Thursday, May 6, 2021

REVIEW: 'Younger' - Liza Gets Involved in Charles' Personal Life Yet Again Because He Needs a Friend in 'The Son Also Rises'

Paramount+'s Younger - Episode 7.07 "The Son Also Rises"

After an Empirical author dies, Charles reconnects with the widow who was the real-life inspiration for his novel, The Miseducation of Henry Cane. Maggie teaches a class on her past and is confronted with a big problem.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Paramount+'s Younger.

"The Son Also Rises" was written by Joe Murphy and directed by Jennifer Arnold

Charles told Liza to stay out of his personal life. It was an emotional moment that stung at the end of the previous episode. It was a sharp contrast from the easy bond they have always shared together. They have certainly been awkward in the past as it pertains to navigating their friendship while they are dating other people. This promised to be something new. Liza crossed a line. Charles couldn't handle that. He had to protect his family. He issued this warning. The audience had the clarity that Quinn manipulated the situation. The emotions were very real for Charles though. And now, Liza immediately gets involved in Charles' personal life again. It's a little jarring. Plus, the show mostly asserts how easy and natural it is for Liza to be in this position as his friend when Quinn isn't around. The problem only really arises when she is there. She has been a constant presence lately. This episode makes a difference though. The story actually embraces Charles' interior life. He has been positioned as more of an adversary to what Liza and Kelsey hope to accomplish. He doesn't want to do anything that will scare away their new investors. It's not a time to take big risks. Charles wants stability in his life too. He has a more traditional outlook on life. However, that comes from a valid perspective shaped over many years. He has done his best to manage his family's company. It has had many ups and downs. He is still at the helm. His decisions still matter. Here, his life is thrown for a loop. He doesn't quite know what to expect when he is forced to confront his past. Liza has always been intrigued about publishing his unfinished novel. She pushes him to finally finish it. She believes it could be a massive hit for the company. It represents a raw and immature time in his life though. It was a formative experience. He had an affair with an older, married woman. They had a routine during the summer. He reflects fondly on that time. It was special to him. It wasn't anything particularly memorable for Judith though. Now, she mostly wants a favor from Charles because Empirical still holds the rights to Ian's old novels. They haven't aged well. There is nothing much that can be done with this literary estate. However, Ian and Judith's son is determined to make something out of it. He is out-of-his-depth in the publishing industry though. Liza and Charles deal with this meeting. Nothing substantive comes out of it. There is simply the idea that this kid could be Charles' son. He is terrified by that notion. His first thought is having to tell his girls about this shocking development. Liza still differs in the response. She should rationally be concerned for the girls as well. Her first thought is about how Quinn will take the news. That's still where her mind is chiefly concerned. That means Liza isn't completely selfless in her interactions with Charles here. She insists that she is just being a friend while he is going through a turbulent time. She still has an ulterior motive. It just also happens to be charming. All they can do is move forward with confidence after learning from the past. Nothing can be changed about what happened. The future can potentially be better. This episode suggests that things can easily and quickly return to romantic between Liza and Charles. Nothing of that nature happens here. She just wants to be a loving and caring friend. The show will probably still go in that inevitable direction. That seems to be what the arc of this season is. Of course, it's also about the characters growing up. Diana finally calls in to offer an update on her life. It's mostly just a general talk about her unexpectedly enjoying her trip away and planning on using all of her vacation days to enjoy wherever life takes her next. That's a sweet thought. She still probably deserves a more fulfilling and earned sendoff. That may come. It may not. At least a thought is shared with her now. Meanwhile, Kelsey is looking for a new place to live. It's a heightened story because Lauren convinces her to film the experience for a reality show. That plot has the potential to tie into new romance as well. It seems easy and natural for Kelsey. However, it's also just a big step for her to be shopping for a place to call home. People can reduce her career down to something that can be easily sold on a television show. However, she has earned this opportunity. She hopes to embrace something that fully defines her and the love she has for this city. That is very promising even though the story construct seems a little familiar. The same applies to Maggie's story where Cass learns the truth about her wife's affair and plans to retaliate. Something Maggie loves may be taken from her because of her actions. She can't change the past. She can atone for it and try her best to learn from it. That reflection is necessary even though the show still has to offer more glimpses of maturity for the final beats to hit effectively overall.