Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 4
“When Will Josh and His Friend Leave Me Alone?”
Posted by Sage
Rachel Bloom warned me. But I couldn’t watch this week’s Crazy Ex live. We were covering a con last weekend, so staying off of Twitter until I could was impossible. So it didn’t take long for a Satino Fontana exit interview to cross my timeline the next morning. MID-PANEL.
Kim: Is it bad?
Kim: Is it Greg?
Kim: You look like you’re about to burst into tears.
Knowing what I knew, I put it off for a few more days. I cleared everything else off of my DVR before finally pressing play. It’s okay, though. I mean, it’s NOT. Not for me. But it’s a bold and character-driven story choice, unlike some write-offs I know. (*Glares at Sleepy Hollow*) Though I will love Greg Serrano until the day I die, Rebecca is the show. We’re here to see how she copes with situations like these. (Spoiler alert: not well.) And as I said in last week’s recap, there really was no realistic way to keep Greg in West Covina forever, even if the Emory money hadn’t come through as soon as it did. To paraphrase Rachel Green, “He lifts right out!”
At least Santino got two killer numbers in his farewell episode. The first takes place right after last week’s cliffhanger, when a sleep-rumpled Rebecca tries to stop him from getting on his plane. Her first argument is the afternoon that she saw him on the bridge in WhiJo’s favorite park – a sign, the universe telling them they should be together. But these signs are just Rebecca’s brain searching for links that will enable her to avoid choices all together. “Life doesn’t happen to you,” he tells her. “You make decisions.” And Greg’s decision is to stop treading water and actually move on with his life. They had their moments, he says. “Some of the best of my life.” But his feelings for her make him do dumb things; it’s why he didn’t come to say goodbye. Rebecca’s second case is that Greg really does love her. And he agrees, yes, of course he does. Rebecca never does say it back, though. And their chemistry has never stopped them from making each other miserable. Maybe things will be different someday, when they both get their shit together. But Greg’s last stand – his “My Way” – is convincing to me and Rebecca – two people who really don’t want to see him go. Also, you better SING, Santino.
Dr. Akopian was right, as usual. Rebecca was in no state to experience two break-ups in rapid succession. They send her to her couch, where good ol’ Paula is there to remind her that she still has a life. Rebecca dedicated herself to dealing with these men because it gave her purpose. Without Greg and Josh in her life, she’s lost, because she doesn’t have anything left to distract her from the things she doesn’t like about herself. “I don’t know who I am without them,” she wails. “I know that’s pathetic, but it’s true.”
After Paula leaves, Rebecca angrily scrubs a countertop and resolves to start her life over yet again. But she’s interrupted by two “memory spirits” – not to be confused with the considerably lamer “dream ghosts.” Memories of Josh and Greg haunt her house. And because neither of those relationships were healthy or functional, they’re all memories of doin’ it. Doin’ it everywhere. How can Rebecca even begin to extricate herself from Josh and Greg when they’re literally tap-dancing around her house pointing out all the places they’ve banged? I don’t know and I also don’t care, because ho-ly shit, look at these boys hoof it up.
I cannot believe “not on my chest” made it past the censors.
Anyway, these dancing “polterguys” aren’t as cute to Rebecca as they are to me. So she puts together a haphazard purging ritual to banish them from her house. But her little boyfriend memorabilia blaze becomes a big four-alarm house fire, and that’s how Rebecca shows up on Heather’s doorstep wrapped in an inflammable blanket in the middle of the night. Heather’s indulgent parents (I knew she couldn’t afford that house on a bartender’s salary) take her in without question and begin to fuss over her like they must do Heather. (“Get outta my head, you angel!) Mrs.
Heather Davis even lends Rebecca some of her work wear, so the lawyer can go into the office looking collected and totally over her two recent heartbreaks.
Unfortunately, some snarky 911 operator uploaded Rebecca’s emergency call to YouTube and now everyone in the office knows that Rebecca started a fire in her own house and then pooped in her backyard. Even worse, she’s yelling about Greg and Josh on the tape and now fears those guys will know how truly fucked up she is right now. And the last thing you want your exes to know about your post-break-up state of mind is the truth. Paula advises Rebecca to skip their meeting, but all that would do, Rebecca reasons, is further convince everyone that she’s falling apart. So Rebecca walks into a sit-down with the CEO of Miss Douche (Jane’s Yael Groblas in a nifty CW crossover) like a future cult member looking for a leader. She falls instantly under the spell of Trina’s faith in the “re-brand.” If a product as passe as douche can be marketed to the Coachella crowd, then surely Rebecca can chisel out some new version of herself.
In a characteristically professional move, Rebecca recuses herself from the case so that she can enter the competition to BE Miss Douche. It’s an Instagram throwdown with “mermaids who grew feet,” and Heather thinks it’s a disastrous idea. Her parents, on the other hand, are all about trying without a hope of success. It’s what’s shaped Heather into the unambitious cynic she is today. With their support (and a song), Rebecca embarks on a “makey-makeover” montage scored by a cloying Toni Basil-esque bop. (“Old you in the garbage, new you in display case!”)
What does being Miss Douche have to do with being a well-adjusted adult? Literally nothing, but Rebecca latches onto it anyway. If she can win this contest, everyone will know she’s okay. ( “Look at that new Miss Douche, she really has her act together.”) Of course, her J.Lo makeover achieves the opposite of her goal. She looks sad, desperate, and disoriented. And her “dead people hair” is literally falling out in clumps onto Paula’s desk. When she runs into Josh looking like a Jersey salon receptionist, he looks at her with pity. And he hasn’t even seen the video. (Polar bear related internet cleanse, natch.) Josh can be dense when it comes to reading people, but in this moment, he’s on the money. “Whatever you’re going through right now,” he says, “it’ll get better, I promise.”
The reaction of her coworkers and one of two exes is not what Rebecca was hoping for, so plants herself back on another couch. Heather wakes her to tell her that the internet bots she paid to like her photo did their job whether she wanted them to or not; Rebecca is a Miss Douche finalist and damn if Heather is going to let her quit. I love what Heather does here, even though she thinks this contest is totally irrelevant and stupid. Her parents let her drop out of anything she wanted to. And though they really do think the world of her, that kind of enabling didn’t do Heather any favors. She’s beginning to realize that she should have been pushed. And if her parents showed their love for her by no letting her take shortcuts and sit on the sidelines, her life would be much different. Heather doesn’t want to see Rebecca back down for fear of failure or any other reason. (“Girl, get your hair glue and let’s vamanos.”) LADIES.
Rebecca and her fellow contestants sit on the stage in their American Eagle festival wear, with the Davis’s cheering her on from the audience. What’s happening is so false on so many levels. Douching is unhealthy. Vaginas are self-cleaning, like nice ovens. We know this. It’s 2016. Trina wants to blame “Big Vagina” for all that “anti-douche research,” as if anyone in Washington is successfully lobbying for lady parts. So this company is trying to buy the image of carefree millennial femininity to hawk a product that women don’t need. And is Rebecca not trying to douche her entire character right now? The extensions, the gold chains, the nails – they’re just covering up what’s going on underneath. The true Rebecca is the vagina in this metaphor and that vagina doesn’t need a perfume that smells like salad to make it okay. What I’m trying to say is don’t buy douche.
When Trina asks Rebecca to talk about the real her, Rebecca freezes up. She’s further from that answer than she was when Paula consoled her after Greg left. This whole exercise has her more confused. Worse, she’s still hurting. Rebecca breaks her “chilled out SoCal sunsoaker” character to bow somewhat gracefully out of the contest and admit to everyone in the room that she’s not what she’s pretending to be: okay. She says that her friend Heather is really the chillest person in the room and that all SHE was doing is faking it. Badly. The contest doesn’t give Rebecca her groove back, but it does galvanize Heather to start aiming for higher than mediocre. If she can be Miss Douche, she can really be anything. It’s a little tragic, isn’t it, that Rebecca makes everyone around her better while she remains the hottest mess?
HEATHER AND REBECCA ARE GOING TO BE ROOMIES. And this eases the sting of Grexit (copyright TV Line) a little bit. Their dynamic is so different than Rebecca and Paula’s. And though Heather claims she doesn’t “antic,” I don’t think she can really avoid it when she’s sharing a house with her former psych seminar subject.
But first, Rebecca has to make peace with a ghost. She goes back into her house to have a conversation with all her memories of Greg. He broke up with her and now she has to return the favor. Life is weird. You’d think you’d want to hold onto happy memories, but sometimes it’s healthier to just let them fade. She asks him to leave her head and her heart, otherwise she won’t be able to do what he did and move on. She hopes she’ll be happy for him someday. And now I’m sad again, because these actors are so lovely together.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, PAULA PROCTOR TERMINATED HER PREGNANCY. I’m so, so proud of her for being realistic and for not letting go of her dream. Her cinnamon roll of a husband tells her early in the episode that Paula has “options” and that he’ll support her either way. (“We won’t mention it to Father Brah, and he won’t mention it to God.”) Paula shoots back that abortions aren’t for married mothers, just for desperate teens. That’s not true, of course. (Fuck off, Mike Pence and the entire T*ump cabinet.) The Proctors can’t afford, nor do they want another kid. Her age and marital status have nothing to do with it. To Paula, that positive pregnancy test was handed down like a punishment. She viewed it as a sign that her goals are too dumb to pursue, but as Greg told us at the top of the show, the universe isn’t doing anything but setting up decisions that YOU have to make. And Paula’s talent and drive are screaming louder than anything else. She WILL be successful. And if anything is a sign, it’s that “Paula Proctor, Esq.” really does sound so damn good.
I do wish that Paula had told Rebecca what was happening with her, and I think she will eventually. But I also applaud that the show had Paula make this call on her own. I love that her abortion wasn’t kept a secret from her teenage son. And cheers to the CW for airing episodes of two different shows this season where women who are not penniless, alone, or at health risk decide to end their pregnancies because they simply don’t want to bring a child into the world right now. Like Xo on Jane the Virgin, Paula isn’t saddle with weeping guilt or a harangued deliberation scene. Just a bit of a lie in.
So, there you have it. The love triangle is no more. The show is BASICALLY rebooted, halfway through its sophomore season. And if that means a sharper focus on Rebecca’s friendships and other non-romantic things, I’m on board.
I’m keeping #TeamGreg in my Twitter bio though. Just in case.
The Situation’s A Lot More Nuanced Than That:
- Soooo, is that it for this season’s theme song?
- Valencia is back and she’s eating her feelings!
- Of course Paula would be proud of Greg. They’re both spreading their wings. Head canon that they email about school sometimes.
- I almost retched at Brendan eating a spoonful of mustard. Teenage boys are disgusting.
- The guacamole guy cameo.
- Remember when Heather’s last name was Patel?
- “Memory spirits will not mess with Mama Paula.”
- If Karen ever gets a song, I WILL DIE.
Were you shocked by Gregxit? Did you see Paula’s decision coming? Let us know what you thought of the ep in the comments!