Friday, January 11, 2019

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 4x08 Review: “I’m Not the Person I Used To Be” (Meta Meet Cute) [Contributor: Jenn]

“I’m Not the Person I Used To Be”
Original Airdate: December 7, 2018

Sometimes when you catch up with old friends, it’s like no time has passed at all. And sometimes when you catch up with old friends, it’s like they’re entirely different people. Their lives don’t remotely resemble what you remember. Maybe they used to party in high school, gossip about people, or run with the cool crowd. Then you run into them at a grocery store and they’re married with a stable career and toting two kids. It’s jarring sometimes to reconcile the memory of who someone used to be with who they are in the present.

In the case of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, this well-known feeling works in their very meta favor for a very meta episode. “I’m Not the Person I Used To Be” features the return of Greg — sorta. We all knew Santino Fontana wasn’t returning to the show and that Skylar Astin (of Pitch Perfect fame) would be recast in the role as Greg. We also all wondered how the recast would be explained. And in a characteristically brilliant move for the series, Greg’s reappearance and completely new face is explained pretty well. Let’s dive into what this episode establishes for Rebecca and our characters for the rest of the series.


When Greg unexpectedly shows up at Josh’s 12-year (don’t worry about it) high school reunion, Valencia and Heather immediately gasp. Rebecca is confused, however. That’s not Greg. It definitely is a totally different person. The meta commentary throughout the episode of how weird it is that no one else besides Rebecca sees the difference is so great. But as Heather and Valencia explain, Rebecca’s his ex. She hasn’t seen him in a long time, and because of that it’s understandable that she doesn’t recognize who he is anymore. He’s changed, and so has Rebecca. It makes sense she wouldn’t recognize the person who left West Covina and left her in tears.

As you’ll recall, Rebecca has been on the path to reconciliation. She’s decided that she’s going to make amends and fix what she’s broken. So when Greg shows up, Rebecca is reminded that she has some unfinished business with him. Namely, you know, the fact that she slept with his father. Their first exchange is uncomfortable until Greg and Rebecca decide to put the past behind them and start fresh. They really don’t know each other, after all. It’s been two years since they’ve last spoken. Rebecca is a little hurt when Greg reveals that he’s actually come back to town multiple times since, but asked everyone to hide that fact from her.

Rebecca spends the entire episode waffling between whether or not she should tell Greg what happened between her and his father. At first, she justifies her decision not to tell him — after all, when you start over with someone, why not just leave the past in the past? The thing is that the past never just stays in the past. Rebecca has spent most of the series justifying her misdeeds, trying to tell herself that she’s not really hurting anyone and that the ends justify the means. As long as it’s taken, now Rebecca knows that the only way to form healthy relationships is by coming clean about the past. You can drag around your past into new relationships, but it’ll eventually have to be unpacked — sometimes by an unwilling participant.

Right before Rebecca and Greg kiss, she tells him about her tryst. He’s understandably horrified and disgusted. Rebecca tells Greg though that it was the right thing to do; she’s tired of hiding and hurting people. As Greg is prepared to walk out the door, something pretty incredible happens — he acknowledges how hard it must have been for Rebecca to admit what she did to him. Greg expresses compassion for Rebecca when she expects him to throw his fist through a wall. Then, just before he departs, Greg says this: “You think I’ve changed. Maybe we both have.”

Rebecca Bunch is not perfect, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t pretend that she is. But when new!Greg acknowledges how much she’s changed from the woman he once knew, we’re reminded of the same thing. Rebecca still falters and fumbles, but what if Greg sees HER as an entirely new person too? The truth is that we’re all constantly changing — or we should be, if we want to become better people. And though Greg doesn’t tell Rebecca he wants to pursue a romantic relationship, he leaves the door open to a reconciliation. He acknowledges that Rebecca has changed. He acknowledges that he has too.

And that’s a step for a new beginning.

Additional fun elements:
  • I love Intro Rebecca mentioning how she misses the season one theme song. Same.
  • This week’s episode has SO many meta moments, but at least we know the series ends on Valentine’s Day and that Valencia and Greg are around until then.
  • Speaking of Greg, I love Skylar Astin’s addition to the cast.
  • Heather had the BEST moments this week: “BAAAAAAR!”
  • “I drove him into the arms of Jesus.”
  • “I’m not NOT gonna spy on that.”
What did you all think of the episode? What do you hope for the remainder of the series?


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