Hulu’s divorce drama Fleishman is in trouble ended its eight-episode run with its characters reacting in very different ways to the horrific onset of middle age – but also ended with a small glimmer of hope.
Thursday’s finale begins with Libby knocking on Toby’s door late one night to tell him all about Rachel’s sleepless ordeal. But Toby’s only reaction is, “So that’s it?” He’s completely unmoved, even callous, when Libby tells him that Rachel had a nervous breakdown and concludes, “She’s not my problem.” The next day at the However, work keeps Toby comforting his dying patient’s grieving husband and dutifully listening to Solly practice his STEM presentation, so he’s not a total jerk. Libby’s narration reminds us that he can be both at the same time. He also supports Hannah when she freaks out and abandons her bat mitzvah studies, taking her and Solly back to the Natural History Museum to see the Vantablack exhibit again and face the void together as a family.
But enough about the Fleishmans: Libby takes on most of the finale, wallowing in her ever-worsening midlife crisis. After meeting a friend who’s beaming after getting a divorce and getting back together with her boyfriend from college — when the friend says, “I feel like I’m me again,” we can see how much Libby cares want to feel that way herself – Libby sees her old friend Larry Feldman on Facebook and sends him a friend request. She’s excited when Larry accepts her request and starts chatting with her… and then she’s disgusted when his messages quickly become adult. Some things are better left in the past it seems.
Things are rocky with Libby and Adam after her disappearance: as she tries to make amends with pancakes, he forces the kids out the door without anything to eat, and then she discovers he’s taken the kids to a barbecue that she didn’t even know about . They end up in a big fight in which he holds her accountable for being so moody and difficult lately. When she pleads, “I feel like I’m not alive anymore,” he reminds her, “You chose that!” He even accuses her of sleeping with Toby, which only makes her laugh. But when he says, “I expect you to come home at night. Is that so crazy?” We have to admit that he is not unreasonable. (She also learns that her once-beloved writing inspiration, Archer Sylvan, has died, underscoring the cruel passage of time.) Seth invites her to a mysterious party in town, and Adam can hardly contain his disdain when he tells her to go and have a good time.
The party is a swanky affair, and when Toby greets Libby at the bar, they are both horrified to discover that Seth is about to propose to his girlfriend. And he actually does, although it’s a surprisingly sweet suggestion. Seth admits he’s given up trying to understand the world: “It’s all a lot easier than I thought: I just want to wake up every day and see your face.” Toby and Libby congratulate him, although their marriages are in different states lying in ruins.They talk about Archer’s death and Toby points out that he died alone: ”We’re lucky we have people.” Libby still doesn’t know what to do with her life, but Toby tells her that she already has. She is loved. But that’s not enough for Libby. She thinks she could write a book – actually about all this. She will tell all sides of the story but one. But this story has no end says Toby.So Libby imagines a scene where Toby comes home in a rainstorm and hears a key in the lock and it’s Rachel and that’s the end of the book.
Toby and Libby bury the hatchet – he tells her he can still see in her who she was when they first met – while Seth dances with his new fiancé. Libby goes outside to get a cigarette, but then impulsively abandons it and gets in a cab to go home to New Jersey. On the drive home, she reflects on marriage, unhappiness and lost youth as we watch a montage of her life’s greatest moments. Once home, she climbs into bed with Adam and apologizes for being late. His response: “It’s fine. You keep coming back.” And Toby goes home in a sudden rainstorm, sends the babysitter home and takes off his wet clothes – when he hears a key in the lock. He turns and sees Rachel… and that’s the end of the series.
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https://tvline.com/2022/12/30/fleishman-is-in-trouble-recap-season-finale-episode-8-hulu/ Fleishman Is in Trouble Recap: Season Finale, Episode 8 on Hulu