Crazy Ex Girlfriend: 4.04 I'm Making Up For Lost Time
I’ll make a confession before we begin to discuss I’m Making Up For Lost Time; I didn’t initially remember who Tucker was. Rebecca’s half brother is not someone who has cropped up much in the series before - really he’s only been mentioned in passing to make a point about Rebecca’s abandonment issues rather than as an actual character. In an eager bid to make amends with her family (but not with her overbearing mother or absent father), Rebecca reaches out to young Tucker inviting him to come and visit her. In pure Bunch style, Tucker immediately packs his bags and turns up on the doorstep of Rebretzel - Rebecca’s new pretzel shop.
It turns out that Tucker has a lot of Bunch-isms - he says ‘gasp’ out loud, loves pretzels and his favourite musical is the obscure animated 90’s movie ‘Slumbered’. Their similarities are uncanny, which is exactly the kind of sign that Rebecca needs in order to make Tucker her latest project. The other thing Tucker and Rebecca have in common is a penchant for lying - it’s soon revealed that Tucker is not really in West Covina to see his half-sister, he’s there to manipulate his way into an audition.
For Tucker's audition he performs 'I Want To Be a Child Star' - a catchy number which details all the reasons why he desperately wants to be famous. Lyrics such as as 'I want to have a teenage Hollywood meltdown/ be a pop-culture casualty /I want a bunch of addictions/ to illegal prescriptions' outline why Tucker doesn't land the part. It's an amusing song, but it's not particularly memorable - season four still has yet to provide us with a truly great musical number (bar 'Don't Be a Lawyer').
The return of Josh’s doppelganger here at the audition, actor Colin Crowley who Rebecca almost made a sex tape with, is a welcome one. There’s something brilliant about Colin’s character and he’s perfectly placed in this situation.
Naturally, Rebecca ends up discovering Tucker's real motive for coming to visit her (and his betrayal of stealing her teenage diary which gave him the knowledge to manipulate her). Instead of sending her off the deep end, Rebecca actually reaches out to Tucker in a way that would have been impossible for her to do earlier in the series. She sees the warning signs that Tucker may need serious help - she even calls their father, which was not an easy thing for her to do given past events.
Yet Rebecca does all of this for Tucker because she knows that he needs help and she understands what he is going through. They may not have 'Slumbered' in common, but there's clearly a lot of mutual ground between these two. Hopefully it's not the last we see of Tucker, because otherwise this feels like a one-episode-lesson-learnt situation and wrapping things up so neatly isn't something that Crazy Ex Girlfriend is about.
In another parenting matter, I have worried about Paula’s parenting skills in the past and it turns out I was correct to be concerned. Paula spends so much time mothering Rebecca (badly) that she has little to no time for her own family - an issue that almost destroys her marriage is season two. It’s probably about time that Paula actually spends some time with her own children and learns some things about them that she didn’t know before. Paula’s sons are no longer the weird spotty preteens from season two, or whenever it is that we last saw them (just another example of how little Paula’s family actually feature in life or the show). They are almost-adults who know things, have had serious relationships (or as serious as you can be as a teen) and understand how to navigate escape rooms.
Paula feels a bit sore about missing important moments from Tommy and Brendan’s lives. Though it feels like a side-plot to give Paula something to do in this episode, I really hope that the writers work this through for Paula’s sake. Paula’s obsession with mothering Rebecca and the things that obsession has made her do is unhealthy and needs to end if Rebecca is going to get better. Paula needs to start putting herself and her family first and this feels like a wake up call for her.
One last thing to note - in response to Rebecca’s reaching out to Tucker as ‘the one last piece of unfinished business’, Paula retorts back a whole list of people that Rebecca has yet to reconcile with including Greg. I think everyone’s been dying to see this reunion (even though Greg has been recast), and this hopefully means we are one step closer to it. The drama!