Its been 2 months since the last episode and Shy’s tour is on hold due to his exhaustion. Consequently this results in Susie and Midge rushing around New York, hailing cabs and doing radio gigs to make some money. You gotta work hard to play hard!
Back at Moishe’s, the family huddle around the dinner table where we learn they had to fire Zelda. Even worse, both Abe and Rose are struggling to find their place in the world. In a bid to try and rekindle their passion, Abe heads back to campus and laments his affect on them, taking the reins of a lecture and telling the students his ego got in the way of teaching. At the same time, Rose pretends everything is normal, returning to her usual hang out spot and drinking tea.
Tessie phones Susie and tells her their Mum is being moved into a nursing home, however it soon becomes apparent that her gambling problem is escalating, as she’s forced to cough up $40 and has to scrounge that money from the others in the room.
As a useful distraction from their busy and dramatic lives, the Maisel family gathers together for the bris of Astrid’s baby (who she ends up calling chaim christian). At the event, Midge and Abe discuss her upcoming broadcast and as they talk, he warns her to be careful what messages she’s putting out, throwing seeds of doubt into her mind. Having read the transcript and done her research, she refuses to do the broadcast. Desperate to salvage the situation, Susie takes over but as she reads the transcript about the atomic bomb being a gift from god, she curses and throws the headphones down as the live broadcast becomes a complete shambles.
In the wake of this, Midge heads back to her old apartment and immediately starts to reminisce. The new owners snap her back to reality though but as it turns out, they’re on the verge of moving out too. Between shouting at her kids, the woman speaks to Midge and allows her to look around her old place.
Sophie’s Broadway performance starts as Susie and Midge take a seat in the audience. However, Sophie is late to her cue but eventually waltzes through the door. Midway through her lines, she suddenly grows quiet before both her and Gavin shout their lines at one another. Things take an even more dramatic turn when she suddenly starts breaking into a comedic routine, performing improv to the audience and finishing things off with by descending back to stand-up.
Irate, Susie chases Sophie off the stage and confronts her over what happened. Given how many people put their neck out to try and help her, Susie tells her straight how good an actress she was and how she’s completely messed it up. Walking away, Susie turns her back on managing Sophie and concentrates solely on Midge where the episode ends.
There’s a great juxtaposition at play here between Sophie and Midge that certainly elevates this episode. Sophie is stuck in the past and seemingly unwilling and able to embrace change. She’s so close to reaching for another level in her career but unfortunately old habits die hard. By comparison, Midge also fails but she does so with confidence and enough courage to know when to stand up for her own rights and when to embrace change. In that respect, the episode works to further Susie’s character but doesn’t offer a whole lot else.
While it is explained through dialogue, the jump forward through time feels a little jarring while Moishe and Shirley have felt like window dressing for large portions of this season. Still, there’s enough enjoyment to be had here and everything is set up nicely for the finale to follow.