Sunday, September 18, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.12: "Josh and I Work on a Case!"

“I don't trust you as far as I can throw you, which is not far because you eat bagels after 8 p.m.”

This episode was the first of a pretty epic two part episode of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Josh hasn’t talked to or texted Rebecca since the rock through the sliding glass door incident, and Rebecca is getting desperate. She and Paula cook up a crazy scheme to create an opportunity for Rebecca to spend some quality time with Josh, and as you would expect, it quickly spirals out of control. I think my favorite thing about this episode is the music. There’s a super funny and true song that combines both the frustration at the lack of romance at a group hang and restaurants that can’t figure out what they really want to be. There’s a really fun “Music Man” inspired song that Rebecca, Paula, and Darryl sing when they are trying to recruit plaintiffs for a class action lawsuit. There’s also a funny little 30 second bit where Rebecca recalls “romantic moments” with Josh and the singer tells us that he probably didn’t think those moments were romantic. It was just a fun episode overall, and even though she was veering too far towards mania for my comfort (you’ll see what I mean soon enough), it was nice to see Rebecca with a goal and not wallowing anymore.

As I mentioned, early in the episode, Rebecca is fretting because Josh has stopped all communication. Paula still swears she’s going to fix it all, though. She and Rebecca cook up a fake boyfriend for Rebecca so that Josh will feel less intimidated. On Facebook, they find a guy named Trent who went to Harvard when Rebecca did and now lives in LA. Next, Paula prints off a fake free drinks coupon for a restaurant called Jalapeño Jack’s. Then Paula tells Rebeca to take her car to a particular mechanic for a smog check. Josh also shows up at the mechanic to fix a ding on his car that was obviously caused by Paula. Rebecca tells him she has a boyfriend now, and she shows him the coupon. Since both their significant others aren’t going to be available that night, and the coupon is about to expire, Rebecca suggests they go together. Josh agrees, to Rebecca’s delight.

Meanwhile, Darryl hires White Josh as his personal trainer. As they’re working out, White Josh mentions he’s gay, which throws Darryl for a loop a little bit. Darryl says that he should be Gay Josh instead of White Josh, and White Josh thinks that’s just silly. He says in that case, Darryl should be Old Gay Darryl. This makes Darryl even more upset, and he goes too far in overcompensating. He goes on and on about his ex-wife and daughter, and he stops training with White Josh. Instead of the personal training, Darryl decides to take a cardio mambo class, which White Josh points out isn’t exactly a huge signal that Darryl is straight. In the middle of the class, Darryl finds himself admiring both men and women, and he comes to the realization that he’s actually bisexual. He rushes over to White Josh’s house to deliver the news in his “aw shucks” Darryl way, and they kiss. I thought the depiction of Darryl’s journey here was interesting. I’m glad he eventually learned something about himself and could stop being horrible to White Josh. White Josh, for his part, took everything admirably in stride, being much more patient than he had to be.

Anyway, Rebecca arrives at Jalapeño Jack’s and starts asking the server rapid fire questions about the menu before Josh arrives. When Josh does join her, things aren’t as awkward as they could be, which is a good sign for Rebecca. Unfortunately, the mood is ruined when a bunch of Josh’s friends, White Josh, Hector, and a couple guys we’ve never met before, show up, and the evening turns into a very expensive group hang for Rebecca. The nachos and drinks are flowing as Rebecca sings both about how un-sexy group hangs are and how she is frustrated by the confused goal of the restaurant. She can’t decide if it’s Mexican, Cali-Mex, or Cali-Mex-Italian. I can most definitely relate to both of these dilemmas. Group hangs are decidedly unromantic, and that can be very frustrating. And one of my pet peeves is a restaurant that can’t decide what it wants to be. I guess Rachel Bloom and I share a brain? There are definitely worse things, considering she’s a creative genius and all. The situation gets even worse when Rebecca overhears Josh thanking White Josh for coming to the restaurant. Apparently he thought dinner with Rebecca would be awkward, so he called for backup.

Rebecca tells Paula about what happened at work the next day, and Paula already has another plan lined up. They need to do something that will result on Rebecca and Josh working on a legal case together. Rebecca, to Paula’s chagrin, insists that the case needs to be legit. They can’t frame Josh for anything, for instance. Rebecca remembers Josh telling her that he hasn’t had hot water at his apartment for a little while. That’s their in. They call Josh and Valencia in and tell them they can sue their landlord. Josh seems on board, but Valencia is skeptical. She (rightfully) figures that Rebecca must have an ulterior motive. She talks to Greg about it, and of course he agrees. The two conspire together throughout the rest of the episode. Josh is the only one on the lease, though, and he ultimately gives the go-ahead to file the lawsuit.

Preparing the lawsuit is going swimmingly from Rebecca’s perspective. She and Josh are spending a ton of time together, and they’re eating meals from practically every restaurant in West Covina. The dream comes to a crashing halt, however, when Rebecca’s opposing counsel calls and offers a very generous settlement. Josh and Valencia should absolutely take the settlement, but Rebecca doesn’t want her time with Josh to end. She decides to try and get Josh’s entire apartment building to participate in a class action lawsuit. Valencia and Greg both try to tell Josh this is a bad idea, so he hesitates to make a decision. While he’s dithering, Rebecca, Paula and Darryl, hustle the entire rest of the apartment building into signing on, Harold Hill style, with a Music Man inspired number called “Cold Water.” In it, Rebecca compares cold showers to crack. And that tells you all you need to know about why I love “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

Rebecca remembers a flyer about a water conspiracy she saw at Jalapeño Jack’s, so she and Darryl go to visit Bert, a disgruntled former public works employee. He takes them down into the sewer, and he shows them that water is being diverted from the San Gabriel Valley to Hollywood. Rebecca thinks she’s found her case. She goes to Josh’s apartment to tell him about what she found, and she is greeted by an intervention of sorts. Valencia and Greg have found the real Trent, and he’s standing in the living room. Rebecca plays it like they’re really dating, kissing him and everything, and Trent seems to go with it. We shall see how long the ruse is able to continue.

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