Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Younger 5x11 Recap: “Fraudlein” (The End of the World As We Know It) [Guest Poster: Kay-B]

Original Airdate: August 21, 2018

What happens when everyone goes to Frankfurt for the big book fair? Hook-ups, secrets, confessions, and lives changed. So, basically the usual on Younger. Let’s hop to it!

Charles wants Empirical to close all gaps this year at the famous book fair since Millennial is, and will likely be, the shining star of the two companies. Diana tries to get herself out of the trip, but can’t because Charles insists on having all-hands-on-deck after the L.L. Moore scandal that has left them publicly and financially reeling. He specifically calls Zane to take as many meetings as he can and help turn Empirical around.

When the team arrives in Frankfurt, Cheryl Sussman from Plaza Publishing is there to greet them — and also put pressure on Diana to be as wild as she used to get in book fairs past. Diana is more than reluctant; Cheryl is persuasive. And Cheryl can multi-task, making it clear to Liza that she remembers her ongoing lie. But Cheryl insists she isn’t there to blackmail her. In fact, knowing that Diana isn’t paying Liza what she’s worth (and that Empirical Press is in trouble), she offers Liza a job with Plaza. Cheryl — no matter how messy — brings up some valid points about how Liza’s lie can’t last forever. Every day Liza puts her co-workers, their hard work, and their livelihoods at stake when she steps foot in that office. Cheryl is offering Liza more than money; she’s offering her a chance to fully be herself and her age.

Liza and Charles have a hard time staying away from each other during their pause — especially on this trip. They clearly miss each other and I, for one, really want them to have a fair chance. Charles confides in Liza that he has received no word from Quinn Tyler about a potential investment, so he is using the book fair as leverage to meet with tons of investors. Charles is in a very tight spot with only one more quarter’s worth of operating costs on hand. He has no other option, and confides in Liza that the company is doing far much worse than he lets on. If the fair doesn’t pan out positively, the company may have to close its doors for good. On the personal front, Liza reassures Charles that the break between them is temporary and he should focus on getting the company back on track.

While Charles is looking for funding, Millennial is busy being the talk of the book fair with two of their titles selected as “The Book(s) of the Fair.” Marriage Vacation and Capital Letters are now flying off the shelves. Diana’s quick press and marketing thinking land Liza and Kelsey on an impromptu panel to keep the momentum going. While on that panel, an audience member publicly questions Liza’s age. She recommends that Liza take beauty tips from Kelsey in order to look younger. Liza apologizes, but Kelsey is over Liza’s lying; she just wants to drink and celebrate all the accomplishments of the book fair.

During the celebration, Diana (or “Didi,” apparently, when she’s abroad) and Cheryl are AMAZING cabaret dancers and singers. Surprising their co-workers, Didi and Cheryl perform their routine from years past. I am so glad that we are finally seeing Diana more outgoing and less uptight. We really only catch her letting her guard down regularly with Enzo, so it was a delight to see her let loose. After the performance, Cheryl gets drunk and kisses Charles. Diana apologizes profusely on her behalf, and Charles opts to retire back to his hotel solo.

Liza goes to Charles’ room and tells him about the job offer and the new plan. At first, he’s understandably reluctant to lose one of Millennial’s key players. But then Liza explains that this is best decision, and also gives them the opportunity to finally date in public; they don’t have to have any more secrets. Charles asks her how she is going to get out of her contract, and Liza uses her feminine persuasion to get him to fire and release her.

Meanwhile, Cheryl catches Liza on her walk of shame and Liza verbally accepts the Plaza offer.  In true Cheryl fashion, she doesn’t mind her on business and knocks on the door that Liza just left. She figures out that Liza and Charles are sleeping together. Do German hotels not have peepholes?! I have only been once and stayed with friends, but this seemed like it could’ve been prevented if Charles just looked out of his peephole. Cheryl could really learn a thing or two about privacy and minding her business. Let’s see what she does with this new tidbit in the future.

Elsewhere, Kelsey — having had far too much to drink — is taken care of by Zane. Kelsey is starting to question whether or not she misjudged him and his heart for her. He also punches a handsy guy at the bar... who unfortunately ends up being the “big meeting” that Charles needed him to take to get Empirical back on track. So, suffice it say, that isn’t going anywhere. Good thing Charles’ meetings look promising.

Back at home, Malkie, Lauren, Josh, and Maggie enjoy each other’s company. At dinner, Malkie reveals her desire to have kids and the year-long process she went through to get there. She talks about the financial and donor constraints that she has encountered and that are holding her back. Maggie is visibly thrown for a loop and Malkie admits she didn’t think Maggie was ready to know. She was worried about how Maggie would react, with good reason. This conversation turned awkward really fast too because Malkie asked Josh if he would consider being her donor — all before having an in-depth conversation with Maggie about it.

As the episode ends, Liza confesses to Kelsey that she was offered, and accepted, a new role with Plaza. She says it’s time to leave because her lies cannot sustain; she is tired of the collateral damage being left in the path. It is an emotional and raw scene that reminds you the core of the show is Liza and Kelsey’s friendship. Liza values Kelsey so much that she is willing to walk away now before Kelsey resents her. Kelsey doesn’t want to lose Liza professionally but this feels like the right move for everyone. Liza has come to terms with it, but Kelsey definitely has not.

What did you think about the episode? How will season five end? Guess we will find out on the season finale!


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