The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Season 5 Episode 8 Recap & Review

The Princess and the Plea

In The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 8, Midge and Joel recall their history together–good and bad–while waiting for a parent-teacher meeting to commence. The teacher has a problem with Abe, who’s been by several times to bother the school about Esther’s future enrollment there. Even at home, Abe has been testing Esther’s intelligence.

Meanwhile, Dinah sets up an apology from Susie to James and berates her for telling him it wasn’t his turn to shine on the Jack Paar show. She then convinces her to book James on the show. Just because Midge can’t break through, doesn’t mean James has had anything handed to him.

Midge goes to a college reunion with her old friends. At their old meeting spot, they find bottles with messages from their past selves, with things written on them like “Love like your life depends on it.” Midge’s message says only… “Don’t!” She can’t puzzle out what she meant. Her friends assure her she at least “didn’t” miss out on life. She’s recently had an adventure-filled chapter in her life. But Midge isn’t convinced that’s what her younger self was getting at.

At work, Gordon announces that, thanks to Hedy’s pulling strings, Princess Margaret will be coming onto their show. It’s Midge’s moment to shine, as she knows the most about the princess and royal family. In the end, the show goes incredibly well.

Afterwards, Hedy introduces herself to Midge to congratulate her on the bit she came up with. Midge tries to share credit with the men, but Hedy stops her with that word again. “Don’t.” Don’t let others take credit. Hedy then asks about Susie, informing Midge that they were once roommates.

This leads Midge to confront Susie about knowing Hedy Ford and not trying to pull any strings to get her on The Gordon Ford Show. Susie makes excuses, but Midge won’t have it. If Susie doesn’t do everything she can to further her career, she’s not doing enough. This isn’t just a fun chapter in her life, like her college friends implied. This is serious, and Susie needs to treat it as such.

At dinner with Gabe and his friends, Abe is preoccupied with his own failings. He shares how disappointed he is with the world. The others think he means how the world is changing too much for men their age. But Abe’s fear is that the world is as it always was. And men just didn’t see it. Their blindness has hurt people.

For example, Abe thinks he’s done exactly the wrong thing for both his children. Everything he thought about men and women has turned out to be wrong. He never took Miriam as seriously as he did his son. He never paid her much attention, and yet she has fearlessness and strength neither he nor his son have.

“What could she have been if I had helped her? And not ignored her? Ignored who she really is?” he wonders. “My daughter is a remarkable person, and I don’t think I’ve ever said that to her.”

Susie too knows what a remarkable talent Midge is. She made a mistake with James, and she can’t hold Midge back in the same way. It’s this reason that sees her begrudgingly going to Hedy. She cuts right to the chase, asking her to talk to Gordon and get Midge on the show. Hedy asks if Susan has feelings for Midge, which gets no response. She then says she’ll talk to her husband, but she can’t make any guarantees.

Hedy makes the request of Gordon the next morning, to his annoyance. He owes her, so he’s obligated. But before Gordon can say anything to Midge, she gets an emergency call and has to rush away.

The Episode Review

Tony Shalhoub is a treasure, and that dinner scene with Abe is one of my favorites in the entirety of the series. Abe is a stubborn man who usually believes he’s the smartest person in any room he’s in. It’s a surprise, then, to see him humble himself to the point of admitting a long history of wrongdoing–but it’s also some merited, heart-warming character growth. I only want Midge to hear that word for herself from her dad… “remarkable.”

And Midge has done some needed self-reflecting of her own. “Don’t.” Her past self could have meant several things, but whatever young Midge thought, the word has several implications for Midge now. Don’t give others credit for your own work. Don’t let life pass you by.

But I have my own idea of what Midge meant, and it’s tragic. Like some of her college friends, I think Midge had an idea of living a more aspirational life that never played out for her. It’s obvious now that Midge isn’t a great housewife or mother. So if “Don’t” meant “don’t get married,” or “don’t have children”–as Midge had always planned to do with her life–then what could she have done in her career up to this point? 

I’m not sure, but I hope she can follow the advice now. She’s so close to her big break, thanks to a difficult choice on Susie’s part. Don’t mess it up, Midge.

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


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6 thoughts on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Season 5 Episode 8 Recap & Review”

  1. The writers love these characters and this is the final season. They have the right to use the flash forward/flash backs to tell the rest of the story! If it’s confusing you have the option of watching Season 5 again.

    I have yet to come across a secondary character, a scene, or an outcome that did not meaningfully complete the picture. Ethan in the “happy group”, ending up on a kibbutz with a wife even weirder than Auntie Astrid? Perfect. Susie pretending to be her old nemesis’ daughter so he could die at peace? Wonderful. Midge bankrolling Rose’s dream, Joel going to prison for protecting Midge? Priceless.

  2. Thé flash forwards and loss of key characters have destroyed this show. It’s lost its way and it’s humour. It feels like they ran out of ideas so just any idea was bought to satisfy the franchise owner

  3. I couldn’t help but tear up when Suzy asked her former lover for the favor, you feel that the past love and hurt and the pain of living as a lesbian in a world where people had to lie and not live life as their authentic selves. I do not believe that Suzy has feelings for Midge, I believe that she truly believes in midge’s talent and want her to succeed in the male dominated world.
    Abe speaks the truths of both their worlds.
    anyone think emergency call was about Abe?

  4. This is absolutely painful to watch! I feel like I’m watching a loop of Monk episodes and I couldn’t stand those. The entire season we’ve gotten maybe 5 minutes an episode of watchable comedy and drama and the rest has been complete drivel! This was such an amazing show in the beginning and they’ve ended it with almost every episode leaving me annoyed and angry I’ll never get that hour of my life back.

  5. I have really enjoyed the season, though I fear there isn’t enough time left with just one episode to close it up properly. That episode is going to have to encompass a lot. We have yet to see Midge’s big breakout, we don’t know what happens to Rose, we don’t know if Susie and Midge repair their friendship, and we don’t know the end game for Joel and Midge. That’s an awful lot to finish out in one episode.

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