This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
2.13 Can Josh Take A Leap Of Faith?
Hands up if, at some point in this episode, you thought the massive cliff-hanger promised for the end of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend season two was going to involve Rebecca LITERALLY HANGING FROM A CLIFF? Because I definitely did. When You Stupid Bitch started playing and she walked out to the cliff edge to gaze expectantly across the ocean, I thought we were headed somewhere terrifying. And – well, we were, weren’t we? Just not physically.
Like the first season, season two ended on a wedding. And like the first season, season two ended with several characters making good decisions and then immediately following them up with huge, life-changing, insanely bad decisions. I feel like I say this every week, but there was so much crammed into this episode that it’s hard to know where to start unpicking it, and I’m sure I’ll skip over something that’ll turn out to be important later. But in terms of character development, relationships, and just plain old plot, this might’ve been the most intense episode yet.
So let’s start with the wedding. Thanks to Valencia and her headset, everything looked amazing. Thanks to Paula, Rebecca’s mum had provided a gorgeous dress. And thanks to Nathaniel, Rebecca’s deadbeat dad was in town, ready and apparently willing to walk his estranged daughter down the aisle. Everything should’ve been perfect, and Rebecca should’ve been getting everything she ever wanted – she even sang as much! But everyone who’s ever watched this show knew things wouldn’t work out that way, and maybe on some level Rebecca did, too. After all, you can put new lyrics to You Stupid Bitch and I’m The Villain In My Own Story, but those melodies still recall their original meanings, and that’s enough to remind us that this isn’t, after all, a fairytale where everything ends happily.
For once, though, it wasn’t Rebecca ruining everything. It was Josh. This episode kind of played out like a whodunit, except it was more of a why-he-done-it. Would Josh leave Rebecca for the pretty basketball coach? Or would Trent’s evil plan send him into a tailspin that’d derail the wedding? Turns out, actually, it was all down to Josh’s mentor, Father Brah. Thanks to him, Josh managed to recognise his tendency to turn to the nearest pretty girl in a crisis, and stopped himself from doing that… but his self-awareness didn’t run deep enough to stop him jumping to another rash conclusion and turning to God instead.
In fairness, the signs had been there for a while. He’d been getting more and more involved with the church and more and more interested in spirituality for a while, but driving past your wedding and straight into a seminary still can’t be called a rational decision.
No more #BunchofChans, then. The way that scene played out was heartbreaking in so many ways. Obviously, Rebecca was devastated, as anyone would be, but there was a ripple effect too. Valencia’s first wedding planning gig fell apart, Josh’s parents were disappointed again (their lack of a reaction was upsetting in its own way), and even poor old Hector missed out on the chance to dance with his mum. Remember back at the beginning of season two, when it looked like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was going to show us a warts-and-all version of Josh, minus Rebecca’s rosy specs? Yeah, we definitely got that in this episode. It’s not that getting married would have been the right decision, it’s that he’s made so many bad decisions, and made them so catastrophically, that he’s now virtually beyond sympathy.
Which is going to make season three really interesting. (Hey, The CW, I don’t think I’ve said this yet, but thank you for renewing this show! Love you!) The chaos and tension in this episode built to a nail-biting finale that, okay, didn’t actually see Rebecca dangling from a precipice, but did see her making a different kind of leap. Two, technically: the good decision was realising that her father is useless and will always be useless, and telling him so; and the bad one was deciding to go war with Josh. Rebecca’s gone dark, and it looks like Paula, Valencia, and Heather are right there with her.
It’s weird, because this episode should’ve felt over-stuffed. As well as all the wedding business, all the Trent stuff, and all the different threads of Josh’s storyline, we also got a glimpse into a part of Rebecca’s past that we’ve never seen before. But maybe because Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has made breakneck pacing part of its brand, it didn’t feel that way. It felt kind of like a breakthrough (even if poor old Dr Akopian didn’t get to do much with it – sorry Doc, hope you’ll be back next season!). We’ve seen Rebecca go to some pretty dark places in the series so far, but it turns out that she’s been even worse in the past, and now that she’s been so spectacularly, publicly, devastatingly betrayed by Josh, well, she’s going to be more than a lil’ crazy in the future.
It’s going to be a long few months, waiting for the next season, but if it’s even half as hilarious, creative, intelligent, and heartrending as this one turned out to be, it’ll be the best thing on TV in 2017. Bring it on.