You’re the Worst: “The Inherent, Unsullied Qualitative Value of Anything” Season 3 Episode 11 Review

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A wedding episode is equal parts devastating and spectacular.

This week’s episode of You’re the Worst is a total whirlwind—literally. The camera work, helmed by director Wendy Stanzler and director of photography Mike Berlucchi, is a series of long, swirling takes that lead us through the party while weaving in and out of the character’s various conflicts. The result is mesmerizing, as it captures both the flowing energy of a party, but also paces well with each of the character’s spinning emotions.

This is the episode where everyone’s drama comes to a head, and the pacing couldn’t be more perfect. We follow the flow of Shitstain’s wedding reception through several simultaneous plot threads that are each—as is typical with You’re the Worst—both played for laughs and examined seriously.

Lindsay’s plotline is perhaps the most satisfying in that it culminates in a real development for her and Paul. After a comedic hunt for a job—Lindsay, of course, didn’t realize that forcing Paul to sign a pre-nup would actually screw her out of getting his money—lands Lindsay a potential gig as an assistant stylist, she’s forced to tell Paul both about the abortion and that she’s leaving him.

It’s nice that after a season of back-and-forths, Lindsay really seems to be sticking with her plan this time. Also captivating is Paul’s reaction. Allan McLeod is utterly heartbreaking as he stumbles out of the reception, displaying a mixture of anger, sadness, and disappointment. If you think about his last conversation in “The Seventh Layer” in which he admits how much he wants to be a father, it makes this especially gut-wrenching.

Meanwhile, Edgar spends the wedding basically ignoring Dorothy when he finds out he has to come up with five new sketch ideas for his Waze show by the next day. Last week I commented that their dueling comedy careers dynamic didn’t feel earned enough for it to be effective, but I think the shades of Dorothy we got to see in this episode. It’s also interesting to note that Edgar doesn’t necessarily come off as a straight up bad guy here, even though he is mostly in the wrong. Yes, he’s incredibly selfish in this episode, but doesn’t he deserve to be a little bit?

After everything he’s gone through this season, it’s nice to see him enjoy some success. It’s just so unfortunate that it has to come at the expense of Dorothy’s happiness. This is something she’s been working toward her whole life, so it also makes sense why she can’t just put her feelings aside and be happy for her boyfriend. You’re the Worst is excellent at painting the shades of grey that can often arise in relationship conflicts. There’s no right or wrong answer for how they can fix this, and maybe they can’t at all.

Speaking of which, Jimmy and Gretchen’s plotline leaves them in an equally questionable state. Every character’s narrative arc over the episode is done well, but theirs are especially poignant considering last week’s existential bombshell that Jimmy may not be happy with the choices he’s made. As a continuation of this, he decides to make a pro and con list of everything in his life, including his girlfriend.

Gretchen is irritated by this—because, how could you not be—and, after failing to get a sneak peak at his list, decides to make one of her own. Things come to blows when the two finally decide to share one thing on each of their lists and Jimmy says, “I can’t see having kids with her.” It’s a devastating moment that Aya Cash totally sells as Gretchen tries to keep her composure. It’s clear she wasn’t prepared for this, but she makes a quick comeback with, “I don’t know if he’ll ever be successful.”

In a smart move, the episode ends in a way that mirror’s the series’ pilot, with Gretchen and Jimmy standing on the curb waiting for the valet to bring the car around, and Jimmy offering Gretchen a cigarette. Gretchen’s even wearing the same black dress. What’s different here, though, is that they drove separately, and when they get in their respective cars they go their separate ways.

The point of “The Inherent, Unsullied Qualitative Value of Anything” is that so much can change in an instant. Lindsay realizing she could get a job and be financially independent pushed her to abruptly end drop the hammer down on Paul and end things. Dorothy watching Edgar joke around with guest star Brian Posehn made her realize there’s a chance she might never make it in comedy. And Jimmy and Gretchen saying horrible things to each other made them realize that maybe they’re not meant for each other after all.

It’s a depressing thought, but this week’s You’re the Worst couldn’t have been more full of life. This show is at its best when its characters do the unexpected, and boy were there some surprises this week. With only two episodes left in the season, there’s no telling how things will end, and that is really exciting. Grade: A

 

Some Other Notes:

  • The main subplot running throughout the wedding was Sam’s fear that Shitstain’s wedding meant he’d lose him as a friend. Though this wasn’t given as much screen time as the other plots, it was treated with equal weight and provided a great amount of humor.
  • Another running thread throughout were the series of waiters passing coke between each other while planning to open a cereal restaurant. The drugs hilariously end up with Brian Posehn.
  • I also loved Gretchen twice showing her boobs this episode, only to have a deeply unsexy side-effect happen each time.
  • “HoneyNutz is a persona. When I’m not rapping, I’m just Zachary from Reseda that likes hard cider and losing myself in a graphic novel!”

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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