Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap: The Poopening

Photo: Michael Desmond/The CW.
After a subpar episode last week, I wasn't sure what to expect from tonight's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Happily, the episode greatly exceeded my expectations — it's definitely one of the season's best, and probably the show's best, too.

Tonight's A plot wasn't a surprise: Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) is frantically rushing around to put a DIY wedding together in two weeks. She doesn't want to let Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) help with the planning, despite his creation of the incredible wedding hashtag #BunchofChans. As someone who got married in the past year, I greatly appreciated Heather's (Vella Lovell) lecture about why DIY decor isn't cheaper or time-effective. The details Rebecca was attempting, like homemade seltzer favors and hand-iced cake pops, look pretty on Pinterest, but no one has time to make enough for an entire wedding.

Throughout her stress, Rebecca turns to Patrick (Seth Green), for reassurance about the wedding. Patrick is the delivery guy stuck bringing Rebecca all of her DIY materials, and Rebecca keeps trapping him in conversation. It's not the funniest use of a guest star, but it does give us this hilariously awkward song:
Rebecca's wedding planning antics eventually lead to some meaningful character development for Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz), too — but before we get to that, we need to discuss the most important part of the episode. Yes, we're talking about Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster) pooping his pants.

Before tonight, we hadn't seen much payoff from Nathaniel's obsession with perfection and his father's attention, other than his conversation with Darryl (Pete Gardner) about his own father. And while a B plot about getting sick might not sound like the most original idea — New Girl, too, had a recent storyline entirely based on Nick catching a minor cold — it really worked.

As Paula noted in "Who's the New Guy?" when Nathaniel first arrived, his character is not relatable. He consumes an entirely liquid diet, save for a carb-free dinner. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend could have turned his obsession with health into a cliché. But instead, the show took on the problem with juice cleanses.

You don't have to be a health expert to know that detoxes aren't necessary. But Nathaniel learns that lesson the hard way, when his obsession with consuming nothing but green smoothies leads to him farting during a meeting, and, yes, pooping his pants in his office. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend doesn't tend to rely on bodily humor, but it really worked in this scene, in which Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin) and Maya (Esther Povitsky) watch Nathaniel lose control of his bowels for what feels like an eternity.

Of course, instead of admitting his digestive issues, Nathaniel stays at the office, because in his family, lawyers don't take sick days unless they have cancer. But the illness gets the better of him, and Darryl, Tim (Michael McMillian) and Jim (Burl Moseley) convince him to take a man nap, complete with a Bon Jovi-style song. It's been depressing not to see Darryl have more songs this season, but "Man Nap" almost makes up for it. (Unfortunately, Nathaniel's father witnesses him napping, so be prepared for a father-son confrontation in next week's finale.)
So, back to Rebecca's wedding planning. When Heather goes to Valencia to complain about the fact that Rebecca's turned their house into a DIY fiasco, Valencia comes to investigate. I expected to be against this turn — Valencia's put up with a lot of shit, and the last thing she should be doing is planning Josh's wedding. But as it turns out, Valencia has a passion for weddings and a knack for organization and attention to detail. It looks like she'll be making a career change soon, since she tells Heather she's unhappy being a yoga teacher. It's sweet to see Valencia making moves in her own life, especially after she confesses to Heather that she's not sure how to plan for a future without Josh.

Paula, in the end, is there to help Rebecca, too, even though she's studying for law school finals. After hearing that Naomi (Tovah Feldshuh) won't be helping with any last-minute planning, Paula calls Naomi and yells at her. Naomi then mails Rebecca a beautiful dress from a New York wedding dress shop (naturally, Patrick delivers the box). And Nathaniel sends a private plane to bring Rebecca's father to the wedding, which should be heartwarming, but is just uncomfortable, since he still has unresolved feelings for her.

Aside from the poopening, the best part of the episode is the end tag. Trent (Paul Welsh) sees Rebecca and Josh's wedding website and utters "over my dead body." Please, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend writers, give us a scene of Trent crashing the wedding next week. Just not with a reprise of "Settle for Me" — it would hurt too much.

And, for any fans eagerly awaiting "Period Sex" after its multiple callbacks this season, Bloom debuted the song on her YouTube channel today, even though it didn't appear in the episode. Enjoy.

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