Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 6
“Who Needs Josh When You Have a Girl Group”
Posted by Sage
It’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s bread-and-butter to take the awkwardness we all experience to its most extreme point. This week, the show turned its wacky laser-focus to the “blending” of girl friend groups, an endeavor that sounds harmless but has blown up in a lot – a LOT – of faces. The Electric Mesa episode and more so this one prove that Crazy Ex has its creative direction well in hand, even after taking a sledgehammer to the love triangle that defined the first season.
Paula and Rebecca aren’t what they used to be. As they grow more distant, Paula devotes her time to law school (which she appears to be killing) and her friendship with Sunil; and Rebecca revels in taking filtered selfies and talking about bathroom behavior with her new girlfriend squad. Every time Rebecca trips over a new opportunity for validation, she attaches herself to it. With Valencia and Heather at her side, she’s redefined as “the brainy one” in a protective cocoon of girl power. Rebecca feels so powerful that she’s plotting how she and her brunch bitches will violently take over the world. The Spice Girls homage is sublime. “Friendtopia” is female millennial nostalgia meets female political rage, and it’s really catchy too. Zig-a-zow!
It doesn’t take long for Rebecca to start feeling actively guilty about ditching Paula. Darryl’s hints that “others” may be feeling left out of Rebecca’s very public lady friendship too just brings it to the surface. (“What am I doing? I’ve completely broken her heart.”) Crazy Ex likes to draw parallels between platonic friendships and romantic relationships. And in both, there are those times when you haven’t yet discussed the mutual feeling that you’re out of sync. And those periods are terrible and awkward, because the general and inaccurate consensus is that friendships don’t need work or periodic states of the union.
What Rebecca needs to do is spend time alone with Paula and remind her that she’s an important person in her life. (The most? Probably.) What she does is throw Paula in with the sharks with no warning. Even the sharks weren’t informed in this case. Heather assures girlfriend newbie Valencia that Rebecca’s surprise group hang is “super weird.” It gets weirder when Karen’s friend “Angelique” shows up with her luxury sex toy sales pitch. Angelique is Karen in a blond bob wig and a catsuit. Her wares are overpriced and dangerous-looking (“Is that a claw?”), and no one – least of all Paula – is having the giggly girl bonding experience Rebecca was hoping to achieve.
Paula is blindsided. The sharpied breast cancer walk tee is humiliating, and she has a test to study for. But Rebecca is trying in her own misguided way to reach out and include Paula in her new Greg-and-Josh-less life. Rebecca’s problem is that she doesn’t hear people; Paula’s is that she doesn’t speak up. So even though it’s Paula who gets stuck in the bathroom when her best friend’s murder house collapses in on her, she’s not the only victim here.
Paula wants to blame their problems on Rebecca’s neediness, but she didn’t HAVE to send bitchy texts to the new model while Rebecca was sitting right next to her. It’s a defense mechanism – drag those girls first before they can drag her. But Paula is an adult woman who makes smart, mature decisions all the time. She’s better than this. When middle school rears its ugly head, friendships get hurt. And texting about someone who is IN THE ROOM is playing with fire in any case. Pick a better bail-out buddy too. Sunil’s theater degree is not shown in its best light when he’s alerting the girls of the sad injury that’s befallen Tommy-Timmy. Rebecca’s anger towards him is my favorite. All personal conflicts should be hashed out over Fiddler on the Roof references.
Little does Rebecca know as she’s busy putting together the worst ladies night in history that her stalker is back in town. “Who Needs Josh When You Have a Girl Group?” marks the return of Trent, the Los Angeles dwelling Harvard alum who was suckered into playing the role of Rebecca’s boyfriend in a season 1 scheme and later revealed himself to be a certified creeper. He got the news about Rebecca’s breakups during his regular review of her hacked emails and comes to West Covina with a sure-fire plan to ingratiate himself into her life. Trent spends $10k on cropped hoodies in a surf shop and accidentally-on-purpose bumps into Josh at the Aloha, all so he can “in-chill-trate” the circle of bros closest to her.
Take Out the T It’s Rent, Take Out the R, It’s Tent’s action plan gives us another chance to observe the bro dynamic of this particular set of bros. Trent lures them out with the promise of a good seat for “the finals” (I assume NBA?). Because Home Base is the only family restaurant/sports bar in town, management can set a prohibitive cover for game nights. Trent has practiced his bro handshake-to-hug, but he is incapable of playing normal for an entire night. (“Everyone want A chicken wing?”)
The boys stick it out longer than they should. Josh doesn’t ask questions when people are giving him things, and he’s also distracted by his honeymoon texting with Anna from the festival. (“Yeah, you were single for a brutal 11 minutes. I’m glad you finally found somebody.”) Hector will go along with anything as long as White Josh is still in it. And White Josh – my judgmental son – is the first to be completely over it. (He’s so patient and sweet with Darryl, which makes it extra satisfying that White Josh is the bitchy friend.)
Eventually, Trent is left alone at his $150 table. But he spots the salesgirl from the surf shop and she gives him hope for a future with Rebecca. She’d thought it was a bad idea when that he was trying to trick these boys into being friends with him. But deception in the name of romance? That’s another story. Coming on too strong, subterfuge, invasion of privacy – that’s how you turn a girl’s head, according to the worst romantic comedies.
And that’s how Trent shows up at Rebecca’s door in the middle of a crisis. Unfortunately, Heather had wrapped up her overly descriptive “Trapped in the Closet”-style lyrical narration before he could get his own verse. Rebecca barely has time to digest the fact that this strange man is at her house before Trent performs a daring rescue. And she wouldn’t necessarily mind being swept up like a basket of muffins again afterwards, but Paula and Rebecca are already mid-fight.
Scott’s right. Paula protects Rebecca from having to think about anything other than herself. That’s a dynamic that she’s encouraged. To say that Rebecca didn’t really want to know what was wrong with Paula the day that Paula had the abortion – that’s a deliberate misreading of Rebecca’s intentions to serve Paula’s rationale for keeping her out. At the same time, Paula didn’t create this mental version of Rebecca out of nothing. Rebecca IS a person who takes up all the space in the room. She demands more than her share of attention. And she really let Paula down with that recommendation letter. When Paula finally blurts out her secret, Rebecca is concerned about how it affects HER, and what it means that Sunil knew first. Personal confidences aren’t like friendship bracelets. You don’t get to be jealous when you don’t get one, you get to wonder why that is.
Not even Darryl and Maya’s choreographed dance can save the party after that. Rebecca’s murder house becomes the site of another massacre. The only survivor is Trent, who benefits from Rebecca’s horny sadness. (And gives her his virginity? If he knows what that word means, which is unclear.) The next day, Paula and Rebecca work in silence. So not squad goals.
The Situation’s a Lot More Nuanced Than That
- “Who’s ready to slightly poison their bodies and create an artificial sense of warmth and well-being?”
- Donna Lynne Champlin in this episode, you guys.
- Reminder that Valencia’s real name is Maria.
- “Girl with a ‘u,’ sassyyyyyy.”
- Vella Lovell sang two songs in one episode and it’s not even my birthday.
- When people ask me what this show is about from now on, I’m showing them “The Trent is Gettin’ Ready Song.”
- “Hey, Maya, has anyone ever told you that your voice sounds like a mouse with throat cancer?”
- Speaking of Darryl and Maya, they’re the only pair that successfully hashed out their differences in this episode. Meek Maya stands up to Darryl’s bullying, which has been blatant and suuuuuuuuuper unprofessional. As usual, Darryl straightens up immediately after being called out on his shit. He’s hard on Maya because he sees himself in her, especially the part of him that’s desperate for approval from others. Now they are best friends with a party dance that’s all the rage, and people (George) are trying to get in with THEM.
- “I just got a text, they’re dead.”
- I don’t care how crowded it is, Home Base is still empty without Greg Serrano.
- “I use it as hand lotion, which is why I’m always dropping things.”
- Darryl and Maya’s white board included ideas like “Bring so much booze that they can’t say no” and “Dress like clowns.” The latter was scrapped because, as we know from “I’m So Good at Yoga,” Rebecca is TERRIFIED of them.
- Rebecca wasn’t kidding about the red licorice.
Are you as broken up about Paula and Rebecca as we are? How would YOUR Friendtopia stage a coup? Let us know in the comments!