Younger: The love triangle ends on a low note

Younger -- Courtesy of TVLand -- Acquired via TVLand Press Site
Younger -- Courtesy of TVLand -- Acquired via TVLand Press Site /

The final season of Younger included the ending to the years-long love triangle between Liza, Josh, and Charles. But, although the season brings the storyline to a close, it does not play an integral role.

Instead, most of the season is devoted to Liza dealing with the aftermath of her break-up with Charles in the season opener. A disagreement about marriage is the culprit for Charles and Liza’s downfall. The episodes that follow have the duo awkwardly attempt to be co-workers in the face of knowing their romance has ended.

However, Liza still spends plenty of time pining after Charles and being concerned about his romance with Quinn, especially when Liza believes Quinn has ulterior motives. Liza spends so much time thinking about Charles that it does not seem the love triangle is active at this point, especially considering how little time Liza spends with Josh in comparison.

In the penultimate episode, “Make No Mustique,” Charles finally puts aside his desire to get married in favor of choosing to be with Liza in any way she wishes. But, instead of allowing Liza and Charles to walk into the sunset in Younger’s final hour, the series finale, “Older,” sets up one last set of problems.

Lack of trust becomes a poignant part of the finale when Charles tests if Liza will tell him the truth. While the ability to trust each other is essential to a successful relationship, it is very late in the season to set this up as an obstacle.

Had trust issues been the reason for their initial break-up at the beginning of the season, that could have been a more exciting set-up. Liza and Charles could have remained together and tried to work through their trust issues, or season 7 could have them deal with the understanding that Charles and Liza are not the right fit, although they may wish to be.

Portraying their dynamic either of these ways would have allowed Younger to tell different and more exciting stories rather than spend so much time devoted to setting up a romance that was doomed to fail.

Still, that doesn’t even cover the Josh of it all.

Josh spends most of the season with small story arcs that do almost nothing for the show and even less for his character. As a result, Josh is wasting time until the finale, where he swoops in to remind Liza he has always been there for her.

Josh and Liza’s last scene relies more on nostalgia for their first meeting than legitimate build-up for a romance between them. Although the finale does not confirm Liza and Josh get back together after the credits roll, the scene’s implications suggest they may go in that direction.

Had Josh and Liza spent any time together throughout season 7, then perhaps this could have worked. But, instead, Josh spends most of his time with other characters, not having any substantial time with Liza.

Josh could have been used as a catalyst for Charles’s trust issues with Liza, given Liza and Josh’s history. Josh also could have been a reason for Charles and Liza’s break-up to hint that Josh and Liza had unresolved feelings.

However, Josh never tries to get back together with Liza. Between that narrative choice and Josh having nothing to do with Charles and Liza’s break-up, his presence in “Older” teasing the return of Josh and Liza’s relationship does not feel as built-up or earned as it should.

Sadly, Younger relies more on the hope the audience remembers Liza and Josh’s history instead of making any attempts throughout the season to suggest that Josh and Liza could be leaning toward getting back together.

While Liza did not need a romantic endgame to have a happy and fulfilling conclusion, Younger had spent years building up this love triangle, and it could have gotten a more epic ending in the series finale.

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