The Military Base
The critically acclaimed Amazon Prime series returns for a third season with a much more episodic feel to proceedings this time around. With more stand-up and a darker story gripping the show this time around, the opening episode does a great job setting the scene for the drama to come.
Midge awakens in the middle of the night and kisses Joel goodbye. Unfortunately, she and Susie arrive late to a big military gig, which is already halfway through a tap-dancing act. With a list of strict instructions, things go awry when she tries to inject humour into proceedings before jumping on stage. This slick, beautiful one-shot scene leads to Midge getting ready while Susie phones through to Fred to try and arrange a touring gig for her.
While Midge entertains the raving military crowd, Sergeant Broome tries to convince Susie to come on-board in the army, calling her a strapping young man. Back on stage though, Midge finishes her set and forgets to introduce Shy Baldwin, rushing back on and managing to salvage what could have been a disaster.
Off-stage, Lou hands over money to Susie after a successful gig. Back home meanwhile, Joel and Midge talk but it’s slightly awkward given Midge expects Joel to respond like a romantic partner, only he clearly doesn’t which causes friction between them.
Meanwhile, Joel and Mrs Moskowitz travel to Chinatown and check out a prospective new place to set up a club. With Archie on board as creative Director, their plans are interrupted by a strange Chinese man rushing through a hidden doorway. As they head downstairs, they see a whole host of people gambling. One of the women, Mei, heads upstairs and speaks to them about the operation prompting Archie to quit, leaving Joel with quite the predicament to deal with.
Back home, Midge’s parents scramble to make sense of their situation, given the financial issues they have, leading to Midge trying to explain to her parents why Lenny sent her flowers. Snatching up the vase, she leaves the room to read the letter in private while her parents continue to fight. Eventually Midge bites back and calls Abe ignorant before snatching up her dress and getting changed.
Abe heads out and listens to Lenny perform live. Unfortunately the police arrive and take him off stage, but not before telling the crowd his political thoughts. Abe stands up and asks why he’s being arrested, subsequently getting himself thrown into lock-up for his troubles too.
Meanwhile, back at the army base Midge arrives at the party and learns Shy and the others haven’t been invited. It turns out Midge has been invited because she’s female and there to entertain the men. Reluctantly, Susie lets her go and dance, but not before telling her she’s going to manage Sophie Lennon. Given she’s Midge’s enemy, this could cause a rift to grow between them.
As the episode closes out, a silent Rose arrives and bails out Abe and Lenny from the police station before walking away.
In true Marvelous Mrs Maisel style, there’s some gorgeous cinematography boasted here, including the aforementioned one-shot to open the season. The comedy is firing on all cylinders here too and just before Midge performs, there’s a constant hum of tension hanging in the air incase she bombs. Thankfully she doesn’t and the jokes surrounding Susie joining the army is a nice touch too and one of the stand-out moments of the episode.
While there isn’t much in terms of plot progression for Midge, the combination of stand-up comedy and progression for the other characters is enough to whet the appetite and leave the prospect of the season ahead a very promising one.