The Gift of the Maggie
Bow down to Maggie Amato, for she is our queen. Maggie has always been a badass, but never more than while holding a switchblade with a slice of meat hanging on the end of it. Yes, that’s a thing now. A glorious, glorious thing.
Let me back up: Montana is not the cutesy little coffee girl she seems to be. After serving Josh a latte with questionable foam art (it’s a dick, you guys), she informs him that she quit working for Maggie because she has an art show of her own coming up. So, off they go to Croton-on-Hudson to visit Montana’s studio … which happens to be attached to her parents’ mansion. Josh is a little taken aback since he and Montana only just recently started banging, but he takes it in stride.
He does a good job keeping it all together as red flag after red flag pop up, such as the fact that Montana’s real name is Amy and she only started calling herself “Montana” when she moved to Brooklyn. Most important, and most egregious, is Montana’s art. Apparently, Montana’s whole schtick is appropriation. It’s what her upcoming show, titled “The Gift of The Artist,” is all about: She works for artists who gift her their own paintings, and then she takes those paintings and marks them with an outline of the state of Montana. This is her art. If the entire scenario sounds familiar, then you can probably guess what happens next: Josh finds the painting Maggie recently gifted Montana sitting in her studio, awaiting the Dark Mark. Josh is immediately put off. When he confronts Montana about it, she spouts off some rubbish about it being the job of the current generation to build on the work of the old generation, and also that he should be more supportive of her art and less concerned with his ex’s best friend. She is terrible.
You know who’s not terrible? Josh. He goes to see Maggie and warn her about her art being used in Montana’s show because Josh is an angel person. Of course, he has no idea what he’s about to unleash.
Maggie, with Liza as backup, strolls into the art gallery, sees that her own painting (with a fresh Montana outline) is on display and being listed for $20,000. Montana patronizingly attempts to explain her work and how she’s making that painting more valuable than Maggie ever could with her mark. So, Maggie decides to put her own mark on it: She whips out that aforementioned switchblade, slices the piece down the middle, and picks up a piece of charcuterie as she cooly walks out in a blaze of glory. It. Is. Awesome.
More than showcasing Maggie’s knife skills, the incident gets her name back in the press — New York Magazine ahem, ahem — which means now everybody is talking about her art, too. And then, the greatest thing Younger has ever done happens: Diana Trout reads about Maggie and tells Liza to arrange a meeting. You guys, Maggie Amato and Diana Trout are going to be in the same room. Will the world explode? WILL OUR BRAINS?
Meanwhile, Josh, who mercifully ends things with Montana, runs into Liza on the street. She thanks him for helping Maggie given everything that’s happened. It was nothing, Josh says, since Maggie is his friend, too. BRB, have to wait until my heart stops melting. It’s the first time since their breakup that Liza and Josh have been able to have a real conversation. He asks her why she had to kiss Charles, and she gives him an honest answer: Deep down, a part of her needed to “blow things up” in order to give Josh freedom. She doesn’t want to hold him back; she wants him to have the option of having kids. But she also knows that she wants to be a part of Josh’s life. Even if it’s as fun Aunt Liza, Blanket Fort Builder. All she knows it that this can’t be how they leave things. For his part, Josh seems reluctantly onboard with having some type of relationship again.
Who knows how any of this will actually work, but just as it was a relief to see Liza and Kelsey finally choose their friendship over their issues, this moment was a breath of fresh, well-coiffed air.
Speaking of Liza and Kelsey’s friendship, it’s also nice to see they’re back to giving each other advice. Tonight, it’s Liza talking Kelsey off the ledge when she realizes how much she likes Zane (that cigar bar scene is steamy), while also officially stealing Lachlan Flynn from Rivington. Turns out, Zane doesn’t mind Kelsey poaching Lachlan (how terrible is this author going to be?). He thinks it makes her much more interesting. They talk about it for 30 seconds, and then he goes back to cooking her dinner. With shallots, no less!
The future of Liza and Josh, in whatever capacity, will most assuredly depend on the future of Liza and Charles. How long can two people overtly flirt before finally getting it on? Sure, they’ve kissed and sworn to forget about it, but let’s be real: No one has forgotten about it. If “The Gift of the Maggie” is any indication, everyone is thinking about that kiss all day, every day.
As Liza, Charles, and Diana entertain pitches from wannabe romance writers to write under the late, great Belinda Lacroix’s name, the Liza and Charles loaded publishing talk is off the charts. Romance novels have one golden rule: Deliver the H.E.A., the Happily Ever After. Liza and Charles chat about how realistic that really is, and shouldn’t they give their readers something more relatable? Sometimes things just don’t work out. Heartbreak is real. In the end, though, Liza comes around to the idea of keeping H.E.A.s in the Lacroix novels, and Charles is happy to hear it — since he already came to the same conclusion. He isn’t going to be the one to deprive readers of happy endings. People want to believe love exists. Liza smiles at Charles and asks, “A happy ending isn’t the worst thing to hope for, right?” YOU GUYS. Sure, that conversation with Josh took place the night before, but we have to be talking about Liza and Charles, right? Is Younger finally going to go there? Like, all the way there? I have so many questions.
• “I’m glad you surround yourself with older, wiser women. We’re good for you. Now go.” Diana and Liza’s relationship in a nutshell.
• “I think I am allergic … to these women.” Miriam Shor’s line readings never cease to amaze.