You didn’t think Younger was going to blow up its entire premise and we wouldn’t have things to say about it, did you? Did you?! Friends, your recaps have returned! This is partly because there is so much to talk about and partly because I’ve been spending much of the summer yelling my feelings at my television every Wednesday night and I think I’m starting to scare my neighbors. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement, is what I’m saying. Now we can virtually hold hands once more as we wait and see what Younger is going to look like after Freaking Pauline Turner Brooks (her new legal name, I decided) outed Liza as a Lying McLiar Who Lies (about her identity) to the entire world during a major publishing event. Whatever happens next, it is sure to be a true and blessed journey full of ridiculous statement jewelry, the hottest of makeout sessions, and weird New York events I refuse to believe are real but also would like to attend. Even though this show trying to once again resurrect the Charles-Liza-Josh love triangle makes me want to hurl my TV into the ocean, it genuinely feels good to be back here with you. Shall we?
After Freaking Pauline decided to express her rage by exposing Liza’s secret in such a public forum (honestly, it was bound to happen some time and I am very grateful for how high-maintenance this reveal turned out to be), the priority was Liza dealing with the personal fallout. Mainly: Mending fences with our one, true queen Diana Trout. The reconciliation between the two women was swift but nonetheless moving, and Diana not being able to say “I love you” but Liza knowing exactly how she feels is one of the best scenes in the series and I’m still tearing up over it, please respect my privacy at this time. Anyway, with the personal stuff mostly cleared up, “Millennial’s Next Top Model” pivots to the business fallout of the secret going public. It’s, well, it’s not great.
The gang is trying to figure out the best way forward as agents are canceling meetings and brands are pulling partnerships with Millennial. Zane thinks they need to fire Liza immediately—she’s poison to the company—and when literally everyone else is like “what a dumb thing to say, Karen” Zane calls them all insane for being complicit in this debacle and guys, he isn’t wrong. Still, they aren’t going to fire Liza. Instead, Liza and Kelsey deal with the first major fire: clothing brand Infinitely 21 (you get it) pulling out of their deal to sell Millennial books in all of their stores.
They meet with the brand rep, Shelly (played by Annaleigh Ashford, and guys, I swear in another universe this show is a musical), who informs the ladies that Infinitely 21 doesn’t want to be associated with a company that reeks of inauthenticity. Liza gives Shelly an impassioned speech about how “everybody is pretending to be younger” by dying our hair and whitening our teeth because apparently “the most important thing to be in the whole goddamned world is 27.” And sure, Shelly enjoys being yelled at during a business meeting, but what really gets her thinking is Liza’s parting line about how “millennial isn’t an age, it’s an attitude,” (which, like, relax Liza). Infinitely 21 is back in on the partnership, as long as Liza agrees to be the face of the spring campaign—the brand is ready to widen its appeal or something like that.
But this photoshoot is not about giving viewers a misguided lesson about brand partnerships! Rather, it is to set up yet another Josh-Charles showdown. Josh is very cute and charming, but are we seriously back here again? Josh should’ve ridden off into the Irish sunset, instead, he’s crashing Liza’s photoshoot and looking extremely hot and saying very sexy things about how he and Liza met and it’s getting us all hot and bothered. And by us, I’m also including the photographer who starts taking pictures of the two of them together because, yes, hello, they look very good together. So good, in fact, that Infinitely 21 uses the photos of them for the campaign. First of all, I hope Josh got paid for that. Second, this is bullshit. Of course when Charles showed up to the shoot earlier in the day and the photographer started snapping shots of him and Liza together they were awkward as hell! He was in a suit and she was in a silly floral romper thing and honestly, does Liza even know how to ride a scooter? All I’m saying is, let’s not pretend like Liza and Charles don’t also have undeniable chemistry. WE ALL SAW THAT CUPCAKE EPISODE. Oh, and also the one where they kiss in the snow. And the one after!!! Okay, now I’m really getting hot and bothered.
Once everyone sees the Infinitely 21 ads (they are magically already appearing on bus stops across Manhattan by episode’s end), things are sure to be painful and also annoying. But this is a problem for another day! The bigger issue at the moment comes in the form of Quinn Tyler. Yes, the bitch is back! She’s very excited to see all the press Liza’s getting and wants to use it to help bolster her senatorial run by trotting Liza around and preaching about age discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, while spouting platitudes about truth and honesty and transparency in her campaign during an interview on NY1, it comes to light that Quinn’s known about Liza’s secret for some time and was part of the cover-up. It’s not a good look for her campaign and to remedy it, Quinn wants Kelsey to fire Liza in order to besmirch Liza’s reputation. Kelsey’s like, “who are you? Zane?” and refuses. It’s cool that Kelsey stood up to the Wicked Witch of the West and all… until they learn that Quinn has pulled her investment in the company and Millennial is now broke. So, yeah, that’s some real fallout there.
It’s not all doom and gloom on this episode, though! There is one truly feel-good development. I’m not talking about Maggie flipping a table in a restaurant after learning that the male artist she slept with (don’t worry, she’s “still a Kinsey 9”) considers himself “a flipper” and likes to sleep with gay women to see if they’ll, well, flip. Admittedly, anyone flipping any kind of table is a great moment and I always enjoy Maggie coming after what’s hers, but no, instead, I’m talking about Kelsey and Zane finally admitting their true feelings to each other. How sweet!
All it takes is some truth from Diana (of course), who explains to Kelsey that Zane doesn’t feel betrayed by Liza—he feels betrayed by her, a person he truly cared about who was lying to him. Of course! So she heads over to his place to make an apology by way of cooking him dinner. He ends up doing the cooking, but for the 40 minutes it takes to make the meal, Kelsey gives him free rein to ask anything he wants—she’ll answer with complete honesty. In the last few minutes, he wants to know how she really felt when he told her he was in love with her. Even when the timer goes off, Kelsey doesn’t want to stop being honest, she wants to tell him how she really feels. She loves the guy! Aw, they kiss and make up and say “I love you” and it feels like all the world’s problems have been resolved.
Well, except for, you know, all the ones I mentioned earlier. Those are still very much unresolved.
It’s Trout Season
• Zane points out that the big headline on New York Magazine’s site is about Liza and the Millennial scandal and Diana retorts, “well, mercifully, they have a paywall now.” Being dragged by Queen Trout is a true honor.
• I cannot tell you how happy I am that these recaps came back just in time for us to collectively share in the image of Diana Trout sitting alone in a makeup trailer using that ridiculous “facial bowflex.” Charles quietly backing out of the trailer when he comes upon the insane scene is really the only way to handle that situation.
• Okay, I know this has nothing to do with the episode but it cannot be said enough: YOU GUYS, DIANA TROUT IS GETTING MARRIED. What a gift!