The Scavenger hunt for exuberance.
One thing that you can always count on You’re the Worst to do is bring the funny, it’s one of the few, if not only Comedy-in-Theory to not just completely drop it to do some drama. Another thing is that it will always be expertly directed regardless of who’s called up to the mound each week. More often than most shows, you can expect it to make you feel something – generally sad or tearful. Here Falk and Stanzler delivers a sequence that caused me to feel joy at the same time. The immersion therapy scene allows for catharsis in both Edgar’s arc and the group’s relationship that will remain permanently etched into my mind. Much like Paul and Lindsay’s relationship status, it involves a marriage of elements – soundtrack that hearkened to a coming-of-age vibe, direction that made the fireworks sparkle even more than expected, editing that brought us closer to the characters as the scene went on and the quartet’s acting that showed the bond between them all which is oh so frequently masked by insults.
This isn’t to say that everything is hugs and puppies; Gretchen and Lindsay get into a physical fight on the cusp of finding the speakeasy, but this also serves to contrast both Lindsay/Paul and Gretchen/Jimmy. While Lindsay’s arc in this episode is centered around her being unhappy and trying to move them to a state where she can be, Gretchen’s desire for the Funday to be… well, fun means that Jimmy does everything possible to ensure she’s happy. He doesn’t particularly want to do it in this way (except for the grin and enthusiasm that broke out pre-breaking and entering), but it does nothing if not show how their relationship has developed, especially in the wake of her depression arc. Before the gang went to Chinatown, I was a little apprehensive that this episode came at the wrong time because it seemed to pull away from the ‘real’, emotional work the show had put in over the past couple weeks, but it didn’t hit me until the conversation between Edgar and Lindsay that I realised it was still doing this work, just arcs can be happy, even on this show. It’s a touching moment when Edgar turns around and realises that the fireworks aren’t causing his PTSD to flare up and leads to one of the most endearing scenes from not only the show, but this year of TV. It’s a realisation he can willingly help himself which was needed after last week when he couldn’t get others to help or even support him [It should also be said that the gang seemed more pleasant to him this week after the past couple weeks of putting him through the ringer].
One of the sitcom staples is a hunt for something or some variation on that phrase. You then have Bar Wars on Cheers and the Halloween episodes from Brooklyn Nine-Nine and normally they just bring the laughs and the supporting cast. You’re the Worst accomplishes this, but delivers some genuine pathos. Admittedly the gang may go too far by breaking and entering into the Latino family’s house, but somehow you can’t help but laugh.