Sunday, December 13, 2015

You're the Worst 2x13 "The Heart is a Dumb Dumb" (A Sunday Crossword Puzzle) [Contributor: Laura Schinner]

"The Heart Is a Dumb Dumb"
Original Airdate: December 9, 2015

You’re the Worst is a show whose premise is literally about how awful the characters who make up the series are. The only lyrics in the theme song are “I’m going to leave you anyway.” And yet, for a show with such a seemingly bleak view on humanity and relationships, they manage to do what many other shows have failed to do — portray realistic, messy, and yet incredibly rewarding relationships. While last season focused on bringing the characters together and establishing relationships, this season focused on keeping those relationships above ground despite the difficulties faced. Each character had to discover things about themselves and each other over the course of the season and it all led to an incredibly satisfying season finale.

In the season finale, after a somewhat bleak season in which Gretchen struggled with depression while Jimmy struggled to find a way to "fix" her, these two were able to prove that these challenges don’t have to tear you apart. As humans, we are going to go through difficult periods of time and rough patches. What being in a relationship truly means is standing by each other during these times, and coming out of it even stronger. Sure, they faltered many times throughout the season — Gretchen making it clear to Jimmy that she felt absolutely nothing about anything or anyone, including him and Jimmy seeking comfort and stability with another woman. But in the end, despite everything, he chose her and she chose him and neither of them let the struggles control them. It’s because of this that the scene at the end of the previous episode was so emotional. After everything, watching these two characters who have never been "relationship" people come together and pick each other was incredible.

The season finale addressed what happened after they chose each other, making it clear that things weren’t just going to be smooth sailing for the couple from here on out. Like in any relationship, they still have their problems. Jimmy still can’t come to terms with the fact that Gretchen didn’t simply take antidepressants to help with the depression, and Gretchen still finds Jimmy childish and selfish at times. In a drunken speech during the finale, Jimmy aptly summed up what being in a relationship is when he compared Gretchen to a Sunday crossword puzzle — frustrating and challenging at times, but incredibly rewarding in the end. And because of all the issues they were up against this season, it was even more rewarding for both them and the audience when Gretchen told Jimmy she loves him.

While Jimmy and Gretchen spent most of the season hitting wall after wall before finding each other again, Edgar found himself flourishing. For the first time, he was able to prove that he didn’t need Jimmy or anyone else to be successful or happy. On his own, Edgar was able to find success in an improv group and enter into a relationship of his own with a really great girl. It was only when he let Jimmy’s advice or opinion control him that Edgar faltered in his relationship and in his improv group. And while Edgar is on his way to finding his own happiness, it’s clear that he still lets Jimmy’s opinion affect him too much.

After making the huge decision to move in with Dorothy, Edgar faced the challenge of telling Jimmy that he would be moving out. When Jimmy pointed out that perhaps Dorothy had manipulated Edgar into proposing living together, he immediately back-tracked and told her he wasn’t ready and couldn’t do it anymore. Later, when Jimmy told him that he can’t let her get away, he once again listened and ran after her, telling her that just because they aren’t moving in together doesn’t mean they should break up. For so much of his life, Edgar has depended solely on Jimmy and his opinion while making decisions, that he doesn’t know how to make them on his own. As his relationship with Dorothy continues to grow next season, hopefully she’ll help him realize that he doesn’t need Jimmy and that really, following Jimmy’s advice is only detrimental to their relationship.

Even Lindsay, who spent most of the season trying to win Paul back before finally accepting that he had moved on, seems to be taking small steps in the right direction. Very small steps. In a lot of ways, she has discovered herself throughout the season and while she may not be too thrilled with what she found, she is at least attempting to become a better person. Apologizing to her sister was her first big step. But it was not telling Paul that she was pregnant with his baby that truly proved to him that maybe she isn’t as selfish as she may seem. While Lindsay still scoffs at the idea that love is putting someone else’s needs before your own, she unknowingly did this when she decided not to tell Paul about the baby. He found out anyway, though, and it was this that made him realize that he wanted to be with her.

Every character this season has discovered something truly important about themselves as individuals and as part of a relationship. They continue to prove that while the theme song’s lyrics declare “I’m going to leave you anyway,” this doesn’t have to be the case. Relationships are dysfunctional and frustrating but if you truly love the person you’re with, they are also rewarding and so worth all the challenges. If you had told me last season, that You’re the Worst would have me crying at the end of two different episodes, I would have told you that you were crazy.

But they’ve managed to accomplish something truly great this season, combining the comedy we all loved in season one with the emotional difficulties that come along with relationships. And I, for one, cannot wait to laugh/cry my way through next season.


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