“Grown-ish” Recap Episode 8: “Zero Dark Zoey”

What went down on the latest episode of grown-ish? Get all the tea with Sesi‘s weekly recaps.

By Andréa Butler

We’ve seen Zoey ghost a new friend, try Adderall, have a text meltdown, and dabble in playerhood as she figures out this whole being grown(ish) thing. And this week, social media mistakes are on deck.

Episode eight opens with Zoey’s voiceover telling us how pervasive social media is today with new communication methods poppin’ up on the regular. With this greater access, though, comes greater dependence — addiction, even. We share so much, often too much, and are obsessed with likes and comments. “I’d like to say I’m above it all,” she says as we watch her IG a selfie with an acceptance letter to her dream fellowship displayed on the laptop behind her. “But, there is nothing better than sharing the amazing news … with a thousand of your closest friends.” #Truth.


Her first day at the new gig, Zoey is fangirling for real, for real. Before she’s even made it to her desk, she’s posted pics of the fashions, her new co-workers, and even the bathroom. (But, tbh, what’s an Instagram feed without at least one ka-yute bathroom pic, right?) Finally, she settles in, and we find out she isn’t the only familiar face on scene: Luca is BACK!!! He’s been MIA so long, though, that even Zoey feels the need to reintroduce him, reminding us in her voiceover that they used to make out a little and adding that he owes her a lot of money. (So, uh, when did this money issue happen? How much we talkin’? And where does Zoey even get the fetty to lend out — more silent treatment guilt trips with the fam?)

Anyway, we find out that Luca, chiller than ever, didn’t even apply to the fellowship. “I was just kinda walking to wherever, and uh, this girl came up to me and was like, ‘Your pants are fire.’ So, here we are.” Zoey stares back at him blankly, telling him he’s legit terrible at telling stories. He claps back with the fact that, actually, she’s just terrible at listening. This is too true. In that very moment, Zoey tunes him out to peep her IG posts’ popularity.

Later, in drones class, Charlie schools the crew on WuTang and gets them all to fill out his tax forms. (Why no one ever challenges his lesson plans is beyond us.) Zoey waltzes in late, and her squad asks about how the job is going. Of course, she says she’s loving it, but more importantly for her, she’s loving all the followers and likes she’s getting — including one from Janelle Monae. Nomi scoffs at the name drop, claiming JM is overrated, and we discover Nomi’s got some social media issues of her own — she trolls.

On the other hand, Aaron uses social media for the good of the people, obvi. He only writes, comments, and shares posts that align with his political views. Lightweight agreeing with Aaron (AKA “Malcolm X-tra”) that social media is a powerful tool, Sky talks about how she and Jazz use it to get the attention of potential sponsors. And Vivek? Oh, he doesn’t use social media at all because, according to him, not using it is the only way to maintain a truly clean rep. But if you ask Jazz, it’s really because:


The next day at the fellowship, Luca tries to chop it up with Zoey, but once again, she’s preoccupied with her phone — ya’ girl is verified now, y’all! And she is so feelin’ herself. That is, until Luca — not understanding or caring about the gravity of the situation — asks her what two checks means, ’cause that’s what he’s got. (The scowl on Zoey’s face? Wooo, chile.) Refusing to believe Luca could ever, Zoey tells him it’s gotta be a glitch because she’s a star. It doesn’t help her ego that a few minutes later she’s chosen, out of all the new fellows, to shadow the boss.

Before shadowing can start, though, Zoey is taken aside and warned not to do anything on social media that would embarrass the office. (Can we say foreshadowing?) Her mood immediately changes, and instead of just being cautious about what she posts, Zoey goes full-on social media blackout.

Her internship continues and Zoey is killin’ the game. But sticking to her social media stoppage has her noticing how everyone around her stays glued to their devices. At dinner, she tries to get her friends to engage with her IRL, but Aaron is in the #woke zone, retweeting everything from this new social justice org he just found, and Nomi and Ana are steady trolling Janelle Monae.


Meanwhile, at another part of campus, Dean Parker is giving Sky and Jazz tips on running hurdles — not even their event, btw — when Vivek comes over to them and schools the dean on what a Finsta is. The twins side-eye the mess out of him, and when Dean Parker leaves, they ask Vivek how he found theirs. All he says is never to mess with a computer engineer, basically mic dropping his way off scene.

A couple days pass, and Zoey is still on that social media blackout tip — and actually enjoying it. No lie, though, she does get tempted to post #ootds and Sushi Tuesday plates, but ultimately chooses to live in the moments, instead.

Back on campus, Nomi and Ana come to Aaron for advice. They’ve apparently angered a gang of Janelle Monae fans with their hardcore trolling. But before Aaron can even begin to help them, his own mentions start going ham. Turns out, that “social justice” account he was retweeting was actually a white supremacist group!

Over at the fellowship HQ, Zoey and Luca just put the finishing touches on a bomb look. Zoey invites Luca to celebrate but he’s got plans, so Zoey decides to celebrate on her own by breaking her Insta fast. She posts up in the fashion closet with a rack of clothes behind her, captions her selfie,”TFW you’ve handled your business,” and hits share. Nothing can go wrong with that, right? (Wrong.)

The next morning, Zoey wakes up to the sound of her phone blowing up with notifications. That photo she shared? Yeah, it ended up leaking a brand’s not-yet-revealed fall collection to like a milli people. And when she got to the office, she was immediately called out — and taken off of shadowing, replaced by Luca.

Over on campus, the twins haven’t forgotten how Vivek tried to play them a few days before. They approach him with a finding of their own — a video of him he never wanted anyone to see.


Zoey’s not the only one facing consequences from social media mishaps. Nomi’s been banned from Twitter, Ana’s suspended from the platform, and Aaron gained a rack of racist followers. But just as Zoey’s lamenting how being born in the digital age is more of a disadvantage because millennials aren’t allowed to make mistakes without them being published for eternity, their Shazam-type app finds the song they’re hearing that they can’t seem to remember the name of. “What a time to be alive,” she says instead.

Catch up on the episodes you’ve missed here.


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