Season 4 of ‘The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’ starts with the aftermath of Midge Maisel and Susie being left on the tarmac after they were dropped from the Shy Baldwin tour.
Episode 1 recap: “Rumble on the Wonder Wheel”
Midge is performing a set at the Gaslight, talking about how her life flipped upside down when she was dropped from the tour. They go back to that night, Midge and Susie sitting in a cab while Midge looks like she’s about to have a nervous breakdown.
Then Midge stops the cab and does an impromptu cabaret act to get rid of any reminders of the night, but after a few knocks from Susie, she gets back to her senses. She even got rid of her hat which drives home how serious the situation was.
They crash at the Gaslight for the night and the next day, Midge gets in touch with her parents while Susie goes out looking for a solution to her money problems. Midge finds out that her parents have rescheduled her son’s birthday to fit their schedule, which is par for the course when it comes to both sets of grandparents.
Susie realizes her insurance payment might take some time, so she goes to Joel and asks him to loan her the money. She gets no love from him but he doesn’t rebuff her outright, so some hope still exists.
Midge goes to Coney Island where her family is and they all get onto the Wonder Wheel and have what one would describe as a conference call across the different cars. What a way to air your dirty laundry in front of strangers like that.
Joel agrees to loan the money to Susie but only if he tells her the whole truth about what she did with Midge’s earnings. Now that conversation must have been more uncomfortable for her than the one she had to probably have with her bookie.
Susie hands the money to Midge who tells her how she prefers to be herself for future performances and not be bogged down by particular guidelines or expectations. Just being a very difficult client, which is any client in the life of a talent manager.
Episode 2 recap: “Billy Jones and Orgy Lamps”
Midge is getting ready to move back to her old apartment and goes around schmoozing all the nearby vendors to cover her current cash flow issues. She just never seems to run of juice when it comes to sweet-talking people.
Abe is starting his new job at the newspaper and already seems to be getting along with his new colleagues. Midge invites her parents over to officially ask them to move in with her.
Just like typical parents though, they accept her offer and thank her momentarily before flipping the script and making it seem like they’re the ones doing her a favour. It’s impossible to win an argument with your parents no matter whose side the logic lies.
Midge takes some time getting used to living with her parents again. On top of that, she has to deal with the milk company which refuses to extend her ex-husband’s line of credit to her. Man, it was especially tough for a woman in the 60s.
Susie meets with Harry to get some sage advice on dealing with her clients. He just tells her to either take charge and put a foot down or cut them like a cold heartless machine. They’re not kidding when they say that the entertainment industry is a cutthroat one.
Susie tries to get Midge out of her funk so she takes her to one of their old haunts. She doesn’t get a slot, but she sits there and listens to the hacks perform their stale sets. When given a chance, she does what she does best and ruffles a whole lot of feathers before getting arrested
She gets bailed out by Susie and when she gets back home, she finds her father a few drinks down and has a heartwarming moment with him, and not just because of the hard liquor involved.
- The cinematography is stellar for the first two episodes like it always has been. The use of a roving camera following the main subject while the rest of the world passes by is magnificent.
- The script is especially well written, every time two characters have a back and forth conversation, the audience is left enamored by the witty banter on display.
- The colour palette is so wide ranging and adds alot to whatever setting that is the are of focus in that moment. Darker tones for the performances in seedy bars while light and bright to showcase the prim and proper home life they are living.
- Midge’s set at the Gaslight which was split in two to open and close the episode was a birlliant decision and is always one of the best showcases of the series.
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