The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Round Table: Does Making It As A Woman Mean Tearing Each Other Down?Leora W at .
There were so many bombshells dropped in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 4 Episode 5 and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 4 Episode 6. Mei is pregnant, L. Roy Dunham is a girl, and the Mafia threatens Rose.
Plus, Rose saw Midge perform, and then she performed on TV with Sophie Lennon. All this after going to Shy Baldwin's wedding, apologizing, and turning down a lot of money. Too bad Susie can't promote someone working at an illegal club.
But the real news is the refrigerator broke, and Lenny Bruce has bad pants!
TV Fanatic writers Mike Stack, Mary Littlejohn, Becca Newton, and Leora W. discuss this and more below.
L. Roy Dunham is a woman. React.
Mike Stack: I loved this! It made for a fascinating "twist" and an exciting view of what people do for success. I also think Hari Nef is a wonderful performer, so I hope we get more of her in person.
Mary Littlejohn: My jaw dropped! I love when a show can have a surprise reveal like that, but it all makes sense. I was genuinely not expecting it.
I appreciate the parallel between them. Dunham says she's helping Midge, but Midge doesn't see it that way.
Both make solid arguments. I think the show is trying to tell us that women need to lift each other up and not tear each other down to get ahead; look what happened with Sophie and Midge at the end.
Becca Newton: I liked the reveal, especially for the thematic resonance. I can't remember the last time the show was this tightly written in plotting and theme.
Leora W: My first reaction was disappointment that it wasn't Milo Ventimiglia.
After that, I guess I thought about how surprised Midge was and how this derailed her plan to get the guy to stop.
I agree with Mike; they both make good points. I hope you're right about the message, but Amy Sherman Palladino has a pretty cynical view of the human condition, so the message may be that even feminist icons can't help but tear each other down.
Rose finally saw her daughter's show. Did you like the fallout, or were you disappointed by where it led? Is either of them justified in their stance?
Mike Stack: The fallout was something I expected, and not in a good way. I want to see Rose, Abe, and Midge's relationship evolve, but Rose seems stuck in her old ways.
Mary Littlejohn: Again, it comes back to the theme of women being successful at the expense of other women. Neither of them should have to ask the other to give up their dreams, but both of their careers cannot co-exist. It was sad.
I don't think either of them was necessarily being selfish -- in a perfect world, they could both pursue their passions without fear of judgment.
(I will say it was absurd that Rose tried to lean on the fiction that they had repurchased Midge's apartment! What the heck was that?)
Becca Newton: I thought Rose's reaction was in character. She has yet to come around to Midge's career.
Both sides may have a point, but Rose's condescension and uncompromising attitude result in my sympathies being firm with Midge.
Leora: I was hoping for a better reaction, but it made sense to the character. I wish she hadn't seen her daughter perform for the first time in a burlesque club.
I want Rose to get off her high horse, but we encountered reasons why Midge working in the club isn't necessarily the best thing for either of their careers. Mary, I agree about the apartment bit. That was messed up.
Are you surprised that Midge didn't take hush money, and have your feelings changed on how she handled the whole Shy situation?
Mike Stack: I am not surprised at all. I think that Midge realizes she made a mistake and is sincere about not saying anything. My feelings have not changed entirely; I'm just glad that she didn't enact any "revenge" plans.
Mary Littlejohn: Honestly, I was a bit surprised but good for her. I was pleased to see how she handled the apology to Shy, and yeah, taking the money would have undermined her point.
Becca Newton: I wasn't surprised she didn't take the money. I'm glad she was apologetic and took responsibility.
Leora W: I was surprised on both counts. I'm proud of her for handling it with such grace, though I understood Susie's point, too.
What she did to Shy was terrible, but she can't undo it, and that's a lot of money for a broke person to turn down.
Do we want more of the Abe and Imogene dynamic?
Mike Stack: Yes, please!!! That was so interesting to watch; I loved it.
Mary Littlejohn: Absolutely. It was the duo we didn't know we needed!
Becca: Yes, please! As much as I like Abe and Imogen working together and Susie's new assistant, Dinah, I'm curious why the show chose to pair up Abe and Imogen instead of making Imogen Susie's assistant.
Leora: Becca, you make a good point. As much fun as it was, I couldn't help thinking, "How can Abe afford to pay for a secretary?" Susie, on the other hand, not so much.
But I'm happy for anything that gets us more Imogen. Maybe Abe will finally learn her name.
Did the episodes have enough Abe, especially given his prominence in the previous two and his fight with Rose?
Mike Stack: I think they had enough Abe. These episodes had more Rose, which balanced it out; equal parts Abe and Rose this season.
Mary Littlejohn: Agreed. The strength of the show, as we keep saying, is the ensemble. Too much of one character (other than Midge and Susie), and it gets to be a bit much.
Becca: I'm okay with Abe being out of focus this week, given he has received a lot of the spotlight previously. I question whether the fight was a good storyline, though.
Leora: I like Abe more than Rose, but I agree that they need to have an even distribution of plotlines.
Why was Lenny such an a$$hole to Midge after she helped him?
Mike Stack: I can't help but think it's some underlying sexism. I know Lenny Bruce has been great to Midge in the past, but that doesn't mean he wants help from her.
Mary Littlejohn: I think he's on his way down, and he doesn't want to drag her with him. He knows he's toxic, and he is trying to protect her in a weird way.
Becca: Many factors: he's recovering from alcohol poisoning, the events that led to the alcohol poisoning, he woke up in an unfamiliar apartment surrounded by strange people, shame, and pride.
Leora W: It is essential to know the context of his life at the time. Becca, thanks for adding that. Mary, I hope you're right about him trying to protect her. I know his life will end in tragedy, but I hope this isn't the last time Midge ever sees him.
How will Mei's pregnancy affect her career and relationship with Joel moving forward?
Mike Stack: I like this curveball a lot; this adds a lot of pressure on them as a couple. I'm excited to see how they handle it.
I think Joel was telling the truth when he said they'd figure it out, and her career would be fine. He'll find a way if he truly loves her.
Mary Littlejohn: I suspect she might get an abortion without consulting him, and the way he reacts to that will make or break them. That's my theory, anyway.
It seemed to be tacitly implied that was her plan, and she may have assumed that him saying "we'll figure it out" was him being okay with that.
Becca: Can't say until we find out if she's keeping or terminating the pregnancy.
Leora W: Frankly, I'm not too fond of this plot. If they go abortion, it puts Mei at risk. It was illegal back then, so women were going to chop-shops and dying on tables.
Realistically, Mei would be taking a huge risk if she went the abortion route, and it might not turn out so well for her. Or the baby will mess up everything she wants for herself. I can't see it going well either way.
Can any good come from Midge's new gig with Sophie?
Mike Stack: I highly doubt it. It's Sophie.
Mary Littlejohn: I think she had her one shot and blew it. Sophie's not going to bring her back after that display.
Becca: I wouldn't be surprised if this were the beginning of Midge and Sophie performing as a duo for decades to come.
They won't give up their solo careers, but I think they'll be booked together for various gigs. They wouldn't be the first celebrity partnership that hated each other.
Leora W: I would say no, but Becca makes a good point. It will be a shame if it means more Sophie, both in Midge's life and on our screens. But if it helps Midge's career and her bottom line, then she'll do it.
Are Midge's money problems going to resolve at any point, and if so, how so?
Mike Stack: Eventually, but I don't know if they'll be resolved this season. She'll eventually land bigger gigs again, and things will smooth over -- eventually.
Mary Littlejohn: If she lands a real television gig, then yes.
Becca: I think she'll resolve her current debts, but money will always be an issue. Look at Sophie and Lenny – they have fame and financial problems.
Leora W: Hopefully, yes. Realistically, probably not. I want better for her, but I'm not sure it will ever happen.
Will Midge's changes to the club last, or will she be given the boot?
Mike Stack: I hope they last, but honestly, I have no idea. The club's attitude towards her changes depending on what she's doing and how she's performing, so things could go either way.
They might be asking for too much (like a cut of the bar tab), which could trigger them to give her the boot before they even consider her asks.
Mary Littlejohn: As long as they keep making money, I think the club owners will keep taking her suggestions. I could see Boise getting the boot as he keeps resisting "progress."
Becca: Whether or not changes outlast Midge depends on whether the story ends on a cynical or bittersweet note, and I'm not sure which direction the show will go in.
Leora W: If she leaves on her own, the changes could last, but if she gets fired, I doubt it. Either way, she needs to go, so hopefully, it will be on her terms. I don't want Boise to go, though, so I hope Mary is wrong about that.
Susie can't promote Midge while Midge works at an illegal club. How will that affect things from now on?
Mike Stack: I think that's going to be a very interesting hurdle for Susie. She wants to leave Sophie for good but can't necessarily make a boatload off Midge.
Mary Littlejohn: Susie has to focus on her other client(s) until something lucrative comes up for Midge. Maybe she gets Alfie on TV, and his success helps bankroll Midge and potentially more new clients.
Becca: It's adding tension to their relationship. I hate to sound like a broken record, but the season-ending cliffhanger could be the dissolution of Midge and Susie's partnership.
Leora W: Sadly, Becca, I think you're right. Crazy me, I saw it as a reason Midge needs to move on from the club, but you're right; this is about her relationship with Susie. That is how the season will end.
I hope Susie can eventually drop Sophie, though, and I want Alfie to soar.
Which Gilmore Alum was your favorite so far, and now that we know he isn't L. Roy Dunham (Sorry Becca), what role do you think Milo Ventlmilgia will play?
Mike Stack: Um, uh. I've never seen Gilmore Girls.
Mary Littlejohn: I have never seen Gilmore Girls. I know Milo Ventimiglia from Heroes!
Maybe he starts as a "match" for one of the Melamid sisters, and then he falls for Midge, which then causes more conflict between her and Rose. Or something?
Becca: All hail Kelly Bishop!
I don't recall any other character who was name-dropped like Dunham, so the field looks wide open for who Ventimilgia's character will be.
Leora W: Becca and I are the only ones who came into this show familiar with ASP's work? Mary, Mike, you have some binging to do.
Kelly Bishop was excellent, as was Scott Cohen, but I think I like Chris Eigeman's character best. We'll have to see who Milo Ventimiglia plays before I can make a final analysis.
Mary, I love that plotline, can you write the show?
Who was the MVP?
Mike Stack: Zelda. I know, I know. But honestly, the whole thing about the broken fridge was hilarious, and I love Zelda.
Mary Littlejohn: Zelda has been on FIRE this season! Love Matilda Szydagis. I also think Alfie Fuller is a wonderful new addition, as is Dinah -- she's the MVP for Susie!
Leora W: I'll take the road most traveled and say Zelda.
What was your favorite scene, quote, or anything else that stood out that you want to touch on?
Mike Stack: I liked the whole plot about Susie hiring someone. It was interesting to see Susie (again) out of her comfort zone.
Mary Littlejohn: The Matchmaker Mafia. Hands down. Powerful, quietly menacing older ladies — you gotta love it.
Becca: I've never been more invested in Sophie than I am currently. Sophie has the best material she has received to date.
Leora W: I'm torn between Midge apologizing to Shy, which was so great, and Mei almost meeting Joel's parents.
Mei buys a yarmulka only for Joel to tell her girls don't wear yarmulkas, leaving her cursing the Jewish girl from the pathology lab for not telling her.
Joel tries to make her feel better, but then he shows up alone because she's sick and named Rachel, apparently. I can't.
The Shy was good for Midge's development. Acknowledging the big faux pas she committed and how hard is life is was touching. But the Mei and Joel stuff was just so funny and relatable.
Over to you TV Fanatics. Do you agree with us?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is streaming on Amazon Prime.
Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..