Those of us who've followed the lives of Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) and friends over four seasons of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will no doubt come away with a lot of memories. First, there are the songs. From the ones that riff on pop hits (Beyoncé in "Love Kernels," Drake and The Weeknd in "I Go To The Zoo," Selena Gomez in "Research Me Obsessively") to the musicals ("The Math of Love Triangles," Settle For Me," "Love's Not a Game"), and then those that parodied entire genres, like the joy that is "Let's Generalize About Men," each week delivered new gems. If "You Stupid B*tch" isn't your inner monologue, are you even a millennial woman?
Then, there are the characters. Though Rebecca is the star, she is nothing without her friends, and over the past few seasons, a number of smaller players (oh hi, White Josh) became just as beloved as the show's self-obsessed female lead. Who didn't want to hang out with Heather, go to Paula with our problems, or book Valencia as our wedding planner? (Or at least go to one of her yoga classes.)
But above anything, we've followed Rebecca through some epic ups and downs. The show manages to yo-yo from gloriously inappropriate comedy moments (period sex, anyone?) to serious storylines like Rebecca's suicide attempt, without ever stopping for breath. By season four, Rebecca is finally in a better place, having quit her job as a lawyer to set up a pretzel stand, and she's enjoying the attention of three hot guys. The huge build up in the past few episodes led most of us to believe that the finale would be all about the "love quadrangle," with Rebecca finally choosing between her teenage love Josh (who just happens to live here), her former boss Nathaniel, and New Greg (TM), her ex who hates the world so much he became a totally different person. *cough*
If "You Stupid B*tch" isn't your inner monologue, are you even a millennial woman?
Throughout the show's run, during the best and worst times, Rebecca retreats into her imagination as a coping mechanism, creating elaborate musical numbers in her head to help her process the events of her life. When it comes to the finale, the perfect way to bring her story to a close is to acknowledge the importance of that. As Rebecca faces her big dramatic decision, she finds herself finally confiding in Paula that this is how she copes. Paula, being the badass b*tch BFF that she is, is nothing but supportive, encouraging Rebecca to to take her imagination and run with it. This is how Rebecca finally finds herself — not by choosing a guy, but by choosing herself. Through this, she finds the thing that makes her happy.
For a show that focuses on tackling mental illness through humor, it's so important to end on a hopeful note. But to make it all about romance, and about other people being the solution to your own problems, would be unfair to Rebecca as a character, and to the fans who've followed her journey. If the reaction online is anything to go by, most fans really appreciated the fact that the final episode doesn't end with Rebecca finding her true love — I mean, it's Greg, right? — but in her music. It's the perfect ending to an imperfect show. And I think Rebecca (and her therapist) said it best: "Without love, you can save the world."