'The Marvelous Mrs Maisel' Season 3 Episode 5: Midge finds her groove in Miami despite losing Susie to Sophie
Spoilers ahead for 'The Marvelous Mrs Maisel' Season 3 Episode 5
The Jewish stand-up fairytale continues in 'It's Comedy or Cabbage', with Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein) hitting Miami, Florida. As much as the weather (humid and sultry) and atmosphere (colorful and sultry) are on point, Midge's sets are getting increasingly flat.
In comparison, Susie's throw-a-away lines are often funnier. Susie, who has an aversion to sun, sand (specifically sand up her ass) and swimming, is miserable in Florida. She tells Midge "Why do Jews do this to themselves? Find terrible places and go live there? Hey, here's a piece of desert, surrounded by people who hate us. Where do I sign?"
Thankfully after a disastrous (but funny) swimming lesson that leaves even picture-perfect Midge looking slightly askew, Susie gets a call from Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch) who is getting everything wrong at the new prestige play she has signed up for. Sophie is scared that she won't be ready by opening day and is paranoid that her director hates her. She needs her manager and gives Susie the silent treatment until she agrees to hop on a plane back to New York in the morning.
Before Susie goes, Midge speaks to Sophie with the same tough love she shows her because a "bully responds to bullies". When Susie arrives she witnesses Sophie crumbling under the cryptic tennis-lingo inspired directions of her director and has a breakdown about not having an actual door to close and open in a scene.
Susie prompts her to use the room's door to "refresh her memory". She is exactly the voice of reason that Sophie needs, much to the delight of the play's cast and crew.
Mrs. Maisel, on the other hand, gets some advice from a fellow on-tour comic who tells her what's what and how to survive on-the-road (including some sketchy advice on one-night stands). She misses her kids, an aspect of Mrs. Maisel's life that the show never really looks at.
By this point, this "mention-but-not-tackle" maneuver the show employs has become an annoying itch you want to scratch. Besides Mrs. Maisel's sarcastic rebuttals to obvious sexist boors like the one who bothers her at the bar in this episode, the show maintains a touch-and-go approach to any controversial topic be it race relations or being a divorced mother with a demanding career.
What uplifts this episode is Midge running into Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby), who is "living" in Florida, and knows how to show a girl around town. He invites her to a television show and pulls her on camera, introducing her as "my wife or my sister", to which Midge riffs "depending on which state we are in" and caps it off with an "atmospheric" dinner and dancing. The unresolved sexual tension builds with a lot of flirting, staring into each other's eyes and, get this, moments without "needing to be funny". Gasp!
The two obviously are getting comfortable with each other. But good little, Midge completely ignoring the previous advice on one-night stands, says she is going to call a cab after lingering at the entrance of Bruce's poolside hotel room/living quarters for a while. Bruce drawls, "Maybe someday, before I'm dead," to which Midge replies "It's a date!"
In the less engaging B-plotline of the episode, we have Rose (Marin Hinkle) and Abe Weissman (Tony Shalhoub) slowly reaching the end of their tether with Moishe (Kevin Pollack) and Shirley Maisel (Caroline Aaron). Shirley gets Greta (Kelsey Carthew) out of her uniform because she doesn't want the neighbors to think she has a maid - "She can wear it when she goes to bed".
She also weaponizes her voice and cabbages to drive the quiet, poised and controlled Rose to resort to covert drinking and losing her shit in the middle of the street. Abe's socialist-leaning friends are also kicked out and Abe ends up having to lecture them in a subway train. When he critiques their oversized self-published 'newspaper' filled with grammatical and spelling errors, they don't take kindly to it, calling him "old man".
Abe is so adrift that when Rose bundles him into a taxi to escape the Maisel household, he goes without a single protest, especially after Rose tells him Shirley has cooked cabbages again. They end up in Midge's hotel and she gives them her hotel room's key, telling them to order room service, take a shower and basically chill. It is probably the best offer Rose and Abe have had in a while.
But whoever has heard of a stand-up comic touring with her parents? But on this show, it could happen.
'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' is available for viewing on Amazon Prime Video from December 6 onward.