Tuesday, July 24, 2018

REVIEW: 'Younger' - Charles Sees Liza in a New Light at a Holiday Party and Makes a Huge Decision in 'A Christmas Miracle'

TV Land's Younger - Episode 5.07 "A Christmas Miracle"

It's Christmas in New York. Liza celebrates with Caitlin. Kelsey finds herself caught in a web of her own making. Charles makes up his mind.

It was just a week ago when I asked how long this current story between Liza and Charles would last. It was the question on Liza's mind as well. She was forcing Charles to make up his mind because the silence and distance between them was so absolutely devastating to her. She wanted clarity on where they stood. She knew that she betrayed him with her secret. She knows that she has to accept the consequences for her actions. But she also figures that Charles has spent enough time pouting around her. And yes, the narrative has been hinting at Charles coming to terms with who Liza really is. He just found it difficult to actually make that first step towards a full reconciliation with her. He still feels compelled to be near her. He sees what a wonderful job she is doing for the company. But he still found himself holding back. And now, Charles has made the decision to forgive Liza and actually pursue a romantic relationship with her. That's such a surprising ending for a season that has been very shocking so far. It happens once more because Charles actually gets to see Liza's personal life. Kelsey only found the ability to forgive Liza for lying to her because she actually saw the importance and impact of Liza having a family. That too provides clarity for Charles. Sure, it's a very embarrassing moment for Liza. It's not like it was a season ago when Caitlin had a medical emergency just to force Liza and Kelsey into action. Here, it's Liza and the family actually performing during a holiday party that leads to Charles getting a better understanding of the life that Liza had and why she did what she did. Liza is so embarrassed to see Charles in that environment. She knew that it was bound to happen because Bob is Charles' lawyer who works in the same part of town. But now, it has actually occurred. It's not as strange as it could have been if Charles didn't know her secret. And yet, it proves to be very insightful for Charles. He wasn't expecting this. It could be seen as another way Liza has invaded his life. But he is actually pretty understanding of the circumstances that have defined her life.

Sure, it's still very convenient that Liza's daughter just happens to be roommates with the daughter of Charles' lawyer. That's a strange connection that has produced many complicated moments over the course of the series. Both Liza and Charles love the Katz family. They are a great family. Liza appreciates that Caitlin has someone like Rose to always look after her. She has found peace that her daughter has friends who care about her and will try to protect her at school. Charles has found comfort in being able to confide in Bob as both a friend and a lawyer. Bob was the one who gave him the advice not to fire Liza. He didn't know who his friend was talking about in that specific moment. But it was exactly what Charles needed to hear in order to keep the foundation of the show exactly the same. He was choosing to also keep Liza's secret for her. He was doing so out of selfish reasons. That's why many of the people at work who know the truth keep the secret. Kelsey and Charles chose to keep quiet about Liza's age because they don't want anything to take down their respective companies and careers. They've worked hard for where they have gotten. They also appreciate how much Liza has done for them as well. They would love to just push her away for lying to them. And yet, she has proven again and again that she can be counted on in this business. Sure, Liza isn't able to attend a holiday party to help Kelsey juggle her own secret of sleeping with both Zane and Jake. But she has a simple reason for not being there that Kelsey understands. Moreover, it affords the opportunity for so many plots to shake up this week. A lot of drama happens that promises to make things even more surprising and scandalous moving forward.

And so, Charles finally meets the woman that the Katz family has been trying to set him up with. They too think that Liza is great. They understand that David is no longer a threat to any potential relationship. Yes, it's still abundantly clear that David is yearning to reunite with Liza. He is so desperate to win her back that he is willing to pull out the accordion to play along for this big musical moment at the party. He was let in on the secret before the party started. He was prepared for this. Liza was not because there is no way that she would have agreed to it. And yet, she does get up and perform with her family. It's the three of them yodeling along to The Sound of Music. It's a very specific tradition to have for Christmas. It's strange but also so appropriate for this family as well. Of course, it's mostly just great because it allows Sutton Foster to sing. She hasn't gotten too many chances to belt out a musical number over the course of the series. That's lame because she is such a gifted and talented singer. She's also a great actress in addition to all of that. She still has to react to seeing Charles in the crowd. That does throw Liza off but she has to keep going. She can't ruin this family tradition for Caitlin because it clearly means so much to her. Liza just sees it as something silly they did when Caitlin was younger. But it holds new importance now that she is a young adult whose parents have gotten divorced. This is her opportunity to have a glimpse of her old family while also accepting that her parents are never getting back together. Liza does this for her daughter. That is her motivation for so much. She lied about her age in the first place in order to afford Caitlin's college tuition. And now, it's through actually meeting Caitlin and seeing Liza as a loving parent that Charles sees the true woman.

Charles is able to see the great parent that the Katz family has known for a couple of seasons now. He had an attraction to Liza long before he knew that his best friends wanted to set him up with her. That was an attraction to a 20-something assistant though. He was lusting after her because she was flaunting an aspect of love and sex that he hasn't had for a long time. And now, he sees her as a 40-something mother. Someone who is actually perfect for him because of their shared interests in the world. They both work in publishing and have daughters. They are able to laugh about things being much worse for Charles as his girls age because he has two of them. Liza only has to worry about Caitlin. That's plenty enough on its own though - especially considering Caitlin is firmly rooting for Josh as the perfect boyfriend for her mom. And yet, it's such a swoon-worthy moment when Charles makes that decision to turn the taxi around and see Liza again. Liza was content with the clarity that the conversation by the coffee machine would be the last they would have before their holiday break. She wanted to speak with him about her holiday bonus and how it's more than anyone was expecting. But she had already missed him at that point. She instead just had to go out and try to make a memorable and perfect holiday season for her loved ones. But she does return home to see Charles at the front door of her apartment complex. It's so unexpected. He shows up saying all of the right things. He no longer cares about the lies. He just wants her. As such, it's a fantastic ending to watch them kiss in the hopes that it will lead to the two of them finally getting their relationship started.

Meanwhile, Kelsey's secret is unraveling much more quickly. Just like Liza, she is telling a secret that could directly impact her job while also juggling two men who are possibly good romantic partners for her. For so long, she was dating a string of lousy guys. None of them were deserving of just how fantastic she was. But now, both Zane and Jake feel like strong options for her. It's easy to understand why she wants to pursue a relationship with both of them. It's just complicated because they are competing for her attention. It's a competition instead of a relationship which doesn't set things up to last. Right now, it seems like Jake is winning only because he sees Zane and Kelsey kissing and decides to fire Zane as his editor. Zane has already done so much work to promote this upcoming novel. He was able to get an exempt of the first chapter featured in a magazine. It's that kind of hard work and determination that allowed everyone at Empirical to get an invitation to this holiday party. But it shows how Zane doesn't wish to keep his relationship or feelings for Kelsey a secret. He just wants to show her off as his. He doesn't even care to know what a mistletoe is. But that moment has immediate consequences for him. Sure, Jake's novel may have become a great piece of literature because Zane and Kelsey were working as a team. Because Kelsey is now his sole editor and also his girlfriend, there is the potential for all of this to fall apart. It is already doing so because Zane knows exactly what happened and why he has lost this job. Jake has the political answer for why he no longer wants to work with Zane. It doesn't make sense to have two editors on this novel anymore. But Zane understands that it's because he is competition for Kelsey. This ensures that Jake gets as much time with her as possible. He's not sharing her with anyone. It just makes it so traumatic for Kelsey because both of these relationships are essentially exploding in her face.

Some more thoughts:
  • "A Christmas Miracle" was written by Grant Sloss and directed by Peter Lauer. 
  • Liza is making homemade gifts for everyone in her life. She is only seen giving them to her friends with Josh and Diana though. And yet, those relationships are special. It shows that there is still an intense spark between her and Josh. But it also proves that this is a dynamic that Diana has never had in her life where she actually cares about what happens to her assistant. It's different but very welcoming.
  • Of course, it's so fitting that Diana gifts Liza an extravagant necklace. It's so true to who Diana is and how self-involved she is with shopping for other people. Of course, it's also sweet that she gets into the holiday mood because Enzo goes out and buys her a tree. It's him forcing her into the holiday tradition a little bit. And yet, it's also him recognizing that Diana's life could be better and fuller if she was able to play into this narrative a little more.
  • Maggie is so happy that her career finally seems to be kicking into high gear. She is able to actually afford fancy gifts for the people in her life during the holidays. But that good will is quickly quashed because she learns that her new benefactors are just collecting artists for their personal collection. They don't even proudly show off the artwork. They just wish to be controlling of the artistic experience which isn't what Maggie wants right now.
  • The meeting between Charles and Caitlin is so important for Charles. He is finally seeing Liza's daughter after just learning that she's in her forties and is divorced with a daughter. But to Caitlin, it's essentially nothing. Charles is nothing more than a friend of the Katz family. For her, it's more important that Liza meets one of her friends from college who has just shown up. She has no idea that Charles is also vying for Liza's heart.
  • Charles makes the decision to turn around and see Liza again instead of going skiing during the few free days of his holiday vacation. Pauline has the girls. In a couple more days, they will all fly down to Florida to be with the grandparents. As such, it seems unlikely that Liza and Charles will be able to spend a whole lot of time together. But the time they do have is bound to be very special.