This post contains spoilers about season two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, now streaming on Amazon. Stream It
As the title of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season two finale suggests, the episode’s theme is about being “All Alone.” It’s a stark contrast to the hoopla of the nine previous episodes, which ranged from the meticulously orchestrated events at the Steiner resort in the Catskills (hair appointments, Simon Says, Susie’s “search party”) to the supremely entertaining road trip Susie and Midge took for a mini comedy tour. Midge and Benjamin’s courtship was also nice to look at, just like an expensive piece of art. Through the nine episodes, there was always something going on, some dramatic, over-the-top but all too familiar problem to solve, and of course, a fresh glass of tomato juice at Abe’s disposal.
In “All Alone,” it’s business as usual for the main cast, but only if you concentrate on screen time. For the most part, instead of the chipper and chaos, we have some characters experiencing solitude for the first time, while others are just breaking into or rediscovering the best version of themselves, something Rose tried to achieve in Paris earlier in the season.
For starters, it looks like Abe is getting ready for “a really good fight” involving a lawyer (and if he has his way, some really good signs) in wake of the Bell Labs/Columbia drama. Joel is sitting on a hefty check from his father but refuses to leave the factory. (Is he afraid of being alone?) Lenny Bruce, Midge’s confidante and fellow comedian, has allowed the profession to catch up to him and apparently, his marriage. Susie, meanwhile, must consider life with two clients: Midge and Sophie Lennon, who’s just asked Susie to be her manager. (For now, this secret belongs to Susie and Susie alone.)
In an uncharacteristic move (and without much thought) Midge agrees to go on the road for six months with singer Shy Baldwin as his opening act. Remember, this is the same girl who brought too many outfits to both the Catskills and her east coast tour. This spur-of-the-moment behavior is new—and gives her life.
But by the episode’s final minutes, Midge realizes that comedy—specifically, being successful in the comedy world—comes with a price. (It already has, from how it affected her children to all the work it took for her to tell her parents.) As she says to Joel in the scene that likely made your heart jump, right before that ~kiss~:
Midge and Joel’s hookup at the factory shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the flashback to the night of their engagement (when Midge was a blonde and Joel had the power to stop traffic) at the beginning of the episode. These kids were in love once, and will be in love with each other until the end of time, despite what it says on the divorce papers that may never come.
As the shock of this moment slowly wears off (give it a few more days, or just rewatch season one to remind yourself of what Joel did to get to this factory situation), here are some other lingering thoughts. Don’t theorize too long, though—season three is just around the corner.
Will Midge actually go through with the tour? Technically, Midge hasn’t signed anything and we haven’t seen Susie actually connect with Shy Baldwin’s people to finalize the contract. Given her reasoning for arriving at Joel’s (“just for tonight”) and her determination to pack with limited time, all signs are pointing to her being on the road after her hookup.
Will Susie eventually tell Midge of Sophie Lennon’s offer? Signing someone as big as Sophie Lennon could possibly be the highlight of Susie’s career, but will her loyalty to Midge get in the way? Seeing as Susie keeps the news to herself through the end of the episode, I expect some sort of big confrontation scene to pop up on season three. That, or it was all a dream. (Sophie Lennon’s house does behave an awful lot like a dream, from the mystery rooms to the free coats.)
What’s going to happen to Benjamin? If the charms of Zachary Levi didn’t sweep you off your feet/make you want to buy oversized suits for your significant other, you may skip this point. But for fans of Midge and Benjamin, it would be awful for the show to build him up in season two only to have Midge go back to Joel or worse, be single while she’s on tour and becoming famous. The look of Midge’s face in reaction to Abe finally saying yes to Benjamin’s proposal in the season finale should be enough for anyone betting against a wedding in season three. Then again, who doesn’t love a good TV love triangle?
Who will Abe sue? Until the writing of this piece, I was convinced that Abe was amped up to sue Bell Labs and Columbia University. But if the episode’s theme of being alone also applies to Abe, should viewers be worried about an Abe and Rose divorce? Mrs. Maisel writers: If you’re reading this and are considering this direction, please just have them go back to Paris so they can reunite with Simone the dog and waltz by the Siene!
When will the Lenny Bruce and Midge Maisel ship set sail? Some fans have been shipping Lenny and Midge ever since they met on season one (#TBT to him bailing her out of jail). On season two, they share some nice scenes, including one on the night of Benjamin and Midge’s date. The real Lenny Bruce died of a drug overdose in the mid-1960s, which doesn’t give this dream storyline a lot of time, so @writers, again, if you’re reading this, give the people what they want, even if it’s a couple of nice dates or more bailouts!
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