Raise your hands if you saw that season finale twist coming, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend fans. Because we sure didn’t.
Now, don’t get us wrong. We always knew that Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) and Josh’s (Vincent Rodriguez III) wedding was doomed from the start because, hello, we’re not new. But we never could’ve guessed—never would’ve guessed—that it would all come crashing down thanks to a few dissociative episodes (“Robert!”) and one very hastily made decision to join the priesthood.
Now that Josh has abandoned her, continuing a pattern of behavior from all men in her life that began with her real turd of a dad, and Rebecca’s finally embraced the “crazy” label she’s had thrust on her her entire life—no utterance of the phrase “A little bit” has been more triumphant and badass—as she readies her girl gang on a quest for revenge, season three of the CW series is going to look mighty different.
“Well it’s going to be Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, isn’t it? They’ve really been together now so she really is an ex now,” executive producer Aline Brosh McKenna told reporters following a recent screening of the finale, which she both wrote and directed. “You can see at the end of this episode that Rebecca very much is someone who takes on personas that she’s received from the world, and this is, in a time of crisis here, a new persona leaps into her mind and it’s the scorned woman. We’ll see how much she follows through on that, how consistently she follows through on that and how her feelings evolve as she recovers from this big rupture that happens at the end.”
Of course, as we learned tonight, this isn’t the first time Rebecca’s been the “crazy ex.” Those dissociations from reality where she began calling people Robert let us in on a low point in the character’s life when the married man she was seeing wouldn’t leave his wife for her, causing her to burn his house down, spend some time a mental health facility, and, eventually, settle for attending Yale Law School, rather than her intended Harvard.
“As Paula says, the best predictor of the future is the past,” Brosh McKenna said. “It stands to reason that somebody who engages in these obsessive-romantic behaviors has done so before. We wanted to show another instance in her life where she had engaged in extreme behavior and that this was a core wound and that she was still recovering from it.”
While much of the episode seemed to point to Josh running into the arms of Sara (Tanisha Long)—which he almost did—Brosh McKenna admitted that it would’ve been making him cheat would’ve been “a lazy way for him to peel off.” Enter: The priesthood. “He’s done no thinking, no serious research,” she said. “It’s a panic to flee, it’s a panic move. We’ll see how much of it suits him. If any of it suits him.”
“I actually think the choice that he makes, in his own way, he’s a bit of a coward, right? So it’s a little bit of a…it’s a path that he sees that in his mind is not hurting her, in the same way,” she added. “Because it’s not like he’s with another girl. He’s choosing something that in his mind is so exalted. I think also like two percent of his mind figures: My parents will forgive me.”
With season three poised to play around with the trope of the scorned woman, abandoned at the altar, Brosh McKenna admitted that the women surrounding Rebecca in her darkest moment on that cliffside in the finale’s closing moments—Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin), Heather (Vella Lovell) and Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz)—will be standing strong by her side when the show returns next year.
“I think all of these women are going to try and come encircle her and support her in whatever way they can, in the way that you do when a friend has been jilted and publicly humiliated in front of a lot of people,” she said. “I mean, this is going to get the tongues wagging in West Covina, for sure.”
However, don’t expect completely smooth sailing for Rebecca and Paula, who’ve already weathered their fair share of bumps this season. “What [Paula] doesn’t know is the extent she’s been lied to,” Brosh McKenna said. “She doesn’t know about the kiss; she doesn’t know that’s why the wedding has been moved up. She doesn’t know about any of that stuff. As we know, Paula is very, very sensitive to having been lied to. There are some other shoes to drop there. Their relationship is never clean.”
Though he took a bit of a backseat in the finale, the plan is for Scott Michael Foster‘s Nathaniel to be a full-time presence next season. (As of press time, the actor’s commitment to the series had yet to be confirmed.) But don’t expect him to fit right into newly-vacated love interest slot in Rebecca’s life. “What we see in Episode 11 is, they have a lot of sexual chemistry. And we’ll be playing with that,” Brosh McKenna admitted. “But it’s not like, all of a sudden, he’s gonna be her date to the prom.”
Another relationship facing an uncertain future next season? Darryl (Pete Gardner) and White Josh (David Hull), who realized they have remarkably differing outlooks on marriage. “I think one of the things that’s kind of interesting about the relationship is the younger person is in a lot of ways the wiser person, you know? Darryl is, he’s very much like Rebecca. He dreams and gets excited about things,” Brosh McKenna explained. “White Josh would never do anything without really doing a very strict cost-benefit analysis, but he kind of messed up by saying, ‘Having kids, I get. Marriage, I don’t get.’ I think the second that Darryl heard that, there was like a little cauldron started to boil in the back. So, we’ll see.”
And if you’re like us and wondering what season three’s theme song might be like, know that Brosh McKenna and Bloom are hard at work on it. “There’s always thoughts,” she laughed. “So, we have tons of ideas, and we have tons of ideas for the credits sequence, for sure.”
What did you think of the game-changing finale? Sound off in the comments below.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will return for season three on the CW.
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