YOU’RE THE WORST’s third season came to a close last night with an emotional one-hour finale ending with perhaps the series’ most heart-wrenching moment yet. In a post-show interview, creator Stephen Falk, who also co-wrote the second episode tonight, said that they always knew the season was going to end the way it did, with Jimmy leaving Gretchen all alone on top of a hill right after he proposes, and the writers did a great job of making such a development feel unexpected, but obvious in retrospect. These last two episodes did a great job of showing how much Gretchen has grown, while Jimmy hasn’t really made any effort. Gretchen and Jimmy are no longer just “the worst”. They’re too flawed, messy human beings who sometimes take a giant step backwards after taking two forward, because that’s how life is. Flawed, messy, and unpredictable.
But Gretchen and Jimmy aren’t the only couple in this show, so let’s start with the other two. Paul and Lindsay are completely, 100% over with Paul turning into a villain who wants to watch the world burn while laughing maniacally. Lindsay has finally broken him. She’s staying at Jimmy and Gretchen’s when he arrives to confront her over what she did, calling it “unspeakable, unconscionable, indefensible.” She counters with the fact that it wasn’t a baby, it was just a bunch of cells, challenging him to name one family that’s just a bunch of cells. Right away, he fires back “Osmosis Jones”, which got the most unexpected laugh out of me tonight. Lindsay keeps repeating “my body my choice” like they’re magic words that absolve her of any responsibility towards Paul’s feelings.
This is a tricky situation. Yes, Lindsay should have told Paul before she got the abortion—no one wants to be blindsided with information like that, especially when they were looking forward to having a child. But even if she had told Paul, they would have ended at the same place. Lindsay would have still wanted to get an abortion while Paul would have wanted to keep the child. Lindsay and Paul fight some more. She accuses him of stifling her with his niceness than making her feel guilty when she’s not happy. Paul accuses her of ruining his life. In Lindsay’s most intelligent, self-aware moment yet, she rightly tells him that “you knew it was a snake when you picked it up”, meaning that Paul knew the exact type of person Lindsay was when he married her. He thought he could change her, but can people ever really change?
At the end of the first episode, Paul tells her that she better “lawyer up, bitch”, lights a cigarette, grabs a bottle of booze, and swaggers out of there. She ignores his advice and shows up to their divorce talk alone. He offers her a settlement of $2000 a month. Lindsay knows so little about money that she thinks this is a grand sum—she thinks apartments cost $200 a month—so she agrees happily. She also takes a picture of a check Paul hands her, then rips it up. She’s seen people use mobile banking apps before, but never realized that just taking a picture wasn’t enough. Paul gleefully laughs at her misery and gloats that she’s the dumbest person alive.
Lindsay may no longer have financial security, but at least she has a strong support system. Becca and Vernon come over with their newborn baby Tallulah. Paul tells Vernon that he’s ready to go to Mexico, but Vernon can’t leave his daughter. He replies with a classic Vernon line: “I love her so goddamn much, nerd. Plus, I can’t leave her with Bec. She will JonBenet her fo sho, or leave her on a bench at the Marina del Ray Rosé fest or some shit.” Becca tells Paul to leave because he’s no longer part of their family. And Lindsay gets a new apartment, courtesy of Edgar. She moves into Dorothy’s old studio. It’s disgusting, but she looks happy. She’s finally free.
The reason she can move into Dorothy’s studio is because Dorothy decides to give up on her dream of making it in comedy and moving back to Jacksonville, Florida. At the beginning of these two episodes, she was acting in a way that can justifiably be called “the worst”. She insisted that she wasn’t jealous of Edgar’s success, but in the same breath basically said that he only got the job because he’s a minority—” Sometimes minorities get jobs over white people, even when they’re equally qualified or even when they’re less qualified.” Jesus Christ, girl. That is not an okay thing to say to your Latino boyfriend who just got an opportunity of a lifetime.
This leads to a pretty funny conversation where Dorothy, Edgar, and Jimmy argue over who has it worse in America. Edgar says there’s a part for a white woman in every script that’s ever been written, but Dorothy doesn’t want to play Hot Girl 2 or Overworked Mom. They decide the white male is the worst, but Jimmy clarifies. The true villain is the white American male. As an immigrant, Jimmy knows struggle. Edgar gets a call from Doug Benson, offering him a spot in the writers’ room for his new show. Comedy writing will now be his fulltime job.
But Edgar goes to Doug Benson’s office to turn it down. I love the version of Doug Benson in this universe—he’s a corporate hardass running a business empire, not the lovable goofy stoner we all know and love. Once at the office, Edgar realizes turning the job down because he’s worried that it will make Dorothy feel insecure isn’t the healthiest thing to do for their relationship. He goes to her super depressing apartment—seriously it’s sad, the only food is saltines and ramen and she has little notes declaring her goal to win an Emmy in 2018—only to find that she’s cleaning it out. She’s realized that not everyone can have their dream. It’s a very mature, depressing realization. Edgar is now single, but he’s also at the highest point he’s ever been.
Now back to our main couple, Jimmy and Gretchen. At the beginning of these episodes, Jimmy wakes Gretchen up by reading angrily from his novel. After protesting that it’s like ‘being molested by an audiobook”, she asks what he’s doing. He stayed up all night writing new pages to prove her wrong about saying he’ll never be successful. She takes it back, then asks him to take make the “mega harsh” thing he said. But he refuses to. He really doesn’t think she’ll be a good mother, as childrearing takes skill and she can’t even keep an iPhone intact. She decides this is a sexist argument and accuses him of living with a Gamergater.
The two fantasize about their ideal mate—Jimmy’s is the first chair violinist at the Philharmonic, while Gretchen’s is “an international movie star with a giant dong”. But when Jimmy begins making fun of her fantasy, Gretchen really loses it. Jimmy criticizes everything all the time. Gretchen knows that she has problems, but at least she’s going to therapy. Jimmy hasn’t done anything. She says there’s not enough room in the relationship for them to both be broken at the same time. Jimmy tells her that the majority of all human efforts result in failure. They should be considered a success because they’ve tried.
Jimmy realizes that the main relationship in his novel is inspired by her, which delights her. They don’t solve anything, but they seem like they’re going to be okay. The next morning, Jimmy shows her a tweet about a murder that happened by their place. They go on a quest to find the crime scene, hilariously ditching Gretchen’s car and donning disguises to avoid a DUI checkpoint, and taking a quick detour to heckle Gretchen’s therapist Justina. But Justina wanted Gretchen to show up. She’s moving to Iowa, but she thinks Gretchen has made great progress and she’s going to be okay.
It’s a touching moment that grows even more touching when it’s revealed that murder was made up and the crime scene on a hill staged by Jimmy, who wrote “I’m Sorry” in what’s supposed to be blood. He loves her. The two of them transcend the mundanity of the rest of Los Angeles. He proposes to her, and she says yes, bursting into happy tears. I’m actively rooting for the two of them, so I was ecstatic. But my heart sunk when Gretchen told Jimmy that they’re a family now. Jimmy had just declared a few hours later that he’s “post family” now that his dad has died. He thinks family makes people unhappy. Now is not a good time to bring up family!
Of course, this freaks Jimmy out, so instead of getting a hoodie so they can lay on it and have sex, he drives off, leaving her completely alone. I’m not sure how their relationship can overcome this, but luckily the show’s been renewed for a fourth season. It was a great finale, effectively tying up another excellent season.
Season 3, Episode 12-13 (S03E12-13)
You’re The Worst airs Wednesdays at 10PM on FXX
Jennifer Trofa | Contributor