“Younger” recap (1.8): Sk8

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Liza is getting into the swing of this whole dating-in-your-20s thing. Only, a weeknight hang session with Josh and his boys requires her to be down for playing video games. I can relate to Liza. When you meet someone who clearly grew up playing video games like so many children did and you have to tell them you didn’t, they look at you like a virgin alien. Liza decides to persuade Josh to get in the game in other ways, and the two make a beeline for his bedroom—but there’s one more thing, his door is broken from some dude-on-dude rough-housing. Ah, yes, a half-open door during sex while a couple of guys fight to collect ammo a room over. Even I’m suddenly coming down with post-college PTSD vibes.

The office is abuzz over Bjornberg’s upcoming literary event. Kelsey’s become completely intertwined with the Swede, so she’s had plenty of time to read his speech and help him shop for a new suit. Liza is handling all of Diana Trout’s details, one of which happens to be picking up Bjornberg’s wife from the airport. Wife? Yes, wife. But, shhh—it’s a secret, says Diana. Liza delivers the bombshell to Kelsey hoping it’s the right thing to do, but Kelsey becomes defensive, and rationalizes the affair as a plus to her record card, in case she “wakes up at 40 and realizes she forgot to have a life.” Liza really can’t get away from this creeping, constant reminder that she hails from a different generation.

I’m a week and a half away from my thirties and I relate to Liza, because age does not equate experience, so when Kelsey throws a dig at women who wake up feeling depressed, defeated and regretful, it digs at every single woman who feels they haven’t worked hard enough, or walked away from a relationship when they should have, and the list goes on. To Kelsey, the moment is the present is the moment. Liza can show her that feeling a void at a later time in life is neither here nor there, and that living fully and wholly is not the same as living with abandon and disregarding other people’s relationships, let alone Kelsey’s relationship with her self.

1younger8.1 You don’t need Bjornberg OR Thad.

Well, there’s no time to try to twist the wheels in Kelsey’s head—she isn’t a broken cassette tape. (Sorry, Josh and friends, a “cassette” “tape” is…) Ugh, there’s no time to explain! Bjornberg’s wife is here, and the Pen Awards are taking place tonight! Liza and Mrs. Bjornberg go out to what seems like an innocent enough lunch, until Mrs. Bjornberg begins to read a passage from her husband’s new book. Apparently it’s about his time here in New York and he identifies his mistresses as an assistant with doe eyes and a “vagina as soft as the fold of a walrus.” Ew. Before Liza can get a word in, Mrs. Bjornberg, who assumes the passage is about Liza, is suddenly smacking her upside the head. Oh no. Back at the office, Liza storms in to confront Kelsey with this news, but the first words out of Kelsey’s mouth are, “Was she pretty?”

Diana doesn’t have time for all this 26-year-old nonsense. She needs to flirt with Charles some more, who doesn’t even know the woman is pining so badly. And she needs Liza to help her put on her dress and get ready for the big event. She doesn’t need to know about all the Swede drama; she only needs to be assured that her seat next to Charles is well intact, and that he was totally checking her out as she walked by. “Being single in your 40s is like trying to sell a beautiful apartment where a murder took place. Everyone’s spooked!”

1younger8.2 And I’m trying to sell the whole castle.

Sup, Maggie. Liza finally has some downtime to kick back with her BFF Maggie. She laments to her about how tired she is of playing 26, because now it involves less sex and more gaming. Maggie is all, “Ugh, gag me with a spoon” and hands Liza the rest of her wine. What else is on tap? How about more wine, prosciutto and watching Downton Abbey in sweats? Nope. The Devil who wears Prada is calling. Diana needs Liza to book it to the Upper West Side to babysit—Charles’ babysitter didn’t show up. She obliges of course, she doesn’t really mind hanging with kids, she does have a kid of her own and stuff! This’ll get Diana off her back and Charles can get to the event, which is now in full swing.

1Younger8.3  Or we could watch “Empire Records”…

The Literary Awards are packed with black-tie partygoers from the publishing world, and Bjornberg’s wife is hot to trot over all the little “groupies” she tells Diana are constantly after her husband. For some reason though, she can’t seem to notice how obvious Kelsey is as that groupie, and continues to overlook how her husband is around her. At the table, he puts his hand on Kelsey’s leg. She tells him it’s over. But then he slices open his hand. Shit just got real on Younger. Kelsey is shocked and covers it with her napkin. He is adamant that he won’t let her end their relationship. She goes along with it, and now its time for him to give his speech. He kisses his wife, and Kelsey scoots a seat down to confess who she is to Mrs. Bjornberg once and for all. A shocked look takes hold of the Swede’s wife’s face, as Kelsey utters the words, “I am the walrus.”

1Younger8.4I am the walrus, goo goo g’ joob

Liza shares a moment with Charles after he gets home from the Literary Awards to pay her for her babysitting. It’s as if Liza’s realizing that not all men her age are terrible, it’s just that she had a rough go at it with her ex husband and she happens to be dating a “young man” now. When Charles assumes she has a “young man” downstairs, Liza almost looks heartbroken to see the way he says it. She maybe realizes that she’s proud of who she is, and her experiences are the particles that brought her here. Why hide that? Outside, Josh is flashing a grin and Liza relaxes her shoulders. He has a surprise for her. It’s a skateboard. He was listening to her when she said she used to skateboard as a teenager. But is skateboarding just like riding a bike? Liza gives it a whirl and we see them take off into the night. Her ability to not bust her ass or wimp out wows me.

Tune in next Tuesday for an all-new episode of Younger and follow me on Twitter @the_hoff using #MaggieKnowsBest

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