CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND: 3.09 “Nathaniel Gets the Message!”
Before we discuss the plot of the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, congratulations are in order. This episode included the series’ 100th song—one hundred original songs. (You can find it above.) Incredible. I’m not sure how you can have that much creativity to write that many in such a short amount of time (after all, we’re only in the third season), but kudos to Rachel Bloom, Adam Schlesinger, and Jack Dolgen, who wrote all of these songs. It’s a big accomplishment. Congratulations!
Now on to the actual episode, which picks up right where we left off with Rebecca at Nathaniel’s door about to break up with him. We all knew where this scene was headed, but that didn’t take any of the oomph out of it. It was something that needed to happen, but it wasn’t something either of them wanted to happen. Nathaniel kept being supportive, and you could see how sad Rebecca was about it. It was a well-done scene, and you have to applaud Rebecca for taking this step for her own health.
Of course, that left her with nothing to do. She still has no job. And now with no relationship, she has a lot of time to kill (and smoking the marjoram just doesn’t do it). Dr. Shin recommends volunteering or giving back to others. Dismayed with how gross or hard actually giving back to the community would be (from “You know how I feel about soup” to “…and if I see one crusty stain, I won’t be able to eat for weeks”), she volunteers for Valencia in order to get her event planning business up and running.
From here, the episode gives us the cast of characters we met back in season one at the grocery store. Newly engaged produce manager Marty and bread manager Ally have a small budget to throw an engagement party—after all, they’re not bringing home much dough—and Valencia has been hired for the event. She decides to throw it at Home Base and give it a German theme. (I’m starting to wonder whether Valencia was behind the random baby shower that was at Home Base a few weeks ago, since that’s such an odd/cheap locale for any of these parties.)
I’m not sure why the show decided to go with a German theme. Valencia claimed that totally on trend, which sounded like an obvious lie. Was it supposed to be Valencia finding the cheapest theme, since she had no money? Or just because the writers thought it would be funny to put Rebecca in lederhosen? I’m tempted to think it was the latter; you’d think the easiest theme at Home Base would’ve been a baseball one.
Anyway, in their pursuit to make the best yet cheapeast party, Rebecca discovers that the bread manager bride is actually not in love with her produce manager fiancé. Rebecca is torn what to do. She wants to expose the sham and save Marty heartbreak, but she also doesn’t want Valencia’s company to go under. So she holds off until she finds the bride-to-be kissing the beverage manager. And then she lets it all out on the mic.
For other people, they probably would have pulled Marty aside to tell him what was going on. But not Rebecca. For her, it’s exposing it publicly, humiliating everyone involved. Even worse, he already knew and was ok with it. Rebecca instantly realizes her mistake, and even a hug from Marty’s grandma didn’t cheer her up.
Meanwhile, Nathaniel is dealing with his own reaction to the breakup—by eating fries (and then denying it). In the process, he runs into White Josh, who is dealing with his own breakup woes.
I’d forgotten that Nathaniel and White Josh would have known each other since White Josh was always at the office visiting Darryl. And now that I’ve seen them in scenes together, all I want is more. They were a terrific pairing in this episode. Their obsession with physical fitness (after all, White Josh is a trainer) makes them natural friends, and they played off each other wonderfully.
After working out for a week and losing some of their body fat, they go out to show off at a gay bar. After all, as White Josh hilariously points out repeatedly, there aren’t just gay guys there anymore. Women have taken over.
Of course, even this backfires, and they realize how sad they are with their breakups. “Fit, Hot Guys Have Problems, Too” was a great number (finally, White Josh in the spotlight!)—and they even ran in to Josh in the process, who’s dealing with his own life problems by becoming a go-go dancer fireman. They all ugly cry their way to the end of the number.
By the end of the night, we discover Nathaniel going home with a girl he knew who was at the gay bar for a sorority scavenger hunt (“Of course,” White Josh laments). But White Josh can’t really see himself with anyone. It points to the different ways they grieve, but also the depth of the relationship White Josh had with Darryl. He’s not getting over it any time soon, even if it’s just physically.
Speaking of Darryl, his second try didn’t take in his attempt to have a baby. He tries to gamble his way to get more money, only to lose it all (yeah, who thought that was a good idea?). And as he ate his way through a sad cake donut, he runs into Rebecca, who is deep in her own guilt and sadness. He comforts her, and she does something for him: she offers him one of her eggs.
I have no idea how that plan will go. It screams “bad idea,” but I just want to see Darryl happy. And I hope it takes.
A few last notes:
- Heather was hilarious in this episode. She had some perfect lines, from telling Nathaniel and White Josh to stop harassing her staff to pulling off lederhosen.
- So many great one-liners and puns in this episode! I loved Rebecca’s grocery puns, but I could hear Josh and White Josh talk relationships for hours if we just get to see them banter on about phone calls and air quotes.
- “Do you want to join our imaginary song and dance?” That line was amazing.
- I loved both songs in this episode. They’re both great ear worms.
- I liked the way Rebecca broke up with Nathaniel. Somehow making a list of everything they can’t do—talk on the phone, cuddle, have sex, kiss, etc.—made it so much sadder than just saying they’re breaking up.
- I started thinking about the difference between the way women get together and vent about relationships versus men, based on how they’ve been depicted in this season. In the premiere, we had “Let’s Generalize About Men,” where women sit around, drink wine, and talk about men and how terrible they are. For men, it’s “Fit, Hot Guys Have Problems, Too,” where they mostly talk about themselves. Just an interesting thing to think about, even if it is a—wait for it—generalization.