Welcome to the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2 Finale. Things just got a little more “Ex” and a hell of a LOT crazier. This episode definitely answered its title question, Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith? I don’t think anyone saw the answer we got coming, though.
The previously on… reminds us that Josh called Rebecca weird when he broke up with her at the end of camp, and that she’s always felt that marrying Josh would make her problems magically go away. He’s not just the person who makes her feel loved. He’s the arbiter of normal. If Josh says she’s normal, then she’s not crazy or weird.
We find Rebecca sitting on her couch texting her dad. It’s word for word the same as her first text to Josh when she arrived in West Covina. She’s hoping to spend time with him before the wedding. Paula arrives with Rebecca’s wedding veil, which she’s made for Rebecca. They take a second to marvel over the fact that Rebecca managed to nab Josh Chan. Then they duet on a punk metal song called What a Rush to Be a Bride. There might be a bit of underlying panic and anxiety in the room. They go back to cooing over wedding accessories.
The wedding is in three days and Josh can’t wait for it to all be over with. Because he can’t wait to start their lives together, of course. Because what they’ve been doing up until now is something different from living life. Bex reminds him that the wedding will be nice, too, because of family, and tradition, and all of those things that have worked out so well for Rebecca in the past. Her dad will walk her down the aisle and they’ll be sprinkled with magical fairy dust and healed. She blames herself for his neglectful behavior over her entire life, but figures that he’ll stick around now that she has achieved normalcy and is appropriately lovable, as evidenced by Josh being able to love her.
Just then, her father texts her that he can’t see her until the rehearsal dinner, even though they are in the same town, and he’s there for her wedding. Rebecca and I have the same father, in terms of being emotionally withholding. Sometimes I want to shake her out of her delusions. It’s too bad that she doesn’t have siblings, so that she could see him treat them the same way. It’s easier to see that it’s not your fault if everyone is getting the same treatment, more or less.
Rebecca makes excuses for her father, reassures herself that he won’t abandon her, and that Josh won’t abandon her. She’s happy! Happy! She puts on the veil and looks at herself in the mirror, remembering her law school boyfriend, Robert. She accidentally says his name out loud, which gets Josh’s attention. Rebecca says Robert is a client.
Josh’s bachelor party is at Home Base, of course. Josh asks Daryl about Robert, but Daryl doesn’t know what he’s talking about. WhiJo tells Daryl that Bex and Josh shouldn’t be getting married to each other or anyone else. Then he drops the bomb that he’s not into marriage. Daryl is blindsided and not happy. Called that one a while back. I knew Josh wasn’t as into the relationship as Daryl.
WhiJo: Just not big into marriage in general, you know that.
Daryl: No, I don’t know that. That’s not a thing that I know.
WhiJo: Oh, yeah, no. It’s just not my thing. Most people end up getting divorced. I mean, you got divorced. I don’t know. Having kids I get, but getting married makes no sense to me.
Daryl takes a sip of his beer, and looks like he’s just taken on a challenge, in that gentle Daryl way of his. He was probably already picking out rings and honeymoon spots.
Josh and Father Brah discuss Father Brah’s engagement to Jesus. The relationship has been so great overall that Father Brah doesn’t mind missing out on sex. Josh brings up Robert again, but Father Brah doesn’t know any Robert’s either. Is it really that unusual of a name on the West Coast?
It’s time for the rehearsal dinner. Valencia is definitely rocking her wedding planner black pants suit, and loving her headset and mic. Heather has a matching headset and mic, but she’s slightly confused every time Valencia uses it. Please have them continue to be in business together as wedding planner and assistant next season. Valencia should make Heather wear her headset 24/7. And always speak in code.
Paula arrives and tries to head off a disaster by making sure Rebecca isn’t expecting too much from her father. She tells Rebecca about a bookmark she used to have that said, “The best predictor of the future is the past.” Rebecca thanks Paula for her care and wisdom, but tells her that she’s dead wrong, and then throws herself at the Westchester Sperm Machine.
Josh and Sperm Machine finally meet. Naomi takes the opportunity to remind Silas that he’s divorced for a second time. Rebecca asks Silas if he’ll do a father/daughter dance with her at the reception, and practice choreo for it beforehand. Silas says yes, so he must love her now.
Josh asks Silas about Robert. Silas knows the name, and that Robert has something to do with Rebecca switching from Harvard to Yale law school, but that’s it.
Rebecca and her dad go to their dance lesson. He takes the opportunity to bond through asking her for money to pay for her half brother’s braces, even though her father has kept her completely separate from his second family. Rebecca needs an emergency appointment with Dr Akopian. Dr Akopian tries to reassure Rebecca that her father is the one at fault, not Rebecca. Her relationship with him has created a pattern of pursuing unavailable men in her life, like Josh, Greg and probably other men.
Rebecca flashes back again to her memories of Robert. He was a married professor at Harvard who promised to leave his wife for Rebecca, but then broke up with her instead. She calls out to Robert, but doesn’t remember doing it. Dr Akopian tells her she had a dissociative episode. Rebecca becomes frantic, worried that her father will leave town before the wedding. She rushes off to find her father and beg him to stay. Her normalcy depends on it.
Josh asks Naomi about Robert. Naomi goes on high alert. This wedding was all her scheme to begin with, after all. She tells Josh that Robert was Rebecca’s dog who got sick and died. Josh is to keep quiet on the subject, get his act together, and stay focused on the wedding.
Rebecca charges into her father’s room with an odd assortment of travel supplies, gifts, an apology for being herself, and a check for the money he asked for. Silas is touched and wants to forget about the past. He’ll walk her down the aisle and they’ll start fresh.
On the day of the wedding, Josh is having second thoughts. Father Brah arrives to take him to the venue. He suggests that Josh talk to Rebecca about his questions. He points out that Josh tends to turn to a new girl when problems arise, but he didn’t this time. Josh says he’ll find Rebecca.
Rebecca’s at the beachside wedding venue. She stands outside and sings Rebecca’s Reprise, a mash-up of You Stupid Bitch, The Villain in My Own Story, I Love My Daughter (But Not in a Creepy Way) and We’ll Never Have Problems Again. She believes that all of her wrongs are about to be righted, and all of her dreams are about to come true. No pressure.
Josh is still at Rebecca’s house. He’s in his wedding suit, looking at himself in the mirror, and talking himself into going to the venue to talk to Rebecca and get married. The guitar part of Greg’s season 1 song I Could If I Wanted To plays in the background, which can’t mean good things for Rebecca and Josh’s future. Father Brah pointed out that Josh would normally have broken off the wedding by now, which has given Josh permission to start thinking about it more seriously. He could if he wanted to.
Trent shows up at the door with the Time Bomb McGuffin of Rebecca Bunch’s Past. Josh takes it to Sara the assistant basketball coach to discuss. He feels like she’s so calming and wonderful. He realizes that he’s doing that thing that Father Brah says he always does.
Josh takes off for the wedding. When he arrives at the wedding venue, he keeps on driving straight through the parking lot. He’s still carrying around Rebecca’s Past. He drives all the way to San Luis Obispo and Father Rodrigo. He’s decided to marry Jesus instead of Rebecca. He throws out the envelope and knocks on Father Rodrigo’s door. He’d like a God t-shirt in size large, please.
Rebecca and Paula are in the dressing room, waiting for the signal that everyone else is ready to begin the wedding. Valencia and Heather come in to tell her about Josh. Then Father Brah steps into the room. He just got off the phone with Josh, who isn’t coming to the wedding. Every woman in the room immediately figures out that Josh left Rebecca for someone else. They think it’s Sara, the assistant basketball coach. Instead, Josh left Rebecca for another man. One who won’t even have sex with him. And who has a lot of inflexible rules. It’s hard to see that going well.
Rebecca swoons for a minute, then heads for the cliff side. She’s contemplating suicide. Everyone follows her. Rebecca lists all of the men who’ve left her, including Robert. Paula wonders who Robert is. Rebecca flashes back to that time that Robert left her. She burned his things and was arrested for arson. (Remember when she burned down her apartment after Greg and Josh left?) Robert got a restraining order against her. Since she was a student at Harvard, the same college he taught at, she was forced to drop out. Naomi quotes lines from the season 2 theme song during Rebecca’s trial: “She’s just a girl in love. She can’t be held responsible for her actions.” The judge agrees to strike the arson conviction from her record if she gets mental health treatment. She replies that she doesn’t need treatment, she “has no underlying issues to address.” Another line from the theme song, which wasn’t played this episode. Then we see Rebecca outdoors at a mental hospital, taking her medication. The nurses comment that she sings to herself all day.
Back in the present day, Rebecca swoons again, but Paula catches her. Rebecca blames herself again, but Paula looks her in the eyes and tells her that it’s not her, it’s all of the men who mistreated her and left her, starting with her garbage father. They both turn to look at Silas, who decides he doesn’t have to stand around and be insulted. 💩 Like every man of his kind, Silas has little self-awareness and no sense of irony. I’m going to go find Naomi and get drunk at the bar. We’re both doing that hacking/puking thing again. Hopefully Silas will leave before we’re drunk enough to muster up some pitch forks. He won’t have the help of Nathaniel’s private plane, though. Nathan’s auditioning for the girl group, or the garbage fathers group, so he tells Silas to find his own way home.
Rebecca tells Silas that he should leave. She says to take his check and get out. She never wants to see him again. He calls her crazy. Rebecca has denied being crazy in every single one of the 30 episodes that came before this one. It was right there, in both opening theme songs. She’s denied it over and over within the episodes themselves. She and Paula bonded in the pilot over Paula convincing her that she wasn’t crazy for moving to West Covina the way she did. She denied being crazy in this episode, a few minutes ago. But this time, she gathers herself together and says, “a little bit.”
Who wants to be normal anyway? It’s boring and overrated.
Paula jumps right back in. Valencia and Heather have also been right there with them the whole time.
Paula: Listen, we are going to make Josh pay. I promise you. I will help you. We’ll TP his house, we’ll hack his Facebook. We’ll key his car.
Rebecca: No, no, no. We can’t do any of those things.
Paula: Why not?
Rebecca: Because they’re not enough. Because Josh Chan must be destroyed.
Paula: What did you have in mind?
Rebecca’s eyes are frightening by the end. Paula’s voice goes sultry. They’re back to doing what they love. I wish they hadn’t announced it in front of the wedding guests, but maybe the wind was loud enough that no one else could hear them. [ETA: Aline Brosh McKenna said in an interview that no one else could hear them.] Part of me feels bad for Josh, but, seriously, he didn’t even talk to her himself. He made Father Brah tell Rebecca the wedding was off, the coward. How many times has he led her on, and then dropped her, over the course of two seasons? And he keeps telling himself that he’s a nice guy, that she’s the weird one, so it’s not his fault. Josh could stand to be confronted with his own behavior in a more meaningful way than just having Father Brah point out that it exists. Rebecca certainly has to deal with the consequences of her behavior. Everyone calls her on it and punishes her for it. But Josh skates through life with little to no consequences. He hardly ever even gets a stern look, beyond WhiJo getting a bit judgey.
Daryl watches WhiJo being cute with Madison at the wedding. He tells WhiJo that he’s okay with WhiJo’s attitude about marriage. They can just have a baby instead. Whijo looks around for the exits. Or at least thinks about it for a second.
Paula: It’s all just hot glued, and it can fall apart at any second so don’t, don’t, na, na, na, na. [Paula tells us the theme of the episode.]
Josh: Usually you refer to him as the Garbage Father or the Westchester Sperm Machine.
Father Brah: Usually when you get upset you run to the nearest pretty girl like Ben Affleck runs to the nearest role with a Boston accent…You find the pretty girl, and you imagine that being with her is going to solve all of your problems, but right now, you’re not doing that, you’re thinking it through.
Valencia: Josh, the Eagle. What’s his 20? Heather: Okay, ‘where is he?’ has fewer syllables than ‘what’s his 20?’ Just sayin’. Oh, Josh is here. I mean the Eagle has landed at something hundred hours. I don’t know army time. He’s pulling in right this second. Valencia: Great. Get him to the suite, ASAP. Heather: The Eagle is approaching. He doesn’t look that great. Hey Josh! Okay, Eagle is not responding. Eagle is not stopping. And Eagle is gone. [Josh decides that Jesus and the priesthood will sub in for his latest pretty girl.]
WhiJo’s energy is always so cool, in the sense of being emotionally detached, rather than hip. I think he does love Daryl, but he’s got some commitment issues. He’s always so cynical about people, even though he’s a loyal, caring friend. I’m guessing that next season we’ll explore his past and issues more, and his relationship with Daryl will get more focus. Something about his past must tie in with the theme of being angry about how you’ve been abandoned and neglected by the people who said they loved you and/or are supposed to love you. I wonder if WhiJo was an abused/neglected child, had a crazy ex, or was a crazy ex. There’s also that very pointed preference for older men. Is WhiJo a member of the garbage fathers group, too? It would be great if we’d get further exploration into how neglect, abuse, and abandonment affects both sons and daughters, without taking the focus off of the girls. Considering having a baby would bring all of that up for WhiJo.
I spent several episodes this season begging for Father Brah to come back and counsel Josh. Halfway through this episode, I started thinking maybe Josh needed Greg to come back, instead, to talk him through the current crisis. Father Brah’s relationship with Jesus really didn’t prepare him completely for relationship counseling. Jesus is an unrealistically forgiving and understanding partner. Kind of perfect, really. Most people can’t live up to that example. Unless you want to have sex, or children, or an income. Then Jesus isn’t the best choice of partner.
Playing I Could If I Wanted To is a subtle way of reminding us of Greg, and telling us, and Josh, what Greg’s advice would be. Josh could be responsible and go through with the wedding, but does he want to? Is it the right thing for him, and for Rebecca, in the long run?
Dr Akopian also brings up Greg’s name, in her list of unavailable men. In Greg’s defense, he wasn’t unavailable in the same way that the others were. Greg picked Rebecca before she picked him, because he has similar issues with his mother as she does with her father. He could see that Rebecca would be emotionally unavailable to him. He was self-aware enough to know that he tended to go for that. He was reasonably available to her, aside from his alcoholism, until she hurt him so many times that he gave up and tried to close himself off in order to protect himself. But he was actually in love with her, and admitted it right up until the end. Rebecca drove him away and created his distance, because she was so obsessed with Josh.
When Rebecca runs outside to the cliffs, Hector’s mother covers his eyes as the bouncing breasts fly by. Josh’s parents figure out immediately that Josh has run out on the wedding, and aren’t surprised at all.
Rebecca’s mother refers to a suicide attempt in the pilot, but they’ve never brought it up again. I expected it to be explicitly mentioned in this episode, but if it was, I missed it. Maybe they’re going to wait to explore it in more depth in her sessions with Dr Akopian next season. We may well see a Rebecca who is spiraling between deep depression and extreme anger, so that we can explore her past fully. The depression is a reason to dig deeply into the past, and the anger causes season 3 shenanigans.
I wonder if we’ll have a time jump, to get Josh into school, Rebecca through her early catatonic depression, and maybe get Greg closer to his degree. I will never give up hope for Greg’s return until the credits roll on the series finale. Even then, I’ll watch for a post-credits tag. Or a webisode.
Is Rebecca really going to torment a priest? Or a candidate for the priesthood anyway, or whatever his official title would be? The exorcism jokes will write themselves.
What will the continuity be between the episode titles next season? “This week I’m going to destroy Josh by…” Hmmm, too long. This is why my titles are all boring, I suck at sound bites. “How much will Josh suffer when…” “Josh hates it when…” That last one is getting closer.
This post is so long because we thought we could combine the season-long meta post with the season finale recap. It didn’t work. We’re already writing more CEGF meta, so there will be more season and character analysis posts to come.