When we last left Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca and Josh showed some hesitation about their rekindled romance. They both felt guilty about not telling Greg, who disappeared for several weeks after Rebecca broke up with him for getting drunk and surly at a wedding. But when Rebecca and her best pal Paula did some covert recon, they found out Greg had been laying low and attending AA meetings. And though they still felt a twinge of guilt for keeping their romance secret from Greg, Rebecca and Josh continue their relationship. Now, let’s talk about what happened last night, in the second episode of season two!
“When Will Josh See How Cool I Am?”
Because Crazy-Ex Girlfriend can’t rely on supervillains, the heroes of this show are their own worst enemies. Rebecca, Paula, Josh, and Greg are all well-intentioned, but their fundamental flaws get in the way. That happens for all four of those characters in this episode, but let’s start with Greg. The wave of clarity that carried him through his first month of sobriety is starting to crash. His sponsor, a sensitive biker named Guardrail, asks him to bring doughnuts to the next meeting.
This episode explores the idea of life’s little obligations, and what we owe to our friends. In Greg’s case, it’s a box of doughnuts. In Josh’s case, he owes Rebecca some one-on-one time. Though he’s still staying at Rebecca’s place, his desire to keep their relationship casual means he’s making an active effort to exclude her from his social life. He won’t eat dinner with her or take her out with his friends at The Paddle — a new “cocktaileria” with ping-pong tables.
Desperate to connect with Josh, Rebecca lies. She tells him she was the Junior Miss Table Tennis Champion for the Eastern Northern Seaboard County District. Now, she’s going to have to support that lie. Roll credits!
Continuing the theme of obligations, Paula asks Rebecca to write her a letter of recommendation for her law school application. Paula wants it by Friday when Rebecca will be hanging out with Josh at The Paddle. Overjoyed by Paula’s decision to apply to Law School, Rebecca agrees. But just like the box donuts, the letter is another pin being set up for the show to knock down.
“Maybe This Dream”
This is a classic “I Want” song from Paula, but with hilariously gross lyrics. She expresses her hope for law school by singing lines like “maybe this dream won’t poop on my face like a seagull at the beach.” This one’s destined to be one of the most memorable songs of the season.
As Greg tries to establish a new normal, he’s still tending bar at Home Base. He tells his co-workers, including his ex-girlfriend Heather, about his alcoholism. He continues that trend by inviting Josh, White Josh, and Hector to the bar to talk about his drunk driving incident and subsequent AA meetings. That takes us into…
“Greg’s Drinking Song”
This is a cute Irish-style tune about what happens to Greg when he drinks. The bar is redecorated and re-lit to look like an Irish pub, and everyone wears stereotypical period Irish costumes. It’s fun, but pales in comparison to “Maybe This Dream.”
Now that Greg is back on the radar, Josh invites Greg to come to The Paddle on Friday. But now that Josh knows about Greg’s alcoholism, he feels guiltier than ever. It would be horrible timing to tell Greg about Rebecca now, and Father Brah (Josh’s priest) agrees with him at the boba stand. But, of course, Greg is at the boba stand, too. He apologizes to Heather for his drunken, selfish behavior.
Josh walks over to say a quick “hello,” but Greg brings up Josh’s split with Valencia and asks where he’s staying. Unable to cope with his guilt any longer, Josh spills his guts about his renewed relationship with Rebecca. Greg, still in apology mode, seems understanding. But as we transition out of the scene, we get a short reprise of “I Could If I Wanted To,” Greg’s angry song from season one. Pissed off and hurt, Greg punches a hole in a wall of the stockroom at Home Base.
Now, it’s Friday, and Rebecca has completely spaced on the letter of recommendation for Paula. She promises to work on it that night, after hanging out with Josh at The Paddle.
In Rebecca’s fantasy, Josh shows off his (surprisingly excellent) pop punk skills with a Blink 182-style tune. Like the best songs on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it’s more than just an expression of what a character is feeling. It’s a commentary or a send-up. With Ping-Pong Girl, the show pokes fun at the bro-masculinity of pop punk.
At The Paddle, Rebecca’s lie falls apart. Despite training with a preteen ping-pong whiz for a few days, she can barely hit the ball. Josh, White Josh, and Hector look on, confused. But when Greg doesn’t show up to hang out, he starts to worry that he has relapsed. Unbeknownst to them, Greg also missed his AA meeting earlier that evening. No doughnuts. More missed obligations!
When Rebecca asks why Josh is worried about Greg relapsing, Josh has to spill his guts again, to Rebecca this time. Shocked that Greg now knows everything about her and Josh, she leaves to located great. But of course, she goes to Paula, who violates the previous episode’s contract (that was fast!) by finding Greg’s phone.
Rebecca finds Greg sitting on a park bench, and discovers that despite getting angry and skipping his AA meeting, he did not relapse. Finally able to have a heart-to-heart after the season one finale, they both acknowledge that they’re guilty of treating each other poorly. Then, Greg reveals the real reason he was driving drunk after the wedding — he was driving to Rebecca’s place to confess his love for her.
But Greg wants Rebecca to be happy and tells her she should be with Josh. “You’re happy, right? And he treats you well? She gives a hesitant “yes.” She leaves, but not before giving him a warmly affectionate smile. The next day, Greg is back at AA with a box of gourmet donuts.
Inspired by Greg’s commitment to changing his life, Rebecca finally brings Paula the letter. (Brilliant “therefore” storytelling!) But Rebecca is too late — Paula’s already sent her law school application with a letter from Darryl. But Paula is touched by Rebecca’s desire to support her life-changing decision.
The episode ends on a sad note when Rebecca confronts Josh about him shutting her out of his social life. “I deserve to be with someone who treats me well,” she says in a moment of clarity. Upset, Rebecca falls asleep clutching a sweatshirt Greg left at her house.
- Jay Chandrasekhar, who you might know as officer Ramathorn from Super Troopers, directed this episode!
- Okay, seriously — where the hell is Valencia?
- I love how this show steers clear of tropes about Catholics. Josh’s Catholicism doesn’t drive his guilt. Father Brah even tries to discourage Josh from confessing to Greg.
- Paula’s husband, Scott, should get a merit badge for his little supportive moment in this episode.