EXCLUSIVE: 'Younger' Boss on Game-Changing Season 3 Finale: There Won't 'Be Any Simple Resolutions'
By Philiana Ng
Warning: Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched Wednesday’s one-hour season three finale of Younger, do not proceed.
Liza Miller has a lot of explaining to do.
Younger capped off its sparkly third season with several game-changers in its jam-packed one-hour finale on Wednesday night. In the final scene, Liza (Sutton Foster) -- a divorced 40-something mother pretending to be a hip 26-year-old -- finally told the truth about her age to young publishing maven (and new roomie), Kelsey Peters (Hilary Duff).
In the romance department, though, things are bound to get more complicated. Liza’s beau, Josh (Nico Torterella), had plans to propose, only to have his surprise romantic moment thwarted when he spotted Liza and her boss, Charles (Peter Hermann), locking lips outside her Hamptons hotel room.
“She means too much to him and I think he has enough wisdom in him to know that it’s not about a night in a hotel room in the Hamptons,” Hermann exclusively tells ET of what could have been between Liza and Charles. “In the end, he’s a very principled man, he’s a pretty smart guy, and that’s a level of complication that he wouldn’t necessarily have wanted [to jump] into something that deep, that quickly.”
“I imagine it would’ve been an exquisitely beautiful night,” the actor continues, “but for him, it’s not about just a night together. Their connection goes far deeper than that and longer term than that -- whether that’s necessarily what he was thinking at that moment, I don’t know. We’re all left to wonder.”
Hermann also shared insight into why Charles fans should hold out hope, even though he bowed out of being romantically involved with Liza and still remains unaware of her secret.
“He doesn’t have the feelings for her because he believes she’s 26 years old, he has the feelings he has for her in spite of the fact that she’s 26. To find out that she is far more than his contemporary than he initially thought, after doing a lot of calculus about every interaction they’ve had up to this point, re-editing the entire spectrum of their knowing each other, he would probably find it to be very good news,” he says. “Once all of that falls away, she can be more deeply herself with him in all her beauty and complexity, and I think he’d fall even farther than he already has.”
Following the season three finale, ET jumped on the phone with creator Darren Star to get the scoop on how Liza’s revelation changes the game and what it means for Josh, Charles, Kelsey and her career.
ET: Why was now the right time for Liza to spill the beans to Kelsey? How does this affect their friendship and professional relationship?
Darren Star: It’s a big risk by coming clean to Kelsey in the way she has, but that moment was about redemption for Liza. I do think that she feels that the effect of lying to the people she loves has really hit really hard in this episode. For her, not wanting to lie to Kelsey is just her way to sort of redeem a little bit.
How does Kelsey react? How does this affect their new living situation?
That’s all season four. That’s what we’re thinking about right now. We do have some ideas, but those are definitely the stories for next season and I think it’s going to spin the show in a different direction a little bit, in terms of where the characters are going. The big question mark is how is Kelsey going to react to this news and how does she process it?
Is season four going to be more dramatic as a result?
As relationships deepen, that inevitably happens -- the characters are more complex. These are characters [that] really care about each other and love each other, so this is a bit of a bombshell for Kelsey.
How long before Charles and Diana find out?
I’m not sure that Liza would have a job. If you look at some of the greatest liars in history, like Bernie Madoff, they fooled a lot of people for a very long time. So she’s definitely making her bones as a world-class liar for certain reasons and the deeper you dig yourself into a lie, the harder it is to get out of it.
Josh laid down the law when he told Liza how badly her lies have affected her and those around her. Is he right? Have the lies turned Liza into a worse version of herself?
Yeah, they have. That’s part of why she wants to tell Kelsey the truth because she wants to get back in touch with who she is. What Josh said really hit home and telling Kelsey kind of brought her back to who she is a little bit. The other thing between Josh and Liza is emotionally, their story has gone beyond an age difference. It’s now about two characters who love each other and have hurt each other.
It seems like Josh was the one who grew up the most from being in their relationship, reaching a point where he was ready to propose marriage. Is that what his trajectory has been?
He has grown and matured by being in a relationship with her. Even with the actor, Nico, with Sutton, being with somebody older, he liked that maturity that happened. I sort of saw it happen with Nico and I saw it happen with Josh. It happened naturally, when you start spending so much time with a partner who’s older than you and it happened for both of them. He matured and she was able to get in touch with that younger self.
Is there still hope for Liza and Josh?
I would say yes, only because I feel like relationships are complicated -- certainly rocky relationships are the most interesting to write about, not the ones that are perfect. These characters have an attraction, the actors have chemistry. When that exists, I wouldn’t rule anything out.
Will we see Josh attempting to move on without any ties to Liza and being single?
We’ll definitely be seeing a lot of Josh in some unexpected ways.
Charles bowed out of being romantically involved with Liza. Is there hope for Team Charles fans?
It seems that she’s got a tough road back for both of them. The thing about Charles and Liza has articulated this, he’s a fantasy in how she sees him and how he sees her is a fantasy. Their attraction is still based on a lie, so the question is what their relationship is when he knows not just her age, but that she’s been lying. That’s a bigger concern for the character of Charles. These are all things we’re thinking a about for next season.
These are still two really important characters in Liza’s life; they’re two important men in her life that she’s made a mess of. What does she do? How does it resolve itself next season? I don’t think there are going to be any simple resolutions.
Kelsey seemed to find a good match in Colin, but he picked his career over their relationship. Is this the last we’ll see of Colin or will he remain a presence in season four?
I don’t think they’re necessarily over. She’s pissed off, but I wouldn’t necessarily close the door on that relationship. It’s a question as to where those two go. It’s an open door, let’s put it that way.
Was Colin a character you had in mind for a while?
It’s a character we thought about for a long time. I really wanted to do a character [that explored] how does success affect somebody? It doesn’t make him bad, but he’s not the person Kelsey met at the beginning -- a lot of that is because of her support of him. He’s a great character and a character that belongs in Kelsey’s world. Characters in their 20s learning and growing; making mistakes doesn’t disqualify you from a relationship.
What can you say about the ramifications for Liza’s premature announcement of Emily’s “dog book”?
Kelsey’s definitely going to know about that at the beginning of next season. Of everything Liza has done to cover her a**, that was her biggest mistake and one of Liza’s most underhanded moves making that deal with Emily. She didn’t want to see Emily be the person who took her down.
Was it tricky writing a guy like Richard who would be able to keep up with Diana? Is she in love?
I don’t think that story’s been told. This is just the beginning of it. Is this a great pair? That’s a question for season four.