To catch up on past coverage of You’re the Worst click here.
Apologies for my prolonged absence regarding this show. After the monumental season two it’s been hard not to feel as if season three was resting on it’s laurels other that the truly superb episode that dealt primarily with Edgar and his PTSD. Otherwise we’ve simply re-explored old plots and character beats without exploring what lies beneath the facades of what makes Gretchen and Jimmy the worst.
Ever since the death of Jimmy’s father I’ve been waiting for the blow out, especially since the ending shot of when the drawer with his fathers belonging sprung back open, promising further developments down the line that might haunt one of our leading characters. It didn’t come however as we explored Edgar’s trauma and Lindsay’s feeling of being trapped while Jimmy continued to play the narcissist to the point where it was nearing hard to care about the character at all. The humiliation he faced at the hands of his father and, to an extent, his sisters obviously informed the person he grew to be but by refusing to showcase the loss he felt or, the lack of closure he experienced, over the death of his father seemed like a lost opportunity.
Luckily that was rectified this week as Jimmy received a letter informing him that his father had wanted him to scatter his ashes and hold a wake for him, stating that Jimmy has always been good with words so it makes sense. He even roped his old workplace friend into the scheme so that he could read aloud his words in front of his seething son as his lied about moments where he tried to bond with Jimmy but was always met with refusals. Sure there were other moments in the episode including Paul agreeing to Lindsay having sex with other men in front of him and Edgar getting a medical marijuana card to help him with his PTSD and even a sub plot where Gretchen becomes Ben Folds manager but it’s Jimmy’s hardening face at the lies in his fathers eulogy that sticks with us the most after the episode has ended. Every character on the show aside from Jimmy has gotten their moment to, if not be softened, to be explained and delved into so that we could see that underneath the hateful things they say and cruel actions they take they’re people who have been through their own trauma and who are still deserving of the love and support of the characters around them even if they’d be worth staying away from in real life. Gretchen dealt with her depression in a very visceral and evocative manner, aided by a tour de force performance by Aya Cash. Edgar dealt with living with the horrors of war stateside where the government does little to lend a helping hand and even Lindsay, obviously the most heartless of the bunch has been given moments where we realize that her iciness doesn’t come from a place of evil but a place of ignorance.
Jimmy has been the character from the beginning to most often get out of a situation with a sardonic quip, a heckle or a narcissistic jab at others rather than owning up to his own emotions or actions. Here we see him put his father to rest as he deals with the fact that he knew he was dying a year in advance and still didn’t find the need or want to tell Jimmy on what was ultimately their last visit. Feeling deprived of getting that almost tangible sense of closure, Jimmy angrily scatters his dads ashes, crying frustratingly as the ashes blow back into his face, once again promising that even in death his father and his presence (or lack there of) will always be there, laying a heavy hand on his sons prickly shoulders.
It’s a beautiful, sobering end to an episode that up until the last ten minutes felt as if it were going through the motions and Chris Geere delivered a tremendously boiling performance as a person desperately trying to bottle his emotions up. Hopefully the rest of season three will measure the jokes and character moments equally.