Wednesday, March 9, 2022

What I’m Watching: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 4, Episode 5 “How to Chew Quietly and Influence People” (B+)

I hadn’t expected to see Shy Baldwin again, in part because this show tends to move on from its season-long arcs and it’s also only been half a season since he left Midge and Susie on the tarmac. I had also imagined that the actors’ contracts wouldn’t have enabled return appearances like this, but in this case we just got LeRoy McClain and not Sterling K. Brown. But McClain was more than enough, putting on a great show and regaling everyone at the wedding with his musical performance and natural charm. He did seem shocked to see Midge there, and after he expressed that he missed her brisket, she did a pretty remarkable job of apologizing and suggesting a different route history could have taken before rejecting his offer to go for a drink by declaring that she now knows that they’re not friends. It was still more conciliatory than her exchange with her mother, who doesn’t want Midge’s career ruining her own with Solomon Melamid, played by Scott Cohen, and I’m impressed by Rachel Brosnahan’s dramatic work this season. Her refusal to accept the quickly-upped offer that ended up at $12,000 for her silence was a sign of Midge’s integrity in spite of everything, especially with Susie pushing for her to take the money for something she was going to do anyway. Susie actually did great work for her other client, who had to endure the hell of hailing a cab herself, and Sophie was superb on Gordon Ford, handling all the mocking with dignity and even managing not to miss a beat when she was literally handed a list of her addictions. With a secretary who can even set her hours for her, Susie is going to be able to be more productive and focused than ever before. I love that Mei learned a few basic Yiddish words and went to the trouble of (mistakenly) buying a yarmulke, and I hope that Moishe’s expression of support for his son’s heart means that she will eventually meet Joel’s parents, an encounter that might not even go so poorly.

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