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“Ordinary Joe” Recap: Season 1, Episode 13 Finale – Music Joe/Jenny

Warning: the following contains spoilers for Monday Ordinary Joe final. Proceed at your own risk!

Ordinary Joe ended its season by shaking things up, romantically, for its three titular characters.

After destroying his car and nearly dying, Music Joe was visited by Jenny, who confessed that she had to to want live after her mother’s death and give her baby up for adoption. Now he had to do the same, so Joe went into rehab. But he didn’t stay there very long, leaving at the end of the episode to come to Jenny’s door and tell her he wants to live… with her.

Meanwhile, Cop Joe impulsively proposed to Amy after it was announced she was moving to Miami to run her mother’s campaign, and Nurse Joe surprised Jenny in Atlanta, where he asked her to renew their vows. Little does he know that Barrett has also made a big offer to Jenny: to stay in Atlanta and start a business with him.

Below, executive producers Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner break down those cliffhangers and reveal what viewers should make of Cop Joe and Nurse Joe’s glimpses into the world of Music Joe. (For more on the show’s renewal chances, click here.)

TVLINE | When Music Joe sees Cop Joe and Nurse Joe as he is being rushed to the hospital, what does he see then?
FRIEND RUSSELL | Obviously he’s in this kind of fugue state, where he’s in and out of consciousness, and what we’re trying to convey goes to the central question of the show, which is, “Well, what if ?” [Music Joe is] having this existential crisis, sort of. So hopefully that will convey this idea that, like now, he’s just seeing these other paths he could have taken. This is what happens in his brain, then he falls into total unconsciousness. We also, frankly, thought it would be really cool, fun, and interesting to enjoy his hallucinatory state. That’s how the idea of ​​having his ghost father came to him [came about]. We thought we could really enjoy it and have fun with it, and also, like we like to do, make sure it’s all character-centric. So everything comes from his crisis and his background, basically.

TVLINE | How much, though, should viewers take her to see the other Joes? Is it more symbolic? Or does he literally see through the veil, so to speak, into the other timelines?
GARRETT LERNER |
I like to leave it open to interpretation. I like the reasoning that he’s close to death, and he Is it that flatline, we mean that. The common thing in our culture is that your life flashes before your eyes, but I like the idea that your Lives flash before your eyes, instead of just your life flashes before your eyes. It’s cool to think about it at this level, but I wouldn’t want to impose on an audience that it duty take it literally. I remember Russ and I were in Atlanta, talking about the car accident and spitting like, “What if the first person on the scene was his dad?” and we loved that idea. It went from there, as if his father was the first to appear on the scene, so all bets are off. You can do whatever you want, because it’s hallucinatory. And then when the idea came up of traversing worlds in the hallucinatory state, it was just something that we found really exciting.

TVLINE | When Music Joe goes to see Jenny at the end of the episode and says he wants to be with her, he has just dropped out of rehab, his marriage is in trouble. So how clearly is he thinking about Jenny? Do they really belong together?
FRIEND | As Garrett said, we hope, obviously, that every audience member can bring their own feeling or idea to this. It may not be the correct interpretation, but our feeling and our interpretation is that he is not very well placed. He believes, at that moment, that this is the right thing, that maybe Jenny could be the solution to all his problems and that panacea, [like], “If I had chosen her, everything would have been better.” Then, as an audience, we have the benefit of knowing, well, if you had chosen her, you would have been a nurse and you would have had challenges as well. There is not necessarily a good choice. But in our minds, it’s probably not a good choice right now, because he’s really hit rock bottom. He’s not thinking straight, he’s got this existential crisis. Like you said, her marriage pretty much imploded. Our take is that he’s genuine and passionate and genuine about this choice, and he believes he loves Jenny, and he should have. But is he really in the right frame of mind to make those big life decisions is the bigger question. We love this cliffhanger aspect, and where could it go?

TVLINE | Does she still have romantic feelings for him?
FRIEND | I think so. I think at a very basic level in all worlds they have a love for each other, whether it’s a friendship type or a romantic type of love, obviously, in their marriage. So I think she does. Is she lover with him? I do not think so. But who knows? We might explore that in Season 2.
LERNER | We won’t be able to ignore the fact that she’s a married woman with twin daughters, and that’s obviously the number one priority. Her marriage was turned upside down, admittedly, when her husband Darren learned this secret that she had this baby, and she had never told him about it, and his priority would be to fix her marriage. But that’s what’s beautiful and messy about it all, like Russ was saying, she also has this love for Joe, and Joe is a person who is obviously in need right now in the end. That’s what makes it so fun, it’s like, what’s his next move? What’s his next sentence? Where we wanted to leave each of the stories was where we started, at a crossroads.

TVLINE | Cop Joe, like Music Joe, acts under duress in a way, and proposed to Amy in perhaps not the most romantic and ideal circumstances. So what can you say on Amy’s head regarding this proposal?
FRIEND | I think they like each other, but also, it’s a bit impulsive, to say the least. She walks on the horns of a dilemma. It’s a big decision for her, and how could she balance the two? Obviously, it would be a dream for her to return home and lead her mother’s campaign, and that’s what her whole life has been about, in a way. But she loves Joe. So what are you doing? Maybe they’re moving to Miami? Maybe they have a long distance thing? Again, coming back to the crossroads of all of this, we’re not sure, so hopefully this will galvanize audiences into wanting to see more.

Recap of Ordinary JoeTVLINE | The fact that things are falling apart for Music Joe and Amy, is that also a sign of trouble for Cop Joe and Amy? That they might have similar issues?
FRIEND | It might be. We like this notion that all worlds are talking to each other, in a way. But another thing that we find interesting is, well, maybe another important thing in life is timing. So maybe Joe and Amy got together 10 years ago, eventually, maybe we find out it won’t work. But perhaps with Amy and Cop Joe starting their relationship in the present, they might somehow be able to avoid the obstacles that Music Joe and Amy encountered. She told him she couldn’t have kids, and they already had that conversation. So hopefully that won’t be so big in their relationship and they can find something else if they decide they both want to start a family. While in the music business that’s what defines their marriage, in a way, it’s the fact that they found out she couldn’t have kids, and they’re gone through IVF, and then all the emotions of that, and losing pregnancies. So maybe that’s something they can avoid in the cop world, and maybe it will help their relationship.

Recap of Ordinary JoeTVLINE | Then you have Nurse Joe asking Jenny to renew their vows, only to find Barrett in her room. Was it all PG in there before he showed up?
LERNER | [Laughs] Yes, I think so. I would say it was PG. Barrett and Jenny care about each other, but as we saw in Episode 12, Barrett wasn’t going to cross those lines. I don’t think Jenny would have crossed those lines either, despite being drunk in episode 12. But they have a bond, and they care about each other, and he’s not necessarily courting her from romantic way, but as a business partner and a way to change both of their lives. And that, obviously, then impacts Joe and Chris, and things get messy and things get complicated. I don’t think Joe just showed up late, right after something R-rated happened. [Laughs] But it’s surprising that [Barrett] was there at all, and it’s going to be surprising when [Joe] learns why he was in there, because he asks him to stay in Atlanta. Joe made this selfless gesture to say, “Go to Atlanta and make your dreams come true,” and then to find out now that she’s having fun staying in Atlanta — not without him, but [they] hadn’t even talked about it together. That’s what we wanted to build at the end, and what the last final voiceover is about: how the premise of the show was about how your decisions write the story of your life, and the realization at the end of Season 1 is that it’s not just your decisions. They are also the decisions of others.

TVLINE | There’s also the Kinsley factor, and him keeping this secret from Jenny, and also putting Eric and Amy in an awkward position by telling them about the kiss.
FRIEND | Exactly. That’s really a good point. We like that too, because Amy and Jenny are friends, Eric and Jenny [are friends], they are all friends. What are you doing now? It’s a big dilemma or real thing that we like to deal with from a character perspective. Where does that put them? Do they tell him? It was just a little kiss, but still, he could technically be cheating on her, if you want to put it that way. But he immediately realized he was wrong. We love this moral gray area.

Ordinary Joe fans, what did you think of the end of the season? Rate it below, then hit the comments!