For four seasons, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has been the ultimate meta take on romantic comedies. So we should have seen it coming that by the end of the series finale, Rebecca Bunch wouldn’t get her perfect happy ending with any of her potential romantic interests, despite the major focus on her ultimate love triangle throughout the final season.
If anything, the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend series finale, “I’m In Love,” served as more of a perfect happy beginning for Rebecca’s life, romantic and otherwise, as it jumped ahead one year. In that future, we see Rebecca as still single but fulfilled as she pursued her dream of becoming a songwriter. After confiding in her best friend Paula about all the musical numbers happening in her head anytime she needed to make a big life decision, Paula helped her realize that was her passion in life. For Rebecca, who had been struggling with finding her identity outside of her romantic relationships for the longest time, it was the light bulb moment she had been waiting for since she began working on bettering herself and her life back in the premiere of the beloved CW series.
After years of struggling with her mental health, career, and love life, Rebecca did the hard work on herself and got to a place where she could be in a healthy, happy relationship with any one of her suitors: Josh Chan, Nathaniel Plimpton III, Greg Serrano … or any of her other love interests throughout the series. But instead of picking one, the finale leaves things open-ended. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s ending has Rebecca sharing her progress in songwriting with all the people in her life at an open mic night after a year of piano and singing lessons. The final words of the series are Rebecca telling her people, “This is a song I wrote.” The hopeful look on her face as she prepares to play the first notes indicate she had finally found her passion … and then the credits roll.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna has always known this was how she and co-creator/star Rachel Bloom were going to end the series, even before the musical comedy series found a home at The CW (the pilot was actually filmed for Showtime before jumping networks).
“We planned it out five years ago, six years ago, so not all the details were worked out,” McKenna told Teen Vogue along with a small group of reporters at The CW’s headquarters in Burbank after a screening of the series finale. “But [we always knew] the very last thing she was going to say and where she was going to end up and that she was going to have what seemed like an ideal romantic opportunity but find this other thing, which doesn’t preclude the romantic opportunities, but which she comes to understand it’s always been a search for identity. Her figuring out what her passion is and what she needs to pursue and what she loves and what she wants to do with her life was always the primary goal and then the other stuff is really, in a fun way, kind of up for discussion.”
The final run of episodes seemed to point to an eventual resolution in the battle for Rebecca’s heart between Greg, Josh, and Nathaniel (with all signs pointing to Greg as the victor), but McKenna didn’t want Rebecca’s story to fall into a “meant to be” narrative.
“What we wanted to do with the guys was show how they’re all very viable, that you’re going to meet lots of people who you could have great relationships with, that there is no ‘one,'” McKenna explained. “The thing we talked about a lot was trying to dismantle the idea that there’s one person, that there’s a puzzle piece, because I think that’s a very damaging idea for people. The fact of the matter is, if you’re making good choices for yourself and you know who you are, you’ll meet lots of great people. And then you’ll pick the one that matches up with you in terms of values and timing.”