Chalk it up to the fact it’s what every other man in Rebecca’s (Rachel Bloom) has done, starting with her dad: The bride-to-be just can’t kick the nagging feels that Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) will one day abandon her… But if anyone’s going to bail on this wedding, we thought, it had to be Rebecca.
Whether she realized she can’t ignore her attraction to Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster), or her therapist finally walked her back to the realization that she needs to find her own happiness before finding it with someone else, all signs pointed to Rebecca calling off this ridiculous engagement.
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During the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” Season 2 finale Friday night (Feb. 3), Josh and Rebecca did not get married (thank God) — but we never expected it would be Josh to call it off — or that he’d run away without so much of a goodbye text, to join the priesthood. We also couldn’t know we’d discover Rebecca’s mental illness runs far deeper than anyone, other than her mother, ever knew.
Written and directed by Bloom’s co-producer Aline Brosh McKenna, this episode illuminates the series’ opening musical theme song in a way we never saw coming.
Let’s start with Josh. Father Brah (Rene Gube) nails it, when he mentions Josh runs to the help of a pretty girl every time he has a problem of his own. Why do so many girls step up to the plate for this man-child? It’s a debatable topic… But there are many awesome women — Rachel, Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz) and Anna (Brittany Snow) included — who find Josh’s constant sputtering of idiotic comments and inability to care for himself endearing.
It’s a deal women (and men) make with men all the time, because it suits everyone’s worst traits so perfectly: Feeling the need to protect the man’s ego by nurturing his naïveté puts all the “power” — and none of the agency — in our hands. They stay lazy and small, we stay in a certain kind of control even as we’re indulging them, and nobody grows or changes.
So it’s great Josh has finally decided to man up — but awful that he does it on his wedding day, and without even taking a moment to talk to Rebecca about it first. It’s such a quintessential Josh move, done without forethought and zero consideration for anyone but himself, that we can’t say we’re surprised he missed this season’s nonstop reminders of Rebecca’s abandonment issues. We’ll be shocked if Josh actually sticks with the priesthood — following through on anything isn’t his strong suit, and it’s Josh: He may well have really done it just for the cool shirt.
Now, onto Rebecca. Out dear, sweet, certifiably crazy Rebecca. Whose mother actually claimed in court that she has “no underlying issues to address,” and that “she can’t be held responsible for her actions,” after an affair with Robert, a professor at Harvard, turned sour. We flash back to see that when Robert broke things off, Rebecca… Set his belongings on fire and burned his house down. Sound creepily familiar?
“So when you call her ‘crazy,’ you’re just calling her in ‘love!’”
God. She had us all fooled. For two whole seasons, we thought Rebecca was just abnormally quirky! Sure, she needed therapy — who doesn’t? And what girl doesn’t get sad when she doesn’t get the guy? Especially one with daddy/abandonment issues? We commended her bold move to move across the country, for she was clearly unhappy with life in New York City — Rebecca just failed to include the fact that a restraining order was filed against her, and she was forced to spend some time a mental institution. No big?
Okay, this is actually a big big — and it makes her wedding from hell even more devastating to watch. Rebecca is trying so hard to have a stable man in her life that she’s willing to go through with marrying Josh, even though deep down she knows wrong… And now she’s the one being left at the alter. For a very brief but scary moment, it appears Rebecca is contemplating suicide. She peers over the cliff at the deep expanse of the Pacific Ocean… And if not for Paula (Donna Lynn Champlin) catching her when she briefly faints, that could’ve been it.
Like a fierce guardian angel, Paula — is it even possible to love her any more than we do in this moment? — reels Rebecca back in. Forget her mother, her father, and especially Josh: She’s got people. One of the reasons Season 2 has been so wonderful was its focus on Rebecca’s friendships: Darryl (Pete Gardner), Valencia and Heather (Vella Lovell), now even Nathaniel — these people have her back, and with no motive other than her friendship in return.
Paula says they’ll make Josh pay — and while she was probably talking about hacking into his phone and publicly shaming him on social media, the last line of this episode is Rebecca announcing, “We’re gong to destroy his life.”
The show, you see, is entitled “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” First it was a joke (she wasn’t even his ex!) and then it was ironic and now it’s, um. Accurate.
And since we know homegirl has been hiding the depth of her troubles, this call of vengeance makes us nervous for two reasons. The first being, what in the world does she actually have in mind? Whatever it is, it’s probably illegal on multiple counts.
Second, we’re thinking about how this is the new storyline leading into Season 3. We’re not super excited at the thought watching an entire season based on getting revenge. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but we don’t want this be Rebecca’s whole existence. We loved this season’s focus on friends, work, and learning to put other people’s needs above her own. We want her to finally stop masking her problems with the distraction that is Josh. He’s not worth it.
Rebecca’s well-being, however, is. And we have high hopes that will be the real journey next season.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” has been renewed for Season 3, but The CW has not yet released a premiere date.