‘You’re The Worst’: A Look Back on the Ups and Downs of Season 4

Over the last decade, television has seen a surge of shows starring characters that are designed to be terribly unlikeable people. From Gregory House to Don Draper, from Walter White to Frank Gallagher, these characters have defied conventional TV wisdom and earned loyal viewers despite their bedside manners. However, few shows test the limits of the viewer more than FXX’s You’re The Worst. Gretchen, Jimmy, Lindsay, and Edgar are deplorable people who have a tendency to drag down the people around them, but through the show’s sharp humor and wit, these characters have still managed to make their way into my heart. So while the series’ latest season was a bit like an Oreo–a solid beginning and end with a bit of fluff in the middle–it was still tasty enough to keep me invested.

Season 4 picked up in the aftermath of the previous finale, which Gretchen accepting Jimmy’s marriage proposal, only to have him literally run away from his emotions and abandon her on a hilltop. In the three months that had passed, Jimmy settled in a retirement trailer park community while Gretchen herself retired to Lindsay’s apartment for the entire duration, faking through her job and buying window crack from strangers. When Jimmy returns with a less-than-half-hearted attempt to reconcile, the fury in Gretchen’s eyes ensures that she’s going to make sure he suffers.

The next couple of episodes are delightfully heinous: Gretchen doubles down on living at Jimmy’s house and throws his stuff out of their bedroom, and then she sabotages an interview for his new book by bringing home Boone, a man with whom Gretchen hooked up shortly before Jimmy came back to Los Angeles. However, soon afterward, Gretchen and Boone enter a relationship, and it’s at this point where the fun gets bogged down a bit. While Boone was a funny addition, and it was certainly nice to see Gretchen be a bit happier for a change, I couldn’t help but see the relationship for what it really was–a means to keep Gretchen and Jimmy apart until their eventual reconciliation at the end of the season. And sure, there was no guarantee that they were even going to get back together in the first place. But at this point in the series, we as viewers have invested so much in their relationship, which has dramatically escalated over the years, that to see them split for good (at least before the actual end of the series) may be too much of a bummer.

There were also the stories of the other two main characters, Edgar and Lindsay. After previous seasons of teasing alternating feelings towards each other, the beginning of Season 4 sees them finally hooking up. But in an amazing twist, Edgar and Lindsay don’t retain any romantic notions and keep their relationship simply sexual. I have to give credit to the show’s writers here. A bit too often, comedies are tempted to pair off all of the available characters with each other, so keeping that aspect out of this particular couple allowed Edgar and Lindsay to remain fresh and, more importantly, incredibly funny–seeing Edgar test out his pickup game on Lindsay was one of the best scenes. This also allowed the characters to focus more on supporting the main romantic couple, whether being possible peacemakers or convincing them it’s actually over. As the season went on, when Gretchen started dating Boone, this was also around the time that Edgar and Lindsay split off into their own storylines, leading to mixed results. With Jimmy broken and unwilling to be emotional support, Edgar then develops a friendship with his writing partner, Max. Seeing them throw an expensive party for Lindsay was great, but overall, Max always felt a bit out of place, so I was definitely relieved when their partnership eventually ended. Meanwhile, Lindsay joins with her sister Becca to determine the source of their family dysfunction, which leads them to reconnect with the distant father figure from their youth, Lou Diamond Phillips(?!). The experience leads Lindsay to being a “helper,” starting with setting Becca up to be the surrogate for the eventually adopted baby of Lindsay’s ex-husband Paul…? It’s all just a bit crazy, but Lindsay’s trademark charm helps pull it off. Ultimately, when I see all four main characters in the finale cruising around town in Jimmy’s burnt car, I realize that this series is much better when they’re together rather than apart.

As reported yesterday morning, next year’s fifth season of You’re The Worst will be the final one. And as last night’s finale saw Jimmy and Gretchen setting a date for their wedding (Wait a sec–was Gretchen carrying that engagement ring on her the entire time??), I realize that the show is coming full circle. The two met at a wedding, both readily reluctant to enter any serious relationship, and now we’re heading into their own wedding. Whether they’ll ultimately follow through with it is anybody’s guess, but at least I’ll have about a year to prepare myself for the worst.

What are your thoughts on Season 4 of You’re The Worst? Let me know in the comments below!

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