“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s” Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) on has a lot of growing to do — and two of her biggest challenges are about to come to a head this week (Nov. 18) when she tangles with Valencia: That she’s got no sense of boundaries with other people, and that she thinks she needs a partner to be complete.
And here’s the thing: Rebecca’s not exactly wrong. She does need some kind of partner to talk things over, bounce ideas around with, and to call her on her crap. It’s just that ideally, that partner would be a therapist and the partnership would be over her mental health.
But despite her trips to the riveting and deeply entertaining Dr. Akopian (Michael Hyatt), Rebecca’s not there yet. So she throws herself into intense relationships of various kinds (men, Paula, Heather’s parents), recognizing that she needs other people to serve as a pressure release valve because the one she should be using — her own — is either busted or never got installed.
Her recent-and-again ex-boyfriend Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) was a bit too dense to fully call Rebecca on her behavior. Her other recent ex, Greg (Santino Fontano) could call her out on her toxic, intrusive clinginess, but he’s off the series. Paula (Donna Lynn Champlin) has already declared she’s taking a step back.
That’s why there’s so much to anticipate in Rebecca’s interactions with Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz) moving forward.
First, the logistics: Ruiz has been promoted to series regular, so the writers clearly have something in store for her.
Second, whether Rebecca and Valencia will become friends, avowed enemies or lovers, the one thing we know for sure about Rebecca is that she’ll be inappropriate, and put too much pressure on Valencia to satisfy her own emotional needs.
But: Valencia’s got a vulnerability and a savagery all her own — not to mention a track record of being able to suss out Rebecca’s motivations before Rebecca’s willing to admit them out loud. They could duke it out, or they could wallow in toxic misery together. The trailer for this week’s episode suggests Rebecca feels guilty about the role she played in Valencia and Josh’s breakup — so it’ll be fascinating to see just how she tries to compensate…
Showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna has described this season’s theme song, “I’m Just a Girl in Love” as the season’s “emotional thesis statement” — that “anything you do for love is justifiable.” What we don’t know is just how far the show will take it this year.
Rebecca’s attitude toward romance is comparable to addiction. If Rebecca starts to realize she has a problem, then the theme song could carry her through the rest of the season as a sort of twelve-step making of amends: “My name is Rebecca, and I’m a love-a-holic. I would do anything for love, including lying, faking crimes and moving across the country…”
No matter what happens with Valencia, we’re betting/hoping she’ll tell Rebecca the truth: That as usual, she’s giving herself too much credit — for the Valencia-Josh breakup — and trying to be the main character of someone else’s movie — a concept that would break her…
Or at least we hope so. For just a little while.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.