There’s something to the age-old adage that pride is one’s biggest downfall. This episode embraces that exactly. Last week, was a heartbreaking moment that saw Midge miss out on the opening for Jack Parr. With the booker really not all that interested in Midge.
If it’s not obvious by now, all of these episodes play on sentiment. How these characters came to be and the reasons, we sort of fell in love with these characters to begin with. It’s a re-contextualization of everything that we’ve thus far seen.
In this episode, the funniest and surprisingly most heartwarming storyline is Abe’s. Who’s been visiting Ethan’s school repeatedly, not for the kid’s sake, but in asking for Esther to be there in school. Granddad is convinced she’s the genius he was looking for in the family (and she is) and is even trying to entice her to read, Being and Nothingness. This is hilarious, as it’s not a light read, having read it myself, and is the last thing you’d want a child to soak in at an early age. Rose suggests leaving candy inside the book to try and entice Esther to read it.
Again, while funny, the Abe arc ends with… what might be his moment in the entire series. It’s a time of self-reflection as the series is drawing to an end. A dinner with men, of about Abe’s age, arguing the same old crap. Abe realizes… after numerous drinks… that he was wrong. They were wrong. Life… is wrong.
There’s a monologue about Abe realizing that at the age of 64, he’s unsettled. Finding himself at a crossroads as the world keeps changing. It’s men that had blindness—controlling and meddling so much in everything. How at the end of your life, everything that surrounds you is just piles. Foreign piles of junk and trinkets of no meaning. See, Abe admits how he was wrong and did the wrong thing for both of his children. He doesn’t see that Midge, the daughter that he never took seriously, became an unfathomable success. How she did so with no help from anyone but her. That he is in fact, dumbfounded by this strength and fearlessness he never had. Thus finally giving Midge the approval he for so long neglected.
Midge meanwhile, spends an afternoon with friends from Bryn Mawr college. Gossiping about old times and old teachers, they celebrate Midge’s writing job at Gordon Ford. When asked why she does it—she reveals it’s because… well, she loves it. That’s really the only reason why. As the group continues to think about old times, we can’t help but feel the series is coming to an end here. Her cohorts, while proud, all think that this is an amazing chapter of her life. One that that they envy. But as we know, it’s a bit of a rocky period in Midge’s life… and worst, our girl refuses to see it their way. She does not want this to be a chapter. She wants standup comedy to be… life!
Back at the Gordon Ford show, Gordon’s wife Hedy had negotiated a deal that got them the one and only, Princess Margaret to agree to attend the show. With British royalty arriving in a rare public appearance on TV, they agree to go all hands on deck to create a sketch for the princess. It goes off without a hitch and even has a chance of getting them an Emmy, with a funny cameo from Moishe and Shirley in the audience attendance again.
There’s a really good quote in the episode, in a scene set in Grand Central station. It’s where Midge complains about having to move two steps forward and three steps back. It’s very endemic of the episode. The thing is, yes we love the journey, but the truth is… we’re also kind of feeling stuck just like her character. The truth is we can’t always get the chance of what we want and sometimes, asking for it isn’t enough…
Which is sort of the perfect setup for what’s to come in the series finale next week. Stay tuned.
FINAL SCORE 4.5/5