Rebecca gets a diagnosis and Valencia gets a little Dear Evan Hansen
After last week’s massive episode, it makes sense that now we’re getting a bit of a recovery period, along with Rebecca, who survived her suicide attempt and has been brought into the hospital where her friends are holding camp in the waiting room.
“I knew she’d be fine,” Valencia says. “The minute I heard that’s what I told myself.” Her multiple self-references are not an accident: Valencia is self-centered, and she always has been, even if the last half season it seems like she’s just been a perfect member of Friendtopia. This episode is the first hint of that narcissism, an attempt to make her more of the flawed character we remember from season 1. At first it seems like she’s just getting a little too interested in seeing her own face in video updates for Rebecca’s friends, but by the time she’s singing her unfortunately poop-themed anthem “This Is My Movement,” it’s obvious that she’s gone full Dear Evan Hansen on Rebecca’s suicide attempt, using Rebecca’s sad story as a catalyst to create an online community of people who want to be inspired.
This episode also gives us hints that Paula’s co-dependence with Rebecca might become a problem down the line. Paula is constantly by Rebecca’s side, holding her hand and walking her through the steps of recovery instead of spending any time with her family (Dr. Akopian seems to pick up on that too).
But this episode is almost entirely about Rebecca: her thoughts and feelings and hope (or lack thereof) after hitting rock bottom on a plane to Los Angeles and taking a handful of pills. She wakes up in the hospital, with the heartbreaking admission that she didn’t even want to die. “I just wanted the pain to stop.”
A new, super hot doctor Dr. Shin (or Dr. Dan or, as Paula calls him, Dr. DAYUM) is offering Rebecca hope in the form of a new diagnosis, and this episode continues Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s spot-on depiction of mental illness by capturing the misplaced elation Rebecca feels with a Broadway-style song. Rachel Bloom shows off some bona fide belting chops in the earnest number, in which the world seems ripe with possibilities and Rebecca, in a sunny yellow dress, believes all of her problems will be solved by just knowing if she’s schizophrenic or bipolar II.
Turns out, the answer deflates her elation like an untied balloon: According to Dr. Shin, who consulted with Rebecca’s therapist Dr. Akopian, she has borderline personality disorder. Even though he tells her not to Google it, of course Rebecca immediately does. “I read two and a half sentences about it and they were the worst sentences ever,” Rebecca says. The Google results freak her out so much that she skips group therapy and goes home where, to a live-video-blogging Valencia’s chagrin, she isn’t the peppy inspirational story that invites free swag from admirers. “It’s not something I have,” Rebecca says about being saddled with a personality disorder. “It’s something I am.” (Recap continues on next page)