Gretchen and Jimmy show the best part about being in a relationship before one of them destroys it.
You’re The Worst season 2 has, so far, been about avoiding domestic boredom, and showrunner Stephen Falk deserves a nod for the subtle ways he’s steered these characters into just that while bypassing TV couple norms.
We’ve come to expect more than the girl-moves-in-ruins-dude’s-party-life trope from Gretchen and Jimmy, and in each episode fans are surprised by little hints of real-life relationships. Let’s look at this week’s: Gretchen and Jimmy find themselves horrified at the idea of “checking in” throughout the day, but as the episode rolls along, their lives become one accidental check-in.
He texts her a funny photo of weird home decor. She tells him about losing a Jolly Rancher. He video-chats her from a mid-day strip club visit. And when they meet up at the end of the day, Gretchen says there’s still so much to tell him. “Aren’t you glad we didn’t check in?”
This simple line shows You’re The Worst gets the best part of being a couple: sharing the little things no one else cares about. Even then, there’s so much more to tell. With those few words, viewers can tell Jimmy and Gretchen are getting serious, even if they refuse to acknowledge it. But someone does.
Their blissed-out happiness comes undone in the last two minutes of “All About That Paper,” which we’ll go out on a limb and call the most heartbreaking scene in Fall TV so far. Gretchen bails. Hard.
Onto the devastating Worstie rankings…
4. Nope, not the worst. Far from it! In fact… least worst: Edgar
Edgar discovers he loves improv during a support group meeting. He’s found rules to live by (and woo Lindsay with): “Never bail out when you’re scared!” and “Trust your instincts!” But his non-relationship with Lindsay takes a backseat in “All About That Paper,” and so by default, Edgar is the “best.”
2. Eh, not great, but could be worse: Jimmy
Jimmy spends most of this episode running around with his literary hero Jonathan Stratsburg (Roger Bart), trying to lock down a job as his researcher. But as he finds out Stratsburg actually likes his work, Jimmy is newly invigorated to work on his second novel.
General condescending writer behavior lands him at No. 2 this week.
2. Oof. It gets worse: Lindsay
Ugh, Lindsay’s life is getting darker each week. What starts as a nice afternoon visit with her pregnant sister turns into the day she gets served divorce papers. Only one week after having sex with Paul, her “Pauly-wog,” Lindsay’s dream of a reconciliation is crushed.
Instead, she crashes Amy and Paul’s camping trip, tells Amy they slept together — she already knows because they have no secrets — and vows to get Paul back. She winds up on the couch with a bottle of red wine, looking at old videos of Paul… until she remembers his condom full of semen left in the freezer. She then grabs the turkey baster, kicking Edgar, who stopped by again to proclaim his love, out of the house.
1. Absolute, hands-down, no-questions-asked worst: Gretchen
But it’s Gretchen who lands as the worst again this week. After 20 truly delightful minutes of watching love play out on screen, Gretchen gives up. In the middle of the night, when Jimmy is fast asleep she creeps to the dresser, grabs her cell phone and some essentials, and leaves. Expertly soundtracked by Torres’ “New Skin,” the scene shows Gretchen as we know her from season 1 — scared and running away.
She spent the day on a professional high — squashing and starting rap beef, touting music blogs like Pitchfork and Stereogum — and sharing secrets with her boyfriend. But when reality sets in, that this lil’ life full of love and actual emotional intimacy is hers, she may have found it’s not the one she wants.