Maybe these guys just shouldn’t plan parties.
This is going to be short(er than usual, he hopes as he prepares to write this stream of consciousness) because I’m getting ready to move to [REDACTED] and have actual deadlines for other written stuff, so let’s crack on.
This episode felt a lot like ‘There is Not Currently a Problem’ from the previous season, the main and supporting characters gather at Jimmy and Gretchen’s house and something goes wrong after lavish amounts of partying. In way that it set up Jimmy’s shock at learning his dad had died and Edgar’s admittance he needed help, I feel as if this is going to be the lynchpin of the season and we’ll now start dealing with the issues more in depth.
I still feel as if Linsday’s the worst because even though she put the work into reminding herself why she’s with Paul, she was the person who tried to convince Gretch not to tell Jimmy about his dad. I’m hoping this is where we move past the stabbing incident now that Lindsay’s admitted it and it’s good that Paul’s been given more agency and is on the road to recovery.
Oscar suffering internally is still hard to watch, even more so when the people closest to him seem to be unaware of his problems, which leaves it to Vernon to give him a nudge in the right direction. This feels like the appropriate place to praise the direction of the episode which led to an extended walk and talk scene, that indulgent montage which did subversion (Lindsay’s motorboating Killian, Gretch spraying the champagne over Jimmy like a 1% version of watersports) and humour (Vernon and the cigar) very well while also transitioning into that Veronica Mars timelapse that focused on a stationary Oscar. Much like last season’s gathering led to discussion about Gretchen’s depression, it looks like we’ll be talking about PTSD moving forward.
Progress can be seen in how Gretchen went to Justina to talk about her problems and while she did everything she possibly could to not tell Jimmy, this episode shows how much she cares about the relationship – that she’s scared of one of them being unhappy in case that causes everything to go wrong. The end of the episode sees her try to deflect away from Jimmy’s loss in the family with sex, it’s strange, but shows that she at least wants to be there for him, even if it’s not in a talking capacity.
Which brings us to the Jimmy of it all in an episode centered around him, Chris Geere was given a lot to work with. His heckles were a nice callback (especially the Lin Manuel Miranda one) and what makes this episode distinct from last season’s party is that we didn’t see a public outburst from him, like we did Gretchen. Instead we got that very contained moment on the phone where he showed his true feelings. It’s a heartbreaking moment that works well because of Jimmy’s revelation what he’s done is because of his father and how it suggests that it’s made him angry. Instead we get a son looking for approval and trying to cope with the understanding it won’t be coming from his father.
As a final thought both Jimmy and Gretchen may have been too self-centered in this episode, but it was necessary in a way to push through the lavish and extravagant self-indulgence to bring them back together for that last scene. We didn’t get anything like Gretchen admitting she had depression, but this season is ending episodes on cliffhangers and then leaning on them next episode. It’s almost a surprise that Gretchen told Jimmy this quickly, but that surprise is welcome. What this means is that next week could be a race to rock bottom between Edgar and Jimmy and as a result I could be getting that scene where the one helps pick the other back up and vice versa even sooner than I thought I would.