I’ve been a fan of Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel since season one. While I would recommend this show for the aesthetic, it’s the exploration of relationship dynamics that really hits the mark. It’s rare that a show continues to be renewed and keep multiple plots moving with such delight. With every new season, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino does not disappoint. And the cast delivers a captivating performance every episode, elevating your viewing experience to feel as if you’re watching live theater. So let’s dive into the fourth season and the relationships that make it work so well.
Mrs. Maisel and Susie
In season four, Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel (played by the marvelous Rachel Brosnahan) is left with her manager Susie Myerson (played by the marvelous Alex Borstein) to pick up the shambles of a gig that revealed too much about a famous performer. I loved that we got to see Susie Myerson & Associates take off this season, with a great arch that explores how Susie would handle having a receptionist. It’s a small step forward for Susie but a hilarious growing pain for us watching. As Susie starts to get more clients, Midge decides to kickstart her career again, this time on her own terms. Her decision affects everyone in her life – and the season shows how everyone, Susie included, is affected.
Mrs. Maisel and Her Family
One of my favorite scenes this season is in episode one when Midge tries to explain her predicament to her entire family while riding a Ferris wheel in Coney Island. How does one explain a failed comedy career to their family? By talking at each other of course! The tempo of this disastrous family conversation is similar to watching an avant-garde, improvised jazz ensemble. No one is actually listening to what anyone is saying, making every response an echo. They lose grip of the initial topic, all while getting nowhere fast. We’ve all been at those holiday dinners where you try and share some sort of life update and a family member interrupts you mid-way with some bizarre, random response that has nothing to do with the conversation at hand. Picture that moment on steroids with everyone in their own carriage on a Ferris wheel. Now that’s relatable comedy gold!
Mrs. Maisel and Her Mother
With her more traditional mindset, Midge’s mom Rose (played by the marvelous Marin Hinkle) has never really understood her daughter’s life choices or her divorce. When Midge gets a gig at an illegal strip club, her mother’s curiosity leads her to find her daughter’s new venture. In an interesting turn of events, Rose is running a successful matchmaking business and her own career is now front and center. There’s a captivating mother-daughter scene in episode five, where Rose is finally allowing herself to explore a career just like her daughter – something she previously disapproved of a woman having. Rose feels fulfilled in a similar way that Midge feels with comedy.
You would think this would be a chance to build a relationship and share a positive step forward for both of them, but in true mother-daughter fashion, it’s all about what other people think. Rose is still worried about the family’s reputation and her daughter’s career choices are now affecting her own. This scene brilliantly shows the complicated relationship between a mother and daughter, but it’s even more relatable because of they’re both adults. I often question how long our relationships with our mothers affect our life decisions. And since the answer appears to be forever, Midge standing up for her own career choices and the life she’s trying to build should be inspirational to daughters everywhere.
Mrs. Maisel and Her Ex-Husband
As Midge continues to pursue her comedic career, her ex-husband Joel (played by the marvelous Micheal Zegan) is exploring his dream of owning a comedy club with a new love interest. Midge and Joel’s relationship has come a long way and I noticed how much they continue to look out for each other. They warn each other about parental outbursts with news that would upset mom or dad. They treat their ex-in-laws like their still in-laws. Even Susie makes a comment about how bizarre it is. Midge and Joel’s relationship this season turns into what feels like a sibling allyship while trying to parent their own parents as they embark on new careers, relationships, and financial decisions.
Mrs. Maisel and Lenny
One of my favorite relationships on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has always been Midge and Lenny. Lenny Bruce (played by the marvelous Luke Kirby) has been there for Midge throughout the series. Their plot keeps you guessing, shipping the two into a potential couple. If you’ve been rooting for these two for a while, you’ll be pleasantly surprised this season. There’s even a hilarious scene in the sixth episode where Lenny gets plopped into Midge’s housewife world. It challenges their established comedic relationship and has Midge question their separate lives.
Aside from the romantic tease, my favorite scene between these two is at the very end of the season. In episode eight, Midge attends Lenny’s big gig at Carnegie Hall. After turning down an opportunity he set up for her, there’s a tough-love moment between the two. He’s been secretly mentoring Midge and his feelings help her realize that pursuing her career her way is sabotaging herself – maybe she’s just hiding from rejection. Thanks to Lenny, this season ends with a new sense of motivation for Midge, helping her see the potential and power she has over her career. I can’t wait to see how marvelous Midge becomes in the fifth and final season. But whatever happens, I’m sure some snappy dialogue and smart relationship dynamics will tie everything together.