Conniving Michael Urie! Love triangles galore! Everyone’s favorite thinly veiled caricature of George R. R. Martin! Huge secrets finally (finally!) seeing the light of day! Seriously, this show has it all… and then some. So, let’s break it all down, and recap Younger Season 3. There is a lot to keep track of, and fans need to be all caught up before embarking on Season 4. So, where exactly did the show leave things again?
In a lot of ways, Season 3 has been the show’s biggest yet. Slow burn storylines that have been simmering for years starting to come to a boil, and Liza's carefully constructed web of lies is revealed after growing more tangled over time. Maybe "tangled" isn't the right word — if something can somehow grow more tangled and unravel at the same time? Now, that's the kind of mess Liza's been dealing with.
Suffice it to say, the drama may just have hit an all-time high during Younger's third season — and I'm sure the show will only continue to up the ante as we head into Season 4. So, with that in mind, let's recap last season; exploring Liza's love life, professional life, her friendships — and of course, her big secret.
Empirical actually had its fair share of drama this season. With online media constantly threatening the publishing business, the company was forced to bring in Bryce, a callous tech wunderkind. Then, there was the whole arc where the show's scene-stealing parody of George R. R. Martin, Edward L. L. Moore, ghostwrote a self-help memoir/erotic novel and posed as a young female novelist named Aubrey Alexis (in case you forgot, the book was very tellingly titled Me, Myself, and O).
There's also Kelsey's Millennial imprint — which posed some pretty unique problems for Liza, as her decidedly non-millennial secret identity was essentially placed in a crucible of millennial-ness. In fact, it's her involvement in Millennial, and closeness with her boss/best friend Kelsey that might just be the downfall of her professional career...
The Best Friend(s)
Speaking of Kelsey, she had quite the season as well. Romantically speaking, her early episodes focused on her getting over Thad (who was crushed by a falling beam in a freak accident, remember?), whilst dealing with his twin brother Chad. Later in the season, she got a new love interest: Colin McNichol, a fancy-pants writer for The New Yorker with a hot-ticket debut novel waiting in the wings.
Things seemed to be going swimmingly for Kelsey for once — what with her new boyfriend having penned the Millennial imprint's sure-to-be biggest hit — until she flew just a little too close to the sun. You see, she scored her new beau's new book the cover of Entertainment Weekly, using the film's movie deal as leverage — which led to him getting a better deal from Random House. With him caught between his girlfriend/former editor and the career she helped make happen for him, things started to get messy near the end of the season, and the drama will surely carry over into Season 4.
As for the other supporting characters? Diana finally found love (and a parrot), Maggie and Lauren (who broke up early on) found respective new partners, Maggie, with an Orthodox Jewish woman, and Lauren with a nice young doctor she met at summer camp (of course Lauren would end up with the "basic" rom-com style love story).
The Love Triangle
Now, on the love triangle front, Season 3 kicked off in a familiar place — with Liza caught between Charles and Josh. Her relationship with Josh had her constantly caught between her love and affection for him, and the old saying "If you love something, let it go." They experienced even more growing pains than usual this season, as they tackled the issue of pregnancy — it turns out Josh has always wanted kids, and Liza, as the mother of a teenage daughter understandably doesn't want to do it again. At one point, the talk of pregnancy even gives way to a pregnancy scare — the fact that it's a scare and a scare only leaves Liza relieved, but Josh disappointed, which will surely lead to more faultlines in their relationship down the line (if there's still a relationship, of course).
And then, there's Charles. After finally kissing at the end of Season 2, he and Liza quickly resumed their standard will they-won't they vibe. In the first episode of the season, he asked her to meet up if she was interested — and by God, she was going to do it... until she saw the father of one of her daughter's friends yukking it up with Charles at the bar, and promptly ran for cover. After tacitly turning him down by not showing up at the bar, things went back to normal — at least, kind of. Between their physical chemistry and their shared love of books, there's always going to be a certain electricity between the two of them — something that made for more than a few awkward moments when he started dating Radha, about halfway through the season.
The love triangle even turned into a love cube at one point, when Liza's ex-husband David re-entered the picture. (There was one particularly cringe-worthy moment when a drugged-up Liza implied her love for David instead of Charles during a hospital stay. Remember, Liza's divorce was never officially finalized). Still, the main contenders for her affections remained Josh and Charles — and things majorly came to a head in the Hamptons. After sharing a kiss set to Liza's prom song, "Take My Breath Away" (a prom song that nearly outed her true age for the umpteenth), and heading back to her room, Charles eventually got cold feet, citing Liza's boyfriend — though little did he know that Josh, bolstered by advice from Maggie, was literally minutes away from proposing. What a tableau — Liza and Charles finally kissing outside her hotel room, while Josh watches them unseen with a bottle of champagne, a bed strewn with rose petals waiting on the other side of the closed door. And that's where we left things, my friends.
Needless to say, things are about to blow up on the love triangle front. Actually, "implode" might be the more appropriate word — between all of Liza's lies and her wayward heart, there is going to be a lot of broken trust — perhaps even irreparably so.
The Big Secret
There were a couple of fakeouts early on — it was her secret, of course, that stopped her from "clearing the air" with Charles post-Season 2 finale kiss. And it loomed large throughout the season, especially with the near-literal ghost of Thad (or rather, Thad's laptop) threatening to expose everything, the blind item case study about a certain 40 year-old pretending to be 26 on the edge of going viral, and perhaps most heart-poundingly, Liza's helicopter trip with Charles, Diana, and Kelsey to her old hometown bookstore that very nearly forced her to come clean. There was also a ill-timed bike accident that had the potential to ruin everything — though it turned out to be a near-miss and nothing more.
All those near-misses and fakeouts, though? It turned out they were the warm up act for the real thing. In the Hamptons, Emily Burns (an assistant at Entertainment Weekly) threatened to reveal Liza's secret if she didn't agree to publish her god-awful self-help book (written from the perspective of her golden doodle, for pete's sake). In one of her lowest moments in the entire series, Liza actually caved to Emily's demands, going against Kelsey's instructions by announcing Millennial's intention to publish the book. Eventually, though, her morality got the better of her, and she finally decided to tell Kelsey the truth. And... fade to black. That's where we left off at the end of the season — and what a cliffhanger it was.
There's a lot to uncover in the new season — and aren't you excited to see what happens next?