Jimmy & Gretchen Are Hotter Messes Without Each Other On ‘You’re The Worst’

Prashant Gupta/FXX

Jimmy and Gretchen don’t do anything normally, but I have to say that in the Sept. 6 season premiere of You're The Worst, they’ve really taken to treating their breakup in a fairly typical manner: freaking out. (Spoilers ahead.) In the Season 3 finale, Jimmy left Gretchen at a faux murder site in the Hollywood Hills. He had just proposed, and he got cold feet. It felt very Jimmy. Anyway, Jimmy and Gretchen aren't back together on You’re The Worst, but their single behaviors show just how much they need each other. For two people who didn’t want a relationship, Jimmy and Gretchen both need their relationship to function.

When viewers met Jimmy in Season 1, he was an egotistical writer living off the royalties from the one book he sold that was kind of OK. He was smarmy and sarcastic and prone to bouts of narcissism. Gretchen was a music publicist (I don’t know how she stayed employed, though) who hung out with her pal Lindsay and had a penchant for the wrong men and the right party drugs. Both Gretchen and Jimmy were extreme. On their own, they are too much of anything. But for as much as they fought being in a “traditional” relationship, it was being in that relationship that both grounded and sustained them.

Season 4 opens with Jimmy living in a retirement trailer home in the California (he’s a handyman now, too, which… what?) and Gretchen holed in up Lindsay’s new apartment (that used to be Dorothy’s apartment), pretending to do her job by Skypeing with her only clients. She wears a beret when she talks to them so they think she’s in France. It’s a good bit.

In his solitude, Jimmy has become even more ornery and detached from other people than he was in the first place — his elderly neighbor, Buck, is exactly what Jimmy is going to be if Jimmy keeps this up — and Gretchen has fallen off the wagon with her therapy and hasn’t left the apartment in three months. She smokes and drinks and watches The Price Is Right all day. Jimmy has gotten harsher, and Gretchen has gotten softer.

This is why they need each other. When they're together, both find some sort of meaning in their lives. Jimmy can write, and Gretchen can find it in herself to get help for her depression. When Gretchen and Jimmy are in a relationship, their bond sands down the sharp edges of their otherwise hostile respective existences. At the end of the Season 4 premiere of You’re The Worst, it seems that Jimmy knows this — he realizes he can’t be Buck and he goes to talk to Gretchen. Does she want to talk? No. (I wouldn’t either.) But for Jimmy and Gretchen, being together is truly better than the alternative.