Of all the issues plaguing You’re the Worst this season — its “unlikable” characters being so stagnant and shitty that it’s impossible to feel invested in them is the biggest one that comes to mind — this week’s episode brings to light yet another: It’s too predictable.
Literally every twist of this episode could be seen from 10,000 miles away. Jimmy having sex with the married woman at the erotica conference? Yup. Edgar’s douchey friend giving off the impression that he’ll pay for the party when he’s putting the bill on Edgar’s tab all along? Whoa, you don’t say! Boone catching Gretchen in her lie about pretending to be sick when he brings chicken soup to her house to make her feel better? It is among the Inviolable Rules of Television Health and Medicine! This is such an overused trope it could probably use a sick day of its own. Even the smaller stuff — that Becca’s “gay” best friend is anything but, that Paul would crash Lindsay’s divorce party, or that none of the colleagues Lindsay likes would show — unfold in the most obvious, least compelling ways.
Fresh off her trip home, Gretchen repurposes her friendship bracelet (the one Heidi wisely rejected) and pawns it off on Lindsay, telling her that the H stands for Hot Lindsay. This, too, is one of the recurring problems with YTW: How dumb is Lindsay, really? Sometimes she seems to be the kind of person who’s on top of her shit when she lands in the right environment, like her new job. She was a legitimate voice of reason and concern when Gretchen’s depression rose up and threatened to devour her life. But sometimes she is so willfully moronic, it is frankly unfathomable that she has survived to see her 30s. Seriously, she thinks the H stands for Hot Lindsay?
Anyway, Hot Lindsay is bummed out that her work friends, a.k.a. “those multicultural fashion lizards,” don’t like her. It’s enough to make you wonder: Would ANY of these dirtbags be friends had they not been rejected by every other human they’d ever met? We’re dealing with lowest-common-denominator relationships here.
Upon receiving her divorce license in the mail, Lindsay immediately starts to give Gretchen shit for spending so much time with Boone and being in a committed relationship. (Again, huh? Wasn’t Lindsay the friend who wanted Gretchen to have an independent life because her all-consuming sadness was ruining Lindsay’s couch/work/existence? Isn’t Lindsay the person who knows how precarious Gretchen’s mental health is? I get being annoyed when your friends can’t sync up their unattached time with your single-cycle, but still, this makes zero sense.) Gretchen promptly lies to Boone because she and Lindsay apparently only serve to ruin each others’ lives and discourage any healthy progress.
Unlike Lindsay, Edgar has a new work friend whose entire personality consists of peer-pressuring him into spending too much money. So the minute that Gretchen pawns off the planning of Lindsay’s divorce party on Edgar (“Remember, the theme is ‘Your Previously Secure Future Is Suddenly a Giant Scary Question Mark — But Fun!’”) and this douchey sentient fedora is all, “I got you, man,” you know how this will turn out. In the meantime, we get to watch Jimmy’s place transform into a Pinterest board of anti-matrimonial whimsy.
In spite of the extravagant setup that Gretchen claims as her doing — complete with a decapitated groom on a cake and a cute party sign reading “I Do, I Did, I’m Done” — Lindsay isn’t having any fun. Only one person from her office stops by, and she thanks him for this by saying, “Carl’s basically a human participation trophy” right in front of his face. Later, of course, she sees texts from the other co-workers who say they aren’t coming because they hate her. Can’t imagine why!
Boone arrives, chicken soup in hand, because duh. Gretchen tries to lie her way out of it, badly, and Boone tries to bail. Instead, Gretchen blurts out all her fears about how they’re “on a road” and she is scared. First of all, did they not just have this conversation two episodes ago when she was sitting on the curb outside his house? And also, WHY DOESN’T GRETCH JUST ASK ANY GODDAMNED QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF MAKING ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE PEOPLE SHE IS SLEEPING WITH, FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
Boone rolls with it and says one of the episode’s only lines that made me laugh out loud: “I’m very curious to see who would actually be friends with you.” But no one at this party is really friends with Gretchen. (Why didn’t she invite Sam and the guys?) Instead, Boone gets to watch Becca give an unsolicited, deeply cruel toast, which includes the question, “Is there anything in your life you haven’t aborted?”
Just as Lindsay announces that she feels “free,” Paul shows up. He enters to the sound of his own maniacal laughter and says their marriage dissolved because Lindsay is horrible.
“Is everything my fault because I don’t do life good?” Lindsay asks Gretchen, in, again, a highly implausible manner of speaking for an adult, even one who isn’t supposed to be the smartest cookie in the box. “Of course not,” noted doing-life-good expert Gretchen assures her. So, everyone is lying to each other and themselves. Gretchen chalks all this up to shitty childhoods. (Wow, she really did not get what she needed to get out of therapy.) Lindsay’s takeaway is to blame Becca for all her problems, which I’m sure will go swimmingly.
Also, Gretchen explicitly ignores Boone’s very clear boundary re: meeting his daughter, and she just up and brings Olivia inside this nightmare party. She clearly does not understand that there are about 100 legitimate reasons for Boone’s rule that have nothing to do with her personally. Boone likes her but feels as if he can’t date her because, well, she is a compulsive liar who won’t respect his rules about his kid. Seems perfectly reasonable to me, Boone! But then because they both have feelings they decide to go for it? Uh, okay.
Back off the ranch, Jimmy is at the romance and erotica conference, where he discovers — shocker! — being a young, successful man who writes romance and erotica has its sexual perks. Once he gets over trying to convince people that what he really wrote is “a Dickensian exploration of the log shadow cast on British progenitor by the Second World War,” he takes a tip from a stand-in for Gretchen, a cool married woman in a leather jacket, who tells him that, were she a “hot single British dude, you’d have to take my dick home in a body bag.”
So after making out with the woman who said she had sex with her drama teacher (Jimmy’s reply: “Who didn’t?”), he spins the bottle to the married woman, Adrienne. Their kiss gets all kinds of Width of a Peach passionate, and they have sex and … she vomits everywhere! This is the best part of the episode. (Am I a monster?) Then she reveals that she’s never had an orgasm, her whole career is a lie, etc., etc. With VERY few modifications, this exact plot point was used on The Bold Type, the you-go-girl Freeform show about baby millennials working at fake Cosmo. This girl Jane is supposed to write about orgasms, but she’s never had one and she feels like a fraud … blah, blah, you get it, spoiler alert, a hot guy screws her and makes it all better.
After telling Adrienne, “I don’t want to rub it in, but they’re kind of the only truly transcendent thing in this world” re: orgasms, Jimmy gets a call. From Gretchen. They are back to bantering. Yes, Gretchen, let’s ruin an actually decent thing that you don’t even deserve!
The worst: The entire plot of this episode.
Runners-up: Becca (holy smokes, is that woman a self-absorbed sociopath), Edgar’s shitty new friend, Paul, Gretchen, never having an orgasm.
A few good things: “Mezcalimony,” the fact that Boone tries to set boundaries for his daughter, Gretchen accurately assessing red velvet as “not a real flavor.”