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[The following story contains spoilers from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season five, episode eight.]
In a sea of the various storylines that take place in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s season five, episode eight, “The Princess and the Plea,” Abe Weisman (Tony Shalhoub) has an epiphany: He never gave Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) enough credit.
Toward the end of the penultimate episode of the series, Abe is sitting at a dinner with three other men, clearly going through something internally. When Gabe (Chris Eigeman), his coworker at The Village Voice, asks him what’s going through his said, his response is “just the whole goddamn world.”
Abe explains that he feels like men haven’t seen the world for what it is and that everything he’s thought about the roles of men and women is completely wrong, as is how he raised both of his children.
“My daughter was dumped by her husband out of nowhere,” he says in an emotional monologue. “Instead of collapsing from the weight, she emerged stronger. A new person — or so I thought. But now, I think, perhaps, that was who she was all along. I never really took her seriously.”
He continues by pointing out that he did take his son, Noah (Will Brill), seriously, however. He used to take him to Columbia University when he was a professor there and allow him to dream about everything he could be one day. Abe doesn’t remember if he ever did that for Midge.
“I don’t think it ever occurred to me,” Abe says. “And as unfathomable as this career choice of hers is, she’s doing it on her own, with no help from me or her mother. Where did this come from? This strength? This fearlessness that I never had? That my poor son never had? What could she have been if I had helped her and not ignored her? Ignored who she really is? My daughter is a remarkable person. And I don’t think I’ve ever said that to her.”
The episode marks the first time Abe has shown how much he respects Midge for everything she’s done as a woman in the 1950s and ’60s, and for Shalhoub, the scene was personal. He has two daughters who are around the same age as Midge in Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and he’s had moments similar to Abe’s in the restaurant with them.
“Just as a father and as a caregiver and as a patriarch or whatever other nonsense you delude yourself into believing, you discover that your children are really these… they’re autonomous, and they’re their own creatures,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Some of what they have is just in there. It’s just hard-wired.”
He explains that he has had moments where it has dawned on him that maybe his input wasn’t as impactful on his kids’ lives as he imagined it was, adding, “So, on every level, that scene was weighty.”
Marin Hinkle, who plays Abe’s wife, Rose, in Maisel, says she happened to be walking around New York City the day this scene was being filmed and came across the restaurant in the West Village where they were shooting. She went inside and realized it was that scene, which she remembered from the read-thru.
“It wasn’t like a huge pivotal [scene],” Hinkle tells THR. “That’s one of my most favorite, most powerful, most milestone scenes. And yet, as you know, ‘cause you saw it, it wasn’t treated like that, was it? It’s like, ‘Oh, this conversation between a group of guys.'”
She points out that the scene is just these 60-something men, who are only now realizing that maybe they did some things wrong when it came to raising their kids, “and that’s how life is.”
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