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There’s something to be said for TV showrunners having a clear vision for the beginning, middle, and end of the story before even getting started on production. Too many times, shows get dragged out for way too many seasons because no one wants to end it (be it for ratings success, to satisfy a passionate fanbase, money, or to delay the inevitable unemployment for actors, writers, and crew). But planning out and sticking to that initial plan (despite the temptation to keep it going), is the way to make truly smart, brilliant TV that doesn’t jump the shark. Unfortunately, that means fans eventually have to say goodbye to beloved shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

About to debut its third season, The CW’s musical comedy from executive producer and star Rachel Bloom and showrunner/EP Aline Brosh McKenna about Rebecca Bunch, an anxiety-ridden, depressed New York lawyer who upends her entire life to move across country in the hopes of getting back together with her summer camp ex-boyfriend who dumped her as a teen. But she doesn’t move because of Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III), he just happens to live in West Covina, California. Duh. Because she’s not crazy. Uh uh. No, the situation is a lot more nuanced than that.

“We do the seasons, ‘Live like you’re dying,'” McKenna told reporters at the 2017 Summer TCA press tour. “We worked out four chapters. It’s a story told in four chapters, whether that’s four seasons … ? We knew the last sentence of every chapter. One of the things that everyone on the show likes, we do know where the story is going. We like to know things way in advance and we do have four distinct chapters planned out.”

Season one was the first chapter of the show—following Rebecca’s rash decision to quite her fancy, high-paying New York lawyer job to move to West Covina for Josh Chan. Of course, he was already in a relationship, so she ended up sleeping with his best friend Greg (Santino Fontana), an alcoholic pessimist. Because Greg couldn’t commit, she ended up actually getting Josh to realize he had feelings for her, putting her smack dab in a love triangle. But in the end she chose Josh and told him the truth: she moved to West Covina for him. Let’s just say that he was not thrilled at that confession.

The second season followed the second chapter of the series, according to McKenna, where Rebecca thinks she got what she wanted with Josh. He wasn’t as into her as she was into him, though, and dumped her. And even though she ended up choosing him over Josh, Greg still left West Covina (and the show) to pursue his dreams at Emory University (following a very mature stint in Alcoholics Anonymous). And after getting dumped himself, Josh realized his feelings for Rebecca. They decided to get married, but he left her at the altar to become a priest instead. Ouch. An angry Rebecca ended the season standing on a cliff in her wedding gown, surrounded by everyone she knows, vowing to get revenge on him for his betrayal.

Season three, the third chapter of the series premiering this fall, will be all about how hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Brosh McKenna described it as “funny Fatal Attraction,” but laughed at the idea of Rebecca actually going through with something as extreme and hardcore as boiling bunnies. “She’s not very good at trying to be the femme fatale that she would like to be,” she said.

Bloom added, “Rebecca associates sex with power, so she’s trying to use her sexuality very openly.”

So what will the fourth chapter be themed? “[Revealing that] would spoil it but it’s a very distinct chapter that is different from season three,” Bloom promised. “We are telling a finite story about a specific point in this woman’s life.”

The showrunners did reveal that season three’s opening number will be an ensemble Disney-themed number with everyone (minus Josh Chan), and this season will feature a lot more ensemble numbers (with harmonies!) than ever before now that all the characters have gotten to know each other. In fact, the showrunners actually kicked off the season with a “songwriting boot camp” before they sat down in the writers room, and had 20 songs written before they got into the story. And they’re not worried about repeating genres or ideas after over 90 songs. “There’s tons of genres we haven’t done,” McKenna said, noting that a song in the premiere is a genre she “particularly loves” that “is about the ladies.”

And one of the biggest questions fans and critics alike have wondered since Greg left the series? If the forlorn, perfect man for Rebecca would ever return.

“If we told you, that wouldn’t be very fun,” Brosh McKenna said with a smile. “Remains to be seen. It’s not at all off the table.”

Bloom added, “If we say anything either way, it’s a big spoiler. His presence is still incredibly important. We have not forgotten about that character.”

Hmm, take that as you will! Do you want to see Greg return and get back together with Rebecca? What genre do you hope to see Crazy Ex-Girlfriend tackle next? Tweet me at @SydneyBucksbaum and let’s chat!

Images: The CW

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend season three premieres Friday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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