Tensions between her lover and her business partner force Liza to walk a tight-rope.
In the recap for last week’s Younger, I suggested that there’s a central trio on the TV Land series and it’s not the romantic one that fans tend to associate with the show. In “Flush With Love”, the simmering drama between Kelsey (Hilary Duff) and Charles (Peter Hermann) comes to a boil when it comes out that Liza (Sutton Foster) has been running the former’s company decisions by the latter.
This point of contention was inevitable: there’s always been a friction between Charles and Kelsey; what with both the age gap and their not dissimilar ambitious drive), and Liza’s close personal connection to both parties often finds her ping-ponging back and forth. Still, it’s a bit surprising that Liza didn’t anticipate how poorly Kelsey would react considering how insecure she felt with the title of “youngest publisher in New York” in the premiere.
Liza may be a great friend, and a solid mediator, but her romantic interests have a tendency to cloud her professional judgments.
Thankfully it turns out that the fall-out from the Page Six leak about Charles’ affair leading to his outster from the company isn’t all that bad. Aside from the brief mention at the top of the episode that Liza feels compelled to dress more conservatively (“Nancy Pelosi on the bottom, Melania on top” Debi Mazar‘s Maggie quips), the controversy appears mostly put to bed.
In its place is the far more pressing emergency. Apparently Quinn (Laura Benanti)’s book Claw is a complete disaster. In an inspired (albeit over the top) bit, a focus group of female readers declares the book an affront to women and feminism everywhere. This requires Kelsey and Liza to make a tough decision: do they allow Millennial to birth a terrible first book that could potentially tarnish the company’s reputation right out of the gate, or do they bury it until they have a Reese Witherspoon movie screenplay-turned-novelization hit under their belt?
Mixed metaphors aside, I’ve really been enjoying Benanti’s performance on the series thus far, particularly her casual put-downs and aggressive/aggressive behaviour, so I’m actually a bit worried that Quinn will disappear in the wake of her cocktail napkin agreement with Kelsey. In six seasons, Younger has compiled a deep bench of guest stars and Benanti’s Quinn brings a rich, complicated recurring character into the mix that is otherwise absent. Others may disagree, but fingers crossed the financial viper scores a home run as Millennial’s first major publication of the new regime.
- Diana (Miriam Shor) gets two juicy subplots this week: she (perhaps incorrectly) infers that Charles would have preferred she inherit the mantle of publisher rather than Kelsey, while also revealing to Enzo (Chris Tardio) that she has a longstanding crush on her former boss. The latter storyline is mostly a one-off in that it is easily resolved (although let’s call a spade a spade: Diana is totally settling). The latter storyline has more potential, in that it will undoubtedly return sometime later this season.
- It seems clear that the writers don’t know what to do with Lauren (Molly Bernard). The social media handler/party planner has never been more than a supporting character, but increasingly she seems to exist solely to hang out on the periphery in scenes and eat up screen time. As much as I enjoy Bernard’s energy on screen, it may be time to cut the character loose.
- In UGH news: Josh (Nico Tortorella) throws a gender reveal party that results in wacky balloon hijinks and Clare (Phoebe Dynevor) going into labour two weeks early. A) Gender reveal parties are dumb, gross and a huge waste of money and I don’t believe for a second that Lauren wouldn’t say so considering her modern political sensibilities and B) how good does Tortorella look with a baby nestled against his bare chest?! <swoon>
- Oh right, Zane (Charles Michael Davis) has a “secret” new job, which means he can resume f*cking Kelsey. How much do you wanna bet that he’s going into business with Charles?
- Finally, the line of the week has to be Mazar’s “Shouldn’t somebody else be in the splash zone?”, which elicited a big guffaw from me. A close second is the focus group leader’s quiet “Here’s the fee” after delivering the bad news about Quinn’s book. Understated, but very amusing.