Watch This offers TV and movie recommendations inspired by new releases or premieres, or occasionally our own inscrutable whims. With The Last O.G. settling in on TBS and FX’s Legion returning from the astral plane for season two, we’re taking a look at some of our favorite TV homecomings.
You’re The Worst, “Not A Great Bet,” (season four, episode 7; originally aired October 11, 2017)
The fourth season of You’re The Worst saw the main ensemble split up, with the separation of Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) leading Lindsay (Kether Donohue) to do a lot of self-reflection for a change while Edgar (Desmin Borges) built up his self-reliance. The diverging storylines made for a fitfully focused season, but this Gretchen-centered episode would have been a stand-out moment for Cash and the show even if the gang had been together—besides, we know there’s no way she’d bring a friend along on a family visit, even if it was for moral support.
The impending birth of her sister’s baby is the impetus for Gretchen’s trip to her hometown, but she doesn’t actually make it to the hospital until the final moments of “Not A Great Bet.” Rather than ponder her sister’s future, Gretchen spends most of her time at home desperately—and unsuccessfully—trying to recapture the past because she’s struggling with her present. And in true Gretchen (read: self-destructive) fashion, this stroll down memory lane turns into a high-speed chase, which culminates in a crash and a verbal smackdown in the middle of a road.
Zosia Mamet, who became the unofficial soothsayer of Girls, co-stars as Heidi, a cancer survivor and Gretchen’s childhood friend, though the depth of that relationship comes up for debate. There are all kinds of clues that suggest Gretchen’s in for a rude awakening, starting with the fact that she didn’t even know Heidi was still alive. Then there’s the nostalgia, which is more forced than usual, as Gretchen basically tries to plant false memories of their closeness, including their dreams of owning the town’s roller rink and banning certain girls from school. By the time they’re at the abandoned mall—which Heidi jokingly suggests Gretchen helped “kill” by doing all of her shopping online—Gretchen’s worn out her welcome, if she ever had any to begin with.
Because she prides herself for leaving their small pond to swim in the Pacific Ocean, Gretchen assumes Heidi looks at her with admiration and envy. But nothing could be further from the truth: Heidi can’t be envious of a life she has no stake in and little knowledge of, just as she was never hurt by Gretchen’s “abandonment” during her illness because she didn’t consider her a friend. “You were a shape-shifter,” Heidi tells her, someone desperate to be everything to everyone, but who’s now left on the side of a road, begging for then rejecting a future. Though she travels by plane and automobile, it’s not enough to get Gretchen to a fictional point in the past.
Availability: You’re The Worst season four is streaming on FX+, the cable network’s standalone service, and is available to rent or purchase from Amazon Video.