Rachel Bloom as Rebecca. Photo: Greg Gayne/CW
Last week, Josh and Rebecca’s surprise kiss gave Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a much-needed shot of YOLO in the FOMO. This week, you can be sure neither Josh nor Rebecca is feeling as happy as she had fantasized.
That’s not to say our girl doesn’t enjoy a good 45 minutes of bliss (or two hours of bliss in rush-hour traffic). Josh, however, is immediately filled with self-doubt. Sure, it’s not enough to stop him from throwing in the CrossFit-damp towel on a decade-long relationship after a ten-minute convo with Father Brah, but still.
Speaking of Father Brah, Lord, he is the best. Josh rushes to his spiritual mentor as soon as he gets back to West Covina, which happens to be right around 4:20. “I’ve got a bad back. It’s awesome,” a super-stoned Father Brah giggles, urging, “Go to the one you have wronged, my brah.” In a show filled with characters with insane romantic perspectives, a super hot priest who loves weed and has never had a long-term adult relationship is as good a person to accept advice from as any, right?
Paula, of course, is over the moon about the kiss. “This is my favorite part of a romantic-comedy,” she swoons. Rebecca is a little bummed that Josh hasn’t tried to contact her, but Paula knows destiny is unfolding as it should, i.e. the way it would in a rom-com starring Kate Hudson. (“Have you never seen a two-and-a-half star movie?” she chides Rebecca.)
Paula’s fixation on the rom-coms of yore — “yore” being the late ’90s — speaks to the underlying issue that has been bubbling up beneath Rebecca’s love for Josh: Is Rebecca the protagonist, or the bitch trying to steal someone else’s man? Is it possible for her to be both? After all, that is now the plot of the show. Being in love with another person’s man is one thing when you’re just drinking a boba in his vicinity and singing inside your head. It’s quite another once the kissing begins.
When Josh shows up at Rebecca’s apartment that night, my heart fell into my butt. It couldn’t be good news. “I can’t stop thinking about it. Rebecca, I feel something for you,” Josh admits, which seems good … but before anything else can happen, he has to come clean with Valencia and go on a trip to Hawaii. Josh is absolutely sure Valencia will break up with him over the kiss, and honestly, he doesn’t seem too bummed about it. I figured the guy would be devastated about losing the only real love he has ever known, but I guess that is classic Josh. He’s sweet and a good man, but maybe not exactly tuned into his own emotions.
Meanwhile: Oh God, Darryl, light of my life. My man D announces his bisexuality to the office in “I’m Getting Bi,” a popped-collars-and-white-blazers Huey Lewis–style number. Sings Darryl, “Some might say, ‘Hey, you’re just gay / Why not go gay all the way?’ / But that’s not it / ‘cause bi’s legit / whether you’re a girl or a guy, we might just be a fit.” Exquisite.
Flush with excitement, Darryl asks White Josh to an incredibly fancy restaurant, perhaps even fancier than Jalapeño Jack’s. Noticing Darryl’s newfound mania, White Josh floats the idea that he first try a dating app. (Who doesn’t love having their new crush tell them to take it to Tinder?) Darryl gives it a halfhearted try, but eventually just admits, “I don’t want to say that I don’t like anyone as much as you, but I think I just said it.” Come on White Josh, just let Darryl love you! Keep that restaurant blazer so you can get married in it!
Rebecca is devastated by Josh’s (extremely mature) decision to spend his Hawaii vacay sorting himself out after presumably getting dumped by Valencia, but Paula knows that we’ve reached the point in the rom-com where Rebecca must offer the Grand Gesture. Paula knows everything. “I am your funny best friend with all the answers!” she says. “See, in my narrative, you are the funny singing raccoon,” Rebecca suggests.
To paraphrase Paula, Rebecca has to go to Hawaii to win over Josh, you idiot! Unfortunately, Rebecca is straight-up broke. Remember when she donated $10,000 to Josh’s camp? That was not a fiscally responsible choice. (“I’ve never had to worry about money,” she admits as her car is impounded.) Meanwhile, the mayor of West Covina invites Rebecca to accept the key to the city for her work breaking the water scandal. Her mother even sends her the coveted Garfinkel ring in the mail! Everything’s coming up Bunch, but Rebecca can only think of getting Josh so she … oh God, it’s almost too horrible to say … she hawks the Garfinkel ring to buy a plane ticket. Oh God, girl.
But don’t worry! She’s not the only person simmering in unrequited juices. Over at the bar, Heather is making Greg’s life even more of a living hell than being Greg already is. She refuses to serve customers, she touches all the cocktail cherries. (“They feel like eyeballs.”) After he tries to argue that she has no right to feel hurt, Heather finally gives Greg the piece of romantic advice everyone must eventually learn: In any relationship, someone is going to feel some kind of way, and there’s nothing you can do. “You are just going to have to live with the uncertainty,” she shrugs.
Speaking of which, this episode marks the first time it really dawns on Rebecca that winning Josh would also mean devastating Valencia. While leaving the travel agency — what kind of crazy town is West Covina?! — Rebecca overhears Valencia predicting Josh’s imminent proposal. That must be why he’s acting all crazy-weird! Finally, after all these weeks and all these schemes, Rebecca sees the flipside of the love coin. Horrified, she decides to throw herself on the grenade and stop Josh from telling Valencia about the kiss. She hauls ass over to their place, but it’s too late. Josh has confessed his transgression … only to have Valencia immediately forgive him. In a nifty piece of magical realism, she even appears haloed and robed as the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Alone in their home (well, with Rebecca spying on them, because girl cannot stop herself) Valencia admits she gets Rebecca’s appeal. She’s new. She’s interesting. She’s currently squatting in the hallway, listening to this private conversation. But to throw away everything Valencia and Josh have over one kiss? That would be insane. “You mean everything to me,” she tells him. “I love you.” Josh is relieved. More importantly, Josh admits, he does not love Rebecca. Dun dun DUN!
Shaken by the tender domestic scene, Rebecca runs home to sing “The Villain of My Own Story.” Between her recent actions and the literal witch costume, she works through being “the villain in my own story / the bad guy on my TV show.” Caught in an emotional spiral, Rebecca shows up late to the mayoral ceremony. Shaken to the core, she can barely stand to accept the key to the city before rushing off to the airport. She boards that plane to Hawaii, even though Josh has decided to stay home and work things out with Valencia, and who happens to be her seatmate? Why, it’s her oft-ignored therapist, Dr. Akopian. In what I must assume is some kind of ethical violation, Dr. Akopian offers to give her a five-hour therapy session on the plane. Rebecca takes a deep breath and begins.
Here’s the thing: Rebecca has never actually told Josh that she is in love with him. I know this might not seem like the biggest deal right now, but when it comes, it’s going to be a banger of an emotional moment. Grand gestures are great, but the time to tell Josh how she feels was when he admitted to feeling something for her. What will it take for her to tell him the truth? It took her so long to be honest with herself. When will she be honest with the object of her affection?
Oh, wait, I know when. It’ll be when Josh gets the Garfinkel ring from the pawn shop and proposes to Valencia with it. I’m calling it now, people! And Rebecca will lose her mind when it happens.
Obscure Occult Spells From the Grimoire of the Witch Queen Rebecca:
- Father Brah’s rabbit corpse/heroin-addicted-brother story was great, but too dark to pull quote.
- “Our love can withstand anyone,” the tagline for that classic Josh/Valencia rom-com Just Us.
- Rebecca, getting meta: “I’m the bitch in the corner of the poster / I’m the figure in the doorway / Or the Kraken up in Norway / God, who is this song’s composer?”
- “I think my life is a giant turd,” Rebecca whispers during her breakdown. Oh, how I laughed and laughed.
- “Love is like digging through a trashcan!” Cartoon raccoon Paula is the cutest Paula! Right after the actual Paula.