Crazy Ex Girlfriend: 4:03 I'm On My Own Path
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A career change is a thing of mystery for most people. Most of us decide what we want to be, or have it decided for us, at a young age - often far too young to really understand just what that livelihood actually entails.
From the cold open, it’s clear that episode three I’m On My Own Path is going to focus on Rebecca’s career. We’re taken right back to the very first episode where Rebecca is given a promotion at her law firm in New York which, along with her chance encounter with Josh, seems to lead her directly to an entire change of direction. She runs (literally) to West Covina, a place which is almost entirely the opposite of New York.
Before Rebecca’s monumental career change moment in I’m On My Own Path, she encounters former Whitefeather Associates/Mountaintop employee Jim working at a newly built Pretzel shop in the foyer of her law office building. You may remember Jim as the one who believed that he and Rebecca were in a will-they-won’t-they-scenario, despite them never even having spoken. Having now given up law to manage Pretzel Central, Jim performs ‘Don’t Be a Lawyer’ - a fantastic riff on songs from Bell Biv Devoe, Boys II Men and other new jack swing artists. It convinced me; being a lawyer sounds awful. Having a relatively minor character break into song happens a few times a series in Crazy Ex Girlfriend and this one is particular highlight. Burl Mosely is brilliant as Jim, and the lyrics are excellent.
In reality, it does seem that Rebecca doesn’t really like her job. She’s never in the office (truthfully this can be said about many TV characters, do any of them actually do their jobs?), she doesn’t stick anything out, she takes innumerable sick days and often pawns her work off onto her more eager colleagues like Paula or Maya. I mean, Maya is far too eager, but that’s a whole different situation. In fact, it’s the comparison to Paula that really cements Rebecca’s dislike for what she does. Paula is doing everything she can to become qualified as a lawyer - including doing her degree whilst also trying to raise her family - whereas Rebecca is doing everything she can to avoid working. Sure, she may be naturally good at being a lawyer, but does this mean she should be one?
Which leads nicely on to the second song of the episode, and what is possibly the most bizarre yet entertaining musical number that Crazy Ex Girlfriend has come out with so far. The Pretzel song. On wondering whether to return to the law or to continue working at Pretzel Central, Rebecca’s beloved pretzels begin to sing to one another - begging her to leave them out of this.
Heather and Hector’s sub plot this week was a fairly major one, as it involved the two of them tying the knot. Initially suggested by Heather as a way for Hector to be able to use Heather’s medical insurance (America, sort out your national healthcare already), it turns out that these two really do want to get married. After doing the official bit at the registry office, Hector then suggest the two of them should have a ‘proper wedding’, but Heather is less than enamoured with the idea. This makes sense with Heather’s character - she’s someone who is socially progressive and doesn’t believe that the two of them need to put on ‘a production’ to prove their love.
In the end, the two of them have a wedding of sorts - heavily implied due to Valencia’s need for beautiful couples for her wedding planning portfolio ("no more uggos"). Heather ends up wearing white, is walked down the aisle by her father, and their wedding takes place in a church - all things that Heather specifically didn’t want to do. Though it’s framed as Heather and Hector compromising, it also feels out of character that Heather would want to go through all of that as someone who doesn’t believe in it. For a show which usually provides a nuanced insight into the patriarchy, feminism and society - it doesn’t do a great job of exploring any of these ideas around the traditional ideas of weddings.
Nathaniel has taken a vow of silence this episode, which I was quite grateful for as it gave us some time off from his incessant moaning. It does seem to have done him good to think rather than continually speak, however, and by the end of the episode, Nathaniel knows exactly what he wants. It seems to be a wake up call for him, he realises that people aren’t just going to keep putting up with his childlike behaviour, and if he wants to be with Rebecca, he needs to do something about it. I’m looking forward to see how this will play out as both Nathaniel and Rebecca seem to be maturing (slowly) this season, and this may be better for their potential relationship.
In contrast, Josh is doing a lot of talking this episode having committed himself to seeing a therapist. He has also, with the encouragement of Rebecca (or 'Becs') gone back into the dating pool. Josh is learning a lot about himself - he doesn't understand art history and should probably post less topless photos on dating apps - but is most surprised to discover that the women he is dating aren't interesting long term relationships. Vincent Rodriguez III is always great as Josh, but it's good to see some development for his character and see him reflecting on what it is that he wants from his life now.
Ultimately, Rebecca’s progression into a new career feels like exactly the kind of springboard season four needs to move on and develop some new and interesting story-lines. It’s a great move, and one that will certainly provide the opportunity for Rebecca to grow. It will be interesting to see how this affects her relationship with Paula (they've gone through ups and downs from working together, and not working together) but it feels like the show is going in the right direction.