The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Season 5 Episode 4 “Susan” Recap & Review


In The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 4, Frank and Nicky are putting on a big musical production, but their narrator unfortunately dropped out. They now need a favor from Susie: get Midge to take the role.

Susie may not have realized it before, but she’s deeply in debt to Frank and Nicky for all the favors they’ve done for her. If she doesn’t help them out in return, she’ll face consequences. So, Susie sees no way forward but to make Midge take the part.

She’s eventually able to twist Midge’s arm, insisting that this is the only thing Frank and Nicky will need from them. So, Midge dons a sanitation worker’s outfit for a (terrible) promotional show about private waste management.

Meanwhile, Abe and Rose go see a play with friends, but end up differing over the play’s interpretation. Abe thinks it had several deep themes, but Rose believes it was a simple story about a boy and his dog. Abe then ends up unwittingly insulting Rose’s intelligence.

So, Rose calls over the playwright himself to settle the dispute. According to him, Rose is right; he was simply writing about his own dog. When they get home, they hear the news that Zelda and Janusz are engaged (Exactly how long has Janusz been part of this household without their knowing?). And Abe later apologizes to Rose in the most Abe way possible.

At work, Gordon requests to speak with Midge to ask her out. Again, she refuses him because he’s her boss and he’s married. Gordon insists he and his wife, whom he greatly loves and admires, have separate lives. Midge then tells him the main reason she can’t go out with him. She eventually wants to perform on his show, and their dating would complicate that goal.

When a comic drops out as a guest on his show, Gordon instructs his writers to do everything they can to find a replacement. Midge thinks this is her chance to get on the show, but she’ll have to skip the garbage musical.

Midge begs to be put on the show, but Gordon refuses. They have a rule, created by George, that no one who works on the show can be on the show.

Joel brings Esther and Ethan to see Midge in the musical production. But after getting such bad news, Midge completely flubs her performance. And Frank and Nicky aren’t appreciative.

Joel notices the men harassing Susie over Midge’s behavior. They tell her that she better pull through the next time they need a favor. The realization then settles over Susie: This wasn’t the only favor they wanted. Frank and Nicky essentially own her. Joel tries to get more information from Susie, concerned with how deep Midge is mixed up in the unsavory business–but she insists she has a handle on the situation.

Gordon is eventually able to get Sophie Lennon on the show, which Susie shows up to in order to have a word with Mike about the show’s rule. At the studio, Susie encounters Gordon’s wife Hedy, whom she immediately runs away from.

Hedy chases after Susie to try to have a drink with her. But Susie wants nothing to do with her after she bailed on all the promises they made each other in their 20s. Hedy apparently hurt her deeply, and she still holds a grudge.

The Episode Review

Tony Shalhoub just proves every episode how perfect he is as Abe Weissman, consistently bringing the perfect balance of cringeworthy and absolute hilarity. His performance with the rose petals and the silent apology to Rose beautifully elevated an already comically-written scene.

This episode takes an odd diversion–the private waste management musical was funny, but more distracting from the interesting parts than anything else.

Mostly, I’m stuck on how frustrating it is to see all the progress Midge has made regress so suddenly. Will her stint at The Gordon Ford Show be beneficial to her at all? And will it even matter if Frank and Nicky own Susie–and by extent, Midge too? I think not if Joel has anything to say about the matter…

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


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3 thoughts on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Season 5 Episode 4 “Susan” Recap & Review”

  1. We know full well who and what Frankie and Nicky are by this episode. So I think it’s more than a little ham handed and abrupt for them to go from essentially helpful friendly comrades to glowering monstrous caricatures of ‘mobsters’ . Maybe a couple more transitional scenes? I guess they’re just pressed for time with the show near concluding, but I don’t like it.

  2. The private waste management show is really about the continuation of Susie’s relationship with Frankie and Nicky and how the latter will end up affecting her, Midge and Joel. I think you’ve put too emphasis on the show itself in this review.

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