Greg and Rebecca part ways, and Paula makes a big decision
This episode picks up right where it left us hanging last week. Rebecca runs to Greg in the airport and asks why he’s leaving, and he explains that he’s going to Emory. When she asks why he didn’t say goodbye, he says, “I couldn’t say goodbye. If I did I would never leave.” And every Greg/Rebecca shipper’s heart breaks.
Greg tells Rebecca he loves her and there was a lot of good in their relationship, but there was also a lot of bad. He says one last “I love you” and then takes an honest, harsh look at their relationship in a song titled “It Was a S— Show.” Then he promptly leaves.
After this breakup of sorts, which, lest we forget, comes right after her breakup with Josh, Rebecca is depressed. Paula tells her that she and Greg were bad for each other and to just forget both men. “I don’t know who I am without them,” Rebecca says.
Meanwhile, Paula doesn’t know what to do about being pregnant. Her husband reminds her that she has options, but she rejects the possibility, saying, “I am a married mother of two. Those options are for teenagers the month after Winter Formal.” That left a bad taste in my mouth. There are no age limits on women’s rights.
Rebecca tries to forget about Josh and Greg, but they appear to her as memory spirits (different than dream ghosts!) and sing about how she can’t forget them because they’ve both had sex with her all over her house. She tries to burn their stuff in the sink and ends up setting fire to her apartment. She crashes with Heather, and we see Heather’s parents for the first time (her mom is white and her dad is black, another win for this show’s diversity).
Rebecca’s embarrassing 911 phone call is captured on film by a neighbor and it goes viral. So she formulates a plan to reinvent herself. Whitefeather and Associates’ new client is a douche company called Miss Douche, and Rebecca vows to win the contest to be their new spokesmodel. She gets a makeover consisting of long blonde hair and revealing clothes, and it looks terrible. She runs into Josh, and he’s puzzled and put off by it. At the contest, she breaks down, admitting she entered to show everyone that she was okay but she’s not. Heather wins, and the two decide to live together.
Rebecca finds the closure she didn’t get by breaking up with Greg from breaking up with ghost Greg. Paula crushes the Miss Douche case that Rebecca pawned off on her, and it’s yet more proof that she should go to law school. She gets an abortion, a decision that her husband and kids support, but she doesn’t tell Rebecca. She never even informed Rebecca that she was pregnant.
The episode ends with our first look at Valencia this season: Rachel and Heather see her stuffing donuts into her mouth. Someone’s not taking her breakup with Josh well.
NEXT: Now for the songs…
“It Was a S— Show”
Rebecca runs to the airport to stop Greg, and his response is this song about how horrible their relationship was. “It Was a S— Show” has a modern musical theater, A Chorus Line-type sound. It starts out innocently enough, but the first verse gradually sets up the explicit chorus. At first, Greg talks about how much Rebecca meant to him. Then he admits that their relationship had its problems. And then, these lyrics come like a gut punch to Rebecca and the audience: “This thing we had/was not just bad/It was a s— show.” He makes some good points, such as “There’s hard to get/Then there’s neglect.” The most brutal lyric? “A play about pieces of feces/Is what we are together.”
This song is harsh, and it is supposed to be. Still, it broke my Team Greg heart to hear him trash their relationship so severely. I don’t know if I would use the phrase “s— show,” but Greg and Rebecca’s relationship had many problems: Greg’s alcoholism, Greg’s jealousy of Josh, Rebecca not being over Josh, and Greg being a commitaphobe.
The song doesn’t resolve, literally, because Greg doesn’t finish it. But it also signifies that neither Greg nor Rebecca get closure from this interaction. He sings: “I won’t forget/I won’t regret/This beautiful, heart-stopping, breathtaking, life-changing…” and then stops, leaving the music to resolve without him. After the last word, he leans in and almost kisses Rebecca, then pulls away and walks off. As he goes up the escalator, he turns back and looks like he wants to say something — or sing the last word of the song — but doesn’t.
I almost cried when he breaks out the high belting on “life-changing,” giving it special emphasis. What would the last word have been? Love? Santino Fontana sung this goodbye song beautifully. Beautiful belting. Every note was beautiful and heartfelt. Clearly, it hit Rebecca hard. The next shot is of her looking positively miserable on her couch. She comes out from this breakup hating herself, thinking she’s unlovable because both Josh and Greg left her, which sets up the Miss Douche story line. Paula urges her to forget both of them, which sets up the next song.
“We Tapped That A–“
Later in her house, Rebecca tries to put Josh and Greg out of her mind. But their memory spirits haunt her, smugly pointing out that it’ll be hard to forget them when they’ve both had sex with her in every spot in the house. And they launch into a jaunty tap number listing all the places they did the deed with her. It recalls the classic musical theater, like Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, both in music and choreography. Greg and Josh are channeling cheerful Broadway hoofer duos like Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in Singin’ in the Rain. “Moses” comes to mind — they dance on a table in that one, too. Greg and Josh wear manically energetic show faces and have a pep in their step. They’re very pleased with themselves as they sing about how much they got laid. The crassness is at odds with the wholesome “let’s put on a great big number” vibe, and the dichotomy is hilarious. Especially when a giant butt set piece magically appears. The exuberant end pose consists of two very gleeful men and one exasperated Rebecca. Santino Fontana and Vincent Rodriguez III make the dancing look effortless. Apparently it gets to her enough to make her burn their stuff, which she does immediately after. But that solution doesn’t hold the key to her emotional closure, that will come later when she confronts memory spirit Greg.
NEXT: Season 1 flashback
Another song snippet! That’s the third time this season. Why are you taunting us, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend?
Rebecca is determined to win the Miss Douche contest, but first, she needs to get a post-breakup makeover so she can look more like a conventional model. This song satirizes the makeover montage in every romantic comedy, but in song! And so, Rebecca transforms into a squeaky baby-voiced, pig-tail-sporting cheerleader to narrate the montage. The baby voice here is even worse than the one in “The Math of Love Triangles.” There’s nothing much to this song, which is perhaps why it’s only a snippet. The lyrics are mostly just baby babble (“makey makeover” is just the tip of the iceberg). Apparently, it gets to the character too: the last verse is just “I had a stroke” over and over. One benefit of this snippet is we get to see Rachel Bloom’s real body and she stands in her bra and undies. It’s empowering, as always, and makes me want to rewatch “The Sexy Getting Ready Song” from season 1.
Rachel debuts her new look and everyone is shocked… but not in a good way. She looks bad, but no one at the contest seems to notice anything wrong with her appearance, so the makeover served its purpose. This song, however, was annoying.
Season 2 Song Ranking (So Far):
The two full songs in this episode were amazing. They’re both ones I want to rewatch forever. “It Was a S— Show” makes me want to bawl. It was so emotional and cathartic. And “We Tapped That A–” makes me double over laughing. They will both definitely crack the top three, but I’m going to put “We Tapped That A–” before “It Was a S— Show,” because it was a better number as a whole: the pep, the facial expressions, the amazing dancing, and the laughs. I still hold a place in my heart for “Maybe This Dream.” Snippets aren’t eligible for the ranking, so here it is:
1. “Maybe This Dream”
2. “It Was a S— Show”
3. “We Tapped That A–”