The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Season 5 Episode 2 Recap & Review

It’s a Man, Man, Man, Man World

In The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 2, an older and extremely successful Midge sits down for an interview with 60 Minutes. She talks about her comedy roots, her multiple ex-husbands, her children (Esther pretends for the camera that Midge was an attentive mother).

But she’s more reluctant to talk about her former manager Susie Myerson, who now boasts an extraordinary clientele. It’s well known at this point that Susie and Midge fell out after 25 years of friendship.

She later takes viewers through a tour of her wardrobe, which she plans to sell to benefit the Weissman-Maisel Children’s Foundation. It’s an unfamiliar Midge who then claims that she does everything she does for the children, who are her best teachers.

It’s a funny transition, then, to see Midge in 1961 calling her child “a little bastard” for not eating his breakfast. At this moment, she’s complaining to her parents that their lifestyle coerced her into having children.

Midge is going to need some extra babysitting help now that she’s starting a new job. Zelda’s boyfriend Janusz, the handyman who’s been hanging around the house without anyone’s notice, is happy to help. Rather than question the stranger, Midge and Weissman simply shrug their shoulders and accept his offer.

Midge heads to her first day of work, but is made late by an encounter with Milo Ventimiglia’s character from last season. He chases her down to explain that he and his wife are separated. Eventually, Midge hears him out, although she doesn’t seem to be interested in reconnecting.

At the office of The Gordon Ford Show, Midge is thrown right to work without any explanation from her male colleagues of what’s expected of her. Mike introduces her to George, the show’s producer–making it clear that he absolutely hates the guy. At the end of the day, none of her jokes are chosen by the head writer for Gordon’s monologue. (Her jokes were funny! They just didn’t get them!)

Meanwhile, Abe has lunch with a woman named Penelope who’s an admirer of his criticism for the newspaper. He assumes their meeting to be of a professional nature. But she shatters that illusion when she places her hand on his thigh.

Rose finds her favorite tea room has been burned down and tries to get Noah to handle the matchmakers, whom she thinks must be behind the fire. But Abe interrupts her to ask her to dinner. It seems Penelope’s actions, although extremely inappropriate, have jolted Abe into realizing that he’s never that flirtatious with his own wife.

At dinner, Abe listens to Rose as she tells him about the incident with the tea room. He then surprises her by placing his hand on her thigh.

After work, Midge goes out to a bar with her fellow writers. They chose a specific bar that Gordon never frequents. So when Gordon shows up to talk to them, they think it’s because the boss wanted to see Midge. 

Midge isn’t too happy about her first day of work, but she lets off some steam at her next stand-up comedy gig. She tells a joke that was turned down by the men in the writers’ room, and it gets a strong laugh–assuring her that she was right all along.

The Episode Review

It’s so easy to see the life Midge could have had without children. Truly, before Susie, she could never have dreamed of a life aside from being a mother and housewife. I can’t blame Midge for holding some bitterness towards her parents, and for thinking of what could have been. She’s not cut out to be a mother; I don’t even think she enjoys it at all.

But she is one. Motherhood is inseparable from her identity; she kept the stage name “Mrs. Maisel,” after all. It will be interesting to see how the season explores Midge’s guilt–or lack thereof–for being an absentee parent, and whether it will hold sympathy for both Midge’s children and for the mother herself. I hope it will.

All in all, we get another strong episode, despite coming with a few frustrations. I don’t understand the almost totally pointless scene with Milo Ventimiglia. That affair simply wasn’t a significant enough plot to need resolving.

What does need to be resolved? The shock of Midge’s and Susie’s future estrangement! Midge said in the last episode that Susie is the most important person in her life. It must have taken a huge wrong to drive a wedge between them. But will another time jump see them repairing their relationship?

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You can read our full season review for Marvelous Mrs Maisel season 5 here!

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