Recap: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Episode 8 (Winter Finale): “My Mom, Greg’s Mom and Josh’s Sweet Dance Moves!” – The CW, original airdate Mon. 11/30/15
(For all Crazy Ex recaps, click here.)
Tonight’s episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was the winter finale … it’ll on hiatus for a while (and I’ll update this blog once I know when it’s back). The good news is that the CW has ordered additional episodes — it’s a hit! — so it’s just a waiting game now. 🙂 Tonight we met Greg’s mom, saw just how manipulative (and, er, horny) Rebecca’s mom can be, witnessed a few of Josh’s sweet dance moves (not enough, IMO), and saw just how great life would be if Paula were British.
There were 3 separate storylines here, and they really didn’t intersect much, so for the sake of brevity (HAHAHA, like I EVER keep things short and sweet) I’m just going to cover all 3 separately, rather than giving a blow-by-blow of the episode as it ran.
The main storyline: Rebecca and her mom. My GOD, you guys, her mom. Wow. It’s all fictional, yet I still feel bad for Rebecca whenever I see her interact with this woman. Mom comes to visit for Hanukkah, and Rebecca readies her apartment by feverishly ripping down the Christmas decor, and adding a lovely pic of her mom, along with some Hanukkah swag. (Or is it Hanukah — or Chanukah? She got 3 banners, all with different spellings.) Rebecca’s definitely a mom-pleaser, despite her insistence to Paula that she isn’t. She’s wearing pantyhose (because she doesn’t want her mom to “kvetch” about it), and asks Paula not to tell her mom anything about Josh; Paula agrees but reminds Rebecca she’s not going to magically change to please her mom, and Rebecca shouldn’t either.
When mom shows up, she sings a passive-aggressive, complaint-ridden song about Rebecca. “Where’s the bathroom?” she asks, and launches into a musical act filled with backhanded compliments.
Mom doesn’t understand why Rebecca moved to California — she’s not a fan — and gave up her NY life. She could be working in a skyscraper with Audra Levine! Mom visits Whitefeather, and after being totally unimpressed and calling Rebecca’s coworkers losers, Rebecca (unable to handle her mom’s constant disapproval) tells her mom she’s actually just a part-time volunteer, working with underprivileged lawyers (snicker). Her mom’s thrilled with this — more so when Rebecca tells her she’s really a lawyer at a very observant Jewish firm (which they can’t visit, because it’s closed for Hanukkah).
They go out for lunch, and as Rebecca’s regaling her mom with (fake) stories about her (fake) awesome life (like breaking up with a Saudi prince because he wouldn’t convert to Judaism), Paula shows up. Rebecca has requested that she come to lunch, and pretend to be a VIP – someone very fancy and important, and despite Paula’s earlier insistence that she won’t change to impress Rebecca’s mom, she’s playing the part. The part of a British woman. And she’s good! She’s got Rebecca’s mom convinced (telling her she was actually born on Abbey Road — literally in the crosswalk, because her mom couldn’t make it to hospital on time). She also convinces her she thinks California is a cultural wasteland … and that she’s Jewish. Her accent — OMG, it’s great — especially when she says, “You know I don’t approve of this whole codependent cha-rad … or your schhhedule … alu-min-ium, vitt-a-mins, oh, bollocks, it’s so difficult to start once you get started,” in response to Rebecca’s protests (when mom walks away to get the waiter for some tea).
Later that night, Rebecca and her mom sit, discussing diets and laughing, and when Mom heads upstairs, Rebecca spots the coveted ring in her purse! This is the ring that’s been passed down, generation to generation, from mother to daughter, when the daughters turn 18. Except … Rebecca’s well over 18, and it’s not hers yet. It would be like a seal of approval from her mom to finally get it! To butter her mom up, when she returns, Rebecca gives her a gift (pretty and elegant, just like her). It’s a crystal … rectal thermometer? (It’s a ring holder, but her mom isn’t convinced.) Mom says she has something for Rebecca too. It’s … not the ring. It’s a vase. There’s something else, too, Mom says — but maybe later. Ugh.
Calvin calls, and despite Rebecca’s attempts to ignore him (for the sake of the ring), Mom insists she answer it. Fairly convinced there’s some sort of secret love thing going on between Rebecca and the widower, she insists on tagging along. And tag along she does … and drink she does. And embarrass Rebecca she does. After a painfully awkward story about Rebecca contracting HPV in college, Calvin tries to steer the conversation back to zoning permits, and Mom tries to steer herself right into his bed. She guilts Rebecca into telling Calvin she’s good to go (trying to imagine a mom really asking her daughter to help her get a piece is so painful), and mom-pleaser Rebecca actually does it. “Hey, Cal, so I’m gonna head home. Have a wonderful holiday and I need you to sleep with my mom. Bye!” Calvin, who is a self-admitted mom-pleaser himself, isn’t down. He leaves, and Rebecca, rather than damaging her mom’s fragile ego by telling her he’s not into it, pulls the he was totally into it but he’s an important client so I sent him away card. Mom is livid, and the next morning requests that they return the crystal rectal thermometer before she flies home that day.
While all of this drama is going on with Rebecca’s mom, Greg’s got some mama-drama of his own. It’s a much shorter storyline (Rebecca’s stuff takes up the majority of the episode). At the mall, while looking for Christmas gifts for the family he doesn’t want to see for Christmas (his mom and half-siblings), he runs into Heather. She’s dressed as an elf, working at the mall for the holidays, and recognize each other from the party. As he waxes poetic about how terrible his family holiday is going to be (associating with the mother who left him, etc.) Heather is interested in what sounds like an abundant and decadent Christmas. She asks about the “meat sitch” (is that how you abbreviate “situation”?) and Greg winds up inviting her to Christmas (as a witness to the insanity).
Christmas in Greg’s mom and husband’s fancy house is warm and cozy, despite Greg’s assertions that the house is tacky and lacks cultural integrity, and that his mom’s going to be a monster. Shawna (Greg’s mom) is nothing but nice, throughout. When his half-brother and half-sister serve him drinks, he sees it as a slight: mocking him for working at a bar. When Shawna offers to help him with school, he tells her he’s not a freeloader. He gets irked with Heather, who has warmed up to the family, for being a turncoat, and she in return tells him that she thought he was cute and his family would be terrible, but it turns out they’re cute and he’s terrible. When he calls his mom out for leaving him when he was younger, she explains herself (she did not abandon him, she was doing what he wanted by leaving him with his dad) and tells him he’s always welcome — and Heather and his half-bro Mason call him out for being a dick. And … he comes around. Just like that, he comes around and apologizes, and all is good. (This is definitely some TV drama, because I think the vast majority of us would get defensive, sleep on this, and then maybe make a sheepish “I’m sorry” phone call a day or two later.)
Josh’s stuff is so minimal I’m not even sure why it’s part of the episode, to be honest. He also runs into someone at the mall at the beginning of the episode — a high school kid who recognizes Mr. Chan (as he calls Josh) as the school’s hip-hop champion. He asks Josh to come help the team out, and give them some tips, but Josh can’t — he’ll have to work that day.
At the end of the episode, everything wraps up with a tidy Christmas bow, of course. Josh has his mom call him in sick to Aloha Tech, and goes to watch the hip-hop show (which is at the mall), but — of course — the aforementioned kid whom he talked to earlier in the episode fakes a hurt ankle to get Josh up on the stage with the hip-hop team. As he’s about to go on, Rebecca and her mom are walking through the mall. Mom is agitated that the only thing she could find to replace the rectal thermometer ring holder thing was a floor lamp, and Rebecca (still a mom-pleaser) tells her she’ll pay her baggage fees. Mom starts on a tirade about how she doesn’t understand Rebecca, and why she moved to California. “I moved here because …” Rebecca starts. “Josh Chan is in the house!” the hip-hop show announcer belts out. Oh. Mom gets it now. She’s pretty upset when she figures out that Rebecca moved there for Josh (who she deems to be a loser). The two fight, and Rebecca tells her mom she’s done trying — she doesn’t even care about the ring. She calls her mom an Uber to get her to the airport.
Josh gets off stage, a little sore, and realizes he needs to grow up. Rebecca, who’s doing some growing up herself, tells her mom the truth about Paula, about the firm, about the fact that she doesn’t really wear pantyhose (yeast infections!), and tells mom the truth about how Rebecca sees her: as a “horny, unemployed divorcée, who married an Irish Catholic — I am HALF him, and that is why you hate me! I am half of what you hate!” Rebecca’s mom does just what Greg’s mom did: She reassures Rebecca that she does not hate her. She loves her, and she’s sick with worry about her. They hug it out.
And Greg and Heather kiss it out. OMG, what!? Yep, she plants one on him, right after quitting her elf job. Is this going to be a thing?! (Well, yeah, there had to be some sort of cliffhanger before they go on hiatus!)
The episode ends with a song about California Christmas. Not my favorite song so far (but really, what can top the Sexy Getting Ready Song?), but it’s good. There’s a weird dude named Chet with no pants, Santa is baked, Darryl is getting a henna tattoo … All in all, it’s a good way to end the first part of the season.
All photos courtesy of and © 2015 The CW Network, LLC.