Darren Star on Why Younger Killed Off Thad in the Season Finale

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Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

It was gift from the heavens for Liza (Sutton Foster) when a construction beam fell from the air and crushed Thad during the season finale of Younger. Thad was threatening to reveal her secret — that she's actually older than she claims to be — to everyone at work. “We wanted to do something that was really going to surprise the audience and wake them up and basically say, ‘Okay, this show isn’t necessarily what you think every week,’" said Darren Star, the executive producer of Younger at last night's Paleyfest: Made in NY panel.  “I spent a lot of years writing Melrose Place and I love those outrageous twists once in a while."

And in case the debris ex machina came off as lazy, the producers and writers decided to turn Thad's death into a joke by introducing his twin brother, Chad. (Yes, so actor Dan Amboyer still has a job!). “We’re not gonna excuse ourselves from this writing problem,” co-executive producer Dottie Zicklin said.

Plus, there was the added fact that every New Yorker has a latent fear that construction debris — or an air-conditioning unit — could crush them at any moment. “It is reality. People are getting hurt by falling construction debris,” said Star. "To me the best part of it was getting the digital effects right and having discussion about the velocity of the beam ... I think what really sold it is the fan that blew the dust in [Sutton’s] face." For instance, they played around with versions where you could see Thad’s poor crushed body, but ultimately decided against it. We New Yorkers thank you for that!