Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist season 2, episode 4 recap – “Zoey’s Extraordinary Employee”

January 28, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Employee” introduces a potential new love interest to give the show a welcome jolt of energy at it approaches the awkward middle portion of the season.

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3.5

Summary

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Employee” introduces a potential new love interest to give the show a welcome jolt of energy at it approaches the awkward middle portion of the season.

This recap of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist season 2, episode 4, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Employee”, contains spoilers.


As is becoming something of a habit, there’s a lot going on in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Employee”, and the big takeaway from the episode, as it happens, isn’t Zoey’s employee at all, but an intriguing new potential love interest in the form of an absurdly handsome young Aussie rocker. But seeing as that’s treated as something of a cliffhanger, we’ll get to it in a bit.

In the meantime, let’s just go over where we find ourselves in the latest episode, especially after last week’s disappointing one. Maggie is still reeling from Mitch’s death and still finding a new source of happiness and excitement in Jenna, Emily’s sister. When Maggie’s handsome, well-off landscaping client, Roger, asks her out on a date, he makes the mistake of equating a divorce to an untimely loss. But he also triggers lots of very complicated feelings in Maggie that Jenna is obviously there to help her explore, including how she can’t guilt-trip herself into never moving on or being happy again without Mitch. It’s a bit soon now, but who knows what the future holds?

The same question could be posed of Zoey, who has ended her relationship with Max on amicable terms and is suddenly available – but not, mercifully, to Simon, which is where I assumed we might be going next. Yes, the arrival of a heretofore unmentioned new love rival feels like a bit of an asspull, but it might well be exactly what the show needs to spice up its floundering relationship dynamics. We’ll have to wait and see.

With Simon occupied by Tatiana (Alvina August), and Max presumably too busy with his and Mo’s business, it’s probably time for Zoey to seek greener pastures anyway. Max and Mo’s start-up gets a fair amount of attention in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist season 2, episode 4, and particularly the strain it’s putting on both of them. Max, more buttoned-up and serious, doesn’t quite see how Mo’s outlandish creativity and energy are equally as valuable to the business as his determined paperwork and seriousness. It takes Mo revealing later in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Employee” that she talked him up to Tatiana and secured him a Wired interview to remind him that there are different ways of doing things and that they work the best together, not independently. This was very relatable for me, as someone who owns a website with someone who actually likes the movie Interstellar.

Meanwhile, things continue to go badly at SPRQ Point, particularly for newcomer George. Up until Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist season 2, episode 4, it was hard to see what the show had planned for this character, and going forwards it’s harder still. With SPRQ Point losing money and Lief’s poorly-handled SPRQ Watch a PR and public health disaster, Zoey has to cull her team. George, who is underperforming relative to his peers, is intended to be one of the layoffs, but after Zoey lets him go, she gets very drunk later and re-hires him again. There’s no wonder this company is going under, frankly.

And then there’s Emily and David, who aren’t pretending they’re the only couple on Earth to have ever had kids anymore. Their latest problem, though, is that David is suddenly unsatisfied with his career as a high-flying public defender, and wants to quit while Emily goes back to work so he doesn’t miss out on unnecessary time with their baby. Of course, they have made a number of ambitious plans that kind of require two incomes, and Emily has long-since been established as uncompromising, so he’s hesitant to reveal how he truly feels until Zoey inspires him to do so. It doesn’t go down well at first, but eventually, she comes around to the idea of him being a house husband – at least he’ll be a happy one.

Historically, I haven’t much cared for any of the subplots involving Emily and David, but I enjoyed this development; I also think, though this might be a long-shot, that it’s closing off their arc a little bit to shuffle them out of the limelight to focus on Jenna and Maggie and the two new characters instead.

Either way, though, an emerging theme of this season is that the Clarke family is holding together even in spite of Mitch’s absence, which is a smart way to go. Having basically adopted Jenna, and with Emily and David around Maggie’s house all the time, not to mention Zoey living there, the feeling of one big unit has been particularly prevalent in these new episodes, and they’re so likable as a whole that you can’t help but delight a little when you see characters like Mo, who wouldn’t usually be there, testing out new cocktail ideas. This show has always excelled in terms of its characters and their interpersonal relationships, and by bundling so many under one roof that quality is only exacerbated. It’s my favorite thing about the show, ahead of even the song-and-dance numbers, and really stands out in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist season 2, episode 4.

And then there’s Aiden (Felix Mallard), Zoey’s long-time Australian neighbor who has recently returned after several years and is keeping everyone up with his band’s music. Zoey heads round to give him an earful and discovers that he’s a real looker, and just like that, she accepts his offer to chill. Just like that, too, the show becomes a lot more interesting, with a fresh relationship to explore that just might give the back half of the season the energy it needs.

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