Being responsible for the well-being of your friends and family is an incredible burden to have to bear.
And no one knows this better than Zoey.
Because what was once a gift — a way to connect with her dying father — has become an unbearable responsibility, and Zoey, as we saw on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 2 Episode 10, has reached her breaking point.
With all the show’s comedy and hilarious shenanigans peppered among the more serious moments, it’s easy to forget just how much Zoey has to deal with daily because of her powers.
Yes, they provide great insight into those closest to her, allowing Zoey to be a better daughter, sister, friend, and coworker, but what often gets lost in the shuffle is that Zoey doesn’t have a choice in all of this.
Therapist: So, what brings you in today?
Zoey: I have a superpower, and I think it might be ruining my life.
She never asked for these powers, but since being saddled with them, she’s accountable for the feelings of those around her.
And she’s unable to ignore them because otherwise “bad things” will happen.
So, Zoey has no choice in the matter but to resolve the problems of everyone in her life, taking a toll on her mental health in the process.
It’s interesting to think about because I’d never considered the pressure Zoey is under bearing sole responsibility for the emotional welfare of those around her until this episode.
She is forced to help others, even if she’s not in the best headspace at the time.
She never gets a day off, so to speak, and constantly being everyone’s emotional support human has become increasingly draining.
So good on Zoey for realizing her limits and seeking professional help from a therapist, though it’s unclear how effective therapy will be.
Zoey seems to be stuck with these powers indefinitely, so there may not be a lot Dr. Tesoro, played by Oscar Nunez, can do for her in that department.
Emily: I’m sorry you had to witness another one of my breakdowns.
Zoey: Please don’t be sorry. You’ve been trying to handle this alone for too long. So can we please talk about what’s going on?
Emily: I’ve been going through these bouts of anxiety and depression for a while now. I thought it was baby blues, which passes after a few weeks. When it didn’t, I figured when Miles starts sleeping through the night or when I went back to work, I’d feel better. It just got worse. I can’t sleep when Miles is asleep. I can’t focus when I’m not home with him, but when I am home with him, I just want to cry or run away ‘cause I can’t help but think he’d be better off without me
Zoey: I’m… I’m so sorry to hear that, but no, you’re a great mom, and Miles is lucky to have you.
Emily: I know that logically, but I don’t feel that. You know when you have a baby, your body becomes this machine, and when it short-circuits…
Zoey: Have you talked about this with your doctor? What about David?
Emily: You guys just lost your dad. David’s still mourning, and I feel weird or selfish talking about my own stuff right now. He’s got enough to worry about.
Zoey: He’s your husband. He loves you. And you have the right to feel what you’re feeling too.
Emily: I’ve just been able to conquer anything I put my mind to, you know? I should be able to get over this.
Zoey: I so understand feeling that way, but here’s the thing, maybe some problems are too big for us to handle on our own.
What Dr. Tesoro can do, though, is offer Zoey a safe place for her to discuss her powers openly and her feelings about them and, hopefully, provide some solutions on how to manage the stress of it all.
Zoey will also have to deal with how her secret powers impact her relationship with Simon.
Simon can tell that Zoey keeps something from him, but he just can’t put his finger on it.
All he knows is that something is up, and Zoey seems more concerned with helping others than their relationship, as she spends what little free time they have together concocting crazy ideas to solve all the world’s problems.
Altruism is great in theory, but Simon can’t help feeling like an afterthought as Zoey prioritizes everyone else’s happiness over Simon’s.
If Simon knew the truth, he’d understand why Zoey is the way she is, but since she’s decided to keep her powers a secret, Simon is left fumbling in the dark.
This will drive a wedge between their relationship at some point, as the cracks are already beginning to show, with Simon feeling neglected.
It’s a difficult situation to be in, but there’s no clear-cut solution.
Simon: Maybe you just need to step back and let Emily come to you when she’s ready.
Zoey: No, if I don’t do anything, bad things happen. The medium said I need to pay more attention to the people in my life, and Emily’s the darkest case.
Zoey: Case study in depression that I’ve ever seen, and I don’t know what to do about that. I’m not a professional, but I do know how to read, so I am reading. Do you know how many pages there are in this book?
Simon: I can see you’re trying really hard to help her, but if you’re patient, she will come to you. They always do. Give Emily some time to marinate, and until then, relax, lay back, and connect with someone you really care about who some say is handsome.
Zoey: Really? People say that?
Simon: Yeah, once in a while. Have a quiet intimate evening at home.
Zoey: That’s a great idea. I will do a girls night with Emily.
What is clear is Simon will be upset when he finds out Zoey kept such a massive secret from him, which will cause plenty of drama.
Could it be the thing that ends their relationship before it truly begins? Only time will tell.
Elsewhere, the show did a decent job depicting Emily’s postpartum depression.
The only caveat being that when Emily described how she was feeling, parts of the speech felt like they were airlifted from an internet search of postpartum depression.
What did resonate was Emily’s belief that she should get through this without help and not burden others with her problems.
Though we don’t know much about this character, she’s a very strong-willed and driven person, so admitting defeat of any kind would be hard.
And though it took a lot of coaxing from Zoey, I’m glad she told David what was going on.
Her husband wasn’t as out of the loop as we thought, but instead of confronting the problem head-on, he tried to give Emily the space to figure things out for herself.
David: Fine, you’re right. Something is going on with Emily. She’s just very private, and I don’t want to draw any attention to it.
Emily: So just tell me what it is.
David: I have no idea. Come here. Her behavior is all over the map. Sometimes she gets up super early and rushes off to work and seems totally fine. Other times she won’t leave Miles’s side, and she balls during yogurt commercials.
Emily: Well, that could happen to anybody. Have you tried just being direct with Emily and asking her what’s going on because Simon says…
David: Over and over again, but any time I even try to get her to open up she just deflects, and she says nothing’s wrong. And then she starts baking a cake, and I get distracted, and I start eating the cake, and that’s why I’m wearing my house jeans. I don’t know, Zoey. I don’t know what else to do.
That’s all well and good, but sometimes we need a gentle push, or shove, in the right direction.
David wanted to respect Emily’s boundaries as she wasn’t ready to discuss what was bothering her.
However, had Zoey not intervened, nothing would change with Emily.
Things only would have gotten worse until Emily reached her breaking point, which wouldn’t have been crying on the bathroom floor at a loud nightclub.
No, Zoey was right to intercede, even if it could be considered meddlesome by some.
This was an instance where drastic measures were needed for the sake of Emily’s well-being.
Lastly, Mo and Perry’s and Max and Rose’s relationships hit two essential milestones — meeting the kids and defining the relationship, respectively.
First up, Mo wanting to meet Perry’s children was a big step, but the lengths he went to show Perry how serious he was about this was impressive.
Perry: You were great.
Mo: What changed your mind?
Perry: I thought what better way to introduce them to you than doing what you love. August, Amira, this is Mo, my friend.
Mo: Yes, I am your dad’s friend. We met at work, while he was saving me from fires. Do you know what platonic means?
Perry: Too much. Reel it in.
August: Are you a famous pop star? You sing like one.
Amira: I like your braids. Daddy, can I do my hair like that?
Mo: I really like them.
Of course, Mo went about it with his typical Mo flair, but the effort was appreciated.
Mo has never been in an adult relationship like this before, and he’s head over heels for Perry, so much so that he got CPR certified and adopted a hamster.
We’ve never seen this side of Mo before, and it’s great to see him jumping into this relationship with Perry with both feet.
And Mo’s efforts were rewarded when he got to meet Perry’s children.
It was so cute how Mo was instantly taken with them, and it was the right decision for Perry first to introduce Mo as his friend.
Deciding when to introduce your kids to your new beau revolves around timing, and having the kids meet Mo first as Perry’s friend was the smart choice.
And speaking of smart choices, Max decided to man up and tell Rose how he felt.
It can be nerve-wracking to be that vulnerable and admit how you feel, so good on Max for following through.
Max: I don’t want to risk not telling you how I feel again. I don’t want to be casual with you Rose. That’s not me. I’m not Mr. Casual, and just because you’re headed back east doesn’t mean this has to end.
Rose: Oh, thank god.
Rose: I have been trying to play it cool ‘cause I didn’t want to pressure you.
Rose: Yeah, yes, I would very much like to keep this going.
Max has never been the casual relationship type of guy; it’s just not who he is.
So even though he agreed to keep things casual when he and Rose first started hanging out, the writing was on the way since the first day that Max wanted something more.
It turns out that Rose felt the same way, as she also wanted to keep seeing Max even after returning to New York.
Long-distance won’t be easy, but honesty and open communication are good first steps.
It probably won’t work out in the long run, but for the foreseeable future, the pair are on solid ground.
However, when the time comes for the couple to break up, let’s hope Max isn’t too torn up over it.
Some stray thoughts:
Maggie heading back to that casino alone was not a good sign. Going out on the town with Deb for a night of gambling and libations is one thing, but heading back there by herself in broad daylight crosses over into worrisome territory. We should be very concerned for Maggie.
I loved the dichotomy of Zoey and Emily’s crazy night out with Max, Mo, and Simon having a spa day of sorts. It was great.
Who else laughed when Simon asked if anyone else noticed Zoey’s supernatural abilities, and Max and Mo immediately changed the topic? Just me?
Does anyone else worry that Zoey will be labeled crazy by her therapist for asserting she has a supernatural power? Any rational person who doesn’t know Zoey would assume she’s lying or crazy over her telling the truth.
So what did you think, TV Fanatics?
Did Zoey make the right move in going to therapy?
Is Zoey’s relationship with Simon in trouble?
Will Emily get the help she needs?
Don’t forget to hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you missed the latest episode, remember you can watch Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist online at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.