You're the Worst Review: “Spooky Sunday Funday”

(Episode 2.08)

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<i>You're the Worst</i> Review: &#8220;Spooky Sunday Funday&#8221;

After delivering a different tone for much of the season, You’re the Worst brought the laughs in grand fashion with last night’s “Spooky Sunday Funday.” It was not only the funniest episode since the premiere, but also the best, bringing our core four Worsties together for a raucous night of terror.

The half-hour centered around Jimmy’s sweet, but misguided, attempt to cheer up clinically depressed Gretchen by recreating the events of last year’s “Sunday Funday” with a Halloween twist. I love a good Halloween episode, and You’re the Worst’s was a great one. Though the group had many activities on their list, it all led to one glorious set piece in the most horrifying haunted house imaginable. A large portion of the second half took place here, and with good reason. A haunted house with “no rules” in the hands of the YTW writing staff can only mean a slew of insane outcomes. It was the kind of scenario the show has lacked in recent weeks, one that brought energy and laughs aplenty. While the bulk of the half-hour saw everyone together, including Dorothy and, later, Vernon for an odd spell, the haunted house gave the writers the opportunity to separate and focus on each character. Jimmy and Gretchen, being the weirdos they are, threw themselves into the moment and Gretchen had fun for the first time in ages (the scene in which Jimmy found his head stuck in a birdcage with a mouse ready to gnaw his face was, in particular, magnificent). Dorothy learned new things about Edgar, and the two raced past over-the-bra touching. Having your first time together in a grisly locale is not the idyllic romantic situation I imagined for these two but, I mean, yay Edgar! And, not to be outdone, Lindsay discovered the ability within herself to persevere, thanks to the most helpful Buffalo Bill impersonator in Los Angeles.

Unlike some of the episodes this year, “Spooky Sunday Funday” was a great mix of drama and comedy. The show has found better footing with that divide since the fourth outing and Gretchen’s first late night crying session, but nothing has felt like last night. There were broad comedic moments nestled around sharp lines of dialogue in the fashion of the very best You’re the Worst episodes. When the dramatic moments came, they were all the better for the fact that this entry had legitimate comedy as its base. Once Jimmy admitted he was behind the entire day in the attempt to shake Gretchen out of her funk, everything shifted. But, unlike Gretchen’s first drive into the Californian night, it felt natural. You knew from the outset that this plan was foolish. Clinical depression is not a simple case of the sadsies, and it can’t be fixed with a great day among friends. Jimmy’s intentions were true and it was nice to see him put effort into the relationship, but as they hopped from item to item, the bottom was just waiting to fall out. Once it did, You’re the Worst wasted little time pushing the story forward.

?I’ve been waiting for the flames for weeks now, but this show seems content to build as long as it can, before tearing everything down. Gretchen’s decision after she learned Sunday Funday was Jimmy’s plan is yet another strike against the couple. On top of it, though, we have the introduction of a new, pretty bartender named Nina, who is the owner of Jimmy’s most frequented watering hole. It feels natural for Jimmy, now put-off by Gretchen’s depression, to take the easy way out and cheat on her with the bartender (who, by the way, was the only person the entire night to understand Jimmy’s deep-cut costume). I suppose it could be misdirection. I thought it was a lock for Vernon and Lindsay to hook up, but with Lindsay finding her girl power and leaving the man cave, that is now less likely. Still, the show is titled You’re the Worst, and there are too many lies at play for everything to work out.

This series has done a wonderful job building tension leading into the home stretch. Though we know doom is coming (or, at least, we all assume it is), the writers have pushed it off until they deem it time. Each week, the stakes grow higher and the range of the inevitable fallout grows by miles. In an episode filled with ghouls of all sizes and fake blood galore, what’s most frightening for You’re the Worst is what’s to come.

Eric Walters is the Assistant Tech Editor for Paste and a regular contributor to the TV section. For more of his thoughts on comic book television, listen to his podcast.