Man, Gretchen sure knows how to throw a get together – er, I mean, a party. Because, according to Gretch, "her girls" would never have a "get together."
You're the Worst Season 2 Episode 3 used the familiar set piece of a group social event (much like last season's finale) to collect the various storylines and characters together in one place, effectively heightening the urgency of each individual story. It worked mostly well, though a few of the plot lines were much more intriguing than others.
"Born Dead" felt a bit more serious than the two laugh-out-loud hilarious installments earlier this season. There were certainly humorous moments this time around, but the focus was more on each of our characters having realizations, of sorts. I wasn't guffawing like I was during the season premiere and You're the Worst Season 2 Episode 2.
The theme du jour was friendship; more broadly, the basic need for companionable human relationships.
Jimmy, on the one hand, claims to have no friends; more importantly, he feels no need to have friends.
Friends are for babies.Jimmy
As soon as he said this, I knew "Born Dead" would see Jimmy develop or acknowledge some kind of friendship against his will. I was not expecting said friendship to be with Vernon, that's for sure.
Vernon is such a delightfully annoying character. I noticed that he is less grating when he isn't around his wife, and I think they toned him down quite a bit since his appearances in You're the Worst Season 1. Jimmy seemed to be begrudgingly enjoying Vernon's company a bit by the end there.
That is, until Vernon came out with that "born dead" confession, and his heartfelt declaration of brotherly love for his "bro," Jimmy.
Jimmy was having none of that; his reactions were priceless, and Chris Geere did such a great job in that scene acting off of Vernon's speech. Immediately following up that Vernon moment with Killian interrupting to echo the same expression of gratitude for Jimmy's friendship was just the icing on the cake.
Jimmy's horror at being trapped between two people who were forcibly ascribing friendship to his interactions with them was so perfectly in character for misanthropic Jimmy.
Gretchen, on the other hand, clearly values friendships but was in denial about said friendships having fundamentally changed (or, more accurately, having disintegrated) over time.
Gretchen was a hideous human being. She was worse than Lindsay, which is really saying something. Gretchen's panic over seeing all of her old friends who grew up and got their lives together clearly sent her into a panic spiral.
That spiral resulted in some truly heinous lines of dialogue on Gretchen's part ("If you're getting rid of it [the baby]...Oh") This isn't criticism of the show at all; I felt it was perfectly in character for her to react that way and not make use of her already-limited verbal filter. But her terrible behavior was bad to the point of being noteworthy, so here I am, noting it.
I can't believe she's pregnant again. What a dummy. I wonder how much an abobo even costs these days!Gretchen
The bit where Gretchen grossly misjudged the amount time she and her girls had been estranged (thinking it was one year, when it had actually been over three) was too real. But that's the beauty of this series – real, emotionally harsh moments peeking out from beneath the outer layers of often-absurd comedy.
I enjoyed the fact that seeing both her now-grown-up friends (Bernadette, Justine and Heather) and her still-a-mess friend (Cory) still didn't seem to inspire Gretchen to make any sort of lifestyle change. All she could do was bemoan the fact that she no longer had party girl friends with whom to party.
For a minute, I was afraid that we'd see Gretchen trying to keep up with terrible Cory. I was glad that that was mostly abandoned after Cory listed off the reasons she was no longer on good terms with the other girls. Stealing a stereo will destroy a friendship; and apparently people still have stereo systems.
I mentioned in earlier reviews that we've gotten background on Gretchen, Jimmy and Edgar, enough to offer some justification (of sorts) for why each of them is periodically the worst. I noted the fact that Lindsay's awfulness was unyielding and that we'd yet to get any kind of adequate explanation for that, towards a deepening of her character.
We totally got that here! I was shocked that Lindsay was suddenly so self-aware, but I loved it. It was much needed, but not sentimental (which such a moment easily could have been). It was believable that seeing Paul interact with his new girlfriend Amy (female Paul, essentially) and seeing how nice Amy is (paired with winding up dateless after her Tinder date was revealed to be a 9 year old) would cause Lindsay to fall into a (brief) bout of introspection.
Lindsay: She's [Amy's] nice. And you're nice. And Paul is nice, and I'm... well... not.
Edgar: I think you're great--
Lindsay: No. I'm materialistic. I'm incapable of being alone. I never really learned to shower that good. I almost always forget to flush the--
[Edgar kisses her]
Of course, this being Lindsay, the introspection and regret for her overall crappy behavior lasted about 45 seconds. Once she noticed Paul watching as she and Edgar kissed, she snapped right back to her old self. As you do.
And speaking of Paul, our favorite young Roger Ebert look-a-like: my favorite bit was the conversation between Edgar and Paul, when Edgar went to request permission to pursue Lindsay sexually. Desmin Borges plays uncomfortable/trapped so well, and it was so funny to watch him squirm and try to suggest that Paul stop talking as socially-oblivious Paul continued to ramble on, escalating the "really sad things" about the gruesome death of his biking bud Connor's wife's death.
The really sad thing is, the whole time she was being dragged towards the on ramp, she was texting Connor!Paul
- "We're out of chips." Cue Lindsay downing a bowl of chip crumbs, getting more all over herself than in her mouth. Kether Donohue: national treasure.
- I missed quiet little Killian! Jimmy's accidentally paternal, quirky relationship with him is one of my favorite things.
- I wish Sam and his crew had been at Gretchen's party. They're consistently hilarious, and I would've enjoyed seeing them interact more with some of the other characters.
- Was anyone else surprised that Paul wound up being jealous? He gave permission to Edgar so easily and nonchalantly, and he and Amy are perfectly suited, so I really wouldn't have guessed that he would be jealous. Poor Paul.
- Aya Cash continues to be the queen of hilarious reactive facial expressions. Her reaction to Jimmy's random, juvenile outburst ("Busy with my dick" or something similar) was fantastic, as was her double-take at Lindsay's weird reaction to Gretchen's comment that Lindsay would be murdered by her Tinder date.
What did you all think of "Born Dead"? Who, in your opinion, was the worst during this go-around? Remember to watch You're the Worst online to catch up on any episodes you may have missed so far this season!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.