YOU’RE THE WORST – Pictured: Aya Cash as Gretchen, Chris Geere as Jimmy. CR: Autumn de Wilde/FXX

Season 3 of YOU’RE THE WORST ended with Jimmy proposing to Gretchen and then immediately abandoning her in the hills as he took off for who knows where. When Season 4 picks back up tonight (at 10/9c on FXX with an hour long premiere), the show skips the immediate aftermath of what happened on that night, and shows us where our favorite people are 3 months down the line.

It should be no surprise that neither Jimmy nor Gretchen is handling things very well. Jimmy has found comfort in a retired seniors’ community, where he fixes fences and decks for cash, watches THE FALL GUY with Raymond J Barry’s “ghost of Jimmy future,” and avoids everything and everyone in the real life that he blew up when he drove away.  Gretchen showed up at Lindsay’s apartment that night, and has literally never left.  While she tries to put on a brave face, all the while making bad decisions (Sam, Shitstain, and Honey Nutz think she’s traveling around Europe, promoting the band), her pain is barely masked behind her manic attempts to prove she’s doing just fine.  

Chris Geere and Aya Cash continue to do nuanced, subtle work, as these characters move into another new phase in their lives.  Geere’s Jimmy keeps his emotions hidden, but there are small moments where the weight of what he did seems to sit on his shoulders and bring him down. His efforts to mask his own pain, and the guilt he clearly feels for what he’s done, find him alone, untethered, and broken.  Cash, meanwhile, expands on what she’s done with Gretchen over these last few seasons.  She’s playing manic, wide-eyed, just on the edge of a breakdown, as she tries to convince Lindsay (Kether Donohue) that she’s taken control of her life. As the comedy continues to be front and center, and often laugh out loud funny, the little moments stand out even more, as you can feel the pain bursting from Jimmy and Gretchen, with no real proof that they’ll feel better.

YOU’RE THE WORST – Pictured: Kether Donohue as Lindsay, Design Borges as Edgar. CR: Autumn de Wilde/FXX

Meanwhile, their breakdowns (and breakup) have somehow propelled Edgar (Desmin Borges) and Lindsay into the “responsible” positions that Jimmy and Gretchen once held for their typically-unhinged friends.  Edgar, handing his PTSD, has found success in TV; Lindsay, fresh off the whole Paul of it all, has found herself in the fashion industry.  The two of them actually want to succeed, and the quicksand of Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship quickly threatens to derail their success. 

It’s a dark romantic comedy that feels much more dark than romantic in the first three episodes made available for review. But it feels good to be back among these tortured and broken people as they explore what happens next.