Harvey Guillén breaks down George's empowering exit on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
"This is my final episode this season," the actor reveals to EW.
Warning: the following story contains spoilers about Wednesday's episode of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, "Zoey's Extraordinary Employee."
What's worse than getting fired? Getting fired from the same job twice, all in the span of 24 hours. But if there's anyone who can turn all that around into something positive, it's George (Harvey Guillén) on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.
After Zoey (Jane Levy) was forced to fire George from SPRQ Point due to his lacking productivity in Wednesday's episode, "Zoey's Extraordinary Employee," she felt so bad that she drunkenly rehired him that night over voicemail. But since she couldn't fire someone who had been performing better than him in his place, she had to re-fire him, inspiring him to sing Britney Spears' "Stronger" as a heart song.
"Oh my gosh, what a great song to exit with, right?" Guillén tells EW with a laugh. "He gets fired not once but twice in 24 hours, and the fact that it's done by the person that he considers his only close friend and the person who's looked after him from the beginning when he was being bullied? I mean, she does it from a good place, she knows that George is meant for something better and different and this isn't the environment for him to thrive in, but he can't see it at that moment."
While getting fired even just once from a job is tough, Guillén explains that ultimately this is a good thing for George since he wasn't actually skilled at coding and therefore would never be truly happy in that job. "Sometimes you need that push because we set our minds on what's perfect for us, the perfect life or the perfect wife or husband, kids, job, and all that," he says. "But sometimes the universe is like, 'No, I'll take it from here. Let me show you what the possibilities are.' This is a great point for George to go out in the world and find out what that is and let the universe just take control for a little bit."
Having George discover that epiphany through a heart song — and with an empowering anthem like "Stronger" — is something that Guillén still hasn't gotten over. "Singing Britney Spears, I was on the floor, I was just gagging," he says with a laugh. "I was like, 'Wait, are you serious? I get to sing Britney Spears as my exit song?!' That's like throwing it back to school days, and then I also get to dance to Mandy Moore's choreography. This is insane! It was so fun to put together."
Guillén is also proud to see how far George has come in just four episodes, going from singing the quiet ballad "Don't Cry Out Loud" to taking on the powerful "Stronger."
"To show that side of George, we saw him being really shy and quiet when it came to his personal issues," he says. "He was so sweet and soft, and then he exits with such a bang. It's like, 'No, I'm done with this. [Laughs] It's George, bitch!' I think it's inspirational to people, they can see that and be like, it's not the end of the road. It's never the end of the road when you leave a job or some company, it's just the beginning if you look at it that way."
And now that George has been fired from SPRQ Point (twice), Guillén reveals that this was his final episode... for now, at least. "I was supposed to actually come back; [creator] Austin [Winsberg] and I talked about this," the actor says. "He really wanted me to come back for episode 8 which they're shooting right now. But unfortunately, schedule-wise, I have to be in Toronto to shoot my show, [What We Do In the] Shadows."
That doesn't mean Guillén won't return to Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist at some point in the future. "I have a feeling that George is going to definitely be friends with Zoey even though she fired him twice," he says. "They still have a friendship and connection somehow, so hopefully in the future, I have no doubt in my mind that if it works out, they will meet again."
As for what George's potential return could look like? "We were always talking story ideas," Guillén says. "Austin was like, 'When you do come back, do you maybe have a boyfriend?' There's all these different layers that I'm like, wow, yeah! [Laughs] I love that journey for him. So there's definitely been talks and whatnot and I have no doubt that if things are permitted time-wise that we can make things work."
For now, Guillén is happy to leave on an inspiring note. He wants viewers to learn from George that you should never underestimate the underdog.
"And know that it's within all of us to break out of the mundane of working for a company or working for someone else," he adds. "And maybe ask yourself, are you happy where you're at, even though you've convinced yourself that you are happy. Is there something you want to do in your life that you might have never done because you just put it off, whether it be an activity or a hobby or even maybe take a class in something you've never done before because you just didn't allow yourself. I hope this brings people to that point of realization that I'm going to try something different. I want to learn that from George."
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist 2 airs Tuesdays on NBC.
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