Saturday, December 1, 2018

REVIEW: 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' - Rebecca Tries to Be Honest With Her Mother About Her Career Change in 'I Will Help You'

The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Episode 4.07 "I Will Help You"

Rebecca takes a trip to visit her mother with intentions to tell Naomi about her new career path. Josh housesits for Rebecca and discovers being alone is harder than it seems. Nathaniel helps one of Paula's clients in an effort to do something good.

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 Will Help You" was written by Aline Brosh McKenna and directed by Kabir Akhtar

It's always daunting for Rebecca whenever she has to spend time with her mother, Naomi. Of course, it's a delight for the audience because Tovah Feldshuh is so fantastic in this role. The mother-daughter relationship between them is so complex. The show has analyzed it so deeply especially as it pertains to Rebecca's mental illness. The last time Naomi was seen she was drugging her daughter. She did so out of love because she saw just how dark things were getting. They only got darker after that huge revelation though. It's because of that that Rebecca was pushed to a suicidal place. That was a huge wake up call for her. And now, she has made so much progress on herself. She understands the value of total honesty. She has reinvented her life with everything that can make her happy. She is fulfilled running her pretzel shop and offering free legal advice to inmates. She is giving back to her community and enjoys it. But she still has complicated personal relationships. For every step forward she has made this season, she has taken a few steps back as well. That's been a core theme of recovery. That's what this season has been about. Rebecca is trying to life a better life now that she understands the problems she has faced for all of these years. She feels the need to be completely honest about everything in every aspect of her life. Sure, she overcorrects. She doesn't fully understand what she needs to be doing. She feels bad about lying to a room full of people about her career. And yet, she also realizes that it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks about her. She has to be happy with her own life. She was surprised to realize that Naomi has been keeping up with everything that has happened in West Covina. There is nothing new for Rebecca to share except that she has changed careers. Of course, that is still absolutely devastating to her mother who is so proud to talk about her daughter who has been named a senior partner in her firm. When it comes to all of the other problems, it's nothing new to her. This is Rebecca following the same patterns she has always done. Rebecca doesn't want to see things that way though. She values the moral support from her friends. She knows that seeing her mother again will be difficult. Valencia and Beth are fortunately in New York now and willing to host her in their cramped apartment. Rebecca is striving for that independence. She wants the respect that comes from having clarity over her convictions. She doesn't want to feel bad about the career change that she made. Naomi was always going to be her harshest critic. She keeps trying to control her life from afar. Rebecca wants to be a good daughter. She even offers to introduce her at this banquet where Naomi is being honored. Instead, she is able to bring Elayne Boosler onstage - the guest that Naomi really wanted talking about her. That's a huge gift that Rebecca gives thanks to Valencia. But more importantly, she also stands up to her mother in saying that they need to have boundaries in their relationship where Naomi can't meddle. Otherwise, there will be significant consequences where they could lose each other for good. That shows just how mature Rebecca is about everything in her life at the moment. It's huge progress for her. As such, it shouldn't be surprising when she backslides and receives flashes of romantic love upon learning what Josh and Nathaniel have been up to back in West Covina. Neither of them should receive credit for doing some basic adulting and human decency here. And yet, that's still impressive to Rebecca and makes her yearn for them once more which is only going to create more problems for her. Problems that are bound to be very amusing to see play out.