After last week’s riff on 90s films, You’re The Worst returns with a “standard” episode, one that prominently features the main ensemble, wacky adventures, some good ol’ sexual content, and, yes, plenty of jokes. “The Pin In My Grenade,” written by Philippe Iujvidin and directed by Stephen Falk, reaffirms Jimmy and Gretchen’s stubbornness in the face of their impending nuptials. Neither of them wants a traditional wedding, preferring instead to elope at a courthouse without all the hassle and hoopla that comes with a “big day.” Edgar and Lindsay, the two hot dummies of the group (and the more open romantics), desperately try to shake their friends out of their pigheaded nature.
In this case, the episode’s premise largely dictates its ending. Of course, Jimmy and Gretchen want a wedding, but their better angels are almost always asleep at the wheel. Their go-fuck-yourself ethos doesn’t allow for vulnerable rituals like weddings in which the ostensible point is to declare each other’s love in front of friends and family. Naturally, they want to circumvent the whole thing and get to the “happily ever after” part, but that’s obviously not in the cards. We know that Jimmy and Gretchen will ultimately cave, but it’s the journey to that inevitable destination that makes it worthwhile. After all, Lindsay’s point to Gretchen stands: Marriage is hard, so why not embrace the one day when it’s supposed to be fun and easy?
Gretchen’s doubts about the elopement start early when she suddenly receives a package in the mail that contains her wedding diary from her childhood. She talks about it with her therapist Justina (Samira Wiley, returning for the first time since the end of season three), but eventually relaxes enough to try on a wedding dress that Lindsay stole for her from work. She feels nothing special wearing the dress and her focus turns to the special Japanese toilet in the bathroom connected to her large new office. (How did Gretchen get this large new office? In perfect You’re The Worst fashion, she “MeToo’d” a guy for it, or “enacted some personal reparations on behalf of women everywhere.” In the end, it turns out the guy actually was a harasser.) While testing it out, Gretchen quickly discovers that certain settings on the toilet facilitate arousal. Is there a more representative image for You’re The Worst than Gretchen masturbating on a toilet in her wedding dress?
Meanwhile, Edgar takes Jimmy out to a bar to bamboozle him into going through with a wedding. It only takes rudimentary reverse psychology for Jimmy’s indifferent pose to crumble so he can properly wax poetic about his dream wedding. Of course, he rambles on so long that he actually misses their scheduled time at city hall. Edgar offers to beat Jimmy up with a tube sock filled with nickels so that it looks like he was jumped outside city hall, but Jimmy declines believing it to be a plan for demented idiots. But when Gretchen learns she also missed their appointment because she was “banging her toilet,” she enlists Lindsay to beat her up and destroy her car to make it look like a nasty car accident.
“The Pin In My Grenade” gives every member of the ensemble a shining moment: Jimmy’s pretentious wedding monologue, Lindsay angrily surprise-punching Gretchen in the face, Edgar’s frustration sex with Lindsay (“I’m not the dumb one,” he says quietly while furiously humping) or his awe at how well his bamboozlement plan worked. But if this episode belongs to anyone, it’s Aya Cash, who gets a few scenes to really flex her acting muscles this week. Her therapy session features Cash’s ability to move between different behavioral modes at ease (mainly, evasive whining and outright anger). Her “fight” with Lindsay showcases her talent for physical comedy. Her faux-tearful monologue to Jimmy guilt-tripping him into letting her off the hook for missing their wedding could potentially be used in an Emmy reel. Cash’s widespread acclaim for her performance has occasionally overshadowed the rest of the ensemble, but episodes like these demonstrate why she received that attention in the first place.
Jimmy quickly susses out Gretchen’s charade by using basic powers of deduction (as laid down by Eugène François Vidocq, first private detective and father of modern criminology), but not before Gretchen scares the shit out of him first. After viewing a tape of “Gretchen’s Super Duper Wedding Plan” that she made as a kid, in which she predicts that she’ll get married to Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a hot 22-year-old marine biologist, they decide to set a wedding date: June 9th (6/9). If they’re gonna have a wedding like a couple of normies, it’s at least going to be on a “nice” day.
Still, maybe it would have been better off for Jimmy and Gretchen to just get it over with. The episode began with Lindsay and Edgar reacting angrily to the news that there isn’t going to be a wedding as a signal that the two were breaking up. Gretchen abruptly ends her therapy session when Justina emphatically tells her not to marry Jimmy. These are two reckless, commitment-phobic people entering into a marriage after trudging down the bumpiest road imaginable. If You’re The Worst is about how growing up is inherently a one-step-forward-two-steps-back proposition, who’s to say the whole venture doesn’t blow up at any point before the wedding? Even after they tie the knot, there are no guarantees. On paper, these two aren’t exactly the surest bet, especially when you add “till death do us part” into the mix.
Then again, after all the mess they’ve caused and the bad hands they’ve been dealt, maybe these two will find a happy ending after all. Maybe it’s what they deserve even if deserve’s got nothing to do with it. If, according to Will Smith as Alex “Hitch” Hitchens in Hitch, life isn’t the amount of the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away, then perhaps all those shitty moments in between were leading them to the oldest ending in the book. Only time will tell.
- Lindsay pushes for August 7th as a wedding date because it’s the midpoint of summer, clear of any holidays, and 9/11 is just around the corner! Plus, it’s Lindsay and Charlize Theron’s birthday!
- We get a brief nod towards Gretchen’s troubled childhood this week. In her “dream wedding” video, Lil Gretch (her name in the end credits) tells her older self to run everything by mom “or you’ll have to eat dinner in the scary room for bad girls under the stairs.”
- Gretchen utters the second “fuck” of the season, continuing FX/FXX’s loose profanity policy for shows in their final runs.
- In the world of You’re The Worst: Liam Neeson has a new movie out involving a Zeppelin and this tagline: “He wasn’t asking for trouble. Trouble found him!”
- Jimmy’s Wedding Must Have’s: Location: Adamson House; food catered by chef Roy Choi; flowers sourced from the flower mart on the same day as the wedding; tasteful fireworks display over the ocean, scored to Mahler’s “Ich Bin der Welt abhanden gekommen”; dense fog over the Pacific ocean like a perfect Christmas pudding.
- Gretchen Wedding Must Have’s (Child Edition): French lace gown with a 10-ft train; chocolate fountain; New Kids on the Block perform.
- Best “Word Salad” Line: “Edgar, Edgar, Edgar, please, just save yourself the mental exertion you can clearly ill afford. We’re not having a wedding. Moreover, if you truly knew us, you would understand the heterodox, iconoclastic nature of a spontaneous elopement perfectly captures the renegade tale of our amorous union.”
- Best Insult, Gretchen Edition: “I told my simple-ass brother about this whole thing in secret and he went and blabbed to his depressed, post-partum sad wife. It’s like maybe focus on keeping her from drowning my nephew, you loose-lipped dickwad.”
- Best Insult, Lindsay Edition: “The reason you think someone else is the dumb one of the group is because that’s what the dumb one is supposed to think to protect them, because if you were dumb and sad at the same time, you’d kill yourself.”
- Music Corner: “Rock Away” by Lyric Born opened the glorious food montage at the beginning of the episode and Mozes and the Firstborn’s “Baldy” closes the episode.
- In case you’re interested in what a color palette inspired by Claude Monet’s Rouen Cathedral, West Façade, Sunlight looks like, here’s a link to a picture of the piece.