“Where’s a woman’s pride without her man?”
After two seasons spent on the brink of a breakdown, Rebecca Bunch has finally snapped. Former dreamboat Josh Chan has left her at the altar and she has now made her life’s mission revenge. This is the turning point in the series’ planned four-season arc where we’ve been promised a deep dark dive into a broken women’s psyche with a barrel of laughs and songs along the way. Tonight’s season premiere tossed us right into the madness with one of Rebecca’s most degrading schemes yet, along with perhaps the most extravagant musical number we’ve seen so far.
The number in question, “Where’s Rebecca Bunch?”, opened the episode. Rebecca has mysteriously disappeared after her nuptial disaster and West Covina is abuzz about what could happen next. Before our eyes, the entire small town became a small village straight out of Beauty and the Beast, with the entire supporting cast dawning fancy period costumes. Combining the extravagance of the opening of a Disney movie with the intimacy of Rebecca’s hotel-locked downward spiral set the tone brilliantly. We know that the Rebecca we now see may as well have returned from the dead, while the rest of the cast has their own ideas of how she should be coping.
Once Rebecca did return, draped in her wedding dress, she and her new girl squad got straight to work. The Plan: Make a fake Rebecca/Josh sex tape in which “Josh” shouts “I hate Jesus!” as he finishes. It’s a catastrophic idea and Paula, Valencia, and Heather all know it. Normally, at least one of them is completely on board with Rebecca’s ideas, so seeing all three so deeply uncomfortable with the concept of Rebecca having real sex on tape with an Australian actor who exactly resembles Josh only amplified the cringe factor. While having Vincent Rodriguez III Nutty Professor himself to play this other Josh seemed like a silly idea at the outset, it ends up fueling a devastating revelation. Rebecca’s psychosis has hit a fever pitch. Even her revenge against Josh involves receiving a form of love and validation from somebody who looks just like him. This realization has stuck with and saddened me ever since the episode ended and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s a shame that she isn’t particularly interested in Nathaniel anymore since he’s frothing at the mouth for a bit of attention from her. As Rebecca points out herself, their power dynamic has flipped and that drives him crazy with desire. It seems inevitable that these two will end up as an item in some capacity but likely in the worst possible way. I suspect we’ll see that start to take shape soon, as Rebecca’s going to need a hell of a legal team to carry out her plan that ends the episode, which is suing Josh.
Meanwhile, some of the secondary relationships got a chance to evolve. Paula and Scott begin to really work through the issues caused by Scott’s infidelity while Darryl and White Josh got to hash out the “let’s have a baby” inkling we got at the end of last season. Seeing some complications finally arise between the show’s definitive healthy couple ended up making both characters richer. This is the first time I’ve liked Darryl in quite some time, his efforts to support White Josh’s protein bars made of Ants by wearing an anteater costume was infectiously adorable. We got more development in this single episode than we did from the entirety of season two and I’m holding out hope to see that continue. This show has such an incredible supporting cast and t’s about time that everybody got something really great to play with.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has returned with a vengeance and a noticeably darker, more uncomfortable tone. We got some stellar character beats here, along with some really strong jokes and two solid songs. That said, I do worry that we may lose a bit too much of Rebecca as she speeds towards rock bottom. Her strongest asset has always been her intellect. The idea that she isn’t just a delusional person, but one with the cunning to actually make her whims a reality. We end this episode with Rebecca laughing maniacally as she prepares to poop in a box headed for Josh’s doorstep, which is certainly delirious, but a little too over the top. If this is where we are now, I truly can’t fathom where we will be in a couple weeks. I am so happy that this show is back and cannot wait for another round of musical mania.