Warning: The following contains spoilers for Tuesday’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Proceed at your own risk!
Is Zoey and Max’s romance already over?! On Tuesday’s episode of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, the newbie couple put the breaks on their nascent relationship after Zoey was plagued by grief-related nightmares, which led her to become distant from her boyfriend. Instead, Zoey opened up to Simon about her dreams, while Max later sang/pleaded for her to “Say Something.”
Zoey eventually admitted to Max that she doesn’t feel right, and that it it’s not fair to him that she can’t be present with him. The pair then agreed to put their relationship on hold since Zoey needs more time to process her father’s death.
“If we both force this thing to happen before you’re ready, then we’ll destroy it before it’s even begun,” Max conceded.
Below, star Skylar Astin discusses the couple’s difficult decision, what it means for their future, and whether it opens the door for Simon and Zoey.
TVLINE | Is this a pause? It is a breakup? Where do things stand with Max and Zoey?
I think it’s just a pause for now. Zoey is not able to fully give herself to Max, and I think she reserves a very special place in her heart for Max, and it’s just not available right now, because she’s dealing with a lot of grief at the moment and trying to get herself right before she can offer herself to someone else in the way that Max would require. So I think that they’re trying to just get ahead of it before it gets too far and put things on pause.
TVLINE | How are Max and Zoey handling the timeout? Like, what does the interaction look like between them? Are they keeping their distance?
I think it’s a very respectable and adult thing that they did that. But with that territory is, obviously, going to come a lot of tension, a lot of difficulty. Any time you try to do something that’s more the adult move, it sounds good on paper, but then, inevitably, there’s the attraction and there are the feelings. For people to line up with their timing, to their heart’s content, it’s… I don’t know, I wonder if they missed their opportunity… or if it was the perfect thing to do to preserve it for the long term.
TVLINE | I was a little bit surprised when he said, “We’ll destroy it before it’s even begun,” because for Max, it began a long time ago. He’s been in love with her for so long, and it didn’t feel like they were just testing things out. They dove into it. They were in a relationship.
I think with Max, he’s kind of put himself aside for Zoey a lot, and we’ve seen that a lot in Season 1. Even as the actor, I got a little frustrated towards the end of the first season, when I was in those scenes with her, and she was calling me selfish… I was just tired of waiting. And now he is given everything he’s wanted, but it didn’t feel the same way that he hoped. So, no, I think that when he said, “We’ll destroy it before it’s even begun,” I think he means for her.
TVLINE | We’ve seen Zoey opening up to Simon. Is Max concerned that he and Zoey taking time apart might open the door for Zoey and Simon to grow even closer? Is that something fans should be worried about?
Oh, I guess there’s potential for that. Certain people may be worried by that, certain people might be excited by that. I think everyone just wants to make sure that whatever Zoey does is authentic, because these men are both pretty evolved and capable and very thoughtful. So it would be a shame if she was taking that for granted.
When it comes to Max, she definitely decided to look out for both of them by putting it on pause. If that then opens the door immediately to Simon, I don’t know that that would be the greatest idea. Then again, I don’t really know where their story is headed. But it’s always an option. And Simon and Max are friendly now and get along, but there is this common denominator in that they both have affection for the same woman. Right now, it’s cordial and respectful, but it’s even more difficult sometimes when you’re in a real-life situation where you know you’re supposed to be respectful and dignified, but you can’t help but get upset by certain things. We even saw that in Episode 3, when Max was cooking for Zoey, and she was mentioning how she talks to Simon about a lot of stuff, and even though everything’s cool, he can’t help but be a little irked by [it], like, “Oh, so you talk to Simon about that kind of stuff at work. That’s odd.”
TVLINE | In the scene where Max is cooking dinner, he sings something, but we don’t actually see it. Do you have any theories about what song he was singing?
I know what I was feeling in that moment, and I would bet money that Jane [Levy] has something that she played that she heard, but knowing Jane, she probably wouldn’t want to tell me. I think that that mystery added tension to that scene where Max is trying to figure out what he sang. I know how I felt in that moment, and that feeling of maybe a little bit of jealousy, a little bit of betrayal, can be a lot of songs. So that’s more probably a question for Jane, because she has the luxury of choosing, in that moment, what she’s hearing. For me, I just know how I’m feeling, and then I know the panic that would come after that.
TVLINE | With Max taking some time apart from Zoey and possibly having some heartache that he needs to bury, is he just throwing himself into his work?
Yes, that’s exactly right. We’ll definitely see him and Zoey interact and the tension there and the unknown there. But Max is very passionate about making his business venture work. He’s also fostering and harnessing his own relationship with Mo now outside of Zoey, and I really, really love doing scenes and songs with Alex Newell.
TVLINE | Does that mean we’re going to see a duet with the two of them?
You just might! Maybe more than one.