Just as Rebecca loves Josh but doesn’t always get goosebumps from him, I adore Crazy Ex-Girlfriend but it doesn’t always thrill me. Sure, it’s the best comedy on television, but if you eat lobster every week you eventually stop being wowed by lobster. But “Josh is the Man of My Dreams, Right?” is lobster mac and cheese. It is a sexy, surreal, smart, and genuinely surprising episode of an already excellent show.
Only Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would risk framing an entire episode around the Santa Ana winds, a regional weather pattern in Southern California that’s thought to affect people’s moods. And only an insane genius—like episode writer Elisabeth Kiernan Averick, apparently—would turn the winds into a mischievous narrator (Eric Michael Roy) who saunters through the streets to a Ronettes drumbeat singing about his pranks. The wind’s main objective is to tempt Rebecca into sleeping with her new boss Nathaniel, thereby endangering her new and ill-advised engagement to Josh. (There’s a sweet Darryl-Paula side story here about their lopsided friendship, with an adorable song to cap it off, but there’s not much to say about it beyond heaping more praise on the always excellent Pete Gardner and Donna Lynne Champlin).
The wind almost gets its wish when it traps Rebecca and Nathaniel in an elevator together. Rachel Bloom and Scott Michael Foster have great chemistry, but the real star here is Eric Michael Roy, whose smug grin provides a guaranteed laugh every time. I tried typing out some of the lyrics to his musical interludes, but it’s his face and his perfect high tenor that do the heavy lifting. Foster has some pipes on him, too, which he shows off in an Ed Sheeran-esque number about the sensation of wanting to have sex with someone so that you can not want to have sex with them anymore—a feeling that really needs its own German word if it doesn’t have one already. And that number has terrific lyrics like: “Once we do it, I’ll be like, ‘That’s what that was like’ / And you’ll hopefully go back to seeming weird to me.” The episode leaves the sexual tension between them intact, with Rebecca frantically trying to push forward her wedding date and with Josh to distract herself from Nathaniel—a smart structural move on the series’ behalf that suggests another triangle in our future. Ever since Greg left, Rebecca has needed someone to spar with, and Nathaniel has finally slid into that role.
But “Josh is the Man of My Dreams, Right?” is not just steamy fun and games. At the end of the episode, Mr. Santa Ana confronts Rebecca and really twists the knife, repeating the lyrics to one of last season’s most emotionally effective musical numbers: “You ruined everything, you stupid bitch.” Suddenly the wind is sobering instead of silly, reminding us that the episode’s twist and turns were just another example of Rebecca’s typical pattern of self-sabotage. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned by now, it’s that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is often at its best when Rebecca is setting herself up for disaster.
May Saunders is a professional dog walker living in Minneapolis and an occasional freelance writer. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her cat, who does not need to be walked. Follow her on Twitter.