This isn’t your typical company picnic.
There was Asian slaw, potato sack races, not to be confused with just “sack races” and a showdown for the ages between Josh and Charles. Spoiler alert: Josh knocked Charles out on the first try. But to be fair, he didn’t retaliate because even he knows he deserved it. And also because he’s the boss of the company so he obviously took the higher road.
The matchup is one we’ve been waiting for ever since Liza kissed Charles in the Hamptons causing Josh to call of his deeply romantic proposal. And thanks to Kelsey’s idea of turning Josh’s tattoo’s into a coloring book, we finally got to see what would happen when the two were in the same room, racing for yet another common, slightly-less important goal – the title of Potato Sack King.
Basically, all the tension that’s been building up over the weeks was released when Josh’s gripped fist met Charles’ chiseled chin. How dare he right?! But more on that in a bit.
Liza has once again found herself caught up in a love triangle, but this time, it’s with Charles and his ex-wife Pauline. Here’s the problem: Pauline is nice. We sympathize with a woman who feels like she was being held prisoner in her relationship and who finally broke free and followed her dreams. That’s why we like Liza so much. These two have a lot in common, which I’m sure is why Charles is so attracted to Liza.
The series tries to humanize her by showing her with the kids, having her give Liza the grand tour and even sharing moments from their blissfully married life together, however all I see is a woman who is pretending she did nothing wrong. She could be making amends but instead, she’s expecting everything to be as it was before she walked out, leaving Charles heartbroken and raising their two daughters. She’s jealous of the alleged “new woman” in Charles’ life and instead of focusing on the book, presses Liza into revealing any gossip.
This obviously puts Liza in a very awkward position because she had to keep reminding her that she was her editor and they had to keep it professional. Not to mention she’s the other woman so she has to keep lying to this woman who she probably would have been really good friends with under any other circumstance.
And that’s not even the worst of her problems. Josh comes to the picnic unexpectedly with his Irish video-gamer/coder girlfriend Clare to schmooze (and by schmooze I mean punch) Charles, who is giving him a $10K advance for his tattoo coloring book. Millenials and their love of coloring. Seriously, if Empirical is just giving out these advances left and right, I can see why they’re having financial problems.
Josh’s life has been a sloppy mess of highs and lows since his split with Liza. First off, he takes Clare on a Mexican date and immediately regrets the decision when his night ends with a tub of Greek yogurt on his penis after receiving a jalapeno hand job. Props to the writers for still being able to insert the most hilarious of scenes into an episode filled with angst and rising tensions. Word to the wise – never touch anything sensitive after touching jalapenos. It almost always ends badly.
But all these so-called “girlfriends” are simply proof that he’s not over Liza. And no matter how much Clare tries to help him keep his composure during the meeting, Josh needed that revenge on Charles in order to even take the first step in moving on.
Color Kelsey more confused than anyone else on the show right now. She can’t understand why Josh would throw all that money away, not to mention a career opportunity, and then claim that it was “worth every penny.” Eventually, she pieces it together as Liza comes clean – she shared a “moment” with Charles that led to the messy breakup. I think Kelsey’s finally all caught up now, don’t you think.
She gives her friend some honest advice and from a girl who has mixed business with pleasure, Liza should listen: don’t sleep with the boss. If we thought lying about her age to date a younger man was messy, just imagine what sleeping with your boss while editing his ex’s book would do. Imagine if Pauline found out SHE was the other woman. She would ruin Charles! Part of me believes that she actually already speculates it after she found out that Liza watches the girls sometimes. I bet it was painful to find out your daughters, which you abandoned to “find yourself,” actually cared for another woman.
Liza seems to have figured out as much as #TeamCharles fans did – this relationship is infuriating and will most likely never happen. I’ll say it was probably a combination of Liza seeing her relationships blow up in her face publicly, realizing that there is a lot of unfinished business between Charles and Pauline and being scared for something real and substantial.
I feel like the series keeps wanting to stretch out the tensions but I guess for good reasons. In the heat of the moment, acting on their feelings seemed like a good idea but as reality literally hit them in the face, she sees there are too many obstacles, too many hoops and too much was at risk. Will Charles keep fighting for them in the face of these obstacles or will he let the chemistry fizzle out?
And when he finds out her real age, everything will surely change. I’m just wondering if it will finally be for the better? Will her truth set her free?
- Josh to Clare: “What are you looking up?” “Jalapeno dick.”
- Diana on Liza playing matchmaker: “You set him up with a girl and a job? Later, we have to have a talk about how not to be a doormat.”
- Really, everything about Diana this episode. She gets so little screen time but she makes every scene memorable, from her being honest with Pauline about never having sexual relations with Charles (hard to believe) to her eating a corn dog to her talking about sacks.