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[This story contains spoilers from the season two finale of Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.]
The season two finale of Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel covered a dizzying amount of ground: Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) almost gets engaged to Benjamin (Zachary Levi), is offered a potentially career-making six-month tour with pop singer Shy Baldwin, and finally runs back into the arms of her ex-husband Joel (Michael Zegen) in a dramatic final twist.
“A lot of people had their own interpretation of it, but for her it’s like this one final goodbye to her old life before she’s alone forever,” Zegen told The Hollywood Reporter. But the meaning of that scene is just one of many cliffhangers in the finale, which also saw Susie (Alex Borstein), Abe (Tony Shalhoub) and Joel mulling major new career opportunities.
Looking ahead to season three, here are the top seven questions to ponder:
1. Are Midge and Benjamin over?
The finale began with the startling revelation that after only a few months of dating, Benjamin wants to marry Midge. Even more surprising is that Midge apparently wants to marry him too, pending her father’s approval. But by the time Abe finally gives the green light, Midge has been offered the tour, and consequently realized that what she really wants is to put her career first. “I’m going to be all alone for the rest of my life,” she tells Joel in the final scene — but it’s not at all clear whether she’s broken this news to Benjamin yet.
Levi told THR that he doesn’t know whether he’ll be back for season three, meaning that Midge and Benjamin’s relationship may be resolved off-camera. But that would be a surprisingly unceremonious ending for a relationship that was built up over seven episodes. It’s also strange that Midge seems to think she has to choose between marrying Benjamin and going on tour, since he’s always been supportive of her stand-up career, and doesn’t seem interested in a conventional marriage to a doting housewife. Why not have both?
2. Will Susie become Sophie Lennon’s manager?
The growing rift between Midge and Susie coincided with Susie being offered a completely unexpected job opportunity by their arch-nemesis, Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch). After revealing that she’s a Yale drama grad unfulfilled by the schtick that’s made her a comedic celebrity, Sophie now wants Susie to be her manager, having watched how fiercely she fights for Midge and believes in her talent. Susie’s understandably ready to make some real money, so it’s hard to imagine her turning this down — but how will Midge take the news?
3. Is Abe really going to resign from Columbia?
The revelation that Midge is a secret stand-up comedian was pretty swiftly overshadowed by the revelation that her brother, Noah, is a CIA agent. This discovery set off a disorienting chain of events for Abe, who ends the season disillusioned with his colleagues at the Bell Labs facility, and by extension his teaching position at Columbia. The encounter has made him reassess his entire life, he tells his wife, Rose (Marin Hinkle). Later, he meets with a lawyer who also happens to be the son of one of Abe’s activist friends from back in the day. It’s not yet clear what Abe’s revolutionary past entailed, but we’re presumably going to find out.
4. Will the show lose its key set?
“Columbia owns our apartment,” an alarmed Rose reminds Abe, after he tells her he intends to give up his tenured position. He seems to hesitate for the first time, and with good reason: the Weissman apartment, a lavish classic-six on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, is integral to the show. It’s hard to imagine creator Amy Sherman-Palladino not finding a way to keep that beautiful set around. During her stint in Paris, Rose lived very happily in a ramshackle little apartment that seemed to horrify Abe — but does either of them really want to embrace the bohemian lifestyle in New York?
5. Are Midge and Joel getting back together?
Sure, when Midge goes to Joel, she tells him it’s “just for tonight,” and that scene might be interpreted as one last hookup before they both embark on new chapters. But season two was packed with scenes that seemed to spell closure for these two, and it never lasted. In the first episode of the season, Midge all but begs Joel to take her back and he refuses, because it would mean she would have to give up stand-up comedy, and she’s too good for that. At the end of the Catskills arc, Joel and Midge agree that it’s time for them both to “dance with other people.” And yet four episodes later, here they are again.
“I just don’t know if they were ever really right for each other,” Zegen told THR. “They tried … but they’re both going in separate directions, and Midge’s career is really going to be taking off, so I just don’t know if it’s even possible any more.” Brosnahan isn’t holding her breath for a happily-ever-after either, predicting that Midge and Joel will, “as is true for so many relationships, continue to just miss each other, perhaps forever.”
6. Will Joel succeed in starting his own club?
Midge found her voice as a stand-up comedian after being cheated on and abandoned by Joel, who now gets to endure the poetic punishment of watching his ex succeed at the career he once longed for himself. But in the finale, he finds a new direction that would allow him to be part of the comedy world without being a performer himself. Newly unemployed with his father’s $60,000 burning a hole in his pocket, Joel decides he wants to open his own club. Assuming he succeeds, what does this mean for his relationship with Midge? Given his aversion to hearing Midge talk about him onstage, it’s hard to imagine she’ll ever be able to play at his club.
7. How will Midge’s children react to her going away for six months?
It’s well established by now that Midge treats her children like an afterthought, and Ethan and Esther are probably accustomed to never seeing their mom. But going on the road for a full six months is on a whole other level. If Joel’s also busy with his new business venture, and Abe and Rose are in the process of uprooting their lives, who’s going to take care of those poor kids?
Bookmark THR.com/Maisel for more coverage of season two, which is now streaming on Amazon.
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