Rebecca's crazy dream helps her realize it's time she woke up from the one she's been chasing
Because our favorite crazy ex-girlfriend was on a break last week (so we could all watch The Bachelor in real time, obviously), let’s recap where things left off: Josh doesn’t love Rebecca. The end. And while that pretty much sums things up, it should also be noted that Rebecca is on a five-hour flight (to Hawaii, presumably) stuck sitting next to her therapist, Dr. Akopian (Michael Hyatt) and wondering why no one loves her. Loaded question, for sure. Thankfully, we’ll get things sorted out in far less than five hours. Buckle up, folks, we’ve got some serious time traveling to do, and since Rebecca’s involved, there’s bound to be turbulence.
Right away we discover that Rebecca isn’t going to Hawaii as we thought, but instead heading back to her old life in New York. According to her, life in West Covina is a “pile of garbage and turds.” Let’s not spend time pondering the possible double meaning of that and move on.
After Dr. Akopian asks Rebecca what brought her to W.C. in the first place (cue opening theme), Rebecca admits she did move for Josh — and that the opening story needs updating, which I’m already sad about. Dr. A wonders how no one saw through her excuses. “You lie to yourself well enough you can convince other people, too,” Rebecca tells her. Oh, I get it. This is going to be one of those “very special” episodes. I already know I’ll be saving my notes from this one.
Jumping right in the murky pool with both feet, Rebecca confesses that love doesn’t work out for her; her life is loveless. She’s horrible at all kinds of love and ruins everything. So what is she really saying? Dr. Akopian knows. In fact, Dr. Akopian knows everything: Details that have happened with Rebecca and Josh and Paula that there’s no way she could know (they’ve only had one session, remember?). When the flight attendant hands Rebecca some peanuts right through the good doctor, it’s clear: DR. AKOPIAN IS A GHOST. But not just any kind of ghost, she’s a bona fide sleeping pill/Bloody Mary-induced dream ghost. What do dream ghosts do, you ask? Give the woman a mic and step aside.
With fellow dream ghosts by her side (guest stars Amber Riley and Ricki Lake, in full wigged-out and sequined glory), Dr. Dreamgirl Dreamghost explains it — in song — to Rebecca: She’s here to give her advice about things she already knows. It’s simple; dream ghosts help people work out their problems in their sleep. Some people call that Ambien, but tomato-tomahto, I guess.
Combining dream ghost with Dickens’ ghost with just plain cruelty, Dr. Akopian takes Rebecca back to puberty to revisit one of the most painful memories in her life. Already laying the groundwork for future escapades, little Rebecca surprises her dad in Santa Fe after lying to her mom and spending her bat mitzvah money on a plane ticket from New York. “So, West Covina wasn’t the first time you made a rash decision to try to win back the man you love,” Dr. Obvious points out.
When Naomi shows up to rip young Rebecca away from the love and adoration of her father, older Rebecca stops the memory. She remembers how this plays out. She knows how her horrible mother ripped her away from her beloved father. But watching it back, she sees how things really happened. How her mother pleaded with her father to let Rebecca stay. How her father told her mother no. How her mother took the blame to protect Rebecca’s heart. BRB, I need to find some Kleenex and call my mother.
Back on the dream plane, Dr. Painful points out that someone does love her. “THAT’S WHAT YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THIS STORY?” Rebecca shouts. “Even serial killers have mothers who love them! Thanks a lot, dream ghost. You just made everything worse because now I have to be nicer to my mom. Boo!”
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Meanwhile, Paula, who thinks her BFF is enjoying some island love with Josh, is enjoying a staycation in Rebecca’s apartment when the man himself shows up, clearly not in Hawaii. Confused and worried about Rebecca, Paula puts the pieces of the sad turn of events with Josh together, which makes her even more frantic. Enter Darryl, who is also concerned about Rebecca’s whereabouts, and Greg, who isn’t (or who’s acting like he isn’t but who we all know is).
Now that we’ve established that everyone is worried about Rebecca, let’s go back to sophomore year at Harvard and explore another moment of hidden meaning in her life. “We’re going back to college?” Rebecca asks. “Great. Let’s gain some weight!”
NEXT: It’s time to wake up
What follows is typical college stuff. You know, hooking up with the dreamy boy you can’t believe is paying attention to you and ditching the awkward, dorky boy but then discovering the dreamy boy is a d-bag who’s using you and that your mom was right all along: NERDS RULE. Oh, and also, you never really wanted to get a real job because musical theater is your life. You know, I’m starting to think the writers of this episode read my diary and am getting really freaked out, so let’s get through this lesson quickly.
“Love doesn’t have to be a person; it can be a passion,” Dr. Cryptic tells Rebecca, who seems to get it. After all, musical theater is how she defines her world (and for that we are all grateful). But the good doctor isn’t done. “Maybe it’s not that you don’t have love in your life; maybe it’s that you don’t recognize it when it’s there.” Seriously, can we just agree that we’re getting psychoanalyzed in our own personal ways for basically nothing right now? I mean, unless you count the tears and the wine that most of us just opened to deal with ALL THE REPRESSED FEELINGS.
Cut to Rebecca’s apartment, where Paula has just hacked into Rebecca’s laptop (and by “hacked,” I mean simply typed in her password, which she knows because Paula) and discovered that Rebecca is returning to her old life in New York. Cue the hysteria from Paula, Darryl, and Josh, and cue the disinterest and indifferent comments from Greg, which grew tiresome like four episodes ago.
Right when the West Covina crew is at their most frantic, Dr. Time Travel arrives with Rebecca to show her that she does, in fact, have people who love her. Seeing them worried and sad touches Rebecca, especially when she remembers how differently her “friends” reacted when she left New York (there was celebratory booze involved). Even Greg cares about her (even though he says he doesn’t know why he’s still here, which proves he’s not only boring, but also stupid), and it’s evident when Rebecca sees that he’s called every morgue and hospital in West Covina looking for her. (Anyone else think that list was disproportionately long for a city with a population of 105,000?)
Dr. Akopian: There’s a lot of love in your life. Open up your heart to all the possibilities. You’ve spent so much time obsessing about Josh, you’ve lost sight of everything — and everyone — else.
LIKE GREG, PERHAPS? Oh, sorry. Should’ve maybe prefaced that with a spoiler alert. But c’mon, I don’t think it takes a Harvard degree to see where this is now headed. Because Rebecca realizes that maybe Josh was just a dream all along. Maybe it’s time to see what else is in her life besides Joshua Felix Chan (and bobas, I’d like to add).
Rebecca wakes up from her narcotics/booze-induced hallucination happy and even agrees to twice weekly sessions with the non-dream ghost Dr. Akopia, who now thinks she’s crazier than ever. But since she’s a therapist, she probably has a much less offensive label for it. Returning to West Covina, Rebecca arrives to find the gang happy and relieved to see her…except Josh, who has discovered the pile of stalkerish photos she has of him and has a question for her that I feel we’ve covered — and settled — a million times before. “Are you in love with me?” he asks seriously. Facepalm.
With only three episodes left until the season 1 finale, I think it’s time this crazy train changes directions and hope that Rebecca continues on this path of introspection and healing. Having her start to see herself in a world outside of Josh’s, while still being very much in Josh’s world would be fun. Do I want her to end up with Greg? Maybe eventually, because I do think he cares about her, but not yet. I like the idea of her finding a new dream. Who’s with me?
Favorite non-psychiatric lines of the episode:
“What is this stain? Oh, man. If she sits on this, she might have triplets.” —Paula, after buying back Rebecca’s couch from Craigslist.
When Paula lets it slip that she thinks Greg is hot:
“Is Greg super hot?” —Josh
“Well, yeah, if you like angry, sure.” —Darryl