It’s hard to forget the devastation that was the YOU’RE THE WORST season three finale, but in case you did: Jimmy was just about to propose to an eager Gretchen, but then chickened out, sped off and left her alone on top of a hill without any further explanation. I mean, we’ve all been ghosted before in some shape or fashion, but never have I been ghosted as disrespectfully as Gretchen was. We all felt for her, but if you thought you were going to return back to season four with some answers right away, I’d suggest you slow down.
The season four premiere was broken up into two parts, both chronicling Jimmy and Gretchen’s life three months after Jimmy left Gretchen stranded. Don’t worry, arguably, neither is doing better than the other, and both of them are coping with their emotions by denial. While we don’t see them together at all during this hour- long premiere, we are left with the possibility that Jimmy is headed right back into Gretchen’s life.
Jimmy’s shacked up in some retirement RV community in some godforsaken town in middle America, where a store selling boba tea is the most exciting part of the retiree’s day. Not completely alone (although it could be argued that he should be) Jimmy found a friend in a retiree Burt, who’s just as ornery as Jimmy.
Jimmy’s days are fairly repetitive: pee outside, hang out with Burt watching Fall Guy, head to the local dinner for breakfast, do some yard work, head to the dinner for lunch and occasionally head to the library.
A duo of some grandkids visiting a resident, Clifford, asks the question that we all were wondering – what is Jimmy doing? We don’t get an answer.
Burt has his own problems, after terrorizing the community by speeding around in his red Corvette (?), resident busy-body Gail steals Burt’s car keys, which sends Burt into a rage-fit. Gail admits to Jimmy that she took Burt’s keys because it’s probably not safe for him to drive anymore (agreed). She tells Jimmy to keep it between them – which, she clearly doesn’t know our boy Jimmy.
After the two get Burt’s keys back, Burt admits that he’s sick of living in the slow, boring retiree community and wants to hit the open road. After Jimmy scolds Burt for being stupid and leaving the people he loves behind, sabotaging his own happiness, Burt reads Jimmy and tells him that he should take a look at his own life. Accurate…
After Burt speeds off into the night, Jimmy returns home to find a copy of his newest book on his doorstep. I imagine his conversation with Burt prompts Jimmy to finally turn on his phone — he discovers that his phone has been BLOWN UP by a slew of missed calls, Voicemails, and messages.
So we end part one with Jimmy taking to the road, leaving a note for Burt that he’s sold his car and that Burt should use the money to buy a ticket to Florida. It’s a sweet (but not too sappy) moment, where Burt uses the money to buy the movie projector he’s been wanting. Burt decides to host a movie night for all of the retirement community. Meanwhile, Jimmy drives back to Los Angeles in Burt’s car. If I were to find a theme for this episode, it would be growth.
Part two starts with our girl Lindsey (in a cute little asymmetrical skirt might I add) kicking butt at her new job (as a stylist’s assistant), helping out strangers on the street and living her best life. Gretchen, who lives with her is… doing the opposite. Clearly lost in cloud of her own manic depression after Jimmy ghosted her, Gretchen’s a hot mess.
Just like Jimmy, the two are also in their own rut – Gretchen proposes breaking out of the rut by smoking crack. Do they do it? Of course!
Even though Lindsey can’t keep her mouth shut about smoking crack to her boss, she’s offered a full time position. Lindsey quickly learns that a full-time life ain’t cute (work isn’t just for day, but for night too!) and that she’ll be required to work way harder, and longer than she’s used to – which will undoubtedly throw off her and Gretchen’s rut at home. When Lindsey tells Gretchen she needs a few hours to focus alone, she learns that Gretchen hasn’t left the house in 3 months. Let me rephrase, she hasn’t physically set foot out the house since Jimmy ghosted her. Gretchen’s been managing her life all through Skype: Skyping her therapist and pretending to be in Europe getting new press hype for her clients.
Off of learning her friend is seriously broken, Lindsey confronts Edward, who she believes is hiding Jimmy, and learns that Jimmy legitimately has been missing for three months.
After Gretchen finally gets the courage to go outside she decides to find Lindsey at her place of business, waiting for her outside until she’s done… for three hours. Lindsey, who’s tried to be so patient, runs away to Edgar’s house and while the two playfully mock Gretchen and Jimmy they actually end up sleeping together
Meanwhile, as Gretchen tries to find some relief of her own through sleeping with her ex, she gets a text… from Jimmy. It reads: “Heyyyy” TRASH
Here’s the good news, both characters seemed to have learned something by the end of their episode which could potentially help them learn to become healthy, less damaged people if they could just move on. The bad news is, ya’ll know they ain’t moving on. What I’ve always loved is that this show doesn’t smack you over the head with character development – in fact, it drops in little cues: like Jimmy using his relationship with Burt to see how jacked up his life is, or Gretchen finally moving Jimmy over to the “Exes” category in her phone. And yeah, while I definitely don’t watch this show to give me a full dose of reality, at the same time, isn’t it just like life to destroy all of the positive progress you’ve made for yourself by reintroducing someone toxic that you’ve gotten rid of? You’ve never said, hey, I’m done with this guy forever, just to have him text you mid-way through rebound sex like Gretchen?
Also, let’s pause here and talk about that “heyyy” message from Jimmy. First off, after three months of ghosting on the love of your life, if I got a damn “heyyy” message the first thing I would do would be to throw my phone across the ocean out of anger. However, on the topic of ghosting and these people generally being the worst, isn’t “heyyyy” such a fitting way to hit someone up after ruining their lives for three months? It’s little details like this that make the characters so believable, and the story so frustratingly enchanting!
Also also, thank goodness these characters are still really messed up when we catch back up with them. I know the whole point of the show is to subvert the romance genre, but my bad rom-com PTSD had me fearing that the premiere would show them genuinely happy and well adjusted, not going down a spiral of despair in the most extreme way as they both have. If you’re going to be brave enough to split up two parts of an ensemble for the season premiere, this certainly is the way to do it.
So which part did I like better? Both! Yeah I’m copping out, only because I enjoyed each part for different reasons. Part one was delightfully slow in it’s Jimmy way, slowly revealing how messed up his life is, and ending with a satisfying resolution of him not only being a good person (sort of), but also ushering Burt into a happier life. In part two, being met with Gretchen disrupting Lindsey’s new happy life by screaming “Zombie,” by the Cranberries and having them smoke crack was a burst of erratic, terrible energy that I didn’t know I needed in my life. What I loved about this episode was how Lindsey and Edgar’s storyline helped make sure we weren’t overwhelmed with Gretchen crazy, making her outbursts very effective.
So will they get back together? Will Gretchen answer that “heyyy” message? I don’t know, but I’m not going to lie, I probably would.
Season 4, Episode 1 (S04E01)
You’re The Worst airs Wednesdays at 10PM on FXX
Vanessa Jay | Contributor