In this week’s pretty great episode of YOU’RE THE WORST, Gretchen, provoked by a comment Justina makes about her issues with her parents, decides to prove to herself that her mom was a good mom by parenting her friends in a similar style. Gretchen wants to think that her mom’s cruel, withholding ways were simply tough love, but her mom sounds pretty awful. If she lost a tennis match, her mom would take away her pillows and sheets. We’re finally getting more insight into what makes Gretchen “the worst”.
First up is Jimmy. He’s spending his days playing Zoo Entrepreneur, a game where one builds a virtual zoo. He claims it’s all part of the writing process, but his creativity seems tapped. He’s named his giraffe “Necky” and elephant “Trunky”. Gretchen decides to take away the internet router, hoping that it will force him to buckle down and focus on his writing, as he has chapters due to his editor later that week. Instead, Jimmy takes the time to go to the Silver Lake Reservoir, after learning from Edgar that it’s more than just a “public wash for the destitute.”
His time there is delightful. He tries things he normally wouldn’t, like playing with dogs, hipster picnics, and eating unrefrigerated fruit from a cart. He even joins a game of pick-up basketball, which leads to him spraining his ankle. He goes to see Vernon to get him to fix it up—he describes what he was doing as “hooping b-ball with some diverse local athletes”. Vernon asks him to be on his podcast, the delightfully named Vernon Down the House. Normally Jimmy would say no, but he’s been trying new things today so he says yes.
The podcast is absurd and hilarious. Becca serves as his co-host and they have a pretty professional looking set-up. Vernon and Becca ask Jimmy probing personal questions—“it gets real in the man cave”—while interspersing their conversation with morning radio-esque sound effects. Jimmy realizes that he only become a writer to annoy his father, but now that his dad is dead, there’s no reason for him to keep writing. He can be whatever he wants! Becca and Vernon take a break for a mid-podcast commercial, which is a spot-on recreation of what you’d hear on a real podcast—an overly enthusiastic “Guys, I love Red Napkin for so many reasons.”
Next is Lindsay. Her arrangement where she gets to have sex with other guys as long as Paul watches isn’t going well. Paul tries to interrupt her and Raul with various small talk about things like pokestops, celebrity real estate listings, and iOS updates. Gretchen tells her that she’s cuckolding Paul and that winners take what they want no matter what, which she determines to mean to tell Paul to “go away next time I want to pork a rando.” She tries to have a conversation to Paul, but he latches on the word “cuckolding.” She says all women fantasize about it. Paul says, “if this is an established, rudimentary fetish, then I’m up for the challenge. I’m going to be the best cuck ever. For our family.”
But Paul takes things too far. He buys a dick cage, which symbolizes a cuck’s sexual inferiority. According to Paul, who’s textbook definitions of things are anything but sexy—“by associating sexual arousal with extreme pain, I will soon learn that I do not deserve erotic satisfaction.” Part two of his surprise is that he’s invited Raul and a friend to have a threesome with Lindsay. But as the dick cage begins to hurt Paul and he writhes around the floor in agony while declaring that he’s a worm, Lindsay realizes this isn’t what she wants. She texts Gretchen to tell her she wants an abortion.
Gretchen’s third project is Edgar. He’s been filming YouTube videos under the moniker Dr. Weed, a doctor with a plethora of crazy accents whose solution to every problem is weed. It’s a little joke for his vet friends, but Gretchen wants to push him further. There’s a comment on one of videos from a producer who wants to interview Edgar about veterans and marijuana, so Gretchen makes him contact him. The producer arrives with a fancy blue screen “like Tosh.0” and a poster board for white balancing. Edgar wants to back out, but Gretchen forces him to go with the interview.
Edgar delivers an impassioned speech about how marijuana has helped him, even if he’s not sure that it’s for everyone. But the producer edits his interview to make it look like he’s advocating that marijuana should be legal for everyone, and if it isn’t, people are going to die. He’s imposed crazy graphics on the blue screen and words on the poster board. So to recap, Gretchen’s efforts to mother her friends ended up with Lindsay wanting an abortion (although this is probably a good idea), Edgar being manipulated by pro-pot people, and Jimmy deciding that he doesn’t even know if he wants to be a writer anymore. He might be a master carpenter/treehouse architect/singer-songwriter.
Gretchen realizes that her perhaps her mom wasn’t the best parent. After all, Gretchen herself quit on a lot of things to sleep with college guys and do drugs. She tracks down Justina in a bar and begins to tell her about her problems. Gretchen’s actually a really great stalker. It’s nice to see the beginnings of some personal growth with her—let’s just hope she didn’t mess up the lives of her friends too badly.
Season 3, Episode 8 (S03E08)
You’re The Worst airs Wednesdays at 10PM on FXX
Jennifer Trofa | Contributor