01x08 - The Liver

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Fleishman Is in Trouble". Aired: November 17, 2022 - present.
Mini-series based on the novel by the same name follows recently divorced 41-year-old Toby Fleishman as he dives into the brave new world of app-based dating.
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01x08 - The Liver

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LIBBY: Toby Fleishman awoke
in the middle of the night

to the sound of knocking at the door.


TOBY: Bubbles, keep it down.

Hey, who is it?

LIBBY: It's me. Open the door.

What's going on? What time is it?

- I have to talk to you.
- What?

Did you, like, not go home or something?

No, I have to talk to you.
Your phone was off.

Sorry, keep it down.
The kids are sleeping.

- I saw her.
- Who? I don't understand.

- I saw Rachel.
- You...



You did? Jesus.

After I... After I left here,

I went downtown, just to...

I don't know, to, like,
walk around, and I saw her.

Just... Just, like,
sitting there on a park bench.

Hm. I'm surprised, honestly...

And so I told him what happened.

I told him about Rachel, where
she was, where she'd been.

It was like seeing a ghost.

I'd left her that evening
with her sleeping

and a doctor's appointment
scheduled for the next morning.


So that's it?

That's it?


I have work in a few hours, Lib.

Sorry, did you hear what I just said?


That I saw Rachel and she
was in the park and...

No, I heard you, yeah.
But we all knew she was around.

I mean, she was napping in the park.

She was f*cking her
best friend's husband.

She was bound to turn up.
It's a small town.

No, Toby, she had a nervous breakdown.

I know. It sounds stressful.

Okay, alright.

I gotta get the kids to camp
in the morning.

I also have a new boss and a patient

that's going off
life support today, so...

I'm sorry, what is...
what is happening right now?

She had a nervous breakdown.

That's where she's been.

She didn't abandon her kids.

Yeah, of course she did. Where is she?

I mean, she's not here.
I don't see her, do you?

Sure, but she had a nervous breakdown.

Yeah, I know! I heard you!

She had a nervous breakdown.
You don't have to say it again.

She needs help, Toby.

She can hire help.

She... Wh... Who are you?

Seriously, who am I
talking to right now?

Th-This is the mother of your children.

Yes, exactly, but she is not
my wife anymore, okay?

She has, like, no relation to me.

I don't have to care about
her. She's, like, not my problem.

- She's not your problem?
- No.

Oh, my God.

Remember, it's divorce that means
never having to say you're sorry.

That was funny. Yeah.

- What?
- You know what?

I've been through her breakdowns, Libby.

Do not worry about her, okay?

She'll make it work for her.

She'll... She'll come back
monetizing the whole thing.

She'll run a bank by the time
she's done with this.

I don't think that you understand, okay?


She's lost time.

Like, full weeks.

- She's lost everything.
- She didn't lose anything.

She lost, like, a client,
and she spent a few extra days at a spa

when her best friend's husband
decided to stop f*cking her.

You know what? You're right.
Sorry. I'll make her a lasagna.

Toby, Jesus!

Hey, you were supposed to be
on my side, okay?

- You were supposed to be my friend.
- I am your friend!

Yeah? Well, you're waking me
up in the middle of the night

to tell me this now
that I finally found a way

to move on with, like,
my sad, broken children.

Because she had a nervous breakdown!

Hey! Yeah, I said stop saying that!

Okay, fine, I won't use that word, okay?

What do you want me to say?
She can't handle her life.

She's... She's... She's collapsed.

She can't take care of her own children

because she needs to put her
own f*cking oxygen mask on first.

Actually, actually that thing
about oxygen masks

is about airplanes, alright?

It's really about adult tolerance

for oxygen deprivation.
It's not, like, a metaphor.

It's not supposed to be,
like, a lifestyle.

I'm so s... I'm just, like,
shocked right now.

I am not gonna be the prisoner
of my mistakes.

This is what our ancestors
died for, the right

for us to be middle-aged
and bored and miserable.

Yeah, and shocked. Okay.

I'm going back to bed.

Go home, Libby.

I could tell you what happened
to Toby then.

I could tell you that the next morning,

when he arrived back at the hospital

to meet with the committees
over Karen Cooper's brain activity

and to help David Cooper move
toward a decision,

he was full of remorse for
his anger at the poor guy.

What had happened to Toby
to make him so cold-hearted

that he would lash out at a man
who had just effectively lost his wife?

All he could think was that
he was never like that before.

But also, he had to leave room
for the fact that maybe he was.

Maybe, like the Wilson's itself,

everything we are is dormant
and inside us all along.

What I could tell you is that Toby
was always reactive and angry

and ready to blame
everyone else for his problems.

And he was also someone who held even

the unpreventable failures in his heart,

and who did not ever let a basic
and consistent fact of his job,

which was death, become regular to him.


I could tell you that
in his darkest recesses,

Toby had some relief
that he got to keep his job

the way that it was,

that he fundamentally didn't understand

why you would have to stop
doing what you loved

in order to get ahead

when it felt like it was ahead
to do what you loved.

Hi, how are we all doing today?

Alright, Dr. Fleishman.


I could tell you that Toby was focusing

on making good on his promises
to his children.

- And so...
- Mm-hmm.

...the way the world looks is different

depending on how you look at it. Mm-hmm.

The electron cloud is uncertain,

but the nucleus is always fixed. Right.

Which means it's always
in the same place.

It's the things around it
that move around.

Now, sir, please look
into the stereoscope.


There are two realities.

There's the cloud of electrons
surrounding the nucleus,

which is the solution
of the Schroedinger equation.

That's the box they're in.

There's the physical locations
of each individual electron,

which can only be determined
by measuring them

directly by opening the box,

and both things are true.

And that is what I want to say
about superposition.

That is so good.

Do you think I'll win?

I can't imagine anyone has
anything better thought out

or a smarter, harder-working son.

That is excellent work.

Oof, Jesus.

I could tell you that he never
got the blinds fixed,

and despite three separate
calls to the super,

the air conditioner was still broken.

Dad, we're gonna be late!

What? For what? Oh, crap. Solly, here.

Solly, come on. We have to go.

- Come on. Come on.
- Okay.


RABBI TURKO: Sorry I'm late.

Class went over a few minutes.

No, of course. Of course. Thank you.

Hannah, how are you
doing with your haftarah?

Cantor Timberman says
you're doing very nicely on it.

Oh, yeah, she's been studying every day.

- Really?
- Mm-hmm.

You don't hear that a lot.

So what we can do
is just go over some logistics.

I know that you're going to
want to bestow honors on your family,

opening the ark, aliyah
to the Torah, etcetera.

I know you're planning on speaking?


And Rachel, too, I presume?

That is still a question.


Hannah, do you understand
that you are engaging

in a tradition that goes back
thousands of years?

You are accepting the yoke
of responsibility

for your family and your community

and all the commandments of the Torah,

and you're taking it upon yourself

that it is your turn
to try and fix this world.

The world is upside down right now,

and we need all the smart,
thinking girls to help fix it.

Right, okay.

And you're gonna carry this torch
for all of the Fleishmans

and all of the Jewish people.

TOBY: Mm-hmm.


Well, then, I think we're set.

I think I'm not gonna do this.

Hm? Hannah?

I don't think I should do this.


Let's... Let's just take a minute.

I'm just not doing it, the bat mitzvah.

- Can we go?
- Hannah, stop.

She did the study...
She did all the studying.

I'm sorry. I don't know
what this is. Hannah?

I'm gonna go.

Thank you, Rabbi, and I'm
sorry it didn't work out.

Uh... I am so... This...

This came as a complete surprise to me.

I know your family has been
going through a lot.

I... Yeah, let me go speak with her.

- Is that... Okay.
- Yeah, that's fine.

I'm so sorry. Solly, can we go now?

TOBY: Hannah, hey.

W-What's going on?

I wanted to see what
it would be like up here.

You'll have another chance in November.

Dad, I'm not doing it. For real.

Is this about what happened at camp?

Because I can promise you
that by the time

November rolls around, like,
no one will remember it.

It's not.

Is it about your mother?

It's not that.

Listen, I know it's been hard
with her gone, but...

But we're still Jews,
and this is what we do.

But why? Why do we do it?

I... I don't even know
if I believe in God.

Yeah, well, that's actually
not what this is about.

This is about becoming
an adult in your community.

This is about taking on
my traditions as yours.

You can pass them along to your family.

I... I guess I just don't
understand why I would do it.

We do it because that's what we do.

We're the Fleishmans and we're Jews.

It doesn't seem smart to me.

What has it given us?

How... How has it even helped the world?

We're a mess, Dad.

The Fleishmans are a mess.

You... You're being
too literal, I think.

- No, no, I'm not.
- No?

You always tell me to think for myself

and not to be corrupted
by other people around me,

but I want my own traditions.

I want my own life,
and I want to make my own decisions.

I don't want to have to fix anything.

I haven't even broken anything.

I'm only .

I could tell you that Toby
looked at his daughter

just then, his wise, beautiful daughter

who had been put through
too much recently,

and realized that she was right.

You know, another great
tradition is forging

your own path and being better
than your parents.

Here, come here.

Come here, my sweet girl.

There, stand here.

And if a bat mitzvah
is also a coming of age,

then he had to agree that Hannah

did not need a ceremony to do that.

She'd grown up right in front of him,

slowly and then all at once.

Eilecha vichuneka.

Yisa Adonai panav eilecha

v'yasem lecha shalom.

May God make you like Sarah,
Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.

May God bless you and protect you.

May God show you favor
and be gracious to you.


May God...

May God show you kindness...

Hey... And grant you peace.


I could tell you that after
weeks of starts and stops,

that was the moment
that the Fleishmans understood

that a divorce was
an earthquake for two people

who used to be in love,

but it was a chronic condition
for the children

who had to somehow survive it.

MAN: ♪ Kmo sirat ets ♪

♪ Merupetet ♪

♪ Sheyotseret gal veretet ♪

♪ Kmo shemila achat ♪

♪ Lev ee potachat ♪

♪ Yesh li sach akol gafrur ♪

♪ Az avhir takalachat ♪

♪ Vehamilim shenivlehu ♪

♪ Vebemochi hen itpakhu ♪

♪ Etsak otan chazak hayom ♪

♪ Hatishmehu otan pitom? ♪

♪ Ze shir hafite sheli ♪

♪ Achshav echye kuli ♪

♪ Emtsa ma tov li ♪

♪ Lo evater li ♪

♪ Meachshav e'afsher li ♪

LIBBY: I could tell you that
the Fleishmans found themselves

again at the Vantablack exhibit,

which was in its last days.

They decided to go in and see it,

to really, finally face
the void together.


MAN: ♪ Li kulam hem doagim ♪

♪ Ma itcha ♪

♪ Ve'epatach ♪

♪ Ze shir hafite sheli ♪

♪ Achshav echye kuli ♪

♪ Emtsa ma tov li ♪

♪ Ki yesh bi adayin amon fite betochi ♪

LIBBY: But I could not tell
you what Toby did next.


I had my own shit going on.


What had happened to me

was that at the beginning of the
summer, before Toby called me,

I was heading into my second year
of being a stay-at-home mom

and my th year of marriage

and my th year in a suburb
and my st year of life,

but none of that changed
who I essentially was,

which was a magazine writer
with no assignment.

That didn't stop me from
pontificating all over the suburbs.

You know what I think?

I think that the men of this generation,

they're all, like,
really good feminists,

but they haven't actually thought
about what it means to be equal,

so they're so fragile all the time.

We have to spend all of our
time on reassuring

and fellating every insecurity
out of them.

Do you ever think that
those "The future is female" shirts,

they're like, "Free beer tomorrow"?

You know, 'cause the future
is always in the future.

I mean, like, do you really think

that they would let us wear
those shirts if it were true?

I think it's just a shirt, Lib.


I gotta go make dinner.

Yeah, me too.

Am I riding with you? Okay.

And then into that morass,
I bumped into Michelle.

Libby, hi!

Michelle, oh, my God. Look at you.

You look amazing.

Yeah, well, I'm getting a divorce.

- What?
- Yeah.

Oh, my God, that's crazy.

Wh-What happened?

It's a long story, but it's good.

I'm actually seeing someone...
My boyfriend from college.


We reconnected on Facebook.
I know, what a cliché, right?

I'm gonna move to the city,
Jonathan will stay here,

and we'll take turns
staying with the kids.

I'm just so... I'm so surprised.

You guys... You always seemed so happy.

We were just very good
friends, you know?


God, okay. I'm sorry.

I-I want to understand,
like, all of this.

Please start from the beginning.

So we had just come back
from this amazing vacation...

It was the third divorce
I'd heard about in a month.

I started thinking about
divorce all the time.

Not "divorce," but clean
slates and new starts.

I feel like I'm me again.

We're gonna get a place
on the Upper West Side, near...

"Me again."

I'd somehow fallen for it,
some dream of safety

that I hadn't understood would
never reconcile with who I was,

which was a free and independent person.

I'd taken all my freedom
and independence

and pushed them across
the poker table and said,

"Here, take my jackpot. Take it all.

I don't need it anymore.
I won't miss it ever."


God, how hot I used to be for life.

Larry Feldman was the first
guy I ever kissed.

He was the first guy
I ever... a lot of things.



Oh, my God.

LARRY: Libby Slater? Wow.

How much I used to feel,

how much I didn't feel anymore.

LIBBY: Larry Feldman!

What is going on with you?

I just remembered you and realized

that I didn't know what became of you.

You know, I remember you very often.

Oh, yeah? That's funny.

I just saw that you're friends
with everyone from school,

and I don't know how I missed
being a part of that.

I remember when you and I
were in that basement

at Melissa Cooperman's
bat mitzvah after party,

and I think about
when you let me put my...

Ugh, God. Gross.

Later that night, I heard from a friend

I hadn't spoken to in a dozen years.

Toby Fleishman?

TOBY: Elizabeth Slater.


It's Epstein now, yeah, but yes, hello.

It was so nice to be back with people

that I never had to explain
who I was to.

I'd been trying to return to the
most authentic version of myself,

but it wasn't that dipshit
horndog Larry Feldman

who knew me when I was
most myself, it was Toby.

I began to feel less unmoored,

but I was living this life

that wasn't mine anymore,

and then I was living a life
that hadn't ever been mine.

Toby Fleishman, hot damn.

I did finally go home that night

after I went to Toby's house
to tell him about Rachel...

...after I hadn't been in contact
with my own family for days.


I'm sorry.

Mom, you're making breakfast?


I have been helping a friend
with something,

but I'm back.

I made pancakes.
I want to hear everything.

I don't eat breakfast anymore.

What does that mean?

ADAM: Well, that's why we get
you lessons, bud.

MILES: I'm never going to
pass. I'm not going.

What's going on?

I'm not taking the swimming test.

Miles, you can't learn this stuff
unless you learn this stuff.

What's the problem? You
have to take the swimming test.

- I got this.
- I'm not going.

I'm not taking any more lessons.

Okay, Miles, I know you don't want...

- I got this.
- Well, it kind of seems like you don't.

SASHA: We're gonna be late.

I made breakfast for everybody.

We get breakfast on the way now.

I already called in an order
at the bagel place.

I got court today. Come on, we're late.

We're late, let's go.




It went on like that for a while.

Me, doing penance.

Me, staring out into the Vantablack,

wondering how this would get resolved.

I wasn't speaking to Toby anymore.

Seth wasn't speaking to either of us,

and I was trying to wedge
myself back into my life

before anyone noticed I'd been gone.

MAN ON RADIO: Republican
national security officials

have published a letter...


Sasha, what are you doing?

Hi, Mom.

Is this a party?

No, it's a barbecue.

Dad's in the back.

Dad's in the back?



ANNIE: I need kids,
but so far, I have .


ALLISON: [GASPS] Maybe Libby will do it.

Wow, look who came out of the woodwork.

- Libby?
- Hey.

Hi. I thought you couldn't make it.

Adam said you couldn't make it.

Oh, uh, I-I-I think we just
got our signals crossed.

- Hey.
- Thank you.

I was thinking of doing
that one-week drama camp

for the girls before school.

Do you think Sasha would want to?

I don't actually know if she's
still into doing drama.

- I have to ask her.
- I'll ask Adam.

I went down a total rabbit
hole reading about it.

Vantablack? Vantablack.

Uh, sorry.

Can you just... Can I...
I'll be right back.

One second...

It's so dark that
it's dangerous, you know?

People, they see it and they freak out.

They freak out and run screaming?

Yes. I tell you, it's...

- They... They... They have to leave...
- Adam.

'cause they, like, lose their footing.

Oh, hey, Libby. Hi.


Um, did we talk about this?

- About this barbecue?
- Yeah.

I don't know.
It was in the family calendar.

Sure, but I mean, this morning
when we were talking,

did we talk about this?

I don't know, Libby.
I can't keep track of you.

Okay, I've been home.

That's not... fair.

Adam, you coming over later
for the game?

You know it.

Ah, better bring that queso.


What game?

We're, like, people
who watch the game now?


You eat queso?

He makes the best queso I've ever had.

You made queso?


I made queso.

Excuse me.

Can I talk to you for a second please?

Yeah, now's, uh... Now's not good.

Oh, now's not good? Wow, okay.

We're at a f*cking barbecue.

Oh, my God, can you please
just stop being

so f*cking passive about everything?

Please, please, please.

I just want to have, like,
a regular conversation.

You are incapable of that.

Just a regular conversation, please.


Okay, I know I'm terrible.


I'm sorry.

So just please talk to me.

About what?
There's nothing to talk about.

You do whatever you want,

and I could not be a more
thoughtful, considerate husband to you.

You are merciless lately...

Miserable all the time, sarcastic.

What do you think it means to me,

to the kids that you
walk around so unhappy?

I have no idea what's happened
to you lately.

[SIGHS] Oh, God.

I didn't want to get into this.

Okay, look.

You're right.

I have been terrible. You are wonderful.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

I keep trying to figure it out.

I feel like I'm...

Like I'm not alive anymore.

Well, you know what?

I'm happy, okay?

We have friends. We have...

Okay, these are not our friends, though.

Like, they're not.
I can't talk to any of these people.

They treat me like I'm a f*cking oddity.

They just talk about their
kids and their houses all the time.

We have two wonderful children.

We have income and safety and health

and the enormous privileges
of our class.

We are the kinds of people
who are invited to barbecues,

and if you gave these people a chance,

you would find they are filled

with the same kind
of ambivalence that you have.

No, they're not.
I promise you they're not.

No, no. They are, okay?

They are all trying to figure
it out just like you.

Just like me, if you wanted to know.

Oh, my God. That's not true!

It's not true, though, Adam.
They love it here.

All they talk about is how
wonderful it is all the time.

It's like we've died and these
houses are our headstones.

We chose this, Libby! You chose it!

Marriage, children,
every single bit of it, we chose it.

I know. I know. I know.

I don't know, though, because honestly,

I feel like a few years ago,
I was a person, right?

And then I looked up and I just...

I have no idea when everything
started to feel so the same.

Don't... don't talk to me
about your burdens.

The kids are always
with the babysitter lately,

and you barely even look at me anymore.

I know. I know. Okay, okay.

I am trying to figure it out,
though. I really am.

You... You could bother looking at me

while you try to figure it out, right?

I... I could be a part
of your figuring it out.

Why is this about you all of a sudden?

It's so not about you, Adam.

- Are you sleeping with Toby?
- Am I what?

You slept over at his f*cking house!

Oh, my God. Of course I'm
not sleeping with Toby!

- Are you crazy?!
- That's all you have to say?

No, I don't even know
why I did that, okay?

You expect me to know everything
and have all of these answers.

I don't have the answers.
I don't have them.

No, I expect you to,
like, come home at night.

Is that so crazy?

I have to go.

- Sorry, you have to go?
- Yes.

I was asked to peel the corn
at this barbecue,

which you knew about and which
was in the family calendar,

and when I say I'm gonna be somewhere
and do something, I do it.


♪ 'Cause I must be traveling on now ♪

♪ There's too many places
I've got to see ♪

JOHN: You can't do that in Brooklyn.

ANNIE: Did you get a French drain?

ALLISON: No, actually,
we just pushed the soil

so there's no flooding.

Well, your house is on top of that hill.

That makes sense.


♪ Things just wouldn't be the same ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm as free ♪

♪ As a bird now ♪

♪ And this bird ♪

♪ You cannot cha-a-a-a-nge ♪


ADAM: Get in the shower and then bed.

Hurry up. Go.






You just staying in bed today?

My alarm. I forgot to set it.

I just had the craziest dream.

I guess I'm taking the kids to camp.


Kids, come on. We're gonna be late.

- Let's go.
- Okay.

Come on, let's go!

SASHA: Miles, hurry up.


Glenn? Hi.

GLENN: Hey. I thought
you'd want to know...

Archer died.

Wait, what?

No, that's... That's so crazy.

I just... I like, literally
just had a dream about him.

What happened?

LIBBY: In my dream, I'd been
asking Archer for advice.

I can't remember on what,

but he kept asking
if we'd ever slept together.

Like in life,
I kept reminding him who I was

and how much I admired him,

and his response to that was,

"What does that have to do with me?"

♪ I get up in the evening ♪

♪ And I ain't got nothing to say ♪

♪ Come home in the morning ♪

♪ Go to bed feeling the same way ♪

♪ I am nothing but tired ♪

♪ Just tired and bored with myself ♪

♪ Hey, man ♪

♪ I could use just a little help ♪

SETH: Hey, can we pretend
we talked all this through

and just move on?

I'm having a party on Saturday.

It's really important to me
that you come.

Dress nicely, please.

The three of us are having
a slumber party,

but we're gonna tell Sophie
that she has to start using deodorant.

Oh. The situation
has gotten out of control.

Puberty, man.

I'm gonna call Susannah,
see if she can watch them

on Saturday night.

Why? I'll be home.

No, uh, Seth.

He's asked us to a party.

He's having a party.

I can't not go.

He specifically said
that it was important to him that...

That I be there, so...


I hope you have a good time.

♪ This is how it works ♪

♪ It feels a little worse ♪

♪ Than when we drove our hearse ♪

♪ Right through that screaming crowd ♪

♪ While laughing up a storm ♪

♪ Until we were just bone ♪

♪ Until it got so warm ♪

♪ That none of us could sleep ♪

♪ And all the Styrofoam ♪

♪ Began to melt away ♪

♪ We tried to find some worms ♪

♪ To aid in the decay ♪

♪ But none of them were home ♪

♪ Inside their catacomb ♪

♪ A million ancient bees ♪

♪ Began to sting our knees ♪

♪ While we were on our knees ♪

♪ Praying that disease ♪

♪ Would leave the ones we love ♪

♪ And never come again ♪

Hi. What can I get you?

Um, a Negroni, please.

You've got it.


You know what's going on here, right?


- Oh, goddammit.
- Yeah.

I never thought I would see this day.

- I know.
- What a f*cking idiot.

What a stupid dipshit.

♪ This is how it works ♪


SETH: Can I have everyone's attention?

Just for a moment. Thanks.

Thank you. Thank you for
coming. Thank you.

Uh, I just wanted to say
that I've had a lot of parties

throughout the years,
and I used to have theme parties

that I would call "learning parties."

And we would dress up
as historical figures

or, um, have somebody come
and give a math lecture.

Really, they were just
excuses to get drunk,

but I was always trying
to make sense of the world,

understand it, and make peace with it.

And I thought if I could just do that,

then I could start to live my life.

Uh, today I'm here to tell you,

I give up.

I will never understand it.

And so I should do

what every part of my body
is telling me to do,

and that is to ask the prettiest girl

in this room if she would marry me.


It's all a lot simpler
than I ever thought it would be.

I... I just want to wake up every day

and see her face.

What do you say,
Vanessa Lipschitz-Finkelstein?

Can I make you

Vanessa Lipschitz-Finkelstein-Morris?

- Yes.
- Yeah?


I told her we were here
for my mother's birthday.

Are you crying?

I just... How can... Ugh.

How could he possibly think
that this is a good idea

after spending the entire
summer listening to us?

I know. I know.

I guess in Seth's story,
we're just the co-stars

who help him make this big decision.

I'm sorry, Libby.

I am too.

I really th... [SCOFFS]

You know what? It doesn't even matter.

I'm... I'm sorry, too.


Well, that's it.

Our boy is finally a man.

LIBBY: What can I say?

Life is a process in which
you collect people

and prune them
when they stop working for you.

The only exceptions are the
friends you make in college.

- Hi.
- Hey.

Hey, congratulations.

I'm really happy for you.

So glad you came.

I'm sorry that we fought, Seth.

I take you very seriously.

You are a real person.

TOBY: Yes, you are extremely real.

I feel like I could touch you.

I bet you have a Social Security Number.

Don't actually... Don't
actually... Don't actually...


Do you think I'm an idiot
for doing this?

No. No.

I think maybe marriage
is like that quote

about democracy, you know?

"It's the worst form
of government in the world

except for all the other forms."

You know?

- Nice.
- Listen, we love you.

We're here for you.

- It's gonna be great.
- Mm-hmm.

Well, that's a rare nice thing
you just said to me.

- Thank you.
- TOBY: Yeah, no, I'm happy for you.

We're both very happy for you.


- May your...
- Okay.

May your most... Most virile sperm...


...make the odyssey through
her fallopian tubes

and conquer her ovaries,
bringing you sons.

- Oh, sons.
- Sons!

I like conquering the ovaries.

Did you even take freshman bio?

Wait, is that not how it...
Is that not how it works?

No. May your sons marry
the daughters of finance bros,

and, uh, with ever-greater dowries

and stock options in Tesla and Apple.

You know, everything the
beggar woman said came true.

She said you were never gonna
be happy with what you were given,

you were gonna always
want something different.

She said you were gonna heal the world.

But that was only when
I had money to give her.

We're all good, right?

I feel like something's ending.

I can't take an ending right now.

No, it's not. It's not. We're good.

- Yeah, we're good.
- VANESSA: Seth!

Gotta go.

My fiancée's calling.

LIBBY: Ohh. Ooh.


♪ Now the final frame ♪

I heard Archer Sylvan died.

Yeah. Yeah.

He died as he lived,

practicing auto-erotic asphyxiation

in a hotel in Thailand.

- Oh, boy.
- Surrounded by prost*tute.

- Really?
- Yeah.

Yeah, oh, it was very,
very weird, though.

I had this dream about him,

and then my editor called me
and he told me that he died.

- That's crazy.
- Yeah.

Took 'em, like, a week to find the body.

Oh, that's terrible. What, the smell...

No, no, no. He was on a story,

and he was late...
Or later than usual, so... Oh.

The magazine's paying for
the funeral and everything,

'cause he didn't have anybody.

- Oh, no, that's so sad.
- Yeah.

We're lucky we have people.

You're lucky. You know that, right?

- I think so, yeah.
- Okay.

I just... I'm just lost.

I don't know. I'm, like...

I don't know what I'm doing
with my life.

What do you mean, what you're
doing with your life?

It's done. You are...
You're loved, Elizabeth.

Please, please tell me you
understand how special that is.

I guess I just don't...

I guess that's just not enough for me.

Oh, God. Okay. I know.

Honestly, it might not be
enough for you either, so...

No, no, no. It would be.
It definitely would be.

I know you fantasize that it would be

because you have had such
a struggle all these years,

but you really have no idea
how you would feel

if you got the thing that you wanted.

You don't.

Contentment breeds quiet,

which breed complacency,
which breeds unrest.

You should go back to work.

Yeah, I think I might.

I think I might write a book.

A book? Mm-hmm.

That's good. About what?

It's about life and, um,

marriage and money

and dissatisfaction
and lifelong friendship

and, like, how all these things coalesce

in middle age, right, and make you...

Make you miserable
right at the exact point

that you're supposed
to have everything set.

- Okay.
- Yeah.

Yeah, it'll be about everything.

- Everything?
- Everything.

Mm. That's heavy.


Or maybe what's the point
of writing about anything

if it's not gonna be about everything?

- Yeah.
- That's what Archer did.

That's good. No, you should...

You should go be like Archer.


Maybe I'll be better
than Archer, you know?

I'll tell a really good story,

but I'll tell all the other
sides of it, too,

not just the ones that I like.

Alright, so what...
What happens in the book?

Well, um, a newly divorced man

wakes up one morning

to find that his ex
has dropped off the kids

and does not appear to be coming back.


And so then he's left
to figure out where she is

and why life seems to have
gone so wrong for him.

- I hate this story.
- Yeah.

No, but sorry. How are you
gonna write it, though?

I mean, it has... It has no ending.

- Yeah, I don't know.
- There's no ending yet.

Maybe this... This is the ending.

Oh, this, okay. Well, imagine that.

No, don't end it here.
This is not a good ending.

Engagements are not good endings.

Weddings, weddings are worse,
but engagements are not.

Okay, then maybe... Maybe it ends
with her returning.

You know, like, the whole thing
was just this terrible blip.

So she just comes back?


Why? Why does she come back?

She comes back because she
was always gonna come back.

I mean, for a while, she wasn't sure,

because being sure would
have made the whole thing

feel, you know, less dangerous.

It is possible that, like, a
person needs a little bit of danger

in order to feel like
she knows what matters.

That doesn't sound like Rachel.

She's aware she behaved terribly,

but it's like she's...

It's like she was
outside her body, you know?

Like, watching herself the whole time.

And... And the problem wasn't
even her marriage, you know?

It was just like, her marriage
was a witness

to all of her other failures,
like a comorbidity

to how she was just getting old.


And so then, in the end,
when she comes home...

...she realizes she really, really needs
to figure out her life.

Because, yeah, her marriage
is not perfect,

but, like...

It's not like not being married
is ever gonna make her young again.

Nothing could make her
unmake the choices

that she made.

She just didn't know when
she was making the choices

that they were gonna limit
all the other choices

that she could make in the future.

It's not even her decisions, like...

It's just, how can you live

when you used to have unlimited choices

and you don't have them anymore?


No, no, no, no. Please, continue.

So, sorry, what happens?
So she comes back?

She comes back

and it turns out it was just a mistake?

Like, it was just like
a misunderstanding

- or something?
- Yeah, maybe she just, like...

She just... She just appears.

She just appears.

Okay, and then what?

It's raining. It's raining.

It's a rain that breaks
this terrible heat wave.


And you're at home
in your apartment and you're...

You're thinking
about your life and you're...

You're thinking about moving on, right?

But then you hear the key in the lock.


And the creak of the hinge.

That's nice.

And then you turn around
and suddenly she's just...

there in the doorway.

And then?

And then the book ends.

Yeah, but I mean, like,
what happens after that?

I don't know.

I really don't think I have
the imagination for that.

It's okay.

I love you so much.
You know that, right?

I haven't been a good friend
to you lately.

It's okay.

You've been going through a lot.

But I want you to know... [SNIFFLES]

...you are still you.

I can see it all.
I can see your darkness.

I can see your goodness.

It is still there, like the day we met.



It's okay.

Thank you.

May God grant them happiness.

May God grant them happiness.

♪ I'll be there ♪

♪ By your side ♪

You want to walk back uptown together?


Alright, I'm just gonna
run to the bathroom.

Okay, I'll be outside.




Uh, can you take me to New Jersey?

- I'll pay double the meter.
- MAN: Sure.

LIBBY: Hey, sorry, I found a
cab so I'm gonna head home.






We fall in love and we decide to marry

in this one incredible moment.

What if everything
that happens after that

is about trying to remember that moment?

- ADAM: Yeah.
- LIBBY: What?

It's true.

Were you listening?

Maybe that's what all
these divorces were about.

We watch ourselves
and our spouses change

and the work is to constantly recall

the reasons why you did this
in the first place.

You mistake the person
closest to you for your misery.

You think, "Maybe if I excised
this thing, I'd be me again."

But you're not you anymore.

You haven't been you in a long time.

It's not his fault.

It was always going to happen.

And what were you gonna do
with the fact that time

was going to march on anyway?

What were you gonna do with the
fact that you couldn't win this fight?

That was the problem.

You were not ever going
to be young again.

You were only at risk
for not remembering

that this was as good as it would get

in every single moment,

that you are right now as
young as you'll ever be again.

ADAM: I can't tell anymore.

I got him, I got him.

And now. Yech.

And now.

And now.

And now.

Pay attention.

And now.


And now.

And now. You know what I mean.

And now.


And now.

And now and now and now and now and now.

And now.

Oh, my God.

Ahh. Whoo.

I'm so cold!

And now.



You're home.

I ran home.

Because I love you so much,
I think I'm gonna die from it.


I'm sorry I'm late.

It's okay.

You always come back.




Toby Fleishman headed home
that night and waited

for the panic to rise in him again...

...the same panic
that washed him in sweat

every time he contemplated the future.

But it didn't.

He was healing.

- Hi.
- FAITH: Hi.

- Hi, how were they?
- They were fine.

- Yeah?
- Solly won Monopoly.

Oh, no.

Thank you so much, Faith. Thank you.

Yeah, great. It's really pouring.

- You have an umbrella or something?
- I got one.

- Okay, great.
- Thanks, have a good night.

Yeah, you too.


How could you be so desperately unhappy

when you were so essentially happy?

How could you know so much
and still be this baffled by it all?

The heat wave in Manhattan
was finally broken.

Toby would survive this.

In a hundred different ways,
he already had.

He would start looking for
a new apartment tomorrow,

one where everything worked.

He looked out the window
and saw his reflection,

but then he also saw beyond himself.

He saw the people
in the windows in the city,

all living their own,
separate, distinct lives.

God, he thought, you could die
of the loneliness,

but you could die of hope, too,

the way it blinded you a little,

the way it led you to try
again, despite what you knew.

Time would move forward,
but tonight, briefly,

he had logged some optimism
into his block universe.

It would stay there forever.



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