Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap: Ex-Ray Visions

Photo: Robert Voets/The CW.
This might just be the best episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to date.

Tonight's episode saw a lot of progress: Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) addressed her mental-health issues, Greg (Santino Fontana) officially moved to Georgia to go to business school at Emory, and Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin) made a decision about law school and her pregnancy.

Let's start with Paula. Last week, we found out that she was pregnant — and that she has the opportunity to start law school a semester early. It was immediately clear that Paula didn't want a third child and that having a baby would be a hindrance to her law-school plans. Her husband, Scott (Steve Monroe), told her he'd support her decision, but we didn't know what Paula would do.

Paula spends this week's episode preparing a petition on zoning provisions for a new office building for Miss Douche, a douche company that wants to rebrand its image (we'll get to that). Her petition is successful and it helps remind her how much she loves law. Plus, as Scott says, Paula Proctor, Esquire, just has a ring to it.

The first time we hear the word "abortion" isn't until the end of the episode. Paula is lying in bed and Scott brings her a cup of tea. The doorbell rings — and the couple's son, Brendan, yells up, "Mom, I'll get it, since you just had an abortion." It's a powerful scene, both for what it says and for what it doesn't. Paula isn't defined by her abortion and she's not ashamed of it, either. She made the decision that was best for her. She's moving on with her life and law school. (Rebecca was the one at the door and Paula doesn't mention the procedure to her.)

While Paula takes charge of what she wants in life, Rebecca is undergoing an identity crisis. After starting a fire in her house by trying to burn Josh and Greg's stuff, she decides that she wants to rebrand herself and move on — inspired by Miss Douche, of course.

It's hard to move on, however, when she's haunted by the "memory spirits" — they're not dream ghosts, okay? — of her two ex-boyfriends. (In a truly on-character moment for Josh, he explains that he wanted the "memory spirits" to be called "ex-Ray visions," but it doesn't work, since they're not named Ray.)

The memory spirits perform one of the funniest Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songs to date, a tap dance-filled number about all the places they had sex with Rebecca in her house. It's Greg's second song this episode, the first being a ballad he sang at the airport about how his relationship with Rebecca was a shitshow.

After being forced out of her house thanks to the whole fire thing, Rebecca goes to Heather's to crash, only to discover that Heather lives with her parents. She decides that she needs a post-breakup makeover, which leads to some brief (and traumatic) experiences with blonde hair extensions.

With her makeover complete, Rebecca enters Miss Douche's contest to be the face of the brand. (Thanks to all of the "anti-douching research funded by big vagina," the company wants a fresh face to represent its products.) Rebecca makes it to the contest finals, because she drops $5,000 on bots to like her Instagram post for the contest entry, but during the actual competition, she breaks down.

Rebecca has no idea how to answer a simple question about who she is and walks (or, more accurately, does a sort of slink-crawl) off the stage. In a cute twist, though, she nominates Heather for the contest — and she wins. The $10,000 cash prize will come in handy for rent, since Heather's decided that she and Rebecca should be roommates, to give both of them a fresh start.

Aside from the thoughtful handling of Paula's abortion, the episode is noteworthy because Rebecca isn't interacting with either Greg or Josh. Yes, she has conversations with their ghosts — but it's imagined and she's really just being introspective about her relationships with them. Her conclusion at the end of the episode — that she needs to focus on who she is internally, as opposed to who she is in relationships with men — is supposed to be cheesy, but part of it is earnest, too.

It may not be this season, but Rebecca won't always be the crazy ex-girlfriend. Little by little, she's moving away from that title.
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