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You’re the Worst Review: “Born Dead”

(Episode 2.03)

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<i>You&#8217;re the Worst</i> Review: &#8220;Born Dead&#8221;

As it continues on in its second season, You’re the Worst, now only a measly 13 episodes old, continues to bring one particular theme to the forefront. As Jimmy and Gretchen progress in their relationship and feel each other out as new roommates, they are also battling the inevitable shift toward adulthood. It was the primary focus of the first episode as the newly minted couple did everything (which meant copious amounts of drugs and alcohol) to refrain from settling down. It was there in episode two as Gretchen battled her anxieties over shopping for adult necessities at the mall. And it’s here in the latest episode, “Born Dead” as Gretchen is once again forced to see the reality that the world around her is pushing forward, no matter how desperately she needs for it to stand still.

In the season’s third episode, Gretchen hosted a get-together, sorry, a party to reunite her estranged group of gal pals. The idea was to relive the glorious and horrifyingly dangerous memories she’d had with these women, and to introduce them to Jimmy in the process. What she got instead was a wake-up call that all the people who were once as wild as her have now decidedly settled down. One has a baby, another is pregnant, the third made it through her 12-step program and found her calling. Only one member of the group resembled the person Gretchen had known, and she ended the night by referring to our dearest neighbor friend Killian as a “simple ass midget.” You’re the Worst is laying on the don’t wanna grow up sauce heavy in the first part of this season, and while it is somewhat bothersome to have it front-and-center in successive episodes, instead of showing us other fears these characters have, there must be a reason for it. I imagine that eventually Gretchen, who most of the focus is on in regard to this particular issue, will have to face the fact that she’s no longer a kid, and hell will break loose.

The other big development of note in “Born Dead” came thanks to Edgar, Lindsay and Paul. In what had safely seemed like a two-way storyline, last night saw the apparent formation of a triangle. In the hopes of making Paul jealous, because she has evolved into a phoenix of destruction since midway in Season One, Lindsay invited her possibly-soon-to-be-ex-though-who-really-knows husband to the party, where she planned to be mackin’ with a new hunny. Unsurprisingly, Lindsay’s Tinder date fell through (she was catfished), and Paul showed up with Lady Paul (whose real name is Amy, but is so definitively the female version of Paul that she doesn’t really warrant her own name. Unless that name were Paulina.) With her plan eviscerated, Lindsay turns to her next best thing. That, of course, is Edgar. It’s a truly interesting move to team up Edgar and Lindsay. On one hand, all you could ever want is for Edgar to be happy. On the other, there is no denying (as Jimmy said in this episode) that going after Lindsay is a horrible idea. Still, Edgar got some kissing action and he deserves it! As the two were mouth wrestling, there was a noticeable look of jealousy from Paul, which raises the intrigue level quite a bit. Save for Edgar’s soul, which I hope will be saved, I cannot wait for this situation to turn into the giant fireball that it will inevitably become.

Though not as uproariously funny as the premiere, “Born Dead” delivered more laughs than the season’s second effort. Particularly shining moments, and some of the most brutal, darkly comedic moments the show has ever had, came thanks to monologues from Paul and Vernon. The former being about the death of the wife of one of Paul’s cycling pals, the latter being the moment for which the episode is titled: how Vernon was technically born dead. Both were exquisitely written and performed, appalling but wonderful all the same.

My biggest concern of the half-hour, besides the fact that the show’s commitment to laughs has seemingly waned since “The Sweater People,” is the little involvement that Jimmy has had the past two weeks. In both episodes, he was relegated to a bit part and, mostly, sat around doing essentially nothing (or providing his usual cynical commentary). Certainly with all that has changed in his life, the writers could find something more substantial for Jimmy to do than place errant cups on coasters and read a book, right? Hopefully next week we’ll see our favorite novelist actually do something.

?Three weeks into the second season and the building blocks are starting to form for what is likely to turn into an utter catastrophe by the year’s end. We know, like winter in Westeros, that darkness is coming to You’re the Worst and thus far each episode has proven that trend. Luckily the show hasn’t lost its ability to find humor in the most dour of places and if it continues to do so, the fall to whatever rocky bottom our characters are headed will be as entertaining as any climb would have been.


Eric Walters is a New York-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. For more of his TV musings, follow him on Twitter.