You’re The Worst Recap: Season 3 Finale


The You’re the Worst season 3 finale brought the season-long family motif to an emotional close as Jimmy and Gretchen face their most trying time yet.

So.  That was it.

After a hot-and-cold season 3, You’re the Worst has come to a close.  That is, until next season; they’ve already been renewed for season 4.  So far, each season has ended with Jimmy and Gretchen choosing to take a major step in their relationship.  The first season ended with Gretchen moving in.  The second season ended with them both saying “I love you” to each other.  So, in retrospect, it makes sense that the pattern would continue.  That Gretchen and Jimmy would get engaged.

Yeah.  That happened.

But first, let’s discuss the rest of the happenings!

You’re the Worst, Image via FXX

Part 1 – “You Knew It Was A Snake”

In the first episode of this two-episode season finale, each of the couples proceeded with some knock-down, drag-out fights that have been a long time coming.  And the production took a hard left turn with Dorothy’s character when they had her insinuate out of anger that Edgar only got his comedy job because he is Latino.  Up until this point, she had never brought up anything even remotely close to that sentiment.  Her declaration that “I don’t even see race!” was particularly vomit-inducing.

But the conversation actually progressed to a discussion of her place as a white woman in the industry vs. his place as a Latino.  I would have loved to see this topic more deftly handled, but its execution was clunky and made Dorothy out to be ignorant.  Which might have been intentional.  White people are frequently ignorant, even well-meaning ones.  But her points about being a woman in the entertainment industry are accurate.  This one seems particularly relevant, after last week:  “They hate women now.  You don’t even have to hide it anymore!”

“They hate women now. You don’t even have to hide it anymore!” – Dorothy

Lindsay and Paul do their usual dance, post-abortion admission.  That’s when the title comes in.  “You knew it was a snake when you picked it up,” Lindsay says.  Paul knew who she was, he just kept trying to change her.  And that’s true.  But also, logistically, Lindsay would never reference a Native American fable in the middle of a fight.  -1 for characterization, again.  It seems that they are headed for an amicable split, until Lindsay asks him to drop the pre-nup.  Paul, quite unexpectedly, tells her, “Better lawyer up, bitch.”  More on this side of Paul later.

Jimmy and Gretchen fight over pretty much nothing.  He’s still being himself, I guess.  But during the course of their argument, Gretchen gives voice to everything I’ve been feeling this whole time.  When Jimmy questions the legitimacy of her claim that she ‘wins’ because she has clinical depression, she says, “No.  I win because I am doing something about it.”  YES, GRETCHEN.  Call him out!  His response is that he is still grieving his father; “It just happened.”  And my response to that is confusion.

I’m going to try to be fair to Jimmy here.  I’ve never lost a parent, let alone a parent with whom I had a complicated relationship.  I’ve been criticizing the grief storyline all season, because it’s consistently felt cliché and/or random.  But maybe that’s what it feels like when that happens?  When Jimmy questions everything in his life as a part of the grief process, maybe that’s real?  I don’t know, honestly.  But they end up getting caught up talking about his book, and he starts to read her some, and she’s excited about it.  At the end of the episode, Gretchen points out, “We didn’t solve anything.”  And she’s right.  But they live to fight another day, I suppose.

You’re the Worst, Image via FXX

Part 2 – “No Longer Just Us”

Here we see the dissolution of the Dorothy storyline.  She decides she’s not cut out for acting, that the struggle is trying to tell her something.  And she moves back to Florida, with little ceremony, asking that Edgar stay and fulfill his dream.  I’m super unsatisfied with this conclusion, just because of the way it progressed.  For most of this season, Dorothy was a loving and supportive girlfriend.  Until a few weeks ago, when she became too jealous to function within a relationship.  Then tonight she became a grieving failed actress (who is also kind of racist?) before leaving the show.

Honestly, it always saddens me to see a female character go this way.  We have so few good ones – ones that aren’t defined by men, ones that have their own ambitions.  Of course we still have Gretchen and Lindsay, but the writing for Dorothy got so out of control in the past few episodes.  I say that because instead of presenting her concerns in a reasonable way, so that we would take them seriously, the writers had her get jealous and drunk and then say she doesn’t see race.  So it is going to be super easy to write her off, even though what she was saying was important.  Next season, we probably won’t even remember her.

“You have done the work, and you have grown so much.” – Justina to Gretchen

But I guess Edgar has to be single if Lindsay is finally leaving Paul, as they are #endgame.  Paul’s interactions with Lindsay over their pre-nup negotiations show a really sudden, sinister side to him.  I get that he finally feels free of her, and I can partially buy that.  But partially it just seems like another slight to the characterization.  Paul has never acted like this before, not even when Lindsay literally stabbed him.  So why is he doing so now?

It’s only amplified when Becca and Vernon bring over baby Tallulah (Lindsay, upon hearing the name:  “Ew.”).  Paul tells Vernon that he’s finally ready to split and head to Mexico with him.  But Vernon says he can’t, now that he’s met the baby.  “I can’t leave her alone with Bec.  She will JonBenét her fo’ sho’.”  Becca clearly expresses how much she wishes she could divorce Vernon, noting that it will be eighteen years before she can “cut off my hair” and “re-do my kitchen over and over.”  But just as they are coming together as a family to celebrate Tallulah, Paul attempts to join, only to be met with rejection as Becca tells him he’s not part of the family any more.  The thing Paul wanted the most, gone, twice over.  And he turns back from his demon state into a puppy.  Everybody has a breaking point, I suppose.

This brings us to Gretchen and Jimmy, who are, at the start, finishing reading Jimmy’s book together.  Jimmy waxes poetic about his two incestuous leads, noting how family is a dysfunctional label only used to prescribe closeness.  He tells Gretchen that he can say this because he is finally a “free man.”  How many times to we have to hear him say, ‘I’m over my grief’ before he actually is, I wonder?  He even goes so far as to proclaim himself, “post-family.”  It’s hard to tell the pretentious jabber from the actual important realizations sometimes.

You’re the Worst, Image via FXX

Jimmy tells Gretchen about this murder scene close to where they live, and Gretchen, with her macabre ways, of course wants to go see it.  She gets hyped up all day, during which she goes to meet Justina, her therapist, only to learn that she’s leaving town.  We haven’t seen Justina in a while, but it looks like Gretchen’s change of heart about her therapy stuck.  Before she leaves, she tells Gretchen, “You have done the work, and you have grown so much.”  I know – even Gretchen was tearing up.  Bye, Samira Wiley!  We’ll miss you!

Anyway.  When they finally get to the site of the murder, Jimmy proposes to her.  He made the whole thing up to orchestrate the question.  Gretchen giddily says yes.

So, why?  Well, let’s go back to what I said in a previous recap.  Gretchen is clinically depressed and therefore probably regularly thinks the world, including Jimmy, is better off without her.  I didn’t remember this before I looked it up to write this recap, but if you’ll recall, Gretchen was ready to say yes to that question in season one.  In the finale of the first season, Gretchen finds the ring that Jimmy had bought for Becca when they were dating.  She assumes it’s for her, and tells him she will marry him.

Long story short, Gretchen has always been all in for this.  However ill-advised that conviction may be.  But Jimmy is the one who has concerns, and he proves it at the end of this episode.  Newly engaged, he goes to get a jacket from the car, when Gretchen stops him and asserts that they are “more than just us” – they are a family now.  Their own little family.  She is visibly excited by the idea.  Jimmy is not.  He gets to the car.  He thinks about it.  And then he gets in and drives away.  Leaving Gretchen stranded, ring on her finger, in a fake murder scene.

So, let’s unpack that.  Jimmy’s real family has never, ever been good to him.  They’ve been awful to him all his life, including his newly deceased father.  But his grieving experience has culminated in the idea that “family” is just a concept.  It doesn’t really mean anything.  It’s an artificial way of tying people together and making them close, even if they don’t want to be.  So when Gretchen invokes the idea of family, to Jimmy, it ceases to be his choice.  For some reason, Jimmy stops thinking, ‘I want to marry this woman’ and starts thinking, “I’m being forced into this falsely close relationship.’

You’re the Worst, Image via FXX

It’s easy for me to identify with Gretchen.  I’ve never lost a parent, had a terrible and mean family, or seen family as an unsafe place.  Whereas I have had depression, kept going back to an objectively awful dude, and been utterly abandoned by a partner who refuses to grow.

I want to understand Jimmy’s actions and why he’s such a jerk, but I also kind of don’t.  Because if I did, that would make it harder for me to dismiss those people who were terrible to me as unworthy of my time.  That’s my bias.  I am, and will always be #TeamGretchen.  I’m not saying it’s right, but it is my experience.

I don’t want to be unfair to Jimmy.  But I also don’t want to give him a pass.  Because we all have shit.  We all are going through something.  Be it grief, or depression, or a dying marriage, or a strained career-relationship dynamic.  We all have reasons to be terrible.  We could all be the worst, if we wanted to be.

But it doesn’t mean you’re allowed to be.  It doesn’t mean you get to be an a**hole.  It doesn’t mean you get to abandon, literally and figuratively, the person you love on a cliffside while she’s watching fireworks.  Everybody could choose to be the worst.  So you don’t get to, Jimmy Shive-Overly.  Not without criticism.

Next: You're The Worst Recap: S3E11

I admit that it’s not easy for me to identify with Jimmy.  But he’s the worst right now.  That’s what he’s choosing to be.  And for that, I have to say good riddance.

Until, of course, everything inevitably gets more complicated in season four.

I know this was a rough season, but I will be watching next year.  If only for Aya Cash.