When we last left the kooks on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Josh’s evil ex-girlfriend Valencia was evil no more. After a psychedelic bonding experience, she and Rebecca are seeing eye-to-eye for the first time. Valencia, Rebecca, and Heather are now a power trio. But as Rebecca’s friendship with Paula grows ever colder, can Rebecca do anything to correct that before disaster strikes? That’s where this week’s episode kicks off — with a Spice Girls homage to boot!
“Who Needs Josh When You Have a Girl Group?”
This episode and the previous one are the two most traditionally “sitcommy” of the season so far. Both were comedies of errors, where a series of misunderstandings culminate in a single location. Truths are laid bare, characters must divulge their true intentions, and all is well in the end… except in last night’s episode.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s use of foreshadowing is so good that sometimes we’re not sure when the show is setting up a later payoff or just having a lark. Last night’s subplot between Darryl and timid millennial Maya is one such example. If the show is trying to establish Maya as a more valuable player, the writers are doing an excellent job with the necessary baby steps. But I can’t call that (or the reappearance Rebecca’s creepy classmate Trent) significant developments.
The only major development last night is that Rebecca and Paula finally had the knock-down drag-out conversation we’ve all been waiting for. It all starts innocently enough. In an attempt to heal their sputtering friendship, Rebecca invites Paula over to the new apartment (“This is where all those people were murdered!”). But Paula is dismayed to find that this isn’t the one-on-one time Rebecca implied it would be. Valencia and Heather are there, and a surprise is on the way.
Rebecca has invited sex toy vendor Angelique into her apartment to host a Tupperware Party-style event. But when Angelique turns out to be Rebecca and Paula’s weird co-worker Karen (the hilarious Stephanie Weir), the night takes a turn for the worse. When Paula later retreats to the bathroom, the ceiling partially collapses. Several heavy beams block her inside, and Heather sings an unexpectedly delightful spoof of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet”.
“Stuck in the Bathroom”
Sunil and Trent show up (Sunil to rescue Paula, Trent to proclaim his love for Rebecca), and Trent uses his supercreep strength to hoist the wooden beams just high enough so Paula can escape. But before Paula and Sunil can get out the front door, Rebecca confronts Paula. The conversation that follows is one of the show’s best dialogue scenes yet.
The fight between these two women, these two friends isn’t painful because they’re insulting each other. It’s because they’re telling the truth. They’ve both neglected each other, they’ve both been inconsiderate, and they’re both starting on different paths in life. And to complement the fantastic writing, Donna Lynne Champlin delivers an A+ performance. So much of Paula’s frustration comes across in Champlin’s body language — the way she clasps her hands, purses her lips, or shakes her head. I can never write enough praise for Donna Lynne Champlin in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
And now, the wound is open. I think we all know the Rebecca-Paula dynamic couldn’t last — that’s just good drama. But how will the show move on? How will they reconcile, and what will a continued reconciliation look like? One thing’s for certain: if they reform their friendship, it won’t ever be the same. And that’s a good thing. But I suspect the show will poke at this wound for the rest of the season.
- At the law office, Rebecca and Paula’s looking over their shoulders at one another is one of the most poignant moments of the season so far.
- The show has never been shy about an episode’s chosen theme. This week’s theme? You can’t force a friendship. Rebecca, Paula, Trent, Darryl, and Maya all learned that this week.
- I think the first five episodes spoiled me with how much they accomplished. But they had to work extraordinarily hard to shuffle Greg off. Now, the show can fall back into a more traditional pace.
- Heather’s bluntness is a godsend.
- Next week’s episode is the “midseason finale,” but can you really have a finale when you’re only halfway through something? I’m sure Jerry Seinfeld already has a bit about this.