Younger: S04E10 “A Novel Marriage”

Grade: B

No way around it: this episode was messy. Liza broke up with Charles again and hung out with Pauline some more; Lauren was fashionable and neurotic; Maggie was quirkily supportive; Clare was Irish. Tell us something we don’t know already.

Still, something interesting and sweet was bubbling under the surface, like liquid in an overbaked creme brulee. I’m not sure I would have noticed had I not been trying to write a review, but my theory is that this week’s episode was all about work-life balance — and the eventual realization that this balance is only possible when you have the courage to fully accept yourself.

Almost all the subplots factored into this:
– Maggie’s Google Earth arc, in addition to being standard Maggie, was about accepting and celebrating herself — public nudity and all.
– Lauren’s Nest adventure was a classic case of allowing her life to be dominated by work anxiety. Good thing she has Kelsey around to…oh, this setup is too good…get her out of the closet and into bed. *exaggerated wink*
– On the flip side, the Pauline/Louise plot was, however messily, about the pitfalls of not working enough. Louise may be an obnoxious name-dropper, and Pauline may be the queen of flakes, but their joy at finally being able to fully express themselves is real.

All together, this is what motivates Liza to break things off with Charles. Yes, this is a retread of last episode, but this time it feels earned. Between Kelsey and Jay, this season has been a big step forward for Liza in terms of being open and honest about herself, so it feels right that she turns down Charles when she realizes he’s become the biggest impediment to continuing that journey. I mean, I’d much rather she tell him the truth and have some more desk sex, but this works too.

At the end of the episode, in between chatting with Jay about her “past life” and admitting “I must be the craziest person you’ve ever met,” Liza says, “This is me.” On the surface, she’s referring to her house, but she’s also referring to her double life: she’s 41, she’s 27, she wants it all, and she’s done pretending otherwise. And, like Jay, we are all here for it.

Pandering to the demo: Pinx! A solid 75% of my Facebook ads are for Thinx period panties, so, good job, Younger. Also, most mortifying leak story! Pandering: SUCCESSFUL.

Does anyone know what The Nest is based on? My mind immediately went to the SF tech-nerd equivalent, but I’m guessing there is an actual NYC women’s space that I’m not cool enough to know about.

Diana Trout statement jewelry rating: That necklace was amazing all on its own, but paired with that gigantic ring? And the earrings??

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INCREDIBLE.

(Also, shoutout to that rainbow potato sack thingy Liza was wearing. I don’t know what that was, but I couldn’t stop staring at it. Or thinking about what a strangling hazard it must be.)

Oh, Diana’s subplot! All I can say is, I would watch an entire episode of people apologizing to Diana…and it sounds like Fleshlight kid is going to be doing that next week.

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Stray observations:
– “Another day, another unanswered email request to remove my naked image from Google Earth.”
– “I know this is a tricky situation, and I’m trying to navigate it properly. Without exploding.”
– “I wrote a book. About the year I lived with that Botox lump in the middle of my forehead. It’s called Woman Horned.”
– Of course Diana has sipping tequila. And of course she wears giant statement earrings to bed.
– “Ethan doesn’t want to live here either.” “Oh, are my Turkish towels too lush for him?”
– Apparently Sutton Foster is such a national treasure that you can’t kiss her directly. She has to kiss you.
– Am I the only one weirded out by Clare rearranging all of Kelsey’s stuff without asking? Not cool, Clare.