Sunday, March 31, 2019

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 2.04: "When Will Josh and His Friend Leave Me Alone?

“Life doesn’t happen to you. You make decisions. Right now I’m deciding to move forward with my life.”

I’ll be honest, the events of this episode are the main reason why, even though the first season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is one of my very favorite seasons of television, I haven’t gotten very far beyond it in watching the show. In honor of the series finale airing this coming Friday, though, I thought I ought to dive back in. You see, I first started watching the show when a close friend moved across country under somewhat painful circumstances, and I was trying to cheer myself up with a quirky comedy and some pepperoni pizza. While watching the first season, I got very invested in Rebecca and Greg. Then when I found out that Santino Fontana was leaving the show and I saw the video for “It Was a Shitshow,” which featured their big airport goodbye, I knew I wasn’t in an emotional place to watch the whole episode. Just about three years later, I can confirm I was actually able to watch the whole episode (including the departure scene) without crying, so that’s progress. A lot has happened in the past three years, I suppose.

The episode opens where the last one left off, with Rebecca rushing to the airport just as Greg is about to board his flight to Atlanta to attend Emory University. Greg explains his reasons for leaving with the aforementioned “It Was a Shitshow,” and I was mostly reminded that damn, Santino Fontana can sing. I’m now contemplating a spontaneous trip to NYC to see him in Tootsie (although my bank account and work that needs to be done on my house may make me decide to do otherwise). Greg’s got a good point with this song. While Greg and Rebecca have crazy chemistry, they’ve done some pretty awful things to each other. Their relationship hasn’t been rosy, for sure. Greg does admit he loves her (which will have to sustain me until season four), but pursuing his dreams in Atlanta is the best thing for him at this point.

Rebecca is completely broken by both Josh and Greg leaving her in such a short space of time. She’s feeling very abandoned, and Paula, even though she’s dealing with her own issues (more on that in a bit) does try to comfort her. Josh and Greg keep appearing to her as visions, and they perform a rather epic song and dance number called “We Tapped that Ass All Over This House.” Rebecca decides to try burning everything that reminds her of both Josh and Greg in her kitchen sink, and it turns into a major fire and a 911 call that goes viral (probably because it involved Rebecca describing pooping in her backyard). Rebecca goes over to Heather’s house to see if she can stay there, and she learns that Heather still lives with her parents. Heather and her parents are all cool with Rebecca crashing at their place temporarily. Heather’s dad even makes her pancakes at 2 AM), and Heather’s mom gives her clothes to wear to work the next day.

Rebecca, looking quite disheveled, is devastated to find out that all her coworkers have been watching the viral 911 video. She thinks she’ll feel better if she throws herself into work, though, so she sits in on a meeting with Petra from “Jane the Virgin,” who in the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” universe, runs a company called Miss Douche. Since douching isn’t really in fashion anymore, she’s desperately trying to rebrand the company (Whitefeather is helping them with legal transactions required for their new headquarters). She especially wants to replace their illustrated “Miss Douche” mascot with a real woman. They’re running a social media contest from which five winners will be chosen. The rebranding talk really appeals to Rebecca, because she desperately wants everyone to forget about that 911 video.

Back at Heather’s house, Heather’s mom is super supportive of Rebecca’s desire to have a post break-up makeover. Rebecca even comes up with a pretty silly song to accompany the makeover. Next thing we know, Rebecca is walking into Whitefeather with blonde hair and looking like she’s dressed for Coachella. She also made the Instagram post for the contest and has spent thousands of dollars on bots to give the post likes. Even though reaction to the new look was surprise more than anything else, Rebecca is feeling pretty confident in herself when she happens to run into Josh on the street. Josh doesn’t recognize Rebecca at first, but when he does, he tries to be kind. He makes the mistake of calling what Rebecca is wearing a “costume,” though, and that completely throws her off her game.

Meanwhile, you may recall that in the last episode, Paula found out that she’s pregnant. Her husband, to his credit, is still super supportive of the idea of her going to law school, but his attempts to show that he can manage the house somewhat to give her space to study doesn’t really go well. The house is more chaotic than ever, and Paula doesn’t see how she can possibly juggle her job, school, the kids they’ve got, and a new baby all at once. Her husband reminds her she has “options,” but Paula views that as a teenager’s way out. She thinks the right decision is for her to drop out of law school. She also doesn’t want to talk any of this through with Rebecca (even though Rebecca asks her a couple times how she’s doing), because she thinks Rebecca has too much on her plate and wouldn’t understand, anyway. She ends up presenting Miss Douche’s case to the planning commissioner, however, and he seriously compliments her work, so Paula finally makes her decision. She has an abortion. It’s all handled in a very matter-of-fact way (and she still doesn’t tell Rebecca), which was very interesting to see on television.

When we next see Rebecca, she’s officially a finalist for Miss Douche, but Heather is having a terrible time trying to get her out of bed to go to the competition. Heather’s parents aren’t helping. They’re totally cool with Rebecca just staying in bed not trying to win the competition. Heather’s taking this personally, I think because she wishes her parents had pushed her a bit more to not be a perpetual student. Eventually, Heather succeeds, and Rebecca shows up at the competition just in time. The ladies all have to answer questions from the judges. Petra (I don’t know her character’s name on this show, so I’m just gonna call her Petra) mentions that Rebecca seems like the kind of person who does it all – success ful attorney, living her best SoCal life, etc. Fundamentally, though, she wants to know who Rebecca is. The planning commissioner asks Paula who she is in a cut scene, so I’m guessing this is the theme that is tying the whole episode together. Rebecca ends up giving a speech where she says she doesn’t deserve to be Miss Douche because her life is a mess, and she suggests they choose Heather instead.

Heather does end up as the new Miss Douche, which is not what anyone would have ever expected. She wants to take the money and strike it out on her own. She’s tired of her parents enabling her to keep living in her safe bubble. And she wants Rebecca to be her new roommate. This is going to be quite an interesting combination! Later, the two of them start looking at listings, and they see a familiar face gorging on a donut. It’s none other than Valencia – since when does she eat carbs! The three ladies are all surprised to see each other and don’t know quite how to react. Do I detect a potential third roommate? This could get interesting.

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