We have another new theme song this season, and unfortunately it’s my least favorite so far. The theme of being “crazy” is still emphasized, with Rebecca donning different pop star costumes (a Carrie Underwood “Before He Cheats” look, an Eminem-esque rapper, a lovesick popstar, and a boyband member) and singing about how it’s both good and bad to know a girl who’s a little messed up in the head. All four of her personas end up on stage singing together. Then, it pans out to Rebecca herself sitting on the toilet watching this video on her phone, wondering what the heck she just watched. I’m wondering that myself too; it’s not at all catchy or fun like the themes of the first two seasons, and it’s a bit of a let down.
But anywho. To the plot…
There’s three interwoven plots this episode: Josh finding out more about becoming a priest, Nathaniel helping Rebecca take down Josh, and coworker Tim realizing that in his eleven years of marriage he hasn’t given his wife an orgasm. Magically, all of these stories work together and give us a solid episode.
We start with Josh. It’s been a 2 week whirlwind since he left Rebecca at the altar, and we finally see what he’s been up to. Surprisingly, he’s still trying to commit himself to the priesthood, but doesn’t seem to realize it’s not as easy as showing up at a church and asking to join. He thinks he can live with “his head in the clouds;” every obligation he had has fallen to the wayside because of his new commitment. It’s a fresh start for him, no more drama, nothing for him to do but be with Jesus. All his mistakes are forgiven and forgotten!
But, he’s informed by the head priest, Father Rodrigo, that he can’t just…start. It’s a lot of work, and it’ll be like entering college. He’ll have to write essays, take classes, and study for years and years before he can become a full-fledged priest; it’s not just an easy way out to avoid his responsibilities. On the surface, Josh keeps up the oh, yeah totally, bro! vibe, but inside he’s panicking and maybe rethinking this choice.
Back at the office, Paula and Rebecca are working on their plan to sue Josh for emotional damages, but Rebecca is rethinking it. It sounds like a good idea, but in the end it still doesn’t fill the hole in her heart like she thought it would. She wants to do something “savage,” something more than mailing her poop or going the legal route. Paula convinces her the lawsuit is the right way to go, but Becks isn’t having it.
Elsewhere in the office, Maya shares some of her self-love advice from her women’s magazines with Tim, where she tells him the vast difference between men and women achieving orgasm during sex. He thinks the disparity is false, that in the eleven years he’s been married to his wife, she’s had one every time they’ve been intimate. But Maya, Mrs. Hernandez and Paula crack the case; she’s been taking care of herself in the bathroom every time. This leads to one of my new favorite songs, “The Buzzing from the Bathroom,” which is a play on “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from Les Miserables. Tim sings of the time spent listening to his wife “brushing her teeth with her electric toothbrush” when she was really finishing what he couldn’t during sex. He can’t believe he couldn’t satisfy his wife and that it took him this long to realize it.
As the show progresses, we’re seeing more of the side characters and giving them a bit more spotlight, which I’m really enjoying.
Nathaniel can’t believe that he still has feelings for Rebecca (they may have gotten even worse since the wedding incident, which makes him angry) so he’s trying to compensate for this “weakness” by going back to being the hardass boss he was when he first came to the law firm. He does this by trying to dig up dirt on a local business owner and trying to completely destroy him on behalf of their big business client who wants the man’s store property. This upsets Rebecca because the man is so nice and does a lot of charity work. Plus, she can clearly see that Nathaniel is trying to overcompensate for his mushy feelings by being unnecessarily mean. Which, turns out, she really likes.
She realizes that Nathaniel is an “amoral sociopath with no conscience” and that’s the exact kind of attitude she needs to go on with the plan to take down Josh. So, Rebecca makes a proposal. If Nathaniel can help her take Josh down in a vicious way, she’ll let him do anything to her. Anything. This catches him by (pleasant) surprise, and he eventually agrees.
Elsewhere, Josh meets up with Hector and White Josh to tell them that he’s still going through with the priest thing. They tell him he’s acting like a selfish child by running off to do what he wants instead of making up with those he hurt; they’re completely shocked to find out he hasn’t talked to Rebecca since the wedding. They also find out he’s mostly becoming a priest just to avoid the awkward inevitable conversation he’ll have with Rebecca. This is just another one of his things that he does to avoid drama.
Nathaniel doesn’t inform Rebecca exactly what his plan entails, but it begins with him sending her a dress and some very sexy (and skimpy) lingerie. She goes to meet him on a rooftop like he’d asked, but in completely different clothing because he apparently can’t see she doesn’t have the body of a thirteen year old girl. Before they start their night, Rebecca asks him why he’s doing this for her, and Nathaniel replies “sex is just a simple transaction for me.” (Liar).
They’re talking and then hurriedly running away as a helicopter tries to land on the exact spot where they’re having A Moment. He leads her to the event, which happens to be a masquerade party held for some important business people around West Covina. They mingle and chat, Nathaniel saying that four people there have the ability to completely destroy Josh, and that’s why they have to schmooze and get things done. Before the night’s over, the two of them are making out on the dance floor, and rushing back to Nathaniel’s apartment to (finally) have sex.
The next morning, Nathaniel tells Rebecca all about his evil plan, which is truly, truly evil. It takes out what he cares about most: his family. The plan involves trying to get his father imprisoned, ruining his sister’s reputation, and taking his grandfather off life support. As he explains all of this, Rebecca completely freaks out; she wanted to hurt Josh, but not in such a devastating way. All she really wants is for him to apologize, and to feel some modicum of embarrassment like she did.
So, Rebecca takes matters into her own hands. She puts on her wedding dress and storms off to the church Josh is working at so she can tell him off for all the wrongs he did to her. She makes a big show about it and leaves the church feeling triumphant, until…she gets back to her car and takes a deep breath. And realizes just how much she shared with Josh. Secrets about her that coworkers and friends don’t even know, and that if it gets out, she’ll be embarrassed even further.
As usual, everything in Rebecca Bunch land is backfiring.
One thing I have to say about this episode is how much they emphasized the importance of happiness, pleasure, and consent for women and their partners. When Maya is discussing women’s magazines with Tim at the beginning of the episode, she says that she loves herself and her self image more than worrying about following some work out plan pushed on her by the media. Later, when Tim discovers he wasn’t giving his wife what she wanted, he went to her, and they talked about it to make sure both of them left satisfied.
Most notably, Nathaniel’s and Rebecca’s plan hinges on her having sex with him as part of the deal. Even though they both agreed to this, Nathaniel still takes a moment to ask her if she’s still okay with it, that just because they agreed to it earlier doesn’t mean she still has to follow through if she doesn’t want to. As silly and weird as this show gets sometimes, the fact that this show was created by two women and they continue to discuss important facets of being a woman, is really impressive.
Songs featured this episode:
“I’ve Got My Head in the Clouds”
A jaunty tune sung by Josh, expressing just how happy and excited he is to follow his brand new dream of becoming a priest. Reality and all expectations put upon him are magically gonna fall away now!
“Strip Away My Conscience”
A Bob Fosse-inspired number where Rebecca seduces Nathaniel in order to seek revenge on Josh. Full of double entendres and some clever metaphors that show just how talented the song writers on this show are.
“The Buzzing from the Bathroom”
A play on the over dramatic songs from Les Mis, this song highlights one of the side characters, Tim, as he sadly realizes his wife isn’t satisfied in bed. Another strong example of how these clever writers can get stuff past the censors with pauses and emphasis on certain lyrics, such as: “That damn incessant hum. I used to think I was a hero. I can’t believe she didn’t come…to tell me that she needed so much more than I could give.”
“After Everything you Made Me Do”
Rebecca finally explodes at Josh and tells how much awful stuff he “made” her do. In the end of her alleged triumph, it turns out to be rather sad because she outed herself about a lot of secrets and not-so-great things she’s done.