Jimmy’s attempt to build a Sunday Funday around bringing Gretchen out of her funk is perhaps the most honorable thing Jimmy Shive-Overly’s ever done in his life, and yet, his overwrought attempts to indulge Gretchen in the fantastical world of Halloween only makes the stark contrast in their realities more apparent. Another brilliant half hour again establishing You’re the Worst as one of the most unique shows on television, “Spooky Sunday Funday” uses a frightening break from reality to enhance the human dramas at the core of its second season.
Turns out Jimmy’s “Can’t I, though?” quote from last week’s landmark episode wasn’t a joke: he really thinks he can solve Gretchen of her clinical depression, and in trying to do so, he’s only alienating her more. For any relationship to mature, the acceptance of someone’s flaws is paramount, and as long as Jimmy can’t accept Gretchen’s depression has less to do with her life and more about the chemical imbalances in her mind that doctors can’t completely manage, their relationship can’t evolve. Instead, it ends up backtracking; the final scenes of “Spooky Funday Sunday” show a regression in Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship, the two of them retreating into the emotional dishonesty they conveyed to each other in the show’s early episodes, when the two were still purporting their allegiance to never being in a relationship.
That’s not discounting the nineteen minutes of “Spooky Funday Sunday” that precede the ominous bar scene with Gretchen and Jimmy, led by the surprising, mind-blowing break from normality You’re the Worst takes when the Sunday Funday crew enter the haunted house. I can say I’ve never seen anything like that sequence, where Wendey Stanzler goes absolutely bananas with rapid jump cuts, depicting some of the most disturbing, blood-soaked imagery you’ll see in any form of media. The amplified horror of that scene really helps set the stage for the episode’s extremely grounded moments, pushing characters and relationships in meaningful new directions.
As always, watching Edgar work through his issues is a treat, and how this episode embraces his and Dorothy’s relationship as something that’s definitively good for Edgar is heartwarming, adding a much-needed note of happiness amongst the dour, ominous tones of Jimmy and Gretchen’s interactions throughout “Spooky Funday Sunday.” Putting Edgar in a haunted house is a simple way for You’re the Worst to push him into admitting his issues to Dorothy, placing their relationship into an interesting parallel with Jimmy and Gretchen’s for future episodes to explore, as two couples try to figure out how to navigate the tricky waters of understanding, and accepting whole-heartedly, the flaws of another.
And of course, there’s Lindsay, whose character is still mired in her resistance to maturity. If anything, this episode gives Lindsay power in her house again, putting to rest the single lamest character detail of one of television’s most colorful female entities. Inspired by a Buffalo Bill lookalike, a stripped-down Lindsay (both physically and emotionally) gets another lesson on self-sustenance and maturity, and hopefully one that will stick this time. Lindsay is by far the character living the farthest outside of her own reality, and having this nipple-ringed performer help catalyze an impromptu therapy session for Lindsay is hopefully an important symbolic gesture for the show moving forward. At this point, Lindsay’s character really could use a new direction, as much as I enjoy the increasingly-odd appearances by her ex in her life (this week, Paul shows up in full Stephen Hawking costume, complete with artificial voice technology).
The focus is, of course, on Jimmy’s wrong-headed attempts to help Gretchen out. With each passing week, the third acts on You’re the Worst have grown more and more bittersweet, the shadows of the bar Gretchen and Jimmy end up drinking in (where Jimmy was just flirting with the owner, no less) growing longer and longer as the camera pulls away from them laughing about the night’s events, both ignoring the lie Gretchen just told about Jimmy’s Sunday Funday plan actually “working” and her feeling a lot better. Things are looking up for Lindsay and Edgar once they’ve escaped the haunted house; unfortunately, it appears the horrors for Gretchen and Jimmy are just beginning.
- Lindsay thinks Stephen Hawking is a crippled make-up artist, and also that a female doctor costume is just too fake to be believable.
- “The jizz in my brain, and my heart. The jizz in my heart, Jimmy.” Edgar, at his most poetic.
- “I’m supposed to put one of those pieces of plastic on my keychain, like a poor?”
- In case you missed the definition, Jimmy is dressed up as Heathcliff from the fictional Buckle Your Shoes, a TV show where an assistant deacon sleeps with the constable’s daughter and is then forced to hide out as a lady shoe salesman.
- Tupal shot Biggie!!! Wait… what?
- “Grande finale… it’s Italian for ‘big final.'”
[Photo credit: Byron Cohen/FX]