Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap: Hi, Trent

Photo: Richard Cartwright/The CW.
We knew from the promos (and the cast) that this week's episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would include a Spice Girls sendup — and it did not disappoint. "Friendtopia" is everything you'd want from a Spice Girls parody. There are British accents, serious hair whips, and even a "zigazig ah." The song, about a government coup fueled by empowered women, is ridiculous and over-the-top. (Friendtopia's citizens face death if they don't watch Hocus Pocus.) But then again, the idea of Rebecca (Rachel Bloom), Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz), and Heather (Vella Lovell) hanging out together is pretty ridiculous, too. On its face, the episode is about Rebecca's new "squad" with Valencia and Heather. But at its core, "Friendtopia" really about her relationship with Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin). So far this season, we've seen Rebecca be a less-than-stellar friend to Paula — not writing her law school recommendation on time, for example. They've also been drifting apart — Paula is friends with fellow student Sunil (Parvesh Cheena) and Rebecca has her girl group. All of the tension between them comes to a head in this episode. Rebecca invites Paula to her and Heather's new home (which, incidentally, was the setting for several murders). Paula expects a night that's just the two of them. Instead, Valencia and Heather are there, too. To make things worse, Paula ends up getting stuck in the bathroom, which leads to a spot-on parody of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet." After sitting through Karen's (Stephnie Weir) hilarious sex toy sales pitches, Paula tries to use Rebecca's bathroom, only to have the building's construction rubble fall in on her. Rebecca offers to text Scott about the mishap — and realizes Paula's been texting Sunil about what a bad time she's having at Rebecca's party. She tells Paula that she's been trying to make Paula feel more included; Paula tells Rebecca that she doesn't listen to her. Paula reminds Rebecca that she hasn't been the most supportive lately, using the recommendation letter as an example. She also tells Rebecca about her abortion. However, their fight isn't resolved and it will likely play a role in next week's midseason finale. Meanwhile, Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III), White Josh (David Hull), and Hector (Erick Lopez) are on a mission to have a guys' night — but to their chagrin, Home Base has started implementing hefty cover charges. But Trent (Paul Welsh) quickly offers to pay the fee, since infiltrating their friend group is the first part of his 42-step plan to win Rebecca's heart. White Josh and Hector find Trent creepy; his behaviors aren't unlike Rebecca's when she first moved to West Covina. (We're even treated to a reprise of the "Sexy Getting Ready Song," performed by Trent.) Eventually, Trent goes to Rebecca's house (and he's the one who rescues Paula from the bathroom situation). He professes his love for Rebecca, which she rebuffs, though she does sleep with him at the end of the episode. Of course, there's one more person who's not involved with either of the first two plots: Darryl (Pete Gardner). Maya (Esther Povitsky) confronts him about the fact that he's bullying her. He apologizes, saying her overeager attitude reminds him of his own worst qualities. I was skeptical when I read that the two of them would have a plot in this episode, but it was a moving scene. Plus, their plot about infiltrating Rebecca's party led to this incredible dance:
Across all three of tonight's storylines, there's a common theme: Everyone wants to have friends and to feel included. Being left out or feeling like you don't fit in with a certain group sucks, no matter how old you are. It's safe to say that Rebecca definitely has friends — even if right now, Paula might not count herself among them.

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