The Opening Act
Episode 3 of Marvelous Mrs Maisel begins with Susie sitting across the room from a group of lawyers who grill her over Sophie and her contract. Abe and Rose meanwhile continue to argue over their living arrangements until a distraction arrives. That distraction being Noah and Astrid. While Astrid and Midge talk about her dreams and pregnancy amidst the mounds of food, Joel arrives with his parents.
Susie heads off to Sophie’s house and after a fall-out with the doorman, follows her client around the house, including a particular room involving a group of men writing jokes for her. As they eventually retire to the library and discuss the future, Midge prepares for her tour by drawing up a schedule for those nearest and dearest as a fair way to dish out the kids while she’s away. After a fight breaks out, Midge walks through each room and says goodbye for the last time as Abe boxes up their belongings and prepare to leave.
Midge and Susie travel to Vegas and get right into the swing of things, culminating in Midge’s name being put up on billboards. However, these good vibes are dampened somewhat when Midge sees her incriminating picture up as the main one used for the show. While Mei Lin and Joel sit together and begin to grow closer while sharing food, Midge takes to the stage but is ignored by the majority of diners, who sit eating and barely pay any attention to her. It’s a tough gig, and one that eventually sees her win the crowd over at the end before passing the limelight over to Shy Baldwin.
Despite bombing, Susie convinces Midge to head back up but this time in the main room rather than the fancy ballroom. She hits it out the park, and this prompts Shy to come out and perform with Reggie on this stage. In the morning, Midge speaks to Lizzie, who tells her she’ll show her the rules of the road before Shy arrives and the room erupts into singing and dancing.
As the episode closes out, Abe and Robe prepare to move in with Moishe.
I really enjoyed this episode. Not only was it refreshing to see the reaction Midge got during her first gig here, it’s also a pretty accurate depiction of just how hard the comedy gig actually is. There’s been a few moments like that across the show and while it isn’t anywhere near the incredibly stressful bombs at the Gaslight, there’s enough here to make the set a difficult one to watch nonetheless.
Of course the usual singing and dancing is a great addition and while I’m personally not a huge fan of the shifting focus to Las Vegas, given it loses some of the inherent charm New York brings, there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable thrill ride nonetheless.