Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: “To Josh, With Love”

Crazy Ex Girlfriend - To Josh With Love
Photo by Scott Everett White/The CW

CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND: 3.02 “To Josh, With Love”

So much to say in this jam-packed episode! But let’s start with this: I was true to my word and learned my lesson. Even though the show released not one, not two, but three songs in advance of the episode, I didn’t watch any. I didn’t want to spoil any of the musical numbers after last week — not even the theme — so that I would be surprised.

I’m so glad I did. With four musical numbers and a new theme song in this episode, I was thrilled to see it without any clue of what was coming. And I really enjoyed it. Well, most of it. But we’ll get there.

Let’s start with the theme song. It always takes a little bit of adjustment to say good-bye to the old theme song and digest a new one. I was someone who struggled to move on to last season’s theme after falling in love with first season’s. But I eventually learned to love it. Now knowing the drill, I was just curious what they’d do next. The verdict? It’s great. True, it’s not as catchy and quippy as the previous tunes, but I like what the show is trying to do with it by depicting four ways that “crazy” is described in pop culture and music. (Read all about it here.) Rachel Bloom is able to take over every persona with ease, and I really applaud it. And if earworm-worthiness is any indication, I’ve already memorized it, and it’s been in my head for a day now. So successful on that level, too.

Shifting from the theme song, we go right into the episode, following up on Paula and Rebecca’s plan to sue Josh as a course of revenge. Rebecca finally confesses that this isn’t the plan she was hoping for, but even that falls flat. For being the only scene between Paula and Rebecca in the episode, the scene is rather forgettable (with the exception of a good back and forth about having a shoplifting phase), but shifts us into a absolutely delightful song by Josh.

I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to say about “Head in the Clouds.” I had a large smile plastered all over my face through the entire number, and it was wonderful seeing Vincent Rodriguez III do some classic dance moves. The wordplay was so fun — and any song that has someone dancing with the Holy Ghost is worth calling out. This song may fall into my “top songs from Crazy Ex” list, which is tough since so many of the songs on the show are well-written, well-choreographed, and superbly performed.

Outside of the dance moves, we see that, unsurprisingly, Josh’s plan to enter the priesthood was not quite as dreamy as he’d hoped, and it was more of a way to escape his guilt than anything else — something Father Rodrigo questioned within moments of meeting Josh (clearly, Josh isn’t the first person to try this little trick). It’s almost as though this was Josh’s way of proving that he was still a good person (in fact, I was partially expecting an “I’m a Good Person” reprise from Josh; I suppose that could still come). Not only did Josh continuously show us how much he was not positioned to be a priest — his prayers were comparable to Aladdin making a wish to a magic genie — but his actions became more and more selfish. Hector and White Josh even called him out it: This was really just a way for him to get out of an awkward conversation. White Josh said it brilliantly when he said, “You just Father, Son, and Holy Ghosted your entirely life!”

Meanwhile, Rebecca is on a path to be bad, but she’s terrible at it. Enter Nathaniel.

While this seemed like a strange leap for Nathaniel, I appreciated this storyline. As Nathaniel’s feelings for Rebecca grew and grew late last season and in the last episode, we forgot how much of a jerk he really is. Sure, he wants to put a sweet restaurant owner out of business, but talking about that without seeing it didn’t really remind me much about how he’s, as Rebecca put it, “an amoral sociopath with no conscience.” But he is, and his plan shows it. To be fair, he didn’t so much take down Josh as much as he took down his family (I would argue those are two different things — and I think Rebecca would agree). But we got to be reminded in a very ugly way that he’s generally not a good guy.

But we did get that awesome Chicago-inspired musical number with some fantastic innuendo, something the show has always been great at. I had anticipated a Chicago-like number this season back when the plan to destroy Josh Chan was first mentioned at the end of season two. I was expecting it to be something more along the lines of “He Had It Coming,” but this was a fun number.

My one complaint of the episode? Tim’s storyline. It’s not that the plot itself was weak. Maya is fun addition to the show, and I usually enjoy watching her. And you can’t deny that Michael McMillian nailed that song. But the episode was already focusing on one Rebecca-centric storyline and another Josh-centric one, so it felt a little packed with this plot point as well. Additionally, we were missing Paula for most of the episode, and we didn’t even see Darryl, Heather, or Valencia at all. It seemed odd to focus on these more minor characters in the second episode of the season when we still don’t really know where some of our main characters stand and what they’ll be doing this season. I would’ve probably held this B-plot for a mid-season episode.

But let’s hop to the end, shall we? Poop “cupcakes” returned, Rebecca dons her wedding gown and finally gets the revenge she hoped: humiliating Josh in public for what he’s done. We get the amazing reprise of “After Everything I’ve Done for You,” now cleverly named “After Everything You Made Me Do,” coupled with similar choreography that Paula did back in season one. It was enjoyable and powerful — and, of course, it doesn’t provide the closure Rebecca really hoped. Josh feels released from his guilt (at which point I hated him even more), and Rebecca has a realization that she made a huge mistake by telling him everything.

What’ll happen next? Well, I did hear the word “crazy” bantered about in the teaser for next week’s episode. I suppose we’ll have to wait to see what kind of “crazy” that really means, and I’m looking forward to finding out.

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