Season 3, Episode 4
Date of airing: November 3, 2017 (The CW)
Nielsen ratings information: 0.654 million viewers, 0.4/1 in Households, 0.2/1 with Adults 18-49, 0.2/1 with Adults 18-34, 0.2/1 with Adults 25-54
In which Rebecca lost almost all sense of herself and went on a rampage, destroying every relationship she has built over the past two years, almost quitting on life entirely, because she has come to the wrong realization that life is not giving her what she wants. It only took the show 35 episodes to get to this point, and now it was up to the writers whether they were interested in upending the original premise of the show and remove Josh from Rebecca’s life or if there is still hope for the two, right after Rebecca has gotten help and feels ready for a real relationship. Until then though, there is a lot of time for Rebecca to find out what her actual problems are, a lot of time to deal with those, and even more time to get better as a person, to learn how to live a normal life or maybe reboot your life. She already tried it when she moved to West Covina. Okay, that didn’t quite work out for her, but still, when she knows that everything is wrong with her, is it going to be the perfect opportunity to reboot her life again like it’s the Spider-Man franchise under Sony’s guidance?
This episode proved that the producers couldn’t do the show without the musical numbers. In a way there weren’t any in this episode, as I don’t consider “Scary Scary Sex Lady” a musical number (it was just a Bond opening credits parody mixing it up with the “Starring” segment from Screenjunkies’ Honest Trailers, which DEADPOOL also used), and “The End of the Movie” wasn’t much of a performance (and also had to be forced to be one with Josh Groban walking alongside Rebecca to sing to her). This episode could have been better without the musical numbers, and it does make me wonder if the writers and producers were arguing over that topic in the writers room — would they be able to go against the run of the show and not deliver a single song for this very important episode, or do they have to get a song into it, because it’s part of the show’s DNA, and besides that it makes some extra money? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for those discussions in the writers room, because I am almost sure they really happened.
The episode was quite unique. It felt different from the rest of the show, as it turned into a horror parody during its first half and then transformed into a story about a crazy woman on a rampage which only has one victim (the crazy woman herself) for the remainder of the hour, which is stuff the show hasn’t gone into before this episode. It must have been an hour hard to write, or maybe it was fun poking fun of a movie genre this time around, after it has been parodying various musical genres over the past two seasons. It’s almost like Rachel Bloom’s love for musical theater got lost for this very episode and she decided to turn to movie parodies. It was definitely an hour of television trying very hard to tell the audience that this show won’t ride on its initial premise for all of the episodes and that you will get to see some unexpected stuff. If CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND is about to reinvent itself after this episode though is unknown.
So, Rebecca went on a war path with her friends, and all of them came out with fresh wounds. Paula was seen as someone different after Rebecca told everyone what she did, Heather came to the realization that she is indeed something of a lazy person, White Josh and Darryl’s relationship is close to over after both found out that there won’t be a kid in this romance, and even Valencia learned a hard truth she may not have realized she has been suppressing. I don’t know if it is a cliche of the genre, but it was a little convenient that crazy Rebecca would not want to listen to her friends’ pleas for help and instead come with truth bombs, just to shock them into getting out of her way. It was convenient that no one could find Rebecca, when everybody kind of knew that she would probably go after Josh and that they might want to check up on him. It was convenient that Josh went through the horror movie tropes all by himself, when there could have been more drama in this episode if he had called his friends and if he had asked them to help him tell Rebecca to stay the hell away. It was also convenient to know that Rebecca would never do anything bad and evil to Josh or his mother, which means the whole confrontation between Josh and Rebecca at the fair was screaming for Rebecca to realize that she has been doing something awful, turning the whole story rather predictable.
But the thing is, Rebecca is finally allowed to be crazy, and certifiably so. Paula knew that Rebecca would be rock-bottom at the end of her journey, which means the next episode is going to begin with the most hurt and depressed and miserable and awful version of Rebecca the writers were able to create — from here on the question remains how long she will be in this state, and how much it will play into the mental illness premise of the show and Rebecca’s character arc. And how much her friends will stand behind her during all of this and who might even consider leaving her. Josh’s stance was pretty clear by the end, but people like Valencia and Nathaniel might think twice or thrice whether or not they want to stick with Rebecca and stay friends. Or whether they should also stick with Paula, after her dark secrets were revealed during the episode-opening delivery of destructive truth bombs.