Billy James and the Orgy Lamps
Episode 2 of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel Season 4 begins with Maisel back in the neighbourhood and unpacking her gear. She also does the rounds, hustling by raising her tab at the dry-cleaners, bakery and the pharmacy. If she can hold off paying them for a few months, she may be able to sort out her cash-flow problem.
Part of that plan comes from Miriam broaching the idea to her parents about them moving back in with her her. She tries to spin this as doing them a favour but of course this is all a big ruse. Abe and Rose don’t fall for it and in fact, turn it around for their own benefit. In order to make this work, they decide to set out and make sure they don’t look like “charity cases” with a suitable cover story.
That story essentially comes from them making out that they’re the ones who have bought the apartment back, rather than Midge, going on to concoct a story about their own apartment falling through and moving in temporarily.
Predictably, everything goes awry with Abe working in the bathroom and waking her up with his typewriter. At the same time, Rose starts rearranging the kitchen. Even worse, the milk delivery has been cancelled on account of Miriam not having any credit. The thing is, the delivery has always been under Joel’s name and now that he’s not there, she needs to provide some cash upfront. Which obviously isn’t going to happen any time soon.
After trying (and failing) to sever ties with Sophie, Susie learns that Tessie actually slept with Mr B and is now working at the insurance company they defrauded. It does also mean that Susie should be able to get her cheque. That’s probably just as well, given Susie immediately receives a call from Miriam afterwards, frazzled and bemoaning her situation.
Susie’s chat with Harry Drake afterwards is her ticket to reinvigorate herself. People are talking about her. Whether good or bad, that’s always a step forward in the industry.
With Miriam by her side, Susie tries to muscle her way into getting a gig but that doesn’t work out well. So naturally, she locks Billy out and urges Miriam to take the stage. And that works out as well as one would think. Midge is kicked out, barred for life, and taken to the police station after impersonating a hooker. She’s soon let out though but it’s definitely a wake up call for her.
That night, Susie shows up and pays back Joel. He warns her not to gamble Midge’s money again, spitting his words with venomous wrath. The message is definitely heard loud and clear.
At the same time, Abe receives his pay-slip but his money is a fraction of what he believes he’s worth. He loves the job though, pursuing his dream just like Midge is. As he sits with her that night, they discuss their current situation. “Are you sure you can handle all of this?” Abe quizzes, as the pair sit together and drink, contemplating their choices.
The Episode Review
The second episode of Marvelous Mrs Maisel starts to deepen the character ties, with plenty of drama involving Midge trying to claw her way back into the stand-up game. Susie manages to get her money back, and while that side of things has been resolved, there’s still the question of getting Midge back on the stand-up circuit and to the heights she once reveled in.
There’s a nice ebb and flow to these episodes, although Midge is arguably the weak link in all of this. While I appreciate her career has been difficult and she’s been struggling a lot, there’s a cynical edge to a lot of her jokes and dialogue, which sometimes bogs down the tone into bitter melodrama.
However, there are some highlights in this episode, especially the chat with Abe at the end as the pair reflect on their career choices and pursuing what they love.
Everything here is balanced precariously on a volatile bank balance, leaving the door open for next week’s follow-up.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|