The Spool / TV
Younger Recap: Chicago Blues in “It’s All About The Money, Honey”
Liza and Kelsey face crises of varying magnitude in a slight episode that doesn't understand how the real world works.
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Liza and Kelsey face crises of varying magnitude in a slight episode that doesn’t understand how the real world works.

Consuming media often means suspending disbelief. Sometimes it’s believing there’s a wall made of ice and dragons borne of fire. Sometimes it’s believing that a serial killer could hide his nocturnal activities for a decade while working for the police. Both of those examples are from far more fantastic shows that Younger, though, so you wouldn’t expect the kind of mental hoops that “It’s All About The Money, Honey” requires its audience to jump through.

The episode picks up in the aftermath of last week’s Infinitely 21 campaign scandal which features Liza (Sutton Foster) and Josh (Nico Tortorella) canoodling in a bar. Liza rightfully wants to ensure that she has a chance to talk to Charles (Peter Hermann) before he misinterprets the picture, so rather than tell him the truth, she asks Kelsey (Hilary Duff) to distract him while they travel to Chicago for an investment pitch. It’s a foolish request considering that Liza could simply call Charles and explain the situation in a few seconds, but sure…let’s assume she wants to have the conversation face-to-face.

Miriam Shor and Molly Bernard in Younger 6.10

Later, when Lauren (Molly Bernard) informs Liza that the campaign is performing SO WELL (in one day?!) that it’s going national, Liza immediately hops on a plane (!) to Chicago to talk to Charles. She demurs to Kelsey’s request not to kill their celebratory buzz following the successful pitch meeting, but there’s no explanation why Liza wouldn’t just have the conversation after Kelsey leaves shortly thereafter.

When the truth comes out the next morning (after Liza snatches the newspaper from Charles’ hands like a crazy person), Charles – naturally – doesn’t care. He rightfully points out that it’s her behaviour that concerns him and gently prods her to determine if she still has feelings for her ex. Liza puts him off, but it suddenly becomes crystal clear in the final coda when she and Kelsey ride the airport escalators mournfully that this whole back season arc has been a series of unconvincing contortionist-level compromises to get Younger back to a place where Josh & Liza can be a “thing” again.

That’s right, folks, as confirmed by the promo for next week’s episode, we are officially revisiting this damned love triangle! UGH.

It’s so out of character that the series could retroactively spin the idea that an alien took over Liza’s life dressed in a Sutton Foster costume and it would better explain the events of this episode.

What makes “It’s All About The Money, Honey” arguably the worst episode of the season is how out of character Liza acts. Sure, I’ve spent the last two recaps berating her for being a human punching bag, but this version of Liza is completely removed from her surroundings and her usual persona; she’s a cartoon version of herself. This (hopefully one-off) Liza walks into meetings, slumps on the couch and makes everything about her. She hijacks the dress fitting of a woman that she respects above all else simply to bemoan her situation. She hijacks a co-worker’s celebration to make out in public with her boyfriend. And then, most egregiously, when her closest friend LOSES HER JOB as publisher of the company that they have spent the whole season fighting tooth and nail to save…all Liza does is stare at the offending advertisement as though it’s even remotely comparable to what Kelsey is going through.

It’s so out of character that the series could retroactively spin the idea that an alien took over Liza’s life dressed in a Sutton Foster costume and it would better explain the events of this episode.

Random Thoughts:

  • The other MAJOR suspension of disbelief is the idea that Infinitely 21 has been using Josh’s image without his consent. Not only would he be able to sue and get the ad down, he could just as easily allow it to stay up and negotiate for a cut of the profits. Also: the suggestion that he simply goes in and pitches Shelly (Annaleigh Ashford) on a pop-up tattoo shop in the store window that they agree on without a contract or approval from a higher up is similarly ludicrous.
  • I understand that the writers are attempting to highlight Charles’ age gap, but his misunderstanding of how memes and Instagram work is, frankly, unbelievable. He still works in publishing for god’s sake!
  • While ~95% of this episode is incredibly aggravating, the bait and switch on which social post gets Kelsey in trouble is well executed. While Zane (Charles Michael Davis)’s fixation on Kelsey’s boobs in the opening scene is obvious foreshadowing, I was convinced that Kelsey posting the Boomerang of her cheers with Charles in the bar would be the issue (I thought the father might be belligerent about a post with booze since this tends to be a faux-pas that potential employers frown on when you’re job scouting), but nope…it’s just regular old patriarchy passing judgment on a sexually liberated woman!
  • Diana (Miriam Shor)’s curt “Oh, you mean two weeks ago” to Liza’s comment about not knowing what you want in your 20s is an episode highlight.
  • Ugh Claire (Phoebe Dynevor). PLEASE go to LA and never return.
  • Remember last week when I said this was the season finale? Lol. Nope, we’ve got two weeks of love triangle nonsense to come before the season wraps!