It’s been over two years (December 6, 2019) since we’ve had the opportunity to see something new from the funniest woman on the Upper West Side. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, whose season 4 premier was delayed largely due to the pandemic, returns to Amazon Prime on Friday, February 18, 2022. Let’s bring you up to speed so you can hit the ground running.
When things left off, Miriam “Midge” Maisel had just done an electrifying show opening for Shy Baldwin at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, where Shy’s from. Midge was especially nervous, and she’s never nervous. Shy’s manager, Reggie, gives her some advice. “You know Shy, they know Shy, get up there and talk about Shy.”
AdvertisementFollowing Reggie’s guidance, Midge crushes it and quickly wins the Harlem crowd over. There was just one problem. Mrs. Maisel, as marvelous as she is, knew Shy better than his manager thought she did — and her jokes hit a little too close to home. Most of her comedy that night circled around Shy Baldwin being gay, which nobody besides his most innermost sanctum knew.
Post show, Miriam pulls right up to the airplane that’s about to take her and her manager (Susie Meyerson) on a long tour that includes overseas dates and a Christmas Special with Shy Baldin — but his manager, Reggie, tells her that “Shy changed his mind. He doesn’t want you to open for him anymore,” citing Midge’s act the night before at the Apollo.
Reggie stonewalls Miriam from even speaking to Shy, pointing out that they didn’t even sign the contract to go on tour, making it void, and that Shy doesn’t want to speak to her.
“Shy’s my boy,” declares Reggie, “I’m supposed to protect him. I’m not going to tell him I sent some girl up there to tell him what he is.” Midge’s joke about Judy Garland shoes may have been what put this over the edge.
This puts the Marvelous Mr. Maisel and her manager in a huge predicament. For starters, we learned in season 3 that Susie Meyerson has a gambling problem and she’s in the hole for a lot of money. Meyerson burns down her mother’s house with her sister to collect the insurance money and even then, she’s still in debt herself, and to Midge, money unbeknownst to her. This tour was supposed to get her out of the hole she dug them into. Now there’s nothing.
In the season 3 finale, we see Meyerson approach Ms. Maisel’s ex-husband, Joe Maisel, to take care of all of Midge’s financial affairs moving forward because she cannot be trusted. Reluctantly, Joel agrees. Miriam and Joel have two kids together so their well-being is on the line too, and there’s no doubt Joel still cares deeply for Miriam.
To make matters worse, Midge was committed to buying her old apartment on the Upper West Side from Joel’s dad, Moishe, played by Kevin Pollack, who bought it for her and Joel as a wedding gift. Miriam had leveraged her contract with Shy in her deal with Moishe as collateral to close the deal and now she has nothing. Could this be rock bottom for Miriam?
To top it off, when Miriam’s father, Abe Weissman — played by Upper West Sider Tony Shalhoub — has an emotional breakdown and quits his job teaching mathematics at Columbia University, they have to move in with, yes (goodness gracious) Joel’s parents in Queens. The four of them hardly ever get along but we see the value of family sticking together in the aftermath of a divorce.
Getting Miriam’s parents out of his house was a major selling point in Moishe making the deal, so we have no idea what’s going to happen with that volatile dynamic going into season 4, since it appears Midge’s parents will still be stuck with Moishe and his wife, Shirley.
Can we pile any more drama on top of this? Easy! In the season 3 finale, Miriam broke it off using a poorly worded letter with the ever charming, smart and charismatic, Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg played by Zachary Levy. You could argue Dr. Benjamin is the perfect guy and he confronts Midge at her favorite hangout, the Stage Deli, to voice his extreme disappointment that he wasn’t even given a chance to save the relationship before citing how beautiful the wedding ring he got her was.
Is there hope for Miriam and Dr. Benjamin? Who knows. The same could be said about Joel and Miriam, but Joel now has a new romance in his life.
There’s plenty of exciting loose ends on the table as we enter season 4. Some new casting editions will be joining the fray as well. Collider reports, “New additions to the cast include Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), Kelly Bishop(Dirty Dancing), John Waters(Hairspray), Kayli Carter(Mrs. America), Reid Scott(Veep), Gideon Glick (Ocean’s Eight), Jackie Hoffman(Garden State), and Jason Ralph(The Magicians).”
We’re not sure how these characters will be used in season 4 but rumor has it Milo Ventimiglia may play a new love interest for Midge.
A new season 4 preview was released by Amazon last week.
“Tits up.” – Miriam “Midge” Maisel