A lot (perhaps just a bit too much) happened in "A Rapidly Mutating Virus," but as usual, just about all of it was somewhere on the spectrum from enjoyable to great.
You're the Worst Season 2 Episode 11 featured Jimmy being drawn closer to Nina the bartender as Gretchen continued to distance herself from Jimmy and deal with the fact that she'd reached the state in her depression where she was completely emotionally numb.
In secondary plots (so many secondary plots!!), Sam resolved his intermittently real and faked beef with collaborators Shitstain and Honeynutz, Vernon sought out Paul's help for his financial extortion by a Russian woman who'd made him her "money slave," and Edgar tried to fit in with Dorothy's friends.
Given how Gretchen has been acting towards Jimmy, it wasn't exactly a shock that Jimmy's mouth wound up on Nina's mouth.
Jimmy, being Jimmy, has deep troubles with empathizing (weird for a writer, for sure). It's all to do with his general pomposity and self-aggrandizing nature. Jimmy is all about Jimmy, so dealing with something as individual as another person's depression was never going to be in his wheelhouse.
Jimmy did a better job resisting Nina than anticipated. Girlfriend was throwing all the moves his way! I was really hating on her until it became clear that Jimmy had simply never mentioned Gretchen before.
I'd assumed that, since we found out earlier that Nina recognized Jimmy from his hanging around the bar, she also knew/recognized Gretchen.
As it turned out, Nina did have a vague idea of who Gretchen was, though she didn't realize Gretchen was Jimmy's girlfriend (apparently).
Jimmy: Look, the truth is... I have a girlfriend.
Nina: Who? Greasy hair queen of dragons?
Damn it Nina, you made me laugh at Gretchen's expense and I hate you for it.
Like I said, Nina was playing hardball in her flirtations with Jimmy. They drank together, she lifted her leg up on the bar for him to inspect her foot (Jimmy's foot fetish is, like, written all over his face, apparently), she invited herself over to his apartment to watch British Downton Abbey-ish shows, more drinking... it was a recipe for disaster.
As soon as we saw Heathstead of Buckle Your Shoes fame pull that romantic move on his ladyfriend, I knew we were doomed. It all fell perfectly into place when Jimmy echoed Heathstead's move, turning to leave and then quickly changing his mind and turning back for the big Nina kiss after an "I forgot something."
Obviously, the way this went down is meaningful because its basis lies in the very thing that linked Nina and Jimmy together in the first place (Jimmy's Heathstead costume). This is also a huge development because we'd just watched Nina and Jimmy play flirty "What if" scenarios where they were each other's significant others.
This is not a case of Jimmy simply being sexually attracted to another woman while Gretchen is sexually unavailable due to her mental health crisis.
This is something deeper, more intimate. He is seeking solace in Nina on an emotional level, because Gretchen is totally closed off emotionally. This is what makes the Nina/Jimmy connection even more dangerous to the Jimmy/Gretchen story.
As a total aside, I cannot wait to see Lindsay kick Jimmy's ass once she finds out what he's done.
I suppose it can be argued that Gretchen kicking Jimmy out of Lindsay's house constituted a breakup. I resist that, because she's clearly spiraling and not fully aware of what she's doing.
She is in mega self-destruct mode, self-medicating with Killian's Adderall (hope Killian didn't need that!) and cocaine. And it's not even working anymore, according to what she told Sam and Lindsay.
Gretchen: You need to stop. It's like you have amnesia. Every day you think things are going to be different and I'll just be happy. Well, maybe you can understand this: I feel nothing. About anything. Dogs, candy, old Blondie records, nachos, you, us, nothing. So for the last time... please GO.
As per usual, Aya Cash and Chris Geere were both incredible. Gretchen screaming at Jimmy about feeling nothing and Jimmy's hurt expression constituted what was easily the biggest emotional firecracker in an episode that was otherwise much lighter than recent ones.
Speaking of that levity: this is why I can't fault the show too much for cramming all of these subplots into one episode. We've dealt with Gretchen's ongoing depression for a while now, and it's been the basic focus (or at least a major focus) of several installments.
While this has been riveting and amazing to watch, it means we needed to neglect the other characters in order to afford the attention that the depression arc deserves.
So, despite the fact that several of these stories could have unfolded a bit more gradually, I loved each of the subplots.
Sam was hilarious, as always, berating Gretchen for her PR uselessness, ranting about how awesome he is on Fire 103, getting the snot beaten out of him by "lady gang members" and finally making amends with Shitstain and Honeynutz. Nothing like getting beaten up together to bring a group of estranged friends back together!
I am a one in a generation. A disruptor. You know how in that Charlie Chaplin movie there's this ho, walking and talking on a cell phone even though it's 1928? I'm that future-ass cell phone ho! Trace! I'm out here everyday changing the face of EVERYTHING. Music, art, amusement parks, farm-to-table, claymation, laser shows...Sam
The above quote is easily in my top ten all-time favorite You're the Worst Quotes. Nearly every line out of Sam's mouth is funny, but this one really got me for some reason.
I think it was some combination of the pomposity that accompanied the line and the absurdity of his list. I, for one, am dying to know exactly how Sam thinks he's changing the face of farm-to-table and claymation.
We also dealt with Vernon's subplot about his financial issue. He brought Paul in on it (likely just so that the character of Paul would have something to do), but I feel like this plot could have been saved for a less-crowded installment.
It was funny, sure, but it didn't have the necessary room to breathe, to be as funny as it could have been. Though now we know Kasha, who still somehow seems like a more tolerable human being than Becca, so I can't really complain all that much.
Little pig boy pay for my Invisalign? Send money, loser!Kasha
Finally, the last of the subplots involved Dorothy and Edgar going to her friends' pool party and Edgar acting like a giant doofus because he was nervous around her improv pals. Edgar stupidly took advice for Jimmy, which Dorothy rightly chastised him about. I mean, really Edgar. Jimmy? Jimmy clearly doesn't have his shit together and is in no position to advise anyone.
The Dorothy/Edgar subplot was the weakest link (which is not to say it was weak, just that it was the subplot in need of the most extra time to fully actualize). I love their relationship, but a lot happened all at once here in maybe two or three brief scenes.
Edgar went through awkward party small-talk, bufoonish behavior and contrition/the make-up with Dorothy in the span of maybe five or so on-screen minutes. I feel like the contrition could probably have been saved for later.
Lindsay didn't really have her own subplot (no space for it, obviously) but she is really being the best possible friend to Gretchen in this situation. She's allowed Gretchen to temporarily move in with her, and she's not sugar-coating or lying to Gretchen about anything.
Plus, her near-death experience (being shoved in trash by one of the lady gang) led her to want to turn over a new leaf. And leaf-turned-over Lindsay is probably the best possible version of Lindsay for Gretchen right now.
My life flashed before my eyes. Dick. Following Smash Mouth around Europe. Negative after negative customer service interaction. Divorce. More dick. I realized I really need to get my shit together.Lindsay
- Of course Lindsay followed Smash Mouth around Europe. Of course.
- Becca continues to be the absolute worst. Has there ever been anything more annoying than Becca's faux baby-voiced "Thanks for the food, Daddy!" to Vernon. It was like nails on my eardrums. She's going to reach bat sonar levels of shriekiness when she uncovers Vernon's financial and marital faux pas.
- Tall Nathan: "No way Dorothy doesn't love this!" That was a pretty straightforward cue that Dorothy would not, in fact, love Edgar's obnoxious behavior. Also, hi, back of Echo Kellum's head!
- "Well, Beatrice, it's been a right pleasure, buckling your shoes." Buckle Your Shoes, a modern classic.
What did you think of "A Rapidly Mutating Virus"? Did it feel over-full to you, or just right? Which subplot are you most interested in seeing more of? Remember to watch You're the Worst online here at TV Fanatic and share your thoughts by commenting below!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.