‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s series finale Season 5 Episode 9 review: “Four Minutes” closes the curtain on Midge’s moment (SPOILERS)

Philippe Antonello/Prime Video

Rachel Brosnahan stars in ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’.

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for the “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” series finale, “Four Minutes”.


In the end, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” wrapped up the act by focusing on the relationship — at least in the world of the show — that mattered most.

After a series of flash-forwards throughout the final season and a serious breakup between Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and her agent Susie (Alex Borstein), the two found themselves back together in the distant future, laughing and joking and watching “Jeopardy! together as an old married couple. Both came through the wars and came out rich and unscathed as conquerors of the comic world.

That last sequence took place in 2005, 40 years after Midge experienced her “The Tonight Show” (OK, “The Gordon Ford Show”) moment, recalling a time when an appearance on a late-night comedy show—and an approving invitation— for Johnny Carson’s agency – can make or break a comic’s career.

In Midge’s case, the triumphant moment came after taking a huge risk, “doing something reckless,” as she put it, when the reluctant Ford (Reid Scott, nicely the lordship associated with talk show stardom) booked as one of his writers, not to perform her standup act. Midge jumped at the chance and hijacked the showcase, slaying with her stand-up routine and, after the aforementioned invitation to bow next to the host, was promptly fired.

The payoff marked a fitting, if sentimental, end to a series that has been uneven since its first Emmy-winning season, and whose victory for Midge and Suzy was offset by the sad professional passing of Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby), one of the many real-life figures to go through her job. The opening depicted Lenny as a shell of himself in 1965, so obsessed with his court problems that he had forgotten how to entertain an audience. (The closing credits included a “special thanks” to Kitty Bruce, the comic’s daughter.)

The emphasis on Midge’s rise to stardom — and the serialized take on the fallout, including her relationships with her ex-husband (Michael Zegen) and kids — made for a happy ending of sorts. But the show’s beating heart really showed at the finish line, as she and Suzy enjoyed that laugh as a version of “Girls Talk” played over the credits.

To get there, Midge had to overcome all kinds of adversity and sexism — including her season-long status as the only female writer on the Ford show — just as the show had to overcome some of its lesser-than-admirable impulses, including a tendency to fly wildly over the top. with Midge’s parents and in-laws.

In contrast, “Ms. Maisel’s knowledge of the show business world of the time has always been one of his strengths, and the idea of ​​Midge using Jack Paar as leverage to wring concessions out of Ford was a nice touch as part of the final kick .

While the series was instrumental in putting Amazon’s original programming effort on the map, this past season reinforced a sense that it was not consistently living up to its initial promise. And while series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino lowered the curtain with a light touch that matched the overall tone, you’d be hard pressed to say it came down prematurely.

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