Spoilers ahead for Season 3 Episode 7 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Over the course of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3, Rebecca Bunch has finally begun to leave behind her toxic impulses and start the slow, critical march toward change. In Episode 5, she reached for help — hazy but willful — after attempting suicide; In Episode 6, she overcame her initial panic and embraced her new diagnosis; and now, the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend midseason 3 finale brings her most profound moment of clarity yet. After a debaucherous trip to Paula's hometown, she meets with her therapist to discuss the progress she's been making, where she stumbles into a seismic revelation. "My whole life I've only known how to be really good or really bad," she says. "But being human is living in that kind of in-between space. It's making mistakes, and that's very scary, but also very cool."
It's perhaps the first time Rebecca has been so stunningly self-aware, and it's also a rather apt summary for her journey on the show thus far. Since rerouting her life to West Covina back in 2015, she's worn many identities: the "crazy" ex, the hopeless romantic, the woman scorned. She lives her life by polar extremes, using female caricatures as a coping mechanism to dull her inner pain. If she never has to be herself, she can ignore the deeper problems still festering within. But as co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna told Bustle in November, Rebecca has officially run out of characters to play, and now finds herself at a defining crossroads. "The question for Rebecca is, can she find a more authentic story that comes from inside of her and isn't a received narrative from the outside, from culture?" McKenna said at the time.
The answer seems to lean toward yes, but it will be a long, demanding climb. It's taken Rebecca two and a half seasons to get to this point, and though she is taking strides forward, she's still taking them backwards, too. When Dr. Shin tells her she has to allow herself to make mistakes, she tags along with Paula to Buffalo, drinks too much vodka, pees in a drawer, sexts (and against her better judgment, later has sex with) Nathaniel, trashes the house with Paula's dad, watches him threaten Paula's ex with a gun, and consciously lets him drive drunk. Even as she's mucking up her life, she's still overachieving. The difference is that now, she's acknowledging her issues and actively working to improve them.
That raises a few questions about what Crazy Ex will look like when Season 3 returns. Music has always been an integral part of the show's storytelling, but until now, it's been primarily a mirror for the narratives Rebecca projects onto her world, and as she advances further with recovery, they should begin to wane. Instead, Crazy Ex will, assumedly, lean into the in-between Rebecca describes, giving her the space to explore who she is outside of the various stereotypes prescribed to her: a complex, flawed, fully realized human being.
Of course, music will continue to be an important lens for outside relationships, too: Star Rachel Bloom told Vanity Fair that the dynamic between Rebecca and Nathanial will deeply inform the latter half of Season 3, and she and Paula certainly have steps left to take in balancing their co-dependent friendship. But for once, those might be tangential, and Rebecca — the real Rebecca — can take center stage, shifting her focus on romance to a different, more important kind of love: self-love. For Rebecca Bunch, that may be very scary, but it's also very, very cool.