings it up again – when she’s trying to use Simon as a distraction. Her outburst was understandable here, and something that was needed to disillude this flawless “amazing connection” these two believe they share.
With Max: He has been pulling away slowly from being the friend she once knew, but that’s okay, because Max is growing as a person. We know Zoey prefers the status quo, especially when it benefits her, but I also think she feels a little guilty for breaking her best friend’s heart; which is what she has been doing repeatedly. I think when Zoey said what she did to Max, not only was she flailing without her rock, but that rock now seemed less than interested in putting her first. At first it sounded like Zoey was trying to deflect her guilt over how she handled Max’s feelings for her, only turning more hurtful when he aggravated that by calling Zoey out on her treatment of him. This one hurt the most. Not gonna lie. So, justified? Maybe a little, just for the sake of Zoey getting some character growth that moves her forward. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but one that gets her relationships to where they need to be.
Amanda: I might allow that she was slightly justified in her outburst (though her tone was a little much) about the restaurant not having wheelchair accommodations, particularly since Mitch and Maggie have been such long-standing patrons. But that would be the only outburst she had that was justified. She yells at Mo, who is just telling Zoey what she needs to hear but doesn’t want to hear. She then turns her anger on Howie and Maggie because she’s feeling angry at herself for not being able to help Mitch more, and angry at his disease for taking him away from her. Her anger over the sedatives is selfish because she’s not seeing the bigger picture, in order to conserve what little energy he has, Mitch needs to be able to get as much rest as he can. If Mitch isn’t sleeping well at night then neither are Howie or Maggie, something that Zoey definitely doesn’t consider in her anger. However, these outbursts are minor compared to the ones she has with Simon and Max.
A lot of what she said to Simon about his grief and his dad was completely uncalled for, and while we know Simon needs some tough love occasionally, he doesn’t need that kind of tough love. Simon has every reason to be upset at what she says because while they are both people experiencing grief over their fathers, their situations are entirely different. Honestly, she’s very lucky that Simon does understand that anger is a part of grief because she crossed the line with him (more like the line is 10 miles behind her). The talk she has with him when she finally calms down, talking about how he channeled his anger at his dad to his mom (listen to your own damn advice woman!) is helpful and productive for Simon and her.
Zoey’s anger at Max is very personal, he’s her best friend which means he’s supposed to be there for her no matter what, and in her mind, he’s abandoned her to go to the sixth-floor. In all fairness to both her and Max, their relationship has gone through a lot recently and neither of them is entirely sure about where they stand with the other. She is partially right in that Max is mad at her, which he does have a right to be, but everything else she says to him is meant to hurt him and upset him. Particularly when she says, “Nobody down here understands why Ava wanted you in the first place, just FYI,” that was meant to hurt Max and prey on his insecurities. That and when she accused him of being selfish is where she really crossed the line with Max. She’s goading him, trying to get a reaction from him so she can justify her anger to herself and paint Max as the bad guy.
What about Max? Was his anger towards Zoey justified, or did it just stem from his own heartbreak?
Jade: Look, is some of it from his own heartbreak? Sure. Is all of it? No. It’s funny, but I felt slightly more frustrated with him the first time I watched the season through than I did on rewatch. I didn’t want him to be angry, because it hurt me to see that tension, and Zoey really is going through a lot. On rewatch, however, I realized that even though Zoey is legitimately going through a lot…well, there’s a difference between an explanation and an excuse. As Lizzie and I discussed in the Missed Opportunities article this week, Zoey and Max’s friendship has been presented as unequal through the course of the season. That Zoey is going through a lot explains why she hasn’t been there for Max as much as he’s been there for her. But it doesn’t excuse the hurt that’s caused him. As understanding as Max has been – time and time again – everyone hits a breaking point. And to be called selfish on top of that? I’d be mad, too.
Lizzie: I think both can be true in life, and that’s part of what makes life, well …not black and white. Max was trying very hard to put himself first, to do what was best for Max, as Zoey was presumably doing for her when she rejected him, and then, of course, Max got angry because Zoey was just …well, mean to him, in a way he’s probably not used to. And so he reacted in anger, though I think his anger was much more justified than hers, because as Jade and I discussed in our Missed Opportunities article this week, Zoey is not that good a friend to Max. She just isn’t.
I don’t really blame Max for getting angry, just as I don’t really blame Zoey for processing her grief into anger, but there are, of course, consequences to people’s actions. That’s one truth we cannot escape.
Jacqueline: I LOVED Max in this episode! I think he’s anger was justified but it was more about standing up for himself. He’s not, nor should he, taking anymore of Zoey’s crap. He’s stepping up for himself and I just wanted to CHEER!!! He didn’t say anything that wasn’t true or anything cruel. Zoey wanted the fight and he responded as politely as possible given the situation. Team Max.
Jacquie: Mad MaxTM, as I have been affectionately calling him, gave me a slightly different opinion on that this time around over the last few rewatches. I would side with Max Richman on just about everything, that hasn’t changed. What did change for me is that, on this rewatch, Max seemed to be thinking less with his heart and more with his head. Everything he said to Zoey pre-”no one even knows why Ava hired you” was very logical – like he had put a lot of thought and reasoning into it. Almost like following his heart had only gotten him stuck in a situation that was constantly breaking it, so now he’s trying something new. This episode puts Max and Zoey in stark contrast to some of their most defining character traits – with Zoey now being ruled by emotion. Max’s hurt feelings still make him come across a little petty. Any chance he gets to show Zoey how upset with her he is – he takes it. But this fight has more depth to it than that. Max is a nice guy, and he knows it. He would never have done what Zoey did to anyone, let alone his best friend. So I think he sees Zoey as less of a good person than he did before, and that’s great. Accepting the flaws of the people we love lets us truly love them more, so once they make up, I think Max’s love will be even stronger.
Amanda: In all honesty, I’m on Max’s side with his anger at Zoey. From what we have seen throughout the season, she really hasn’t been a good friend to Max, let alone a best friend. We’ve seen Max bend over backward to help her with her problems (to quote Hamilton, “Here’s an itemized list of thirty years of disagreements”); calling in his one-time-only favor to Shigeru Miyamoto to save the SPRQ Watch launch (yes it was for the whole team, but the event was her first big thing as team leader), getting her to the hospital after Mitch fell, putting aside his feelings/confession to try and let her prove her powers existed, trying to help her when she was glitching, risking his own job to save her during the CHIRP presentation, even after their fight about her singing to both him and Simon he still tells her that Maggie is worried about her and then gives her the push/advice she needs to go see Mitch, the next morning he even asks her how things went with Mitch even though you know he is hurting from everything that happened. Need I go on? So when Zoey calls Max selfish, he is not wrong to say “you are calling me selfish?” She’s his best friend and she didn’t even remember the day he was moving up to the sixth-floor! The whole “sorry I was going to get you a gift,” umm yeah you should have gotten him something (yes I am still salty about this, and probably will be for a long time!) he’s your best friend! At the very least offer to take him out to lunch to celebrate his promotion or something!
Timeline-wise we know Zoey’s glitch happened fairly recently, so we can safely say it’s been no more than two or three weeks since then. That’s not exactly a lot of time to deal with heartbreak, a promotion, and the news that Mitch’s meds have stopped working so he doesn’t have much longer. So of course some of Max’s anger stems from his heartbreak, he’s still trying to process everything and understand what it means for him and Zoey going forward. Overall though, Max’s anger is totally justified and it comes from being underappreciated, undervalued, and taken advantage of for too long, both in the workplace and in his friendship with Zoey.
4th floor or 6th floor? If you were in Max’s shoes, who would you have sided with in the battle over his code?
Jade: I love the people on the 4th floor more, because we’ve had a chance to get to know them to an extent that we don’t know the 6th floor crew. But from a real-world perspective? 6th floor. Not just because he wasn’t lying when he said he had been unappreciated on the 4th floor, but because…you don’t get far in your career by siding with your old boss over your new one. Maybe not all bosses, but many bosses would hold a grudge for undermining them by siding with the other floor. Ava certainly seems the type to do so. If it was a different company, the discussion would be different. But since it’s the same company and just different floors? Choosing the 4th floor would probably have gotten him fired much sooner.
Lizzie: This is all academic, as this is 100% not how it would work in real life, but 6th, no doubt about it. Why should he have remained loyal to the 4th floor when no one there ever appreciated him and his best friends of years and years basically just told him he wasn’t good enough?
Jacqueline: Maybe if the 4th had shown just a little more love I’d have given them the code but nope, 6 is showing all the love. Max was right to keep the code for his new 6th floor team. He wrote it and he works for 6 now. I love that they recognize his awesomeness. But I’m a little surprised that Joan couldn’t just claim ownership as it was written while he was working for her…just a thought.
Jacquie: Let’s see. 1) I didn’t even like most of my co-workers or have a relationship with them, 2) my boss never even bothered to learn my name, 3) no one even cared that I was leaving, and 4) my best friend/superior didn’t fight to keep me and my skills or even recognize them as a major asset. That would make the 6th floor a no brainer. I, like Max, have this nasty little habit of following a blind loyalty that’s usually not returned in full. But, sometimes you have to put that aside and look at the reality of the situation. At this point, Max is being fawned over in his career like never before – and that seems like a better option than people who only pay attention to you when it’s convenient for them (cough*Zoey*cough) So I’m 6th floor all the way … but that opinion is subject to change in light of future events.
Amanda: Much like Max I thought initially he should have given the code to the fourth-floor. He worked on that code as part of the fourth-floor team, which means in theory it should have stayed with the fourth-floor when he left. However, Max did the work on that part of the code which means he can do what he wants with the code.
The only person we saw Max have positive interactions with on the fourth-floor was Zoey, and even if they weren’t fighting right now, having only one person you’re on friendly terms with doesn’t make a positive work environment. Joan couldn’t even remember Max’s last name, and she doesn’t have any interactions with him outside of talking to the whole team or just him and Zoey, that doesn’t exactly foster any loyalty to the fourth floor.
Zoey’s quick to point out that he’s only been there for two days, but in those two days we’ve seen Ava and his team interact with him in ways that make him feel appreciated and valued. While part of that is the initial settling into a new position with a new team, so of course they want to treat you well, you can also see that he’s already coming into his own as a manager. His team could have been upset that Ava brought someone up from the fourth-floor to fill the position instead of promoting from within the team. Instead, they appreciate his openness with them and his desire to work as a team, something we rarely see the fourth-floor do. So I’m with Max on his choice, sure he did the work as part of the fourth-floor team, but he doesn’t owe them anything.
After Simon and Jessica’s breakup in the previous episode, he asked Zoey out on a date. What were your thoughts about the timing of this date and how it actually went down?
Jade: I know that a lot of it has to do with the fact that the show had a shorter season, so a lot had to happen in a short amount of time. That said, I was astonished that they established that it had been a matter of days since the breakup, and yet Simon’s grief seemingly had zero to do with his failed relationship. I mean, I’ve dated several people in my day. I’ve even been the one to end my fair share of them. But even when I ended it, and even when I did so because it was the right thing to do, there was still a period of grieving over what was, what might have been, what I wanted it to be, whatever. And I wasn’t engaged to any of them. When things were so awkward on their date – enough that it was clear the awkwardness was scripted and not an accident – I thought it would come out that he was sad about what happened with Jessica, even if he didn’t regret it. But she didn’t seem to even be a blip on his radar.
Lizzie: My eyes are rolling so far back they’re almost stuck. I know this has a lot to do with the show timing and requiring the storyline to move forward, but FOUR DAYS, Simon? FOUR. DAYS? Are you kidding me? Like, at least take a week, man. You take more time to recover from a cold!
Part of it, of course, is that Simon has been, for a long time, trying to cover his pain with one thing and then another, and with Zoey he’s got what he feels is a middle ground, someone he doesn’t have to cover the pain with, but someone who is, in many ways, a way to ignore the pain. As he realizes near the end of the episode, though, what he has to do to really heal is let himself feel the pain, for once. Face it, head on. And I’m glad he made that choice, for his sake.
Jacqueline: I was shocked that he asked out Zoey right away. I also had whiplash from Zoey suddenly being so sure she wanted to go out with him! It was NEVER going to work for so many reasons! It seemed odd that Simon would ask anyone out right after breaking up with Jessica. Before it happened we knew it would be a disaster but it was even worse. I feel for Simon, he really needs to deal with everything going on with him, he just ended a serious relationship and lost his father – THAT IS A LOT.
Jacquie: Simon’s attitude when he comes off that elevator is very strong and conquering – like he’s decided to make some major life changes. This, however, is a horrible (yet totally typical) idea when someone is emotionally vulnerable; most notably after a breakup. IT HAS ONLY BEEN 4 DAYS SIMON! DID YOU FORGET AT ONE POINT YOU WANTED TO SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE WITH THAT WOMAN! I think he was rushing into something with Zoey because he knew she wanted it, he wanted it too, but if he stopped to think about it logically for even a second the whole thing would implode. And it did – hence the “Mad World” reprise. I’m happy Zoey had the sense to leave, even though she’s in no better shape than Simon emotionally. If Simon wanted to talk things out, he and Zoey could have easily gone to a public place. There was no need for her to come check out his new apartment and have him cook her dinner – neither of them are ready for that no matter how much they may want to be. By the way – moving into a building of widows and divorcees … really Simon? Maybe one of them has the number of a nice therapist.
Amanda: It is way too soon for him to even think about putting himself out there! It’s been less than a week since he and Jessica ended their relationship! He needs to put on the brakes and take some time for himself and to really decide what he wants for himself. He also hasn’t really given himself the time to grieve the loss of his relationship with Jessica. She was there when his dad died, they were engaged to be married, that’s not something that you just shrug your shoulders and say “well, you win some you lose some.” Much like Zoey, Simon wants things to be okay and he thinks that having Zoey over for dinner is a step towards the future when instead it’s avoiding the bigger issues.
I wish that Zoey had given Simon a better explanation for why she was leaving when she did. I’m glad that she did leave, realizing in her own selfish way, that she shouldn’t have gone in the first place. Simon was left wondering what he did wrong all night, which is not a great feeling. She owed him more than the “you are just singing the same old song,” which even though Simon doesn’t know about her powers, is a pretty hurtful statement in itself. She was so busy being in her own mind, thinking about what she wants, that she doesn’t even consider the fact that he just broke up with his fiance! Not only did they break up, but he had to move out and into a pre-furnished apartment in a building full of divorcees and widows (Magazines that came with the apartment? That might actually be sadder than the outdated magazines you find in your doctor’s office). That’s a whole lot of changes happening in Simon’s life in less than a week! Why Zoey assumed that he would be fine and ready to move on is beyond me.
Although Zoey thought Leif was just playing Joan, it was apparent in this episode that he actually had real feelings for her. Do you think he meant to use her and something changed, or did Zoey misunderstand his motives? Did you feel any sympathy for him over the breakup?
Jade: I still find it hard to believe he didn’t intend to use Joan when he entered into the relationship with her. “I’ve Put a Spell on You” just gives me that vibe. So I’m not sure when, exactly, something changed for him, but it was clear something did. The thing was, I really started off the series not liking Leif very much (the first time through, at least). And yet, when he was so heartbroken over his relationship with Joan, my heart really went out to him. I think that it softened the character and took him from, “this is the unrepentant villain of the story” to “this guy is a bit of a dumpster fire, but I hope he finds happiness in the end.” His was perhaps the most surprising character growth of the season for me, so that was fun to see.
Lizzie: I don’t think that was the plan, no, but I have no hard time believing Leif would develop feelings, because Joan is an amazing woman. That being said, I feel very little sympathy. What did he expect, really? That the woman he was trying to take advantage of and ended up falling for would end up feeling the same? THIS IS NOT A ROM COM, Leif.
Jacqueline: I really do believe Leif planned to use Joan for career advancement and then fell for her by accident. I’m not a Leif fan but I did feel some sympathy when Joan dumped him. But I do appreciate the way she dumped him – there was no room for confusion. It may have seemed harsh but it was what Leif needed to hear. Leif should move on.
Jacquie: We’ve seen in past episodes that Leif is absolutely shameless in his attempts to live up to his family’s high expectations. I do think that he is the more sensitive member of his family (which is saying something), so it only half surprised me that his feelings turned into something real. However it started, Joan ended up ‘casting a spell’ of approval and attention that Leif has probably been craving his whole life. But, that doesn’t make him less of a snake. Zoey has seen how Leif can turn things around and manipulate things in his favor, so her concern is absolutely warranted. That being said, I did feel for him. He looked genuinely heartbroken when Joan ended it, and no one deserves that kind of pain. Not even a Slytherin. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Joan isn’t the kind to be used by anyone – a lesson I believe Leif learned the hard way; but became more okay with it when he got something from being with Joan he never expected – genuine feelings.
Amanda: Leif definitely started the relationship with Joan for nefarious reasons, but I think once he got involved with her he very quickly fell for her. So Zoey didn’t misunderstand his initial motives, his intentions at first were to use Joan to move up the corporate ladder, but then when he developed feelings for her that plan went straight out the window. We get to see a bit of the human side of Leif with his relationship with Joan and their breakup and I like that Leif. However, I don’t like the obnoxious, condescending, will stab you in the back to get what he wants Leif. I feel cautiously sympathetic for him because he’s Leif, so while I’m sorry for him going through the breakup I also don’t trust him (which he, of course, he proves next episode).
The series is primarily about Zoey and her grief, but she isn’t the only one losing Mitch. In this episode, Maggie struggled with her own grief at seeing the man she loves slip away, and at the regrets over her own past mistakes. Where do you think she is in her own grieving process?
Jade: I’m sure we’ve talked about this before, but people tend to perceive grief as a series of bars to be hurdled, one after the other. When, really, it’s like a “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey” mess of tangled string. You go through anger, you get past it, a week later you’re right back in the middle of it again. Given what we know of the rest of the season, I think it’s fair to say that Maggie’s still struggling with a certain amount of denial. But there’s also regret, thinking about the things that she wishes she’d done differently. If only she’d known. As much as it hurt to watch Zoey’s grief throughout the episode, Maggie’s simple admission that she’d ruined their last anniversary because she thought they would always have more was perhaps the most emotionally devastating moment for me. You always think you have more time to make up for past mistakes, and when it turns out you’re wrong, all you have left are regrets. As we watch Maggie go through grief next season, I suspect that’s an emotional thread we’ll see her pick up again.
Lizzie: I think Maggie has probably already processed the anger part, and as much as that comes back at times, because our brains are just mean like that, I think she’s in a healthier place when it comes to the grief of what’s coming. However, this is, again, all academic, as the grief she feels before she loses him doesn’t really compare to the grief after losing him, and they’ll all have to start the stages of grief all over again in season 2.
Jacqueline: I think Maggie is in more of an acceptance stage but I’m sure she also has her angry moments as we saw with the lemonade. Losing Mitch is not fair for anyone but as we see in a later episode its a different kind of loss for Maggie. She’s also still a major caregiver for Mitch, meaning she can’t fall apart the way Zoey can. She is probably more messed up then she lets on. She has to keep it together with Mitch and the kids when her world is falling apart. Now, I’m all teary!
Jacquie: In someone as demure and gentle as Maggie, grief is easier to see in its more explosive stages, aka anger, but I think Maggie has moved past that. In this episode, she seemed to teeter between acceptance and guilt, all while watching what this grief is doing to her daughter as well. Maggie seems intent on focusing all her love and attention to Mitch while she still can, and it is both heartbreaking, and heartwarming, to see how much she truly loves her husband. Some of us can only imagine that kind of love, and it’s nice to see the spouse not falling apart and missing these final moments, but rather treasuring every second and making the most of it. Sometimes we forget that grief doesn’t always have to look devastating, and Maggie is the epitome of that idea in this episode.
Amanda: Maggie is determined to put on a good face for everyone, something we have seen throughout the season with her. Her grief is very different from Zoey’s, yes they are both losing the same person, but while Zoey is losing her father, Maggie is losing her husband, the love of her life, her other half. We’ve seen examples of Maggie dealing with the anger, denial, and depression parts of her grief in past episodes. In this episode we see her dealing with depression but she’s also leaning towards acceptance. Of course, grief isn’t a linear path, so while she is now in what some consider the “last stage” of grief, it can always cycle back to the anger, denial, depression, etc. Time spent together is what is important to her, it’s why she doesn’t force the issue of them going out for their anniversary. Maggie knows how little time she has left with Mitch, and she is willing to spend it with him however she can.
What was your favorite musical number in this episode?
Jade: I always enjoy the songs as individual numbers, but also in the way they thread through the story and hit different notes. This might be the episode where I appreciate the latter the most. I love the way the episode starts with a power ballad in “Here I Go Again,” with Max and Simon both celebrating their newfound independence, ready to tackle whatever comes next. “Let’s Stay Together” is sweet and hopeful and romantic. “Mad World” takes you back down as a reminder of the characters’ sorrow and grief, but “The Boy Is Mine” gets you pumped and ready to fight. And then all of that emotion is brought home with “Perfect” since so many of those songs really make me think of Maggie and Mitch’s relationship with each other. The way it is clear they used to be, before his illness, their determination to fight to be there for each other until the end, and of course the grief Maggie will soon face without him. If I had to choose one song, it would probably be “Pefect” but…man, I don’t want to choose just one song.
Lizzie: “Here I Go Again” was very good, and I think Skylar and John’s voice complement each other really well, and we should probably get another duet or five out of the two of them while the show attempts to keep alive the love triangle that no one likes.
Jacqueline: Here I Go Again by Max and Simon – LOVED their voices together and it was the perfect song for the moment. It was just so awesome that even though it was the first song of the episode nothing surpassed it for me.
Jacquie: “Here I Go Again” is my favorite Simon vocal performance of the season … Max was good too. But “Perfect” was just what the title implies. I could not hold back the tears as Maggie and Mitch shared with us a vision of what their relationship looked like before he got sick. Maggie and Mitch are the MVP couple of the show, the example we should all aspire to, and it was nice to get to see that rather than just hear about it. They can break my heart with that song anytime.
Amanda: “That Boy is Mine” has such a great West Side Story, Dance at the Gym vibes, so I love it for that. And the elevator shot/transition from Max to Simon in “Here I Go Again,” is just an amazing visual. However, the absolute best number in this episode is without a doubt, “Perfect.” The whole set up for them to still have a special celebration for their anniversary is adorable, and I just love them together so much. The song is just, dare I say it, perfect for them, and them dancing together, knowing it’s been months since they were able to do so. I just end up getting super emotional and crying like a baby, because they are just such a wonderful couple!
Share a GIF that sums up your feelings about the Zoey/Max fight in this episode.
So happy to see Max stand up for himself and this just increased the tension in their relationship!!
Jacquie: There are a few – here’s just the first three…
Max being confident and defending his decision?
Max telling Zoey that he’s spent too much time worrying about her happiness over his own?
Max and Zoey fighting and not talking to one another?