You’re The Worst Recap: S3E8 “Genetically Inferior Beta Males”


This week’s episode of You’re the Worst features Gretchen bullying all her friends into making changes in their lives, with mixed results.

If you’ve been following our recaps, I’m sure you are aware that I’ve been feeling very hot-and-cold about this season of You’re the Worst.  Episode by episode it’s been hit or miss, and this particular episode is no exception.  While the show retains its quick wit, the character development that was once the its greatest strength seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Jimmy and Gretchen

The major plot line of this episode centers around Gretchen’s decision to “mother” her friends into making better decisions.  Before I go further, I’d like to just ask – why?  Ostensibly, Gretchen becomes uncomfortable when her therapist asks about her relationship with her mom.  She decides to “prove” that nothing is wrong with it by using the overbearing, controlling tactics of her mother on her friends.

The idea that Gretchen wants to prove herself right is believable.  But when has she ever genuinely cared about the well-being of her friends?  Sure, she’ll make snarky comments to Lindsay about her marriage.  And she does her best to be an attentive partner to Jimmy.  But caring enough to bully them into what she thinks is right?  It just doesn’t seem characteristic for Gretchen, regardless of what she’s trying to prove.

You’re the Worst, Screencap via FXX

Anyway.  She does it.  And with Jimmy it’s particularly effective, though not in the way she expected.  She confiscates the wifi to force him to write, and instead, he procrastinates by going out and trying new things.  After discovering he likes things he thought he hated (e.g. dogs and “hipster picnics”), he goes on Vernon’s podcast as a guest.  In that conversation he discovers that his writing career has always been motivated by his desire for his father’s approval or attention.  He can’t write now, he thinks, because his dad is dead and there’s nothing for him to write for.

This storyline could be really interesting.  We’ve always known Jimmy as an overly pretentious, condescending writer, and it seems like a perfect job for his type.  But Jimmy embarking on a new career could be very fertile ground for the show to explore.

“I’ve been living my entire life in opposition to my father, and now that he’s dead, I have no idea who I am!” – Jimmy

Either way, Gretchen is perplexed.  She realizes that her depression began as a result of one of her mother’s “tough love” situations.  So she admits to her therapist that she may have been wrong, and starts telling her about her family.  I’m glad to see Gretchen opening up in therapy, but this whole plot just seemed so uncharacteristic for her in so many ways.  Regardless, now that it’s over, hopefully we’ll get more time with her therapist, Justina.  Because Samira Wiley is being grossly underutilized so far.


Gretchen’s “mothering” tactic with Edgar has to do with his PTSD.  When she walks in on him filming a silly video in which he plays a character called “Dr. Weed,” she bullies him into thinking he has to expand the idea.  When Gretchen drags him to an interview about it, he gives thoughtful and insightful responses.  But they cut it together to make it seem like he’s suggesting that the VA is killing people and that everyone should smoke weed.

Obviously he is horrified at being manipulated and angry at Gretchen, but they didn’t even discuss the more pressing issue.  In the last episode, Edgar learned that if the VA got wind of his marijuana usage, he could lose his benefits.  And Edgar gave his first and last name.  Like the innocent little puppy he is.  The consequences of this will almost certainly be severe, and I’m sure we’ll see them in the next episode or two.

You’re the Worst, Screencap via FXX

Lindsay and Paul

Meanwhile, Lindsay’s new arrangement with Paul doesn’t seem to be going well.  News flash:  having someone who is totally uncomfortable in the room while you’re banging someone else is not very fun.  When Gretchen brings her overbearing mom personality to Lindsay, she does so to get her to insist on what she wants.  She mentions the word “cucking” as a practice in BDSM.  But that idea necessitates that all parties be into it.  Lindsay, by her own admission, just wants to “cheat on [her] husband without feeling guilty about it.”  Regardless, Gretchen yells at her enough that Lindsay decides to ask Paul if he’ll leave.

“Lindsay, you’re a mess, right?” “Boy, Howdy!” – Gretchen and Lindsay

When she has the conversation with him, she brings up “cucking” again to legitimize her desires.  She even tells him that “all women” fantasize about it.  But then, of course, Paul does his research.  He realizes that he’s a “genetically inferior beta male,” and goes so far as to procure a contraption that will put him in pain as he’s watching her.

Not sure why, given that she stabbed him recently, but this pain seems to wake Lindsay up.  Clearly she’s hurting Paul by being with him when she knows she doesn’t really want to be.  And the security of a “family” [aka, people who have to love her no matter what and therefore she won’t be alone] might not be enough anymore.  And this brings us to the single greatest achievement of Gretchen’s crazy-ass plot.  Lindsay texts Gretchen, “Need abobo ASAP.”

Abobo, of course, meaning abortion.  As in, Lindsay might finally get the abortion I’ve been hoping and praying for this whole season!  I’m not holding my breath yet, but it could happen.  I called it in a previous recap, but if it happens, I’m still betting she won’t tell Paul right away.  That would be too reasonable.

Next: You're The Worst Recap: S3E7

So, even though the premise of this episode’s plot was, in my opinion, completely bananas, we got some good stuff out of it.  Like Jimmy asking a group of picnicking hipsters if they watch Mr. Robot.  And the fact that Vernon’s podcast is titled “Vernon Down The House.”  And obviously, Lindsay’s upcoming abortion, which I am so excited to see.  Partially because she just really, really needs one.  But partially because I think You’re the Worst has the balls to actually show an abortion that the woman doesn’t regret later.  It could be a really big deal for the depiction of women on TV.  Which I am so here for.