“It’s silly.” I’m sure you’ve all heard a friend say this to you in response to something they just revealed to you. If you’re a good friend, you probably realized that whatever it is they said that in response to, actually means a lot to them. In case you didn’t know: “It’s silly” is actually code for “this means a lot to me.” It’s a masquerade. You’re The Worst embodies that masquerade.
The two-episode season 3 finale of You’re The Worst aired last night and while it (*SPOILER ALERT*) ended with quite the gut-punching cliffhanger (Gretchen was literally left hanging atop a cliff), it’s hard to be too pessimistic about Jimmy and Gretchen considering how optimistic the show has been, particularly in this third season, but that optimism is not immediately noticeable as it it hides in between the exterior layers of pessimism.
You’re The Worst centers around two self-proclaimed bad people. They’re bad, they know they’re bad, and they own, and are even proud of, it. Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship begins with them mutually agreeing that it’s probably not going to work. In the season 3 premiere, which I also wrote a bit about, Jimmy has a semi-freakout due to accidentally telling Gretchen he loves her in the season 2 finale, and Gretchen ultimately comforts him by admitting she’s been able to be in a relationship with him because she knows she can leave at any time. It’s quite a pessimistic stance and it’s one that Jimmy shares, as he finds solace in hearing Gretchen say that. Things get bad again in the episodes leading to the finale when Jimmy tells Gretchen he doesn’t see himself having kids with her and Gretchen saying she’s afraid he’ll never be successful.
The pessimism extends to Edgar and Lindsay, as well. Season 3 saw both of these happy-go-lucky sidekicks take on a new sulky and genuinely-unhappy mood, with Lindsay realizing she’s unsatisfied in her marriage, which reaches a boiling point in the season premiere when she stabs her husband, Paul, and Edgar’s PTSD really starting to take a toll on him, which climaxes in his beautiful solo episode “Twenty-Two.” They both find themselves in situations where the light at the end of the tunnel is nowhere in sight and the tunnel is just a downwards spiral taking them deeper into a place they can’t get out of.
But then things change. Edgar discovers marijuana, and then a hobby that then leads him to a job. Lindsay gets an abortion (or “abobo”, as she calls it), then a divorce, and Dorothy’s crappy old apartment. Both of them found themselves in dire situations, but both ended the season with things on the upswing. Edgar has prevailed over his PTSD, Lindsay is free, and both of them are optimistic about the outlook of their lives.
Similarly, Jimmy and Gretchen personal issues have also made a turn for the better. Gretchen’s clinical depression has subsided and she has made commendable progress with her therapist. Jimmy finally gave in to his grief after suppressing it for so long, which then leads to a sense of liberation that gives him a new outlook on life. The two of them also have a new-found optimism about their relationship after getting into a big argument and airing things out in the penultimate episode. Jimmy’s little soliloquy embodies this:
“The vast majority of all human effort, however great or minuscule, ends in failure. So what are your options? You just admit pre-defeat that odds are you’re going to be right or you do it anyway. Maybe we’re a success regardless of the outcome, because we tried. Maybe there’s beauty in the struggle against near certain failure.”
As both Jimmy and Gretchen tell one another, they both have had several opportunities to leave, but they both stayed each time, and none of them can really explain why. Except, we know why. Sandwiched in between all the pessimism Jimmy and Gretchen have about relationships is a delicate heart that genuinely loves the other and wants things to work. That is the masquerade of You’re The Worst: behind the shielding armour of pessimism lies a delicate heart filled with optimism. While things look like they’re going to get worse, if the show’s three seasons have given us indication of anything, it’s that each low is followed by a new high. Jimmy and Gretchen bond over the fact that they think people are the worst, and they each know the other might just be the worst of the worst, yet what they really think of each other is: “you’re the best.”
What did you think of the finale? What were your favorite moments or episodes? Comment below and check out everything else I’ve written!