There is nothing quite like the spirit of Halloween to bring out all the cute baby costumes, the classic séance, and some memorable songs that serve as a reminder that the show is killing it.
During Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 4 Episode 2, Rebecca had an article written about her that turned into her being unable to leave the house.
All the while, Nathaniel returned to work only to find out that he wasn't in charge the way he thought he would be. And Darryl is on a search for breast milk, only to find the validation that he deserves.
It is all set up under the context of Halloween, creating a theme throughout the entire episode that adds to the comedic factor that the show always has going for it.
"I Am Ashamed," written by Erin Ehrlich and directed by both Audrey Wauchope and Rachel Specter, was perfectly structured to follow up that heavy season premiere. The episode still tackled tough subjects like fatherhood and allowing other people's opinions to alter the way you live.
But the Halloween theme made it much more festive, and the songs were even more entertaining than usual if that is even possible.
This episode mixed the idea of ghosts with a level-headed outlook on coincidences, all of which helped the characters move forward instead of ending up stuck in their old ways.
Rebecca's Haunting Fun Time
Reading comments about yourself can't be easy, especially when it is on the local website where the people writing about you are all familiar faces.
It obviously wasn't meant to be entertaining to watch Rebecca take that on, specifically in the form of just not leaving her house at all. But the way that she found the most out of the box distractions fit like a nice reminder of what the show can be.
It is never easy for Rebecca, but the use of music and these in her mind scenarios help make everything more fun to handle.
It was also a different spin on things since Crazy Ex-Girlfriend usually doesn't lean into any holiday theme. They do show that months are going by, but it isn't a common pattern which made this that much more special.
This was a genius way of bringing back some offhanded comments too.
Much like the tampon discussions came back to bite Rebecca in the ass, the murders that happened in her house were bound to be a useless plot sometime down the line.
There was also the small adjustment with the core friend group, now Paula has truly joined Valencia and Heather which has been wonderful to track.
Paula: Hon, have you been online today?
Rebecca: That's a terrifying sentence.
Before it came off as more of a friendship of convenience, everyone knew each other through Rebecca, and she was what kept bringing them together.
But after she went to prison, it was clear that the trio was still hanging out together, and it is a lovely progression.
Individually these characters are all amazing; it is only natural to want to see them find how they can all be close. Even with the way that they broke off, Rebecca and Valencia wanting to believe in ghosts while Heather and Paula were trying to channel more skepticism of the situation.
Friend groups thrive off different connections so getting to see some of how they all interact with one another in various ways was worth the mention.
Just like it is worth mentioning that the comments section went through just about every outrageous thing that Rebecca did in West Covina. From Josh's ex-girlfriend mentioning her cat to the way that someone knew about Rebecca sleeping with Greg's dad?
Greg, was that you? When are you coming back again?
Darryl's Boo-tiful Life Lesson
Somehow none of us knew that we needed an episode dedicated to Darryl appreciation, but it was definitely worth the screentime.
As much as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 focused on Darryl wanting a baby, a lot of it came down to his relationship with White Josh. They broke up because of how much Darryl wanted another child, but the audience had to be more invested in that relationship than who Darryl was as a father.
Not to say that his kids don't matter, yet we didn't see much of that part of his life for a while. That makes sense until the transition into fatherhood is back at the center of things for Darryl.
It was necessary to see where he finds himself now, and it was a nice touch allowing his Madison and Stacy to appear. There was a sense that this was a routine for them, one that we might not see but that is still intricate in that family.
Stacy and Darryl are still on good terms, and Madison still has a close relationship with her father. All that added to this genuine worry that Darryl let out in the search for the best breast milk so that Hebecca wouldn't miss out on anything.
Everything that Darryl was working for last season worked out, and no one deserves to hear that they are doing well as much as he does right now.
Speaking of, White Josh did a good job looking after Hebecca and not to hint at anything, but those had to be clues.
Not everyone is a general baby person, present company included, but sometimes there is a difference when the child belongs to a loved one.
Hector, I'm sorry I missed Hocus Pocus, I was masturbating for five hours.Rebecca
And even outside of that, White Josh and Darryl might have both needed this break leading up to Hebecca joining their lives.
Maybe White Josh needed to see that he wasn't going to be playing the full role of a parent, something he doesn't find possible for him. He found a nice space with Madison where he isn't a father figure but where she is still someone he loves and can look out for.
The same case could be made for Hebecca, and White Josh, just the circumstances at first were too real and not enough lines were drawn in the sand for everyone.
Even Darryl might have wanted a partner in all this, only to learn that he didn't need it. He wanted a baby, and he knows how to parent that child on his own.
His relationship with White Josh and his relationship with children didn't have to move at the same pace, and maybe towards the end of the season, they will both come to realize that again.
Not that seeing them as friends wasn't great; it was honestly a small but wonderful detail. But they were one of the healthiest couples on the show and continue to be exactly that.
Paula: You ran off to go death camping.
Nathaniel: That is offensive, don't call it that. I went concentration camping.
They were able to stay in each other's lives without forcing either one to sacrifice something, and down the line, they can adjust accordingly to be together and still keep that balance.
White Josh saw that he cares for Hebecca, even if it isn't in the way that Darryl does. Meanwhile, Darryl saw firsthand that he is a good father and doesn't need someone else desperately because he isn't enough.
Nathaniel's Tricky Return
Did Nathaniel really think that he could take a personal day that consisted of weeks and then return to everything waiting for him again?
Honestly, there was a part of me that thought he would but only because of Paula. She always knows how to keep everyone in check, and we have seen her killing it at the office when Rebecca and Darryl were gone.
Still, it makes sense that without everyone gone that this would get to people's heads. Some just didn't care, and that is of course when someone important would catch on.
Burt's appearance in all this isn't clear yet for me, especially since he is sticking around. Maybe he is meant to drive Nathaniel to take things seriously at work, adding to his separate story from Rebecca.
They both need time apart, and while Rebecca works on herself, Nathaniel is doing the same but in the workplace.
But it felt like that storyline could end with Nathaniel getting this interest back in the firm and that would be the end of it.
It might be too early to predict what other role Burt might be able to play when it comes to the future of the firm and maybe even for Nathaniel in general.
Yeah, she flushes her tampons, but that is like the worst thing I could say about her.Heather
Rebecca and Darryl don't seem to have plans to come back there soon, so Nathaniel has to face off with someone.
Things can't just run smoothly, and you almost can't help but hope that Burt will represent something else for Nathaniel.
That scene with his father was like a cold shower, a reminder that Nathaniel is still not the priority for his family. Burt cares about the firm and maybe there is room for him to not just work as an antagonist for Nathaniel, but as a friend who is there to guide him in some way.
One can hope, right?
What did you think of the episode? Which storyline did you enjoy the most? Did you love the Halloween vibe that the episode had going on? Are you proud of Rebecca for venturing out into the real world again?
Is this when we call for Patton Oswalt's character to get his own show?
Did you enjoy the role that Josh got to play this time around? Who are you hoping to see more often? How much do you love the Rebecca/ Heather/Valencia/Paula friend group?
Let us know what you think below!
And don't forget that you can watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend online, right here on TV Fanatic.
Yana Grebenyuk was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April 2021.