Will ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Ever Hold Rebecca Responsible?

Travis Newton
TV
TV

Holy cow, West Covinians! Last night’s season two finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend delivered some of the most shocking moments in the show’s brief history. With a mere thirteen episodes, the show’s writers crafted a dense whirlwind of plot that lead us to the cliff’s edge. But now, with the show destined for another surprising shake-up, where does that leave Rebecca Bunch? And considering what last night’s finale revealed, will she ever be held responsible for her actions? Read on for some thoughts on that, but BEWARE OF SEASON FINALE SPOILERS!

First things first — I think we all knew Rebecca and Josh’s engagement wasn’t going to end well. The fairy tale romance between them has been implausible since the very first episode. That’s by design. Rebecca’s journey isn’t about Josh at all. It’s about Rebecca’s pursuit of happiness. It’s about a high-functioning intelligent person struggling with mental illness. And ultimately, I think it has to end with Rebecca taking responsibility. Just not for the awful things people have done to her.

All throughout the second season, the show’s writers kept the idea of unloving fathers simmering on the back burner. Paula spoke several times about her father, and never in a positive way. Scott had to become a better father after Paula kicked him out for cheating. Nathaniel’s dad holds him to impossibly high standards. But in the season finale, that simmering pot boiled over. It sounds reductive to say that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has daddy issues, but it’s not untrue. The first season told us Rebecca’s dad was a deadbeat. But now we know what kind of damage that inflicted upon her.

Rebecca’s absent father set a precedent for the future men in her life. She vied desperately for their affections and fell to pieces when they pulled away. Now, it’s threatening to happen all over again. Josh abandoned her on their wedding day to join the priesthood, and she has vengeance on the brain. But last night’s big revelations put that in an entirely new context. We’ve seen Rebecca be self-destructive and self-hating. But now we know that in her relatively untreated state, Rebecca is dangerous. And that’s not all Rebecca and her mother have been hiding.

In a total surprise flashback, the finale showed us a piece of Rebecca’s buried past: Robert. We all knew that Rebecca attended Harvard Law, but now we know she never graduated. She fell in love with a professor, who cheated on his wife with Rebecca. When he broke it off, she doused his stuff in high-proof liquor and struck a match, starting a blaze that recalled her fire-setting shenanigans earlier in the season. After a stay in a psychiatric facility, Rebecca later graduated from Yale. Now, Rebecca is surrounded by people like Paula who rightfully sympathize with her after Josh’s sudden departure. And Paula is right when she says that Rebecca shouldn’t blame herself for these men who have left (her dad, Robert, Greg, Josh, etc.).

But to complete her journey toward better mental health and happiness, Rebecca will have to hold herself responsible — if only partially — for her symptomatic behavior. That includes whatever she does in the fallout from this beautifully disastrous season finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Travis Newton
Travis Newton is a Fan Contributor at Fandom. He began writing about movies and TV for CHUD.com in 2012, and co-hosts The Drew Reviews Podcast with Fandom Entertainment Editor Drew Dietsch. He’s partial to horror movies, action games, and Irish Breakfast tea.
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