(Spoiler alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the Season 2 finale of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”)
Season 2 of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” ended on an explosive twist indicating that the title of the CW musical dramedy will take on whole new meaning come next year.
In Friday night’s finale, not only is Rebecca left at the altar by her fiance, but it’s also revealed that her obsessive romantic behavior goes back years. Flashbacks show that she was once institutionalized after setting fire to an ex-lover’s home as retribution for a bad breakup. That doesn’t bode well for Josh Chan come Season 3 because Rebecca, with the assistance of her three girlfriends, pledges that she will “destroy” him for leaving her on their wedding day.
“It’s really going to be ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ isn’t it?” showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna said of next season. “They’ve really been together, so she really is an ex now.”
When the show first premiered two years ago, that title caused some consternation among those who objected to the use of the word “crazy.” But, like Rebecca herself says in the first season’s opening credits, “The situation’s a lot more nuanced than that.”
“Rachel [Bloom] and I have always talked about the series as being different aspects of being a crazy ex-girlfriend,” McKenna said of the show’s star. “The first season was sort of a light, ‘Hey just happened to be at Starbucks’ crazy ex-girlfriend, and this season was them kind of together: ‘I need you to see that we love each other.'”
“Next season is kind of what you most think of as a crazy ex-girlfriend,” she said, describing Rebecca as taking on the persona of “scorned woman” in the third season.
How that will play out remains to be seen, but Rebecca will certainly be grappling with her anger and hatred after being embarrassed in front of all her friends and family. And that hatred is just “the flip side of the same obsession” we’ve seen throughout the first two seasons, McKenna said.
“We’ll see how much she follows through on that … and how her feelings evolve as she recovers from this big thing that happens to her at the end,” she explained.
The revelation about what happened to Rebecca after an affair with one of her professors went awry also brings to light more info about her relationship with her con man of a father.
Played by guest star John Allen Nelson, Rebecca’s absentee father makes his daughter’s dreams come true by swooping into town for her wedding, only to disappoint her by trying to hit her up for cash.
“Over 31 episodes, the audience has gotten to know her pretty well, but we don’t know anything about her past, really,” McKenna said, describing the relationships with her father and ex as “core wounds” that she’s never fully healed.
“The best predictor of the future is the past,” she said. “It stands to reason that someone who’s engaged in these obsessive romantic behaviors has done so before … There’s probably a kindergarten boy somewhere who’s been scarred by Rebecca Bunch.”
“She’s had bad experiences with being diagnosed and being given medications that make her feel bad, which is a very
McKenna also addressed Josh’s surprising decision to leave Rebecca for the priesthood rather than another woman, as he’s done in the past. She described the character as a “benevolent narcissist” who typically sees himself in the reflection of beautiful women, but as one who is trying to better himself.
“He actually tries to do good and means well. That’s why he goes to a priest all the time. He’s seeking goodness, always,” McKenna said. “He has a sense of wanting to better himself, but [he’s] run a little bit by his urges.”
“What I think is interesting and brave, and what moves me about what happens at the end is that he never opens the envelope,” she continued. “Because he realizes that it’s not her fault. He knows it’s something bad, but no matter what’s in there, that’s not what the problem is. The problem is his own issues.”