Younger Season-Premiere Recap: The Unburdening


Post Truth
Season 4 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating *****
Peter Hermann as Charles, Sutton Foster as Liza.

Younger has always known how to throw down a cliff-hanger (RIP, Thad), but none have caused such nail-biting tension as last year’s finale. At the close of season three, Liza finally unburdened herself and revealed her truth to Kelsey: She isn’t 26 — she’s 40.

“Unburdened” is Maggie’s choice of word when she asks Liza why would she start fessing up now, and it’s a telling one. “Unburdened” implies that Liza, too, is getting something out of this. She may say that she simply doesn’t want to lie to the ones she loves most, but living this lie must be exhausting — I mean, the 26-year-old Liza wardrobe alone is a lot — so, by finally telling people like Josh and Kelsey, Liza is also helping herself. For the record, there ain’t nothing wrong with a little unburdening of one’s self. Live your best life, Liza — just be honest about what you’re doing.

But given how things went down with Josh and now Kelsey, maybe Liza needs to rethink her strategy.

Just kidding! There’s really no better way to tell someone you’ve been lying to them repeatedly since the moment you met them. You have to just just rip off the Band-Aid. Unless, maybe the Band-Aid comes with wine?

So, Liza tells Kelsey all the whys and hows and WTFs of her big lie. Naturally, Kelsey takes it, um, not well. By which I mean she sneaks out of Maggie’s apartment later that night with her suitcase (she’s fresh off her break up with Colin, if you recall) while Justin Bieber plays in the background, all to get away from Liza. It’s tragic.

Somehow, Liza is still holding out hope that she can repair some of the damage. That hope is soon crushed. When Liza stands up in the middle of a morning meeting and begins to act like she’s going to tell Diana and Charles the truth, Kelsey stops her. If Liza outs herself — revealing the fact that Millennial isn’t run by an actual millennial — their little imprint will be the laughingstock of the publishing industry. (This is a stretch, but we have to keep this premise going somehow, right?) Instead, Kelsey wants Liza to double down on the lie. Kelsey decides they are going to use Liza’s blackmailer — Emily the Entertainment Weekly writer, angling to have her labradoodle book published as a trade for keeping Liza’s secret — to get Millennial more press. She forces Emily to put them on EW’s 29 Under 29 list and watch the good publicity roll in. She also forces Liza to participate, pictures in the press and all.

Liza thinks this a sign that Kelsey has forgiven her. Liza is so, so wrong. Kelsey informs her ex-BFF that she’s been putting on a good face for work, but she’ll never forgive her. Liza broke her heart.

I’m so happy that Younger is putting its best relationship in the spotlight this season. Liza and Kelsey’s friendship has always been the real star of the show, plus Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff have chemistry for days. When Liza told Kelsey that except for her daughter and Maggie, Kelsey is the most precious thing to her, well, I straight-up put my hand over my heart and aww-ed. I AWW-ED, YOU GUYS. Because Liza and Kelsey’s love is a true love and watching them fight hurts my heart. Of course, watching Liza lie to Kelsey for three seasons hurt my heart too, so we’re really breaking even here.

While Liza and Kelsey’s friendship is very important, I also live for the Josh-Liza-Charles love triangle. Before we get any further into this season, I’m going to willingly out myself as Team Charles. I totally get the appeal of Josh, but there’s just something about Charles. Maybe it’s the fact that he takes Liza to see things like Ernest Hemingway’s love letters to Marlene Dietrich and pointedly tells Liza that Hemingway called himself and Dietrich “victims of unsynchronized passion.” Or maybe it’s because I’m 87 percent sure that ties were invented to be worn by him. Or maybe it’s because actor Peter Hermann sometimes tries to sell me laundry detergent while wearing a tuxedo. Is there anything more swoon-worthy than that? I don’t know, it’s all very confusing.

Needless to say, that love triangle isn’t going anywhere in season four — and it might even be getting a new player. Remember when I said Younger knows how to cliff-hanger? Well, the premiere ends with another goodie.

If Kelsey isn’t staying with Liza, and she moved out of Lauren’s parents’ place, where is blondie sleeping these days? After the 29 Under 29 party, Lauren and Liza watch as Kelsey rides off in Lauren’s Uber and follow her trip on Lauren’s phone … all the way to Josh’s apartment. Et tu, Tattoos?

Sure, Kelsey and Josh are just friends bonding over the deep betrayal of the same person, but Josh and Kelsey are also both hot and sad. Smashing faces is bound to follow. Consider us cliff-hanged, Younger.

It’s Trout Season

• There isn’t much Diana Trout in the season opener (for shame, show!), but thanks to a perfectly timed eye-roll during Liza’s almost-confession during the morning meeting and a brief glimpse of Diana’s patented Necklace As Big As Her Head, we get a taste of the Diana we’ve been missing.

• Not for nothing, but I love that Diana is most outraged that Empirical is even considering publishing a book by Kristin Chenoweth’s scheming political PR spin doctor, Marylynne Keller. (She’s a wispy blonde who talks about the difference between the truth and facts — you connect those dots.) Diana Trout is our moral compass, I guess. It’s something I’ve always known in my heart, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.

Younger Season-Premiere Recap: The Unburdening