You’re the Worst returned last week with not one but TWO episodes, falling right on the heels of last season’s finale. When we left Jimmy and Gretchen, Jimmy had just proposed to Gretchen atop a hill above Los Angeles, and then promptly abandoned her with no warning and no explanation. With the premiere, writer Stephen Falk picks up a few months after that night, giving us a glimpse at how Jimmy and Gretchen are moving on from their relationship. The answer? Not great.
The first episode is dedicated to Jimmy, who has grown a beard, started dressing like a trucker, and moved to a seniors-only trailer park in the desert town of Barstow. The writer now spends his days drinking, smoking, and watching old TV shows with his neighbor Bert, no computer in sight. He hasn’t turned on his phone since the night he left Gretchen, and no one, even Edgar, knows his whereabouts. When Jimmy’s new friend Bert has to come to grips with being too old to drive his muscle car, Jimmy gives him advice that he really should consider taking himself: “It’s pathetic to live in anything but the truth.” At the end of part 1, Jimmy receives a copy of his unpublished book in the mail and seems to realize that he has a life to return to and can’t be a recluse forever. With that realization, he turns on his phone to thousands of text messages and voicemails, hops in Bert’s car, and heads home.
Gretchen, meanwhile, is back in Los Angeles, struggling to recover from the break-up. She never went back to Jimmy’s after the abandonment, and has literally been hiding in Lindsay’s apartment ever since. She really is the worst version of herself – doing drugs, lying to her clients (she told Sam, Shitstain, and Honey Nutz that she’s in Europe working on their PR), singing Barenaked Ladies songs, listening to a lot of JACK FM – and she reveals to Lindsay that she hasn’t been outside in three months because she’s afraid she’ll run into Jimmy, “What if I run into him and then I die?” . Lindsay must be the grown-up in this episode, and forces Gretchen to go outside. She can’t be Gretchen’s only person, she says. Unfortunately, Gretchen reacts with even more self-destructive behavior, hooking up with a toxic ex from all the way back in Season 1.
While Jimmy and Gretchen are miserable, it is Edgar and Lindsay who are thriving! Edgar’s sketch comedy show, Doug Loves Sketches, seems to be doing well, while Lindsay has a job as a fashion assistant (and later a stylist – she gets a promotion!) Things get interesting when Lindsay tries to confront Edgar about Jimmy’s whereabouts and he swears he hasn’t seen him. As the two commiserate about the fate of Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship and make fun of their two dysfunctional friends, we see what a role reversal there has been from last season when Edgar struggled with his PTSD and Lindsay struggled to maintain her miserable marriage. The commiseration turns into the hook-up that we’ve basically been waiting for since Season 1, but the two decide to try being “friends with benefits”. This can’t end well, right?
Finally, writer Falk brings us full circle and ends the episode with a text message. Jimmy finally reaches out to Gretchen with a single word: “Hey…” It makes me wonder, how long can these two avoid each other?
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