Friday, October 19, 2018

REVIEW: 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' - Rebecca is Haunted Both In and Out of Her House in 'I Am Ashamed'

The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Episode 4.02 "I Am Ashamed"

Rebecca convinces Paula, Heather and Valencia to participate in a séance after making a spooky discovery. Darryl takes his parenting duties to an extreme. Nathaniel is determined to prove to his father that he is the best person to run the law firm.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

"I Am Ashamed" was written by Erin Ehrlich and directed by Audrey Wauchope & Rachel Specter

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend hasn't produced a ton of holiday-themed episodes. It had stories centered around Thanksgiving and Christmas in its first season. But that is about it. And now, this episode is mostly set around Halloween. Yes, the influences are felt abundantly throughout the storytelling as well. There is only a Hocus Pocus screening in a cemetery because of the time of year - which is a fantastic callback to "Friendtopia" while featuring a nice cameo by Kathy Najimy as well. Rebecca and Valencia are more susceptible to the suggestion of the supernatural right now. Plus, the final song is such a perfect homage to "Monster Mash" which is the most popular song associated with Halloween. But all of this is also wrapped around ideas of insecurity. Right now, Rebecca is horrified and afraid of the world around her. Sure, her agoraphobia is sudden and jarring. She seemed to find new purpose in her life at the end of the premiere. And yet, she believes she's being perceived differently in a town that she now calls her home. She believes the people of West Covina have gotten to know her. But now, a news site is discussing her crime and subsequent arrest with every brutal detail of her past somehow making its way into the comments section. It's scary just how revealing all of that is. It's easy to understand why Rebecca doesn't want to leave her home. She doesn't want to go out into the world and make those same mistakes. It's much more comforting to just stay inside and masturbate all day long. And yet, that's not healthy for her either. So instead, she distracts herself by focusing on this spirit who died in the house and needs to find peace before she can move on. Rebecca and Valencia believe in it completely while Paula and Heather are total skeptics. And yes, there is absolutely nothing to these claims that Rebecca is being haunted by a spirit. But it does give her an excuse to get out of the house. Moreover, it leads to that fantastic final song "The Cringe." It's a song that highlights that the most embarrassing moment of our lives playing over and over again in our minds is much more scary than any cheap thrill that happens during this holiday. The personal anxiety from daily life is much more numbing and terrifying. And yet, we have to find the conviction to continue moving forward in our lives even if our actions may still lead to us cringing about what we have done. Elsewhere, the show offers some updates to life for the various supporting characters. Nathaniel comes back to work to learn that his father has been running things and has made some changes. It means that Bert is no longer the silent partner he promised he would be to Rebecca. As such, the firm is undergoing even more changes with Nathaniel not having as much power as he used to. And finally, Darryl and White Josh aren't together as a couple but are solid friends who remain present in each other's lives. It's again deeply rooted in White Josh not wanting a baby. However, he is able to care for Hebecca when Darryl freaks out about the value of breastmilk for a developing child. Moreover, it's just cute seeing the baby dressed up in a koala outfit while Josh and White Josh adore her. That's so sweet and special. So is the moment where Darryl accepts that he has been acting crazy and realizes that he is a great parent because he cares so much. That's ultimately what matters the most when it comes to raising a child.

In case you missed it, please read this Twitter thread about the directing of this episode.