CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND: 3.03 “Josh is a Liar”
Josh is a lying, liar, lie-man. Well, at least that’s what Rebecca wants us to believe.
I have to give Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s writers credit. They are able to create just the right balance in an episode to make you feel for a character, even though sometimes that character does really despicable things. I still truly feel for Rebecca, especially since we know that her anxiety is so overwhelming that she’s literally seeing and talking a figment in the form of her teenage self. But at the same time, she did try ruin Josh in a terrible way — so terrible that she was even able to see how wrong her plan was both before she started her plan to discredit him (after all, she did something similar when she was young, all because the girl saw Rebecca stuff her bra) and when she saw his friends turn against him when they thought he was a homophobic racist who lied about listening to Hector’s podcast. (I really hope we get to hear some of this podcast one day, by the way.)
All of this, of course, is in response to Rebecca’s outbursts in the church in the last episode, confessing the many things he “made” her do — handing him his defense, as young Rebecca aptly points out, so it would throw her entire lawsuit out the window. And while at first she decided to just drop the suit and let it go (he is isolated in preschool priest school, after all), that all changes once she finds out that he’s on his way home. Then comes the ugly plan of essentially slandering him all over the blogosphere, which turns his friends against him. No one believes it when he tells them what Rebecca has done since coming to West Covina.
This is a terrible way to treat Josh. Now, I’m currently not a Josh fan — he doesn’t seem to see anything wrong with what he did to Rebecca, leaving her at the altar on her wedding day — but Rebecca’s actions seem less to do with revenge and more to do with saving her own skin. Not only does she hurt Josh, but at first she was even willing to hurt her best friend Paula, eroding her confidence in order to convince her not to do the lawsuit when a simple “I changed my mind” would have sufficed. Plus, there’s poor Heather who Rebecca completely ignores when she needs her. And Nathaniel…
Ok, before diving into that bag of zoo-issued animal feed, let’s talk about Heather. This is a really interesting direction for her. I always chuckled when Heather would say, “I’m a student,” any time someone asked about her, but it’s even better knowing how much this little statement contributed to her identity. She’s taken every course in her community college — some of them twice — and now she’s being forced out. She’s done well as a student. After all, the only way she can flunk now is to kill Estrella, her starfish, because she’s “doing so well.” Rebecca seems so flippant at the solution, but Heather is aghast. And after looking deeply into Estrella’s five eyes, she just can’t do it. What happens next for Heather? I have no clue.
And while this story line is a great transition to do more for Heather throughout the season (yay!), it also came with a great song. Sure, they could have easily had Heather sing an uplifting song about graduating — or sing a sad song about not wanting to leave. But forcing her to sing an uplifting song begrudgingly while classmates danced around her and coming face to face with her future self was both fun and brilliant. And juxtaposing her lack of enthusism with the dancers’ overenthusiam had me laughing on my couch. It was a great number for Heather, who we very rarely see sing, let alone solo.
Then there’s Nathaniel. I’m still scratching my head a bit about how Nathaniel has somehow lost all his cool now that he’s developing feelings for Rebecca. It’s something I mentioned in response to his actions in the season premiere. And at first, I didn’t quite get his song either. As someone who has never seen a Drake music video until doing research for this writeup (thank you, EW, for noting the video this was a parody of), I didn’t quite get it. The fact that he visits the zoo when he’s down at night to feel better is funny, but strange. It felt forced. A fun song, to be sure, but an oddball. It didn’t relate to his character to me — almost like the song was simply written to highlight the most random thing that you could do to cheer yourself up from heartache, rather than the most random thing that Nathaniel specifically would do. It made for a fun number, but I was puzzled watching it.
But it did lead to his arriving at Rebecca’s apartment as she’s ready to skip town. After she sees Paula find out the truth about Robert (a heartbreaking scene, by the way. Paula’s face almost made me teary with how shocked and hurt she was), she realizes her life in West Covina is over. Nathaniel has a jet, so sure, he’s a great way out, even if his confession of feelings for her was all cliches. But just as they get to the door, Paula bursts in — with Valencia and Darryl — and we have to wait until next week to find out what happens next.
Now, I have no idea how her friends will respond to the news (and personally, I think it’s rather rude of Paula to loop in her friends without confronting Rebecca first). I doubt they’ll all be angry, at least not so much that they’re no longer friends with Rebecca. There will likely be trust issues, but I almost wonder if someone like Heather will find Rebecca’s past interesting or cool — or maybe Darryl will understand because “she was a fool in love.” I do hope there are some consequences, though. They’ll be tough to watch, but watching Rebecca work through complex emotion has always been a highlight of the show.
A few other thoughts:
- Let’s be honest: Even if Rebecca didn’t discredit Josh, it would be hard for his friends to believe him. He really did sound like a crazy person (pardon the term), especially since Rebecca is so established and respectable as a lawyer.
- Rachel Bloom and Ava Acres were absolutely dynamite together. It’s unfortunate there aren’t more opportunities to throw them together more often. “Loony, loony, loony.”
- I said it above, but it’s worth reiterating: Paula’s reaction to seeing Rebecca’s past was just heartbreaking. When she says that they never knew her at all… Kudos, Donna Lynne Champlin. Also worth noting how tough it was to see Rebecca talk down to Paula, claiming her work wasn’t up to par in the case, and that it’s all because she’s still learning. We all know that Paula is better than subpar work.
- Did Rebecca actually confess to putting a GPS tracker on Josh’s car? I don’t remember this.
- The aquarium: It’s like the zoo for fishies.
And that’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. As Josh Chan says, “I love it when sentences work out.”