The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend writers spoiled us last time with a record-setting four songs in a single episode, but we’re back to business as usual this week with two songs in “Josh Is a Liar.” This being Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, business as usual is still pretty good, and both numbers come from supporting characters who don’t usually get solos of their own.
While Rebecca spent most of the episode occupied with a smear campaign against ex-fiancé Josh, her roommate, Heather (Vella Lovell), got some major news: She’s finally graduating from community college. Heather, whose mantra since the show’s first season has been “I’m a student,” learns from the college’s bursar that she has taken every class the college has to offer (including men’s hockey, twice). That means her days of “I’m a student”-ing are over, sparking a major identity crisis.
If we were watching a regular musical, this would be the moment when Heather would sing a song about the exhilarating uncertainty of her future—which she does, but not willingly. Instead, the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend writers grant Heather the self-awareness of knowing she’s in a musical with absolutely none of the accompanying enthusiasm. “Oh, God, do I have to sing an inspirational musical theater song right now?” she asks as the first notes begin to play.
Everything about “The Moment Is Me” is pure perfection: the hackneyed lyrics, the overzealous backup dancers, and above all, Heather’s deadpan commentary even as she halfheartedly sings and dances along, against her will: “Might be an uphill climb/ But I’ve got to find/ What’s at the end—please don’t make me say this—of this rainbow.” Meta has always been a good look for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Lovell absolutely nails it, pulling double duty as both Heather and the equally apathetic Heather From the Future.
“The Moment Is Me” raised the bar, and unfortunately, the episode’s other song, “I Go to the Zoo,” just couldn’t clear it, which is a shame, because it’s not often that Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster) gets the opportunity to sing. He spends most of “Josh Is a Liar” attempting to reclaim Rebecca’s attention after their night together, but she’s a little busy trying to discredit Josh, so instead, Nathaniel goes to his happy place:
the club the zoo. And sings about it.
On a different night, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend might be able to get away with a goofy non sequitur like this, but Heather’s big solo proved just too tough an act to follow. “I Go to the Zoo” doesn’t really add much to our understanding of Nathaniel, whom we already knew is secretly kind of a dork, and Foster was much more convincing as Ed Sheeran than he is a rapper (though he told Slate in an interview that he originally performed some “Hotline Bling”–worthy dance moves that didn’t make the final cut). Still, while the song does virtually nothing to advance the plot or our understanding of the character, the line “My boys awake ’cause they nocturnal” makes this an acceptable addition to the pantheon of songs about zoos.
Best Song of the Week: “The Moment is Me.” Obviously. Ugh.