Recap – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season Finale (season 1): “Paula Needs to Get Over Josh!” – The CW, original airdate Mon. 4/18/16
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The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend season finale has me a little bit shocked, though I guess I really don’t know how else things could have possibly turned out. I’m Team Greg (and, based on what I see on social media, I’m in the minority); I can be a bit snarky, and a bit jaded, just like him. Snarky and jaded as I may be, though, I still love this show (and am excited for Season 2) so … onto the recap.
The episode starts with a flashback to a very young Rebecca, playing prince & princess with a very annoyed little kid. With that attitude, she tells him (very dramatically, in true movie princess form) that with his attitude, he’ll never be anyone’s Prince Charming, but she’s going to have a great life story. Flash to her, present day, alone with Greg in the hospital, where she’s laid up with a kidney infection (a result of an untreated UTI she got after spending an insane amount of time banging him). She apologizes for ruining his hot date, he admits he never wanted to go, and she admits that she made all 8 of her dates up. A very angry Paula bursts in, kicks Greg out of the room, and unleashes hell on Rebecca. She asked her a million times who she was sleeping with, and Rebecca lied to her. Paula has done so much for her love story with Josh, and Rebecca betrayed her by picking Greg.
When Greg leaves the room, he runs into Josh, who has a bouquet for Rebecca. (Greg has a stick balloon that says, “She’s with Jesus now.” Ha!) The friends, who are both defensive and angry, battle verbally. Josh maintains that he has the flowers because he’s Rebecca’s friend; Greg tells Josh to go home because Rebecca’s not into him: “So maybe you should take those flowers back to your girlfriend who you haven’t been able to commit to for 15 years.”
Paula’s still pissed. She’s done so much for Rebecca, including installing a tracking device on Josh’s mom’s car (whaaaaa?) — and she doesn’t care that Rebecca didn’t ask for any of those things. She tells her as much in her hilarious little Broadway-esque number, “Everything I’ve Done for You.” (Donna Lynne Champlin, the actress who plays Paula, is so wonderfully talented.) More than once, she refers to Rebecca being her child, her creation. She caps the encounter off with, “If you think you’re over Josh, you are fooling yourself.”
Despite Greg’s speech to Josh at the hospital that Rebecca’s into Greg now, he’s still terribly insecure. We see that during a conversation he has with Rebecca about balloons (his questions about balloons vs. flowers are really Greg vs. Josh question) and tells his dad that he’s convinced Rebecca will go back to Josh because Greg’s just the guy she settles for. Watch out for self-fulfilling prophesies, dude. Filled with fear, Greg convinces himself that maybe she’ll like him more if he goes back to being the uncaring bad boy he used to be.
Josh has decided (well, sort of) that he’s ready to commit, and gives Valencia a long speech about how patient she’s been. He wants to get a ring and propose, he tells her, but tells her he needs to do it his own way, in his own time. She agrees patiently and maturely (but does a little “I’m getting engaged” move when he leaves the room). While this is going on, Rebecca is asking Heather about Greg (what? NO. why?); Heather is more mature than she ever seemed she’d be when we met her at the beginning of the season and gives Rebecca advice to just tell Greg she has feelings — but to be chill about it. Rebecca wants a moment with Greg; Heather insists she doesn’t.
“Okay, dude, so the moment you’re craving isn’t anchored in real emotion. It’s a script, dictated to you, by our society’s patriarchal love narrative.” -Heather (from this month’s Glamour, not from what she learned in school)
Greg and Rebecca hang out, and it’s so awkward. He’s trying to be nonchalant and noncaring (he farts — the result of eating a bean burrito left over from the ’90s — when she starts to tell him how she feels about him), while she’s trying to be sincere and romantic and create a moment. (He does go get a candle, because he can’t keep up the facade for long. He keeps switching back and forth between Nice Greg and, well, Greg the Dick.) Rebecca sees Josh’s sister’s wedding invitation, and it’s clear she’s envisioning their moment. She lies and tells him that she’s going to the wedding (the uninvitation was a clerical error) and asks him if they can go together. He tries not to jump at the chance — he acts like he doesn’t care, but he clearly does, and agrees to go.
Rebecca weasels her way into the wedding by “running into” Josh’s mom at the boba stand and giving her the pricey gift she got for the bride. Josh’s softhearted mom knows Rebecca didn’t really cause the dress problem, and tells her to come to the wedding. At the office, when Rebecca tries to tell Paula what she’s done so she and Greg can have a moment (including using that GPS to track down Josh’s mom), she’s met with stony silence. Rebecca begs Paula to take her back, but Paula continues her silent treatment.
When Rebecca tries on earrings at a fancy jewelry store, she tells the salesman they’re for a special night, the start of a love story. He inquires whether she’s met her soulmate, and Josh walks in. The two seem to have a moment (albeit, an awkward moment), and the salesman asks Josh if he’s there to look at engagement rings again. Rebecca is shocked, but congratulates Josh, telling him that the rings are beautiful, “like something out of a fairytale.” She leaves, and when the salesman asks Josh if he’s ready to make a choice, we know the choice in Josh’s head isn’t really about which ring to pick — it’s about which woman to pick.
Rebecca preps for the wedding in fairytale fashion, going as far as to talk to a bird that lands on her windowsill. “Well, hello, Mr. Lovebird. Are you here to help me get ready for the ball?” The bird chirps back, and the subtitles say, “What? No. What?” When she launches into the “One Magical Moment” song, the bird chirps again.
“I just remembered I could fly. Peace, bitch.”
Rebecca looks beautiful; Greg’s wearing Chuck Taylors and tells her she looks all right. He’s still trying too hard to not care. He and Rebecca head to the reception, and walk in just as Josh’s aunt is asking when he’s going to propose to Valencia. Greg’s not impressed with the reception: “A chain hotel with vaguely French decor, and Italian food is being served tapas style while the Filipino girl is marrying the Jewish guy, all with a lightly Arabian Nights-style wedding.” He goes to get shots. Josh walks up, tells Rebecca she looks like a princess, and is distressed about her newfound relationship. He’s afraid that sarcastic, dark Greg will hurt her, but she insists she’ll be fine. Greg sees this from afar, and it’s clear he thinks Josh is about to steal her away. His confidence just keeps dwindling. He tries to act cool and avoid dancing, but gives in. Then he tries to act all goofball when the two start to slow dance, but gives in and gets serious — until he’s interrupted by Josh and the other groomsmen doing an Arabian Nights routine on scooters.
During the scooter act, Greg catches a stare between Josh and Rebecca, and resumes his angry snark and grabs some other people’s liquor. All this time, he’s misreading Rebecca’s intentions, and he just gets drunker and drunker until she’s alone and he’s totally plowed.
Darryl heads to Paula’s, to convince her to put on a dress and come to the wedding, to save Rebecca. She protests, until he lets her know she’s not being a real friend. She goes to the wedding, and she and Rebecca make up, having their own moment. Paula tells Rebecca she’ll stop telling her what to do, but that she really should just tell Greg how she feels.
Josh, meanwhile, has been set up. His aunt is there, with an heirloom ring, trying to convince him to propose to Valencia. He figures out that Valencia put her up to this, and when he confronts Valencia, he finds out he’s right. She’s angry, and she doesn’t trust him to do this one thing. She doesn’t want to be patient. If he’s ready, she says, he should propose right now, in front of everyone. But he doesn’t want to, and she realizes Rebecca isn’t the problem in their relationship: Josh is. It’s over.
When Rebecca tries to talk to (very drunk) Greg about her feelings, he tells her he knows she wants to break up. Nothing brings out the truth in our insecurities like liquor, eh? She tells him no, she doesn’t, and that she cares about him a lot. She puts her heart out there, and really makes herself vulnerable, and he looks across the room and catches a glance from Josh. He can’t admit he has feelings for Rebecca, and instead says, “Okay, I think you’re cool.” He doesn’t want to plan out the future yet. Rebecca is understandably deflated — no, crushed. Greg passes out on the bar, and White Josh calls him an Uber, explaining to Rebecca that unfortunately, this is how Greg is.
In the ballroom, Josh’s Aunt Verna (who was on Star Search) steals the show with “One Indescribable Instant” — the song Rebecca’s been singing all episode, since the little girl flashback. She and Greg look at each other, and he texts her: “Meet me outside.” She does, and they have their moment. They take a drive in a convertible, and, parked under the stars, Josh tells her that he and Valencia are over. He confesses his love, pulls out the letter from camp, and they kiss. NO!!! I mean, awesome! I’m sure everyone else, who isn’t Team Greg, thinks this is great, but I like to root for the underdog. The underdog, by the way, is at home, on the couch.
“I love you, Rebecca. I should’ve said I love you.” -Greg (prior to vomiting)
He’s realizing the error of his ways, while Rebecca and Josh have a super-cheesy magic carpet makeout scene that, I think, culminates in magic carpet sex (but I can’t be sure). And then … Rebecca, feeling secure in this brand new relationship, tells Josh what she really should’ve kept secret — FOREVER: she moved there for him. He’s the answer to all her problems! He looks shocked and totally creeped out as she says, “This is our moment, Josh Chan. I’m so excited that our love story can finally begin.”
We’ll see where this picks up, this fall.
All photos © The CW Network, LLC.