What is a happy ending? FXX's cult comedy, You're the Worst, is doing its best in its fifth and final season, airing now, to make the viewer come to terms with what a happy ending in relationships looks like. Through a series of flash-forwards, the show has been teasing some resolution in the relationship of its two leads, Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere).
As the two careen towards a marriage that very few seem to be in favor of, including Gretchen, their best friends Lindsay (Kether Donohue) and Edgar (Desmin Borges) take them on a bachelor and bachelorette party that is one of the best episodes in the series' history.
Donohue chatted with Refinery29 about where the idea came from, the death of Sunday Funday, and what we should be watching in this season's flash-forwards to figure out how the show will end.
Refinery29: You kill Sunday Funday in this episode, both literally and metaphorically!
Kether Donahue: "I didn't stab anyone though!"
Were you upset that you didn't get to stab or shoot anyone?
"Yes, are you kidding me?!? After I stabbed Paul (Allan McLeod) in season 3, it's really hard for anything to live up to that, ever."
The Sunday Funday concept was a thing already, and You're The Worst did an episode about it in the first season that killed it — as in, it's dead to us because too many hipsters tried to do it. There is no way you bring it back for the last season. And it is completely dead now.
"There is nowhere to go from here, where do you go? Paul F. Thompkins is so perfect for it, I can't picture anybody else who could have pulled it off. He was incredible. I wish I were in the writer's room to witness them concocting the episode."
How did you and Desmin Borges decide that your characters Edgar and Lindsay would have even come up with this plan?
"For the dumb one and the hot one of the group [laughs], they really pulled through. They probably came up with their plan when they were having boring sex. She was probably getting fucked from the side and not enjoying it. I heard someone say they come up with their best ideas when they're on the treadmill or driving, so Lindsay and Edgar probably come up with their best ideas when they're having sex."
And then there's the amazing performance by Thompkins, who has played Edgar's evil boss all season. I did notice that when he was insulting everyone on the bus, he didn't insult Lindsay. Why do you think that was?
"Oooh. There are three possible reasons. A) He feels sorry for her and wants to let her off the hook since her ex-husband impregnated her sister. B) He just doesn't give a shit about her and he forgets. Or C) Maybe he has a crush on Lindsay."
That's kind of what I thought because he sits by Lindsay a lot in the episode.
How do you feel about Lindsay's arc this season? She's got a new job as a publicist, and she seems to have a natural talent for it.
"I love it. I think over the course of 5 seasons we've seen Lindsay have these bursts of extraordinary talent for something, like when she was a stylist and was surprisingly good at it. This is a nice way to end things, with her at the height of her independence. And, this season she's really looking for love. In the episode where she and Edgar mutually end their friends-with-benefits affair, that's some of the most emotional maturity we've seen from her."
The episode opens with you and Gretchen sitting by the pool. So, we know they're still friends in the future. Do you think these two are lifelong partners?
"For sure. In the pilot, the first scene they're in together in the car, they talk about their relationship going back to college. Their relationship is like, have you seen the movie Beaches?"
Of course I've cried at the movie Beaches, are you kidding me?
"I brought it up somewhere recently and people were like, what are you talking about? I cut that friend out of my life. But, yeah I think they have a Beaches-worthy friendship. They'll know each other if they decide to have kids. They're definitely lifers."
The second part of that scene is you asking Gretchen if she's okay that he's coming, but we don't know who "he" is. The implication is maybe it's Jimmy. So, what do you think? Who gets a happy ending? What should we be looking out for?
"I like that phrasing ['Who gets a happy ending?] because it's subjective. I think something that [creator and executive producer] Stephen Falk has played around with across the five seasons of You're The Worst is the subjective nature of what is normal. I think that pours over into who is happy because that is subjective. What constitutes a happy ending for each of these characters? If Edgar and Lindsay were to end up together, is that a happy ending? Same for Lindsay and Gretchen or Paul and Lindsay — or any combo, what is the happy ending? I think the audience should be on the lookout when you get those flash-forward moments. Pause your TV [laughs] and take a moment to reflect. Sit there and meditate on life [laughs]. I'm partly being serious and partly joking, and I don't know what's scarier. No, but really be on the lookout for those hints and snatch them every time you get one."