Rebecca’s back, or well, theoretically she’s back. Right now, the ensemble has put on their Renaissance Faire costumes to pretend they’re the gossipy small town in Beauty and the Beast and wonder what happened to her and how she’ll recover from her latest disaster. Rebecca hasn’t been seen since Josh drove past the wedding venue and straight to the seminary. Bex will be so sad that she missed getting to play Belle!!
For her part, Bex has been taking advantage of the local bridal suite to sleep and cry 23 hours a day for the last 2 weeks. She finally pulls herself together, and heads to the drugstore for revenge supplies. She goes wearing the hotel bathrobe, knit cap, and slippers, but, y’know, baby steps.
Paula and Scott are working their way back from their separation and his infidelity. They have an ironclad, 12 step contract which ensures that all of their issues will be thoroughly worked through, dissected and brought into the light. Scott’s excited about the rule that gets him off the couch and back into the marital bed. Paula needs a little more time on that one.
At the office, someone has called a mysterious meeting in the conference room with the title “insidious business”. Rebecca does a big reveal of herself in a spinning leather chair, now with dark auburn vixen hair and an ironic 90s off the shoulder white power dress. She makes a villain speech, but I keep worrying that her heavy boobs are going to fall out of her dress every time she leans forward, so I only caught parts of it.
Nathan cuts the meeting short, so we move on to the real meeting, with the squad, and the révènge plan- the Chan Plan. Rebecca wants to send poop cupcakes to Josh.
White Josh is in Darryl’s office with him, having Darryl sample his latest protein bar recipe. This one is full of dead ant protein. Darryl finds a way to bring the idea around to parenthood and having a baby. Josh has had enough of the baby talk. He wants to get further with his ant bar business before he thinks about kids.
The squad doesn’t go for the poop-food idea, so Bex moves on the next idea. This one involves hiring a Josh-look-alike actor to make a fake porno, ruining Josh’s good name and shot at the priesthood. The squad decides to humor her until she realizes what a bad idea the “fake” porno is.
It’s time for the lie detector test that will determine if Scott gets to sleep in the bed again. Paula calls it the “Ring of Fire”. Paula gives him her worst, but Scott passes. Paula’s not completely thrilled, but they can’t talk about it now. She has to go to fake porno auditions.
The Josh clone auditions are frustrating, until an actual Josh clone walks in. You’d almost think it was the same actor, if you didn’t know that the guy who plays Josh is playing him at the seminary right now. He nails the audition and gets the job, even though he has an English accent.
Nathan jogs up to Rebecca’s to see if he can charge his phone there. Rebecca calls him on it, since he lives across town. She propositions him in some humiliating ways for a while instead. Let’s Have Intercourse plays and there’s a banana in his pants that says he’s happy to see her. Then Rebecca blows off Nathan, leaving him to his fantasies.
Paula and Scott finally go to bed together. Paula stops him and tells him to call her Tanya. After, she’s embarrassed.
Daryl is wearing a giant anteater suit and selling White Josh’s bars at Home Base. They’re selling well, but Josh is pissed that Darryl is trying to move his career along quickly so that Josh will be ready to have babies. Darryl calling the bars “cute” is enough to set Josh off. He’s so over this whole thing that he’s ready to try the couples therapy that Daryl suggested earlier.
While they’re setting up equipment for the fake video shoot, Paula tells Heather about her sex with Scott. Heather figures out that Paula is feeling insecure right now, so the only way that she can feel attractive is by pretending to be the harlot that Scott cheated on her with. Heather is ready to move on to her next career, and is deciding between life coach and mime. I think her face is too expressive to be a mime.
Rebecca and FakeJosh come out of their dressing rooms ready for the fake porno. Rebecca decided to go method and is nude. FakeJosh has on a towel, but wants a bagel. Rebecca starts convincing herself that the porno should be real, perhaps even condomless. Paula finally gives up on the idea that Rebecca will ever come to her senses on her own and back out of this porno idea.
Well, duh, Paula.
Paula gets rid of FakeJosh and talks some sense into Rebecca. Why on earth would she want to make a porno when it would ruin her own life as much or more than Josh’s?
And now we finally come down to it. Rebecca doesn’t care what happens to her. She hasn’t seen RealJosh in weeks. Even being near a FakeJosh would be something, and when RealJosh saw the porno he would see her.
Paula tells her that they’ll help her get revenge on Josh, but they won’t help her hurt herself at the same time. FakeJosh is as tone deaf as RealJosh, and chooses that moment to tell them he wants to tweak the script to make the character more sympathetic. He’s dragged out of the place.
Darryl and White Josh are seeing Dr Acopian, husband to Rebecca’s therapist, Dr Acopian. Her Yelp reviews are off the charts. He questions why they’re talking about anteaters. He clearly doesn’t understand the needs of the people of West Covina.
He does, however, provide a safe, neutral space for them to have the big argument that they’ve been needing to have. They’re both honest and get out everything they’ve been needing to say, without going too far and saying unforgivable things. Life goals, kids. Darryl realizes that he’s been going overboard with the baby stuff, and promises to back off. Whijo realizes that he’s been a little judgey and promises to lighten up. Hearts and flowers and birds circle their heads, and Mr Dr Acopian thinks that he needs to use his wife’s enchanted chair more often.
Best part of the conversation:
Darryl: Well, maybe I am an idiot. But you know what? This idiot has done more in two days with your idea than you’ve done in two years.
Darryl: This idiot co-owns a very successful law firm. Okay, successful law firm, and is a magnificent father. Now, look, I know that I got way out ahead of you with the baby, and I’m sorry, and I’ll stop it. But I’m a catch. Start acting like it.
Josh: (He’s been shaking his head no, at first, then yes, to more and more of Darryl’s statements. When Darryl says he’s a catch, it’s like a lightbulb goes off over his head.) You know what? You’re right. I’m sorry. Maybe I have been a little judgey of you. My friends all say that I’m judgey but I never listen to them or care what they say because they’re stupid idiots. I’m sorry, D.
The squad cleans up the porno set, then gets started on complaining about men in a song based on It’s Raining Men. This song isn’t the female-positive song and video that It’s Raining Men is, though. This song is actually an attack on women. Sung by a diverse group of women, in a show with a female creative team. WOW. WTF.
If you can’t complain about men without listing a bunch of disclaimers in every sentence after you’ve been left at the altar, then there’s no justice in this world, so this is kind of a weird time to use this song. I’m not sure there would ever be a good time. How many men were on that long list of men who’ve left her, that Rebecca recited at the end of last season? Every single one of the other women has also recently been hurt by her husband/boyfriend.
They’re not allowed to vent privately, at home? Did this suddenly become a different show, where, like the song says, only gay men are cool, and not even the women are viewed with sympathy? Just what did the showrunners have to promise the network to get a third season? Even more self-loathing? If this tone continues, they’re losing the three viewers in this household. I was already kind of nervous about a season based on ex-boyfriend revenge. Now it’s a woman-hating season based on ex-boyfriend revenge? Did Greg Berlanti take over?
Post-song, the ladies have gotten drunk. Valencia hasn’t been able to book another wedding planning gig since Josh walked out on Rebecca. She says she should sue him. Paula decides that Rebecca should sue Josh, and takes credit for the idea. Valencia feels invisible, and I agree. It was her idea, she deserves some credit, and maybe a case of her own. She should call a different lawyer.
Paula’s so excited about her idea that she goes home and seduces Scott. This time, she wants to be on top, and she wants to be called Paula. Scott breathes a happy sigh of relief.
WhiJo comes to Darryl’s office wearing the anteater costume. Darryl was right, the costume sells bars. And WhiJo will think about the baby.
Paula and Bex plan her lawsuit. Paula asks who Robert is. He was one of the men Rebecca listed in her terrible men list on the cliff. Bex says he was her dog, which is obviously not true. (He’s the Harvard professor she had an affair with, then comitted arson and had to leave Harvard over.) We’ll likely be meeting him in person before long.
Nathan’s lunch “date” comes into the room to show Bex what she looks like. Nathan hurries in to tell her he didn’t want her to be so obvious. It turns out she’s an actress he hired to prove to Bex that he can get a hot woman.
Later, at home, Rebecca puts the finishing touches on Josh’s poop cupcakes and gets them ready to mail. You didn’t really think she was going to let that one go, did you?
Paula’s sign, which functions as a support group oath. It’s pretty thorough, even though it skimps on her interiority:
I don’t know where Rebecca is. Stop asking me. After we agreed to destroy Josh Chan, Rebecca excused herself to pee, and I haven’t heard from her since. I do know she’s alive because she liked my ice bucket challenge video from 3 years ago.
Mrs Hernandez is still speaking.
I still miss Greg. His intelligence, warmth and reasonableness haven’t been replaced. He was the only sane man. Now nobody’s sane. There’s nobody to talk Rebecca down when Paula’s going along with the crazy. I need him to come back, work as the new accountant for Scott’s company and join Scott’s barbershop quartet, slowly winning Paula over with how healthy he is now. He can be Scott’s new bestie, and be considering dating the dreaded Tanya. Paula decides that he and Bex would make a great couple after all. No way is Tanya hanging around her house. As a matter of fact, Tanya and Josh would be perfect for each other.
But, this episode also shows us why Greg had to leave town for a while. Rebecca has to learn to stand on her own, without a man, or her job, or her mother defining who she is. She has an unstable core personality, and as long as there’s someone or something strong and stable to lean on, she’ll never be forced to look within herself and develop that inner strength and confidence. I’m waiting for Paula to realize just how self-loathing and close to suicidal Bex is.
At times during this episode, it seems like Rebecca’s turning into Audra Levine, except Audra Levine remembered to keep that sh*t at work and be a person in real life. Or maybe she’s turning into her mother, Naomi, bitter, bitter, bitter. Rebecca won’t be able to keep it up long-term though. At least I hope not.
I knew Darryl and WhiJo were going to need to go through a rough patch. The honeymoon couldn’t last forever. Still America’s most well-adjusted couple. WhiJo’s a sucker for confident reasonableness. I bet he had a crush on Greg in high school.
As vegetarians, we can’t get behind the ant bars. As someone who’s had an affinity for ants since she was two, Metamaiden is horrified at the thought of eating them. If anyone wants to listen, she’ll be happy to explain the amazingness of ant cultures to you.
Metamaiden adds to the comments on Let’s Generalize About Men: It is a simple fact that men around the globe have violently oppressed and abused women for thousands of years. They have raped us and beaten us and murdered us and enslaved us. They have denied us knowledge, acceptance, and connection with ourselves and each other. Modern men and women are still socialized into these patterns. Yet somehow, it’s taking one bad thing about one man and generalizing it to all of them to say that they are, in general, pretty sh*tty. It’s funny how when we say “Dogs are excitable” we don’t stop to say “But not all dogs – it’s just a general statement, I don’t mean to include all those dogs who, for medical or abuse reasons, aren’t like that.”
I’ll start putting the disclaimers after “men” when I see disclaimers consistently used after “women” “white women” “young women” “Muslim women” “black women” “Hispanic women” “Asian women” “elderly women” “Democratic women” “Republican women” “working class women” “upper middle class women” “immigrant women” or any other kind of woman. Where is the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song about that?
When the cultural myth stops being promoted that all white women voted for Trump, and no people of color did, then we’ll talk about disclaimers. (Metacrone)