Episode Review: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

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Since the beginning of CW’s excellent first season of the musical comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” we have watched protagonist Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom, “Robot Chicken”) develop from a delusional, depressed New York lawyer into a sunny, self-aware California woman. In this week’s episode “Josh Has No Idea Where I Am!,” the show focuses on the interplay between Rebecca and her friends, where Rebecca’s doubts about her ability to maintain loving relationships are literally manifested in a hysterical yet poignant dream sequence.

After last week’s cliffhanger — Rebecca leaves on a plane and is seated next to her therapist Dr. Akopian (Michael Hyatt, “Nightcrawler”) — it’s quickly revealed that Rebecca is in fact not on her way to Hawaii to be with Josh, but back to New York City in hopes of getting her job and old life back. Disillusioned by Josh’s rejection of her, Rebecca has lost all hope in justifying why she moved to West Covina in the first place. But after falling asleep from ingesting a huge amount of sleeping pills and a Bloody Mary, Rebecca finds some insight from her subconscious, portrayed by Dr. Akopian. Together, the two women look through Rebecca’s memories of her childhood and college years to examine her relationship with her estranged father and a fling with a pretentious theater major.

By contrasting the memories with her current life, Dr. Akopian shows Rebecca that she in fact has people in her life who care about her well-being. Gradually, Rebecca realizes those people are her best work friend Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin, “The Good Wife”), her boss Darryl (Pete Gardner, “The Brink”), her cynical on-and-off again love interest Greg (Santino Fontana, “Frozen”) and her summer camp crush Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III, “Hostages”).

Like many of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” ’s episodes, “Josh Has No Idea Where I Am!” works on all levels, from Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna’s incredible writing to Steven Tsuchida’s sensitive direction to the typically fantastic acting of the ensemble cast. The episode’s only musical number, “Dream Ghost,” is a riveting treat as well, with Hyatt singing alongside welcome guest stars Amber Riley (“Glee”) and Ricki Lake (“Hairspray”). Its deft balance between sincere drama and witty comedy only furthers the story’s progression and the show’s status as one of the best and most underrated TV programs in the 2015-16 season.

Grade: A

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