When we last left the characters of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca and Valencia did their research on the new woman in Josh’s life. Rebecca’s friendship with Paula was still in a stalemate. I mentioned in my previous recap that the show would now have to lay the brickwork to get Rebecca and Paula back together. And boy howdy, last night’s episode (the first of two!) laid some bricks.
“Who is Josh’s Soup Fairy?”
The meat of this episode is in the bookends. Right at the start, Paula’s husband Scott drops the bomb foreshadowed earlier in the season. After Paula had missed his important quartet performance, he cheated on her. There’s no hemming and hawing — he just blurts it out in the kitchen. This revelation could’ve been plot-blocked for ages, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t do that. It wants to blow things up, to make a mess. After December’s uneventful “mid-season finale“, this episode amps up the drama.
Paula, completely stunned, kicks Scott to the curb. He then vanishes while Paula’s home life promptly disintegrates. Her older son Brendan leaves for greener pastures. She’s a mess at work, and (of course) Rebecca thinks it’s all about herself. In one of the season’s best and funniest moments, the silent Mrs. Hernandez gives Rebecca a surprisingly poetic (and much deserved) earful. This leads us to the first big resolution of this episode: Rebecca coming to her senses and offering a genuine apology to Paula. Halle-freakin’-leuia.
That gets us to the big gooey center of this episode: Rebecca offers to watch Paula’s younger son Tommy while Paula goes out of town. Paula gratefully accepts, and the show spins a lighthearted web of events that blows up Anna and Josh’s budding relationship, brings Josh back to Rebecca, and seems to heal Rebecca and Paula’s fractured friendship. It’s a lot of drama to pack in, and it seems at odds with the episode’s lighter tone.
There are two songs in this episode, but “So Maternal” is the only notable one. This send-up of “Uptown Funk” is a gem, and it perfectly sets up Rebecca’s peculiar brand of parenting.
If you had skipped the first ten minutes of this episode, it would play like a bottle episode — an enjoyably quirky one-off. But by using its lighter brand of quirkiness to set up compelling drama, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has its cake and eats it, too. A simple misunderstanding about an order of chicken soup leads to Josh’s revelation that Anna is ambitious but shallow (sounds eerily like the old Valencia), and that Rebecca cares for him deeply.
Then, we get to the other bookend. Josh comes crawling back to Rebecca at Paula’s place, but Rebecca tells him to go. Her time spent taking care of Paula and Tommy has reorganized her priorities, and Josh isn’t number one anymore. Before he leaves, Josh tells Rebecca he won’t give up on her.
- Through dialogue, the show is gradually revealing Paula’s toxic relationship with her father. It’s heartbreaking.
- I love Heather as Miss Douche.
- The “soju” joke at the club is total perfection.