After a season full of ups and downs, heartbreak and happiness, and so many incredible performances, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist season 1 comes to a close this Sunday when the finale airs. And creator Austin Winsberg isn't ready to say goodbye.
"I'm having a lot of emotions about it," Winsberg tells EW. "I did a big Zoom call with the cast today and everything got emotional so I'm definitely feeling some of it right now."
Zoey (Jane Levy) and the rest of her family have been preparing to say goodbye to the Clarke patriarch Mitch (Peter Gallagher) all season long due to his progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) diagnosis, and everything comes to a head in the season finale. "I always knew some of the things that were going to happen towards the end," Winsberg says. "In what order that it was going to happen, that was not entirely clear until we really started digging into episodes 10, 11, and 12."
Without spoiling anything, Winsberg teases that the finale "ends in a place of community."
"I think it ends in a place of connectivity and in a place that has a combination of maybe some sadness and some hope," he says. "The show does the best when it's being comedic and dramatic and emotional and musical all within the same episode. I wanted this episode to encapsulate all those emotions."
Winsberg also promises that things heat up for Zoey's love life in the finale as well. "I wanted to bring a little bit more if not clarity then some advancement to the love triangle story," he explains. "I also wanted to shift some of the dynamics at work so that we could see opportunities for new places the stories could go in season 2. And I wanted to be as real and as true and as authentic to my own experiences with my family as I could remember, and to honor things that went on with us in a way that felt hopeful but also real."
Plus, fans will get to see Levy sing again in the finale. "I'm a huge fan of Jane Levy singing," Winsberg says with a laugh. "And I like any opportunity that I can to figure out clever and creative ways that it can shine a spotlight on her. She sings 'Bad Moon Rising,' or at least she sings to herself in the mirror. We had the idea a lot during the season that maybe a way to do an internal heart song was if someone saw themselves singing in a mirror, and that seemed interesting to me and a good place that allows Zoey to do it."
He adds, "By starting off with 'Bad Moon Rising,' just the idea that there was potentially a bad omen ahead, it gave Zoey a real proactive arc for the episode which is: I want to stop anything bad from happening to anybody that I love."
But can she? Will she? We'll find out when Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.