After the last two tumultuous episodes, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend settles down a bit this episode. That’s not to say that Rebecca’s life settles down, though not for lack of trying by her mom, Naomi. Despite Rebecca’s severely depressed state of mind, this episode felt more like the show I love to watch. The end of the episode reached the conclusion that, if we’re honest, we all know we’ve been heading toward since the pilot.
Rebecca has been staying on her mom’s pull out couch since last weekend. Naomi, played by the ever glorious Tovah Feldshuh, has had enough of Rebecca’s lying around. She attempts to get Rebecca to go back to her life by using all of the usual methods, including shaming, hovering and controlling.
Rebecca refuses to do anything for herself, so Naomi takes over everything. She decides that Rebecca will stay in NY, get her old job back, and pick up where she left off. Because all of that worked out worked out so well the first time. Rebecca accepts this news with what has become her standard response- lying on the couch, sleeping, or staring at the walls or the TV.
Back in West Covina, Rebecca’s larger than life personality has left a Rebecca-shaped hole in the lives of her friends and coworkers. If Rebecca were healthy enough to see how much everyone cares about her, she’d be absolutely shocked.
Nate is still sleeping in Bex’s bed, with her alligator body pillow, when the Move On, Dude moving dudes show up to put Rebecca’s things in storage. In Scarsdale, NY. Nathan can’t accept that she’s gone forever, and keeps the pillow, which he brings with him to work.
Maya wonders if Nathan’s a furry. It’s a controversial subject. Most relevantly, alligators have scales, so Nathan is, in fact, a scaley, which is much more manly than a mere furry. 😉 And he’s only involved with the alligator as part of his relationship with Rebecca, so it’s a menage à scales. He can quit the scales anytime, ok? He and the scales are just comforting each other because they miss Rebecca! Then it’s back to the skin.
Darryl and Maya try to have a talk, because they both miss Rebecca so much. But, Maya descends into Millennial speak and only someone on the other end of a #phone or #laptop can understand her.
Naomi faxes Rebecca’s resignation to Whitefeather. Rebecca is so depressed that she doesn’t even care. Everyone at Whitefeather falls even deeper into despair.
Paula stays in bed all morning watching a Facebook video about her friendship with Rebecca. Facebook picked their best ones for their Friendiversary. Scott wants to cheer Paula up, so he bribes the boys into a game of Fancy Fairy Funhomes, complete with fairy wings and crowns. They normally never want to play it with Paula, because they have those stupid penises. Paula loves it, and the boys get into the game, a sort of souped up version of Candy Land.
Nathan asks his dad’s office to send a replacement lawyer over. Darryl, Maya and Jim are way too excited about having a new Rebecca. They jump into the middle of the relationship, acting as if they’ve already known Cornelia for months, completely turning her off. She’s a nice person, but a by-the-book professional.
Darryl wants to have personal conversations about his relationship with WhiJo and whether they should have a baby, Jim wants to flirt and consider an affair, and Maya wants to have a close mentor/gal pal relationship.
None of them had these relationships with Rebecca in real life, save for her occasionally taking a few minutes to be perceptive in the middle of one of her ongoing crises. They all want the fantasy Rebecca they created, as much as she wanted her fantasy Josh. The thing is, she could be that person, if she slowed down and got over her issues. It’s that possibility that keeps them coming back for more.
Real life Rebecca has been spending a lot of time on her computer, telling Naomi that she’s working on her resume. Naomi sneaks a peak while Rebecca’s asleep, and discovers that Rebecca’s researching suicide methods instead. She deflates, going from hopeful to devastated in moments. Tovah Feldshuh’s sick face and slightly shaky stillness portrays the feelings any parent would have.
Naomi quickly comes up with a plan of action. She wakes Rebecca up with a strawberry milkshake in hand. The real kind, not fat-free, dairy-free, whatever, since Rebecca hasn’t eaten in a few days. Then she lavishes attention and love on Rebecca, with no judgement, for probably the first time that Rebecca can remember.
Darryl, Maya and Jim start to cross a line in their bids for attention. Darryl wants Cornelia to touch his luxurious mustache. Maya asks her to go to a vagina refresh seminar. Jim won’t let her pass him in the hall. Cornelia starts to get creeped out.
Nathaniel is thrilled with Cornelia’s work. He’s finding her professionalism hard to take, though. He’s used to odd moments of abuse or insanity to go along with his Ivy League caliber legal work. It keeps the office interesting.
Naomi continues to ply Rebecca with milkshakes, food, and her loving, undivided attention. Rebecca wants to buy into it and believe that it’s real. Maybe she’s not such a heinous b*tch after all.
Audra Levine cameo! Audra performs her usual function of bringing Rebecca back down to reality, in a not too terrible way. Audra should really stick around, or transfer more of her power to Valencia, who has definite potential in this direction.
Since she’s Rebecca’s alter-ego, she’s the one person who knows exactly how Bex is feeling: like she wants to die. Audra also immediately figures out that Naomi is up to something, and tells Rebecca that if Rebecca doesn’t know what it is, Naomi’s plan is working. Uh oh. Rebecca denies the truth to Audra, but it eats away at her once Audra’s gone.
After Paula’s mental health day off is over, she and Scott decide to take a few more days off and go to the resort in Palm Springs that Whitefeather’s representing in a case. The resort’s owners like Paula and offered to let her stay anytime. Might as well take a family vacation now.
Cornelia and Nathan are busy working on the Palm Springs resort case at the office. Darryl, Maya, and Jim have reached a new level of stalking Cornelia in the break room, and arguing like children over who’ll she’ll sit with. Cornelia’s becoming frightened. Nathaniel takes pity on her and asks her to go to the resort with him to do research.
Once Rebecca gets a few minutes alone while Naomi is soaking in the tub, she searches for evidence of her mother’s motives. It doesn’t take long to find the hidden bottle of anti-anxiety meds, and then to match the color of the pill coating to the residue in the bottom of her milkshake. Mom’s been roofying her drinks.
Rebecca confronts Naomi about medicating her without consent. She’s realized that she’s only been feeling better because of the medication. Naomi explains that she saw Rebecca’s suicide websites and felt that she had to do something. She reminds Rebecca that they’ve been down this road before, when Rebecca attempted suicide in college and tried to burn down Robert’s house. Then Rebecca refused help both times. She just wanted to calm Rebecca down enough to convince her to go away somewhere and get help this time.
All Rebecca has to hear are the words “go away” and the discussion is over. To her, going away somewhere means being committed to an old-fashioned asylum. Naomi makes it worse by calling Rebecca “dramatic” instead of addressing her fear of being locked away for years. Unlike Rebecca’s friends in California, who didn’t have the right to make the decisions they made, especially based on the evidence they had, Naomi does know much more of Rebecca’s history in a much deeper way.
We just saw that Rebecca would be willing to listen to her, if she was being fair. But Naomi can’t get past her own judginess, and can’t seem to consider modern alternatives for mental health treatment. Rebecca could go to an out-patient program at a hospital in town, or she could see her own therapist every day. She could alternate individual and group therapy sessions run by a private therapist. There are other options besides inpatient treatment. For that matter, inpatient treatment tends to be along the lines of a week these days, not months or years. Just long enough to get the patient’s medication regulated and determine a treatment plan. No insurance company wants to pay for someone to be committed long term. Sometimes it’s actually kind of scary how fast people are churned back out again, even when they’ve checked themselves in, begging for help. And it’s generally impossible for friends or relatives to force an adult to commit themselves. Which is why Naomi is so scared.
Nathan and Cornelia discuss the lawsuit with a manager at the resort. The resort owner was inspired by Brazil, but never went there because he’s afraid to fly. He wanted mountain views in the swim up bar, but couldn’t test them himself, because he’s afraid of the water. Nathan and Cornelia both quickly volunteer to swim up to the bar and take some photos of the view.
That kind of sacrifice is all in a day’s work for the employees of Whitefeather and Plimpton. They’d probably be willing to have several drinks and take photos as the sun sets, just to make sure the full experience is documented. They’re that dedicated to their clients.
Once they’re in the water, they find that the mountain view is indeed marginal. Nathaniel finds that he can’t take how professional Cornelia is any more, especially now that she’s in a modest bathing suit, acting appropriately. He breaks down in tears, faux-praising Cornelia the whole time. Just then, the rest of Rebecca’s fan club of stalkers arrives, having decided that they were needed for this assignment as well. Cornelia’s figured out by now that this isn’t about her, and the attention isn’t flattering any more. She does get her flirt on with a hot bartender for a minute.
Cornelia makes her way out of the pool and the Whitefeather office, planning her harassment suit as she goes. Now she can open her custom yoyo business with the settlement. I have no doubt it’ll be a success. That woman handled anything and everything that was thrown at her calmly and gracefully, and still did her work well and on time. Then she bought a bathing suit, wore it in front of her boss, and sang and danced with a huge Carmen Miranda hat on. In public. She can do anything.
Paula, the office mama, has been at the resort pool for a while, watching this debacle unfold. She goes over to yell at them all, but gets distracted by Jim’s abs and Nathan’s tears. She ends up in a poolside counseling session instead.
Darryl decides that he and WhiJo need to go on a hallucinatory vision quest in a yurt to decide the baby issue once and for all. This is why people joke about California.
Nathan and Paula agree to try to move on with their lives, even though they’ll always love Rebecca. They both just want her to be happy. This would be why Nathan has to be the OTP, not Josh. Josh has never actually put the wellbeing of someone else before himself. Nathan and Rebecca are both able to do that, so they’ll eventually be able to have a relationship with equal give and take.
Naomi discovers that Rebecca has left home. Her goodbye note reads: I know you did your best. Don’t worry about me. I’m ok.
Yikes. Not what a mom wants to see.
Rebecca has gotten on a flight from NY to LA, still wearing the track suit she was wearing all day. She asks the flight attendant to have the plane drop her off in a corn field somewhere, since she’s alienated everyone, and has no home. The flight attendant suggests she buy another ticket when they get to LA, but Rebecca answers:
“The thing is, I’m just too tired to buy things or do things or get things or say things or face things.”
That is one of the best descriptions of depression that I have ever heard.
The flight attendant offers her a glass of wine, probably hoping it will relax Rebecca so that she can nap. Rebecca takes out the bottle of anti-anxiety meds, and notices that she has a large handful of them in the bottle. And that they cause drowsiness. A painless way to go. She downs all of the pills with the glass of wine, then falls asleep.
A while later, Rebecca is blurring in and out of consciousness. She sees the red Help button above her head. It fuzzes into the word Hope. Something in her decides to take one more chance at life, and she pushes the button. When the flight attendant asks if everything is okay, Rebecca says she needs help, and holds out the empty medication bottle.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Call 24/7): 1-800-273-8255
The shots of Rebecca and Nathaniel match when the moving guys come to pack up her stuff. How depressed is Nathaniel, and what other issues does he still need to work on?
Tovah’s rocking the outfits this episode. Kudos both to her and whoever picks her clothing. She looks fabulous.
Paula calls Rebecca “Cookie” because they shared a giant round cookie and cut it into wedges like a pizza.
Maya’s sources tell her the new girl is a femme-identifying cis-gendered woman. So, a woman.
When Naomi checked it, Rebecca’s laptop was open to an article on the most pain-free methods of suicide. Kids, I’m going to dispute that getting hit by a train is pain-free. Don’t try this at home.
Nathaniel’s dad loves a good fax so much that, according to Cornelia, the employees mostly communicate with each other that way in the downtown office. Picture long lines at the fax machine to fax each other memos instead of talking, texting, or emailing. Or a fax machine by every desk, taking extra time and paper to send every message. Downtown isn’t a totally sane place either.
Audra brings Rebecca a casserole, as one does for a funeral. They are still archrivals, after all.
The medication is called dolspirone, which is a made up drug, as far as I can tell. That seems like the responsible choice for the show. No need to give out more thorough suicide instructions than necessary.
When Rebecca was searching Naomi’s house, she went straight to that odd little cabinet, instead of her mom’s purse or desk. Is that one of Naomi’s favorite hiding places?
Rachel Bloom looks like a severely depressed person in this episode, with the puffy face, bruised and half open eyes, general sluggishness, and flat affect, with little to no reaction to anything. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an actor’s whole face take on those characteristics so completely. Congratulations to Rachel and whoever else helped pull that off. It was scary real.
Maya has the cutest bathing suit.
It’s not surprising that this would be the “rock bottom” episode after the manic nature of the last two episodes. Rebecca was frantically avoiding herself and driving away everyone who might make her look at herself. She was in a spiraling frenzy.
The show has foreshadowed another suicide attempt since Naomi’s mention of Rebecca’s first suicide attempt in a phone message in the pilot. Since then she’s exploded her life more than once, but always managed to pull it back. Without Greg, she hasn’t had anyone to catch her with love and a lack of judgement. She’s skated closer and closer to the edge, burning down her apartment, coming close to having terrible things done to Josh’s family, and literally almost throwing herself off the cliff at the wedding venue.
So, where do we go from here? Does she get treatment, do the work, and take the meds? Is the next phase of the show about a woman who’s dealing with her demons? Who faces up to the hurt she’s caused, the lies she’s told, the embarrassment she feels, and learns how to live through it and keep going? Who starts to react in her old unhealthy way, but then has to figure out what a healthy person would do? (WWaHPD?)
Rebecca was looking out the plane windows longingly, as if she was looking for her dream ghosts to come and help her out. She needed that comfort and advice, to be shown that people still care about her, and all isn’t lost. But her depression was too strong to allow the dream ghosts through this time. It’s going to take more than some divas and a bandaid. She needs to accept the outside help.