Soundtrack Season 1, Episode 2, “Track 2: Joanna and Nellie” is a tale about chasing dreams and figuring out what you actually want.
This recap of Netflix series Soundtrack Season 1, Episode 2, “Track 2: Joanna and Nellie” contains spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.
Soundtrack Episode 2 opens up with Joanna — this is before she became a caseworker and crossed paths with Sam. She’s at a dance audition, but unfortunately, she does not get into the next round. Joanna breaks into “Heat” by Kelly Clarkson, and the subsequent scenes show Joanna getting rejected over and over again.
After her multiple rejections and extremely sore feet, she takes a call from her mother who is worried that they haven’t seen her recently. Joanna notices a woman nearby crying who blurts “f–k are you looking at?”. Joanna goes to another audition but at a pool club. The job is to be a girl inside a clear box laying down. This is hardly her dream, and it’s written all over her face how she feels about taking it.
Episode 2, “Track 2: Joanna and Nellie” then introduces us to Nellie again; she’s finding it difficult to find clothes for her date with Sam — everything reminds her of Levi. When she goes on the date, she has noticed that Sam has booked them into the restaurant where Levi dumped her. At the date, Nellie is very nervous and excited, but they both don’t seem to engage well, and she keeps on slipping up, accidentally making assumptions about his past. Nellie’s friend recommends that she just sleeps with Sam in the bathroom “because he’s hot” — so she does.
The next day, Nellie’s mother gives her a dress down on her life and career which she ignores. Sam sends her a message despite their rocky first date. Nellie’s friend suggests they go on a “real date”.
On the second date, it’s a very classy restaurant and Sam wonders how he can afford it. Nellie slips up again by offering to pay but saying, “Oh don’t worry, I wouldn’t have picked this restaurant if I was not paying,” making Sam feel insecure about his finances. Nellie makes an effort on this date, pressing about his past of wanting to be a classical pianist. She keeps pressing him, wondering why he never pursued it. Sam gets impatient and he presses her about her art and then makes a sly comment about Nellie being supported by “mummy and daddy”. Furious, Nellie breaks into a song — “Never Gonna Happen” by Lily Allen. They both leave the restaurant and end the date early and vow to never see each other again. They both shake hands sarcastically and they end up kissing.
Back to Joanna, who is now in a box and she breaks into “Crash and Burn Girl”, by Robyn. Her colleague says “box girls are usually dumb” when she sees Joanna reading a book. In the next scene, Joanna decides to take a new audition.
Back to Nellie, who is departing Sam’s bed and they once again vow to never see each other again but this time jokingly. When she returns home, she panics as she cannot find her art book. Her mother threw it away by accident. Nellie is upset and goes to Sam’s for sex but she’s not into it. He asks her what is on her mind and she delves into the Universe and signs. The pair bond over their dreams, although Nellie is freaked out that they are having a serious accident. Nellie believes that losing her art book must be a sign. At that moment, her mother rings about an opportunity and despite Sam trying to stop her, she leaves his apartment.
It’s Soundtrack’s mash-up time for Track 2. Joanna is at her audition and Nellie goes to the Ph.D. programme interview with her mother.
At Nellie’s interview, it is clear that the programme will not be perfect to show off her art. At Joanna’s audition, she makes it to the final round; she hears someone crying in the bathroom and she gives the woman wise advice — “focus on what you can control”. Nellie breaks into “Unconditionally by Katy Perry” while Joanna breaks into “Mercy” by Duffy”.
Joanna cruelly did not get the dance job. I believe the woman who rejected her was the woman crying in the bathroom who Joanna provided nice advice to. It’s clear at this moment that Joanna is done with her dreams of becoming a dancer. Nellie finds her book at the interview and quickly leaves. She takes the book to Sam’s apartment — he looks at her art and calls it breathtaking, wondering why she’d give it up. Sam gets out his guitar and reveals he still writes and plays, saying he wants to do it for himself, not other people. Nellie asks if they can help each other out, and they kiss — this time it wasn’t a kiss to lead to sex, it was the start of something serious.
Soundtrack Season 1, Episode 2, “Track 2: Joanna and Nellie” closes with Joanna accepting a career change — the USC School of Social Work. In 2020, it shows Joanna’s caseworker interview with Sam. She gives him advice on his child, asks him for more information and assures him that he’s a great father.
You can read the recap of the third episode by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.