Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 1 Episode 11 Review: “That Text Was Not Meant for Josh!”

crazy 1.11

There’s been a new precedent set in Rebecca’s life since the fateful events of Beach Day; everyone in her life is no longer taking her crap, rightfully calling her out when she exits the realm of normal human behavior, and begins to let her anxiety and self-loathing take over. After sending an accidental text to Josh and getting caught trying to delete it, “That Text Was Not Meant for Josh!” almost allows Rachel to escape her own clutches – and then, it drops the hammer on her wildly outlandish behavior, as her hatred turns inward and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend delivers another fantastic episode.

Of course, there’s nothing Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is better at that making audiences squirm; and in that sense, “That Text” might be the most heightened episode of the series, as Rebecca creates and grows a lie about how she ended up in Josh’s house when he wasn’t home. From the word go, it’s obvious Rebecca’s in a position that she can’t manipulate, even to Josh the Somewhat Simpleton, and yet it allows her to spend 30+ minutes trying to defend (and build) her increasingly wild lies, building and building until Josh finally gets a clue, and storms out more than a little weirded out by her outright fabrications. Not only does it allow us to see how gullible Josh is (again) and how far Rebecca is willing to go to protect his new found affection for her, but it allows us to see what happens when the facade falls apart; Josh obviously feels terrible for being there, and Rebecca launching into “You Stupid Bitch”, arguably the most affecting song the show’s delivered to this point.

“You Stupid Bitch” is really a work of genius, tapping into the self-loathing many of us never give voice to, much less actually face in life. And that’s where the magic of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend goes to work; above anything, Crazy is about what happens when a person looks inside themselves and comes up disappointed and wanting. We all hate ourselves a little bit; but given enough time, the smallest seed of dissatisfaction can manifest itself into a huge, hulking monster of depression, leading to the wild emotional swings we see throughout “That Text”, as she endears and confuses Josh, then disappoints Greg once again when he shows up to help her clean up her mess. Unapologetically, Crazy Ex reminds that the only person we can make whole again is ourselves – and though Jessica might be as shattered and defeated as her own window pane, there’s always room for hope, found in the form of Paula and Scott’s night out together (an event suggested by Father Brah in their marriage counseling).

Paula’s reconnection with her husband exists a a polar opposite to Rebecca’s story, and for good reason: not just because Paula and Scott are coming together, but because Paula’s experiencing moments of honesty Rebecca has only flirted with. She tells her husband about almost cheating on him (and why she did), and shares her obsessive addiction with Rebecca’s love life to Scott; and because of that, the two appear to be beginning to fix their marriage, a road as long as Rebecca’s own path to self-acceptance, a road littered with potholes of insecurity, anxiety, and dealing with abandonment issues, all three of which are swirling around Rebecca when Greg suddenly appears out of nowhere.

Greg’s presence in this episode is an odd one; the last few weeks, his character has gone particularly harsh on Rebecca – which might be justified, given she left their date to go hook up with a hipster, but still feels like it’s aiming a little harder and deeper than anyone else’s criticisms of Rebecca on the show (save for Valencia, of course). Greg coming through Rebecca’s back door multiple times is an odd choice, but one that provides a number of interesting moments: his detachment from his new relationship, his still-lingering attraction to Rebecca he can’t explain, and his anger towards both Rebecca and Josh for ignoring their situations all come bubbling to the surface, and give an already-deep episode more room to delve into the psyche of its central quartet of characters, eliminating most of the ancillary cast to focus on these ideas.

What it makes for is a particularly powerful Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, one beautifully torn between supporting Rebecca’s delusional path to happiness and her constant outlandish attempts to draw people into her lives, even if it’s only for a moment. Partly driven by her narcissism, Rebecca is ultimately afraid to be alone with herself at the end of the day, afraid of how much she’ll hate herself when left victim to her own thoughts – and while that’s certainly not an enviable or endearing position to be in, I think it’s one we can all relate to. And that’s what really makes Crazy Ex-Girlfriend such a force of nature on television right now: it’s unabashedly honest about the normal flaws of humans that we’re not willing to recognize, putting the ugliest flaws of its characters front and center, refusing to let them (or us) ignore what makes them complex human being. Crazy‘s emotional honesty is second to none on television, and  “That Text Was Not Meant for Josh!” is another prime example of why that approach has created such a compelling, unique, challenging and ultimately heartwarming little program.

 

Other thoughts/observations:

  • Paula and Scott’s delivery of the theme song lines is perfection. Couldn’t be better timed either, with the current boon of viewers from post-Golden Globes hype.
  • Briga Heelan appears as a lawyer in this episode (and the “Textastrophe” girl), which makes me miss Ground Floor all over again (fun fact, she’s engaged to Rene Gube, Father Brah/Crazy‘s script supervisor!).
  • Steve Jobs’ ghost is another highlight of the episode: “Technology is slowly alienating us from our loved ones!”
  • why does Josh tell the cop Rebecca can’t follow “if you talk too fast”? That might be the most un-Josh thing Josh has ever said.
  • Rebecca knows the last four of Josh’s social, along with Valencia’s birthday; Rebecca’s creepy attention to detail knows no limits sometimes.
  • Josh has a black belt?
  • Father Brah is king: “It’s really off today. What up God?”
  • There are SO many little touches that bring everything together: the ice cubes in Josh’s wine that Greg recognizes, the Fondue Man delivery boy, Josh talking about being without his phone, jokes about coagulating cheese… Crazy Ex-Girlfriend really has it all, you guys.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 1 Episode 11 Review: "That Text Was Not Meant for Josh!"
5

Summary

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s hot streak continues with another episode highlighting the many unique, endearing qualities of the young show.

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