If you take one thing away from these recaps/rantings, I hope it is this: Never allow Paul F. Tompkins onto your party bus. And if you take two things away from these recaps/rantings, I hope that second thing is this: “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough” is more than a bad song I used to skate to at the roller rink in elementary school. Shit’s real.
After last week’s breather, we’re back at it with the wedding and the apparent deterioration of Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship. At first, it’s Gretchen more indirectly pushing back against Jimmy’s insistence that they never change (while sampling/stealing large gulps of whiskey at the liquor store because only chumps pay for all of their booze), but later it’s Paul F. Tompkins (that dick) addressing their incompatibility head on. Because as it turns out, Jimmy and Gretchen maybe haven’t talked about all of the things that they should have. Like if their children will be circumcised. Or if they’ll be raised with religion. Or, you know, if they want kids. The small stuff. It’s almost like the show is highlighting how most media focuses on falling in love, and never acknowledges that relationships are more contractual than not.
And I say that as a person who loves contracts! Do you have any idea how much due diligence you have to do? How many financial disclosures that need to be done? The contingencies? Do you guys not find that all romantic? Which is, of course, the problem. Falling in love is romantic; being in love is more of a day-to-day assessment of your current situation and a cost-benefit analysis of what it would take to change it. (Yes, for those of you asking at home, I kill at Valentine’s Day.) Relationships are usually, in part, born of physical attraction and romantic love, but they’re grown out of a quiet resignation to the fact that your partner will never, ever remember to take out the garbage, and being mostly ok with that.
Meaning that for all of Jimmy and Gretchen’s neuroses and personality extravagances, what’s really happening to them is, for lack of a better word, basic. It’s not that they aren’t in love or don’t care about each other (she was willing to murder for him, he was willing to flee to Mexico for her), and it’s not that they aren’t mostly happy together (I took and discarded roughly a dozen screenshots of them being happy and compatible together. I have receipts, I’m just not sure this is the post. Maybe my You’re The Worst in memoriam).
It isn’t even that they haven’t worked through some pretty serious shit together, and in a lot of ways made the other a better person. She still wants him to fight for her, and she still floors him. It’s just that, in the end, they’re fundamentally incompatible. Luckily, this probably means we won’t have to see the actual remains of a relationship where two people just stopped loving each other. Instead, we’ll watch two excessively fucked-up people develop enough insight to understand their love for each other can’t overcome the obstacles their relationship faces, and make the mature decision to part ways. Which might somehow be worse.
In any event, please send boxes of cheese croissants and Lip Gallagher gifs because
Header Image Source: FXX