Crazy Ex Girlfriend has returned with two episodes that seem hell bent on whipping the show back into shape. Ever since Greg finally escaped Rebecca’s clutches for a healthier life in Atlanta (we hope), things have been a little wobbly. An odd Rebecca/Valencia/Heather friend group arc didn’t really go anywhere. Josh’s new relationship with Hollywood eyebrow specialist Anna (Brittany Snow) isn’t particularly well defined. Rebecca and Paula’s estrangement arc just seems to be there, because – – well, the best friends have to fight every season. Fortunately, these dead weight arcs have been scrapped for some new elements that are a great deal more intriguing. Both of tonight’s installments focused on new relationships Rebecca has formed, so that’s where we’ll start.
“Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy?”
Low expectations? Raise em up. Your children, I’m gonna raise em up.
This episode was all about the inevitable repair of Rebecca and Paula’s friendship, and not a moment too soon after the revolution that Paula’s husband Scott slept with another woman. However, this time they didn’t rekindle things through a wacky adventure, but through something that could actually count. Babysitting. In order to make things right, Rebecca offers to watch Paula’s son Tommy (Steele Stebbins) while Paula goes on a desperately needed class field trip. So now we have a highly intelligent woman, who still can’t take care of herself, watching over a less articulate but far more mature teenager.
Naturally, Rebecca had to gloat a little through the “Uptown Funk” inspired tune, “So Maternal.” This was the latest in what seems to be a growing Crazy Ex trend of blatant song parodies in the vein of the “Trapped in the Closet” spoof a few weeks back. While they’re certainly still cute, they lose a great deal of the originality of the first season’s music. In fact, while this song did have some clever lines and a catchy hook, what really sold it was the visual gags. Only Rebecca Bunch could belt about how instinctually nurturing she is while making a banana taco and cutting Tommy’s homework like an onion.
Ever since Steele Stebbins annoyed the living daylights out of me in Vacation, I’ve always dreaded that there would be an episode that focused on him. Thus far, he’s just lurked in the background of Paula’s scenes, waiting. However, I was shocked by how much chemistry he and Bloom had here. When she starts, all Rebecca knows about Tommy is that he’s “older than eight and younger than me.” She has no idea what to say to him, one minute proposing a Dora the Explorer binge and the next explaining to the boy that the difference between sex and porn is akin to “superhero movies and seventh grade.” Tommy just seems entertained by the whole thing, with Stebbins avoiding the unbearable brat persona he had in Vacation. Awkward as it may be, this relationship felt genuine enough that I would love to see them spend more time together.
Rebecca was lucky to have such a carefree sounding board as she formed her latest Josh Chan plan. See, goofy old Josh is under the weather, and Rebecca sends him some soup upon finding out with a rather verbose note. There’s a mixup, and Josh thinks that it was ms. eyebrows who sent him the soup. So we have all of our characters, Tommy included, meeting up at Spiders’ nightclub for some petrifying awkwardness. Rebecca almost instantly loses Tommy, and while she looks, Josh straight up embarrasses himself in front of Anna by posing as a mall model. Anna dumps Josh on the spot (see ya Britney Snow, thanks for nothing) and our dim-witted young man puts together that Rebecca was the one to give him the soup. This lead into “Duh,” a boy-bandish song that had Josh making stupid noises as he realized that Rebecca has been there for him the whole time. It was about as stupid as Josh himself.
Josh’s impulse to chase Rebecca came right in the middle of a moment of Reconciliation. Rebecca found both Tommy and Paula back at the house, and the two of them covered their asses with a rather flimsy science volcano story. It was so obvious, in fact, that I’m shocked Paula went for it. Personally, I think she just wanted to believe something positive happened. However, right when things were starting to ring false, Josh came running in, and things took on a whole new tone. Josh pours his heart out to Rebecca, telling her everything she’s wanted to hear from day one, and she tells him to leave. She’s not mad at him, but she’s realized that Paula needs her, earning her a full progress point. No small feet for her. She then comes clean about the lie, and Paula takes her back wholeheartedly for putting her friend first.
I have to say, I was right there with Paula in taking our looney friend back. After a few episodes of extremely grating behavior, we finally got to see the proactive side of Rebecca again. While she may be a bit too book-smart to have any genuine interactions with new people, she gave it her best shot here. She acted on behalf of somebody besides herself, a trend that continued in full force in the next episode.
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