Spoilers

Younger Season 7 Episode 12 Review: Older

Well, that happened.

Going into Younger Season 7 Episode 12, we weren’t sure what to expect but getting a series finale akin to How I Met Your Mother was not what we had in mind.

We stuck with the show through seven seasons, the last of which wasn’t the greatest, and this is the thanks we get? 

I’m aware that shows don’t simply exist to service fans, and not everyone will agree with every decision the writers make, but there’s something to be said about treating us with respect.

If we’ve invested all of this time and energy into a series, then at the very least, we should get some satisfaction as the show draws to a close.

Liza: Hey, we’re not gonna make it, are we?
Charles: I don’t think so.

And it’s not that the series finale was a complete and utter waste of time because there were some fulfilling elements.

However, taken the season as a whole, it would have been better if the show had ended after Younger Season 6 Episode 12, followed by a two-hour movie to wrap up any loose ends. 

The most disappointing part of the season finale was Liza and Charles’s breakup. The couple had just gotten back together only to break up days later.

We spent so much of this season waiting for them to reunite, and in the end, their reconciliation was for naught.

The reason they broke up does make sense, as Charles feels he can never truly trust Liza.

From the beginning, everything about them was based on that initial lie — that Liza was 26 — and even after Charles learned the truth, on some level, he was never able to get past it.

He’ll always wonder what she’s keeping from him and if she’s honest with him, which aren’t things you can overlook and brush past in a relationship.

Trust is an essential part of any relationship, and without it, Liza and Charles can’t survive.

Charles: I know our paths have been rocky, and it’s taken us a while to get here…
Liza: You don’t have to explain anything.
Charles: I just know what makes me happy, and to pretend anything would be just lying to myself.
Liza: I think I’ve told enough lies for the both of us.
Charles: Only the truth from now on. Even if it hurts.
Liza: Only the truth.

So while we understand that maybe they won’t last in the long run, it still sucks to be jerked around.

Their on-again-off-again relationship has given us severe whiplash over the past season, and it felt like it was included for dramatic effect.

If the writers knew they would take this route when they mapped out the rest of the season, they shouldn’t have gotten the former couple back together at the 11th hour, only to rip them apart in the following episode.

Liza and Charles should have stayed broken up and found a way to work together professionally, and the ending of her being named Empirical’s new editor-in-chief could have still happened had they not gotten back together and then subsequently split. 

It was just messy and confusing and made no sense.

Of course, Liza breaking up with Charles reopened the door for her and Josh, which should make some Team Josh ‘shippers very happy.

The show ended on a rather ambiguous note about whether or not Liza and Josh found their way back to each other, but Josh’s line about him having been right in front of Liza implied the former lovers would at least entertain the possibility of reconciliation.

Series creator Darren Star offered no insight on the matter, telling TVLine, “I think of all the paths [Liza’s] story and her life could take, we wanted to leave it open to all possibilities. To me, there was something elegant about coming full circle in her story.”

Liza: Hello. Hello. Hello. I need some help over here.
Josh: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey, you don’t wave a shoe. You never wave a shoe. In Thailand, that’s considered a capital offense.
Liza: And you’ve been to Thailand?
Josh: No, but I have been to Myanmar.
Liza: Which used to be Burma.
Josh: Back in the day.
Liza: I knew that. Sorry, I didn’t see you there.
Josh: Really? Because you know what, I’ve been right here by your side all along.

So, the ending was left open-ended on purpose, thus allowing us to decide what happens next.

Liza and Josh have both grown since they were last together, and one of the reasons for their breakup — other than Liza cheating on Josh with Charles — has been resolved through the birth of Gemma.

Josh wanted to have kids, but Liza didn’t any more, so they ended their relationship to give Josh the chance to become a father.

Well, now Josh is one so that at least is no longer an issue.

What irks me most about Liza and Josh potentially getting back together is how Josh has been an afterthought for most of the season. 

His screen time has been significantly decreased, not even appearing on screen in the series finale until two-thirds through the episode.

So, it’s not that I’m against the two ending up together; it’s just that I’m not a fan of how everything played out.

It’s as if the writers suddenly remembered that Josh existed at the last second and decided to tack on this ending to appease fans.

Josh: I put in an offer.
Kelsey: What, like on the whole building?
Josh: It’s like four apartments plus Inkberg, so.
Kelsey: That’s amazing, Josh. Amazingly expensive, a whole entire building in Williamsburg.
Josh: Well, I mean I doing pretty well. Plus, it’s like an insane deal. I couldn’t say no. I could always pull the offer and invest in you and your company. I’m serious. I really believe in you, Kels.
Kelsey: That means so much to me, but I can’t let you do that. I’m going to figure it out. I promise.

The pair reciting their first encounter nearly word for word was adorable, and Liza’s realization that Josh had been there all along was a nice moment.

However, it didn’t magically change the fact that they’ve barely said two words to each other all season.

It would have been one thing if the show had carried over the plot thread of Liza being torn between Josh and Charles from Younger Season 6, but the writers didn’t.

Instead, Liza spent the whole season pining for Charles, when if the writers wanted it to feel more believable, that time could have been better served with Liza and Josh reconnecting and finding their way back because I do love them as a couple.

There’s a lot of love and chemistry there, and they do get each other in a way that other significant others haven’t.

If the writers had devoted the necessary time and energy to a possible reconciliation, it would have felt more organic and natural instead of something thrown together at the last minute.

Moving away from the Liza/Josh/Charles love triangle craziness, many of the characters ended up making significant career changes.

First, there was Liza, who somehow found herself being named the new editor-in-chief for Empirical after Charles decided to focus on his novel.

Charles: We need to talk about the working arrangement here. I think that as Empirical goes into this next chapter, I’m gonna have to make some changes.
Liza: I was thinking the same thing. I figured you’d want me to tender my resignation.
Charles: Oh, you know I would give you the best references.
Liza: I appreciate that.
Charles: But we’re not gonna do that dance again. Kelsey is gone, and I need someone to run this place while I am at Yaddo.
Liza: Seriously?
Charles: Yeah, maybe longer, depending on how things go. I’ve spent enough years looking over other writers’ shoulders. You don’t think it’s too late to start a second career, do you?
Liza: Never.

While it’s incredible that Liza got this promotion, it’s a little hard to believe, especially since there are probably loads of more qualified employees at the company, people who didn’t lie on their resume to get a job.

It was a nice gesture on Charles’s part and made their breakup sting a little less, but it still makes no sense practically.

What it does do, though, is nicely dovetail Liza’s journey in the publishing world.

The entire premise of the series is based on her lie because she was unable to find employment, and now, all of these years later, she’s become editor-in-chief.

Through this lie, she got the career she wanted but lost out on personal relationships.

I guess there were consequences after all.

Then there’s Charles, who stepped back from Empirical to go to a super-exclusive writers’ retreat to finish his unpublished novel.

It was also a nice ending professionally for Charles, who has become dissatisfied with the business side of the publishing world and has been yearning to reignite his passion for books.

Liza: There’s something I need to tell you.
Charles: Something else?
Liza: Kelsey sent the Inkubator proposal to a bunch of VCs for valuation.
Charles: Was it before or after she gave it to me?
Liza: I don’t know, but the bottom line is Kelsey wants to take Inkubator out on her own.
Charles: I see.
Liza: I asked her not to tell you yet because I didn’t want anything to spoil your evening, but Kelsey’s going to leave Empirical.
Charles: And you?
Liza: I’m not going anywhere, and I’m not leaving you.
Charles: Liza, I knew Kelsey sent the proposal to outside investors.
Liza: You knew? Why didn’t you say anything?
Charles: I wanted to hear it from you first.
Liza: Wait, so you were testing me?
Charles: Maybe, in a way I was, but you passed.

Changing careers to become an author accomplishes that, but again, we have to question his business acumen when he decided to leave Liza in charge of Empirical, a company founded by his grandfather.

Oh well, that’s TV for you. It never makes any sense.

Next up, there’s Kelsey, who’s on her way to Los Angeles, even though a Kelsey-centric spinoff isn’t happening.

Kelsey made the brave decision to go out on her own, and I’m so proud of her for finally taking that leap.

She’s been wanting to start something from the ground up for ages and has felt stifled creatively at Empirical.

She almost took the plunge toward the end of Younger Season 6 but decided to stay put at Empirical at the last minute.

Now, though, she’s making some big changes as she heads out to California. Seeing what else is out there can be scary, but it was the right call.

And speaking of right calls, thank goodness Kelsey finally came to her senses and dumped Rob.

I just want to express my gratitude for being part of such an amazing story in publishing history. Books, literature, stories have always been a passion of mine. I grew up reading the great authors published by Empirical. Never once in my dreams did I think that I would be lucky enough to actually work here and help a generation of new writers find an audience. Charles, the day I met you was the luckiest day of my life. You took a chance on a young girl with a little more than enthusiasm and an English degree from a second-rate college. To this day I don’t know why you chose me. I can’t imagine a more brilliant mentor. You inspire me every day with your determination and passion and genuine love for what you do. And if I’ve learned one thing from you, it’s that in order to succeed, you must take a risk. And that’s why I’m ready to take one of my own. You’re my family; you always will be. But it’s time for me to write my next chapter. Just know that no matter what my future holds, I owe it all to you.

Kelsey

His egotism and misogyny came out of nowhere, but I didn’t care that much since he was so darn unlikeable.

It was ludicrous that he wanted such a big cut of Kelsey’s business idea even if he was the one to facilirate the deal.

All Rob did was put Kelsey in contact with some venture capitalists, whereas Inkubator and the app were her ingenuous idea, so he had no right to demand 25%.

Thankfully, Kelsey cut him loose and mended things with Clare, who was pretty forgiving under the circumstances.

She even offered to let Kelsey crash on her couch, which goes above and beyond, not that Kelsey will need it.

She’s off to the West Coast with Reese Witherspoon’s company as an investor in Inkubator because why not? This is the show that had Thad killed by the falling air conditioning unit.

Lastly, there’s Maggie, who’s beyond smitten with Cass. She may not be ready to drop the L-bomb, but she’s definitely into her former boss.

Their romance took a nontraditional path, to say the least, but there sure were fireworks when Cass kissed Maggie on the subway platform.

Maggie: Is everything OK?
Cass: Yeah.
Maggie: What was that for?
Cass: Just taking your advice: being fearless.

As Maggie said, there’s a fine line between love and hate, and the way they feel about each other falls somewhere in between.

Are they going to live happily ever after? Who knows, but it was still good to see Maggie end up in such a great.

Her career is taking off, she has a new girlfriend. Life is looking up for Maggie Amato.

Some stray thoughts:

  • Lauren and Max didn’t end up together because in a huge twist, Max is engaged to a guy. Lauren didn’t seem to mind that much once Max and his fiance agreed that she could be their third. Such is a fitting ending for someone as Lauren as Lauren.

  • Diana and Zane did not make a final appearance in this episode. That is unacceptable. Also, did anyone else think Kelsey would announce Diana as her investor, and Diana would join the girls for a round of drinks at the bar?

  • Quinn was MIA from the finale, but she did succeed in getting her revenge of sorts, as she was indirectly responsible for Liza and Charles’s breakup.

So what did you think, Younger Fanatics?

Where you happy with where the characters ended up?

Do you think Liza and Josh got back together?

What awaits Kelsey in Los Angeles?

Don’t forget to hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. 

Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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