We gave it a B+
I never thought I’d live to see the day: Rebecca Bunch is done with love.
Last week, Rebecca realized her relationship with Nathaniel was leading her down the same obsessive path she’d gone down during her relationships with Josh Chan and, to a lesser extent, Greg. And so, in an emotionally mature decision, Rebecca breaks things off with the very attractive Nathaniel (who we all know is played by Cappie from Greek, right?! We’re all on the same page with that? Remember Greek?), making him the second newly dumped hunk on the market after White Josh.
The pairing between Whi-Jo and Nathaniel is at once unexpected and inevitable, delightful as pizza and champagne. They’re both very attractive, very into working out, and very sad that people who shouldn’t have been in their league left them on the curb. And so they do what hot guys do when they realize how self-destructive it would be to eat (gasp!) fries: they work out together. They sweat on Nathaniel’s terrifying, matte-black spike-y equipment while they helpfully bully each other into working hard.
Rebecca isn’t the “throw herself into exercise” type. Instead, at the behest of her doctor, she thinks about using the time she would have spent on love on more productive things, like charity work, igniting the show’s 100th song, described as “Hair mixed with the Polyphonic Spree.” While frolicking in a shirt with a crossed-out heart, Rebecca sings, “Without love, you can save the world!” before being joined by Josh (“Peace!”) and Nathaniel (“Peace and love!” “But not love!”). Because truly, why worry about when some guy is going to text when you can worry about cleaning the oceans and dancing with your friends in a park like you’re singing “Age of Aquarius” at the end of 40 Year Old Virgin?
But altruism isn’t really Rebecca’s thing. And so the perfect opportunity comes along when she finds the chance to volunteer without having to touch anything icky: helping Valencia with her wedding planning business. One Susan Faludi reference later (“she wrote Backlash. It was seminal”) Valencia is onboard and brings Rebecca to a meeting with her clients: Marty and Ally from the grocery store. It’s immediately obvious to Rebecca that Ally’s biggest problem isn’t just her lack of interest in puns; she also can barely contain her resentment for her fiancé. Valencia is a real professional, happy to do the party—and the divorce party if things don’t work out. But Rebecca got left at the altar. She knows the signs and she can’t play along when she knows that heartbreak is on the horizon. The logical answer here is to stop volunteering for Valencia, but this is Rebecca Bunch. Rebecca’s answer is to meddle. She doesn’t just want to help Valencia; she wants to help Marty too, even if it means sabotaging V.
At the actual engagement party, it becomes obvious that Ally is more than just disinterested in Marty; she’s actively cheating on him with the supermarket’s beverage manager. And since Rebecca always has to do the most, she outs Ally in a speech during the party. But of course, Marty already knew: it was insanely obvious. And so while Rebecca thought she was freeing Marty, she was just publicly humiliating him. “It’s none of your business,” he says, as he storms off. And he’s right. Relationships are hard and weird and personal, and not everyone’s life needs to be a metaphor for Rebecca’s.
Once White Josh and Nathaniel make it to Baywatch-Efron body fat levels (“not that High School Musical doughboy Efron”) the two of them decide to go out on the town to a bar where they can get hit on. They go with a gay bar, which is great for Whi-Jo, and also great for Nathaniel because straight girls are ruining gay bars. The two of them finally acknowledge that they got dumped, and it’s while dancing like extras in Magic Mike that they sing the most delightful song of the season so far: “Fit Hot Guys Have Problem Too.” It’s everything: the juxtaposition of the grinding and the crying, the techno beat, the appearance of non-volunteer fireman Josh Chan (who, surprise surprise, is actually a fireman-themed go-go dancer) — everything about this number perfect. Up until this moment, I did not realize how badly I wanted to see two incredibly hot guys crying while in their underwear, but now it’s the only thing I want. I’ll be shouting “Give us back our shirts you monsters!” at strangers with no context, apropos of nothing, for weeks to come. Also: Do we think Whi-Jo is crushing on Nathaniel? He did seem pretty bummed that he was going home with a girl.
Meanwhile, Darryl’s plot revolves around him trying to raise money to buy another egg for his “super-sperm” to fertilize after his most recent round failed to take. Of course Paula knows, through Mrs. Hernandez, who “listens in on all the Whitefeather calls like an old-timey operator.” (Side note: Mrs. Hernandez is quickly becoming my favorite character on this television show.) When selling his hairdryer doesn’t work, Darryl turns to his office’s underground 2 a.m. poker game. Darryl gets on a hot streak, but he’s also the most annoying poker player in the history of underground office poker games. And in the end, it’s Mrs. Hernandez and her lucky peach that takes the pot.
And so Rebecca finds Darryl eating a plain cake doughnut all alone after he gambled all of his egg money away, and finds a new way to be altruistic: donating an egg to Darryl. Turns out this show might become its own weird, incestuous Modern Family!