Season 5 episode 9 recap of the series finale ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’: ‘Four Minutes’ puts the curtain on Midge’s moment (SPOILERS)

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Rachel Brosnahan stars in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” series finale, “Four Minutes.”


Ultimately, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” closed out its act by focusing on the relationship — in the world of the show, anyway — that mattered most.

After a series of flash-forwards throughout the final season and a serious rift between Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and her agent Susie (Alex Borstein), the two were back together in the distant future, laughing and joking and watching “Jeopardy! ” together as an old married couple. After going through the wars, both emerged rich and unscathed, as conquerors of the comedy world.

This final sequence took place in 2005, 40 years after Midge had her “The Tonight Show” moment (OK, “The Gordon Ford Show”), calling back to a time when an appearance on a late-night comedy show – and an approving invitation to Johnny Carson’s office – could make or break a comedian’s career.

In Midge’s case, the triumphant moment came after taking a huge risk, “doing something reckless”, as she put it, when reluctantly Ford (Reid Scott, capturing well the imperiousness associated with the talk show celebrity) booked her as one of his writers, not to perform his stand-up act. Seizing the opportunity, Midge hijacked the showcase, killed with her stand-up routine and, after the aforementioned invitation to bow beside the host, was promptly dismissed.

The win marked a fitting but sentimental end to an uneven series since its Emmy-winning first season, and whose victory for Midge and Suzy was offset by the sad professional demise of Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby), one of many true-life figures to cross its orbit. The opening depicts Lenny as a shell of himself in 1965, obsessed with his legal troubles to the point of forgetting how to entertain an audience. (The credits included a “special thank you” to Kitty Bruce, the comic’s daughter.)

The focus on Midge achieving stardom — and the serialized take on the fallout from that, including her relationship with her ex-husband (Michael Zegen) and children — provided a kind of happy ending. But the show’s beating heart could really be seen at the end, with her and Suzy enjoying that laugh as a version of “Girls Talk” played over the closing credits.

To get there, Midge had to overcome all kinds of adversity and sexism – including her status as the series’ lonely female Ford writer throughout the season – just as the show had to overcome some of its less admirable impulses. , including her tendency to fly wildly over the top with Midge’s parents and in-laws.

By contrast, “Mrs. Maisel’s know-how about the show business world of that era has always been one of her strengths, and the idea of ​​Midge using Jack Paar as leverage to try to wring concessions to Ford was a nice touch as part of his knockout blow.

While the series played a significant role in helping put Amazon’s original programming efforts on the map, the final season reinforced feelings that it didn’t always live up to its original promise. And while series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino pulled the curtain down with a light touch that suited the overall tone, one would be hard pressed to say it came down prematurely.

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