For Lindsay and Edgar, it’s now just them.
Whether it was down to the fact that Thanksgiving is next week, or if there was conscious thought put towards grouping these final two episodes together, it was a smart choice nonetheless and because of this I think it’ll be easier to treat them as an hour long thing rather than two separate episodes.
There’s three main storylines this week, for the first half, these all adopt a similar structure in that they center around arguments. The one which is simplest to understand is probably Dorothy & Edgar’s because their relationship has been heading this way for a few weeks now. Something to appreciate about this one in particular is how neither of them are really in the wrong, granted Edgar did spend the wedding working out sketches, but I can (and will) put the blame onto Doug Benson for making him work during this time. The contrast between Edgar’s success and how hard Dorothy has worked in an attempt to be successful has been overtly telegraphed since he stumbled into his job and it’s here, that it well and truly gets to her, causing her to suggest he was hired because affirmative action, which is horrible, but it’s undoubtedly hard for her to keep being knocked down while Edgar walked into a job. And in the end, she decides to leave, it’s bittersweet because there’s still a connection there, just now they both realise it’s not a strong enough one. Within the grand schemes of the season, this is the one that’s been deadset on it’s course since the start, so it’s appropriate it comes to a head in the first half, with an epilogue of sorts in the second.
Lindsay & Paul’s plot in the episode follows a similar structure in that it falls apart within the first half and then the second half set-up their direction for Season 4. This one obviously comes to a head over Lindsay choosing to abort their baby without running it by him first. Their argument then begins to encompass everything that’s happened this season with them, initially Lindsay stabbing him was perhaps going a little overboard and at the time, I was happy that we eventually moved on. In this case, I’m fine with it coming back up because Paul gets his Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright turning the table moment where he throws everything back in her face, including the way that their relationship began to include others (again, I’m still not using that word for election related reasons). Paul’s been one of those characters who’s mainly stayed the same over the course of the show thus far, and it wouldn’t be unfounded to brush this argument off as just something they do, considering the season started with him making an impassioned plea to get back together. However it would be unfounded after he leans in close, Lost in Translation style and tells Lindsay to lawyer up. This heel turn from Paul is ridiculously satisfying due to how he’s suffered in silence up until now (outside of talking to Vernon during the road trip) and by the second half he gets to relish in the moment, with a wardrobe change to boot. Seeing him go on the offensive is a strange phenomenon, but it’s been clear for a long time that Lindsay has been the perpetrator of many events that should have spelled the end for the two. Which makes it a real shame to see him cast out of the house at the end once Vernon & Becca arrive, while Lindsay essentially lands on her feet, despite her ineptitude when it comes to the pre-nup and negotiations.
I’m going to take this moment to focus on how Becca & Vernon fit into the finale because in the first half they allow the arguments to get some air as the six find out that Becca has had her baby, Tallulah. In an episode that kept piling on the sad beats, it’s a moment of respite and warmth. In the second half, Becca’s conversation with Lindsay highlights how quickly Lindsay chose to abort the baby, as well as how she kept it on the down-low, so much so that her own sister didn’t even find out. Vernon’s interaction with Paul demonstrates a role reversal from the road trip, considering Vernon’s now committed to staying and looking after his daughter, even if it’s partly because he doesn’t think Becca can do it by herself.
Which brings us to the Gretchen & Jimmy of it all, both still reeling from what the other put on their con list at the wedding. Gretchen’s is able to concede her point very easily, telling him that she does think he can make, his con is more deep rooted than that and takes more work for him to move beyond that. Their argument spirals through ideal mates and lands at a point where they both have to yell about what they’re dealing with. Jimmy’s still grieving, while Gretchen’s contending with something that can’t necessarily be beaten. The idea that one of them has to be okay to help out the other is a shaky one at best and it seems that Jimmy comes to realise this, reaching the conclusion that they should try, even if failure seems to be what humans do best, because there’s a chance they won’t. Being quite honest most of their plot had me in tears this week, the scenes they have are some of the most tender and heartfelt ones of the show thus far, and when Gretchen finally realises what Jimmy’s book is about, everything seems to get better for them.
This emotional catharsis then allows for the second half of the episode where everything is much improved and the pair set off for a ‘murder site’, made up by Jimmy. There’s a change in how their relationship has been shown over the past few weeks here, it’s more in line with where they were at the last Sunday Funday. After ditching the car (and the car booze), the pair run into Justina, who’s leaving town to be with her boyfriend. The therapy plotline is the one that I assumed would be the driving plotline of the series and I was kinda wrong it came to that, it certainly had a focus, but there’s also been a lot of off-screen development in how Gretchen copes with her depression. It’ll be a shame to lose Samira Wiley as she was a wonderful addition to the cast, but the way this season has developed, there’s not really an indication that she’d be necessary for Season 4.
Now like Jimmy & Gretchen, we come to the scene on the hill. There’s certainly something to be said about how ecstatic Gretchen is about reaching the murder scene, but it’s even more delightful when she sees realises he brought her there to propose. And it’s a beautiful, tender moment which the show has gradually pushed towards, it wouldn’t be possible without this season having them both admit they loved the other. The problem with it being a gradual progression is that Gretchen pushes too far by saying they can be a family, which sends Jimmy into a spiral of confusion and leaves the hill as the fireworks fly, leading to that split-screen, which works much like last week’s did in creating even more distance between the two as well as the idea of heading into unknown territory.
Now we come to the curtain call on these recaps. As a whole I think that most, if not all of the episodes of the season worked in isolation, they were all funny and the plotting within each episode was efficient. As a whole, I think the season was a little bit too ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ which isn’t necessarily a problem in itself, a lot of shows succeed when creators are allowed to go all out, but You’re the Worst felt a little scattershot when it came to narrative cohesion. Part of this is on me, for expecting the show to lean harder on Gretchen’s therapy, but the season did shift focus quite a bit, from that to the death of Ronnie, and taking time out to spend a night in the woods with Vernon and Paul. Retrospectively that stuff came together by the end, but it almost felt as if a direction hadn’t really been decided until Ronnie’s death spelling out how the season was about family. As a result it wasn’t as tight as Season 2 was, but it was still affecting, still funny and still engaging television. Much like Bojack Season 3, if you want a point of reference.
Doing these recaps has been fun in a way. The main problem was how I didn’t anticipate my school schedule so I wasn’t aware that I wouldn’t be able to dig as deep as I would like to each and every episode purely to make sure this didn’t pull my focus away from the work I actually had to do each Thursday. As a result, I’m going to say that I won’t be doing recaps for the show (or probably any show moving forward) just because I expect even more work next semester and in the final year of my degree. But at the same time, I proved that I can commit to doing these for a season and have something to show for it, which is a positive. I think that I’ll move to doing reviews of some shows as their seasons come to end and the occasional movie review, but there are some larger pieces I want to do at some point, so perhaps I’ll aim to get one of those done a month.
To everyone who read this recap, thank you, if you read all of them thank you.