What’s Next for ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ After Surprising Season 2 Finale?
Spoiler alert! This post contains spoilers for the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2 finale.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) was on the verge of getting her happily ever after with Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III)—albeit by rushing up their wedding after her impulsive kiss with new coworker Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster)—but he had a last-minute change of mind and was a no-show at the altar to pursue priesthood.
In the aftermath, a devastated Rebecca (and her friends) vowed revenge on her former dream guy. “You can see at the end of this episode that Rebecca very much is someone who takes on personas that she’s received from the world, and in a time of crisis here, a new persona leaps into her mind and it’s the scorned woman,” executive producer Aline Brosh McKenna told reporters after a screening of the hour. “We’ll see how much she follows through on that, how consistently she follows through on that, and how her feelings evolve as she recovers from this big rupture.”
“Rachel and I have always talked about the series as different aspects of being a crazy ex-girlfriend,” she continued. “The first season was a light, just, ‘Hey, I just happened to be in Starbucks,’ crazy ex-girlfriend. This year was like, ‘We’re kind of together, but I need you to see that we love each other.’ And then next year in some ways is the thing that you most think of as a crazy ex-girlfriend because she is truly an ex now—at least for that moment—and to see how she’s going to negotiate that when she really is what we most think of as being a crazy ex.”
But as viewers learned, this wasn’t the first time Rebecca snapped over a guy: she previously was infatuated with a married man, Robert (Adam Kaufman), and when he broke things off, she set his house on fire…and thanks to a restraining order, she had to go to Yale instead of Harvard, where he worked. “We’ve gotten to know her over 31 episodes, but we don’t know anything about her past, really,” Brosh McKenna said. “As Paula says, the best predictor of the future is the past. It stands to reason that somebody who engages in these obsessive-romantic behaviors has done so before. We wanted to show another instance in her life where she had engaged in extreme behavior and that this was a core wound and that she was still recovering from it…There was a decision made to alter the course of her life and put that behind her. They managed to do that in the courtroom. But it’s in keeping with who she is. There’s probably a kindergarten boy somewhere who has been scarred by Rebecca Bunch.”
The finale also revealed that Rebecca had been previously institutionalized (where she was heavily drugged, but still singing). And when Rebecca’s father called his daughter crazy at the botched wedding—after she told him off for being selfish—Rebecca acknowledged she was “a little bit.” “One thing I know we are going to explore next year is sort of what has her past mental health history been,” teased Brosh McKenna. “So, if you’ll notice here, she got sent to a mental health facility where they put her on way too much medication, so you see her completely zoned out…she doesn’t even look to see what they are; she’s just sitting there, humming all day.”
As Rebecca is harnessing that rage, she’ll have her girlfriends to lean on. “We love those friendships as you can tell probably,” Brosh McKenna said. “We did a thing that was not intentional, but when Greg left we spent four episodes without a conventional straight white man lead. It wasn’t a deliberate thing, but we really liked exploring those friendships and they’re very meaningful for Rebecca and they’re new for her. And I think that one of the things about these relationships is that they don’t know anything about her past. So now all of these women are going to get to know her in a different way…I think all of these women are going to try and come encircle her and support her in whatever way they can, in the way that you do when a friend has been jilted and publicly humiliated in front of a lot of people.”
However, trouble could be on the horizon: Rebecca’s best friend, Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin), doesn’t know the reason why the wedding was rushed. “She doesn’t know about any of that stuff,” Brosh McKenna acknowledged. As we know, Paula is very, very sensitive to having been lied to. There are some other shoes to drop there. Their relationship is never clean.”
As for Josh, he had an out to blame the non-marriage on Rebecca (thanks to a trusty envelope filled with her secrets), but after he realized he does look to pretty women as emotional crutches, he ultimately opted to throw it away before pursuing priesthood. “What I think is interesting and brave and new to me about what happens at the end is that, he never opens the envelope,” McKenna points out. “Because he realizes it’s not her fault, no matter what’s in there. And he knows it’s something bad. But that’s not what the problem is; the problem is his own issues. So I actually think the choice that he makes, in his own way, he’s a bit of a coward…it’s a path that he sees that in his mind is not hurting her, in the same way.”
But Josh could be in for a shock when he realizes what he’s gotten himself into. “He’s done no thinking, no serious research. It’s a panic to flee, it’s a panic move,”Brosh McKenna noted. “We’ll see how much of it suits him. If any of it suits him.”
Of course, as angry as Rebecca was at the end of Season 2, the bridge might not be totally burned with Josh. “There’s a really interesting thing that happens where people [after break up] like, ‘F–k you, I hate you, you’re terrible, you’re a narcissist…but do you want to get back together or what?’” McKenna says. “So there’s a lot of dynamics in that for us to explore. How over him is she? Will she be over him for the whole season or will there be phases of that? It’s an obsession so it moves into a different phase.”