What a terrific return to form. You’re the Worst finishes its sophomore season at a party fueled by trash juice, after a half-hearted attempt to maintain decorum in Becca and Vernon’s backyard devolves into a blasted disaster. And, of course, the season can’t end without a serene, meaningful karaoke number. That’s basically a tradition.
It’s been a dark season, even by You’re the Worst standards. Darkness is a vital part of the show; at best, these people treat love, hope, and sacrifice as jokes. This season isn’t about laughter, though. It’s about the characters, period. Maybe that’s why this sophomore season was sometimes a frustrating one. I’m game to go there — down into the dark pits within our maybe-undateable duo. I’d like to learn more about why Gretchen and Jimmy are who they are, and why they’re drawn to each other. I’m into the show’s exploration of Edgar’s PTSD and Lindsay’s inability to do the work of her marriage. But I want to see some jokes too! When YTW unleashes the humor, it can be viciously funny in the best way.
That’s why, with much joy and optimism for the season to come, I give this episode five stars. The show has finally rediscovered its ideal balance. We get genuine moments of catharsis and emotion — with plot and character development! — alongside the humor that makes YTW such a fantastic show.
“The Heart Is a Dumb-Dumb” opens on an upbeat: Jimmy and Gretchen are together again. She seems like she’s doing better, even though she confuses Nina’s literal bronze medal with another kind of “bronze medal.” (That’s how Gretchen refers to people’s buttholes, it turns out. Whatever works for you, Gretch!) At this point, Gretchen reveals that she isn’t on anti-depressants — and never has used them. Jimmy reacts the same way I did on my couch: He’s horrified and outraged that Gretchen would go so long without even attempting a medical intervention, considering how wrecked she was by depression literally one episode ago. Gretchen is all, “No, we proved I don’t need medication!” GRETCHEN, NO.
Lindsay announces her accidental pregnancy in the most Lindsay way: She flounces into the kitchen housing two burgers, because one is for “the baby in my pussy!” She quickly assures Gretch that she’s not keeping it, though she does admit, “Two weeks ago, I would’ve trapped Paul and torpedoed his relationship with crunchy princess limp hair.” I’m totally on board with all of this: Lindsay holding off on motherhood, Lindsay not entrapping Paul with her baster-baby, and Lindsay letting Paul be happy with Amy. Too bad all of that collapses by the end of the episode.
The big party is Becca and Vernon’s gender reveal — if they also have a baby shower, they really are the worst — complete with “fertility toss” and “design your own gender-neutral onesie” games for guests. Luckily, Vernon hid trash juice inside the popcorn tins.
Jimmy, appalled by Gretchen’s admission, gets drunk in “levels” that Edgar helpfully explains for all of us watching at home. Jimmy says it’s his turn to be taken care of, so he deliberately gets super-sloshed. (Edgar’s reaction: “Well, this is leading toward something dangerously misguided.”)
Meanwhile, Gretchen goes to Nina’s bar where, after a brief attempt at being inconspicuous, she lets Nina buy her a drink. They bond over shared Jimmy frustrations — he talks about treehouses a lot — before Gretchen straight-up hits on Nina to see what all the fuss is about. My favorite line comes from their exchange: Nina, disgusted by Gretchen and Jimmy’s irrational behavior, is all, “What is wrong with you guys? I’m a real person!” And Gretchen, very meta, replies: “Are you? You’re a skier who owns a bar. You don’t think that sounds just a little bit like some male fantasy?” After one more shot building sexual tension, Gretchen folds. Nina slapping away her hand is perfection.
Vernon and Paul have a weird thing in the bathroom. (You could be eating breakfast right now, so I won’t describe the scene. I don’t want to start your day that way.) Just know that Vernon blames Paul for lending him much-needed cash because, “You’re the one who gave money to a money pit! That’s on you!” Maybe he’s the worst? He and Becca deserve each other.
At the party, sweaty Jimmy tells Edgar that he spent Wednesday afternoon in the pillow fort while Gretchen wept, and Edgar realizes Jimmy missed the show for a good reason. Edgar still needs to tell Jimmy he’s moving in with Dorothy. He wusses out at first, then he comes clean, but drunk Jimmy talks him out of it and then back into it. Edgar and Dorothy have a fight but are still together, even though they aren’t going to move in together right away. All is well on that front. Very sweet, much happiness. Good for Edgar, good for Dorothy, now back to our previously scheduled A plot.
Becca has changed into a yellow gown. SHOWTIME, PEOPLE. Level-three Jimmy has other plans. He grabs the mic to talk about how Becca is “like a lioness of the savanna.” This lioness, naturally, has already outed Lindsay’s pregnancy to Paul. Even though you apparently can’t knock yourself up with microwaved sperm and a turkey baster, you can get pregnant if you “have unprotected vaginal intercourse for 37 seconds” before your dude puts on a condom, especially if, like Paul, he has “a heavy seminal load of high viscosity and opacity.” Oh God, I’m sorry. Are you still eating breakfast? I hope it’s not oatmeal.
Paul thinks Lindsay finally understands his definition of love. Lindsay, in a beautiful moment, admits she was unhappy in their marriage. Now everything should be cool, and they should go their separate ways. Right? Nope! Amy gets in a sign-language brawl with Paul, Lindsay has karaoke emotions, and then she and Paul ride off into the night … together. Noooooo.
For what it’s worth, Lindsay’s face at the end of the episode is more “last shot of The Graduate” than rom-com bliss. She already knows she’s making a big mistake.
Back at the party, Jimmy compares Becca and Gretchen to crosswords of varying difficulty, which is very sweet in a very Jimmy way. Vernon reveals his money slavery to the entire party, which is somehow full of people who decided it’s still worth it to be friends with Vernon and Becca.
Gretchen and Jimmy reunite. There is full disclosure. She promises to see a doctor about getting on some anti-depression meds. They eat a lot of fries in bed and also THEY SAY THEY LOVE EACH OTHER. The episode ends on their front steps, as they share a cigarette and trade little smiles. Those smiles!
See you next season, dumb-dumbs.
The worst: Trash juice. Which is more lethal, though: Trash juice or snake juice?
Runners-up: Lindsay doesn’t know what lemons are, how Jimmy hid under his bed for two hours instead of cleaning up his spilled bowl of cereal, Vernon becoming a doctor “because I was born dead,” “Paul Nye the Science Homo,” Edgar really didn’t know it was a school.
A few good things: “I know it’s cliché but what if there were no possessions? Imagine that,” the way Becca keeps insisting she “can have one” glass of wine even as she downs a bottle, Gretchen’s booby shirt, the way Jimmy says Nina is just “all right” after Gretchen describes her as “hella foxy,” the look on Vernon and Becca’s faces as they cut into their gender-reveal cake.