When you think back to the pilot episode of Younger—Liza getting hired by Diana, meeting Kelsey—did you ever think we’d be here watching our female cast hanging out whilst wearing penis balloon hats? They were still calling her ‘Trout Pout’ back then, now they’re all celebrating her bachelorette together! It’s a testament to how much these characters and their relationships have developed over the course of the series. (I mean, season one Diana in any sort of balloon headwear is just unimaginable.) Look how far we’ve come… on everything except this whole Josh-Liza-Charles situation. Yes, I am still ranting against This! Freaking! Love Triangle! Unfortunately, my ranting will do no good since in “Holding Out For a SHero” the triangle goes from just simmering in the background to full on “we’re really doing this again.” You guys, we’re really doing this again.
When Liza informs Maggie of her plan to cut Josh out of her life, Maggie is dubious. But Liza is insistent that she is choosing Charles. He’s her peer, she says! He’s age appropriate, she says! It just feels right. Honestly, anyone who’s been alive for more than five minutes knows that if being “age appropriate” is one of your top reasons for staying in a relationship, you’re in trouble. Remember when Liza and Charles were so steamy kissing on library steps and riding seashell carousels and cooking pasta together? What has this show done to you two?!
After meeting with the author of a Millennial Etiquette Guidebook, Liza decides that she doesn’t want to just ghost Josh, so decides to write a Dear John letter instead. He changed her life, but she needs to let him go, she writes. And then she wastes a whole gosh dang stamp to put it in the mail instead of just slipping it under his front door. Get it together, Liza! She mails it one night and then he gets it the very next day and reads it while in middle of demo on his Infinitely 21 branch of Inkburg because yes, that has already started and honestly, what is time on this show?
Obviously, he does not take it well. Immediately, he takes the letter outside for a nice brooding sesh that includes a very sweet montage of some Josh-Liza moments throughout the six seasons. WE GET IT. They were very good together. This would be a lovely and appropriate goodbye highlight reel if we were truly moving past this relationship. But we are not. No, when Josh and Liza run into each other during Diana’s bachelorette party, he calls her out on her bullshit. Well, first, she walks by him silently when everyone else in their group has said hello, creating one of the most awkward moments in Younger history, and hello, this is a show in which Liza had to pull a menstrual cup out of Kelsey.
Liza and Josh have it out on the street. She tells him this is just as hard for her, but she has to give her relationship a shot. He doesn’t believe that she loves Charles more than she loves him. When she says she does, he tells her he can always tell when she’s lying, which is rich coming from a dude who believed she was 26 for an incredibly long period of time. To Josh’s point though, it is pretty convincing. “You wrote a letter to the wrong guy,” he says, walking away. Reader, I gasped. Reader, I felt things in that moment that might call my membership on Team Charles into question. I should be on probation, at least. READER. It was so intense and charged with emotion and Josh isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Liza isn’t the only important woman in Charles’s life who is questioning her relationship with him. Kelsey is officially out as publisher and although she’s putting on a brave face, she’s completely gutted. Her meme is alive and well — it’s even been remixed — and no matter how many times Liza and Lauren tell her she’s a “goddamn hero” or “shero,” for putting her company first and making sure everyone employed by Millennial stays employed, people in the industry are distancing themselves from her. She finally takes Lauren’s suggestion to accept an invitation to speak at an all-girls high school about her experience. She tells the girls that more than anything, she’s angry. And she has reason to be! It quickly becomes clear that with Charles reinstated as publisher, he and Zane are going to push through some books that Kelsey had nixed. Everything she did for the company is being erased.
On top of being demoted and humiliated, she has to watch as Zane seems to enjoy announcing the new slate of Charles and Zane–approved books. He says he feels guilty about what happened since he was the intended recipient of the video, but he doesn’t act guilty. Kelsey ends things, realizing that whenever they try to be together for real, one of them gets hurt. “We’re cursed!” she says, like they’re regular ol’ Mary and Matthew Crawleys. Zane, don’t go speeding around in your car after the happiest moment of your life, okay?
Kelsey’s heartbroken on all accounts. She’s lost Zane and she doesn’t have any idea when she’ll ever enjoy walking back into the office. There’s a dark pall on everything. So, in the end, Kelsey writes her own letter. She tells Charles that she needs to move on from Millennial and Empirical for good. Honestly, it’s about time.
It’s Trout Season
• Honestly, I thought a Trout Bachelorette deserved to be an A-storyline, but I guess that Diana Trout saying the line, “Ladies, there are bulging crotches in your faces, can you focus?” almost makes up for the festivities being sidelined. Also, we got a scene in which Maggie teaches Diana how strip clubs work, so that was nice.
• When drunk Diana shows up at Inkburg for a tattoo (mercifully, Josh, a true gentleman, turns them away), she asks for something “small, tasteful, literary.” I’d like to hear your best suggestions for a tattoo worthy of the Trout in the comments! We all know her internet password is “Middlemarch,” so something along those lines, please.
• I’m still laughing at Lauren screaming “get in the hummer, bitch!” in Diana’s face. What a pair, those two!
• “Do millennials even know how to hold pens?”