Well, I’ll be! We get an actual, honest-to-goodness plot twist this week! Although some of these fake-outs are so obvious even Lindsay would be able to see them coming, the most important one — that married guy is not, in fact, a married guy — is a genuine surprise. At least, it was for me. Maybe you all were paying closer attention than I was.
First we see Gretch and Boone going at it at his place, and the instant he says there’s nothing to worry about because “she won’t be home for hours,” as any good television watcher knows, of COURSE this woman is coming home earlier than expected. Honestly can’t imagine anyone being thrilled by that particular turn of events. The texts Gretchen sees come from an Olivia, who says, “Girl Scouts got canceled.” I guess we are supposed to be fooled into thinking Olivia is the wife when Olivia is obviously the daughter? But — and I realize now I am revealing a fluency in an uncool movie that is potentially embarrassing for me — not only is this a duh, it’s the daughter situation straight out of The Holiday, a.k.a. that Christmas rom-com where Kate Winslet somehow winds up with Jack Black while Cameron Diaz snuggles up with Jude Law, but YTW literally uses THE SAME NAME for the daughter as that 2006 holiday flick! Right? Remember? Cameron Diaz sees Jude Law take a call from a girl named Sophie and then another call from a different girl named … wait for it … OLIVIA. And she thinks he’s giving her the runaround, but he’s just the most devoted dad in the whole wide world or something.
Anyway, I guess considering her character and her compromising position, it sort of makes sense that Gretchen thinks Olivia is the ex. But also, just statistically speaking, aren’t most Olivias walking the Earth right now under the age of 11? Do you know a lot of millennial Olivias? I don’t. I know a fuckton of Katies and I am one of approximately 10 billion Jessicas. All the Olivias are in kindergarten.
Okay. Onward. Gretch slips out through the back door while Boone’s (we will soon learn to be ex-) wife reams him out for having a woman over. It’s all very misdirect-y. We also learn that Boone is an abusive dick to his ex-wife’s new guy. I’m not sure how to feel about that, but you know, flawed characters are so hot right now.
Gretch, believing that Boone is both married and a dad, gets — well, as she puts it: “What’s the word? It’s like bad, but it involves other people?” Lindsay tries to guess, and comes up with “carsick” and “murder.” Meanwhile, Jimmy thinks Gretchen’s sex with Boone is really about him. What’s interesting is that he’s not not wrong when he says, “They could have had sex anywhere. Why here?” but he is all kinds of wrong when he rejects Edgar’s correct diagnosis of “because she hates you” and instead believes it is because she loves him.
Later, Gretchen and Boone have one of these who’s-on-first fights where she thinks she’s talking about the daughter but he thinks they’re talking about the ex. Gretchen consults her people, including a friend who dated a Romanian gymnastics coach, and everyone thinks this is a bad idea. Then, and only then, does she discover that Boone is DIVORCED and they were just sneaking around to make things sexy. And, I guess, in case Girl Scouts got out early.
I’m excited to see Gretchen acknowledge that she wants someone to fight for her and really make a go of it with Boone. Boone is a dirt bag (see: yelling and abusing the guy in the Subaru), but at least he listened to her and has that vibrator that she’s now very intrigued by. I know the whole show relies on its main characters being, well, the worst, but watching Jimmy not grow at all is pretty boring. Gretchen’s teeny tiny steps toward something within spitting distance of happiness? That I can get behind.
In side plots, Lindsay tries to bring her real-life personality to the office; always a dicey proposition, even when you’re a relatively high-functioning normal. She rolls into work looking like end-of-Grease Sandy and cracks jokes about pedophiles. It … doesn’t go well. (I loved her descriptions of her colleagues: “Tara makes ugly metal art and Jeff is a Halloween person.”) Again, in the category of “didn’t I just see that in another sitcom not all that long ago?,” Gretch tries to make outside-of-work plans with Tara and Jeff only to be told that they’re busy and then — GASP! — stumble upon them all having fun without her, à la Liz Lemon. She just wishes she could find someone she could really connect with. How many episodes before she realizes that someone is Edgar?
Also, Paul is a men’s-rights activist now? Ugh, yeah, that sounds about right.
The worst: Guilt. That is, once Gretchen figures out that’s what she’s feeling. On the bright side, she doesn’t really have anything to be guilty about anymore!
Runners-up: Gretchen yells “BOOMTOWN” when she comes; the 9/11 truthers at Edgar’s job; being on “a strict early-agrarian sleep cycle”; recycled plots from other sitcoms; Paul saying, “I’ll have a vodka soda, and no, I’m not trying to rape you” to his waitress.
A few good things: Fighting for someone, giving someone the chance to fight for you, Edgar’s desire for meaningful male relationships.