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S06.E08: The Debu-taunt

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Charles wants to take the next step with Liza. Millennial participates in a Debutante Ball for first-time authors.

Original Air Date: August 7th, 2019

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THANK GOODNESS EVERYONE FINALLY KNOWS LIZA'S REAL AGE!

Even though Diana eventually got over feeling hurt and betrayed by Liza's lie, I wish that Liza had been a lot more specific when she went to her office to apologize. She should have said, "As a 40 something woman, you know the challenges we face. I was a divorced stay at home mom with no recent job experience who wanted to get back into publishing and I knew that no one would hire me for an entry level assistant position if they knew my real age. That is what I lied about, but my passion for this job was real. Once I got to know you, I wanted to tell you the truth but I didn't want you to have to carry that burden which would mean keeping my secret and lying for me to other people." If she had said something like that, I think Diana would have understood and forgiven her more quickly, but instead Liza was kind of vague.

I don't understand why Pauline, of all people, was so upset by Liza's age. It has nothing to do with how well she edited her book so it shouldn't affect their professional relationship. She is great with Charles and Pauline's daughters and her age doesn't change that either. Pauline is nowhere near the inner sanctum of Liza's circle so I don't know why she thinks that Liza would have shared this secret with her, but it doesn't affect any aspect of their personal or professional relationship.

My favorite millennial moment in the episode was Kelsey revealing that she skipped her prom to go to a Danity Kane meet and greet. Making the Band was SO GOOD for the two seasons that they had the girl group! I'm going to completely disregard the fact that those kind of meet and greets were usually in the middle of the day at the mall (which means Kelsey would have had plenty of time to go home afterward, change into a dress, and still go to the prom) because that line cracked me up.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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33 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Even though Diana eventually got over feeling hurt and betrayed by Liza's lie, I wish that Liza had been a lot more specific when she went to her office to apologize. She should have said, "As a 40 something woman, you know the challenges we face. I was a divorced stay at home mom with no recent job experience who wanted to get back into publishing and I knew that no one would hire me for an entry level assistant position if they knew my real age. That is what I lied about, but my passion for this job was real. Once I got to know you, I wanted to tell you the truth but I didn't want to have to carry that burden which would mean keeping my secret and lying for me to other people." If she had said something like that, I think Diana would have understood and forgiven her more quickly, but instead Liza was kind of vague.

Excellent post ElectricBoogaloo! The writing staff should consider hiring you, heh. Best episode in a very long time as it will ultimately influence almost every episode to follow. Judging from the previews, Liza will be facing backlash from almost everyone at work and initially will be apologetic and later defiant. As Zane pointed out Charles and Kelsey are going to take some heat for enabling and perpetrating the lie.  Methinks Kelsey's hair will start falling out in chunks soon. I loved Lauren's attitude the best, exactly the kind of way she would have reacted to that kind of betrayal. Diana's response post-hospital rang kind of hollow, the character as defined wouldn't have overcome that sort of humiliation so quickly, regardless of how much she cares for Liza.  The business repercussions are going to be cataclysmic and it will be interesting to see how the writers handle this.

This show has actually captured my attention again!

Edited by Winston Wolfe
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Oooh goody they found yet another way to shoe-horn Josh into an episode that he didn't need to be in.

I don't get why Pauline was so over the top upset either. Maybe it was easier to accept being replaced by a hot 20-something, but then again, the divorce was on long before Charles fell for Liza. And a 40+ woman who has raised a child of her own (no metion of Caitlyn in this episode?) should be more trustworthy around her kids anyway.

LOVED everything involving Diana, from her talking Charles into making the engagement announcement, to defending Liza, her lovely scene with Enzo at the hospital and her heart to heart with Liza at the end (which would have made a great final scene for the series finale). An that necklace she wore with the red dress - she looked stunning.

Lauren surprised me. I would not have expected her of all people to be so snarky about Liza's real age.

I am ususally not that bothered about their weird timelines, but asking Pauline to attend the ball a few hours before the event was quite a stretch considering the importance of the event. And Kelsey dismissing Jack Deveraux was not the move of a powerhouse editor.

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7 minutes ago, Winston Wolfe said:

I loved Lauren's attitude the best, exactly the kind of way she would have reacted to that kind of betrayal.

Lauren's "ma'am" and "I was taught to respect my elders" - hilarious!

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Praise the Lord! It was about time!

I understand Pauline (there's a first time for everything). Thinking that you are being replaced by someone younger might be painful but it does not force you to ask some hard questions about yourself. And since she's being Pauline she's of course not doing that but lashing out like Godzilla making sure to leave maximum destruction in her wake. But for once I think the show made good use of the character

As usual Diana was the best part of the episode. Diana and Liza's last scene made me think what a great show this could have been had it focused more on their relationship from the get go. But in early seasons Diana was more or less written for comic relief and as a possible nemesis for Liza. I agree that Liza's apology should have been more detailed and that the reconciliation happened too fast.

I'm glad the show did not forget about Zane and Lauren. They both have good reasons to be angry too. For Lauren it's more personal and even if Zane's hissy fit was childish he's right. Of course that's going to impact business. Liza's true age was always a ticking time bomb that they all decided to ignore. 

I guess ultimately the way out of all the problems will be what we all have discussed already two or three seasons ago: Liza finally writes a book about her experience as 'undercover millenial' and everything will be fine again. Well, that's the solution to the business side of things - no idea what the solution for the show's beloved *cough* love triangle is going to be.

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2 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Even though Diana eventually got over feeling hurt and betrayed by Liza's lie, I wish that Liza had been a lot more specific when she went to her office to apologize. She should have said, "As a 40 something woman, you know the challenges we face. I was a divorced stay at home mom with no recent job experience who wanted to get back into publishing and I knew that no one would hire me for an entry level assistant position if they knew my real age. That is what I lied about, but my passion for this job was real. Once I got to know you, I wanted to tell you the truth but I didn't want you to have to carry that burden which would mean keeping my secret and lying for me to other people." If she had said something like that, I think Diana would have understood and forgiven her more quickly, but instead Liza was kind of vague.

This. Sometimes I wonder about the writers on this show. They are clearly not writing for a mature audience. I thought it was telling that Diana showed up the next day in small button earrings and no power necklace! Also, technically, Liza will be her Matron of Honor.

Pauline's reaction was odd. I'd have thought she'd be relieved she wasn't replaced by a younger bit of trophy fluff. Especially since Liza has already raised a child of her own and does well with the girls.

So, is Liza going to flip flop back to Josh now?

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1 hour ago, MissLucas said:

I understand Pauline (there's a first time for everything). Thinking that you are being replaced by someone younger might be painful but it does not force you to ask some hard questions about yourself. And since she's being Pauline she's of course not doing that but lashing out like Godzilla making sure to leave maximum destruction in her wake. But for once I think the show made good use of the character

Totally agree. Pauline's reaction rang the most true.  As she told the school clerk, wives get replaced by younger women all the time.  In Pauline's case she was replaced by a contemporary - one she knew intimately. Plus she had just extended an Olive Branch to Liza and done so in a public way. No one likes to be lied to and played for the fool.  Adding insult to injury, Pauline was looking forward to having Liza play a bigger role in her daughter's lives.  In light of all that, her playing the Nuclear Card like that makes total sense.

Equally important, the writers are now off the hook regarding Liza's age.  Sutton Foster is a lovely woman, but the 26-year old charade was starting to look impossible to maintain.

1 hour ago, Ms Lark said:

 I thought it was telling that Diana showed up the next day in small button earrings and no power necklace!

Some of the writers' best work IMO. From a psychological standpoint, that kind of betrayal and public humiliation can rock even the strongest person to their core.  Diana was doubting herself, questioning her judgement, wondering how she could be so easily fooled.  That was enough to make her (temporarily, at least) switch off her fundamental "Diana-ness."

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4 hours ago, Ms Lark said:

This. Sometimes I wonder about the writers on this show. They are clearly not writing for a mature audience. I thought it was telling that Diana showed up the next day in small button earrings and no power necklace! Also, technically, Liza will be her Matron of Honor.

Why? Isn't "Matron of Honor" the title if the woman is married?

I'm grateful that everyone knows now, it was getting tedious. Though all this damage control they have to do over someone who's a whopping 2-3 years older than "millennial" is a bit of a stretch. I will always be hung up on how she defrauded the company and made counterfeit legal documents, but I know the show doesn't care about that. Completely absurd that a school official would literally show Pauline someone else's driver's license. 

Also, Liza did not do all those things because she cared about Diana, she did them because it was her job. She's only actually liked Diana for about one season to set up for this episode.

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7 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I wish that Liza had been a lot more specific when she went to her office to apologize.

Same! I thought the apology, while heartfelt, really could have been more on point.

4 hours ago, Ms Lark said:

I thought it was telling that Diana showed up the next day in small button earrings and no power necklace! Also, technically, Liza will be her Matron of Honor.

And very little makeup. I think technically Liza is still a maid of honor because she's not married, right? Or are divorcées still matrons? At any rate, I loved Diana's "old maid of honor" dig. Hee.

Add me to the list of people who are puzzled by why Pauline is so shattered and now vindictive. Wouldn't knowing Liza was older be a relief, especially when it comes to the kids? But whatever, we have to have drama for the dumb Liza/Charles relationship.

And honestly, I don't see how Liza's true age being known will affect business. There will be a lot of talk—it is a PR nightmare—but Liza's abilities don't suddenly change because the secret is out. People might feel betrayed, and that's fine, but this isn't the sort of thing that should bring down a company. If anything brings down the company, it should be Kelsey's terrible managing skills.

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16 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

And honestly, I don't see how Liza's true age being known will affect business. There will be a lot of talk—it is a PR nightmare—but Liza's abilities don't suddenly change because the secret is out. People might feel betrayed, and that's fine, but this isn't the sort of thing that should bring down a company. If anything brings down the company, it should be Kelsey's terrible managing skills.

It should not be a major issue under normal circumstances but Liza was established along Kelsey as the face of Millenial and her supposed age played a huge part in branding the imprint. It wasn't just a harmless lie that affected people working with her, she was part of a package touted as millenial wunderkinds in publishing.

And Liza's not just two or three years older than the oldest millenials who are born in the early 1980s. When the show debuted she was already described as a forty-something, that means she was born in the 1970s (1975 being the latest year to make that work). She's definitely gen X and not just by a small margin. 

Edited by MissLucas
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53 minutes ago, gesundheit said:

Why? Isn't "Matron of Honor" the title if the woman is married?

You're right. For some reason I always thought it meant being a mother. I'm mistaken.

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7 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

And Liza's not just two or three years older than the oldest millenials who are born in the early 1980s. When the show debuted she was already described as a forty-something, that means she was born in the 1970s (1975 being the latest year to make that work). She's definitely gen X and not just by a small margin. 

She was born in 1976 according to her driver's license, and it's 2018 in the show. So she's Gen-X, but only by a few years.

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Well then the props department screwed up because she couldn't have been a forty-something in 2015 😁 And yes, it's only a 'few years' but that's relative, most of the millenials she interacted with were born more than a decade later and for them that's a considerable age-gap.

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23 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

It wasn't just a harmless lie that affected people working with her, she was part of a package touted as millenial wunderkinds in publishing.

It's a PR issue, IMO, but I'm probably alone there. That's fine. Heh.

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God, finally. The show got around about Liza's age again. The first half of the season felt like the writers forgot all about it that I had to remember if Diana already knew or not.

So Lauren didn't know yet?? That was the most I was surprised about. I thought she knew right around the time that Kelsey knew. 

I understand Diana's pain and panic attack. I do wish Liza had come out sooner to her though, and in person. Like most of you, I think Diana would be the one who would most understand, considering the challenges she still continue to face with her age considering she's already a woman in a powerful position and all of her achievements. 

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9 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

She should have said, "As a 40 something woman, you know the challenges we face. I was a divorced stay at home mom with no recent job experience who wanted to get back into publishing and I knew that no one would hire me for an entry level assistant position if they knew my real age. That is what I lied about, but my passion for this job was real. Once I got to know you, I wanted to tell you the truth but I didn't want you to have to carry that burden which would mean keeping my secret and lying for me to other people." If she had said something like that, I think Diana would have understood and forgiven her more quickly, but instead Liza was kind of vague.

That would be a pretty self-serving explanation on Liza's part.  I mean, it makes it sound like Liza was doing Diana a favor by not being honest.  I like that Diana was open to forgive Liza, but I felt like Liza probably should have done some more groveling given her lie led Diana to publicly humiliate herself in Liza's defense. 

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I understand that Pauline felt deceived but her reaction was way over the fucking top and so public, too!

I'm okay with the conversation between Diana and Liza and as a woman of a certain age, Diana knew and understood exactly why Liza lied. She clearly gave it a lot of thought the night before and while she will have to "punish" Liza just a little, she gets it and she knows how much Liza cares for her.

I thought Lauren's reaction was perfect and funny so very Lauren. Would like to see more of her.

Can't believe next week is the finale.

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Even though I wish Liza had told Diana the truth in private, I'm glad that she was outed very publicly because that means her age isn't a secret to ANYONE anymore. No more lying, no more pretending to be a decade younger, no more giving in to people blackmailing her so they won't expose her age. The fallout is going to be huge but I'm just relieved that we don't have this hanging over our heads anymore (even though I know that's the premise of the show).

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I think it's at least a season too late, but I'm glad the secret is finally out. The more publicity Liza and Millennium got, the harder it was getting for someone not to recognize her and say, "Yeah, no. Our kids went to grade school together. She's not 26."

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OH MY GOD THANK GOD ITS OUT!

Its been so long and its getting so obvious that Liza isn't in her 20s by this point, and as she becomes more well know, people who knew her before will start to figure out whats going on and could go public. I kind of love that the big secret that created this whole show was blown by some random office lady doing routine office work. You would think that more people would have figured this out by now in some kind of clerical way. Of course Pauline just goes nuclear instantly and publicly outs Liza in front of the entire industry, because of course she does. Yeah its shocking and I would feel deceived too, but calm down lady she isn't a criminal in hiding or anything, nor were you two particularly tight. 

If anyone has the right to be pissed, its clearly Diana. Liza's apology was heartfelt, but I think if she had been more straight up with why she lied about her age (its really hard to get into the work force in your 40s with little work experience and I needed money to live) than a kind of vague and kind of kiss ass-y "I just respect and admire you so much I had to do anything to bask in your presence!" which is totally not how that went down.

I do wish that things had gone down differently, but after treading water for the last few seasons, I am really excited that the secret is out and everyone is going to have to deal with the fallout. Finally an episode that isn't just random books and hijinks and Liza flip flopping between guys, it has actual stuff happening!

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19 hours ago, Aulty said:

I don't get why Pauline was so over the top upset either. Maybe it was easier to accept being replaced by a hot 20-something, but then again, the divorce was on long before Charles fell for Liza. And a 40+ woman who has raised a child of her own (no metion of Caitlyn in this episode?) should be more trustworthy around her kids anyway.

I think I get why she was upset - although she did go over way the top with it.  It's obvious that even to this day Pauline still harbors fantasies of one day getting back together with Charles.  We knew about that a couple of seasons ago.  And with the "young" Liza as his girlfriend, she could still hang onto that by a thread because in her mind, Charles being hooked up with someone a lot younger than him could be written off as a "midlife fling", or "divorce rebound" relationship.  She could dismiss it as something he'd tire of and grow beyond in time when he realized he needed someone more "on his level" of maturity.  So in some really substantial ways Pauline could see a 26 year old Liza as no competition.  But when she found out Liza's real age she realized there was more substance to the relationship, so she had to face that in every way she had been completely replaced.  In addition to the betrayal, that had to be very hard for her.  It's kind of like the woman who feels better about her husband cheating if it's "just for sex" than if he was in love with the other woman.

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11 hours ago, politichick said:

Can't believe next week is the finale.

It is not, this season has 12 episodes, so 4 more to go 🙂

On second thought, while most of this season felt weird, partially ooc and contrived at times, this episode was clearly written by someone who has been on the team for some time. It felt like the old Younger.

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I can't wait to see Pauline's court petition for custody - "your honor if it pleases the court I left my ex husband with our kids to go and find myself; I stayed away for years. During that time I wrote a book. I met a vibrant brilliant editor who helped make it the best selling book at her publishing house. During this time she was also the one sometimes tucking my kids into bed at night giving them that 'motherly' touch they may have been missing as young girls. I found out she was dating my ex husband. It took me a minute to get past how my ex and my kids absolutely adored her. I mean we had her on the pick up list at my kids school! Well imagine my surprise when I found out she was not 26 but 42. She lied to me to about her age and although this has no direct effect on my life right now I feel like for these reasons I should be granted full custody of the children."

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This show can't get much more mileage out of the "younger" concept, so I'm glad they used up the remainder with one great big bang. I'm actually interested to see what the consequences will be.

It's weird that Liza has apparently taken on something of a parenting role with Charles' kids -- enough that she immediately agreed she should be on the school pick-up list and is doing their homework -- and we've seen... none of that. Have we even seen the kids themselves since the company picnic several seasons ago?

Liza's relationship with Josh is not healthy. 

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Not sure how Liza lying about her age means Pauline deserves full custody.  Pauline you left, deal with the consequences of your marriage vacation 

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I think Pauline is revisiting custody just to punish Charles for Liza's lie, which is petty, a waste of time and money, and dumb. I don't think Pauline expects to change the agreement. The judge should fine her for wasting the court's time if it goes that far. I mean, what is she going to say: "My ex-husband's girlfriend lied about her age, so I should get more time with my daughters." Yeah, no.

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On 8/8/2019 at 5:42 AM, MissLucas said:

I understand Pauline (there's a first time for everything). Thinking that you are being replaced by someone younger might be painful but it does not force you to ask some hard questions about yourself. And since she's being Pauline she's of course not doing that but lashing out like Godzilla making sure to leave maximum destruction in her wake. But for once I think the show made good use of the character.

On 8/8/2019 at 6:09 AM, Ms Lark said:

Pauline's reaction was odd. I'd have thought she'd be relieved she wasn't replaced by a younger bit of trophy fluff. Especially since Liza has already raised a child of her own and does well with the girls.

There are very, very, very few scenes from TV shows that I remember years and years later.  One of them was from Desperate Housewives when Tom and Lynette separated.  Their daughter was staying at Tom's apartment and Lynette tricked the daughter into taking a video of Tom's apartment and it showed out the window at the pool.  Lynette saw Tom with a much younger woman and thought that was who Tom was dating; she didn't like it, but she wrote it off as a mid-life crisis thing.  She then somehow found out that Tom was actually dating the mother of the younger woman, who was of approximately the same age as Lynette, and she was devastated.  That was the first time I had been exposed to that dynamic and I was very surprised.

On 8/8/2019 at 6:09 AM, Ms Lark said:

So, is Liza going to flip flop back to Josh now?

They sure made it look that way, which just pisses me off.  "Ooh I'm so in love with Charles that I want to move in with him" gets disregarded completely, and all it takes is circumstance to just as quickly have her say, "Ooh, Josh is so wonderful"...I hope they don't do that.

On 8/9/2019 at 8:39 PM, retrograde said:

It's weird that Liza has apparently taken on something of a parenting role with Charles' kids -- enough that she immediately agreed she should be on the school pick-up list and is doing their homework -- and we've seen... none of that. Have we even seen the kids themselves since the company picnic several seasons ago?

That was a big no on the part of the writers to not show us any of that.  And the writers really overplayed their hand by having the girls to be saying at school that they have two mommies, plus I found it entirely unbelievable that Pauline would not have been maximally upset when she heard about that.  And on a personal note, I am very very disappointed that Liza would do the kids' homework for them.  It is a form of lying for the kids to pass off homework that Liza did as their own, and I would have thought that Liza in particular would be sensitive to that. 

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After watching last weeks episode, I have to say, I don't know where the writers are going with these characters.  I love Charles and Liza.  They, however, are very formal and not as grounded as they could be.  

Josh is ok, but I have to say, I can't figure out why he is Liza's go to person to talk to and confide in.  Why not Charles.  She is playing the two of them, and I think she is so caught up in her own lies, that she is stuck with her 27 year old self and Josh and her 41 year old self with Charles.  So Charles doesn't drive a motorcycle, or have tattoo's all over his body, or is young and hip.  But he is classy, and runs (or ran) a large company and is a dad and is in love with a person who can't seem to get out of her own way.  

Liza is more disappointing than Charles and Josh.  Josh moves on with women constantly.  He can't be as much in love with Liza as he says he is.  Charles has been consistently devoted to Liza, and she seems to want that, but Josh and his attentions keep getting in the way.  

The only other person I find really annoying is Maggie.  She pukes out advice.  I find her more intolerable as each season passes.  I am hoping at some point in season 6, Liza will clear her head and make an actual choice and not be so wishy washy.  She is all over the place, and she really needs to "grow up".  

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On 8/13/2019 at 2:37 PM, Sulk said:

The only other person I find really annoying is Maggie.  She pukes out advice.  I find her more intolerable as each season passes.  I am hoping at some point in season 6, Liza will clear her head and make an actual choice and not be so wishy washy.  She is all over the place, and she really needs to "grow up".  

Lots of interesting perspective throughout this post! I think Josh really, really loves Liza, but sees her as un-obtainable, making it necessary to move on.

Much as I actually love Maggie, she started this mess by suggesting that Liza perpetrate the whole massive con job in the first place.  I find it fascinating that we've not seen Maggie assume one iota of responsibility for Liza's mess (even though most of the blame lies with Liza herself).

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On 8/8/2019 at 5:42 AM, MissLucas said:

I understand Pauline (there's a first time for everything). Thinking that you are being replaced by someone younger might be painful but it does not force you to ask some hard questions about yourself. And since she's being Pauline she's of course not doing that but lashing out like Godzilla making sure to leave maximum destruction in her wake. But for once I think the show made good use of the character

You’re spot on. She immediately went into attack mode on Charles, whereas in the past she appeared more thoughtful and focused on her struggles with the marriage.  

Also, I thought Pauline’s reaction mirrored Charles’s reaction when he saw Liza out with Jay. To paraphrase, “I don’t understand why you’re dating a forty-something man who isn’t me.”

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After two boring filler episodes we got Sutton at peak adorable and excitable so that was fun.

Is Jennifer Westfeldt a bad actress or very Botox-ed? I didn't notice her being this off in her earlier appearances. But then I usually multitask while watching this show.

I appreciated that the show realized Diana should have a big reaction to being the last to know. Miriam Shor has been criminally underutilized on this show.

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