The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 5 - All Episodes
May 27, 2023 12:51 PM - Season 5 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The final season sees Midge dreaming of appearing on television and becoming truly famous, Susie expanding her agency, Joel making choices about the future, Lenny going through changes, and a raft of plot threads that may or may not resolve. In a departure from previous seasons, episodes contain multiple timelines, stretching from before we first met prominent characters up to decades later.
posted by cupcakeninja (26 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I watched and loved the finale last night. I'm hoping others who enjoyed the season will crop up here, too. Engagement with the series has waned, on MetaFilter and elsewhere, but it's dear to my heart for many reasons, not least because I started watching it during the holidays in 2019, and it reliably provided laughter on a rewatch during the spring of 2020.
posted by cupcakeninja at 12:55 PM on May 27, 2023 [4 favorites]

I wasn't sure about the time-jump stuff, but it grew on me.

I'm glad they made it about the Midge-Susie relationship and how women had to make their way in the olden days -- Midge by sheer force of undeniable talent and Susie by being a harder man than any man who dared stand against her -- and that neither was "better".
posted by Etrigan at 5:49 PM on May 27, 2023 [7 favorites]

We loved the way this episode touched so many points from earlier in the show and wrapped by focusing on Midge and Susie.
posted by billsaysthis at 6:54 PM on May 27, 2023 [1 favorite]

The last couple seasons have been iffy at best but damn, they stuck the landing. My only quibble is that Midge's spot at the mike was waaaaaaay longer than four minutes.
posted by Ber at 8:41 PM on May 27, 2023 [6 favorites]

I liked the way they toned her down at the end.
The middle seasons Midge became one of those Flanderized characters that are so unlikable you wondered how anyone would put up with them.

I liked that Suzie became successful on her merit rather than just riding one client to the top.

Prison seems like exactly the kind of thing that would happen to Joel.

The long hallway of dresses was great.

I would have like to see more of the kids, but I get that it is hard to introduce fully realized new characters when you are trying to wrap up a series.
posted by madajb at 10:42 PM on May 27, 2023 [5 favorites]

Loved this season. I thought it was great how Abe came around to respecting his daughters career, and generally re-evaluating his preconceptions.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 4:35 AM on May 28, 2023 [5 favorites]

Random thoughts...

The restaurant scene with Abe and his friends/colleagues was a masterclass.

The Lenny Bruce relationship was perfectly played out.

I am a hardcore Joel stan, even when his choices seemed wrong; because the actor was just so engaging and grounded. He was possibly my favorite on the series.

Susie on the couch at the end? This is all I could think of. Was that a deliberate reference?

In all those flashbacks, not time for one that gave us more Hedy/Susie backstory? It was such a crucial plot point, that was a fail. I'd have traded the entire college luncheon storyline for that.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:50 AM on May 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

Susie was such a great character and I love how the show gave her a retirement home full of the fanciest birds and most eye catching ground keepers. This was a really beautiful looking show and it was good to see each of the locations and sets that have featured get their own curtain call. Finally The Marvellous Mrs Maizel has introduced me to some great music - in the final episode an appropriate “Have I stayed too long at the fair?
posted by rongorongo at 3:33 PM on May 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

I am glad that the flash fowards seemed to acknowledge that Midge often was a pretty terrible, self-involved person. Part of what has always bothered me about the Palladinos' work is that while they give us flawed, complicated characters, they then tend to ignore that these are flawed, complicated characters. I don't mind some prickliness -- that's clearly why Midge succeeded -- but I don't like how the show presented her in such a way that seemed like we were supposed to approve of all of it.

I am glad it did center the romance between Susie and Midge, though. And let's face it -- it was 100% a romance, but just not a sexual one (except apparently that one time in Florida, but I suspect that was just a joke). I don't even know if Susie had any sexual interest in Midge, honestly, but they absolutely loved each other. Susie was the true love of Midge's life.

I always found Joel so tiresome and I'm not sure why the show remained so devoted to him.

But yeah, this did absolutely deliver. I wouldn't quite say I ever got to the point where I was just hate-watching this show but some parts were rough. I'm glad to be done but I'm also satisfied.
posted by edencosmic at 2:19 PM on May 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

I missed a bit in the middle like season 2 and 3, I wonder if it'll be good to go back and review once the ending. I guess a concordance of which comics were composites of real life folks, a who's who would be interesting. Definitely got a kick out of a lot of the scenes.
posted by sammyo at 6:00 PM on May 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm only echoing a lot of what's already been said but I thought they really stuck the landing this season. I nearly didn't watch the 4th season because of the way the 3rd ended, but binged it one weekend several months after it was released and felt like I could see how they were handling Midge's arc much more clearly than in earlier seasons. And Lenny Bruce's devastating eye contact and hype-man abilities were a motivating factor to complete the series. After the airport scene this season I was kind of panicked that it was the last we were going to see of him (or worse, we'd see him on his way out of the earthly realm entirely, later in the season) but I genuinely love the way they came back around to him while honoring his real-life story. I thought it was respectful to both the fictional character they'd created and the actual Lenny Bruce.

And then the wrap with Susie and Midge on their respective couches - bravo.

My grandmother died this week, born a few (but not many) years after Midge and as I get older and come to terms with how aging and loss go hand in hand, there are worse ways to age than eating dinner alone in your beautiful apartment surrounded by evidence of your lifetime of achievements and wrapping the evening on the phone with your lifelong best friend.
posted by annathea at 10:36 AM on May 31, 2023 [8 favorites]

There's a Reddit user named "sound2go" who worked as an audio engineer on the show. He's constantly been answering questions (without spoiling anything) and even gave us some cool behind-the-scenes stuff like the MIIIIIKKEE! one-shot.

Sound2go said that Rachel Brosnahan got to decide what the last shot of the filming schedule would be, and she chose the end of the 4 minutes when she sits on the couch and Dan, sorry, Gordon praises her act. That smile and tears of joy were real, the entire crew was applauding her behind the camera.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:36 PM on May 31, 2023 [9 favorites]

My only quibble is that Midge's spot at the mike was waaaaaaay longer than four minutes.

Almost seven minutes! I fumbled for my iPhone's stopwatch function just as she started talking, and my running time was 6:31.

But yeah, I'm with all of you. We almost didn't come back after S3 but I'm so glad we did. The ending was perfect. and I loved the time-shifting because it's great to see the long-term success and the grown-up kids and all -- but the climax had to be whatever the moment was where she got her break. And yes, yes, to those of you who noted that no man *gave* her a break, she had to *take* it.
posted by martin q blank at 1:45 PM on May 31, 2023 [4 favorites]

My only quibble was that Marge's spot at the mike should have been funnier. It is presented as her final long-awaited breakthrough, and everyone reacted to it as though she killed. But I though it was only OK, but it felt longer than it was (not a good thing). Her Jack Paar audition set was better.
posted by jetsetsc at 10:34 AM on June 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

Gotta admit though, "Ethan and Esther! I knew I'd remember!" was a pretty good punchline.
posted by Etrigan at 10:37 AM on June 1, 2023 [6 favorites]

I enjoyed this series quite a lot, and I was worried how they might end it. But Midge and Susie as old ladies watching VHS recordings of Jeopardy while talking on the phone gave me the warm fuzzies in a way I didn’t expect. It was just like, whatever success they both worked their butts off toward all those years, THAT was the sign of a good life. Beautiful.
posted by eekernohan at 5:35 AM on June 4, 2023 [1 favorite]

Please enjoy Marc Maron interviewing Alex Borstein! So good.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:27 AM on June 13, 2023

I thought the final season and finale were pretty great, which is notable because I have historically found each season compulsively watchable and every other season finale somewhere on a spectrum between bewildering and awful.

I did find the timing of the monologue kind of second-hand stressful. Even if it wasn't longer than four minutes, how can there still be time for her to come sit on the sofa after? The whole premise of the scene is that there's a particular amount of time left! But we simply must accept the contradiction--dramaturgically, Midge HAS to fill the time perfectly and save the day. And we also HAVE to have the iconic sofa invite after. Worth noting though that in real life, Johnny didn't invite a female comic to sit down after a set until the mid-1980s.

I loved the roast episode, very funny and I take special note of how they styled 1990s Susie, because I've always kind of had 2010s Roseanne Barr with long wavy salt-and-pepper hair in mind as my aging style icon, but for obvious reasons don't really want to hold her in any regard anymore.

The dining club scene with Abe and his friends was such a treat of extremely old-school good acting.

They handled Lenny's ending in a way that seemed realistic without pulling the mood down too much. That was an element of the series that seemed doomed since the moment he appeared on screen, because of the insane chemistry the actors had. But they did a good job.

And Susie's feelings for Midge--acknowledged several times, some quite overtly (her ex asking about it and Susie refraining from denying it), my favorite being Susie simply asking Midge if she'd ever been blonde, without forcing the characters into an all-or-nothing situation that isn't how real life usually works. I will consider myself very lucky if in my retirement I have a standing date to watch Jeopardy! over the phone with an old friend I'm a little in love with.
posted by lampoil at 8:55 AM on June 16, 2023 [3 favorites]

In re the patently-over-four-minute monologue -- someone mentioned beforehand that at four minutes they would have to go to commercial, not end the show. They had four minutes allotted for that segment before an ad break. Ad breaks are very precisely timed out, possibly even contractually, and breaking that time would mean that the next segment had less time, because they weren't going to push the next ad break back.
posted by Etrigan at 10:08 AM on June 16, 2023 [1 favorite]

Right but at least in my mind watching it, only being familiar with the structure of late night shows that have aired during my lifetime, they were definitely at the end of the show, too. They'd had monologue, two actual guests, one with a performance, and then the awkward stools segment, and it didn't seem like there was anything planned for after that. It's OK, I accept it, but the part of my brain that supplies the late-for-a-flight dreams didn't want to.
posted by lampoil at 10:56 AM on June 17, 2023

Susie on the couch at the end? This is all I could think of. Was that a deliberate reference?

See, all I thought about was how much she looked like Danny DeVito in that scene.
posted by pwnguin at 1:54 AM on June 19, 2023

Binge watched season 5 over the weekend, and it did put a nice bow on it but it definitely felt like it rushed to wrap up loose ends:

- Mei unilaterally leaves town, presumably because Hsu has bigger contracts now
- The matchmaker turf war is resolved almost as an aside
- Sophie Lenon makes an appearance for no real reason
- Lenny Bruce is there for one inspirational speech and one disheveled set
- Her rebound man randomly chases her through the subway to apologize

I guess the pandemic really did a number on the schedule and planning.
posted by pwnguin at 2:26 AM on June 19, 2023

Worth noting though that in real life, Johnny didn't invite a female comic to sit down after a set until the mid-1980s.

I think it was actually Kevin Pollack who I heard (on Maron?) talking about how he insisted on coming on Carson and getting to sit on the couch, not just do a stand-up bit and that helped him in his career. Maybe I've got Pollack confused with someone else, but that was how I remember it: the trick is always making sure you get to the couch. I wasn't 100% thrilled with the "solitary woman who chose her career walks through her opulent house set up for tons of company but where she lives alone and likely doesn't have company" vibes of some of the last shots of Midge at home before she cozied up to watch TV with Suzie, but I did think they handled many of the other aspects of wrapping this up pretty well: Bruce, her folks, a little info on what happened to her kids. Even though I thought Joel kind of redeemed himself by becoming his own guy, I was very happy they didn't choose to end with him in the present, he was always better as the guy-from-her-past.
posted by jessamyn at 8:04 PM on June 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

When we heard season 5 would be it we decided to rewatch the entire series for the start. I think it made me like the show even more. It was easier to remember everything since it started so long ago. (Everything pre-covid seems like a long, long time ago) I really loved how they started wrapping things up the last few episodes and I loved all the flash forward parts. Watched the last episode last night. For me, it really worked.
posted by freakazoid at 2:20 PM on July 18, 2023

Just about 4 episodes in, and this season has above and beyond redeemed itself. I'm loving the flash forwards to the kids - her daughter's affectations are the perfect imitation of Midge (kudos to the actor!).

I'm glad that we finally see acknowledgement that Midge isn't a great person, and definitely has flaws as a mother (but she's doing the best she can do at life). All of the parents are driving me crazy. oy! They're so much - they feel like caricatures. Though I guess everyone on the show is such...

I do still get annoyed at the anachronisms. The one that stands out to me so far is calling it "30 Rock". I highly doubt they used such a term in the 60s. There will be others - mostly in the terms and language they use. Enough of these get through that they must be intentional?
posted by hydra77 at 8:06 AM on October 18, 2023 [2 favorites]

I highly doubt they used such a term in the 60s.

google ngrams isnt very clear on this, probably one needs a lexus nexus acct to decipher when the term became popular.
posted by pwnguin at 5:32 PM on October 18, 2023

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