Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap: Santa Ana Winds

Photo: Michael Desmond/The CW.
I'll be honest: When I previewed the three songs from tonight's episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I was concerned. I didn't understand how a change in weather could be an entire plot. And Darryl's "You're My Best Friend" — his first song of the season — just seemed desperate. Mainly, though, I didn't see the humor in the Ed Sheeran-style "Let's Have Intercourse." Having spent the entirety of my life on the east coast, I was not familiar with the Santa Ana winds. Wikipedia informs me that they are, indeed, referred to as the "devil winds." I still don't think a weather pattern needed to drive the main plot, but personifying winds is pretty weird, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend specializes in weird. The "Santa Ana Winds" song, though, was just grating, and it really didn't need to be brought back so many times throughout the episode. (Also, how does the wind have its own song, and we never saw a musical version of that butter commercial?) Of course, the winds aren't the real plot at stake here — Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) is using them as an excuse because she doesn't want to own up to her actions and feelings. She's finally engaged to the person she thought was the man of her dreams, but Rebecca's still not happy. Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) hasn't been giving her that "goosebumps" feeling lately, and it doesn't help that Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster) is lecturing her about the boringness of monogamy. To be fair, the concerns Nathaniel voices to Rebecca are real and valid. The two of them are both insanely driven lawyers, and she does have a lot more in common with him than with Josh. She's also spent so long focused on the thrill of the chase that it's overwhelming to finally be engaged to her summer-camp love. And if the theme of the show's second season is certainty, it makes sense that the doubts are beginning to form in Rebecca's mind. We only have two episodes left after this one. The storyline is there, and it makes sense. As much as she wants to put her old life behind her, Rebecca would, believably, have doubts about spending the rest of her life with Josh. And she really would try to blame her guilty feelings on the wind. But the episode still felt off.
"Let's Have Intercourse" comes off as more creepy than funny. If the show wants to write Nathaniel's character off after this season, Rebecca has enough for a sexual harassment lawsuit after that elevator incident. There's a dark humor in the idea of sleeping with her boss (and hurting Josh) just for the thrill of the chase, but Nathaniel comes off as too entitled. If Greg was a lovable jerk, Nathaniel is, well, just a jerk. As for Darryl (Pete Gardner) and Paula's (Donna Lynne Champlin) uneven friendship, that B plot was a pleasant surprise. It's still depressing that this was the first time we've seen Darryl sing this season, but the show set up his relationship with Paula in a true-to-life way. Paula might not always appreciate Darryl, but he always follows through for her, even when Rebecca doesn't, as was the case with her law school recommendation letter. And if it weren't for Darryl's meddling, Paula wouldn't have given Scott (Steve Monroe) a second chance — or, at least, not as quickly as she did. It was a relief to see Paula and Scott agree to work things out. The reparation of their marriage was one of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's sweetest points so far — a stable relationship amidst all of Rebecca's turmoil. I hope we'll be treated to an end tag of the two of them in couples therapy with Dr. Akopian (Michael Hyatt). Rebecca doesn't need to sleep with Nathaniel to figure out that bumping up her wedding date is a bad idea. If the wind won't make her admit there's a problem, hopefully Valencia and Heather, who were unfortunately missing from tonight's episode, will. Or, Valencia could just yell "I object" during Rebecca and Josh's wedding. I'm thinking the objection could come in the form of a Carly Rae Jepsen-style pop song — but as long as Rebecca and Josh don't actually get married, I'm happy.

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