Episodes 7 and 8 of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel sees Susie expand her clientele, and Midge goes through some very serious family drama that just means more material for her set.
Episode 7 recap: Ethan…Esther…Chaim
Midge goes on this long spiel about how she met a guy and how he was charming and cute but the punchline was actually about how she wanted her lucky dress back. Talk about having your priorities on straight.
Abe gets a visit from two of the matchmaking mobsters threatening him with castration if he doesn’t get his wife to stop her business. Nothing will shut a man up faster than the threat of danger to his privates.
Midge finds out from Joel that Mei is pregnant and she can see that Joel does not have a handle on things. She tries to help out because that’s what she does. She then nudges Nicky and Frank to do what they do best and get some dirt on Mei.
Midge bags a gig at an event held by Jackie Kennedy that sounds like a good lead. The family go out to watch Alfie perform his magic act but after he hypnotises Rose and gets her to recreate Midge’s act from the strip club, it is the Weissman family who wishes they could disappear.
At the Kennedy lunch, Midge starts strong but eventually crashes and burns when she starts talking about infidelity, which seems like a sore subject in the 60s. What is with American politicians and their affinity for misteresses?
Susie plans to fire her secretary, Dinah, but when she introduces him to a raw but talented black comic she changes her mind and keeps her on. Midge watches Lenny Bruce on the television as he talks up his upcoming performance taking place at Carnegie Hall.
Joel decides to tell his father about his Chinese girlfriend and the fact that there’s another child in the future of the Maisel clan, and as if by fate, Moishe gets a heart attack immediately after he hears all this.
Epsiode 8 recap: How do you get to Carnegie Hall
Everybody and their mother comes to visit Moishe in the hospital and it feels more like a confessional than a hospital room, with everyone blaming themselves for his heart attack.
There is absolute pandemonium at Susie’s office with so many people cramped up in that office which makes it more hilarious when she’s able to conduct some business.
Abe decides that he will write up an obituary for Moishe Maisel in his paper because the New York Times will not do one as they did for Albert Einstein. Midge is called to the club because there are paying customers there to see her.
Midge drops by to perform a set but she gets all philosophical talking about how her ex-father-in-law is in the hospital. Tough night for those people who just came to see the strippers, now they get an existential crisis as an add-on.
After she’s done, she finds out that Lenny Bruce is there to visit her. They do their usual song and dance before the party is cut short by a police raid at the club. Lenny takes Midge back to his hotel room where the two of them get intimate.
Abe falls asleep at the office but is woken up with the message that he has to get to the hospital as soon as possible. He rushes on over with a copy of the obituary he wrote clutched in his hand. When he arrives he’s shocked to see that Moishe is awake,
The others question him about what’s in his hand so he is forced to talk about what he included in the obituary of one Moishe Maisel which turns out to be quite heartwarming.
Susie gets a call from Tony Bennett’s people asking Midge to open for him, a gig she got thanks to Lenny. Midge declines because she’s adamant that she won’t do opening acts despite how attractive this gig looks.
Rose Weissman has her ‘Michael Corleone’ moment as the other matchmakers of New York each get a letter from her stating her defiance. Looks like there’s going to be a war in the match-making world, which I’m sure we are all curious to observe.
Lenny Bruce performs a brilliant set at Carnegie Hall and Midge is there to see it all, but his true performance follows after as he scolds Midge for turning down the Tony Bennett gig.
He tells her like it is, that she needs to work in this business to get ahead in this business, and if she doesn’t do that, she will break Lenny’s heart.
- Every scene set in Susie’s office or at the strip club moves at such a blistering pace and it’s brilliant that way. Despite so many things happening so fast, the audience is still allowed to process each event because of the structure.
- Rose Weissman pretending to be Miriam during her set after being hypnotised was spot-on. To show off multiple layers of acting within one set piece is always a treat.
- There are multiple emotional moments in the 8th episode, like Abe reading out the end of Moishe’s obituary, or Midge’s monologue at the club. These heavy moments really tug at the heartstrings of the audience.
- The real standout, however, is any time Lenny Bruce and Midge share the screen. Their chemistry together is like two flint rocks making a fire. But when Lenny gives Midge a reality check, the kind of raw emotion he exudes during that speech, it’s enought to make a grown person cry.