Spoiler alert: This post contains plot details from the season 3 finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Proceed with caution.
Well, Rebecca Bunch has finally done it. In the final moments of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s season 3 finale, she accepted responsibility for her actions. And let’s not forget that earlier in the episode she also gave Nathaniel, Paula, and Josh each a list of everything she’d done to them since arriving in West Covina. In other words, she admitted to everything, and then she took responsibility for it. The bad news? She did it while standing in front of a judge, thereby pleading guilty to an attempted murder charge. (She threw Trent off a roof when he tried to kill Nathaniel.)
So although it’s great that Rebecca has finally stepped up, she chose a very poor time to do so. EW hopped on the phone with showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna, who co-wrote and directed the hour, to talk about that finale, Rebecca’s decision, and what to expect from a potential season 4. (The CW has yet to announce renewals for any of its series.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Rebecca ends this finale by taking responsibility. What does that moment mean for her as a character?
ALINE BROSH MCKENNA: She’s been somewhat in a dream state — sometimes an anxiety dream and sometimes a fantasy — but she’s been in some sort of a dream state. This is part of the process of her waking up and realizing where she is, what she’s done, and what she needs to do.
I was so proud of her in that moment, but does she realize she’s in a courtroom?!
That’s what I love. That’s such a Rebecca Bunch thing to do: She wants to take responsibility for lying to Paula but pleading guilty to attempted murder is her way of doing that. It’s maybe not legally the best strategy. There might be other ways to take responsibility for stuff. [Laughs.]
I love that seeing Paula is the thing that made her change her mind.
And Paula’s not perfect either. Paula’s made her own mistakes so it’s not as if Paula is looking at her from a place of moral purity. Paula has never seen her really take responsibility for anything ever, so the moment of that nod, that nod is about, “I see what you’re doing, and I’m proud of you.”
It also felt very significant to me that Josh and everyone showed up even after her confession earlier in the episode.
And next season, we’ll find out more about what everybody thinks about what happened.
You all have talked about a four-season arc for the show. Is that still the plan?
It’s a four-chapter arc, which we’ve always assumed would be four seasons. That’s what we’ve always told them, so I’m assuming that that will be the case.
You’ve blown things up with this finale. What are you looking forward to exploring in season 4?
Every finale has blown something up. The end of the first season was her admitting why she came to West Covina, and then the second season was her vowing to take revenge on a man she’d been pursuing, and then this is her vowing to take responsibility. Responsibility, recovery, probably some recidivism, all those things are really interesting to us for season 4 and to see what her life is like now that the haze of the delusion is starting to lift a bit.
On another note, Heather completed something!
I loved Vella’s [Lovell] performance; I loved the look on her face — it’s a look we’ve never seen, that happy contentment that she actually accomplished something. She’s a hobbyist, she loves to do things that are fun, short-term projects, and she completed this one, and that was the purpose of that storyline — to see how it challenged Heather to have to complete something.
Paula’s song about childbirth might be one of my favorites.
I love that song so much. It was written by Jack [Dolgen] and Adam [Schlesinger] after a conversation with the women in our [writers’] room who had given birth. They downloaded Jack all the disgusting birth things they could think of, really horrified him, probably prevented him from ever having a child, and then he went into a recording studio with Adam and wrote that song in two hours. So it’s written by two men with the details from women being very profoundly upset about birth.
What’s next for Rebecca and Nathaniel?
She turns her back on his offer at the end. He says I love you, come be with me, breaks up with his girlfriend, offers her a brilliant legal strategy that will allow them to be together, and she turns her back on it. So he’s not happy with her at the end of that episode.
For a second there, I really thought you’d killed Trent.
I know! We almost did, but we thought better of it. We love Trent and we really loved him as sort of the roadrunner, as the thing you cannot kill. Just the idea that he’s back in a full body cast really made us laugh.
You’ve directed all the season finales. How did this finale differ?
It was really fun because it involved so many characters, and because in the last two, I’ve had to shoot big crowd events. We ended with two huge weddings. I just love that the big event in this one is Rebecca’s realization and her deciding to assume responsibility for her life. It was a more intimate finale, and it was really fun in that respect. This season is the heart of the show in a lot of ways because it’s about what you really think when you think of the title. This was a very intense, propulsive season, and I think next season we don’t have to hustle quite so quickly, so that’s going to be fun.