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S01.E12: Zoey’s Extraordinary Dad

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After hearing an ominous song, Zoey does everything in her power to stop something bad from happening.

Season finale, airing Sunday, May 3, 2020.

 

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Ugh. That was brutal. GOD.

I admire the show for giving us a bit of the messiness that can happen with death.

"American Pie" was an odd choice for the last song, but this show has had some wonky pairings of song and scene.

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Always hated American Pie and hated it here. Such an inappropriate song for the moment although the choreography was lovely.

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Loved the episode. Although the dad dying was sad. 
 

Why did Zoey kiss Max? I thought she didn’t like him in a romantic way? I’m so confused. Although I loved the songs Skylar sang during their abbreviated make-out session. 

3 minutes ago, Goldmoon said:

Always hated American Pie and hated it here. Such an inappropriate song for the moment although the choreography was lovely.

Why do you say it was inappropriate? I thought the song was about the country’s reaction to JFK’s death. I don’t know, seems analogous to me. 

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tonight was a real tear fest. first ‘call the midwife,’ then this... and, at least for me, the tears were all earned. 

Edited by wonderwoman
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I knew that was coming and yet was completely unprepared for it. Pretty sure I’ve cried for the last half hour almost continuously. 
 

It was well done though.

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5 minutes ago, topanga said:

Why do you say it was inappropriate? I thought the song was about the country’s reaction to JFK’s death. I don’t know, seems analogous to me. 

It's about the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper.

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The repeatedly mentioned phrase "the day the music died" refers to the plane crash in 1959 that killed early rock and roll performers Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. (The crash was not known by that name until after McLean's song became a hit.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Pie_(song)

 

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I also hate American Pie (it is one of those songs that was played to death when I was younger).  I feel it was chosen because it is long enough so everyone got a featured line or two that were randomly distributed.  I will miss Mitch.  Other than the song I thought the actual death and funeral was nicely handled.

Edited by Autumn
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Thanks for all 3 of the posts telling me the exact same thing! LOL. But seriously, I still would like to hear why Goldmoon found the song inappropriate. 

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Man, when I heard the first few notes of ‘Lullaby (Good Night My Angel)’, I said ‘oh no’, because I knew it was going to be gut wrenching.  The actor that plays David was so good in that scene.  

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Jane Levy bears a strong resemblance to a friend, so anytime I see her/Zoey sad, I always project like it's on my friend, which makes me feel it more.

That was probably the most depressing season (series?) finale I've ever seen.

Lauren Graham has been meh with her singing this season, but I felt she sounded pretty good in American Pie.

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7 minutes ago, chaifan said:

I was sort of hoping to see Bernadette Peters at the wake.  😞 

Same here. They could have tossed her a line or two of the song.

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They didn't have to change one word of Goodnight My Angel for it to be the perfect song to sing to David, Emily, and the baby.

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 I was never a fan of American Pie either (I hate that go on and on and on) but I don't hate it.   I did think it was a perfect song to end the show with.   The song is about the death of people who brought music to the world and Zoey lost the man who brought music to her life.  Much like I've Got the Music in Me was used when she got her powers, I think the song also signaled that Zoey hearing songs has come to an end.   If there's a second season, I wouldn't be surprised to find that she's been without her powers, until something prompts their return.  

 

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Hi Topanga. American Pie was played to death on the radio when I was a kid. It just sounds like a jumble of unrelated images to me even though I know it's an ode to Buddy Holly. I didn't like very much of the pop music in the seventies anyway.  As for inappropriate: I thought it was too peppy and the lyrics touched upon the Max Zoey Simon triangle. Not too much but just enough to annoy. Im sure they could have found something else but chose the song for reasons listed above. 

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I loved the use of American Pie because I felt like it tied in to each persons story and foreshadowed season 2.   Max and Simon both got to sing about love, although I was sure Max would get the “I know that you’re in love with him” section.  To me it was also telling that Joan got the king looking down jester stole his crown (paraphrasing) lines since she’s taking over Sprq Point temporarily.  Or at least Danny thinks it’s 6 - 18 months of temporary.  

Of course I look at it a little differently anyway since I used to be obsessed with that song.  Not just wanting to learn every word of the long play version nut also looking up the meaning behind each sentence. Which is pretty interesting by the way, referencing not just Buddy Holly but the whole era, deaths at a Rolling Stones concert for one example.

I thought the whole episode was strong and really well done not just the end but the whole build up.  Great ending but I definitely need to hear renewal news soon!

Edited by sigmaforce86
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I really loved this show as a whole and thought it got stronger as the series progressed. I really only tuned in for Skylar Astin but was pleasantly surprised by the rest of the cast. I truly hope it gets renewed for a second season. I read an interview with the creator that they are cautiously optimistic. Fingers crossed!

I do wonder if Lauren Graham taking over Spark Point (however it is spelled) leaves room for her to have a reduced role in the future (and her role is already pretty reduced. I just can’t believe this is what she wants to be doing in tv after carrying several shows on her own but a paycheck is a paycheck) in the event the show gets renewed. And maybe there’s potential for Zoey to take her spot. And then Max gets to be the manager in Zoey’s place and that will throw another wrench in their new romance. 

I lost my dad when I was 13. My sister announced she was pregnant with our family’s first grandchild three days before the first anniversary of his death, which helped ease the sadness of him being gone for a year. Seeing Mitch sing with David and Emily and their baby bump was devastating but also perfect. I’m sad he didn’t get to meet and hold his grandchild but that was a beautiful and realistic moment. I’m going to miss Mitch (and Howie).  

Edited by UGAmp
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Great episode. Peter Gallagher did a nice job with the dying aspects. I loved the music and as always am amazed at how good everyone sounds. I’d still pick Simon for Zoey.

Edited by Quickbeam
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42 minutes ago, Maverick said:

If there's a second season, I wouldn't be surprised to find that she's been without her powers, until something prompts their return.  

I thought about whether that might happen.  And maybe they could do it, but they couldn't do that for too long - part of what DEFINES the show is that it's a musical.  I'm afraid they would lose some percentage of viewers if they thought the music was gone permanently.

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 Zoey finally accepted her musical powers in this episode so I think her dad dying did cause her to lose them.   I would guess the first episode is about dealing with that and getting them back.   No way they drop the musical numbers; the whole hook of the show.   I also wouldn't be surprised to see Bernadette Peters back.   Her whole plot seemed to be setting her up to help Zoey and her mom after losing Mitch.   With Joan in charge, I assume Renee Goldsberry is more involved in a season 2 as well.   

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This was beautifully done and so sad. I love that Max stepped up for Zoey but I'm not sure if it negates his terrible behavior towards her the past few months. I'd pick Simon for her. 

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58 minutes ago, TAG42481 said:

I thought about whether that might happen.  And maybe they could do it, but they couldn't do that for too long - part of what DEFINES the show is that it's a musical.  I'm afraid they would lose some percentage of viewers if they thought the music was gone permanently.

 

48 minutes ago, Maverick said:

 Zoey finally accepted her musical powers in this episode so I think her dad dying did cause her to lose them.   I would guess the first episode is about dealing with that and getting them back.   No way they drop the musical numbers; the whole hook of the show.   I also wouldn't be surprised to see Bernadette Peters back.   Her whole plot seemed to be setting her up to help Zoey and her mom after losing Mitch.   With Joan in charge, I assume Renee Goldsberry is more involved in a season 2 as well.   

I do think they purposely had her powers coming full circle this episode with seeing the MRI machine and then the ending song. If it gets renewed though, she has to have her powers or it isn’t the same show. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do a time lapse of a few months and we get backstory that she hasn’t heard a heart song since her dad died and has been generally depressed and then the end of the first episode she has one.

Now that I’m not crying, I laughed so hard at Max changing songs when she wanted him to be sexier.

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And just to throw a wee bit of humor in the mix, I laughed hearing the CEO say "It doesn't look real good for me.  I could be going to prison for six months, maybe 18 if they find the hard drive in my sister's basement."

American Pie has always been a stream-of-consciousness song (to me) about the loss of innocence, so it fit quite well in the end, there.

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I cried. I felt the tension all episode. I've seen how right before dying, sometimes it looks like "a good day"-- but it's like there's a rallying of energy right before it's over... and they showed that all so well. The breathing sounds were also very realistic. And just how gutted you are, but then you also want a nap or a snack or a moment where you take a break to pretend it's not happening, and how there's never an end to what you want to talk about, so what do you say when you know it's your last time to talk?

They managed to somehow hit the love notes without the saccharine sentimentality that I find so nauseating.

It makes sense that the show was "write what you know" rather than just coming up with a hook for the sake of drama.

I also kind of like how Joan's and Zoey's relationship has evolved.

Mo and Eddie are nice. I like Mo and I like Eddie and I like them together. I don't really need a lot of manufactured drama, because life itself is challenging enough. So I thought it was kind of a shallow waste of time to have Mo dump him and then relent. But I like them and I wish the show had just skipped that whole side trip.

By contrast, I still hate the Zoey-Max-Simon triangle. Unless it turns into an affirmation of polyamory, it's just making everyone annoying.

Everyone seemed autotuned this week, which I thought was an interesting choice given that they didn't do that all season. I hardly even recognized Zoey's voice. At first, I thought the appliances were singing to her in some new twist.

I laughed at the suggestion that the MRI technician knows what his machine can do. It's a funny idea, but I don't think I actually want it to happen. If it was true, there'd be people with Zoey's powers all over the city. I think that would be too much for me. But I still think it's a funny idea.

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I thought it was beautiful though heart-wrenching. Zoey and Mitch’s dance was lovely.

I liked American Pie for the big closing number. It wasn’t so much about the song’s original meaning for me as much as it was painting that musical backdrop for the family and all the intertwined relationships.

However, it’s always a struggle to hear that song and not think of Weird Al’s lyrics: “Soon I’m gonna be a Jedi...”

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No other song would have had a better last line (“Singin' this'll be the day that I die“),    
especially with the last word (“die”) dropping down, holding, then followed by a rest:

B0B7DC05-180B-4AA0-A9B1-1397A045FA7E.jpeg

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So do we think the MRI tech knows what his machine can really do..?

They kind of slipped that in there, among all the other crap going on. 

Also, did anyone else find the breakways with the 3 actresses distracting?  Didn't add anything for me, and since I don't watch Mean Girls... 

Edited by Mermaid Under · Reason: thought of something else
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10 hours ago, topanga said:

Why do you say it was inappropriate? I thought the song was about the country’s reaction to JFK’s death. I don’t know, seems analogous to me. 

No, it was about the plane crash that Killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and JB (Big Bopper) Richardson in January 1959 and it's aftermath. I kind of understood the reason for using the song.

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5 hours ago, tkc said:

However, it’s always a struggle to hear that song and not think of Weird Al’s lyrics: “Soon I’m gonna be a Jedi...”

So I just watched the ep, and my house got really dusty, so I'm gonna go and sleep and post in the morrow but I just needed to say that during American Pie I kept singing Weird Al's version. It seems I have no idea that the original lyrics are, apparently the only lyrics are Weird Al's

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5 hours ago, tkc said:

I thought it was beautiful though heart-wrenching. Zoey and Mitch’s dance was lovely.

I liked American Pie for the big closing number. It wasn’t so much about the song’s original meaning for me as much as it was painting that musical backdrop for the family and all the intertwined relationships.

However, it’s always a struggle to hear that song and not think of Weird Al’s lyrics: “Soon I’m gonna be a Jedi...”

I managed not to hear Wierd Al's lyrics until the point when they were sitting on the stairs, and then I heard it. BTW, I noticed a really weird rail on the wall side of the stairs - maybe they had one of those lifting chairs all along? Or maybe I'm just seeing things.

Speaking of whiplash, I thought Zoey and Max (in the beginning of the episode) were in their old groove a little too quickly, but I didn't mind it too much.

It was devastating. Until this episode I really only thought about my mother's death (which this episode was hugely reminiscent of...she left us while listening to her favorite music), but it also made me think of my father-in-law. He never met our daughter, his son's first child. But he did have a picture of her by his bedside when he died.

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9 hours ago, ams1001 said:

So do we think the MRI tech knows what his machine can really do..?

I think a fun twist will be that the MRI tech also got affected by the same glitch that hit Zoey, and all this time he's thought he was the only one who could hear music.  In Season 2, somehow those two bump into each other and they do a duet that clues them in that the other one knows what they know. 

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2 minutes ago, Clanstarling said:

BTW, I noticed a really weird rail on the wall side of the stairs - maybe they had one of those lifting chairs all along? Or maybe I'm just seeing things.

No, you didn’t hallucinate the chair lift. They installed it a few episodes ago after they seemingly ditched the hospital bed —but I guess it was still in the dining room —which makes more sense. 
 

Fortunately I am unfamiliar with the Wierd Al lyrics to American Pie. 

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9 hours ago, UGAmp said:

I just can’t believe this is what [Lauren Graham] wants to be doing in tv after carrying several shows on her own

She's also a writer, so maybe she wants more time to do that. Being the lead in an hourlong drama is really tough, and with a show like this, there's the extra work of learning the songs and choreography. The time investment has to be enormous.

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A heartbreaking finale with so many beautiful moments. My favorite was Zoey and Mitch dancing. Cue waterworks! 

Surprised that Zoey kissed Max, but I'm not mad at it! I expected nothing less of Max being so supportive. It's who he is. I didn't necessarily get a lot of the ire towards him from the previous episodes, because I saw a person justifiably trying to find independence and not be wrapped up in his feelings for someone who rejected him. If he was woman, we would've been praising her for "choosing herself". More than the kiss, I loved getting the knowledge that in his last moment with Mitch, Max talked to him about his feelings for Zoey. That's really sweet. In the bigger picture, Zoey/Simon don't stand a chance. 

I really hope this is picked up for season 2. 

Edited by funnygirl
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7 minutes ago, funnygirl said:

That's really sweet. In the bigger picture, Zoey/Simon don't stand a chance. 

And Simon's line in the song was "Well, I know that you're in love with him"...

 

Okay, y'all made me go listen to it again, so I must share.

 

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In my opinion, Zoey and Simon have great friend chemistry, but no romantic chemistry. Maybe it's just me projecting on Zoey and Max because my husband and I were close work friends for years when suddenly we were both free and realized that we wanted to be together. In fact, people were always trying to set us up, not realizing that we were already married (we hid our dating and marriage until I left that work place - no rules, it was just something we didn't want to share with work people yet - it was fun to spring "Surprise, we've been married for almost a year" at my farewell party!)

 

Edited by Insert Username
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7 hours ago, possibilities said:

I've seen how right before dying, sometimes it looks like "a good day"-- but it's like there's a rallying of energy right before it's over... and they showed that all so well. The breathing sounds were also very realistic. And just how gutted you are, but then you also want a nap or a snack or a moment where you take a break to pretend it's not happening, and how there's never an end to what you want to talk about, so what do you say when you know it's your last time to talk?

I went through this with my dad ten years ago when he died of lung cancer.  I remember the hospice nurse referred to that last burst of energy shortly before the end as "the surge."  I distinctly remember my dad's surge.  So when Mitch was alert, hitting that buzzer, and interacting with people, I looked at my husband and said, "It's the surge."  So heartbreaking.

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That was quite the rollercoaster! I really enjoyed this little show, and I hope it comes back. I loved Max's inability to stop singing when he was so happy Zoey was kissing him. Aaaand then I cried for the rest of the episode. American Pie isn't one of my favorite songs, but I could see why they chose to use it. 

I read a good interview with the creator and it seems like they haven't officially renewed it yet. The article does answer some questions we have about Lauren Graham's role and why it may be reduced and why Max/Zoey kissed this episode (essentially, to make it fair because Simon got some lip action in other episodes). Sounds like the creator is ALL in on making this love triangle play out for quite a while, which is...annoying, to say the least. 

 

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So, this finale was fantastic. It hit all the right notes (pun definitely intended). It was the right amount of funny and heartwrenchingly sad. I had a good chuckle at a few of the lines, such as Danny's "Make me an omelette...hold the eggs."

This is the first episode in a few episodes where I genuinely liked Max. As soon as the show lessened his Nice Guy persona with Zoey and got back to a better side, it was easier to like. He works very well when he's not pouting at Zoey for his own issues. I was not mad at their kiss, either. I actually felt like Zoey was being truthful...although I thought she was technically with Simon. I guess not? But honestly, this is the first episode where they got me kind of ok with Zoey/Max....but they still have a LOT to talk about.

Simon/Zoey was ok too. I know they're not likely to really be together, but I've grown to really like Simon so I hope he sticks around in any capacity if there's a season 2. He's a great sounding board for Zoey and I really enjoy watching the actor during his musical performances. I had a good chuckle at him singing Jealous. And I realized that I want Simon and Max to be friends. Both could use some more friends in general.

So, Joan earns a promotion. That's an interesting way to get Lauren Graham to slip down to a less frequent role if the show's renewed. I'm sure Ava wouldn't be happy to hear about that, either. 

Mitch's death was heartbreaking. It was expected, but no less heartbreaking. I knew, as soon as they showed Mitch more alert, that he was going through a surge of some kind (a burst of energy before his death).

The musical numbers surrounding Mitch's death were all so great but so sad to listen to.

Honestly, a great finale and the best episode of the season. If all episodes were like this, then I'd be even more on board with the show.

I think this episode worked as a series finale AND as a season finale. They really covered their bases in case it isn't renewed.

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