'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Shows The Problems With The Way We Teach Girls About Love
Throughout this season of The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, we've seen Rebecca satirize the expectations and perceptions of women in society and pop culture, in areas such as beauty, female friendship, and career. Well, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was at it again during Monday night's episode of the show. This time, the show tackled perhaps the two most common source materials from which we draw our ideals about love and romance: fairy tales and romantic comedies.
Of course, this came right after one of the most romantic moments of the season, when Rebecca and Josh finally shared a passionate kiss after they lost the class-action lawsuit in last Monday night's episode. Unsurprisingly, Rebecca was probably the happiest she's ever been on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but Josh was full of guilt for cheating on Valencia.
Still, Rebecca's fairy tale ending seemed more in sight now than ever, or she was the female protagonist of a rom-com, as Paula liked to put it. Going with the latter metaphor, Paula instructed Rebecca to wait until Josh made the first move.
Though Rebecca desperately wanted to communicate with Josh (because resisting the urge to send someone a pic of a cute red panda is torture, you guys), Paula's advice worked because he soon showed up at Rebecca's door. Unfortunately, he did not come bearing good news. He told Rebecca that he feels a connection with Rebecca, but kissing her was wrong, and he's going to tell Valencia what happened, expecting her to break up with him. Then, he planned on skipping off to Hawaii to see his friend Hector in a surfing competition and conveniently avoid all the drama.
Rebecca had a hard time containing her excitement over the possibility of Valencia breaking up with Josh. It was then that Paula advised her to book a ticket on Josh's plane to Hawaii ASAP because it would be "the grand gesture moment" of the rom-com she's starring in.
At this point, you might be thinking, Are Rebecca and Josh finally going to get together? I know it's hard to believe since things haven't worked out for Rebecca in the romance department so far this season. And we actually get a little hint early on in the episode that this might be another plan of Rebecca's that crashes and burns when Greg reminded us that he carried out his "grand gesture moment" in last Monday night's episode when he went down to the courthouse to tell Rebecca how much he loved her, only to find her locking lips with Josh.
Greg's rom-com didn't work out for him, and it sadly doesn't work out for Rebecca either. Josh told Valencia that he kissed Rebecca and said that he didn't love her, reaffirming his love for Valencia. Rebecca witnessed the whole exchange because she was going to tell Josh to not tell Valencia so that they stayed together because she felt so bad about being responsible for tearing the apart.
But now knowing that Josh doesn't love her and will probably never love her has made Rebecca feel even worse. She even went so far as to sing, "I'm the villain in my own story/I'm the witch in my own tale." She even looked like the witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Valencia was the lovely princess, or rather, damsel in distress being punished. The song also references rom-coms when Rebecca sang "I'm the bitch in the corner of the poster."
This episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend reminded us that thinking that love should be like a rom-com or a fairy tale is problematic not only because they're fiction and don't show what life is really like but also how they portray women. Now I love rom-coms and fairy tales as much as the next person, but generally speaking, each medium has a tendency to present one-dimensional female characters who are either good or bad; there's often not much nuance. And they can be pit against one another as they fight over a man.
The end of this episode showed that Rebecca may think more sensibly about her life in the future. After having an anxiety attack while receiving the key to West Covina for her work in bringing attention to the water scandal, she was seated next to her therapist, who she had been avoiding, on a plane. Rebecca agreed to use that time to talk about her feelings and the issues she's been having in her life, which hopefully means she'll be focusing less on trying to make her life like a fairy tale or rom-com with Josh and more on trying to make herself happy.
The only scary part of it is we don't know where Rebecca is going or when or if she'll be returning to West Covina anytime soon. But, of course, this could just be part of another plan to win Josh's affection. They do say "absence makes the heart grow fonder," so I predict that Rebecca won't be done with Josh and vice versa just yet.
Images: Scott Everett White (2), Greg Gayne/The CW