This post contains spoilers for the season finale of Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has officially drawn the curtains shut.
The Prime Video series wrapped up its five-season run on May 26. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the acclaimed series followed housewife Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) as she embarked upon a standup comedy career after her husband, Joel Maisel (Michael Zegen) — an untalented, wannabe comic — left her for his secretary.
While the first four seasons were set within the late 1950s and 1960s, the show’s fifth and final season spanned all the way through the 1990s. Midge was still struggling professionally at the start of season 5 but was hired as a writer for The Gordon Ford Show, where she was forced to compete with her male colleagues.
As the show initially jumped to the future, Midge had managed to forge a successful career for herself. But she dropped Susie (Alex Borstein) as her manager and had cultivated a messy, personal life that includes four broken marriages and strained relationships.
The entire season — and the show as a whole — was building to where Midge would ultimately end up in the series finale amid her continued pursuit of a successful comedy career. And her friendship with Susie remained at the center of it all.
Toward the start of the episode, Midge and Susie discussed the comedian’s recent big ask of her manager: To pull some strings and get Midge “more” out of her career. This required Susie to ask her college roommate (and current wife of Midge’s boss) to pull some strings to get Midge featured on the Gordon Ford Show. This big ask was especially complicated for Susie because of her “disastrous” former ties with Gordon’s wife — the only person she’d ever been in love with.
Later at her place of work, Gordon (Reid Scott) pulled Midge aside to tell her that she was going to be on the show. But she was not given much notice to prepare — Gordon wanted her to appear on the episode shooting that night. This shakeup angered Gordon (whose wife pressured him into putting Midge on the show because he “owed” her) as well as the male writers with whom she’d been working closely.
Midge picked up a snazzy new dress for her big night and invited several of her loved ones, some of whom were experiencing life changes of their own. Former father-in-law Moishe (Kevin Pollak), for example, was ready to announce he’d decided to retire and sell his Maisel & Roth clothing company.
Not everyone was on board to for Midge’s big break: Midge’s mother Rose (Marin Hinkle) — with whom she had long had a rocky bond — initially said she was “not going” because she never received a formal invitation, and she even called her daughter a “compulsive liar” when Midge said she’d been trying to contact Rose to extend an invite. The phone, hilariously, was off the hook and Rose subsequently received multiple phone calls from others about attending. With that, Rose and husband Abe (Tony Shalhoub) made their way down to the studio, even racing through extreme traffic and navigating unhelpful cab drivers to do so.
As Midge prepared for her big moment backstage, Gordon expressed confusion with her “fancy” outfit choice. Midge argued that the occasion merited a dress of that caliber, but she was in for a rude awakening as Gordon said: “Your act? You’re not doing your act. … Let me clear this up for you. You’re not coming on to perform. You’re coming on as a writer. See if you can borrow a sweater or something to throw over that [dress].”
As much as this entire situation “stinks,” Midge didn’t let Gordon’s restrictions — which also included her seated on a stool away from the couch designated for “real guests” — stop her. She proceeded to answer Gordon’s questions as planned, despite his failure to genuinely pay her any mind while asking her a series of sexist queries. As her humor began to shine through with each answer, Gordon and his “ego” had enough. He requested to cut to commercial — even though the segment still had “four minutes left.” But he was eventually convinced to finish it out.
Because this not was the big spectacle Midge or her loved ones anticipated, the comedian was left disheartened. She then saw a microphone stand placed by the stage, leading her to concoct an idea that would require her to put it all on the line. She then asked Susie’s permission to do something that could potentially “ruin” both of their careers, resulting in Susie — who realized what she was trying to do — encouraging her to go for it.
Seconds before the show returned from break, Midge told Gordon she didn’t mean to force his hand since not featuring writers on the show was against his rule. And while he accepted her apology, Midge added that she’s “never been great at following rules.”
Midge told Gordon and the audience that she is a comedian that was “pretending to be a writer.” And upon suggesting she “get up and do what I came here to do,” the audience erupted in cheers. She — even after Gordon tried to pull her back — then went on to perform an incredibly hilarious yet candid set that scored her many cheers, including from the male writers she often butted heads with.
She even earned praise from Gordon, who then asked her to join him on the couch for a post-set interview where he agreed she was “not a writer.” And while everything was cheery between them as he raved about “the marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” he whispered to her with a smile that she was “fired.” But this, fortunately, was the beginning of an illustrious entertainment career for Midge.
The episode then cut to a moment six months earlier when Midge was seen getting advice from comedy pal Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby) while dining at a local Chinese restaurant. He gave her lessons on “how to be famous.” He assured Midge that she was going to be “really famous” some day, and she said she hoped he was right. (At the start of the episode, Lenny and Midge weren’t in the best place in their friendship, though she was still trying to help him get back on track in his comedy career following a “disastrous” set.)
From there, viewers are treated to another time jump as things leaped forward to 2005. A much older Midge was seen in an office, where she was discussing her busy work schedule during a meeting with some of her staff.
After the meeting concluded, Midge walked out of the room with several more staffers, one of whom attempted to teach her how to use her cell phone. It was revealed that she was living alone in a massive home where she looked fondly at a photo of herself and former husband–turned–close companion Joel on their wedding day.
Following her quiet dinner alone, Midge made a phone call to Susie — indicating that their rift had been resolved. The final scene featured the two pals laughing while watching a taped episode of Jeopardy!
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All five seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are now streaming on Prime Video.