Crazy Ex Girlfriend: 4.02 I Am Ashamed
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I Am Ashamed, or the Halloween special, is the second episode of Crazy Ex Girlfriend season four, and boy is it spooky. It’s got ghosts, ghouls, zombies, witches and the spookiest thing of all - those cringeworthy moments of your life that keep you up at night.
Rebecca has more to worry about in the shame department than most of us, it’s true. It turns out that her court case has made headlines in The Daily Covina and now everyone - not just her closest circle of friends - knows all about what she’s been up to. Branded the rooftop killer - details of her stalking Josh, sleeping with Greg’s Dad, killing Anna’s cat (remember that!) and more have all leaked into the cold light of day. Rebecca doesn’t take this well at all, naturally, and develops a sort of anxiety-induced agoraphobia. Basically, she can’t leave the house - or shower, as Heather points out. She’s stuck at home reading internet comments sections - something one should never ever do.
Halloween wouldn’t be nearly complete without watching Hocus Pocus (a film we know that is beloved by our four fabulous women from ‘Friendtopia’). Even the promise of Kathy Najimy can’t encourage Rebecca to leave the house - the cameo is worth it though. Cue ‘Seize the Day’ - Rebecca’s musical interlude describing her new anxieties about leaving the house. It’s relatable and funny (‘carpe diem, carpe don’t’), which is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Crazy Ex Girlfriend.
When Heather and Rebecca moved into their house back in season two, it was revealed briefly that some horrific murders had taken place there. What seemed a throw-away comment at the time has come back full force in I Am Ashamed as Rebecca starts believing that the ghost of murdered woman Devon is communicating with her. All of the spooky goings on have completely rational explanations but the seance brings the hilarious dynamic of Paula, Heather, Valencia and Rebecca back together (sceptics vs believers) which is always a delight to watch.
‘The Cringe’ goes straight into my top ten songs from Crazy Ex Girlfriend too - it’s painful, funny and even has a dance routine to match. It also brings back Patton Oswalt as Castleman, who has committed murder it turns out, to bring the song together.
Other story-lines this week include the return of Nathaniel’s daddy issues and Darryl getting to grips with single parenthood. As much as I like Nathaniel, his story felt a bit bland - we already know a lot about his relationship with his Dad and it felt like I Am Ashamed was just treading over old ground here. As for Darryl, his journey to provide Haebecca with the finest things in life (mostly breast milk it turns out) was heartfelt and sweet. I very much enjoyed White Josh bonding with Hebby, and it was a great decision to bring Darryl’s ex wife back onto the scene, along with Madison. Darryl has obviously spoken quite a lot about how much enjoys being a father, so it was odd that Madison wasn’t really around for season three. Darryl needed a confidence boost, and we needed to see that Snailor Swift Halloween outfit.
There is a definitely a tonal shift occurring, one that began during season three. Whereas Rebecca has always been obsessed with love and various men (Josh, Greg, Nathaniel) in the past, recently love hasn’t taken over her life the way it used to. The episode titles have even reflected this, with Rebecca seeming to take ownership of her feelings - I Want To Be Here, I Am Ashamed rather than Nathaniel Needs My Help or Is Josh Free in Two Weeks. Almost every previous episode focused on Rebecca’s love interest of the moment in its title, and this feels like a real shift.
We also got to see the new title sequence for season four this episode - ‘Meet Rebecca!’. It’s indicative of this season as a whole; the first three title sequences were all themed to whatever Rebecca was working through that season. The season one title sequence was focused on Josh, season two was about love, season three about Rebecca’s mental health and how it’s perceived. The Season four title sequence doesn’t seem to have a particular theme - it’s more about not knowing who Rebecca is as a person - ‘she’s too hard to summarise’. I can’t say I’m as taken with it as I was with the other ones yet (it feels kind of flat), but we’ll see how the rest of the season pans out first.
I’m also very much on Heather’s side here and very surprised to learn that this is a thing that people actually do? Please do not flush your tampons. Please.