This review contains spoilers.
2.11 Josh Is The Man Of My Dreams, Right?
Because it’s a musical, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend can sometimes afford to get weird. We’ve seen it in the past, like when Rebecca encountered a planeful of Dreamgirls-esque dream ghosts, or when she was plagued by tap-dancing memory spirits, but this week’s demonic singing weatherman might be the weirdest things have ever got.
I’m overusing the word “weird” here, but that’s partly because we had a whole episode’s worth of Frankie Valli pastiche about being weird, and also because, well, really things did get weird, didn’t they?
The arrival of the Santa Ana winds – a real meteorological phenomenon! – in West Covina brought strange dreams and irritating allergens to town. And while Paula’s dream about seeing Darryl in a coffin clutching an oil painting of the two of them made her decide to be nicer to him, Rebecca’s sex dream about Nathaniel led her to question her relationship with Josh. She’s been calling him the man of her dreams for months, so what does it mean when she’s dreaming about someone else – someone who’s also been dreaming about her?
More rational minds would say, absolutely nothing. It’s just that Rebecca’s finally got what she thought she always wanted, and because she’s not perfectly happy, she’s questioning herself. Dr Akopian would probably tell her it’s because seeking fulfilment through romantic comedy clichés is a fool’s game, but Rebecca still isn’t ready to admit that to herself. Instead, she threw herself headlong into another romcom cliché: the one TV Tropes calls “Belligerent Sexual Tension.” Hating Nathaniel must mean she’s secretly attracted to him, right?
It’s sometimes painful to watch Rebecca sabotage herself, and this was definitely one of those times. The montage of her ducking under tables and behind photocopiers to avoid making eye contact with him was fun, but also frustrating, because it was obvious how much she was enjoying it. Rebecca will take any opportunity to cast herself as a romantic heroine, and it’s actively detrimental to her ever, you know, getting her shit together. That’s the tension that makes the show work, of course, because we know the clichés as well as she does, and sometimes it’s comforting to think that everyone will live happily ever after if they can just manage to orchestrate one perfect romantic moment, but also, argh, we all know better, including Rebecca.
So let’s talk about what happened in the lift. Nathaniel’s pitch perfect Ed Sheeran parody song was a great insight into his character (with incredible choreography) but yikes, how worrying is it that Rebecca was tempted by a pitch like that? Nathaniel is an interesting counterpoint to the other men in Rebecca’s life, because even though we know a little about his neuroses, he’s also still awful in a way that Greg and Josh really aren’t. The Harry Potter stuff was adorable, but no, eww, let’s hope that kiss defuses their sexual tension, because if there’s anyone who’d be even more toxic for Rebecca than Greg, it’s Nathaniel.
Actually, I guess the absolute worst option would be Scott, but that definitely isn’t going to happen, because by the end of the episode, he was moving back in with Paula. Thanks to Darryl’s meddling, Paula decided to try to work through her pain and rebuild her relationship with her husband, and that might be the healthiest decision anyone made in this episode. Sure, he cheated on her, but let’s not forget that Paula came very close to cheating on him with Calvin, so while there are clearly issues to be worked through, Scott’s not the only one at fault here.
Back to Rebecca – remember last week when I said the season finale was gonna see her in a wedding dress? That’s definitely happening, because in a fit of guilt-induced manic, Rebecca managed to book her dream wedding venue… in two weeks’ time. Who needs time to think when all that’s standing between you and your happy ending is an exorbitant amount of money?
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s whirlwind pace means tons of other interesting stuff happened in this episode, too, but there isn’t room to go over it all again here. What’s really impressive is how thoroughly the show rediscovered its mojo once the Anna subplot got cleared up. Season two always felt like it should be about Rebecca and Josh working through the reality of a relationship, and that’s just as fascinating and painful and brilliant as it should be. It’s a shame Valencia and Heather have had to take a backseat again, but at least the opening credits make sense again!
Final thought: George is gonna stay fired this time, right? As understandable as his frustration is, you can’t just leave your boss in a broken-down lift for an entire weekend and expect to stay on the payroll. Sorry George.