Younger recap: Beyond Therapy
If you’ve ever browsed the self-help shelves at Barnes and Noble — you know, for a friend — you probably caught a familiar whiff from Kelsey and Liza’s new Millennial Print prospect, The Deciding Decade, written by Dr. Jane Wray (played with authority by The Practice OG Camryn Manheim). The highly sought-after manuscript is, in fact, a send-up of the similarly titled (and real) Defining Decade by psychologist Meg Jay, which utilizes science and anecdotal evidence to explain why our 20s are so damn important. So if you’re still looking for a gift for that gal pal…
Anyway, who better to publish a tome on twentysomethings than Millennial Imprint? Or so goes Kelsey and Liza’s pitch to Dr. Wray. But there’s one hitch in their plan: the return of Cheryl Sussman (she of the ruthless blackmailing in season 1), who spots Liza in the doc’s waiting room and isn’t about to let her get away with using her faux age to her benefit. Commence Blackmail Round No. 2.
Our heroine is no noob when it comes to this lying-about-her-age thing, though, and figures out a rather ingenious workaround: She signs on for a therapy session with Dr. Wray (doctor-patient confidentiality!) and confesses everything. How she’s not in her 20s but in her 40s. How she’s been posing as a millennial to get back in the job market. How she feels like her whole life is a lie. And rather than being turned off by Liza’s falsehood, Dr. Wray is fascinated. So fascinated, in fact, that she agrees to being published by Millennial on one condition: Liza will be one of her (anonymous) case studies. Deal.
But Liza isn’t the only one thrown off-balance by the pitch meeting: After Dr. Wray’s insistence that Kelsey examine her “no-criteria relationship” with Thad (“Suddenly you’re 39 and asking your niece to set up a Hinge profile!”), Kelsey proceeds to break up with him on the eve of her 27th birthday — while the two are attending a work affair thrown by Thad’s boss. (Though who can really blame her when Thad’s proposed birthday gift to her is a three-way.)
And it looks like singledom might be catching. Keeping Liza’s secret is weighing even heavier on Josh’s heart after he books a feature in T magazine’s “Young Creatives” issue but is commanded by his girlfriend not to mention her. (“They might as well call it The New York Times How Old Are You,” Liza quips.) When an advance copy of the story is released with no mention of Liza in it, Kelsey and Lauren are furious, calling it a “glossy Tinder profile” and raking Josh over the coals at Kelsey’s birthday party. He takes the criticism without argument and storms out of the party.
“This just keeps happening,” he tells Liza, nearing tears. “I can’t be in your life, you can’t be in my life.”
“Not yet,” she replies.
“When?” he wants to know.
With no satisfactory answer to be had, Josh calls the whole thing off.
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Back inside the Stanton Social, Thad has come to make amends with Kelsey. In a big way.
“You were right,” he tells her. “You deserve more. You deserve everything you want, and I know that I can give it to you.” He drops to one knee and whips out a ring: He’s proposing!
Without actually saying the word “yes,” Kelsey kisses him and accepts his proposal. It’s then that she turns to a tear-stained Liza:
“I’m just so happy for you,” Liza says.