Pete Gardner as Darryl, David Hull as White Josh, Vincent Rodriguez III as Josh, Rachel Bloom as Rebecca, Donna Lynne Champlin as Paula.
In the most convoluted scheme to get a man’s attention since, well, everything that happened on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend last week, Rebecca is here to kick butt and restore municipal water flow to the San Gabriel Valley.
But first, let us tackle the question: How do you out-crazy crazy? The wonderful Paul Welsh returns as Rebecca’s handsome-in-an-incestous-Kennedy-way faux-boyfriend, Trent. It turns out, the problem with randomly selecting a fake beau who went to your college and now lives in your town is … he may have been secretly in love with you this whole time. Yikes.
Trent covers Rebecca’s story beautifully, but in return, he moves himself into her house, lest he reveal the truth to Josh, Valencia, and Greg. “I know I’m blackmailing you, and I’ve been told that’s not an appropriate way to meet people,” he says, smiling in his little turtleneck. “One person’s blackmailing is another person’s love story!” How the tables have turned, Rebecca! And those tables are covered in delicious homemade tagliatelle and a glass of Merlot and some lotions and oils for a sumptuous after-dinner foot rub. When it comes to obsessive exes, Trent is truly the Rebecca of blackmail.
While Trent pretends to actually be Rebecca’s boyfriend, Greg is horrified that he’s been sucked into more Bunchsanity. He warns Josh away from her. Valencia apologizes for scheming against Rebecca, but as usual, Josh is warm and understanding. God, anyone would be lucky to have Josh. Maybe instead of ending up with Rebecca or Valencia, he could end up in a thruple with Darryl and White Josh? I’d watch that show.
Speaking of true love, Darryl visits the gym to thank White Josh for the kiss and to kiss him some more. It is the cutest. I mean, come on: the purity of thanking someone for a kiss! No one had to throw a rock through anything or threaten to reveal any secrets to anyone. What bliss. Darryl asks White Josh to join him on a trip to Los Angeles, where Darryl doesn’t know anyone and won’t accidentally reveal he’s crushing on a dude. White Josh is too hot and too gay to drive two hours in rush-hour traffic to get coffee with anyone, so he declines. “I didn’t come out until I was 12,” White Josh tells a disappointed Darryl. “Those were some tough years.”
Back at the law firm, Rebecca is kind of okay with Trent moving in and drawing her baths — it’s not inappropriate because she wore a bathing suit the whole time. Besides, she’s got bigger fish to fry. Based on Bert’s research, Greater City Water has been bribing landlords to not give people enough water or whatever, just like in that movie Chinatown. (Josh: “Well, now I have to see it!”) Rebecca dispatches the legal eagles to round up angry tenants from all over the San Gabriel Valley, which they do handily. Between Bert’s work and the large, showerless contingency from the El Montes, Whitefeather has this lawsuit in the bag!
Enter Audra Levine (Rachel Grate). Greater City Water has hired Rebecca’s old law firm, which pits her against the childhood nemesis who took her old job, and essentially, her old life. Oh, those tables keep on turning! Audra, a “Westchester alpha bitch,” is immediately out for podunk blood, which leads into a wonderful “JAP Battle” between the “two hard-as-nails Shebrews from Scarsdale.” After spitting some impressive rhymes (in the best song the show has had for a whiiiiile), Rebecca tries to extend an olive branch … only for Audra to snap it in half. “Frankly you have no case, no shot, and no idea how to blend your foundation at your jawline,” Audra snarls before stalking out, as Rebecca’s former co-workers smirk behind her.
The stakes have been raised! Whitefeather will see Audra and Greater City Water in court. Rebecca confides her desire for “that one irrefutable piece of evidence” to Trent, who sleeps at the foot of her bed like a dog. (It’s fine; she was wearing her bathing suit.) The next morning, Rebecca joins Darryl, Paula, and Josh at the courthouse in L.A. No one shows up. White Josh arrives to give Darryl moral support … as friends … friends who don’t grab each other’s junk in public. On the verge of panic, Rebecca turns to find her tenants have arrived after all, from towns stretching from Monrovia to South El Monte. The throng sings a Les Misérables–style song, demanding waves of justice that both are and are not a metaphor for actual water. “Our precious water shouldn’t be funneled to celebrities. / No more water for B.J. Novak’s ecstasy factory!” they sing. “What?” B.J. Novak wonders, as he just so happens to walk by. The fight for justice has begun!
Back in West Covina, Greg gets Heather a job at Greg’s weird sports bar, “where the moms look like hookers and the hookers look like moms.” They watch Rebecca’s case (?) with the bar patrons (??) in the middle of the work day (???) on TV. (I had forgotten that time has no meaning in West Covina. Remember when Paula had a sexy dinner with her husband at what seemed to be 3:00 p.m.?) Anywho, Greg can barely stand to watch the woman he loves — uh, I mean, hates! — do her legal thing. Heather sees the look in Greg’s eyes and realizes he’s in love. And we get a third song! “(Don’t) Settle for Me” is a sunny, funny number about realizing the man you’re dating is in love with your weird neighbor. Greg realizes she’s right and speeds off to L.A. (Doesn’t Greg have to work in the bar? It can’t be quitting time already. Does the sun not set in this town?)
Back in court, Rebecca presents the townspeople’s case and Bert’s testimony, and then Audra Levine reveals that Bert is schizophrenic. Uh, Audra? I’m pretty sure you can have a mental illness and still present evidence, right? The fact he mentioned eating rats last week is not a great sign, but still. That does not immediately negate all his research. Except it does, I guess. It looks like the trial is a bust … until Trent shows up with emails that prove Greater City Water has been ripping off its clients! He simply hacked into the company’s network and printed out a ton of incriminating emails. Success!
Except, again, it’s not. It would be unethical to use those emails because they were stolen. Maybe I’m a real Audra Levine, but WHO CARES? Vindicate the poor people of Southern California! There is some implication that using the emails will chain Rebecca to Trent in a web of lies, but in the end, Rebecca chooses not to submit the emails as evidence because … it’s wrong?! Ugh, now we have to get all ethical? Rebecca makes an impassioned speech to the judge asking that she not rule out Bert’s evidence due to his mental illness, but it doesn’t work and Greater City Water wins.
No! I want to see Audra Levine go down in flames!
Rebecca may not have the win, but she has something more important: integrity and true happiness. Ugh, fine! Audra Levine will get hers. The townspeople give Rebecca a round of applause and she slips the stolen emails to a reporter, who is ethically allowed to use them to blow Greater City Water open, Spotlight-style. Hurrah! Darryl apologizes to White Josh for asking him to hide, which is nice, and screams, “I am bisexual!”, which is nice of White Josh to ignore. “He’s way out of your league. Nice job,” a stranger comments. “Back off, dude!” White Josh shouts back. “He looks like Tom Selleck!” Awwww! White Josh is truly as kind as Josh.
Speaking of … IT HAPPENED! And 13 episodes in! They didn’t try to stretch it until the finale, and I applaud that decision. After the courtroom clears, Josh approaches Rebecca and they kiss! Oh, and it’s pretty great, even knowing as we do that there is no way this will end smoothly. Paula watches them through the window … as does Greg. And once he realizes he threw away something real with Heather to run to Rebecca, he slinks away. You done goofed, Greg. You done goofed.
Notes Torn to Shreds By a Prepubescent Audra Levine:
- Trent, on what he’s been up to since college: “I almost invented Twitter, but I thought ‘Eh, no one’s going to use that.’”
- Rebecca on Trent: “He’ll see me eat a piece of ham off the ground and move on.”
- Rebecca: “I don’t even know you!”
Trent: “Does anyone really know anyone?”
Rebecca: “Yes! Lots of people know lots of people!”
- Josh, preparing for court: “I got Skittles so I wouldn’t get chocolate on my new suit!”
- Bert, not really helping his case: “Thank you for buying me this new suit. It feels great on my bare skin. I don’t believe in underwear.”
- That moment when Trent carefully takes his little, old, sad love letter out of its sandwich bag (just like Rebecca did at camp) and bursts into two seconds of song before Rebecca shuts the door in his face? Gold. Pure gold.