Paige Ervin ‘20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Warning: this review contains spoilers for seasons 1-3 of the series.
Crazy-Ex Girlfriend may be ending this year, but it’s not going out without a bang. Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) has been through a lot since the series began, but as revealed in the fourth season opener, titled “I Want to Be Here”, she still has a lot of growing to do.
Crazy-Ex Girlfriend has always been about mental illness, but last season in particular saw Rebecca truly hitting rock bottom with a suicide attempt that was nearly successful. Her subsequent diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and efforts to work through her issues began an upward trend for her, as she seemed to finally be self-aware. Her impulsive, emotional decision making was finally being put under the microscope, and things were looking up.
So how did she end up in jail? Because she wants to be there.
No, seriously, that’s why the judge sentences her to jail time.
Because she asks for it.
Rebecca’s guilt due to her bad decisions over the years has manifested in an attempt to pay a karmic debt for her behavior by doing time, which her friends wisely inform her is a horrible idea. Rebecca realizes this by the end of the episode (a marked improvement from her old habits), but not until after she tries everything she can to make prison into what she needs it to be. This, of course, means there’s going to be singing.
In full Chicago fashion, Rebecca decides to give county jail its own version of the infamous “Cell Block Tango”, pointing to one inmate at a time and asking how they ended up in jail. Unlike the “Cell Block Tango”, however, the stories of the women are depressingly realistic. After hearing and understanding the realities of these women’s lives, Rebecca comes to the conclusion that she isn’t making up for her past actions by sitting in prison. In a true moment of growth, she returns to the jail at the end of the episode to offer legal advice to her former peers to earn parole. Will Rebecca Bunch finally become a functioning adult who helps improve the world around her? It’s hard to tell, but in the words of The Good Place, the best anyone can do is try.
Side Plots and Side Stitches:
-Nathaniel and George’s conversation in the woods was lovely. It’s nice to see that people know George’s name now, too!
-Nathaniel paying to get thrown into the woods so he can survive off of nature alone is truly the most privileged thing he’s ever done, and it’s really damn funny.
-RIP Nathaniel and Rebecca, for now. They have different goals in life right now, and their split was probably for the best, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t sad.
-The joke about the length of sentence for the same crime given to a white woman versus a woman of color was hilarious, but in a way where I was sad and angry afterwards.
-Josh thinking he has several mental health disorders when in reality he’s just dumb and unwilling to be held accountable for his actions…woof.
-Dr. Akopian (the male one!) really hit the mental health nail on the head when he told Josh that making progress requires you to look at the choices you make and think about why you make them. Therapy is hard work, y’all.
-Of course Darryl is horrible at pretending to eat. At least Rebecca had some of his pretend food too.