Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap: Smashing Butterflies

Why Is Josh in a Bad Mood?
Vincent Rodriguez III as Josh. Photo: Scott Everett White/CW
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Why Is Josh in a Bad Mood? Season 1 Episode 17
Editor's Rating 4 stars

Rebecca and Greg are finally the Mayor and Mr. Mayor of Bone Town, a beautiful little hamlet located deep inside West Covina. Although their rabbitlike lovemaking is this week’s headline news, I must disclose that I couldn’t stand Greg’s behavior in this episode.

He has always been a roller coaster of a character, from smug and condescending to delusional and pitiable to genuinely decent and kind. Greg is, as all Gregs tend to be, a rich dish. Unfortunately, there’s a stray piece of Smug Greg in the mix, and its pungent flavor overwhelms everything else in a little James Brown–style ditty entitled “I Gave You a UTI.” Yes, he gloats in sung verse about giving Rebecca a urinary-tract infection, as if it’s the biggest accomplishment of his life. Which, oh my God, maybe it is? Jesus, Greg.

As anyone who has had a UTI knows, it feels somewhat akin to sitting on a hot knife. Greg’s reaction was enough to make me want to a sit on a knife, as he preened and gloated over his “accomplishment.” (In this instance, “accomplishment” means having accidentally pushed bacteria up his partner’s urethra during sex.) “I’m so good at sex/Your maidenship got wrecked/my penis is the reason you may die, die, die,” he sings, really still not understanding what a UTI is. The last episode explicitly laid out that Greg must put his smugness aside to achieve his dreams, and now Smug Greg is boasting about his “capacious” wiener? Darryl, give me strength!

Of course, we all know that Smug Greg is merely a bitter, brittle shell around his soft, nougat-y Nice Greg core. Seeing as how Rebecca has been in love with his best friend for the past, oh, her entire life, Greg is trying to play it cool now that they are sleeping together. That’s not easy for a man whose stare is automatically set at “1,000 yards.” When Rebecca attempts to discuss their relationship, Greg spikes the subject right back in her face. “Like how you broke my heart a bunch of times? I don’t care about that anymore,” he says cheerfully, his eyes a pair of manic, hardboiled eggs. And so, while Rebecca is finally letting her guard down and trying to engage with Greg on an honest, human level, he fires up all his defenses. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to be Greg.

Meanwhile, Rebecca is trying to keep their love affair a secret from the all-seeing oculus of Paula, which is harder than it may seem because Rebecca has sex with Greg on a toilet at work. “This is an apocalypse!” Paula cries over the Death of the Dream of Josh; the toilet sex would just send her over the edge. Paula deduces, however, that Rebecca is getting some action and she’s jazzed to find out more. “Baby, if you’re getting your butterfly smashed, I’m all for it. As long as it’s not Greg,” she grins. Paula still thinks Greg is an angry, shut-down, boozehound Kylo Ren, and she didn’t have to hear the UTI song. My God, he played Rebecca’s pots and pans like a drum set in the UTI song!

Over at the bar, Heather inadvertently blunders onto the Forbidden Love of Rebecca and Greg. “You just have to get married and have eight babies,” she shrugs after Rebecca apologizes. “It’s the meant-to-be exemption. Woody and Soon-Yi are together, so that, like, kiiiiiiind of makes it okay.” Hector also immediately catches on, and excitedly informs Greg that he finally has the upper hand on Rebecca. Urging him to act cool and aloof, Hector offers to set Greg up with an eligible lady named Brandy. Riding high on his own fumes, he reluctantly agrees.

Josh, however, is uncharacteristically enraged to discover his best friend and Rebecca are flambéing each other’s cockatoos. He takes out his emotions in an amazing Footloose-inspired spin-kick karate montage, “Angry Bad,” but no amount of nunchuckery or hip pops can spare him from this burgeoning jealousy. “Josh can’t be in a bad mood? Well, right now, Josh is in a bad mood,” he yells at a shocked Valencia. Wouldn’t it be delicious if all the episode titles were actually the third-person ravings of Newly Insane Josh? As he does in all his hours of need, Josh turns to Father Brah, who guides him to realize the source of his distress: He’s acting like a little bitch right now. Father Brah gives it to him straight: “If Rebecca seems happy, you’ve got to let it be.” LOL OKAY SURE FATHER BRAH.

And how does Rebecca feel about all of this? Well, imagine you’re a woman who hasn’t ever had a real relationship, and is now having a ton of hot sex. That’s right, Rebecca is totally sprung on Greg, a feeling which she explores in “Oh My God I Think I Like You,” one of my favorite songs of the season. (Don’t worry “Getting Bi,” you’re still on top.) Charming and sweet and graphic, Rebecca’s song was enough to wash the taste of Greg’s UTI out of my mouth. You know what I mean. “Is there an IUD/that can stop the image of you and me/getting married on a hillside surrounded by ducks and then we get into a rowboat?” Rebecca swoons. Aww. Everyone deserves to fall in love, even Greg. Well, time to break into a pie shop!

Oh yes, to distract Paula from her suspicious sex glow, Rebecca goes all in on Paula’s pie for an upcoming bake-off. (Paula’s total disinterest in the pie contest while she tries to weasel out the name of Rebecca’s sex partner is hilarious.) Rebecca demands they don cat suits and break into the pie shop of the contest’s presumed winner. Once inside, they bond and reconnect as friends and discover the secret ingredient to pie immortality: unsalted butter.

Deep into her feelings, Rebecca asks Greg on a proper date. Like an idiot, Greg tells Rebecca about Hector’s kind offer to set him up with another girl. Rebecca tries to match Greg’s casualness and claims to being dating around, too. “I have eight dates next week,” she lies. “One is a matinee. I’m on a Broadway schedule.” You beautiful idiots! Then, Rebecca passes out from a raging UTI at the pie contest.

Brought together by Rebecca’s moment of crisis, Paula, Greg, and Josh rally around her at the hospital. (Also, congrats to Paula’s award-winning Pretty Pecan Pie!) Dr. Insanezor, the Most Unprofessional Doctor Alive, has the best line of the episode when he explains, “It’s her pee hole that’s been destroyed.” Just so we’re clear, we’re supposed to believe that Rebecca continued having sex with a raging, untreated UTI — a feat medical science would declare near impossible unless all the nerve endings in her genitals had ceased to function — to the point where the infection ravaged her body enough to make her collapse? Why would she not take any medication? Me no understand. There’s absurd, and then there is insane.

“A UTI?! So you are sleeping with someone!” Paula says. (Though, come on, you can of course get a UTI from non-Greg-related sources.) Also, Paula: Remember when Rebecca left town without telling you? You guys are not exactly the soulmates you wish you were. Greg outs himself as Rebecca’s sex partner, and Paula flips outs so hard that Rebecca is wrenched back into consciousness. They all stare at Rebecca, demanding answers.

And now, as we draw toward the end of season one, I’ll make a few pronouncements. Despite the fact that Greg is personally my personal Guy You Wish You Hadn’t Talked to at a Party, he is still 10,000 times better for Rebecca than Josh would be. Personality aside, Greg actually has feelings for her. Imagine how healthy it would be for Rebecca to love someone who actually loves her back! Josh’s slow slide into madness suggests that she will finally get the one thing that would hurl all her emotional and therapeutic labor into the garbage. At least, I sure hope so. I demand stakes! If not, what would a second season even be for? Other than more Darryl, of course. Praise be unto him.

Secret Erotic Correspondences Traced in a Puddle of Spilled Cricket Flour:

  • Greg, on their sex-pad options: “Sorry we couldn’t go to my place. Lately my dad has been … living there for 30 years.”
  • Paula’s assessment of Greg and Rebecca’s deal: “He’s always buzzing around you. He’s like a sexy Italian fly and you’re an old meatball in an alley.”
  • Hector, on Happy Greg: “Do you have one of those brain tumors that changes your personality. Can you play violin now?”
  • “Smash my butterfly” is one of the grossest euphemisms ever used. Just try picturing a butterfly as it’s smashed by a lube-drenched cartoon mallet.
  • Rebecca blowing flour through the pie shop to illuminate any lasers.
  • Darryl’s unprofessional pie judging: “I love you both so much. I love your friendship. You inspire me every day.”

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap: Smashing Butterflies