‘You’re The Worst’ Closes Season 4 With Gags of Hope

Riding out love’s brutal twists and tender turns marks the season finale of “You’re the Worst, as our star-crossed heroes go on an existential little road trip while the rest of the gang try to figure out life itself. After a season that kept viewers waiting, the season finale put much of the current and key developments into sharp focus. There are some big laughs in this episode, and a few misfires, but what keeps it all chugging along is a sense of real heart when it comes to the trials of Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash). They’ve gone through every first world problem life can throw at them, and now they’re at the ultimate crossroads: Stay separated or get back together.

The finale is fittingly titled “It’s Always Been This Way” and works as a kind of confessional or meditative episode for all involved. It kicks off bloodily enough, with Vernon (Todd Robert Anderson) flipping out during an operation as he experienced a sun-kissed hallucination of relaxation on a beach, complete with Gretchen and Becca (Janet Varney) in bikinis offering drinks and kisses. When Vernon snaps out of it he runs off, leaving bloody handprints on doors and a patient opened with clamps. He crashes over where Lindsay (Kether Donohue) and Edgar (Desmin Borges) discuss the goings on in their respective situations. Lindsay is discovering that she is more of a helper and uniter, while Edgar is dealing with being now relegated to being the on-set writer at work.  As the episode continues Jimmy and Gretchen find themselves cruising alone in Jimmy’s beaten up, yet fully packed car. Gretchen is moving in with her new apparent soulmate Boone (Colin Ferguson) which seems to unsettle Jimmy, yet he tries to play it cool, announcing that he’s moving to Cape Coral. “I heard you can swim in Hemingway’s pool,” explains Jimmy. But despite wallowing in pools of self-loathing, the two can’t help but feel themselves being pulled back together.

“It’s Always Been This Way” finds a nice balance between what makes the show funny but meaningful. The best laughs in the finale have to do with the show’s sly rib-nudging at California’s hipster culture. In one key moment Edgar faces his unlikeable, wealthy friend Max (Johnny Pemberton) and Max confesses he can’t bear Edgar’s war stories. “I just want to chill out with simple people that don’t make me sad,” confesses Max. In another scene Paul (Allan McLeod) flips out over not being able to adopt a kid because a background check revealed past affiliations to radical political groups. “I didn’t know what they stood for. I just thought they were a bunch of guys who dressed well and felt picked on too,” weeps Paul. Some of the edgier jokes tend to fall a bit flat just because they feel like recycled efforts (“You look like a bloody condom”), but when the show punches satirically at the way we dress, name drop and agonize over existential romance in la la land it’s a gas. Everyone develops nicely just ahead of the next season. Lindsay is now determined to be a kind of bridge between everyone, even if her attempts at being helpful aren’t exactly welcomed (as in one moment where she reveals to Gretchen why Boone has really asked her to move in). Becca goes from drunken agony in the beginning as she’s carried out of a bar, and suddenly pondering the pros and cons of being a surrogate mother near the end of the episode. The writers leave enough that will keep us tuning in for the gang just as much as for the two leads.

But the finale shines where it continues the lovelorn odyssey of Jimmy and Gretchen. By now we feel we know these characters so well, like old friends in our circle who’ve been involved and uninvolved with each other over and over. In an early scene the dialogue says it all. “I liked talking about everything with you,” confesses Jimmy during their car ride. “Me too, you ruined that,” replies Gretchen. Like former lovers who claim they can still be friends they spend time together, but that uneasy tension is in the air. At one point Jimmy tries to go for a kiss but fails, making it all so awkward. There is a moment near the end where Gretchen unloads on herself in front of Jimmy and Boone in such a blunt, brutally honest way that the show veers on pure drama. And this is why this comedy strikes a chord. This is how people talk in this city. More than ever questions of love and romance are questions of stability, trust and compatibility. There’s little old school romance here, instead there’s much self psycho-analysis. “I am unloveable! And you fell for me? The joke is on you!” Gretchen screams while Jimmy responds, “I am tremendously messed up! I left because I suck!”

“You’re the Worst” ends season four on a tender note, with a closing scene that makes all seem back on track for Gretchen and Jimmy. But there’s enough brutal human honesty in the show to let us know just because everything ends nicely, they won’t necessarily proceed that way into season five. Just watch out for that engagement ring making a comeback.

You’re the Worst” season 4 finale aired Nov. 15 on FX.