Crazy Ex-Girlfriend recap: 'Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith?'
Previously on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Rebecca Bunch was living an unhappy life in New York City, often mentally reliving her moments of misery (like her summer camp boyfriend Josh Chan dumping her for being “dramatic and weird”). She suddenly moved to West Covina, California, leaving a great lawyer job back in the City, even though she graduated from Harvard and Yale and speaks Mandarin. Understandably, people wondered, “What the hell is she doing here?” Eventually, Rebecca had to admit to everyone and herself that she moved to West Covina because of Josh Chan and how he represented the memory of the one time in her life she was truly happy and life would “magically be okay” if they got together. Now they’re engaged! Oh, and Rebecca’s dad left her and her mom when she was young, and she’s blamed herself for that all this time.
“WHAT A RUSH TO BE A BRIDE”
It’s happening! It’s finally happening: Rebecca Bunch is going to marry Josh Chan, and she is understandably on a life high. She’s happily engaged to the man of her dreams, her father is in town for her wedding, everything’s good! She’s even bold enough to casually text her father an invite to hang out today: “Hey Dad! Rebecca Bunch here, soon to be Rebecca Chan. Since you’re in SoCal right now for my wedding, figured I should give you a buzz? Well… Buzz! *bee emoticon*”
Not quite a textastrophe but certainly not the most casual message from daughter to father. Though, also not the most extreme. But Rebecca’s on such a wedding high that she’s not even going to overthink it. Besides, she’s too busy trying on her veil. Because as she discusses with Paula (who brings her a veil for the wedding), it’s all happening and she can’t believe she’s marrying Josh Chan. If you’re thinking this is the perfect time for a musical number, you’d be thinking correctly, as Rebecca and Paula sing a beautiful (albeit… intense) song called “What A Rush To Be A Bride” all about the excitement in the air. Sometimes you need pop punk to get your feelings across, other times you might require disco: This time around, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend goes all-in on heavy, heavy (and a little nu) metal. Marriage is serious business, after all, and as the kids say, Rebecca Bunch is “hyped af” to be getting married. And it’s not just because of things like the “dainty and delicate” lace, though those are also something to be excited about.
There are three more days until the wedding, and don’t get it twisted — Josh is excited too. “So exciting,” he says, “then it will all be over with.” He saves that response by explaining he just wants to get past the wedding so they can finally start their married life together, but Rebecca’s not going to allow him to ignore the importance of weddings like that. Because to Rebecca, weddings are important and bring people together — like how her father walking her down the aisle will heal all things. Speaking of Silas, he does reply to Rebecca’s text with a text of his own, saying he’s swamped with “work calls” and can’t see her today. On the plus side, he does promise to see her at the rehearsal. And he at least replied after 17 minutes, so baby steps. All of this is enough to convince Rebecca that her father won’t abandon her again, just like Josh won’t abandon her when they’re about to start their whole life again.
So as Rebecca takes a look in the mirror, wearing her veil and realizing her wedding is only three days, she has another epiphany: “This is what happy feels like.” It’s what she said back in New York City after she got promoted and had a panic attack, but this time around there’s no panic attack in sight. So she must truly be happy this time, right?
SEVEN YEARS AGO…
Back in blue-tinted flashback land, past Rebecca is also wearing a veil. For all you Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans keeping guest star score, last week it was Oz, and this week it’s Parker Abrams (who is pretty much the anti-Oz in a lot of ways) as Adam Kaufman sits, watching Rebecca, and telling her she looks “so pretty in that veil.” His name here is Robert, a name Rebecca then accidentally calls Josh.
“Dude, I love Josh, but those are the last two people that should be getting married. To anyone, possibly ever.”
How does Rebecca get out of calling Josh “Robert?” The same way anyone else would: an elaborate story about a new client at work, based solely on Julia Roberts roles. Well, one role: Erin Brockovich. Rebecca believes Josh accepts this excuse, but it’s clear he clearly doesn’t and can’t stop thinking about this mysterious man. So at Home Base, at his stag party with the boys (and Darryl), Josh tries to get information about this new “client” named “Julia Roberts” (yep, that’s the name she gave him for “the single mom investigating water contamination”) from Darryl. Darryl points out the obvious — “That’s Erin Brockovich” — and Josh attempts to save face, but he’s still consumed by who this Robert guy could possibly be. Luckily, Father Brah is around (in a dope t-shirt: “I May Be A Priest But I’m Not A Saint”) to give him some advice. Josh wonders if, as a priest, he ever had any doubts about marrying God. Unfortunately for Josh, Father Brah never once had doubts; he just got the call from God, then went to see Father Rodrigo at the seminary in San Luis Obispo. (You should remember that detail for later.)
As for the rest of the actual stag party, Hector makes sure to let everyone know how excited his mother (who is, of course, his date) is about the wedding, in great detail, the way only a good Motherboy could. (Really, Hector/Hector’s mom reaches a whole new level of weird best friendship this episode. Keep it up, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.) White Josh also makes an excellent point (to Darryl) about how Rebecca and Josh really shouldn’t get married — to anyone — but then again, he’s not even into marriage in the first place. White Josh even brings up how most marriages end in divorce — Darryl’s first marriage included. But this opinion is certainly news to Darryl. Whoops.
But who the heck is Robert? That’s still all Josh can think about.
“The best predictor of the future is the past.”
Valencia was absolutely right last week when she said she could rock the wedding planner look, and that is exactly what she does in this episode. And she really dives in head first with this thing, meaning her assistant has to dive in too. Her assistant, of course, being Heather. (Can you blame Valencia? Her only other female friend is the one getting married, so that crosses her off the assistant list.) People like Rebecca’s mom Naomi and Josh’s parents may not think it’s “normal” or “a good idea” for Josh’s ex-fiancé to be in charge of Josh and Rebecca’s wedding, but what do they know? They don’t know Valencia, that’s for sure.
Plus, Valencia shows up at the rehearsal dinner bearing good news for Rebecca: She gets to have a father-daughter dance at the wedding. “I get to dance with my daddy,” Rebecca exclaims, before considering classic song choices for the dance (like “an acoustic guitar version of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’” or Sixpence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me”). Obviously Naomi also gives her grief for that excitement; after all, her “daddy” is already late for the rehearsal dinner even though his hotel is supposed to only be a six-minute drive away from Rebecca’s place. But it’s Paula who tries the better mom approach of reminding Rebecca not to expect her father to suddenly be a different person just because he’s attending the wedding. No, that rational advice does not work, and it essentially falls on deaf ears once “daddy” finally shows up.
And Rebecca’s father being around gives Josh the perfect opportunity to ask him about this mysterious Robert. After Rebecca gets a picture of “the two most important men in [her] life meeting” and Naomi gets out some verbal jabs at the man (“And where’s your beautiful wife? And your ugly son?”), that is. Josh does get some one-on-one face time with Silas though, and while it seems like the man might not know who Robert is, it finally clicks and says he only remembers the name because he wasn’t supposed to know it. “Rebecca and her mother kept a lot of stuff from me,” he tells Josh. That almost sounds like there’s going to be a reveal that Rebecca’s dad isn’t really Rebecca’s dad, but sadly (again, more on that later), he is.
While Josh and Silas talk outside, Rebecca watches the interaction from inside, momentarily distracted by Nathaniel. After his version of a nice greeting (“You’re looking lovely-ish.”), Nathaniel makes it clear he was invited to the dinner by Silas, since he did bring the man there himself on his private plane. He then goes on and on about being a “hero,” but Rebecca’s too focused on her dad and fiancé to allow Nathaniel to sing a reprise to “I’m A Good Person.” Yes, Rebecca is too distracted for an obvious musical number cue. But just know, the way he’s talking, it’s there, beneath the surface.
NEXT: Josh goes digging for dirt
“Tell me: What are some of the favorite times you’ve had together recently?”
The next day, Josh vents to church Sarah about Rebecca being an “enigma” and “mystery” and even apologizes to church co-coach Sarah for not inviting her to the wedding, even though, as she points out, they’ve only known each other for two weeks. Well, we only met her in last week’s episode, so that time frame checks out. He’s really worrying about this whole Robert thing, but he’s also worrying about how he’s worrying. So that’s stressful.
Meanwhile, the father-daughter dance is growing closer to reality as Rebecca and Silas arrive at wedding dance rehearsal. Though, Rebecca shows up to the rehearsal in her wedding dress, which is totally normal, right? The dance teacher loves it, though. (The episode doesn’t say it, but it’s certainly a smart choice to do this in the wedding dress, just in case her father bails on the day of her actual wedding.) After some adorable awkwardness (with just a hint of absolute sadness) from Rebecca as a result of the dance teacher at first thinking she and her father are a couple, there’s even more awkwardness (less adorable) when the teacher tells them to “use the history of your relationship to inform the movement.” That’s how we learn they haven’t seen each other in four years; that’s when he went to New York to see The Lion King on Broadway… with his new wife and son Tucker. Rebecca, of course, was not invited, as “Tucker was going through a really rough time.” They had coffee together afterward, though! For 20 minutes! But hey, things can change now, and Silas tells Rebecca he always hoped they could reconnect one day, adult-to-adult.
Just one little, teensy weensy thing could derail things, though, and amazingly, Silas says it to Rebecca: “I need to borrow some cash.”
“Maybe some good can come from this.”
Thank heavens for Dr. Akopian, who gets angry for Rebecca even when Rebecca isn’t going to get angry for herself. “He asked you for money for his son’s braces? I’m sorry. That is not okay. Your father is a terribly negligent parent.” Here, the children would say Dr. Akopian is “going in” on Silas, and if only it could last forever. But Dr. Akopian definitely strikes a nerve when she points out this relationship between Rebecca and her father is the impetus of Rebecca’s unhealthy habit of “seeking the love of men who don’t love you back.”
SEVEN YEARS AGO…
Oh boy, another flashback. So as it turns out, Robert was Rebecca’s professor when she was in undergrad at Harvard. She was planning to attend Harvard Law, but instead believed Robert when he said he was going to leave his wife and marry her, so she dropped out of his class. But things obviously didn’t turn out that way, now did they? No, they didn’t, as he broke things off with her after all of that. “Robert, no!”
“Maybe some good can come from this.” (again)
Just like Josh heard Rebecca say Robert’s name, Dr. Akopian hears her say “Robert, no!” Only Rebecca doesn’t even realize she’s done it, so now Dr. Akopian realizes Rebecca is having “dissociative episode(s)” on top of all of her other issues. How does Rebecca handle that? She mockingly repeats “dissociative episode” then gets in her own head (in the bad way) by pointing out that her dad was “kind of upset” when she didn’t say yes to the loan right away. So she rushes out to fix things with her daddy.
“Well, that was a great eight minutes. We’re really getting there!” Bless you, Dr. Akopian.
“Rebecca does not need this right now.”
One Bunch parent down, one to go. Josh learned a little bit about Robert from Rebecca’s dad (like how Rebecca was originally supposed to go to Harvard for law school, not Yale… but something happened), so he tries to ask Naomi about it. Only, this ain’t Mama Bunch’s first carefully-constructed lie rodeo, and she tells Josh that Robert was the name of their dog (named after Robert Redford) who died of canine cancer.
“Okay. But what does that have to do with Harvard Law School?” Naomi quickly turns it on him, thinking she’s gotten him to drop it, but Josh is on a mission when it comes to Robert and he’s not letting up.
Just like Rebecca’s not letting up with her father, bringing him 14 different Father’s Day cards, a World’s Greatest Dad (arguable) mug, and apologizing for driving him away as a kid. Just a note: A good father would tell Rebecca that she didn’t drive him away when she was a kid. Silas doesn’t do that, but he does accept Rebecca’s check for Tucker’s braces. He also promises to stay for the wedding, but again, that’s after she begs him to stay and gives him a check for his other child’s problems.
Meanwhile, on what feels like a completely different show, Trent bribes a woman for dirt on Rebecca in order to stop the marriage. “You’ve got a devious smile, do you know that?” “I get that a lot. Thank you.” Back to West Covina he goes.
NEXT: Going to the chapel
“Does this have anything to do with Robert and Harvard Law School and Yale Law School?” “Maybe? Totally.”
So today is the day, and Rebecca’s happiness levels are at an all-time high. She, Valencia, and Heather leave to go to the venue as Josh waits for Father Brah to pick him up and… Let’s just say Josh’s mood is the exact opposite of Rebecca’s. He ends up having a mopey massage, and Father Brah has to give sage advice, yet again. (Father Brah actually might be a saint.) Obviously, Josh doesn’t want to hurt Rebecca, but he’s also not sure if his questions about her (and… Robert) are real or if they’re just wedding jitters. Then Father Brah drops some realness on him: “Usually when you get upset you run to the nearest pretty girl like Ben Affleck runs to the nearest role with a Boston accent.” Truer words have never been spoken. Just look at Josh’s two-week-long friendship with Sarah from church or Live By Night.
So Josh finally gets tuxed up and tells himself he’s driving himself crazy for no reason. And you know what? If you’re thinking it would be a shame if Trent manages to get that Rebecca dirt to Josh just as he’s finally getting past his nerves, you would be correct. Because that’s exactly what happens here, as Trent brings Josh a folder called “REBECCA BUNCH PAST | TOP SECRET.” Then Josh proves Father Brah even more right as he goes to talk to Sarah about what he should do and if she should read about it. She points out the obvious — ”that folder was given to you by her crazy ex-boyfriend” — but Josh goes too intense and tells her he thinks if he just stays with her in this church gym, all of his problems will be fixed. Ding ding ding! He finally realizes what’s he’s doing, and now he’s even more confused with what he’s gonna do about all of this.
“And then / I’ll never have problems again”
At the venue in Malibu, Rebecca really takes a moment to soak this all in, and it’s really such a shame she’s achieving her true happiness as Josh spirals more and more back in West Covina. Dramatic irony, you know? She sings a beautiful (but ultimately still sad) song about finally being “The Hero Of My Own Story” and how she just wants to be loved by everyone, her father, her mother, Josh, and the rest will follow. Feel free to cry now, because things only go downhill from here.
She and Paula reminisce about the good ol’ crazy days of Josh Chan stalking (and enabling said stalking) in season one and how they’ve both grown since then. And the truth is, they really have — as unhealthy as Rebecca’s reasons for moving up this wedding are, she’s definitely in a much better place than she was last season. Again, still unhealthy, but she’s become much more aware, and that awareness is the kind of thing that saves her (kind of) at the end of this finale episode. But yes, emotional bride and matron of honor conversation? Check. Rebecca’s actual mother ruining the moment with her rude, yet “consistent,” outburst after the fact? Check. Sounds like a proper wedding day.
That extends to the wedding guests, too, as Darryl uses the day to be poorly passive-aggressive to White Josh. But White Josh’s anti-marriage agenda doesn’t mean he’s anti-family nor having children, and seeing White Josh be so good with Darryl’s daughter Madison (who’s has the honor of being flower girl) calms Darryl down. Because now he doesn’t want to convince White Josh to get married: He wants to convince him to have a baby with him.
Luckily things are as awkward (just weirder) when it comes to Hector and Hector’s mom. Heather gives them props for their joint podcast, Dating For All Ages, before she has to deal with Josh’s late arrival.
“Eagle’s approaching. He doesn’t look that great… Eagle is gone.”
So Josh shows up to the venue… only to drive away and end up at a playground, dirt folder in hand. Valencia and Heather try to calm Rebecca by letting her know “it should all be just fine.”
Father Brah then arrives to break the news to Rebecca: Josh has made his decision. From what we see, he chooses not to read what’s in the folder. But he also chooses not to marry Rebecca. That’s because he’s choosing to marry God, just like Father Brah did. Josh Chan is becoming a priest. But also, just to make it clear just how much everyone here knows Josh, Valencia at first assumes Josh left Rebecca for another girl, and Rebecca jumps to the conclusion that he’s leaving her for church Sarah. But no, he’s going to marry God. He goes to San Luis Obispo and everything, because he too believes he got the call. (And plus he really wants Father Brah’s cool t-shirt.) So, to answer the question formed in the episode title: Yes, Josh can take a leap of faith. Just not the one that was planned. And he’s still doing the same thing he always does. Just with God this time.
“A priest?!? Josh is leaving me… to become a priest?” Yes, he is (or “yeah, dude” as Father Brah says), and Rebecca pretty much goes into a fugue state over that before straight up Runaway Bride-ing (had to throw in that Julia Roberts movie reference for good measure), only with less character focus on egg preference and more consideration about jumping off a cliff and into a rocky, watery grave. In case there was a question about what rock bottom looks like for Rebecca, it’s this, as she’s this close to throwing herself onto some rocks in front all of her closest friends and family who’ve come to see a wedding that will never take place. “Why do they all leave? Every man I’ve ever loved, they leave. Josh, my father, and Greg. ROBERT!”
Heather asks, “Who the dickens is Robert?” Good question, Heather. Rebecca’s flashback answers that question as she starts to fugue out again.
SEVEN YEARS AGO…
“It’s over. Let yourself out.” Robert coldly leaves Rebecca behind, and how does she react? By setting her veil and his things on fire on his bed, leading to three charges of attempted arson and a court case. By the way, the theme song doesn’t play in this episode, but the lyrics show up here, as Naomi explains, “Your honor, she’s just a girl in love. She can’t be held responsible for her actions.” As a result, the judge informs Rebecca that Robert has filed a restraining order and she won’t be able to attend Harvard Law School (which is why she eventually goes to Yale) and forces her to get mental help in order for this to be expunged from her record. Even though, as Rebecca informs him, “I have no underlying issues to address.” At rehab, Rebecca ends up pilled out of her mind while people whisper about how she always sings. So that was rock bottom seven years ago.
“It’s my fault. It’s my fault they don’t love me.”
Back in the present, Rebecca is about to pass out, but Paula saves her. And she gives her best friend the best pep talk ever, explaining how it’s not Rebecca’s fault. It’s their (the guys’) fault, starting with Rebecca’s “garbage father.” Silas doesn’t want to take responsibility for his actions, though, and in a true fist-pumping moment — which this episode surprisingly turns into in these final moments — Rebecca finally steps up to her father. “I never want to see you again,” she says, telling him he can take his check and leave. “Fine. You’re crazy,” says her sorry excuse for a father. And Rebecca fires back with a “Lil’ bit,” finally embracing her crazy. (But let’s please keep in mind she still has a long way to go and should see Dr. Akopian immediately in season 3.) And Rebecca truly gets the last laugh, as the “hero” Nathaniel won’t let Rebecca’s “dick” dad on his private plane this time.
So, is this a new Rebecca? It is. Like a phoenix, with her girl squad, she’s going to rise from the ashes. First order of business? “Josh Chan must be destroyed.”
Oh. Well, that’s definitely one way to end a season. A great way.
- “What A Rush To Be A Bride” is such an unexpected musical number — no one ever really expects a Slipknot-esque original song — and it’s absolutely amazing. “DARKNESS DARKNESS DARKNESS / Will be avoided with a unity candle” and “EVIL EVIL EVIL / If you anagram the letters, it spells ‘veil’” are easily highlights of the song. Just beautiful.
- “Rachel’s Reprise” at the venue is a medley of “You Stupid Bitch,” “I’m The Villain In My Own Story,” “I Love My Daughter (But Not In A Creepy Way),” and “We’ll Never Have Problems Again.” “Well Rebecca you’ve done it now / You’ve gotten everything you said you wanted.” It’s true. Too bad Josh Chan puts an end to all of that. (Though, again, she still wasn’t actually ready for this marriage.)