Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) is in the midst of a meltdown. Still healing from her heartbreak in last week’s episode, she is determined to keep Cash (Da’Vinci) out of sight and out of mind by holing up in her dorm room for weeks at a time — three to be exact. But her friends won’t let her stay a hermit forever, and the whole crew shows up en masse to encourage Zoey to start partying the pain away. An unfortunately-timed campus-wide blackout gives Zoey an excuse to jump back into her PJ’s at lightning speed, her friends instead encourage her to confront her feelings about the dramatic split.
“You’re turning into one big trans-fat,” says one of the twins (Chloe and Halle Bailey) re: Zoey’s diet of Doritos and egg rolls. “Losing weight is the one good thing about being depressed,” adds Nomi (Emily Arlook), who herself has just gone through a breakup and is healing much faster than Zoey. But Nomi has been sexually active for far longer than her friend. While Zoey’s self-care might look more like wallowing to her friends, she’s going through her first real heartbreak. “Zoey’s still having trouble understanding. “How can your feelings just change like that?” At least now you don’t have to pretend to like basketball anymore,” Ana (Francia Raisa) says, and then wisely advises “Just let yourself feel what you’re feeling,” before reminiscing about some low-key creepy incest drama in her own life.
The conversation between Zoey and her friends contains some really insightful advice on relationships and how to get over a breakup. It’s as though the writer’s room created a list of reassuring things they wish they could tell their younger selves about early heartbreak. “Everything isn’t some movie… Just because someone loves you doesn’t mean it’s always going to work out, and just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean someone didn’t love you.” This is the kind of BFF, big sister, real talk that Grown-ish excels at. The show speaks it’s demographic’s language and walks the delicate line between giving honest advice and sound schmalzy or preachy.
Zoey is making some real progress — listing Cash’s flaws which are primarily grammar and vocabulary related — when she slips up and reveals that she and Cash are still texting. Her girls won’t stand for this. “You don’t talk to your ex,” they tell her and encourage her to unfollow up on all social media. Zoey can’t do it, so she gives up her phone to her friends. It’s then that Aaron (Trevor Jackson) shows up with champagne… “a $60 candle and a $5 bottle of Andre”, Ana points out. could he be capitalizing on Zoey’s recent breakup? Fortunately, her friends call him out on his sleazy game. Aaron denies it but sticks around to hang with the girls. He and Vivek (Jordan Buhat) discuss how they deal with breakups, bringing a little male perspective to the situation.
By the end of the episode, Aaron and Zoey find themselves alone in her dorm together. There is still clearly chemistry between the two of them, and the show is likely to explore a “will they/won’t they” dynamic between the two for seasons to come. “You’re beautiful, you’re super chill, hella goofy…” Aaron is scoring serious points with Zoey up until he reveals that Cash is hooking up with Zoe Kravitz. That’s right, daughter of Lenny Kravitz, star of Big Little Lies. Zoey is furious, naturally. How could Cash still be casually talking with one Zoey, and hooking up with another, way more accomplished and extremely famous Zoe, at the same time? This revelation pushes Zoey off the edge. She decides to call Cash and confront him about his behavior. Her friends beg her not to do it, but she can’t be swayed and takes off for the hallway to give him a piece of her mind.
Zoey calls Cash to talk, but suddenly Cash appears in the empty common room. Zoey yells at him for his wrongdoing, and when he asks for her back, she denies him. Suddenly, the show flashes back. It was a dream sequence, and just the push Zoey needs to finally rip off the band-aid and delete Cash’s number from her phone. Her fantasy of talking to him confirmed that even though this breakup hurts, the relationship is over and she’s ready to let it go. She triumphantly returns to her dorm room and deletes his number.
Grown-ish, a Black-ish spinoff continues its 13 episode season Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Freeform.
In case you missed it, read the previous episode review here.
Photo and video credit: Freeform
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