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  • Writer's pictureJessica Taylor Yates

Recap: The Younger Series Finale

Who is endgame: Charles or Josh?

The anticipation has been hotter than a mouthful of hot tamale. Source: Glamour


**Note: SERIOUS spoilers ahead for the series finale of Younger. You've been warned**


Well, it happened. The series finale for Younger just dropped at 6 pm AEST, and you can bet your ass I was on the couch at 5.59 pm refreshing like crazy. In fact, for the last week, it's all I could think about. Dream about. Talk about. Sound crazy? I'M NOT CRAZY YOU ARE. My husband was laughing at my love. I informed him that I had been in a relationship with Younger for seven years, longer than the relationship I had been in with him and it, therefore, was the longest partnership of my life.


But you're not interested in my polyamorous adventures. What happened to everyone, dammit?!

We have to imagine that Diana just had lots of sex and pasta in Italy. Source: Paramount



You'll know that I have not been that happy with this season. And honestly, I'm not alone. From the camp dance sequences to the serious LACK of Diana (Note: not forgiven for the latter), the total background-ness (yes, go with it) of Josh and the shoving of new storylines into final episodes, calling it a shemozzle would be an understatement. That said, we've all put in the time and it’s too late to back away now. It's like a lasagne where you fucked up the cheese, but there was so much time in making the sauce, you just have to eat it anyway. (The Italian reference was for our fallen Queen).


Please note this recap is gonna assume you watch the show. I'll give you a slight background to the lead-up, but then we be rollin'.


In the final few episodes, here is where we were at: Maggie, after being 'cancelled' by her ex-boss, is having a career resurgence (thanks to the boss, again), and now the boss is sucking up, big time. Kelsey is dating Claire's rich ex, and has been shopping her new publishing platform idea, Inkubator, to various investors - without Charles' knowledge. Josh thinks Kelsey dating Claire's ex is pretty uncool (Claire is fuming) and doesn't really rate the dude. Who knows wtf else Josh is up to, Diana's old desk has had more of a plotline than Josh this season.


Lauren's dad suffers a near-death experience and is saved by her Jewish doctor ex, Max (let's just pretend that long-winded push-up scene didn't exist, k?) She sees this as a sign, and is contemplating getting back together with him.


Liza, after running after Charles and Quinn at the airport, finally makes Charles realise he's been a moron. He leaves Quinn for Liza, where they passionately kiss and profess their love for one another, leaving Quinn livid and ready to expose the Inkubator betrayal.


This leaves us with the finale, and I've been mentally preparing myself for the fact that they may royally fuck up my expectations (See, How I Met Your Mother and other shows that totally fucked up a good thing).


Will the betrayal ruin Charles' and Liza's relationship? Will Josh, her former boyfriend, even get a line in the final ep? The love triangle has been what many of us see as the driving force of the series. Will Liza, a divorced mother in her 40s, go for the young and carefree Josh, who makes her feel 'younger' indeed, or the stable and handsome Charles, the editing chief who enabled her to live out her publishing dreams?


We'll get to that.

Maggie

The face you pull when Liza complains about her lies yet again. Source: Viacom


Let's do our first wrap-up with the delightful Maggie. As one of my favs on the show and ready for a spin-off (Maggie's Studio Sessions where we watch her paint and hook-up weekly on HBO, anyone?) Maggie's career and love life took a bit of a dive this season. After hooking up with a woman who turned out to be her boss's adulterous wife, she had lost her job and got 'cancelled' - until the boss felt bad, made a call and made her 'hip' again (Note: using words like 'hip' proves I could use a Younger lesson from Lauren).


It turns out the boss wanted more than to apologise for ruining/then igniting Maggie's career. Maggie is BACK BABY and flourishing on the scene! Our favourite fast-talking Brooklyn lesbian spends the episode doing married bickering with her former boss - which might be just what she's been searching for. Despite all they had been through and done to each other, the two end up like an old married couple squabbling over allergies, cheques and restaurants - only to end with a spontaneous and passionate kiss on the New York subway. Maggie has it all - career, love, and a rent-controlled apartment to store her boob statues. Bliss.


Lauren

The me I wish to be. Ready for the spin-off with you and your mom looking for condos in Miami, stat. Source: Paramount


I think a few of us were feeling nervous that Lauren, the delightfully brazen, sexually confident and experimental, over the top JAP PR vixen (be my BFF) was going to go down the safe route and marry the Jewish doctor after Episode 11. 'But no!' we shouted at the tv in between handfuls of cheese and lactose pills, 'Lauren is Lauren's own endgame! No neat little Jewish doctor boy package!' (Of course, I couldn't say that in front of my own Jewish mother. Do I want to give the woman a heart attack?) It turns out, the writers had our back. After fleeing the 100-year anniversary party she planned for Empirical (sidenote - who the fuck leaves a party that big and glam? You don't wanna look desperate beb) she goes to meet Max for a coffee at the hospital cafeteria. Ready for her ring, he tells her she always inspired him to live authentically, and that he frequently asks himself, 'WWLD?' (What Would Lauren Do, for the over 30s readers out there). As she gets the wedding planner on speed dial, he tells her how excited he is to have her back in his life - so she can finally meet his fiance, a male surgeon!


It was amazing.


After the initial shock, Lauren, in her signature style (not to mention, physical style - the coat and dress she wears in this scene are TO DIE FOR, pics coming soon) suggests a threeway. After all, she says to them...'WWLD?'


Kelsey

Filming in heels while 100 months pregnant is some kind of sorcery. Source: Screenrant


So full disclosure, Kelsey has never been my fav. I like me some Lizzy Maguire, but could they even pretend to cover the fact that our Hilary was up the...wait for it...Duff? (Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week). She just always seems to be complaining about something or someone, is always dating losers (Chad and Thad, anyone?) although to be fair, she has been there for Liza through thick and thin #YouTheRealEndGame

In her final arc, Kelsey has been dating that douchebag Claire dated for a few eps. I don't remember his name but tbh, whatever. Rich douchebag, or RD. Anyone who has been chasing a girl's mate like that so quickly is a total D in my eyes. Anyway, so he went and sent her Inkubator deal off to a few investors (behind Charles' back. We'll get to that). The investors love it, and Kelsey tells Liza they should run into the sunset together and start it. I know many people wanted this as an ending, but tbh I thought that was a bit vish to Charles after everything. He like INVENTED them, you know what I mean?


Liza, after a night rocking the bed with Charles, seemed to agree with me. She told Kelsey to fly her wings, but she was gonna stay at Empirical and keep shtooping the Editor-In-Chief if that's cool - and it was.


At the party, RD tells Kelsey he has an investor who wants to invest three times what Charles would, so cool, he'll just take his 20% stake for sending an email, please and thank you. After her obvious shock, he responds by telling her 'a dude would get it' and that she just wanted 'special treatment for being a woman'. She responds by (rightly) fucking him off and therefore blowing the deal, but knowing that it is her time to go out on her own. At the anniversary party, she makes a heartwarming thank you speech to Charles (despite there...not really being required to make a speech, a card would have been fine?) before stating her intention to move on.


Many of us were feeling NERVOUS AF that they were gonna try and shove Kelsey and Josh together in this final ep. Talking about loving living together, Josh being there for her against RD, that tap on the arm last ep that made me SWEAT IN MY SLEEP - no huns. Would have been livid. Luckily, this was a nightmare living rent-free in my mind for a week that is finally over.


And then there were three

Spoiler: she picks the naked surfer. Source: Paramount


And here we are. What became of the love triangle that has been Josh, Charles and Liza? Whilst many viewers were Team Josh, others were happy with the wrap up the previous episode gave us - Charles got off the plane. Leaving Quinn, he professed his love for Liza, and the two shared an impossibly romantic kiss on the runway.


After getting back together, they look each other in the eye and promise no more lies. Well, there was one, but it's cute - without Charles' knowledge, Liza sent his script (anonymously) to a prestigious writing school, and he got accepted!


But of course, we have forgotten about Arch Nemesis Evil Quinn! After being left on the runway (like...literally. Adopt me I'll come on your private jet!) she emails Charles to let him know that Kelsey and Liza have been shopping Inkubator around the investors. While watching, I was tense and felt physically sick, and it's not because I ingested a full block of chocolate dairy. Was he going to break up with Liza? Announce the acquisition of Inkubator at the anniversary party and force them into a deal? Throw them out of the company?


In fact, it was none of these things, it was more just kind of...real. Harbouring guilt and at Kelsey's insistence, Liza took Charles aside before entering the party and told him that Kelsey had shopped the idea around, and was probably going to leave Empirical. In response, he smiles and tells her that he already knew that - he was just waiting for her to tell him. 'So...you were testing me or something?' She asks quizically. He smiles and says that yeah, he was.


This leaves Liza feeling a bit...odd. After Kelsey's speech, Charles and Liza head home. In bed, we can see them both thinking.


About pretending to be 'Younger.'

About Quinn.

About Josh.

About his ex-wife and kids.

About her coming and going from Empirical.

About the marriage proposal and her decline.

About getting off the plane.

About, despite all they have been through and their love for each other, how he just does not trust her.


'We're not going to make it, are we?' Liza asks tearfully. And unfortunately...the answer is no. They didn't make it.


*


Whilst their relationship is no longer, their professional relationship, (as cooked as that would be in real life) has continued. The next day (I think? Time is weird in this show) Charles invites Liza into his office. She assumes it is to get her to tender her resignation (I mean...finally?!), but he has a better idea. He is going to the writer's camp to finally complete his magnum opus, The Miseducation of Henry Kane (does anyone else immediately think of Lauryn Hill with that, or just me?) He needs someone he can trust to run things around Empirical while he is gone - so hello Liza Miller, Editor In Chief at Empirical Publishing.


Epilogue

Okay, this picture is misleading. There is no Zane or Diana, but I'm trying to pump this out quickly and this was the shot I got, okay?! Source: TVLine


At the bar where the series started and Maggie made her comeback, our four female queens (sans Queen Diana, BOW DOWN. Enjoy your pasta on your Italian honeymoon, favourite!) get together one final time.


Lauren, giving her debrief on her 'heteronormative' sexual encounter with Max and his fiance.

Kelsey, telling the crew that Inkubator was bought by Hello Sunshine (Reese Witherspoon's mega house) and so she is off to LA, baby! (Spin-off sponsored by Selling Sunset).

Maggie, who is in love.

And that leaves our new publisher, Liza Miller.


After hearing Kelsey's big news, she heads to the bar to get a drink. Failing to get the bartender's attention, she yells, wags her arm about, and lifts up a shoe to try and order a drink.


A man comes up to her. An old friend.


"Hey, hey, hey. You don't wave a shoe. Never wave a shoe. In Thailand, that's considered a capital offense."


"And you've been to Thailand?" asks Liza.


HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT IT'S THE PILOT SCRIPT IT'S WHAT HAPPENED AT THE START WHEN JOSH AND LIZA MET DOES THIS MEAN-


"No," says Josh, "But I have been to Myanmar."

"Which used to be Burma. Back in the day."

"I knew that."


OMG. IS IT. CAN IT? I-


Liza looks at him warmly. "I didn't see you there." He looks at her, in that beautiful, enigmatic Josh way, where he truly, truly sees her in a way that noone else can.


"Really?" He asks. "I've been here, by your side. The whole time."


STOP.

I CAN'T.


I'M BALLING.


It happened! Josh was in the background on PURPOSE this season, you get it?! They knew EXACTLY what they were doing for him to say he's always been here she just didn't notice! Bravo! Thank fuck it wasn't Kelsey or Claire! YES YES YES.


I know there will be people upset about Charles. But I think they did it in a decent enough way where he didn't feel left behind - he's growing in his own way. Everyone is where they should be.


JOSH AND LIZA FOREVER.


Excuse me. back to Season 1, Episode One.



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