Give it up for the marvelous Ms. Myerson!
On The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 6, Susie finally gets her due for being the best damn manager in show business.
The show is careening towards its finale with (even more!) new characters and enough time jumps to make your head spin.
This episode will likely be polarizing for viewers. Some may love it, applauding its ambitious narrative style, while others may hate it, finding it too convoluted to enjoy.
Like many of the Susie stories told by the comedians after the ceremony, the truth likely lies somewhere in between.
Seeing Susie acknowledged and praised was satisfying, but seeing how bitter and jaded she’d become was hard.
This definitely played like a “Best Of” Susie reel. With all the time-jumping, though, we’re getting less grounded and more detached from the story set in the present.
Everything Midge has been going through with Gordon Ford feels less critical now that we’ve seen so much of their future.
Susie is portrayed as an enigmatic legend, larger-than-life when we know her as a flawed human who has seen her share of struggles.
I love Darren Criss as much as the next person (probably more, honestly), but his scene with Susie felt unnecessary. Was there ever a question of Susie’s loyalty to Harry Drake?
When Harry died, he had so many knives in his back, they had to bury him face down.
Susie’s loyalty is one of her biggest strengths, at least to people she respects. Look at how she dealt with Ronald when she found out he’d been abusing Dinah. Dinah was loyal to Susie; Susie would always be loyal to Dinah.
However, the goodbye to Harry Drake (David Paymer) was well-done and showcased Susie’s soft side. Harry was as crass and unlikable as ever, but Susie’s commitment to him ensured her success.
However it happened, Harry wasn’t alone in his final moments, which is more than he could have asked for.
The nods to Jackie (Brian Tarantina) were sweet, too, proving that Susie never forgets those she loves, even when they’re gone.
The Tessie business was weird, but at least it was lampshaded as weird. Her song had a catchy beat — though we were thankfully spared the “sex moans” portion.
Emily Bergl is always a campy delight, but this feels like as good a resolution for Tessie’s character as one could hope for. If we don’t ever see her again, that’s probably okay.
Speaking of music, much has been made of the use of anachronistic songs over the end credits. In a way, all of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5′s flash-forwards to the future feel like a good way to justify the use of modern music over the years.
Miriam, I have done a lot for you over the years. I jumped onto a subway track to retrieve your third favorite hat. I came to your apartment at four a.m. to kill a cockroach — turned out to be a raisin. I’ve euthanized three of your elderly pets. I wrung out your wet bras on hotel terraces. I wrestled a Turkish police officer to the ground. I kept Ethel Merman away from you!
The Hawaii scene was fun, but again, the point was lost. Susie loves Midge. We know this. We’ve watched the last four and a half seasons. Was it just a way to make a weird dig at Philip Roth? An excuse to give Abe and Rose some screen time?
(It’s worth noting that Moise, Shirley, and Gordon Ford were completely absent in this episode).
There really are too many characters now. It feels crowded. I know most of these actors will be one-offs for this episode (and I get the joy of seeing Gilmore Girls alums), but it’s an issue that’s become un-ignorable.
Midge herself was sidelined, too, for most of the episode, which was admittedly refreshing.
In its way, it was just like a marriage. It started with a contract, it ended with a lawsuit, and we never had sex.
Miriam “Midge” Maisel
Maybe the Hawaii scene was also there to contrast the big blowout between Susie and Midge at the synagogue — which we’ll get to, but first, we must address what Joel did.
This was Joel’s redemption episode. He did it. It took almost the entire five-season run of the show, but he did it. He took the heat off Midge and allowed her success with a clean slate without the need for acknowledgment.
It appears he only did about five years in the slammer, so in the grand scheme of things, it feels like he got off reasonably light for how long he was in with the mob. Nonetheless, the character should earn much respect from this act.
It makes sense that Joel’s deal is directly connected to Susie and Midge’s big blowout. After all, Susie and Joel are the two people that love her the most.
Midge’s greatest gift, which undoubtedly propelled her to stardom, is her charisma — her ability to make people love her.
This is how I’m going to remember you, Susie. Small.
Miriam “Midge” Maisel
That Midge and Susie synagogue scene was intense, and Brosnahan and Borstein handled it well. They both understood the gravity of the situation.
We’ve been building to this moment since The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 2, and they delivered.
With all its ups and down, Susie and Midge’s friendship is the heart of this show.
Susie knew she had done wrong, and Midge was right, but both women made good points. It hurt more because Susie never got the acknowledgment from Midge of all she did, which made the final video scene hit that much harder.
She saw a nervous breakdown and turned it into a career.
Miriam “Midge” Maisel
At its best, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel hits that sweet spot of blending sentimentality and hilarious vulgarity. It can be sublime.
This episode has a few great scenes, but it got bogged down in its unnecessarily complicated framing device. At least it gave us plenty of answers, catharsis, and filthy jokes.
This one is probably going to be easier to follow on a rewatch, but then having to watch something multiple times to have it make sense of it isn’t always a strength.
There was still no mention of Hedy, and with Gordon’s absence, we can’t help but wonder if anything happened there. We’ve spent so much time this season with Midge at The Gordon Ford show and with Ford himself; surely there has to be a payoff.
She’s either the best snoop in the business or the luckiest son of a bitch who ever walked the planet.
George has been ruined and unceremoniously shunted off. Mike is now in charge. How will things change now at 30 Rock? Will Mike finally put Midge on the show, and the rest is history?
Where do we go from here? What timeline are we going to resume, and where from?
With so many significant issues addressed, many story beats already hit, and futures revealed, it’s difficult to know what the final three episodes will have in store.
The pacing of this season has been wonky — will they stick to the landing?
Did you love or hate “The Testi-Roastial”? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Mary Littlejohn Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She loves television, cinema, and theatre (especially musicals!), particularly when it champions inclusivity, diversity, and social justice. Follow her on Twitter.