Rebecca Bunch waltzed back into our living rooms last night in what turned out to be an unexpectedly weighty episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. We pick up right where season one ended and they make sure to give us an update on almost all major characters throughout the duration of the episode. The only one we don’t actually see is Valencia, who I assume is licking her wounds from her breakup with Josh. She has been promoted to series regular though so she should be back very soon. I have to admit a lot of this episode didn’t land for me. I thought it lacked some of the whimsy I enjoy in the show. But then something happened in the final act that changed everything about the way I see the show. Read on to find out!
Bex and Josh 4evah! Kind of…
The episode starts in the aftermath of their wedding hookup. We watch Rebecca as she gaslights Josh into thinking he said half the crazy stuff she said. It is definitely one of the more uncomfortable Rebecca sings as opposed to her cute crazy. Fast forward a few weeks to where they are kind of living together. As Paula calls it, Rebecca is pretty much “running an AirBNB with benefits.” Even Paula thinks our leading couple is maybe no longer meant to be. By the end of the episode, Josh and Rebecca both agree they should step back for a while. After one more night. I have a hunch this will be the story of their relationship for a while.
There is no way to do a top 5 of this show without touching on the music. There is a new opening number which is cute enough but I did miss the old theme song. I understand they want the opening number to reflect the story. I would have preferred a reworking of the lyrics in the old number though. The first full music video of the season is “Love Kernels” in which Rebecca misinterprets every single word Josh says as a symbol of love. The video is hilarious. After missing the connection in the theme song, this one got me right back into the swing of things. The only other song was, “We Should Definitely Not Have Sex Right Now.” Which was funny, but a bit pedestrian compared to what I have grown to expect from the writers.
After her Mama Rose meltdown in the finale, Paula is still reeling a little bit. With no drama at home, and no drama in her friendship with Rebecca she doesn’t know what to do with herself. To avoid slipping back into old habits, she drafts a friendship contract with Rebecca committing to friendship, love, support, and no shenanigans. When Rebecca signed the contract she looked as sad as I felt. Obviously that is a healthy route for both characters. I will miss the crazy as much as they will. I am sure there will be a relapse at some point. In the last scene we see Paula making the decision to fill the void in her life with law school. I think this is an excellent development for Paula. It is a great step for the character.
So Where is Josh’s Friend?
Nobody has seen Greg since the wedding. Since she is with Josh now, Rebecca just accepted that he gave her the brush. Once Josh puts their developing relationship on pause until she finalizes her break up with Greg, Rebecca makes an active effort to find him. Rebecca and Paula finally track him down, he is a month into his journey at Alcoholics Anonymous. From the monologue we hear him give, he is clearly a long way towards being in a better place. We will see what being sober does to his infatuation with Rebecca.
Glitter Exploding Inside Me
Ok, stay with me on this one. Addiction takes the lead in this episode. It is going to be the focus of the season. The writers are making clear that Rebecca is definitely not crazy, as the title of the show suggests. She has an addictive personality. She is not going to find happiness with Josh or anyone else as long as this is her battle. If you look at her obsession with Josh as a true addiction, her actions definitely seem more sad than crazy. Paula has clearly been enabling her, though she hasn’t always seen it that way.
I am hopeful that as Greg turns his life around by battling his own addiction he is able to lead or inspire Rebecca on her own path to recovery. It should make for a very entertaining season. This is an excellent approach for the creators to take. It anchors the humor and silliness into reality. This is what makes Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a brilliant show.
If you didn’t catch it when it happened, the piece that clicked the addiction puzzle together was Greg’s speech in AA. He describes how his very first sip of alcohol was like “glitter exploding inside of me.” When Rebecca met Josh on the street in New York in the first episode she describes the feeling as, “glitter exploding inside me.” Josh is to Rebecca what alcohol is to Greg.
I am looking forward to watching them both on their journeys to sobriety.