Jimmy & Edgar’s Friendship On ‘You’re The Worst’ Is More Important To Him Than The Writer Wants To Admit
As the resident curmudgeon on You’re The Worst, Jimmy Shive-Overly sure acts like he doesn’t care what the people around him think of him, but dedicated viewers like myself know better. Jimmy and Edgar's friendship on You're The Worst is more important to Jimmy than he'd like to admit. Not only does Jimmy very much care about what people in general think about him, he really cares about Edgar’s opinions, and he definitely didn’t prepare for Edgar’s emotional fallout on You’re The Worst. Spoilers for Season 4, Episode 2 ahead.
Season 3 of You’re The Worst ended with Jimmy proposing to Gretchen and then leaving her, stranded at the top of an overlook. He then disappeared into the California desert for three months. And while it’s obvious that Gretchen would be (and was!) devastated by Jimmy’s disappearance, Jimmy didn’t plan for how his absence would affect everyone else in his life, especially Edgar. As Jimmy’s de facto roommate, Edgar gets a lot of Jimmy’s heat — he has to deal with all of Jimmy’s bad moods and rants, but Edgar loves Jimmy. Edgar loves Jimmy so much that Edgar also got his heart broken too, when Jimmy left for the desert. There were actually two people standing alone on that overlook. In the Sept. 13 episode of You’re The Worst, Jimmy finally realizes that the emotional wreckage of his leaving stretched further and wider than originally thought.
When Jimmy and Edgar have their first true conversation of the episode, Jimmy does not hug Edgar back, but instead scolds him for changing the house. "As an act of charity," he says, "I’m not going to eviscerate you for apparently moving into my bedroom or defiling it with Lindsay, of all single-celled life forms." Edgar's demeanor instantly changes, and he sees that this stupid, selfish Jimmy is the same dude who left three months earlier. By the end of the episode, Edgar finally gets the courage to say what he needs to say to his extremely selfish friend:
"Maybe Gretchen wants to get on with her life and never think about you again. Maybe she thought you were dead, Jimmy. Checking tips on the hotline, coming home, night after night, to an empty house with only the scent of your pillow to cling to for comfort until it, too, faded away, and she was left all alone with nobody to make breakfast ramen for. Alone with all of her scentless pillows and haunted thoughts of all the friends she lost in the war."
Season 1 Edgar would never have told Jimmy how he feels, but Season 4 Edgar is more mature and self-assured (thankfully). Edgar complains to Lindsay in Episode 3 about Jimmy, which is very Season 1 Edgar, but when he unloads on Jimmy and tells Jimmy how he felt about being ditched, it shows his evolution. Edgar fronted money for a phone hotline to find Jimmy’s whereabouts. Edgar worried. Edgar never really stopped looking for Jimmy, even when he redecorated the house, half-resigned to being alone again forever. The most important thing about Edgar is his ability to be calm in a crisis (he must have learned that while in the military). He does his duty, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have feelings. Fortunately, Jimmy sees that now — he sees that leaving Gretchen and his life in the dust meant leaving Edgar, too.
Jimmy has spent his whole life trying to prove his own worth, mostly because he was treated so poorly growing up in England. His relationship with his family was work. His relationship with Gretchen is work. His relationship with Edgar? Well, Edgar is the only one on You’re The Worst who cares about Jimmy just for Jimmy. They have a sort of parent/child bond, because Jimmy can treat Edgar like the worst kind of punching bag and Edgar will understand and come right back. But Jimmy — stupid, aloof, Jimmy — didn’t see it until now. Edgar is probably Jimmy’s first and only true friend. Ever. (Also, where’s Killian?)
While it’s this experience with Gretchen that has blown Jimmy’s world to bits (self-imposed, of course), it’s his relationship with Edgar that has made him have a heart. Edgar is Jimmy’s moral compass, and it’s all so one-sided. Lindsay and Gretchen’s relationship has a push-and-pull to it, but Jimmy and Edgar’s dynamic has always favored Jimmy. But with this new recognition of how badly Jimmy messed up in leaving, there’s a change on the horizon. Jimmy and Edgar’s relationship will begin to even out, not because Jimmy feels obligated but because Jimmy will be forced to contend with the magnitude of his poor decision making, and, as usual, Edgar will be there to help him. This time, though, they’ll be closer to equals than they’ve ever been.