Spoilers ahead for the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend series finale. It's finally here. After countless breakups, breakdowns, and breakthroughs, Rebecca Bunch's story has come to a close, but the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend finale couldn't have given her a better ending. For a show built so heavily around romance, it might seem surprising that Rebecca doesn't end up with Josh, Nathaniel, or Greg, and instead chooses to be alone. But while she may have moved to West Covina for a man, the show was never about Rebecca finding love — it was about her finding herself. We as the audience may have known that, but Rebecca took a little longer to catch on.
After Nathaniel, Greg, and Josh gave Rebecca their Valentine's Day ultimatum, she lets them down one after the other in the April 5 episode. She explains that she doesn't know who she is, and she needs to figure that out before entering into a serious relationship — not just with one of them, but with anyone. This realization comes after having a green juice-fueled nightmare, wherein "Dr. Akopian" walks Rebecca through three potential futures. In each of these scenarios, she and her respective partner seem great together, and yet Rebecca isn't happy in any of them.
Afterward, Rebecca confides in Paula that she sings musicals in her head in order to work through her problems, fully expecting her best friend to laugh in her face. But Paula is ecstatic. This is Rebecca's way of processing things, she points out, so would it really be a stretch for her to write them down?
This is truly the breakthrough of the Crazy Ex finale — not who Rebecca does or doesn't choose, but who she chooses to be. It would feel incredibly reductive for Rebecca's life story to be contingent upon a guy. After all, isn't that what she's been trying to get away from? She's done extensive work on herself, and now fully acknowledges that not only did she move to West Covina for Josh Chan (or rather, the idea of him), but she now realizes that finding her own path is much more important than romantic love.
This harkens back to a session Rebecca had with her psychiatrist, Dr. Shin, in Season 3. "Think of all the time and energy you spent in your life on romantic relationships," he pointed out. "You can take that passion, that intensity, and focus and redirect it into more productive endeavors."
For Rebecca, that means deciding who she wants to be, not who she wants to be with. As we see in the time jump to Valentine's Day the next year, the real Rebecca — not the performative one — is gracious, appreciative, and a good friend. Rather than focusing solely on herself, as she has in the past, she spends her time onstage celebrating her friends, their achievements, and the various ways they've enriched her life.
The real Rebecca is also passionate — and truly, genuinely happy. Though she's tone deaf and has never played the piano, her enthusiasm for writing music is contagious. "It's not just about the act of writing," she explains to the bar. "It's about how, when I'm doing that, when I'm telling my own story, for the first time in my life, I am truly happy. It's like I just met myself — like I just met Rebecca."
And isn't self-actualization more important than any love story? As we see through the fake Dr. Akopian, aka the Ghost of Valentine's Day Yet to Come, Rebecca wouldn't have been happy with any three of these men because she didn't know who she was or what she wanted. No matter how much love and care each one of them could give to her, it wouldn't feel whole without Rebecca first having love for herself.
What's more, Rebecca is truly fulfilled by her decision. She has wonderful friends (except for White Josh, who never really came around on her), she's pursuing her passion, and she's in a good place mentally. And even if she does decide to enter a relationship, "it won't be 'ending up' with someone," as she explains. "Because romantic love is not an ending. Not for me or for anyone else here. It's just a part of your story — a part of who you are."
After decades of watching rom-coms, we've been conditioned to want our protagonists to end up with someone. It's what we've come to see as a happy ending, that you need someone in order to be complete. But while love is beautiful and worth seeking out, it's not what defines us. Perhaps Rebecca is ready for romantic love now. Perhaps she isn't. Perhaps she'll pick one of the three guys, or perhaps she'll end up with someone else entirely. We'll never know, and it's not the point. Rebecca loves herself, her friends, and her life, and all these years, it was that that she was chasing. Josh, Greg, and Nathaniel were just a part of the journey.