Last week, I wrote about how You’re The Worst often depicts Jimmy and Gretchen’s attempts to grow up and be “normal” adults (especially Gretchen’s), and how they so often reject the idea that they have to do so. This is all at play again “Born Dead,” but it doesn’t feel repetitive or boring.
The catalyst of “Born Dead” is Gretchen realizing, through social media, that one of her good friends is pregnant. She reels off a list of her main crew and Jimmy responds that he’s never heard Gretchen mention any of these people before. It’s true: the only friend Gretchen ever mentions or hangs out with is Lindsay. It’s fine with Jimmy, who doesn’t really believe in adult friendship, but Gretchen decides it’s time to throw a “get together” with her girls so they can catch up.
The party is the main set piece for the episode, as it brings together our four main characters (and Paul, who brings his new girlfriend), throws a bunch of strangers into the mix, showcases Gretchen’s crossroads, humorously depicts Jimmy’s discomfort with people in his apartment and his aversion to making friends, and even moves forward Edgar and Lindsay’s ongoing plot. It’s a great and successful effort from You’re The Worst, packing so much into a short amount of time, and fully setting up and knocking down shorter stories.
Lindsay has been dabbling in online dating — but mostly collecting dick pics, which she then sells for $10 a pop to gay porn websites — but her luck runs out when she realizes she’s been catfished by a nine-year-old with poor spelling. Her plans for showing up Paul and his new partner are temporarily thwarted and Lindsay can’t even stomach the idea of facing him while on her own, but luckily Edgar is around and fills the role. Lindsay and Paul’s meeting is strange and uncomfortable, especially with weirdo Amy there. Amy, perfectly nice albeit very strange, brings out some of Lindsay’s insecurities, namely that she just isn’t a nice person. She gets uncharacteristically open, honest, and heartfelt in a conversation with Edgar who replies by finally kissing her (yes!!), but when Lindsay spots Paul across the room, she believes Edgar only kissed her to help make Paul jealous (nooo!!). There’s also a quiet moment where Paul, clearly in love with and a perfect match with Amy, can’t help but look over Amy’s shoulder and at Lindsay.
Meanwhile Gretchen has the most engaging storyline yet again this week. She’s thoroughly excited to see her friends — they haven’t hung out in about three years — and to get back to old partying habits. However, the three women who show up have grown up considerably since Gretchen last saw them: one is pregnant (and has no plans of “getting rid of it,” as Gretchen puts it), one is in Alcoholics Anonymous and no longer drinking, and one has the audacity to bring her baby to the party — Gretchen can barely conceal her disgust. But mostly Gretchen is disappointed and left out; not because she wants to have a baby and settle down but because these women are moving on without her and partaking in huge life moments that Gretchen may not ever have herself. None of the other women have any interest in reminiscing about the good ol’ times of getting too drunk and being young/stupid, which visibly frustrates Gretchen.
But then Cory shows up, the official Hot Mess of the friend group. She’s looking like trash, smoking around pregnant women, and saying things like “unborn tummy worm.” At first, Gretchen is happy to see another friend who hasn’t changed into a full-fledged Adult but Cory is on the entire opposite end of the spectrum. If the three women represent Gretchen’s fears about growing up then Cory represents Gretchen’s fears about staying the same and continuing to be an amateur alcoholic who parties too hard on weekdays and has no particular concern for her own future.
Cory is more of a mess than Gretchen ever wants to be, but she also doesn’t want to be like the rest of the women. There are two extremes, and Gretchen is somewhere in the middle floating around trying to find her place.