Warning: Please do not read until you’ve watched tonight’s episode. Spoilers ahead!
Well the secret is finally out.
Yes, over the last five and a half seasons of Younger Liza’s (Sutton Foster) big secret—that she’s in her forties and not the millennial she claims to be — has trickled out, as her best friend Kelsey (Hillary Duff) and romantic interests Josh (Nico Tortorella) and Charles (Peter Hermann) have all learned the truth. Liza’s boss Diana (Miriam Shor), however, has been in the dark all this time. But no more. Diana finally learned the truth and at a big industry event no less. Now there’s no one who doesn’t know the real deal.
Paste had a chance to chat with Sarah Choi, the writer of this pivotal episode, to ask her about the decision to upend the premise of the show, and what viewers can expect as the sixth season wraps up.
Paste: Why was now the right time to have Diana and everyone else find out? The show is built on the premise of Liza pretending to be a millennial but now that premise has been blown up!
Sarah Choi: I think we knew early on when we started writing Season Six that this had to be the season Diana finds out. With the show having moved beyond this premise years ago almost—it is built on relationships and characters more than anything else— it was just time for Diana to find out. We knew that Diana would have an emotional reaction that was something beyond rage, which is something we’ve seen before. We’ve seen Kelsey react angrily. We’ve seen Charles react with rage, and for Diana it just felt like a very different reaction that she would have because she’s just on a different playing field than they are.
Paste: And it happens at this very big, industry-wide publishing event and Liza is outed by Charles’ ex-wife Pauline (Jennifer Westfeldt). How did you decide upon the setting and the character for the very public reveal?
Choi:We do a lot of research about exciting cool events in the publishing industry. We had heard about this debutant ball, it’s a real event. The one that we did on the show is based on it, it’s not the actual one. Pauline hasn’t been back before now and I feel like the audience is kind of thinking about her. Last week Liza was thinking about Charles and their relationship and their life and to me Liza feels like Pauline 2.0. In this episode it felt like the right natural moment that Liza would be confronted by this woman. Pauline felt like the right person to out her. She’s close enough that she would feel betrayed but she’s removed enough that she wouldn’t feel hesitant about revealing the truth.
Paste:How is this going to affect Millennial, an imprint based on the idea that it’s run by millennials?
Choi: Liza messed up. This is a messed-up thing that she did. She should suffer the consequences of deceiving everyone around her, and I think Pauline coming and doing that is her worst nightmare come true.
I, for one, am relieved that Diana is going to be on Liza’s side in the aftermath of all of this. I think it’s important for her to be there supporting her as the shit hits the fan. I think this is going to be a nightmare for them. It’s obviously not going to be a walk in the park that the face of Millennial is in her forties. It’s a lot of broken promises coming to light based on this moment. I don’t think you will see the way that it plays out coming.
Paste: Where will Liza and Diana’s relationship go from here?
Choi: Millennial aside, I’m personally really excited that now Diana and Liza get to be the equals we’ve always known them to be, and they have a lot of catching up to do so we’re about to embark on this big journey in Diana’s life with [her engagement to] Enzo (Chris Tardio) and Liza is going to be there for her in that way. It’s on an honest path which is great and it wasn’t there before.
Diana is a little bit more emotionally mature than Kelsey and I think she realizes that it’s worth more to her to have Liza there than to draw out a big fight with her. She needs her more than that.
Paste: Even though Liza is with Charles now, I still kind of feel like Josh is still in the mix this season and the love triangle continues.
Choi: I don’t think the door is ever closed on Josh. There’s not a set destination like Liza ends up with “insert name here” plan in mind. We go on her journey with her as we’re writing. The push and pull to me is very real. She’s unable to shut the door on Josh just because she’s with somebody else.
People are always asking me which team I’m on and I don’t know. I feel like I tend to lean towards the team that’s not being written to that season. The door is not closed. The triangle is continuing. I would say it’s a little bit dormant at this point in the season but Josh can be like a landing spot for Liza in hard times.
Paste It seems as if Liza may be questioning her relationship with Charles a bit.
Choi:She’s completely changed. She is a different person now. She’s not trying to fit herself into a new mold now, she is a new mold so she misses the experiences she would have with Josh, Kelsey, Lauren (Molly Bernard) etc. versus the very grown up romantic experiences she’s having with Charles. This is the first time she’s confronted with the fact that maybe the man who makes the most sense isn’t the right one and that’s just a general theme of the show – maybe what makes the most sense isn’t the right choice.
Paste: What else can viewers expect as the series heads towards its sixth season finale on September 4th?
Choi: There are some characters who are favorites who will return. There is Diana’s bachelorette party. It’s a lot of drama. It’s going to get really crazy. There’s a lot going on.
Younger airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on TV Land.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and the Assistant TV Editor for Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal).