Plus, Paula makes a big decision
Warning: Spoilers again for Friday night’s episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
No, you didn’t misinterpret that airport scene. No, you didn’t have your own personal musically-induced hallucination. Greg, and therefore actor Santino Fontana, has left the show.
Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) and Greg haven’t had the healthiest relationship. What began as a means of weaseling into Josh Chan’s (Vincent Rodriguez III) inner circle culminated in a heartbreaking farewell. After owning up to his alcoholism, Greg set off to finally go to school in Atlanta and further treat his sobreity.
“I love you, yes, and I’ll confess the thought of staying is so enticing,” he sang to Rebecca, “and when you speak, my knees get weak. I can’t believe what I’m sacrificing. But let’s get real. We know the deal. So, darling, let’s not tiptoe. This thing we had was not just bad — it was a sh–show.”
“Growing up in SoCal, I felt out of place like Greg,” Bloom, who created the show, wrote on Twitter. “Greg is a part of me, I’m a part of Greg. I love him so much.”
Showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna added, “Much love to Greg and Greg’s ghost 4ever.”
Fontana’s other cast members also commented on the episode. Donna Lynne Champlin (Paula) tweeted, “After this song at the table read, looking around and there was not one dry eye. [Santino Fontana], love you buddy.” Rodriguez wrote, “This airport scene. So many feels,” before tweeting, “I’m made of tears right now. I work with the most amazing actors.”
Fontana’s eventual departure was in the cards for some time. “There was a lot of time where we didn’t know if the show would be coming back. In that interim, I had some opportunities both with films and theater and writing that presented themselves, and I had no idea what was going to happen,” he told Vulture. “Also keep in mind, I didn’t know my future with the show regardless, and I didn’t know if the show would be coming back. So when we did get picked up, I was in a really tricky spot because I had a bunch of things that I already committed to, and I couldn’t in good conscience back out of them. It was a really tough decision, and it had a lot to do with my family and my base in New York.”
Fontana, who famously voiced Hans in Disney’s Frozen, will be seen down the road in films Impossible Monsters and Galileo. But, hey, at least we have Gabrielle Ruiz back! And here’s hoping for a Greg guest appearance (or two) down the line.
Watch his swan song in the video above.
Fontana’s departure wasn’t the only surprise from “When Will Josh and His Friend Leave Me Alone?” The series has always been able to find unique ways of addressing serious issues, and this week they tackled reproductive rights through Paula. Rebecca’s BFF decided to have an abortion and continue her career in law, a decision that was also in the works for a while.
“This episode was shot months ago but it’s especially relevant considering Tuesday’s events,” Bloom wrote on Twitter, referring to Donald Trump’s election win and his previous statements on abortion. “So guys [Donna Lynne Champlin] is one of the very best actors on earth,” McKenna added, “and I’ve worked with some really good ones.”
“It’s partly because a lot of Rebecca’s influence on people is inadvertent,” McKenna explained to E! News, “and in this case she’s just asking Paula to pick up some work she doesn’t feel like doing because she’s busy trying to do an internet contest. Ironically, Paula, in doing that case, is sort of confirmation for herself that that’s where she belongs.”
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on The CW.