Summary: New York lawyer Rebecca Bunch makes an impulsive decision to move to West Covina, California. Director: Marc Webb — Writer: Rachel Bloom & Aline Brosh McKenna Aired: October 12, 2015 — Season: One — Episode: 1 — Nielsen ratings: 0.90
In 2005 a teenage Rebecca Bunch is dumped by her boyfriend Josh Chan on their last day of summer camp. A decade later in 2015, Rebecca is a well paid New York City attorney working for a prestigious law firm. Despite her success she is miserable and considers the question posed by a TV commercial: "When was the last time you were happy?" When Rebecca arrives at work she learns about a promotion she’s receiving. Conflicted by the news, Rebecca leaves the building to regain her composure. Outside she tries prescription drugs and a prayer to calm her nerves. She notices another butter advertisement, this time presented on a large banner hanging on the side of a building, posing the same question from the commercial.
Rebecca and Josh in 2005.
By happenstance, the sign directs her attention to a pedestrian passing by that she recognizes is Josh Chan. He is surprised to see her too and recalls the fun they had at summer camp. When she suggests they get a drink later to catch up Josh declines. He’s tired of the big city life and is moving back tommorow to his hometown where he was happy. Josh gives Rebecca his phone number and says she should get in touch with him if she is ever in West Covina, California. Once he leaves Rebecca considers Josh's words and their serendipitous reunion. She returns to the law firm and turns down the promotion her boss Laura offers her. In short time Rebecca quits her job, makes arrangements, flies to West Covina, moves into her new residence and visits the local mall(♫ West Covina (song) ♫).
Josh waves goodbye.
In her new apartment Rebecca disposes of her prescription medications and ignores a voice message from her mother. She then composes and sends a text message to Josh for them to meet up now that she's town. Rebecca waits all night for a response but gets no reply. In the morning she heads to her new job at Whitefeather & Associates where she's given a tour by her boss Darryl Whitefeather. Rebecca meets the head paralegal Paula Proctor who is suspicious of the new hire. In his office Darryl asks Rebecca to represent him in his upcoming divorce proceedings. Rebecca tells him she'll consider it before leaving having gotten a status update on Josh from her phone.
Rebecca meets Paula.
She heads to Josh's last location, a local bar named Home Base, where she meets a bartender named Greg Serrano. He happens to be Josh's friend and tells her that she just missed him. Greg then invites Rebecca as his date to a party where he believes Josh will be in attendance. She accepts and goes back to the law firm where Paula updates her on a case. Paula also warns her that she's going to figure out her true motivations for being in West Covina. Rebecca ignores Paula's threat and instead focuses on the grueling task of getting ready for the party (♫ The Sexy Getting Ready Song ♫). Back at the law firm, Paula goes into Rebecca's office and logs onto her computer. Meanwhile, Greg picks up Rebecca and takes her to the house where the party is held.
Rebecca meets Greg.
When Greg questions Rebecca's interest in Josh she makes out with him to distract him while pumping him for information. She also uses this as an opportunity to scope the area for any sign of Josh. Their make out session/search is interrupted when Greg receives a text from his Josh. It reveals he wont be coming since he's attending a family function with his girlfriend. Rebecca is struck hard by the news that Josh is seeing someone and starts to cry even as she continues to make out with Greg. Confused and uncomfortable with her advances, Greg reluctantly rebuffs her and suggests that he just take her home. On their way out they run into Paula who just arrived at the party looking for Rebecca.
Rebecca keeps an eye out for Josh
Paula asks to speak to Rebecca alone and reveals she knows about her cyber stalking Josh. Rebecca at first denies her accusations but the insanity of her recent actions finally dawns on her. As she starts to have an emotional breakdown Paula stops being confrontational and instead begins to comfort Rebecca. She insists everything that Rebecca has done was not because she is crazy but due to her being in love. Paula tells her she now has an ally in her quest to win Josh's affections just as Rebecca receives a text. She hands her phone off to Paula who confirms its Josh Chan asking her out to catch up. The two are elated by the sudden turn of events and become more optimistic about what this could lead to (♫ West Covina (reprise) ♫).
Rapper "Nipsey Hussle" (who performed a brief rap during "The Sexy Getting Ready Song") is shown talking on the phone. After having seen the tortuous process Rebecca had to go through to prepare for a party he was forever changed. Nipsey made a list of various female background dancers who performed in his music videos. He then apologizes to each of them for having used them in such a sexist and exploitative manner.
The basic premise of the show is layed out in this episode.
Premise: On the cusp of receiving a promotion at her New Yorklaw firm, Harvard educated attorney Rebecca Bunch has a chance encounter with her ex-boyfriend Josh Chan. Believing this to be a sign, she quits her job and moves across country to chase after Josh who has just returned to his hometown of West Covina, California. She settles into her new residence where she gets acquainted with her new workplace, a new boss, meeting Josh's friend and trying to get in touch with the object of her affection. Rebecca unexpectedly gets an ally for her romantic quest in the form of her co-worker and new BFF Paula Proctor.
“It's actually such a funny story. So, I was in New York but I was looking to relocate to Los Angeles because I'm just, I'm a beach gal, and I ran into Chan, and he told me how great West Covina is and I'm like filing it away, filing it away, then boom! That same day I get this rando call from a 1/8 Chippewa who is very prominent in my field, asking me to start a position here. Crazy right?”— Rebecca Bunch