Thursday, May 27, 2021

REVIEW: 'Younger' - Kelsey Is Baffled By Where She Has Ended Up in Life Before Her 30th Birthday in 'Inku-baited'

Paramount+'s Younger - Episode 7.10 "Inku-baited"

Maggie debuts a new art show at an unconventional venue. Clare helps Kelsey at work, as their dating lives become intertwined. Liza convinces Charles to come to her literary salon where a major talent reads.

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.

"Inku-baited" was written by Grant Sloss and directed by Peter Lauer

Kelsey is baffled by what her life is like at the moment. She was the publisher of a respected literary company not that long ago. And now, she feels unappreciated at work and unable to financially expand to the life she wants to live. Moreover, she is kicked out of her apartment because Clare learns the truth about Kelsey and Rob seeing each other. Their relationship hasn't really been defined. Kelsey always felt guilty about it. And yet, she never told Clare the truth. It's something discovered once Clare gains access to Kelsey's electronic devices. In that moment, Clare is being generous with her time and intellect. She is providing free work to a friend who needs it. Kelsey is desperate to prove that Inkubator can be profitable for Empirical. She has to have the literal receipts in order to do so. She and Liza have already energized the world with Dylan's novel. They are eager to monetize access to the final chapter. They are quickly approaching a deadline. This is important to them. They have that clarity. They see the brilliance of creating a safe space for writers to test their work. They struck gold. They do so again here. Charles refuses to believe it was complete coincidence as well. Seeing this space as a popular idea provides him with the clarity that it is a smart extension of the company. He just wants to do whatever is in the best interests of his business. He is in charge. He has worried about money for so long. This business has been volatile for awhile due to the evolving nature of a technologically-driven world. He still finds the excitement that comes from discovering a new book or author. That invigorates him once more. Similarly, Clare wants to do what's right for Gemma. She believes that she must remove her daughter from Josh's environment because she can no longer trust the people there. At the start of the season, Josh was terrified that Clare was taking Gemma away from him. She wanted their daughter to experience a life in Ireland. It wasn't a real threat. They have found a way to co-parent in the city. And now, Kelsey serves as the big disruption. She wants to give herself permission to pursue this relationship with Rob. Clare insisted it was a mature and amicable breakup. The emotions hit much deeper than that though. Clare appreciated the kindness Kelsey and Lauren showed to her as friends. She needs that in her life. And now, she feels betrayed. That leaves Kelsey sleeping on the couch in Maggie's apartment. She wonders how she got there. She positions all of this as a fall from grace. She is about to turn 30 soon. She believes she should have her life figured out at this point. Liza is the example that that isn't true at all. She found a way to reinvent herself and build a successful and sustainable life no matter her age. Kelsey struggles to find that inspiration. Meanwhile, Charles seems to find it in Liza once again. As a couple, they have always run hot or cold. They are either extremely into each other or on the verge of complete destruction. Liza notes how tense their last interaction was. She said he was incapable of accepting change. She has widened his world. She has allowed him to see things from a different perspective. He is still slow to appreciate that. He could lose Liza by the time he understands his true feelings. She wants him to be happy. And yet, any moment when they are together, the narrative heavily suggests a romantic reunion. Liza pulls away from the kiss long before they are interrupted by a waitress returning a credit card. That action signals the overall confusion Charles has in his life. So often, the narrative is told from Liza's perspective. As such, she is often the one the audience sees as being conflicted and confused about the choices happening around her. In this situation though, she is the one operating with clarity while Charles is being chaotic and unsure of what he wants. It could use more agency as this action falls in with the pattern long established between the two. It's gotten quite boring even though the show has to cement the fates of its characters in the very short future. It seems like Maggie and Cass reach a new understanding. Cass proves herself capable of deserving redemption after contributing to Maggie being cancelled. Maggie also felt her life was completely destroyed. She finds her upswing here. Cass is a part of that celebration. That's unexpected. It highlights the ways in which the various character journeys are developing at different paces. But again, final decisions are just around the corner. So much dysfunction continues to exist as Liza and Kelsey know the brilliance of Inkubator while Charles needs to see results viscerally in order to accept that same premise. That may highlight how he isn't on the same wavelength with his colleagues anymore. That could suggest a sense of moving on to new ventures that excite them. Or it could suggest that he too just needs the right inspiration - which will likely come from Liza as that's where the bulk of his story is built around at the moment.