Pro: Happy Scenario, Con: It got progressively more sad.
I’m going to have to be brief with this one [Edit: Having now written this, I lied]. Yesterday’s still screwing with my head, I’ve got to write an essay, but I’m pushing through that so I can do something longer next week, what with the final two episodes of the season airing and I’ll hopefully be able to write a segment about my thoughts on the season in retrospect.
It’s going to be impossible to write this without mentioning how strong the direction was this episode. Not only were the tracking shots a feat in themselves because of their length, but the crew also had to contend with the main cast and the supporting players, who were blocked in such a way there was never any real down time, once a story beat happened, we drifted over to the next pairing. But it’s also appropriate that this moment in the story happened at a wedding because Jimmy and Gretchen met at one back in the pilot.
This time however, we get to spend time with Edgar and Lindsay as well. The former’s there with Dorothy, but he quickly gets sidetracked by Doug asking him for pitch ideas to bring in the following day. While pitching ideas, they come across Brian Posehn who’s happy to give Edgar the time of day and hear his ideas (and also doesn’t outstay his welcome), but who’s also met Dorothy years ago. She remembers, he doesn’t. Much like last week, there’s an obvious rift being weaved between the two due to how easily Edgar stumbled into a job, made even worse by how quickly Edgar jumps at prioritizing his job over spending time at the wedding and ignores how Dorothy is clearly hurting. Neither of them say anything which leads to more sorrow. On the other hand, Lindsay and Paul’s story leads to sorrow when someone finally decides to say something. Acknowledging that she’s now not with child, Lindsay looks forward to being able to divorce Paul and leave lavishly, unaware the pre-nup she has works the other way. So she sets off to find a job, which causes her to stumble into a stylist. All goes well as they talk, eventually Paul finds them and pushes Lindsay to tell her about the baby. Her refusal leads to him trying to inform the stylist, for Lindsay to blurt out that she got it aborted and how she plans to divorce Paul. This has always been a relationship that’s been miserable for Lindsay on the outside and normally Paul has masked his frustrations, but he’s visibly crushed and he staggers away. This is a man who so desperately wanted to be a father and he’s had that taken from him.
Briefly, I’ll mention the storyline of Sam, Shitstain and Honey Nutz which looks like it’s going to veer into heartbreak and tragedy only to veer in a different direction at the end. The set-up of Honey Nutz struggling with public speaking pays off well because it’s so understated in the original conversation, a segue in the heat of the moment that then hasn’t run out of steam by the time the episode gets to the actual best man speech.
Following on from last week, Jimmy’s obsessed with cleansing his dad from his life, working out if he really needs anything he has, through a pro/con list. Eventually he comes to Gretchen despite her protests. Her curiosity leads to her attempting to take a peek at the list in it’s current state, but Jimmy’s swapped the notebook out for an identical and blank one. Which of course means that now Gretchen has one and sets about creating her own list. And the sorrow comes in that final third of the episode when they agree to share one item – any other sitcom would play this for laughs, I’m fairly certain that Friends did this with Ross and Rachel, but this is You’re the Worst. It gets real the moment he says he doesn’t see himself having kids with her. Jimmy’s always been someone who’s kept his emotions inside, it took until the premiere of this season for him to say I love you, so it’s hard to watch him as he lays out the vision of the future he wants compared to the one he expects. In response, she responds how she doesn’t know if he’ll be successful. Not as extreme as Jimmy’s item, but it cuts deep in the moment.
Outside, he offers her a cigarette as they wait for their cars, not realising until both of them are delivered to the entrance by the valets that they came alone. And so they drive off in different lanes. The split-screen works well here, like it did with Fargo S2 because it’s about contrast and separation. The pair have been isolated by this incident and we go into the season finale with all of the stories having coalesced and with no idea what happens now, which is somewhat terrifying considering how much work the show has done to get us invested in Jimmy and Gretchen’s story. Guess we’ll find out if that fear’s unfounded or justified next week.