“Zoey’s Extraordinary Best Friend” makes his intentions clear as Zoey grapples with her new position at work.
This recap of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 1, Episode 2, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Best Friend”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Episode 2, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Best Friend”, is — perhaps unsurprisingly given the title — in large part about Max (Skyler Astin), the nice-guy bestie of titular protagonist Zoey (Jane Levy) who, as we learned at the end of the pilot thanks to her new ability to hear peoples’ innermost thoughts as extravagant song-and-dance numbers, is hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with her.
This is a problem, obviously, not least because the news – which is confirmed by Max gyrating in Zoey’s direction during her first meeting as new head of the department – conflicts with her promotion, her crush on Simon (John Clarence Stewart), her myriad personal woes, and the fact that Max is her sole platonic confidante. Now, even innocent plans to go out for dinner at hip farm-to-table restaurants might be perceived as real dates, so Zoey has no choice but to set Max up with their lonely, pretty barista, Autumn (Stephanie Styles).
Naturally, Max picks up on this in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Episode 2 – he is, after all, Zoey’s extraordinary best friend. Her attempts to blame her weird behavior on the pressures of her new position don’t really take, and it’s a rift that can only be healed by a late gesture of goodwill when Max turns up with pudding for Mitch (Peter Gallagher) to try. This might well be the kind of show in which these two eventually figure out they’re destined to be together, but I think their relationship works just fine as friends.
Speaking of Mitch, he seems to be on the up thanks to new medication; with the ability to move his face and hands a bit more, he can answer simple yes-or-no questions using a buzzer, which makes for some funny moments and a good excuse to showcase how Zoey can use her power to help him communicate better. Much of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Episode 2 is given over to deciphering the significance of Van Morrison’s “Moondance”, which leads to a touching payoff between Mitch and Maggie (Mary Steenburgen).
Meanwhile, Zoey still has to juggle her responsibilities at work, including managing a team who she believes don’t necessarily trust her as a leader. Her powers lead to paranoia, and a frantic all-nighter during which she handles an entire coding project by herself, which hardly engenders trust in the people who were tasked with sharing the load. To make amends she reads from her journal the first impressions she had of her various co-workers, which seems to do the trick. But Zoey’s life seems to be getting more complicated, not less, and despite some positive developments, there’s still the matter of her love life to contend with.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.