Crazy Ex-Girlfriend season 2 episode 5 review: Why Is Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Eating Carbs?

Valencia’s back! And in this episode, everything changes… again

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

This review contains spoilers.

2.5 Why Is Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Eating Carbs?

No matter how crazy things get in this show, Darryl and White Josh will always be an oasis of sanity. They’ve proved to be the most mature and responsible characters in Rebecca’s orbit more than once, and so it was great to spend some time checking in with them to see how their relationship’s going.

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It turns out it’s not all adorable matching tuxedos and shared protein shakes, though. When the two of them took off to the Burning Man-alike Electric Mesa festival in this episode, what should have been a relaxing holiday pushed their relationship to crisis point. Both of them have been harbouring some insecurities – while White Josh was worried that Darryl wasn’t serious enough about him to introduce him to his daughter, Darryl worried that he was just a fetish object for White Josh, just the latest in a string of moustachioed older lovers – and neither of them had found the nerve to talk to the other about it.

Luckily, since they’re both sane, we got an incredibly touching scene where they worked through their problems, confessed their love, and came out of the whole thing stronger than ever. It feels really vital that there are some characters on this show who can deal with problems appropriately, and who can have a relationship that’s based in reality rather than fantasy, so while Darryl and White Josh weren’t the main focus of this episode, their scenes might’ve been the most important. They’ve got the kind of relationship everyone else should be aspiring to. Although, you know, ideally not too soon, or there won’t be much of a show left.

But it doesn’t seem like anyone else is in danger of getting a happy ending just yet. Rebecca might be taking a break from chasing romantic relationships, but this week she still managed to come up with a madcap scheme to make someone notice her – it’s just that that someone was Valencia, not Josh or Greg. After spotting her at the doughnut stand at the end of the previous episode, and spending the intervening time reading Roxane Gay’s blog and immersing herself in dubious anthropology, Rebecca apparently decided that she and Valencia should be BFFs, so she kidnapped her and dragged her out to the desert for some womanly bonding time.

It’s worth pausing there for a moment, because yes, Rebecca actually kidnapped Valencia in an effort to make friends with her. It’s a side of Rebecca we’ve seen before – Feelin’ Kinda Naughty, anyone? – and maybe even become sort of desensitised to, but she’s seriously irrational at the moment, and it’s probably worth paying attention to that, because it’s something the show’s going to have to address before too much longer.

Fortunately for Rebecca, Valencia didn’t object too strongly to her deception. She even managed to enjoy some of the festival’s healing vibes, at least until the stereo broke down. Then it was time for the episode’s first major contrivance: Rebecca and Valencia accidentally dosed themselves with hallucinogenics, and each had a kind of awakening. In a stunning ballet sequence, Valencia realised that breaking up with Josh had really hurt her; in a less stunning but still brilliant dinosaur ballet sequence, Rebecca realised that she was actually angry with Josh for the way he’d treated her. It was an important experience for both of them, and also an excuse for Rachel Bloom to dress up as a triceratops, so we’ll just have to forgive the silliness of the set up… and also the ridiculousness of the episode’s other major contrivance, which saw Aloha Tech send Josh to fix the festival’s sound system.

It’s hard to know how to feel about Rebecca and Valencia’s friendship. Yes, we’ve seen before that when they’re not resenting one another, the two of them actually kind of get along, and yes, it’s really important for both of them to cultivate female friendships, especially while they’re both nurturing broken hearts, but at the same time, kidnapping and then revenge peeing doesn’t seem like the healthiest start to such a friendship. 

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(What is it with Rebecca and public defecation and/or urination, by the way? Last week we had the poo-on-shoes incident, this week she was talking up the joys of portaloos and encouraging Valencia to join her in weeing on Josh’s stuff. It’s, um, kind of troubling.)

Still, I’m definitely not going to complain about Valencia being drawn into Rebecca’s inner circle, especially after spending the first few episodes of this season demanding to know where she was. And seeing Rebecca, Heather, and Valencia hanging out together is heartening, even if her $5-per-mention-of-Josh agreement will probably bankrupt Rebecca before long.

What’s less fun is seeing Rebecca and Paula drifting apart. Paula’s finally started law school, which is brilliant, and she’s also immediately made a new friend – one who’s just as keen on skulking and scheming as she is. But between classes and hanging out with new bestie Sunil, she’s inevitably got less time for Rebecca. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend seems to be making a habit of asking its fans to root for things they don’t really want: after letting Greg go last week, it seems like we’re now being asked to see that breaking away from Rebecca might be in Paula’s best interests, too. But what good is a best friend you can’t really talk to? And now that she’s repaired her relationship with her husband and is making steps towards fulfilling her dream of becoming a lawyer, does Paula really need any more drama in her life? The scene at the doughnut place, where Rebecca and Paula each cast longing glances in one another’s direction, might have been painful, but Paula’s not wrong to think she deserves more from a friendship than Rebecca’s currently equipped to give her.

Let’s go back to Josh for a moment. It was a strong week for Vincent Rodriguez III, who got to show off his dancing skills and his dramatic chops; he also got the only new song, Thought Bubbles, which gave us an insight into Josh we’ve never really had before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s nowhere near as cool and laidback as he first appears. Underneath it all, he’s just as anxious and messy as everyone else, and possibly more scared of being alone than even Rebecca. After two breakups in two months, he knows he ought to spend some time figuring himself out, but the arrival of Brittany Snow’s Anna suggests he’s not going to. 

Will anyone (other than White Josh and Darryl) on this show ever learn to make choices that are actually good for them? Sadly, we’re going to have to wait at least two weeks to find out, because Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is taking a week off for Thanksgiving. Bah!

Read Sarah’s review of the previous episode, When Will Josh And His Friend Leave Me Alone?, here.

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