After a roller coaster ride of emotions in its second season, You’re the Worst ended on quite a happy note: Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) exchanged declarations of love — and this time around, they were happy with where they ended up.
Unfortunately, not everyone could say the same. After news of her pregnancy got out, Lindsay (Kether Donohue) reconciled with Paul (Allan McLeod), who praised his ex-wife for not using the baby to trap him. They rode off into the night together, only for Lindsay to realize this is not what she wants anymore. How will she deal with Paul and the pregnancy when the show returns for season 3? EW caught up with showrunner Stephen Falk, who also reveals which couple was slated to break up in the finale. Get the scoop:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What does the “I love you” mean for Gretchen and Jimmy’s relationship moving forward?
STEPHEN FALK: It signals a maturation after a very difficult second season in their relationship. Where we go from here is anybody’s guess. Ultimately I get to choose what that is. It was really important for us to end on a grace note for the two of them. It’s nice and satisfying and kind of lovely that they’ve gone through all of this and they emerge a little stronger perhaps. Inevitably, when a couple goes through a very difficult period, they’re going to end up changed. It’s a very uncynical way to approach the end of what was a very difficult storyline for them. It doesn’t signal the end of trouble or that it’ll be smooth sailing for here on.
It would be a yank to end up seeing them apart at the end of the second season and just having to get them back together in season 3. I always wanted the show to follow the major signposts of a relationship. Certainly, last season, moving in was a big one that we did early. Saying the words “I love you” is another one. You see a lot in sitcoms where one says it and the other says, “Thank you,” and they spend the episode regretting it or talking about it with their friends. We just wanted to get that signpost done, but do it in a different, simpler way. It’s a really nice moment for the two of them, and hopefully will begin to signal that there hasn’t been massive amounts of damage done. They can go through that and emerge a little stronger. That’s a hopeful thing for our characters.
Do you plan on exploring Gretchen going to therapy or are you moving on from the depression storyline?
I don’t know if we’re moving on from the depression storyline in terms of dropping it. My impulse is that therapy is not that interesting to watch. We do it occasionally as a joke. If we turned into a show about Gretchen trying to figure out her backstory or neurological damage, we may turn into In Treatment, and I’m not sure we could do In Treatment better than they could. My impulse would be no. We have 22 minutes to tell our story. Gretchen saying, “I’m going to see someone and try to figure this out,” is not us saying, “That’s it! She’s solved her struggle.” It was more the end of a season-long thematic storyline. We set up, in the first episode, Paul’s theory of love: Love is about putting someone else’s needs in front of your own. We see both Jimmy and Gretchen do that in different ways in the season. That’s Gretchen’s final bit of growth in the season. She even says, “It’s always been just me, and it’s not anymore.” For two narcissists to acknowledge that they need to make an adjustment for the person in their life is a really huge step.
How will Lindsay deal with the fact that she actually is pregnant?
This is going to rock her world certainly. You see when she’s riding away on Paul’s horrible moped with his sidecar — she even said to the audience last season that she doesn’t ride in a sidecar, she drives the motorcycle — we see she’s already decided she’s made a mistake. I think we’re going to see good old conflicted Lindsay when we come back.
Gretchen did bring up the subject of Lindsay getting an abortion. Is that something you plan on discussing next season?
It’s certainly a possibility for her. The storytelling part of me thinks it’s a little bit of a cop-out to get rid of it, but I very purposefully have tried to normalize abortion in conversation in the show for very, very specific personal, political and gender reasons. But at the same time, it’s a little less satisfying storytelling wise. It’s there on the table, absolutely, as something our characters are not afraid of, or at least not opposed to. Now the question is, when it becomes a real thing, then political preference goes out the window and then it comes down to can they stomach that, or is that a choice they’re going to make for themselves?
For Edgar (Desmin Borges) and Dorothy (Collette Wolfe), they’re still together, but not moving into together. What’s that balance like for you in trying to give Edgar some happiness, but also keeping that dark angle?
That moment in particular where, at the party, he says he’s not moving in with her and that she tricked him into wanting to live with her, she walks away and it looks like they’ve broken up, we actually had that be it for them. They were going to break up. At the last minute, I said to the room, “Why are we doing that? He does not have to be miserable.”
We realized there was an opportunity to speak to some of the things that annoy me about a lot of scripted shows in that it doesn’t really reflect human behavior. In other words, a small misunderstanding that could then be reversed is often not, just because it’s easier for the writers to do that. We could’ve had him go, “Oh man, I blew it,” and now he’s single. Rather, Jimmy drunkenly says, “Why did you do that? That was stupid. Go after her.” He does and he goes to her and makes that speech, and we thought it would be even more realistic and also funny if Dorothy instead says, “No, dude, I wasn’t breaking up with you. People don’t actually behave like that. I was just mad. I left. You were supposed to come get me. Now we’ll figure it out.” It fit in nicely for the character of Edgar for him to realize, “Oh, I can f— up and people will still like me.” That’s a really nice thing for him. They’ve gone through a little thing here, but there will always be challenges for them. I can’t say they’ll stay together forever, but we felt that the character and Dorothy, with how great Collette is, it deserved a little more room to explore their relationship.
The facial expressions said it all in this finale. Last year, Jimmy and Gretchen were not happy about moving in together, whereas this year they were pleased about saying “I love you,” while Lindsay’s face spoke volumes about her current predicament. How much of that is scripted and how much is it the actors?
It was always written. I’m very interested in the moment after the camera is supposed to stop rolling. I think it was seeing The Graduate at a very early age. When they’re at the back of the bus, they’re smiling, they’re happy, they left the wedding, they’re now together, then the bus pulls away and the camera keeps rolling. They stop smiling and look around. You have this sense of, “Oh s—, what now?” The plausible story being that was just them not knowing that they were still rolling and waiting for [director] Mike Nichols to call cut, but that had a big impact on me when I first saw it at age 13, that the minute the cameras are supposed to stop rolling, that’s when it gets really interesting. I like subverting the normal triumphant rom-com moment with a little bit of “Oh s—, what have I gotten myself into?” That’s where that comes from.
You’re the Worst will return for season 3 next year.