For the second episode in a row, the You’re the Worst writers took a break from the usual foursome to focus on just one of the main characters. In LCD Soundsystem, it was Gretchen, while this week it was Jimmy, who discovers at the top of the episode that his family is coming to the U.S. for a 4-day visit (seems strange to fly from the UK to L.A. for a long weekend, but we’ll ignore that). Jimmy is mortified but powerless, as his family is already on a plane to LAX. There’s nothing to do but prepare. Jimmy asks for Gretchen’s help, but she explains that she’s not actually ok. She continues to struggle with her depression and prefers to stay in her pajamas and avoid the Shive-Overlys at all costs.
When we meet Jimmy’s family, they’re as terrible as we expect. His father and two sisters are rude, loud and abusive, and a third sister, Lily, is charming, if not a little naive. We eventually see a reconciliation between Jimmy and his father, who tells Jimmy that he is proud of him, but it is too little too late. The family really has no redeeming qualities.
Over the course of the episode we see Jimmy turn to Gretchen for help, but she is unable to break out of her depression to help her boyfriend with this disastrous situation. This culminates in a fight when Jimmy calls her on her disinterest and flees to the bar he visited on Halloween where he is cheered on by the sweet waitress we met in the previous episode, his relationship with Gretchen disintegrating.
It’s here that I take issue with the episode. Gretchen says she is not able to help because of her condition, but we have yet to see Gretchen take any affirmative steps to deal with her depression. She seems no closer to treatment and recovery than she was before. Throughout the episode we see her padding around the house in her pajamas, wrapped in a blanket, unable to interact with Jimmy or his guests. The show, which has done an excellent job of portraying what it is like to suffer from depression, does a disservice to Gretchen and to viewers by failing to show Gretchen seek help. In an earlier episode, Gretchen explained to Jimmy that she cannot be fixed. That’s only partially true. There are excellent therapies and medications that are available to assist those suffering from mental illness in living a normal life. I sincerely hope we see Gretchen take steps toward recovery so that the relationship that I rooted for in Season 1 may be salvaged.
Elsewhere Gretchen sends Lindsay to help Sam with a wardrobe problem. When she arrives, Sam is in the middle of recording yet another dis track for his ongoing feud with Honey Nutz and Shitstain. Lindsay offers to help, and what results is the track “New Phone, Who Dis?”.
Just like Shitty Jimmy to move to America and not own a gun. – Jimmy’s Sister, Di
I’ve forgotten what soft hands you have. It’s like shaking hands with the royal baby – royal girl baby! – Jimmy’s Dad
Nobody Wanna! – Jimmy