Mainly shame them [read: Paul].
Right of the bat, just want to state that after the past year of this election, the c-word used frequently in Paul/Lindsay’s story this episode has become synonymous with a certain cheeto’s supporters using it against anyone who disagrees with the demagogue and as a result I dislike the notion of it becoming part of my autocorrect so I will be abstaining from using it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, lucky you. Now on with the show.
Fargo S2 was about communication. While in that case the season was designed about how it couldn’t always happen, that people couldn’t say what they wanted to, You’re the Worst S3 has been heading down a steady path towards showing how it’s important to mental health. How we have people there for us that we can talk to.
What’s strange about how this episode focuses so much on that is the fact the cold open kicks off with some standoff style framing from Stephen Falk that wouldn’t be out of place in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. It’s a non verbal beat which sees Justine get Gretchen to the point where she agrees to discuss her issues. As a therapist, it’s her job to know people and she knows Gretchen well enough that now she knows how she responds to tasks.
Let’s start with Lindsay and Paul (just to get it out of the way). Their relationship is at the same point it was last week. She’s with Raul, he’s with his thoughts. Over the course of their plot he becomes Stockholm Syndrome’d into Lindsay’s way of thinking regarding the sexual situation. It seems like he just exists to be humiliated, but this instance could also be the final straw after willingly… caging the beast which leads to both physical and emotional pain. For Lindsay she seems to realise their relationship is breaking down, but doesn’t communicate this to him, but to Gretchen, informing her via text that she’s going to get an abortion (abobbo). Over the past couple weeks, she’s been slowly correcting her path after stabbing Paul, but this seems to be an admission that it won’t work in any way.
Onto Jimmy who’s highly focused on a zoo rather than his impending deadline. We have a lot in common when it comes to writing. I mean, sure I’m writing this up after just seeing the episode, but I’m also talking to a friend about the NX. Like last week’s cold open showed, a lot of time spent writing is not writing. (Also our power went out while I was writing a script a couple weeks ago and I’ve never been more scared about losing work than I have when I realised the software was cloud based). After giving Killain a look at his book (which is not the thing that kid should be reading), he takes a trip to the reservoir and tries to relax. It’s a testament to Jimmy that he didn’t even know the reservoir existed and had places for activities. After a game of handsportsball goes horribly wrong, he ends up at Vernon’s, and on his podcast (which I would absolutely listen to). Here he also reaches an epiphany of sorts about his career and his father, leading to him setting out to build a tree house. Whether it and his book deal will come crashing down remains to be seen.
Finally we have Edgar who’s developed a character called Dr. Weed. When Gretchen discovers this, he gets dragged to a studio. Here Edgar gives a strong performance. What I mean by this is Desmin Borges has always been fantastic, but Edgar, the character, puts on an earnest face and tells his story. Which makes it all the more disappointing when his words are manipulated for a montage parody excuse for a television ad. That said, the important thing is that he’s been willing to tell his story. So far, Edgar’s arc has probably been the most consistent this season and here it leads to a hug between him and Gretchen. Less than a month ago, we were a little horrified with how the others were treating him, so this is a solid development.
This was a well structured episode, each plot got the appropriate amount of time devoted to it, Gretchen being the driving factor in each provides some consistency. I’m still hoping that Falk and his writer’s room is able to bring everything together. The hug makes me think that’ll happen and the fact that Gretchen’s mother came up in conversation this episode makes me think she’ll be able to link to Jimmy’s father issues. While for any other show I’d be annoyed that it was being ever so slightly aimless with regards to a strong central arc (thematically it’s there because of the obvious focus on communication, but narratively not every story beat links as intricately as they seemed to last year), You’re the Worst has been lucky that when this issue has arisen for me over the course of this season, it’s been sure to deliver the funny in order to subsidize the issue.