All of #TeamCharles must have been good girls and boys this year because Santa has brought us the gift at the top of all of our lists: A Liza and Charles reunion.
Let that sink in, you guys, you’ve earned it.
Sure it’s summer in real life but it is Christmas on Younger and after this episode my little heart is so full of the holiday spirit that it might just burst into a million tiny elves building a million tiny snow globes of Liza and Charles kissing in the snow.
But the Liza and Charles of it all will have to wait for one hot second because well, I’m secretly a drama queen at heart, but also because the Zane-Kelsey-Jake love triangle is getting very interesting and it begs to be discussed. Jake has revealed himself to be a little bitch and it is equal parts exciting and horrifying.
Kelsey is not very adept at juggling two men on the sly, but Jake’s book is only getting better under her tutelage and word-of-mouth is very positive, so it’s not time to rock the boat. They get word that, oh, look at that, New York Magazine is going to run an excerpt of the first chapter ahead of its release. It’s a huge get for Jake and Millennial. As it turns out, it was Zane who leaked the chapter. He’s more than just a suit, you guys! In fact, Zane is incredibly excited about this book and he’s also ridiculously smitten with Kelsey. Obviously, this means he’ll have his heart crushed in the near future, but for now, focus on the smitten eyes. The whole gang is invited to NYM’s holiday party and Zane wants to roll in with Kelsey. Since Jake will also be attending this party, she knows she needs to keep Zane at bay. How fun!
At the party, Jake tries to hold Kelsey’s hand in front of Charles, which causes Kelsey to flee before he makes things much more difficult for her. She leaves the two guys to talk about their insane height difference and also excitement over the book. Unfortunately, she walks right into Zane’s lips. Under normal circumstances, that’s a great thing; Here, with Jake watching her every move though, it’s a big problem.
The next day we discover that Jake has requested to “streamline” the editing process and would like to work solely with Kelsey as his editor. Charles says that Jake was very “diplomatic” in his request, but literally everyone else knows that this was Jake marking his territory. Both Kelsey and Zane are blindsided. Not only is Zane losing a project he was excited about, one surely to be a best seller, but he now also knows that Kelsey and Jake must be sleeping together. Kelsey is just as shocked — she never asked Jake to do this — but it doesn’t matter to Zane. “I hope it was worth it,” he spits at her. Hopefully, Zane will figure out that Jake’s a catty douchebag human, but for now it seems like Kelsey will have to spend the holidays lamenting over her double-dipping disaster.
Maggie also finds herself in a tricky spot over the holidays. Penelope and Luca, the couple interested in her art at the Whitney show, purchase her entire collection. Things are going great: Maggie’s rolling in some sweet, sweet cash, plus she gets an excuse to dress up in Karl Lagerfeld cosplay for her patrons’ holiday party. There she meets another artist, Akilah, who gives her the lowdown on Penelope and Luca: They also bought all of Akilah’s art and it currently is taking up space in storage — they don’t display it, it is simply an investment. Akilah doesn’t seem too bummed by it because the couple also hosts an “artists retreat” in St. Bart’s every year. Oh, and those gold bangles Penelope gifted Maggie? They’re more like golden handcuffs. None of this sits well with Maggie, who wants her art to be out in the world and certainly does not want to be owned by anyone. She rips off those handcuffs and walks out of the party in a bright blaze of Christmas glory. Fingers crossed this doesn’t ruin her career down the line.
Have room for more egg nog? Good, because we have a third holiday party to attend: Bob and Julia Katz. As soon as Liza heard she’d be attending the Katz party as part of a Christmas gift to Caitlin who wanted both her parents to go to her roommate’s family party together, wouldn’t she assume she be bumping into Charles there? We’ll chalk it up to Liza having anxiety over hanging out with David, but still, our girl should’ve been prepared.
Instead, she gets roped into participating in the Miller family Christmas tradition which is, and I’m so grateful I get to type this: A performance of “The Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music, complete with braids, a DIY dirndl, and yes, yodeling. So much yodeling. We are truly blessed. Of course, Charles walks into the party right in the middle of this glorious performance and is extremely amused. Not in a “haha, serves you right” way, but in a “really seeing Liza for the first time” kind of way. Liza finishes the performance, because she is a goddamned professional, but then she flees in horror, dirdl and all.
Bob and Julia can’t wait to introduce Charles to Liza, a match they’ve been wanting to make for some time now. They both admirably pretend they’re meeting for the first time and it’s clear that something has changed for Charles after seeing Liza as her true self and meeting her daughter. Here’s the other interesting thing about their second first meeting: It means that Charles and Liza were always going to meet one another, lie or not. It’s hard to tell which corner of Liza’s love triangle is her endgame — especially now with Josh so clearly still in love with her and Caitlin goading her mom’s ex to not give up so easily — so this circumstance could either lead to a “if only we had met as acquaintances of the Katz family” revelation down the road, but it could also be a “we were destined to find each other” type of situation. Or maybe I’ve just had one too many July eggnogs.
In the office the next day, Liza finds a completely altered Charles. They talk about the ridiculous things they do for their kids, and what Charles has to look forward to as his daughters get older. Liza explains that Caitlin is the reason for everything she’s done. The whole conversation gets me misty-eyed because they sound like their old selves again, except better because that huge roadblock of Liza’s lie is gone. Could Charles finally be coming around?
If Liza was still worried Charles may be punishing her, his personalized Christmas card about how lucky Empirical is to have her should put her at ease (the big ol’ bonus check doesn’t hurt either). She goes over to his office and I swear I’m having flashbacks to the cupcake hookup session, George the Janitor and all, but Charles isn’t there. Perhaps she’ll have to wait until after the holidays to see what all of this means.
OH NO SHE WON’T.
While in a cab headed to the airport, Charles catches a Taxi TV commercial for The Sound of Music on Broadway and the dulcet tones of a yodeler finally make everything clear. What the hell is he doing? TURN THIS CAR AROUND.
Liza, walking home in the snow carrying grocery bags (I’ve never felt so seen than while watching Liza do the NYC snow struggle walk), happens upon Charles ringing her apartment buzzer. She drops her bags. He tells her “I don’t care anymore” and somehow, he looks lighter. They kiss.
Bury me in the dirty gutter snow, for I am dead now.
It’s Trout Season
• At one point, Liza comments that she loves Enzo for Diana and it’s hard not to agree. He isn’t changing her, because that would be the gravest of crimes, but he is … enriching her life? I mean, the guy brings her a Christmas tree and strings lights on it and we see Diana laugh as she has never laughed before. She is so happy!
• She’s still the same old Trout, as evidenced by her disgust at Liza’s blinking Christmas light necklace: “Keep that epilepsy trigger as far away from my eyeline as possible.”
• And yet! She’s changed. She gives Liza a Christmas present — a Diana Trout–approved necklace, natch — and Liza gives her boss something in return: a handmade red scarf. Diana tears up over the thoughtfulness. Diana & Liza 4Eva.
• Another Trout-ism to go in your Diana Trout’s Words of Wisdom Journal: “Neckwear should inspire envy, Liza. Not seizures.”