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‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Recap & Reaction: Season 2, Episode 5

When we last left the characters of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca and Heather decided to move in together. But just as they were sorting out their new living arrangements, they found Valencia at the local doughnut shop. Paula is about to start law school and is still hiding her recent pregnancy and subsequent abortion from Rebecca. On last night’s episode those plots took significant steps forward.

“Why Is Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Eating Carbs?”

After Valencia’s absence from the first four episodes of season two, I’m glad to see her back in action. I missed her, but the show had to focus on Greg’s departure. After wrapping that up, now the show is free to push forward with a renewed sense of purpose. Rebecca feels a new sense of purpose as well: connect with Valencia to help each other heal after their breakups with Josh. I find it a little odd that Valencia was so willing to talk to Rebecca, but the show does its best to justify it.

Under the impression that they’re going to get some fast food, Valencia hops in Rebecca’s car. Only then does Rebecca spring her intentions. They’re going to Electric Mesa, a discount Burning Man-style festival. Valencia reluctantly agrees, if only because she’s depressed and has nothing better to do. Rebecca craves a primal bonding experience with Valencia, and boy does she get it. The two of them accidentally drink a fast-acting hallucinogen called “Triceratops,” and their trips are separate but similar.

Valencia’s trip is a sad ballet between her and Josh, where he wears a Triceratops mask. Both Vincent Rodriguez and Gabrielle Ruiz did all the ballet dancing for this sequence. Now, I don’t know a damn thing about ballet. But I can tell you it’s an extraordinary delight to see these incredible talents acting, singing, and now ballet-ing their butts off every week. Rebecca’s trip is much more crude — she’s dressed in a Triceratops costume, and rips Josh’s beating heart out of his chest and eats it.

“Thought Bubbles”

The other musical sequence in this episode is a solo from Josh. It’s light and beachy Jason Mraz-style tune, which suits Josh’s sensitive bro demeanor. It’s cute, funny, and does a good job of expressing Josh’s concerns about being single. The guy is a serial monogamist who uses relationships as an escape from intrusive thoughts and nagging worries.

When Rebecca and Valencia come down from their trips, they feel united in their anger towards Josh. And because this is television, their timing is perfect. Electric Mesa’s sound system is on the fritz, and Josh is there to save the day. Together, they confront him about his selfish behavior. Valencia, intrigued by Rebecca’s feminist stance on the whole thing, is transformed. In the first season Valencia wasn’t much more than an empty villain, a mirror to direct all of Rebecca’s insecurities back at her. But now, the show is making an attempt to humanize her. It’s a bit of a stretch to turn it all around in a single episode of television, but I like that this show isn’t taking baby steps to stretch the narrative artificially.

While all this is going on, Paula starts law school. On her first day, Paula meets another older student: Sunil (Parvesh Cheena). Early in this episode, Sunil overhears Rebecca wishing Paula luck. He assumes Rebecca is Paula’s daughter. When Paula corrects him, she blurts out that Rebecca is the best friend who needs so much support that Paula can’t even bring herself to tell Rebecca about her abortion. Also in an over-sharing mood, Sunil reveals that his wife committed suicide nine months ago. This ain’t your grandma’s CW musical.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Also at the Electric Mesa festival, Darryl and White Josh have their own subplot. Their relationship has been going strong in the background of the previous four episodes, but they’ve both been hiding their insecurities from one another. When Darryl meets a few of White Josh’s exes at Electric Mesa, he discovers that his younger boyfriend has a thing for middle-aged guys. Darryl worries that he’s nothing more than a fetish for White Josh. But White Josh has concerns of his own. He worries that he is just an accessory to Darryl’s mid-life crisis because Darryl hasn’t yet introduced White Josh to his daughter. By episode’s end, they address each other’s insecurities and admit their love for one another.

As Crazy Ex-Girlfriend continues to shake up its central relationships, it will pull Paula and Rebecca apart. The writers have been sowing seeds for their “breakup” since the first season. As Rebecca meets Paula’s new friend Sunil, both Paula and Rebecca silently acknowledge the growing rift between them. And now that Josh has an opportunity to be single, the show introduces a new romantic interest: Anna Hicks (Brittany Snow).

Observations

  • I love seeing the show take strides, but this episode resorted to some borderline preposterous moments to accomplish so much in forty minutes.
  • It would be easy for the show to villainize Josh at this point, but it keeps him human by making his motivations perfectly understandable.
  • More Sunil, please!

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