This Is Us: Rebecca Wants To Be "In The Room" Where It Happens To Meet Her GrandChildren (Season 5, Episode 8 Recap)
You guys!!!!! You guys!!!!!! We finally got a phenomenal episode of This is Us Season 5! It took a while but we did it and we got it and I'm so happy about it!
Additionally, I'd like to extend my deepest apologies for taking so long to get this one up. I got a new job writing for Screenrant which is amazing because now I'm like a fully paid writer. Check out my articles on there (all TV and movie related) or don't, because I cannot force you to read anything, even this darling little blog of mine.
Anywho, let's get into the greatness that is "In The Room", shall we? You cannot tell me I was the only one thinking of "I wanna be in the room where it happens," each time I read the episode title. Okay, *maybe* I was, but I stand by it and encourage everyone to go stream Hamilton on Disney+.
*MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD*
Last week, Kevin was on the mission of a lifetime. He ditched his big Hollywood movie to attend the birth of his twins, but things just kept getting in his way. Miguel and Rebecca tried to get him a flight out to LA, but because he was all heroic and Pearson-like, he lost his wallet and ID at the scene of a very scary car crash. Sad.
While Kevin bargains his heart out at the Seattle airport, everyone's favorite couple Beth and Randall talk to his laboring fiancé, Madison while she waited. Randall tells Madison all about inheriting property in Louisiana from his birth mother, and stories from when him and Kevin were teenagers and Kev got shitfaced and sang Hanson's "MmmBop". This is something I would pay money to see.
While singing the 90s hit over FaceTime, Madison's face goes from 'enjoying this weird moment' to 'holy shit' as she sees none other than Kevin Pearson standing in her hospital room doorway, an exhausted smile under his mask. Y'all. I think this is the most romantic moment on This is Us in a long time. It's just so...pure. And heartwarming. The simplicity of it all. Kophie (Kevin and Sophie) shippers, eat your damn hearts out. This is true love right here.
Randall hangs up with "MCat", an adorable nickname he has placed upon her. Kevin is speechless and incredibly thankful that his estranged brother has been keeping his fiancé company for hours, and it's just another moment of pure love! This time brotherly love. God, I love it.
Meanwhile, at another hospital, Kate sits with Ellie as she is being induced and Toby camps out in the parking lot because only one visitor is allowed in the room (where it happens!). While he comes up with a list of potential middle names, an elderly man demands his parking spot from him. This man? GARY FUCKING CLARK from Grey's Anatomy. You know, the one who shoots up the hospital, kills a bunch of the staff, nearly kills Derek, etc. Mandy Moore is in that episode!
Anyway, the sight of this man getting angry on hospital property triggered me immediately, and I was 90% sure he was going to pull a gun on Toby. Thankfully, he doesn't, and he instead explains that his wife of 50 years is on a ventilator (sounds familiar) with COVID. His wife's name is Rose and luckily she pulls through, and Toby is moved by this couple's love and strength and kindness that he chooses 'Rose' as his daughter's middle name.
Ellie is having a hard time with the adoption stuff, and although initially not wanting to hold the baby, she changes her mind after delivering. Kate is obviously nervous, if she's seen the season 3 finale of Parenthood it would explain the look on her face when Ellie asks for some privacy holding the daughter she's giving away. It's awkward and tense and I got real worried there for a minute.
Thankfully, Ellie goes through with the adoption, and we get to see Kate and her baby, Hailey Rose meet for the first time. We obviously know this ends well because of the flash-forward of Hailey meeting her brother, Jack's, daughter.
We are also graced with flashbacks this episode, because why the hell not? This one comes in the form of a 90s trip to the cabin with just Jack and Rebecca because the three teens want to hang out with their friends instead of their ~lame~ parents.
Bec is all about the kid-free time, but Jack is sad that their kids don't want to spend time with them. In just a few short years they'll be moving out, and (Jack doesn't know this) he'll be dead. Rebecca promises that they will both be there for all of the big stuff in their kids' lives, and it's a bittersweet moment because we as the audience know that it's not true.
In the present, Rebecca is anxious and frustrated that she can't be with her children as they have children of their own. She feels like she's letting down her late husband, and her eyes constantly look to the blotchy painting of handprints on the cabin wall. Miguel asks her about it and she explains that she and Jack framed that the day they vowed to be there for the big moments. She asks for a drink, and you know what? She deserves one.
For those worried that Madison would die during childbirth: fear not! Mads makes it out just fine, delivering two perfect angel babies, Frances and Nicholas. Franny, named after her grandmother and Nicholas, of course after Kev's Uncle Nicky (who makes a delightful cameo!).
Kevin calls Randall afterward and apologizes for being a dick the past nine months, and Randall apologizes too. Kevin wants to talk through all the stuff between them, including the different childhood Randall experienced because of his race. Randall assures him they can have this conversation in due time, but for now he needs to go be with his family.
There's a subplot about a man named Nasir Ahmed and his wife Ester. We witness the birth of their son and the trials of their marriage, and Nasir explains that he is working on inventing video interface technology. This technology, of course, led us to videochatting as we do today, and the storyline is a love letter to Nasir and Ester for giving the Pearson's (and all of us) what we need during a global pandemic: a way to connect with our loved one. To be there, even if we can't physically be there.
What do you think of the new Big Three entering the world? Are you excited to see Kevin as a father? Are you a fan of the baby names? Comment below!
After an another break, This is Us is back with the episode we have all been waiting for -- or have we? You see, this episode gives the impression that we will finally get to see Kevin become a father, but instead it's just a long race against the clock interspersed with flashbacks of two different father-son relationships.
Let's dive in, shall we?
At the end of the last episode we learned that Madison had gone into early labor and needed Kevin to get to her ASAP. Kev, of course, was stuck in Canada shooting his new movie that apparently stars Robert De Niro. Anyway, Randall wants to chit-chat about the new property he and Beth own in Louisiana, but Kevin tells them he's got to get back to LA, and then there's this ominous shot of a car up in flames and Kevin's lost ID and you can't help but assume the worst.
This episode takes it back a few hours, showing us Kevin receiving the phone call from Madison, who explains that the twins are coming six weeks early. She is clearly nervous and unprepared and Kevin is at a loss. Twins? Coming early??? Who would've thought???? (Literally everyone, Kevin. Everyone.)
Although Madison makes it clear on the phone that she needs him by her side, he still acts like a lost puppy when it comes to making an actual decision, and kind of wanders around asking anyone and anything their opinion on what he should do. His director tells him that in six or seven hours he can go be with fiancé, but for now he needs to shoot this really important court room scene with De Niro. Kevin has the typical Kevin outburst, runs off in his (I'm assuming) rental car and quits the movie? Kind of extreme, but like also I get it.
Meanwhile in flashbacks, Jack's dad is a total dick and gets wasted at his baseball games, tells Jack he sucks, and then makes him drive them home when his son questions his sobriety. It's hard and sad to watch. In 90s flashbacks, Jack takes little Kev to football camp/a game/I'm not sure it just definitely involves sports and is the best dad ever, showing a stark contrast between the two eras.
In fact, Jack even sticks up for Kevin to his coach, who has called Kevin stupid a number of times. What an asshole. He makes it super clear to never speak that way to his child again, and then he and Kev sip cokes and eat steaks and it's super cute and it explains why Kevin wants to be so much like his father. He idolizes the man because he was always so good with him.
Madison is in the hospital alone because her backstory is still unexplained and apparently she isn't close with any of her family members. What about her best friend, Kate, you ask? Well, it just so happens that Ellie is being induced at the same time and so Kate has another birth to be present for. Honestly, if I were in Madison's position I would be scared shitless, and although she clearly is, she does a good job holding it together.
Kevin calls Bec and Miguel as they browse last minute flights for him, and eventually they find one from Seattle to LA. On his way to the Seattle airport, Kevin rescues a man who has crashed his car (the one we saw up in flames) and is extremely injured and out of it. Because he's a Pearson, he gets this man (played by Josh Malina! I love him.) to the hospital, possibly ruining his chances of being present for the birth of his children.
Everything seems like it might be okay when Kevin makes it to the airport in time for his flight, however, he has lost his wallet that contained his ID (the preview!) which makes it impossible to board. He explains to the TSA lady that his fiancé (he uses this word a lot guys, and I love it) is in labor and he has to make that flight, he just has to. We never see the resolution but in this day and age it doesn't look good for Kev. They can't let you on an airplane without any identification, even under the most intense of circumstances.
Although Kevin's fate is undetermined, Beth and Randall are able to temporarily save the day by calling Madison as they drive back from Louisiana. They tell her that she's family, and because of that they will keep her company while she waits for Kevin so she doesn't have to be alone. Of course I started to cry because THIS IS SO DAMN SWEET. Madison tells them they don't have to, but of course she wants them to, and so they do. She cries, they smile, and we all just hold our breaths and hope Kevin is able to get there.
*also holding my breath that all the babies (Kate and Toby's included) arrive safely next week!*
What did you think of the episode? What is slow-moving for you as well? I found it feeling like a really long time, even though it seemed like Kevin was so short on time. What do you think will happen with all the births next week? Let me know!
Hi, friends! Today we (I) will be recapping the midseason finale of season 2 of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. Thinking about having to go approximately 6 weeks without this delightful show breaks my heart a lot, but I'm so happy with the episodes we've been given so far and can't wait to see what's to come.
This week's episode focuses heavily on racism and most notably, racism in the workplace. I was nervous to see how this episode would play out, especially given that Zoey's has a white showrunner in Austin Winsberg. I think it's a heavy weight to put on your BIPOC characters/actors to use their own personal experiences on a show created by a white person. It's like asking to relive all of your trauma, give said trauma to the character you play, and then sit back and watch it unfold on national television.
Then again, I would like to acknowledge my privilege as a white woman, and also say that it is not my place to say whether or not racism in the workplace was handled correctly or incorrectly in this episode, because it is not something I have ever had to experience personally. With that being said, I enjoyed the episode and the use of the show's platform, and look forward to what's to come.
Immediately following Simon's press conference where he called out the glaringly obvious race issue at SPRQ Point, Zoey attempts to create conversation and apologize for her actions in last week's episode (she was high and he needed advice on what to do with the Chirp).
Simon needs some time to process what he just said to a bunch of media outlets, meanwhile Zoey tries to think of a way to create comfortable race conversations on the fourth floor. She tells Max and Mo everything that happened at work, and she suggests that they pitch their restaurant idea to the one and only Danny Michael Davis because he is in an extra generous mood when it comes to donating to BIPOC businesses given the current allegations at SPRQ Point. I must say, this is a super creative way to get Max and Mo's business going.
At first her friends are hesitant, but Zoey assures them that her and DMD are "besties now" and that she not only did drugs, but gave him drugs. Max and Mo are both impressed and a little disturbed, and ultimately agree to take DMD's guilt money if he offers it.
Zoey decides to send her team a message via Slack (I use Slack! I write for Screenrant now, guys!) to invite them to a 'town hall' of sorts where everyone can have an open conversation about race.
This doesn't go as planned, because all the white people are the first to speak on their own thoughts regarding the matter. Leif passes the 'talking ball' to Tobin who simply says, "Racism's wack, yo." A white woman goes on and on about her Filipino fiancé, and Simon's face at that moment is so brilliant (thank u JCS). He begins to sing "White Man in a Black World" and Zoey realizes she has made a grave mistake in giving all of these senseless white people a place to speak on an issue that is not theirs.
Tobin approaches Simon after the failed town hall to express his feelings on what Simon has done, thanking him for speaking out in the most Tobin way possible ("I feel you, bro."). Simon isn't in the mood for Tobin's lack of emotional energy, or for Zoey's simultaneous over-and-under compensating for her blunder.
DMD then lets Zoey know that she, as Simon's supervisor, needs to advise him to retract his statement per the board of SPRQ Point's request. Zoey is overwhelmed and confused, so she does probably the dumbest thing she could do and asks Mo how she should tell Simon that he needs to say that his thoughts don't speak for the company as a whole.
Appropriately, Mo tells Zoey that he can't be her 'Black friend that tells her how to talk to her other Black friend' and then sings Mary J. Blige with his beautiful voice. Zoey knows she is wrong, but isn't sure what to do, and honestly it all feels very real and raw. Even though Zoey's intentions are positive, she isn't thinking thoroughly before acting, and it's beginning to cause more harm than good.
Like when she does finally approach Simon, and he tells her that he will not be retracting his statement because he knows he is not the only Black person at SPRQ Point who feels this way. Unfortunately, everyone else is too afraid to speak out, leaving him feeling isolated. He is feeling like all hope is lost and he needs to quit, and Zoey rightfully gives him some space during this time.
Meanwhile, Mo and Max pitch their restaurant to DMD, and he agrees to invest. Max has to go back to the fourth floor (his old home!) to ask for some help in fixing a glitch in the app. He is hit on by Mackenzie, one of the new coders, and Tobin saves the day with his input. Another coder makes a racist joke referring to Tobin as 'slumdog', and Tobin laughs it off before singing "The Track of My Tears" to Zoey. I. Love. Tobin.
Zoey pulls Tobin into her office to ask how he feels about everything going on, and he masterfully deflects any and all of her questions. He makes fun of her for trying to therapize (it's a word, I'm making it a word) him before eventually turning around and telling her that of course he is upset. Of course he experiences racism daily. But he doesn't want to "stir the pot", and when Zoey asks him to on Simon's behalf, he declines.
The next day Zoey is pleasantly surprised when she finds out that Tobin has shared his story on Twitter, which has led to employees at SPRQ worldwide sharing theirs. Zoey is ecstatic! Simon is not alone! Tobin and Zoey run to DMD's office where Simon is about to resign, and urge him to stop by looking at the tweets from coworkers around the world. Danny Michael Davis stops them, "I have the internet too, I saw the posts." Ha!
DMD vows to walk into the board meeting and stand up to the white men, declaring himself a hero. Zoey, Tobin, and Simon remind him that he is not a hero, he is doing the bare minimum. The four of them enter the board meeting and Simon shows them the messages that all include the hashtag #BIPOCatSPRQPoint.
Leif and Tobin share a sweet moment at the end when Leif apologizes for not being a better friend and listener, and then begins to virtue signal like crazy so Tobin calls him out and asks him to tone it down. They got get a beer. It's cute.
Later, everyone is at Maximo celebrating Simon's victory, and he reminds them that there is a lot of work to be done. Racism isn't solved, but there is progress being made. Then Tatiana, Simon, and Mo sing "Tightrope" by Janelle Monae and it is beautiful and lovely and Alex Newell has one of the best voices I have truly ever heard. And now we wait 6 weeks for more!
Zoey's is creating conversations on television that you don't normally see, and it's about time these 'tough' conversations are had. This is everyday life for BIPOC people, and bringing awareness and posing solutions to these problems even with fictional characters is monumental, responsible, and informative.
Lastly, if any readers want a little more insight in a comedic and vulnerable sense about the toll racism can take over the course of one's life, I want to recommend Lacey Lamar and Amber Ruffin's book, "You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism".
Hi, friends! This week's episode of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist was a fun one, and really allowed our star Jane Levy to continue to shine, and gave a breakout plot to John Clarence Stewart, making me insanely excited for next week's episode.
I saw a lot of flack on Reddit and Twitter saying that this episode was almost too 'weird' and outside the realm the show usually resides in, and to that I say: Oh shush! It was delightful! It was silly! It was perfect.
*insert obligatory spoiler alert*
Last week we met Aiden, Zoey's super handsome neighbor who has an Australian accent for absolutely no reason. He reminds me of a less douchey Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He and Zoey play some wii tennis and he details his extraordinary life of doing "shrooms on the beach" and then performs 'Unwritten' with his beautiful voice in his beautiful cardigan. Swoon swoon swoon.
From this brief conversation/heart song with Aiden, Zoey decides she needs to make a list of possible rebellious activities she can do. Because nothing says rebel like a to-do list! She takes the day off work so she can get to crossing things off the list, and by doing so she misses the return of the "completely innocent" Danny Michael Davis at Sprq Point!
Zoey heads over to Aiden's, where he suggests they get a little wild by doing ~drugs~. Now, their drug of choice is not specified, but it's just a little pill they wash down with water. Zoey describes herself as "not really a drug person" (same) and panics as her friends immediately begin to call her asking for various forms of assistance just as she's begun her one true moment of rebellion.
Max needs Zoey to come over for breakfast tomorrow because his dad is in town ("He loves you!" "He always gives me the good floss.") and Simon calls because there is some serious shit going down at Sprq Point and he needs some advice. Advice our little Zo-Zo isn't able to give because she's going to be trippin' for the next 8 hours.
Danny Michael Davis calls next because he needs Zoey at work, but YOU GUYS! IT IS HER PERSONAL DAY! Let her do drugs with her hot neighbor in peace! When Zoey insists she cannot come into work, DMD comes to her and ends up taking some pills as well, which leads to all three of them singing 'Starships' and dancing down the street and then scouring Zoey's freezer for popsicles.
At Sprq Point, the big issue at hand is that the Chirp isn't recognizing people of color through Face ID, which is very very not good. DMD asks Simon to handle it, since he is now the PR guy, and assure the press that they will get it under control. Simon faces an internal conflict here: the Black guy has to smooth over the issue that occurred because of white people. The whole thing makes him feel super icky, and he asks Mo and Tatiana (the Wired reporter for last episode) for advice, but they give conflicting answers.
Meanwhile, Max and his dad (who looks just like him by the way) are at odds because his dad has always wanted him to go into the family business of...dentistry. Max explains his new restaurant idea and his dad isn't super into it, which in all fairness, does just sound like Doordash but with a place to sit down and order drinks. His dad ends up giving him money but his stubborn ass doesn't take it because he only wants an investor who actually believes in the idea. To which I say: TAKE THE DAMN MONEY!
Following Maggie's rejection of him last week, Roger is on a cold streak when it comes to her landscaping ideas. Jenna isn't having any of his bitterness, and ends up pouring soil in his car (I think). Maggie tells Jenna how insanely immature this is (it is) and then fires her because if she doesn't Roger is gonna fire her. Jenna throws a whole ass fit and decides to do what Emily said she does best, run away.
Maggie and Jenna make up by the episode's end, but Jenna still decides to leave, which is awkward and kind of confusing but also realistic. Like, I thought we were in store for more Jenna, but if her character is a classic hit-and-run personality it makes sense that at the first sign of trouble she'd take off. She did make a pretty adorable photo wall for Miles in his nursery, though.
Zoey momentarily decides to stop caring so much to avoid getting hurt or sad, which encourages DMD to want to sell Sprq Point and inspires Aiden to look up how long he could live on just popsicles (a month, if you were also wondering). After a back-and-forth with Max, Zoey realizes people need her to care, and she tries to convince DMD to not sell Sprq Point because it would screw a lot of people over. He's going to think about it. Something tells me this is going to come back in future episodes.
When the time comes for Simon to address the media about the Chirp, he ultimately decides to share his disappointment in Sprq Point. He explains that the leadership at SP being so incredibly white-washed has led to this 'oversight', and that things must change in order to avoid things like this happening in the future.
I'm so proud of Simon, and it's such a great scene for John Clarence Stewart. I don't know what the best course of action was for Simon to take. Should he have just did what DMD told him to do, or should he have spoken from the heart like he did? It's not fair to have such a huge PR fail lie on the shoulders of the token Black man in the office.
Next week: The repercussions of Simon's words come to a head before we get a two month-is break. What did you think of this week's episode? What flavor popsicle is your favorite? Will you miss Jenna? Let me know in the comments!
Hi all! This week's episode of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist was a refreshing trip back to our Season 1 days, where the love triangle was very much in play and so were Zoey's hilarious antics. Grief is still in the air, but subdued to make us smiler a little wider and laugh a little harder this week. Let's dive in, why don't we?
Something I looked forward to in this episode was a more prominent plot for Zoey's brother, David (Andrew Leeds). I love his character and the character of his wife Emily (Alice Lee). Their relationship seems very organic and a perfect mix of bickering and genuine love. The past few episodes have given us a glimpse into their lives as new parents, and it was refreshing to see David express his disinterest in his job and want to be a better father, especially after losing his own.
David is about to (hopefully) win his 100th case, but during so he bursts out into Queen. It's a good thing his sister has superpowers and see his obvious hurting and confronts him about it. When he brings up quitting to Emily, she is confused and upset, because they want to buy a house! And they need two incomes! And it's a drastic life change! But she eventually comes around once she realizes just how unhappy he is. I love communicative, happy adult relationships. Go David and Emily!
Things Zoey absolutely said this episode: "You could charm my pants off." If you guessed the she said this to Simon, you'd be 100% correct.
Our girl Zoey is finally feeling settled in her management position (although we miss you, Joan!), when Leif informs her that she needs to fire 10% of the fourth floor. Chaos ensues; Tobin immediately begins flirting, Leif assumes the female coders are done-zo, and Zoey begins awkwardly firing her employees.
Leif enlists Yasmin to pull up a progress tracker for each of the coders so Zoey can see their productivity rates. At the bottom? George. Zoey works up the courage to let our new friend go, while he goes on a rant about his sweet dead abuela. Zoey feels terrible, and I feel for Zoey because if you asked me to fire someone I would 100% cry and end up firing myself instead.
There's a subplot about Simon having a meeting with a journalist about the company and it goes really well for him so he sings 'Juice' by Lizzo and it's incredibly charming and I hope they bring in a new character to date him because I still do not ship him and Zoey, #oops.
In another subplot, Maggie is getting hit on by the guy that she is working for and she doesn't see it, but Jenna does! Still not sure the point of Jenna's character but I'm assuming it'll be explained at some point? Why not just get Maggie a friend her own age? We couldn't bring back Howie? I'll stop asking questions now.
Anyway, this man (whose name I have already forgotten) asks Maggie out and she's like "My husband just died, man whose name I forgot." and he's like, "Well, we all have to move on eventually." And I'm like...awkward. In case you're wondering, she says no and admits to Jenna that she could see what he was doing all along, but was hopeful she was wrong. She doesn't know how to be without Mitch. Sad.
Mo and Max are working on opening their restaurant which seems to be a way speedy process than real life but alas, #television. Max feels like he is doing all of the work and Mo is just making drinks and singing karaoke (They sing 'Opposites Attract' and it is fire). One of the recipients of Mo's many drinks is Zoey, who gets a little wasted and 1) flirts with Max by unbuttoning the very top collar button on her blouse 2) flirts with Simon by referring to him as 'a very handsome person' (she is not wrong) and 3) drunk re-hiring George. Great decisions are being made!
Hungover and regretful, Zoey returns to work the next morning realizing the mistakes she has made and meditates with Simon in her indoor shades before attempting to fire George for the second time this episode.
Georgieboy does not take it well, singing a Britney song that references ANOTHER Britney song within it which feels way too meta. Zoey tells George that she is 'freeing' him instead of firing him, which means she has officially gotten the hang of firing people!
Simon tells Zoey at one point that, "Scars remind us of the battles we fought" and I probably definitely cried, and Emily sings David a song about standing by him no matter his choices and I might 100% shed a few more tears. As we close the episode, we hear loud drumming from a neighbor's house that is driving Maggie insane. She says Aidan is back home living with his parents. Who is Aidan?
Aidan turns out to be this incredibly handsome neighbor boy who is playing 'Sex and Candy' and just ummm...just look at the picture I've attached. Zoey is like "Oh hot damn" and I'm like "Not a love SQUARE!" Share your prospects with us, Zoey! Upon further research the actor who plays Aidan is 22 (date me) and Jane Levy is a whole 31 years old which is not to say age differences don't exist in the television world, but I'm thinking this mans is going to serve as yet another distraction and give Miss Clarke some much needed ~relaxation~ in the form of 1) (meaningless) sex and 2) candy (DRUGS!).
What did y'all think of the episode? Do you think Aidan poses a threat to the Simon/Zoey/Max triangle? We have two more episodes before the midseason break: what are you hoping for? Let me know in the comments!
Zoey's "Dreams" Are Out of control, lead to The Demise Of A Short-Lived Romance (Season 2, Episode 3 Recap)
Hi, friends! If you watched this week's episode of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist then you already know that it was a lot darker than last week's cuteness. This is in no way a bad thing, a show where the story heavily revolves around a young woman losing her father isn't going to be bright and happy all the time!
So without further ado, let's dive into this week's episode, where Zoey's dreams are about to get the best of her.
As always, this is a SPOILER ALERT WARNING. If you have not yet watched Season 2, Episode 3 of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, "Zoey's Extraordinary Dreams", I would suggest bookmarking this and saving it for later.
You know the episode is going to be nuts when it starts with Jane Levy singing. My favorite episode of the series, "Zoey's Extraordinary Glitch" was an hour-long Jane Levy concert and a look into the glitchy side of Zoey's musical powers. This episode has a similar theme, only the glitch isn't in real life, but instead in her dreams. Honestly, 'dreams' feels like too nice of a word to use for what Zoey is experiencing. Homegirl is having nightmares.
In her nightmare she is frantically singing "Nowhere to Run" in an empty room, desperately trying to, well, run. She wakes up out of fear and then struggles to sleep the rest of the night, resulting in drinking Big Gulp sized iced coffees to get her through work. Zoey is spiraling. Zoey is depressed. Zoey needs a break.
But Zoey just entered a brand new relationship and got a promotion, so she's not getting anything that she needs right now. Max wants her to move out of her mom's house to regain a sense of independence, and she agrees, but is scared to leave her mom alone. Maggie is in a dark place too, singing 'Someone You Loved' (I love you Mary Steenburgen, but guys can we please dub her voice with someone else's? It's getting painful up in here) and not giving it her all at work. Luckily, Jenna (Emily's sister) is here to help bring back Maggie's artistic energy! I guess she is an important character now! She has a good voice.
At work, Zoey confides in Simon ("Question: Is sleep important?") about her twisted nightmares, which he insists are normal and will pass eventually. What he should suggest is some ~therapy~, but I'm hoping that will be brought up later. This whole episode does a good job of showing that Zoey is struggling but not totally willing to admit it or to dive deeper. Her mother is hurting but is looking forward, her brother is sad but has a new baby to distract himself with, and Zoey's got a new boyfriend and job title but those things seem to be hindering more than helping her. All which could/should be addressed in ~therapy~.
Question for y'all (and Austin Winsberg): What is Zoey's zodiac sign? I'm going to go with Gemini. She seems like an air sign. Don't make fun of me, just place your guesses in the comments please.
We have two, well, three subplots that give us a tiny breather from Zoey's personal Hell. First off, Mo and Max are looking for a building for their non-restaurant, during which Eddie and Mo break up because of his damn cruise. Second, David and Emily are still very tired due to baby Miles, and Jenna wants to do a family portrait series for their house ("I forgot you're into photography now."). And last, but certainly not least, the Brogrammers are under fire once again for their sexist ways. They're forming some sort of softball league, and Tobin ordered jerseys that look...well just go take a look yourself. Zoey's criticism leads to the Bros dancing it out to 'Hard Knock Life' and being very generally grumpy. Tobin looks hot in his muscle tee. Zoey decides to make them all friendship bracelets to apologize for being so harsh.
Perhaps the most important story this episode (besides nightmare-gate) is the ultimate downfall of Zoey and Max's new romance. I think I wrote in my notes seven times, "Zoey needs to be alone right now." And I don't mean that in a isolation type way, but I really do think a relationship is going to do more harm than good, and this is coming from someone who adores Zoey and Max together.
Zoey needs family and friends to help her through this time. Simon has been great at being someone to talk to, and Mo is just always great at being Mo, but Max expecting a healthy relationship at the lowest point in Zoey's life is unfair, and is just setting them both up for disappointment. He's frustrated because she won't let him in, she's frustrated because he wants in so badly.
Max's reasoning for wanting to know everything Zoey is thinking is fair; she can hear his inner most thoughts through song, and he can't even get her to talk about her very obvious struggles. There's a power imbalance and it's a recipe for hurt. Max launches into a heartbreaking rendition of 'Say Something', pleading for Zoey to give him some kind of answer. Does she want this? Does she want him? What does she need? But she is detached and silent.
Here: Watch Max sing his heart out and then go grab some tissues because you will most certainly cry.
Max does come off a little over the top in this episode, but I get why the writers wrote him that way. Max has been in love with Zoey for a long time and finally has the relationship he's been hoping for, it's just the absolute worst timing possible. It's hard to watch him realize that and continue to push Zoey to no avail. That's why I'm glad their eventual 'breakup' (in quotes because was it even one? Their time together was so short.) was mature and mutual. Max knows Zoey can't give it her all, and Zoey knows she has to take care of herself right now
I'm okay with the quick demise of #Clarkeman, only because I have hopes that it's an unfortunate situation of 'right person, wrong time' and that they'll find their way back to one another at the right time. I want Zoey to take time getting the help she needs without rushing into an immediate romance with Simon, who should maintain a close friend and close friend only at this time. Zoey needs friend Max back for the time being.
What did y'all think of Zoey and Max's short-lived romance? What's Zoey's sign? Should Jenna just go stay at Maggie's to give David and Emily some much needed space? Let me know in the comments!
Hi, y'all! I can't say enough how much I freaking love this show. It has all the right things: moments that makes you laugh, cry, want to sing along, cringe, etc. It's just something that brings me so much joy that the whole world pauses for an hour on Tuesday nights as I immerse into the world of Zoey and her friends' musical thoughts.
This episode is one of my favorites this show has done thus far, so if you haven't seen it yet STOP! Because this is an official spoiler alert warning!
We pick up right where we left off with Max and Zoey about to ~get it on~ for the first time. Zoey's mom Maggie accidentally disturbs them when she arrives with popcorn for TV night with her daughter. Too comfortable openly discussing Zoey's sex life, she leaves them to it, but of course the moment is ruined. Zoey vows to plan a perfect date night for their first time, which means: what could go wrong?
David and Emily come over and give their own two cents on the Max v.s Simon debate, David pointing out that Max has put in a lot more time and effort into his relationship/friendship with Zoey than Simon. He's not wrong.
Emily's sister shows up with breakfast burritos and it's an awkward moment as everyone gathers at the Clarke household bright and early. Emily starts singing 'Poison' which is an entire mood all of the time. Turns out her sister is a little more spice than sugar, and Emily wants everyone to know it (but only Zoey truly hears it).
As Zoey returns to work, it is so nice to see her goofy side again as she's been really down and out the past few episodes (and rightfully so). She has a lot on her plate as the new watches at SPRQ are literally catching fire on their customers' arms. She confronts Leif, who blames it on Mercury being in retrograde which honestly, fair argument to make.
Our fave coders have a meeting with THE Danny Michael Davis (who is still on house arrest, by the way) who makes Tobin go outside and promotes Simon to head of PR ("I mean my expertise in marketing but okay"). And that's all for Simon this episode! (But it looks like he gets to be front and center next week so...)
Back at Zoey's apartment, she and Max are finally having their romantic dinner date when Mo interrupts from his apartment, blasting opera and being sad. The vibe is very much dead and Zoey vows to figure out what's wrong with Mo so that she and Max can do the dirty. At this point, I'm thinking to myself "these two are never going to sleep together".
Max mentions that Mo was acting weird earlier when he tried to get him to sign the business contract (Mo was acting weird), so Zoey says she will solve it because remember she can ~hear people's thoughts~. So Zoey confronts Mo baby, who is very dismissive but also definitely angelically sings 'Too Good at Goodbyes' by Sam Smith. Zoey doesn't get much out of him, but I realized that we have the same record player!
At SRPQ, Leif sings 'Baby Did a Bad Thing' which is equal parts adorable and cringey. Poor Leif (I think? He's come a long way from the pilot, y'all). I guess Leif feels guilty for being irresponsible while Zoey was away and he was in charge. We love character growth.
Max and Mo finally sit down and have a heart to heart, where Mo reveals he had attempted to go into business with a friend once before, but things didn't work out so well because he ended up being selfish and sabotaging his friend. Max has faith that Mo won't do that again, so they make up and decide to go ahead with their business venture. Aww.
There's a whole C plot where Maggie and Jenna (Emily's sister) become pals and decide to babysit Miles so that David and Emily can have a night out. It's kind of an odd pairing but it's fine.
With everyone out of the house, Zoey decorates her childhood bedroom (hiding the giraffe!) as a surprise for Max. Y'all. Skylar Astin (Max, duh) is SO hot. He is just the most gorgeous human. Okay so, he prefaces their sexy times by explaining he went to see a therapist about Zoey's whole hearing songs issue so that if he sang, it would be under control. The only problem is his 'distraction' song is 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' which is just like...so f'ing awkward.
Zoey and Max undress as Max goes back and forth belting 'I'll Make Love To You' and then trying to maintain his cool with the 7th inning stretch anthem. Zoey is frustrated, and I feel bad for her because this poor woman can never have sex again. Jane Levy is a powerhouse in this episode, because Zoey says so many cringe-worthy, awkward things that she sells so well without coming off as overly quirky. She's human! And an awkward one at that.
Zoey tells Max that the singing doesn't bother her, and that she would rather hear him sing from the heart than be taken out of the moment trying to think about baseball. He feels like he's missing out because he can't hear her thoughts but she can hear his, which is very fair and kind of super invasive on Zoey's part even if it is on accident. When he begins to sing, 'A Moment Like This', Zoey makes it up to him by DUETTING HIM! He's like "girl what are you doing" (ya know, because he doesn't know what he's singing) and she explains that maybe it'll help if she just sings with him.
This show is SO DAMN CLEVER! It works so well, Max's vocals are accompanied by full music and production, while when Zoey sings it's a cappella and sweet. This whole scene is so perfect and beautiful and here! Watch it (or rewatch it!) for yourselves!
Max and Zoey come downstairs in the morning ("Maxwell, would you like some cereal?") while her entire family stares as they deduce what happened. David and Max have a wonderful interaction, and gosh I just love every character on this show.
Mo gives Zoey a horrendous makeover as promised, and Max is just as smitten as ever. This show has beautiful friendships and I love them. But also Zoey should probably never let Mo near her with makeup and a hot tool ever again.
Last but certainly not least, Zoey makes the decision to move some of the "Brogrammers" (who we've literally never met) up to a different floor and bring some of the girl coders down to the 4th floor so that it's more of a workplace and less like a frat house. Tobin is crushed, but hopefully he'll learn some lessons from his female colleagues.
What did y'all think of the episode? Did you love it as much as I did? What was your favorite musical number? Are you scared that the love triangle will be brought back in full force next week? Let me know!
Hi, friends! And welcome to my first real This is Us recap of 2021! As you'll find out shortly, this episode did absolutely nothing for me! It was a huge waste of time and it feels particularly frustrating to have such a boring episode when we as viewers know that we are only getting six seasons of the show. I want more background on underdeveloped characters, not a filler episode where the Big Three are moody and broody and well, annoying.
So, without further ado, here is my recap of Season 5 Episode 5 "A Long Road Home". Spoilers ahead, y'all!
We begin by tying up some loose ends from the last episode we saw before Winter hiatus, with Kate confirming that she did in fact have an abortion at the age of 18. This is such a weird plot line to me. Katiegirl has been pregnant twice before in the span of the show: she miscarried and then she gave birth to baby Jack. Why is this abortion PTSD just now coming up? And why is she suddenly so interested in seeing what happened to her shitty ex-boyfriend? If this had happened maybe two or three seasons ago, I would buy it, but I don't. I'm annoyed and frustrated.
For reasons I cannot possibly explain, Kate decides to track down Marc to see what he's up to these days and...tell him off? Listen, I can't speak for everyone, but I know for a fact that any abuser or source of negativity or cause of PTSD in my past needs to stay in the past. Marc hurt her, both physically and emotionally, and who's to say 40-something Marc wouldn't do the same?
So Toby takes Kate to this place in LA where he's working (sidenote: Didn't they meet in PA? Why is he also in California?) and is outside on a smoke break. He looks the same, long hair and a creepy mustache. He doesn't immediately recognize Kate and he's not sure why she's there. Guess what, Marc? The audience doesn't know either! Kate goes off on him about how she's doing so great now and that he sucked as a boyfriend. He's like...what took you 20 years? And he has a point! Kate is MARRIED! She has a CHILD! All of this could've been said in THERAPY! Also closure isn't real and will never get you what you need. NEXT.
Kevin is getting ready to leave for his movie that shoots in Canada and Madison is getting nervous. He starts talking about how often they'll travel because of his work and she really just wants to stay where they are with their family. It's a point of contention and proof that they still really don't know each other at all. BUT! Dan Fogelman lets his wife kiss Justin Hartley so I guess that's some progress on the #Kadison or #Mevin front?
They interview a nanny but Madison isn't feeling it, and she also isn't feeling it when Kevin tries to give her a big Pearson speech. She tells him to go and they will figure it out soon. The babies are still two months away. Mmmk, but does Miss Madison know that a lot of times twins come ~early~. Guess not! Who wants to bet these ones do?
Kevin has a flashback to when Randall called him and told him not to move to LA the first time and leave Sophie so soon after they got married. Young Kevin shoots him down and thinks he's just trying to sabotage his life and doesn't believe in him. Adult Kevin needs Randall to tell him the same thing now so he has a reason to turn around. But Randall doesn't so Kevin doesn't, and the whole thing feels very blah. Like, you're 40 years old Kev, make your own choices and stick to them.
Lastly, Randall learns that his biological mother actually lived a full life, passing away in 2015 from breast cancer. This begs the question: why the weird mystery and making us think she's currently alive? I feel like they could've done a flashback episode about Laurel's life without making her not die after giving birth.
Anyway, Randall gets really pissed at William (who is dead) because he lied to him, but thankfully we get a really quick resolution when Hai (the man who contacted Randall) lets him know that William had no idea Laurel survived. Randall gets a bunch of added stress from this new discovery, and him and Beth decide they're going to go and see Hai in person to get Laurel's story. Aaaaand that's gonna be the next episode. All about Laurel.
It should be a good one, because the deep-dive history episodes are usually great (see: Beth's episode), but it does feel like such a weird time to learn about Laurel, but I need Randall's stress to go away ASAP. He has too much to talk about in therapy, poor guy.
What did y'all think of the episode? Underwhelming? Do you disagree with me and absolutely adore it? Let me know in the comments!
It's no secret that my favorite new show of 2020 was Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. The show has everything I could possibly ask for; likable characters, musical numbers, love stories. It also doesn't shy away from the tricky topic of grief, which is what this episode is all about (and somehow it is still delightful).
Honestly, I'm so pumped that this show got renewed and that we get to have more of Zoey's in our lives. If you haven't already watched Season 1, you can check it out on Hulu or on Peacock (NBC's new streaming service).
Spoiler Alert: If you haven't watched the Season 2 premiere of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, "Zoey's Extraordinary Return"...get out!
Last time we saw Zoey, her father Mitch (Peter Gallagher, I miss you already!) passed away. Their relationship was a special one, so it was no surprise that months later she is still grieving this loss. Even the angelic voice of her BFF Mo singing "Rise Up" by Andra Day didn't comfort her.
Zoey is in a rut. She has to return to work, but she doesn't feel ready. To make matters worse, since the death of her father she hasn't heard any 'Heart Songs', which means her musical superpowers are potentially nonexistent. As she emerges from her childhood bedroom in a magenta collared sweater, Mo declares, "You look like a sad Emma Stone Halloween costume." I can't say that he's wrong.
Zoey's brother David and his wife Emily have welcomed their son into the world, a precious baby named Miles. As Zoey leaves for work Emily cries, "Say hi to a job for me!". Last season it was already clear that Emily was feeling apprehensive to motherhood, and now David feels lost without his father, so it kind of seems like the most stressful time to be welcoming a little one into the world. Also, David and Zoey's mom, Maggie, won't hold the baby. So there's that.
Zoey gets coffee with her hot best friend Max, who she may or may not have made out with in the season finale. She's been avoiding everybody these days and apologizes. He gives her a ring that he made for her (not for engagement purposes!). It's a shield with a music note turned backward to look like a Z. It's probably the sweetest gift somebody has never gotten for me. If you're not #TeamMax at this point, what are you even doing?
As soon as Zoey arrives at work, all of her coworkers begin serenading her with "Hello Dolly", to which she is both terrified and surprised (because she thought her powers were gone!). With her absence and Lauren Graham's Joan getting a promotion, Leif has been put in charge and now everyone has standing desks and is playing with dogs? There's even a new replacement for Max, who famously quit last season to pursue other avenues.
Joan offers Zoey her job, essentially, as she is being promoted yet again and is on the move. This is sad because we LOVE Joan! Zoey has to think about it because she is hella overwhelmed at the moment. She goes to see Mo who is just causally hanging out with Max and Simon (Zoey's other love interest). Turns out with Zoey off the grid, they've all gotten pretty close.
Zoey tries to hang, but can't when the boys assure her that they aren't going to be fighting over her and then break out into "Are You Gonna Be my Girl?". Zoey's head is spinning and she mostly just misses her dad, so she leaves. When she tells Mo she can hear singing again, he says, "So the powers are back! You're interesting again!" Have I mentioned how much I adore Mo?
Zoey's mom is having trouble finalizing a lot of things that you finalize when someone dies, and can't seem to get into Mitch's computer. Zoey reminds her that she is literally a professional coder and does it within seconds. On his computer they find videos addressed to each of them (and David of course), recorded before Mitch's voice completely gave out. It is absolutely heartbreaking and cut short because of how difficult it is to watch and listen to, but I love seeing Peter Gallagher again.
Next time Zoey goes to work, she fully loses her shit. George (the new Max) is annoying her and his heart song makes her yell at Tobin (I love Tobin) for teasing him. Joan is still pressuring her to take her job ("I like your sweater. It's so cute that you shop at Etsy.") She completely lashes out and leaves work early, going home to her bed and to be with her mother.
Joan comes to visit her and explains that she is leaving, and completely understands that Zoey needs some space and time. David and Emily come over for dinner and Maggie explains that holding Miles is difficult for her because she wanted to be a grandparent with Mitch, and feels it's unfair to him that she gets to do it and he doesn't.
Then, I kid you not, the opening notes of "Carry On" began to play and I said out loud to absolutely no one, "Oh no." Because, if you know this song, you know it's already super sad, but having a bunch of grieving people sing and dance to it? TEN TIMES SADDER. I then burst into tears, which was only interrupted by the fact that they let Mary Steenburgen sing a little too much and her voice is not the strongest, in my opinion. I was personally hoping Jane Levy would hop in for a verse, even if she's the only one hearing it.
Lastly, Max stops by to tell Zoey about his new business venture idea him and Mo want to start, and asks her permission because Mo was Zoey's friend first. Zoey is supportive, of course.
She then tells Max that she is sorry for being so absent lately, and that his scruff is super hot (she doesn't say this, but I do). She holds his hand on her bed and tells him she's had a lot of time to think about what happened the night her dad passed away and then she leans in for a kiss and I'm like WHAT. WHAT. WHAAAAAT.
I only say 'what' that many times in all caps because most TV shows love to drag out their love triangles for as long as humanly possible. I honestly did not think we'd get any resolution whatsoever this early into the season, and that the boys' musical number was all the attention that would be paid to it for now. I think this decision is for the best and makes the most sense, even from my biased #TeamMax perspective.
Simon is gorgeous and sweet, but I think Max is in it for Zoey in the long haul and it's so much better to just establish that now rather than go back and forth and let Zoey hurt both of them. Introduce a new character for Simon! Let's watch Zoey and Max fall in love and have a great storyline!
All in all, I loved this episode and I adore this show so much. I hope it continues thriving in ratings and just being the best all around. If you haven't checked out Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, I cannot explain how badly I need you to.
Hi! So obviously this episode of This is Us aired on November 17th and it is now January 5th and I still haven't blogged about it which is just rude! Because the mid-season (is that what we're calling it?) premiere is tonight, I thought I'd come back with a short blog recapping the last episode we got before that Winter break. However, because it's been so long that I barely remember it, y'all get my Notes app version* instead.
*by this I literally mean these are the things I wrote in the Notes app as the episode was airing. Usually I make a whole recap out of them but not for this one! Okay here we go:
- Kevin overworking himself makes me sad.
- This director seems like a dooooouche but he has excellent hair.
- This adoption isn't gonna go well, make my words.
- They named her Chloe...that ain't maybe-Haley.
- Annie talking like she's a March sister LOL
- Malik shadowing Randall, that's cute. Glad we got to see him and Deja interact.
- Not Malik falling asleep
- Yeah Ellie doesn't like that they named that baby
- Rebecca babying Kevin parallel? Idk I kind of get it
- Okay so Malik did not cut the cameras
- Deja calls Randall 'Dad' and Beth by her name.
- This scene would be more awk but SKB is fine
- Jack's color is green and Becca's is pink.
- Little Kevin is such a dick lmao
- Why does Ellie feel so sketchyyyy
- Malik is so BOLD asking for an internship
- "Honestly" = doesn't mean honest
- "I think I love this melted wax baby" Toby omg stop
- What's wrong with Kate??? You always sad bish
- This teen pregnancy thing seems out of character for Kate??? Like doesn't make sense to me and I don't buy it 5 seasons in
- JACK PEARSON YOU ARE NOT AN ORDINARY MAN
- Kevin still uses the flash cards :( I love that
- Why did Foster send him a basket? Eh, I don't care.
- Randall looking at the memes
- Oh shit that one guy is gonna find him
- Do you ever think about how Jack died and cry
- I'm emotionaaaaaal
- JANUARY 5TH? Fuck that shit.
Okay! Hope y'all enjoyed that unfiltered mess! I will return with regular recaps this week, but I will always use my trusty notes app and thank it for giving us this messy AF blog post.