The show creators have always been pretty transparent that "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" was a show about someone raised on the rom-coms who tried to take them literally. Which is to say it's a look at what it would mean if you watched some of the crazy stalkery manipulation that gets passed off as adorable when in pursuit of love. I listened to a podcast once where two dudes said, unironically, the only difference between a rom-com and a stalker movie is that it's positively received behavior. And here's the thing, they are not wrong. But it sounded to me that they were sort of saying if she likes it, then you're cool. And if she doesn't and you don't back down, then you're wrong. Not, hey, we shouldn't engage in this behavior ever.
Over four seasons, Rebecca has upended her life, engaged in terrible behavior, been the victim of terrible behavior, dated three different men for long enough for them to be considered contenders, made new friends, changed her career, gotten into therapy, and worked on her mental health. In many ways the trajectory of the show had already been a lot and enough.
I confess, I am often the person who tries not to pick sides, pick ships, especially in a show that had a whole song about shipping people who don't want to be shipped. It's not because I can't decide, it's that I have often seen shows do things I would not have predicted and they made me believe. So I kept an open mind as they brought in Greg 2.0, revisited Josh, and Nathan. I watched people do polls about which she should choose. But as I mentioned in the post about the rom-com episode, by the end of that episode they almost had me convinced that Nathan should be with Maya, so I try to enjoy the ride.
But I also wondered. Early on, Dr. Akopian had said true love doesn't have to be a person. And I wondered if that was the message. Not that Rachel doesn't deserve love, but that that love doesn't have to reside in a person. People often say to me, oh but you read and write romance, you want the happy ending. I do. But I am also well aware that ending a story with characters smooching doesn't always feel like the happiest choice.
So, yeah, my theory was what if the back and forth between Josh, Greg, and Nathan wasn't the typical final season stuff about drawing out the decision. What if the point was that this wasn't really the thing that was going to make her happy. This was the distraction.
And after going "The Bachelor" style with dates, and choices, Rebecca realized that her true love was the songs. The thing that had always been there for her. And that's who she ended up with.