After last week’s Cats-stravagana, it might have felt a bit anticlimactic to return to regular, non-musical-parodying West Covina on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Lucky for us, we have New Greg (ugh, sorry, sorry. Just Greg. I meant: Greg), played by musical theater all-star Skylar Astin, and his amazing chemistry with Rebecca.
Rebecca begins the episode giving out samples of a disgusting pretzel meant to symbolize the confusion and turmoil in her life right now (even though, by Rebecca standards, things seem pretty non-turmoil/confusion-y) after Greg and Nathaniel both showed up on her doorstep the night before claiming to have something important to tell her, only to get spooked when they saw they had company. That’s where she runs into Darryl, toting newborn Hebecca (nicknamed Hebbie), Rebecca’s genetic offspring who she has yet to really spend any time with or acknowledge in any meaningful way.
Recognizing the weirdness of that, Rebecca agrees to babysit, even if it means she won’t be able to attend a game night thrown by Paula that’s secretly her law school graduation party. It’s not a secret because it’s a surprise party — it’s the guests who don’t know. So used to being the mother and the wife, the martyr who sacrifices for others, Paula isn’t comfortable with the big show of attention around her, even to celebrate a major life milestone.
That party is the perfect opportunity to throw together an odd group of West Covinians: Valencia and her girlfriend, Nathaniel (he’s nice now!), Josh, Heather, and Hector. (Side note: Does Paula have any friends her own age? Who was she friends with before Rebecca moved to town? Seems a little weird in retrospect that she doesn’t have a few mom friends, with kids the age of her kids.) It’s also an opportunity to throw an unusual character pairing together: Josh and Nathaniel. The Nathaniel/Greg pairing last week might have seemed a little counterintuitive, but it makes sense that they’d both be friends: They’re smart, ambitious, business-oriented, and a little mean (although Nathaniel would probably take umbrage with Greg’s characterization of Emory as the Harvard of the South).
But Nathaniel and Josh…. Aside from great bodies and history with Rebecca, there’s not much connective tissue. At least not until they sing a song together about how they’re both trapped in prisons of masculinity that keep them from expressing their real feelings while desperately seeking the approval of withholding fathers!
The real bonding though, is happening over with Rebecca and Hebbie, when Greg comes over to talk. Greg kills the baby-comforting game, and he also kills the telling-Rebecca-about-his-feelings game. She feels the same way, and we get a brief, sweet reprise of “Hello, It’s Nice to Meet You,” before they’re interrupted by the baby. Turns out you can move on after you sleep with someone’s father! Also turns out Rebecca was able to better understand her fears and anxieties with regard to the baby in order to cope with them!
This season of Crazy Ex lacks the super-clear mission of the show’s earlier days, when the goal was always just GET JOSH. We’re in a bit more sitcom-y territory now. Maybe this, the final season of the show, is just about Rebecca systematically approaching and addressing her baggage like a couple going through their clothes with Marie Kondo?