YOU’RE THE WORST Review: “The Only Thing That Helps”

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YOU’RE THE WORST expertly blends comedy and drama in this week’s episode, which featured Jimmy finally accessing his feelings surrounding the death of his dad, after he receives a package from his sisters containing his dad’s ashes and the demand that he hold a memorial because he’s “rich” and “talk good”. He throws the package back outside first, of course, but after both Gretchen and Edgar bring it back in, he lets it stay in the house.

Edgar leaves the scene because he doesn’t have his pot card yet and being around a human’s remains is triggering him. He visits the VA to inquire as to whether getting his medicinal marijuana card will affect his other benefits, which really gets the bureaucratic nightmare he’s meeting with going. Even though weed is legal in California, it’s illegal in the rest of the country. Did he fight for the Army of California? How would they pay him? In avocados and screenplays? It’s hilarious and depressing all at the same time, much like all the scenes involving the VA this season. Weed is the only thing that helps (episode title alert!) Edgar, but he can’t have it. Edgar eventually gets his medicinal card on the down low after learning from Vernon that everyone has one for stupid reasons.

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There’s also a subplot about Lindsay/Paul’s relationship. She found a guy online she wants to have sex with, while Paul watches. It clearly makes Paul very uncomfortable, but after he sees how bored she is with their life—she isn’t 1/100th as into watching city council meetings on TV as he is, but I’m not sure if anyone could match his level of enthusiasm—he invites the man over himself. Lindsay recounts their sexual exploits, which makes Paul very upset, although of course she’s oblivious to it. There’s no way this marriage will last. And is Lindsay even still pregnant? Her body hasn’t changed at all and she’s drinking a LOT. Their relationship is just sad and it’s getting a bit depressing to watch.

Anyways, Jimmy gets drunk and reads out loud his erotic novel to his dad’s ashes, which sets off alarm bells for Gretchen. She tells him that “if you don’t deal with your emotional crap, it can mess your shit up later.” He decides to prepare a speech for the memorial (read: a list of heckles), but is spared from talking when an old friend of his father’s, Freddy, shows up with something he wants to read. Jimmy’s off the hook.

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Gretchen gets a new client this week in the form of Ben Folds, who plays an alternate version of himself who pretends he doesn’t want publicity, but really craves it. He hires a guy to ask him for an autograph, later hiring the same guy to pose as paparazzi. He repeats the same phrase carefully calculated to make him seem like a down-to-earth guy twice: “I’m just a regular guy from North Carolina who plays piano and smokes a pretty decent pork shoulder.” He shows up at Jimmy’s dad’s memorial and offers to play the piano—he always keeps one in his trunk.

And thank goodness he volunteers to do that, because his piano-playing is what makes the memorial scenes funny. The memorial scene gets dark. Freddy reads out loud from his prepared speech, but it’s revealed that the speech was actually written by Ronnie himself before he died. He tries to rewrite history, painting him as the victim of a son who never accepted his love. He talks about a particular night where he took Jimmy to see the movie Big Night, which inspired Jimmy to become a writer. He even wants his ashes scattered at the house of Big Night star Tony Shalhoub to commemorate that special moment.

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Jimmy takes to the podium to set the record straight. His dad took him to the theater, but watched D3: The Mighty Ducks, leaving Jimmy to watch Big Night by himself. He then left the theater without him. Jimmy reads his heckles, but stops when he realizes that Ronnie must have known he was dying when he visited Jimmy last, but didn’t say anything. He also seems to realize that his narcissism comes from his father. It would be hard to watch, but it’s punctuated by Ben Fold’s piano playing, scoring the scene with jaunty beats or dramatic build-ups. It’s absurd, but really funny.

Jimmy goes to scatter his dad’s ashes at Tony Shalhoub’s house, his tears turning into sobs after he tries to drop kick the container, only to have it all blow back on him. We may never be able to escape the influence of our parents. We may never get closure on bad relationships. But as long as we appreciate the absurdities of life, we’ll be okay.

TB-TV-Grade-B+

Season 3, Episode 7 (S03E07)
You’re The Worst airs Wednesdays at 10PM on FXX

Read all of our reviews of You’re the Worst here. 
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Jennifer lives for two things: spreading the “Superstore” gospel and themed “Law & Order: SVU” marathons on USA.
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