We’re at the midpoint of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s final season and it’s becoming more and more obvious that there is something upsettingly wrong between Midge and Susie in the future. Whereas last week we’d seen Susie’s ex-partner from the past, revealed to be Gordon Ford’s wife, Hedy, finally confront Midge’s longstanding comedy manager in person, it is concerning to see. Midge’s next ally in her goal to convince Gordon Ford to let her perform live: is someone Susie is no longer on speaking terms with. It’s the kind of fallout we think Midge might inevitably also have with Susie, the connecting thread of which we’re starting to wonder… is why?
While these issues continue to loom behind the scenes in episode 5 of season 5, aptly titled ‘The Pirate Queen’, the show takes a clever step sideways by pivoting the focus away from Susie and onto Joel Maisel. Whom in a knight in shining armor routine, seeks to tackle Susie’s problem with the mob head-on.
A redeeming character that’s taken several seasons to regain our trust after their divorce, it’s really in Joel that we see the person that both cares for and seeks the best for Midge. With this episode really focusing in. Now that Joel’s heart is no longer betrothed to Mei Lin, the audience is seeing the kind of care and support that Joel’s always provided for Midge along her journey – and it’s kind of nice to see the script flipped, though expected in an Amy Sherman-Palladino story.
As for the big issue in this one, Susie Myerson and Associates meanwhile has grown in reputation. She’s trying to get James Howard, the comic, in the running for a big film. It’s evident from the line of talent and consistent phone calls, that Susie has created a successful booming firm now. It makes sense, as Susie is someone who takes no bullshit, which is why it’s super interesting to see her track down big producer, David Westin. Tracking the Hollywood associate to book the gig for James Howard at of all places, a gay bathhouse, not only does Susie’s ploy work but it also creates a fun Hollywood rumor type of sequence – one that sees Susie becoming the manager we’ve all known her to be.
The most sentimental story, set at the apartment, is when Zelda gets married in what’s revealed to be a sweet celebration and a very hilarious wedding. The family is more concerned now that Zelda may be quitting. A funny moment of realization working in tandem that’s equal parts funny as it is seeing a beloved character almost sent off, but also, as service of a reminder that perhaps the end is almost near. Which is also what prompts sources of heated action of sorts that really spice up the wedding.
As for Midge’s journey in this one, and the reason you’re likely reading this… is that it all kicks off in the writers room, where Gordon Ford struggles to keep the reps happy as they’re looking for new advertisers. Ford and executive producer, George Taladano butt heads about what the studios want from them, and so, using finesse, Midge is able to finagle her way to represent the company.
The new job? A stand-up set on an executive boat party filled with haves versus have-nots, to be a fill-in for Gordon and represent the show as both a comic and kiddie-product representative at the boat party. Because to the executive money, Deloitte baby diapers are where it’s at and so Midge kills it, winning the crowd like she aways does. Yet, in typical fashion, despite success – she sort of finds herself in trouble yet again. Some hi jinx and a Pirate Queen later, and it’s all very funny in ways that sets up a surprising tension changing some of the dynamics in the Gordon Ford show yet again.
This episode sees a lot of sentiment. A very funny joke that ties into the title. And Susie kicking serious professional butt. Honestly, this had a bit of all the things you like about the show and is a good midpoint for fans – with subtle hints about where it’s going to end.
FINAL SCORE 4.5/5