Gretchen wants us to meet her girlfriends.
“Does Gretchen have any friends besides Lindsay?” you may be wondering. I was wondering this, too!
But as she insists at the beginning of this episode, she has an entire crew (I’m not going to be a part of making “squad” happen; I will be on the right side of history here) of female friends who were once her partners in chaos. She just hasn’t spoken to them in a while. Given the ability Gretchen must have to keep tabs on these ghosts of girlfriends past through Facebook and other social-media-stalker-sites, it is a little suspect that she doesn’t already know they’ve long since abandoned the, shall we say, lifestyle that they once shared with Gretchen. But this is a rom-com, and a certain suspension of reality must be applied, and so: Gretchen thinks it’s a great idea to throw a party — not a “get-together” — so Jimmy can meet her girls.
Really, just the way Gretchen says “girls” is so desperate and searching, you know right away that her girls are her girls no longer. It is not entirely surprising when this once-wild-n-crazy pack of DGAFers roll up to Gretchen’s house with an AA token, a baby on the way, and a baby in one of those wraparound-sling-baby-holder things, respectively. The only friend who didn’t go full-domestic since Gretchen last saw her is Cory, who took a turn for the tragic in the other direction, in a series of jokes that didn’t exactly land. (Am I supposed to like making fun of her for getting kicked out of a shelter? That seems … weird.) She also really does not like being told by a pregnant woman that she can “not smoke” at a party: “Can you not bring your unborn tummyworm to a party?”
As we’ve seen through flashbacks, Gretchen isn’t quite as reckless as Gretchen of the recent past. Attempting Olympian levels of partying left her and Jimmy in a literal car wreck. They’re leading the relatively quiet life: heaps of cocaine, but only in the house. Still, compared to the rest of these women, Gretchen may as well reside in some alternate galaxy where people abbreviate “abortion” as “abobos.”
The gang on You’re the Worst is mostly surrounded by people who share the same value system, which is to say, people who don’t even really have a value system. They’re in this extended middle-20s-stage of life that occasionally bleeds into your 30s and, for the particularly ambitious in this department, early 40s, where they are anchored to nothing and no one but themselves. (No judgment because, well, you know: pots, kettles.) Everything feels temporary, even if it isn’t; Gretchen, for instance, probably didn’t plan to stay at the job that she’s at as long as she has but hey, here she is, all these years later, representing the same rappers who have since made it big and found a way to be featured in Black Dwell.
The people in Gretchen’s actual crew have mixed feelings about her grand plan to throw a party. Jimmy has zero interest in friendships, but he’s going to have to figure out what to do now that Gretchen accidentally liked a photo on Vernon’s “tragic” Instagram. Like he doesn’t have enough on his plate, what with the war he’s in with that autistic kid from Sweden who keeps blocking him! Lindsay wants to get a Tinder rando to be her date so she can dangle him in front of Paul, a totally healthy way to handle that mid-divorce life. (In the meantime, she’s sending the dick pics she gets from dudes she meets online to a gay porn site for ten bucks a pop. Her entrepreneurial spirit is one of my favorite things about her.) Edgar, with Paul’s blessing, is going to use the evening as an opportunity to make a move on Lindsay.
As is the law of rom-coms, Lindsay’s date flakes on her — turns out she was getting catfished by a 9-year-old, which explains why he only spelled titties with a z; kids these days, SMH — and, in a moment of insecurity and panic, she makes Edgar “pretend” to be her date, so he “fake” kisses her, and I am very, very worried about him because I like him so much but he is so fragile but also this is making him so happy so maybe I should just be happy about it? Is Edgar’s likely future heartbreak worth it for Lindsay to invoke the phrase, “old bone out, new bone in” re: how she no longer has a jealous bone in her body? We’ll find out!
And Jimmy, the man with no interests in friends, is charming everyone in sight no matter how hard he tries to get rid of them. Granted, “everyone” in this scenario is Vernon, Paul, Killian, and Edgar. But still! They are all quite smitten. And I am feeling like dear Jimmy who “fell in feces and the kids called me ‘shitty Jimmy’ and I was the smartest kid in my class” is secretly, totally loving it.
I mean, not enough to say yes to being on Vernon’s podcast. But more than he would ever admit.
The Worst: Realizing that people change.
Runners-up: Vernon’s Instagram, losing the leg, Cory, Mimi’s death by reclining bicycle, the last texts Mimi ever sent, teatime for Connor, people with kids who say to people without kids that “you’ll understand someday.”
A few good things: Killian the bartender, the way that 3-D puzzles force you to use multiple axes of your cerebral cortex, Amy’s appreciation for Joss Whedon’s career trajectory, green M&Ms.