The episode we’ve all been leading to: this is the one that ties it all together. Last week, we spent time seeing Midge being arrested out of all things, pirating—as she’d tossed over the jacket and wallet of a big-shot executive leading to her inevitable arrest. Though it’s funny, it also tosses a Wedge in the power dynamics of the show. Leaving us with an unspoken tension as it’s obvious George Toledano had gone from a powerful potential ally to a quick enemy.
This episode gets away from all of that. Where The Testi-Roastial is shockingly, an entire future-based episode set during the roast of Susie Myerson, in an explanation that answers all of our questions about the future. It gives us the context of what happened.
Structure-wise, it’s composited of stories being swapped amongst future industry friends and enemies. Anyone who’s given a darn about Susie, told in embarrassing yet funny ways, intercutting methods of treading narratives that drive the story forward. Flash-forward to an evolving career showcasing Susie’s roles, taking us into the mid-80s and even the 90s. With special guest appearances from folks like Sean Gunn, in what’s a surprisingly cathartic episode the likes I haven’t seen since Bojack Horseman’s final season.
It’s a great episode that teaches us a lot about the inevitable actions of Susie. It’s also, heartbreaking, to see how she handles her career. Susie’s rise and fall, how she handled the mob and helped Dina become her number two. Solid storylines of emotional moments that see everyone grow into their futures in sentimental ways. I can’t stress that the genuine storytelling here with just how grounded this feels—makes for a heartbreaking yet sweet episode.
So in the future, Susie is a hustler. Working the golf courses as an executive type, and really, just a woman with eyes everywhere. At this point in her career, Susie is someone who knew how to make hard deals. We’re talking about seriously fun rumors crafted out of lies and manipulation, utilizing the caddies on her payroll for information, and really, just getting the one-up on the Hollywood sharks—the men that make things happen, caught off guard by Susie’s hustle and not taking no for an answer attitude. It is genuinely impressive seeing Susie make deals that didn’t exist happen completely out of thin air. With kudos to Alex Borstein, who has truly embraced this role, as at this point, Susie is the top shark.
One of the biggest revelations in this one was Mike Carr. The talent booker on the show who has thus far, had great character development this season. We learn here, our new enemy, George Toledano, the executive producer of the Gordon Ford Show is a bit of a bastard himself. A man who’d taken Mike under his wing but always kept him under in an abusive way.
It’s learned that in the present, George is the one who made up the ‘can’t be on the show if you work here’ rule. Which by now, is obviously the thread that’s pulling the series forward that Midge will inevitably break at some point. In her clever ways, Susie is able to finagle a way to convince Mike through getting dirt by searching his office. All leading to a discovery that George’s been holding Gordon’s contract back. The revelations of which get George fired, with Mike Carr taking his role as executive producer.
We also see Susie Myerson’s sister and even get a meeting between Midge and Susie in the 1970s, in yet another one of Midge’s failed marriages—as it’s obvious she still held feelings for Joel after all these years. Best of all… is what we learn about Susie and Midge’s futures in this one, which I’ll omit because you really have to see this episode.
Overall, it’s interesting to see how many things has changed in an episode playing into life lessons with long friendships and how they come and go. Expect long monologues, heartbreaking moments, and above all: laughter in what’s easily the best episode of the season.
FINAL SCORE 4.5/5