This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
2.6 Who Needs Josh When You Have A Girl Group?
Is it just me, or is Rebecca veering into So Crazy She’s Just Not Relatable Or Even Particularly Likeable Any More territory now? She’s been kind of a monster since the first episode of season two, and yes, okay, she was kind of a monster in the first season, too, but at least back then her bad behaviour felt like it was coming from an understandable place. At this point, though? She’s such a bad influence on the people around her that it’s hard to root for her. I kind of just want everyone to get away from her.
Josh and Greg have already done that, of course, and after this episode, it looks like Paula might be next. It’s been coming for a while, but this week Paula and Rebecca finally had a massive argument, and while it’s still possible that their friendship can be repaired, it won’t be easy. For starters, the thing that brought them together in the first place – Rebecca’s obsessive pursuit of Josh – is over now, and without that shared sense of purpose they’ve struggled to relate to one another.
There’s also the lying, and all the ways the two of them have failed one another. And then there’s the fact that they really don’t need one another any more. Paula’s got a new bestie in Sunil and Rebecca’s got Heather and Valencia. Even if they could get past their resentments, do they even have space in their lives for one another?
On the strength of this episode, it looks like the answer is no. This week’s theme was forcing friendship, and pretty much everyone in West Covina was either trying to force themselves on someone or having someone forced on them. After her kidnapping efforts were so well received by Valencia, Rebecca tried a similar trick on Paula, persuading her to take a night off from her studying for a girls’ night in – with surprise guests Heather and Valencia. Predictably, none of them were happy about the bait’n’switch.
As if that weren’t awkward enough, Whitefeather & Associates’ scariest employee Karen also bagged herself an invite by encouraging Rebecca to book her friend Angelique for a sex toy party. (Rebecca really isn’t good at noticing when people are lying – it was kind of obvious “Angelique” was going to turn out to be Karen in a wig.) And she wasn’t the only Whitefeather-affiliated gatecrasher, as Maya and Darryl also decided they wanted in on the action.
Meanwhile, Rebecca’s fake boyfriend Trent was trying to infiltrate Josh’s friend group in order to get close to Rebecca. Funnily enough, his tactics were virtually identical to Rebecca’s – pretending to be interested in things he hates, hacking phones, and throwing money around – and they worked about as well as hers tend to, which is to say not at all. White Josh and Hector were happy enough to eat the food and drink the beer he bought, but both of them bailed when things got weird.
Actually, Trent’s version of Rebecca’s tactics worked exactly as well as hers did, because by the time he got to Rebecca’s house, she was feeling low enough to accept his adulation and sleep with him. Will their relationship progress beyond just sex? Well, look at how well things worked out between Rebecca and Josh. This relationship seems equally doomed, though it’ll be interesting to see if Rebecca’s self-aware enough to realise how similar the two of them are, and learn from that.
But Rebecca’s love life really wasn’t the point this week: this episode was about her relationships with women, not men. Her friendship with Valencia and Heather is going well enough that they got matching t-shirts (plus a terrifying take on the Spice Girls that re-imagined Girl Power as a military operation) but her relationship with Paula seems to be pretty much over. Honestly, that argument between the two of them was one of the most emotional scenes this show has ever delivered, so it was an incredible relief when Maya and Darryl burst in.
As always, there was a lot going on in this episode, but I’m struggling to feel as enthusiastic about it as I usually do. Rebecca’s erratic behaviour seemed particularly cringeworthy, and while sometimes her awkwardness is funny, in this episode it was just painful. Having Paula finally confront Rebecca about her selfishness helped ground the wackiness in genuine emotion, but I still miss being able to identify with Rebecca. It feels like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend used to be better at making her relatable even while she was being terrible; now she’s just terrible all the time.
At least there were some other things to like. Josh’s Peanut Monster prank was adorable. The dynamic between Heather and Valencia is also fantastic, with Valencia uncharacteristically unsure of her place in a #gurlgroup and Heather finally getting a song. And, of course, the Darryl and Maya stuff was wonderful. Darryl’s mistreatment of Maya has always seemed a bit out of character, so it was great to see her finally tell him off, and for him to both apologise and admit it’s only because her over-eagerness reminds him of himself. The fact that their dance routine went viral (well, sort of) and that their colleagues admired them instead of ridiculing them for it was a particularly nice touch.
Next week is the mid-season finale, before the show takes a break for Christmas. Any bets on what’s going to happen? At this point, I’m not even sure what to hope for any more. Except, perhaps, that Rebecca starts taking her therapy seriously and stops being such a complete goddamn nightmare.