Crazy Ex-Girlfriend recap: 'To Josh, With Love'
Rebecca enlists Nathaniel's help in getting revenge on Josh Chan, who's starting to realize being a priest seems like a lot of work
Post-porn plan, Rebecca has come to realize getting revenge on Josh Chan won’t be easy. She needs something doable but not infantile, something that will wound him but not kill him, and, above all, something that will give her the satisfaction and closure she really wants. Paula’s plan — suing Josh for emotional distress — fulfills most of the criteria: it’s public, embarrassing for Josh, and Rebecca gets to maintain a sense of moral dignity, but it’s not visceral. Josh would get his slap-on-the-wrist fine, but it would leave Rebecca cold.
Enter Nathaniel, Rebecca’s boss, who is finally beginning to redeem himself for the sin of not being Greg. Nathaniel, disgusted at himself for going all “Oh My God, I Think I Like You” with Rebecca last week, decides to try to assert himself as a steely badass by remorselessly closing down a beloved local restaurant. And suddenly, he becomes exactly what Rebecca needs: someone with the sociopathic attitude that can actually hurt Josh.
The story flashes back to two weeks ago, when Josh Chan arrived at the seminary to begin his journey to priesthood, and we’re given a “Singin’ in the Rain”-style number explaining his carefree fantasy of what being a member of the church is like: “Reality was getting so complicated, all the drama was getting insane / But now I’ve given my life to Mr. Jesus Christ / so I’m speeding down the carpool lane,” Josh sings, dancing through the pews, showing off his excellent moves with the Holy Spirit, who — in the funniest visual gag of the episode — Josh imagines is just a person in a sheet with two holes cut out. Josh only comes back to earth when the priest informs him that becoming a member of the clergy is a tremendous amount of work and not just a split second choice someone makes because they’re scared about a life decision and don’t want to confront it. Josh’s head was in the clouds, because he didn’t want to look down.
Back at the law offices, the supporting characters are getting a little screen time as Maya, Mrs. Hernandez, and Paula casually let Tim know that he’s almost certainly never given his wife an orgasm. As his world crumbles around him, Tim sings the best Les Mis parody there ever has been, and surely ever will be. I will never again hear “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” without thinking of Tim’s wife finishing herself off in the bathroom with a vibrator.
Since her plan to get revenge on Josh now requires Nathaniel, Rebecca attempts to seduce him into being her accomplice with a Chicago-esque song filled with expert puns and innuendos (she wants to “choke on his cocksureness,” get it?) and, since we all know Nathaniel has caught the feels, he agrees to help.
He sends her a dress, lingerie and shoes and tells her to meet him on the roof (only the shoes fit, obviously. Why wouldn’t he ask for her sizes? And obviously someone with boobs as nice as Rebecca’s needs more support that that!) where a helicopter picks them up (“My DryBar uptini!” Rebecca shouts as the wind ruins her hair) and takes them to a Fifty Shades-style masked ball filled with wealthy southern California Republicans. A few handshakes and comments about school voucher programs and the deed is done: Nathaniel’s plan has been set in motion, and the two of them consensually consummate their deal, with Nathaniel telling her she doesn’t have to do anything, and Rebecca still being fully on board with the sex. (Recap continues on next page)
But no good things last, and in the morning, Rebecca has her “Andy waking up in Paris with that handsome writer in Devil Wears Prada” moment when she makes Nathaniel tell her what they did to Josh. And turns out, it’s really bad. Nathaniel arranged for Josh’s sister to be framed for plagiarism and kicked out her PhD program, his father’s business ruined and his residency rescinded, and his grandfather straight up murdered at his assisted living facility. And Rebecca realizes none of that was what she wanted; she didn’t want to hurt Josh, she just wanted to confront him for closure, the thing he denied her at their wedding by leaving a note and not breaking up with her face-to-face.
So Rebecca puts on her wedding dress for the last time, and drives up to the seminary, pulls open the church doors, and decides to make a scene. Not just a scene: a full musical number. In a reprise of Paula’s “After Everything I’ve Done for You (That You Didn’t Ask For)” Rebecca confronts a Josh who clearly knows he’s in the wrong. At least, he thought he was in the wrong, until Rebecca starts listing off everything she did for him. Bad things. Crazy things even. It’s a rundown of the insanity of the last two seasons, and all put together, it doesn’t make a compelling case for Rebecca’s sanity. Sitcoms thrive on shenanigans and protagonists who do terrible things in the name of what they want with the audience still rooting for them. What Crazy Ex manages to do so brilliantly in this number is force the audience to acknowledge just how bad it was that, yeah, Rebecca ran over a cat with a car just to get a look at Josh’s new girlfriend. And Josh starts realizing it too. Even though Rebecca gets the moment of catharsis and confrontation, it backfires when, instead of feeling guilty for what he did, Josh feels completely absolved. He didn’t do anything wrong by not marrying Rebecca: She was insane!
And, when Rebecca comes back to her car, alone for a moment and allowed to catch her breath, she realizes how she’s misplayed her hand. She can’t be the victim of being jilted at the altar any longer. Josh knows that she’s been the villain of the story all along, and he can tell everyone. Josh might have been a coward to run away from their wedding, but Rebecca’s roster of misdeeds reads a lot longer.
NEW THEME SONG: We get to see the new theme song for the first time in this episode, a deconstruction of how the word “crazy” is used and misused in pop culture — something desirable (“Crazy in Love”) and also a term to dismiss and mock women (“don’t stick your d— in crazy”). The idea is interesting, but the song itself is a little lackluster, especially considering just how catchy the theme songs from the first two seasons were.