Fleishman is in Trouble: “Death is not unfair, its Life that is unfair”

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This week on Fleishman is in Trouble, we got our Libby is in trouble episode, and as expected, Lizzy Caplan took the spotlight and delivered as wonderfully, as Jesse Eisenberg and Clare Danes had in the weeks before her.

We did get some Toby before the baton was handed off. He broke up with Nahid, and got passed over for promotion at work, all while disrupting his relationships with his students. We also had that painful scene with Karen Cooper becoming brain dead. Toby took plenty of punishment.

Then listed episode directors, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini gave us that terrific side by side party scene with one soiree taking place while Toby was still with Rachel and having a dreadful time with her fake friends, and another get-together in the present, with his lifelong friends that appreciated him just as he was. I had fun watching this and the comparisons of one group of people discussing a ski trip, to another group just having fun and listening to the Wallflowers couldn’t be more stark.

Then we had the argument with Toby, Seth, and Libby outside of the party and that’s where Caplan took over. We had that dialog about longing and that painful “I’m worried that the only time I can feel anything is when things are really bad and I just don’t know what that means” line, and those flashbacks of her living her life, young and bright eyed in the city working in a newspaper, while having a reckless affair. Then. Defeated. As she slumps down on a park bench and lights a cigarette.

This was all working so well. And then the show flipped the mirror on us with the last shot.

We see a similarly defeated Rachel, looking like death, seated on a bench across the way.

Are these two going through the same thing? Are Rachel and Libby on the same track of depression with Rachel just being further along?

Is there a villain here? Is middle age and the intoxication of nostalgia the true obstacle standing in the way of this group? I’m not sure. It’s a lot to think about.

But I’ll see you next week for sure.

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