This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
2.4 When Will Josh And His Friend Leave Me Alone?
…And that’s a wrap for Santino Fontana.
Yup, despite Rebecca’s most dramatic efforts to persuade him to stay, Greg got on his plane. He’s jetting off to Atlanta, to the school of his dreams, to a new AA mentor, and, presumably, to some kind of happy ending. Not for the first time, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend proves it knows all the rules of romantic comedy, and isn’t going to play by a single one of them. We’re four episodes in, and the Josh-Rebecca-Greg triangle we were primed to expect a whole season’s worth of drama from has been smashed into tiny, sharp, glittering pieces that are never going to fit back together again.
But as much as it kind of hurts to see him go, at least we got a couple of catchy new songs to remember Greg by. First, there was It Was A Shitshow, a shockingly honest and heart-wrenching assassination of Greg and Rebecca’s entire relationship. It really was, wasn’t it? They had a handful of sweet moments, but overall, it was a nightmare, and leaving was definitely the right choice for Greg’s sanity/future happiness.
Speaking of nightmares, the last song we got to see Greg sing (even if it was only the polter-guy version of him) was We Tapped That Ass, a jaunty duet with dream-Josh that blended bawdy comedy with utter despair. We’ve all been there, trying to recover from a break-up but surrounded by reminders of the person we’d lost, and Rebecca’s heartbreak was written all over her face. As awful as her behaviour has been these past few episodes, you’ve got to feel for her.
In true Rebecca Bunch style, though, our heroine reacted to a bad situation by immediately making everything much, much, much worse. In an attempt to burn the pain away, she inadvertently set fire to her house, and an ill-advised bathroom break during her 911 call led to said call going viral online. Left with nowhere else to turn, she went next door to Heather’s… but Heather’s house turned out to be Heather’s parents’ house. Luckily, Rebecca gives good parent, so she managed to turn an intensely awkward situation into an all-inclusive invitation to stay on their sofa for as long as necessary.
Anyone worried that losing Greg would leave Crazy Ex-Girlfriend without a much-needed voice of sarcastic reason should be reassured by how the Miss Douche subplot ultimately played out. Without dwelling on that storyline too much – because I might cringe myself to actual death if I think about it for much longer – it looks like Heather’s been lined up to fill the Greg-shaped snark hole in the main cast. Winning the competition gave Heather the impetus to move out of her failure-loving parents’ house, plus a $10,000 cushion to do it with, so by next week she and Rebecca should be all moved into a shiny new memory-spirit-free apartment. Antics may or may not be had.
On any other week, the promise of way more Heather time in future episodes might be the highlight of the episode, but this week there was so much more to celebrate.
For one, there was the frankly brilliant handling of Paula’s pregnancy dilemma. At the beginning of the episode, she seemed pretty resigned to giving up on her dreams yet again, but after an unintentional push from Rebecca (and a quick blast of season one’s Face Your Fears in the background) she made a big decision. Yup, she had an abortion, and will be going to law school after all. The way that was revealed was hilarious, as Paula’s son delivered the news in a wonderfully tone-deaf way, but credit is definitely due to writers Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom for the way the whole storyline played out. And to Donna Lynne Champlin, of course, but at this point she’s so uniformly excellent it almost goes without saying. But I guess I’ll say it anyway: she’s acted the hell out of an emotionally charged storyline, and given it exactly the amount of seriousness it needed. (Which is to say, some seriousness, but not so much she couldn’t still let Paula’s eyes light up at the mention of pizza for dinner.)
Another thing to celebrate? VALENCIA’S BACK. Finally! It’s taken four episodes, and we only got the briefest glimpse of her, but in the episode’s final moments, as Rebecca and Heather house-hunted at some kind of non-boba outdoor food venue, Valencia turned up. Seems her breakup with Josh has taken its toll, because she was messily dressed, with no make-up on, and half a doughnut in her mouth. A quick flick through The Big Book Of Rom-Com Clichés suggests that means she’s pretty goddamn miserable, and bumping into Rebecca probably won’t do much to improve her mood. Even so, it was good to finally see her again, and I can’t wait to find out what she’s been up to in the however many weeks it’s been since the first season ended.
All in all, then, another great episode from a show that’s been consistently funny, sweet, touching, relatable, clever and heartbreaking from its very first episode. Here’s something to think about until next week: what’s going to become of Josh now? He’s been dumped by his girlfriend of fifteen years, he’s lost his apartment, he’s had a brief and terrifying fling with a woman who’s really not relationship material, and his best friend has just moved across the country with barely a word of warning. It’ll be interesting to see how (or whether) the show can keep him around, considering his expressed desire not to see Rebecca any more, but it’d be a shame not to get to see how he’ll cope with his entire world dissolving around him. At least he’ll always have Father Brah, I suppose.
If only we were all so lucky.