Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for the series finale of Younger.
There's a reason why people watch great movies and TV shows — it's because they're didactic. Deep down inside, we know that there are things we aren't doing in our own lives that we should be doing. Whether it's going after that dream job or dream relationship or punching a bully in the face, great entertainment shows us how to act.
Sometimes, those demonstrations are very similar, like when long-running dramas play the game of "Who does the protagonist end up with?" Liza (Sutton Foster) from Younger is at the center of that very same conundrum.
Who does Liza end up with in 'Younger'?
To say that Younger was a smash-hit success would be a tremendous understatement. Despite presenting a wildly inaccurate portrayal of what the publishing world is like (seriously, it's nowhere near that glamorous) and being criticized as Sex and the City lite, Younger nabbed a ton of viewers, churned out seven full seasons, and gave a huge platform for familiar and new TV stars.
The biggest question in the show, however, is who the story's main protagonist, Liza, ends up with? Is it Josh (Nico Tortorella), whom she's 14 years older than? Or Charles (Peter Hermann)? In the end, it was the man who was "right there by [her] side all along."
The series finale opened with it looking like Charles and Liza were endgame. In bed, she revealed that he'd gotten into Yaddo, an exclusive artists’ retreat.
She'd submitted his application in secret, which prompted him to ask, "If I hadn’t gotten into Yaddo, would you have let me know?”
Her silence was the answer he needed. “We’re not going to make it, are we?" she eventually asked.
Though Charles wouldn't be the man of her dreams, he was the man who made her dream come true. Upon leaving for Yaddo, he asked her to take over Empirical for him. And just like that, Liza had fulfilled the goal that she'd had all series long.
In a way, Liza ended up with the person she needed to be with: herself. Though the episode did end with a hint that she'd be getting back together with Josh.
While out celebrating her big victory, Liza bumped into Josh at the bar, in which their relationship basically came full circle from the pilot. When Liza said that she didn't know Josh was there, he replied, "Really? Because you know what, I’ve been right there by your side all along.”
The fact that Liza's relationship was left ambiguous was somewhat in the cards. After all, Younger was about Liza's dreams and the people, specifically the women, who lift her up.
According to Refinery29, series creator Darren Star says that Liza's story is less about the love triangle and more about her friendships and relationship with her daughter.
Liza's most important adult relationship in the series is with Kelsey (Hilary Duff), as she is the only person that Liza wanted to tell her secret to. During the reveal scene, she even calls her "the most precious thing in the world to me."
With Josh and Charles, however, she only ever really told them the truth when it was more or less against her will. With Josh, it was when she was drunk. With Charles, he hears the truth from another person.
Darren said, "We’re not Team Charles, Team Josh. We’re sort of like, Team Liza. We think about what is right for Liza, what feels right for Liza, what’s important to Liza."
At the end of the series, Liza truly had everything that was important to her.
The final episode of Younger is streaming now on Paramount Plus.