Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: I Will Help You
December 1, 2018 4:05 PM - Season 4, Episode 7 - Subscribe

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, while Nathaniel helps one of Paula's clients in an effort to do something good.
posted by JimBennett (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
"Forget It" is a first-ballot CXG Hall of Fame song, and the headfake cleanup song was just as good.
posted by Etrigan at 9:21 PM on December 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

I don't know why it's the mother's songs this season (Naomi's, Paula's) that have hit me especially hard, but they really have.
posted by sardonyx at 9:29 AM on December 3, 2018

I've really appreciated this season precisely because it is quieter than the other seasons.

There are plenty of shows right now that have great depictions of mental health crises. I'm specifically thinking of You're the Worst and Bojack, though I'm sure I'm missing others. And their depictions of crawling out the other side is either glossed over in side characters, or rolled back with a new stressor. Because they aren't interesting enough for the A plot.

And the end of the last season did that. Which worked for that point in her recovery. A diagnosis is a great milestone. But rock bottom is messy. She's still trying to figure out that line between holding herself accountable and self loathing. She backslides trying to deal with Trent, because her support network feels so tenuous and vulnerable. And then cycles between using her diagnosis to avoid accountability, and pleading guilty for metaphorical symbolism/self-loathing.

But I love that this season begins with a proper slow realization that Grand Gestures are never about accountability. And each episode is about the small quiet debilitating ways poor mental health matters well before hitting a Classic CXG A plot. And showing Rebecca learning to cope with her classic stressors in a healthier way. A bit of backsliding, reflection, and then the smarter but imperfect way forward.

I'm excited to see them tackle Rebecca's difficulty with romantic obsession now that she feels safe enough to date, and her previously unhealthy beaus have all taken steps to make themselves better.

Also, I think it's exactly on point that Audra Levine was dull this episode. The influence of parents is a huge theme. Audra isn't original. She's exactly who her mom taught her to be. In her mother's presence, there's no space for Audra to play the role she's been taught. And it's a good foil against Rebecca's struggle between being her authentic self and not contributing to the continual drama with her mother. And finally realizing that's as much her mother's responsibility as hers.

And all the parent-child relationships in West Covina are a counterweight to the idea that our parents are our destiny. Sure, we know that Paula's the bare minimum mom. But this season, we find that she and Scott were Good Enough to give her kids enough space to evolve to decent human beings. Darryl is obsessing with Hebby, and learning the difference between being a Good Dad who hits it out of the park and the Primary Caregiver who has too many responsibilities to get each one perfect.

(and now I realize I should have been commenting more frequently to spread out these diffuse but strongly held thoughts)
posted by politikitty at 1:18 PM on December 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

I'm also pleased that Darryl came out and voiced his concerns that Rebecca hasn't shown an iota of interest in Hebby. As a previous poster mentioned a thread or two back, this is likely a serious mental block for Rebecca, and it seems that it will get addressed shortly. I'm glad to see they aren't going to sweep the situation under the rug.
posted by sardonyx at 2:01 PM on December 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Mod note: Couple comments deleted; folks have asked that people not post spoilers for future episodes, even if they're from the "next time on ___" preview ads.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:45 PM on December 4, 2018

I loved this episode.

I like Nathan trying to figure out how to be nicer. But I felt like Darryl could have at least told Josh "take the duvet out of the duvet cover, dude. Google how to do things." I felt like the "eh, keeping house is just common sense" was a little annoying - lots of it is, but not all. There's some accumulation of knowledge - Don't mix colors and whites. Don't mix bleach and ammonia. Stuff like that.
posted by bunderful at 6:10 PM on December 18, 2018

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