What’s a girl to do when she’s stuck between men? It’s like she’s a Barbie with two perfect Kens.
Ok, this is just getting sad now. After realizing that she does, in fact, have feelings for Greg still, Rebecca found herself dealing with quite a quandary. Is it time to finally let the fantasy of a perfect romance with Josh go? After all, Greg is still right there, waiting to be settled for. Well, if the beginning of this episode is any indication, she’s not choosing anytime soon. We opened with a perfectly calculated mix of silly and tragic, in a goofy fantasy sequence where Rebecca gets to have her Josh and eat Greg too. If only it were as simple as having them arm wrestle over who gets to have sex that night. This goofy little world brought us into our first, and only song of the week – –
The Math of Love Triangles
Last week’s music was a very hard act to follow. All three songs were minor masterpieces in the show’s catalog. This episode was far more concerned with character beats, so this song was essentially thrown in as an extended intro sequence. With that said, it worked a lot better than some of the other filler songs. A tribute to the bubbly air headedness of Marilyn Monroe, the song had Rebecca (sounding like a baby Julie Andrews) singing about her plight while learning “book facts” about triangles from a group of professors. It was three minutes of triangle puns, old timey dance formations, and increasingly concerned academic extras. It really drove home Rebecca’s infantile thought process along with her inability to listen to any voice of objectivity. That said, it didn’t really give us any insight that we didn’t already know, and went on for just a hair too long. I really could’ve used this song while studying for the SAT, though.
The brunt of this episode dealt with signs, both literal and figurative. Desperate for any hints as to who she should choose, Rebecca took to the streets. A kid in a Karate outfit – – must be Josh. Wait, a bottle of liquor – – perhaps it’s Greg. This all was rather frustrating to Dr. Akopian (glad she’s back) who proposed that she simply should not be with anybody. After all, the textbooks don’t tell you how unhealthy love triangles are.
Then came quite a major fork in the road. Paula and Rebecca realize that it is time for their periods, but strangely enough, they haven’t started yet. As this scene began to play out, I could hear the blaring alarm running through my brain. What would Rebecca being pregnant mean for this season? So far, every single episode has completely changed the trajectory of the season, but this could be a linch pin that permanently alters the fabric of this show. Funnily enough, Rebecca agreed with me, leading to her most spectacular train wreck yet.
I was initially a little disappointed that we didn’t see more of the fallout from Rebecca and Josh’s argument last week, but this scene gave me everything I wanted and more. Rebecca attempted to give Josh the best sex of his life, but Josh found prenatal vitamins on the table. Rebecca went into a long rant about starting a family, before running into the bathroom for a moment. As she took a pee, the camera held on Vincent Rodriguez for an deliriously uncomfortable 15 seconds. We’ve seen the look on his face before when Rebecca told him she moved to West Covina for him, but now it was borderline catatonic. It just might be my favorite shot in the whole series so far. Fortunately for our commitment phobic friend, Rebecca’s period came to the rescue. After cheating us out of a song about period sex, Josh took this opportunity and ran with it, leaving Rebecca and asking to never see her again. Somehow, even though Rebecca realized herself that Josh was wrong for her, she still managed to let him slip away on his own. We’ve seen a similar set of falling dominos in this very room in the text emergency episode last season, but this scene threw all of the tension of that into one sequence. Absolutely brilliant.
Meanwhile, our old pal Greg is following some signs of his own. His father has decided to sell his house and has given Greg half of the money to go to college in Atlanta. Finally, Greg can leave West Covina and escape this whole mess without getting his heart broken. What a perfect time for him to run into the newly single Rebecca in the park, and agree to possibly reconcile their relationship. This fateful descent into dilution played a nice contrast to their heartfelt and honest confrontation last week. That scene took place at a small fountain in the pitch darkness, this one was in broad daylight on a quaint little bridge overlooking a river. The whole thing had a very When Harry Met Sally vibe, with two people who should just be friends (or better yet, not know each other at all) falling back into the same patterns that got them hurt. Rebecca decided to really make herself a cliche, asking Greg to meet her back on this bridge the next day if he wants to try things again. After all, there’s a nice mom and pop Olive Garden nearby.
It took a little pushing from his father and a literal sign indicating the danger of returning to Rebecca, but Greg ultimately decided to go to Atlanta to hang out with Donald Glover. This lead to a tender goodbye line as all of Greg’s friends bid him farewell. Major kudos to Vincent Rodriguez for not only the scene before but his anguish over losing his last true friend here. Although Greg and Josh have reconciled many times, this one really felt honest. Probably because they both realize that Rebecca is a garbage fire. Unfortunately that garbage fire catches wind of all this (come on Greg, don’t advertise this on Snapchat) and makes a mad dash for the airport, catching him right as he’s about to leave. Which begs the question – – what’ll it be Greg?
I really hope Greg leaves West Covina, at least for a while. While the dynamic between him, Josh, and Rebecca is a lot of fun, it’s starting to feel a little played out. It would be far more interesting to give us a little break from that and see Greg try to adjust to a more normal environment. He has deserved better this whole time, so let’s give it to him and see how Rebecca ultimately pulls him back in. Watching Josh cope without Greg would be fun too, especially now that his entire world has been torn apart.
While not nearly as strong as last week’s outing, this episode was a sharp commentary on the stupidity of love triangles. It proposed some really intriguing changes in direction for the story, I just hope that they’re committed to. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed that Rebecca isn’t pregnant, as that would have really been a game changer. Sure, it turns out that Paula is (just as she was making her way to law school), but that just seems to be a device to drive her further into the dirt. It’s time to add in some more variables to freshen things up a little bit, but if this episode is any indication, it looks like we’re getting there. In the meantime, I’ll pray for you, Greg.