Are you ready for season four of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?’
Midge Maisel has come a long way since we first met her in a basement comedy club in Greenwich Village, her picture-perfect marriage and picture-perfect life falling apart in real time. Now she’s gone on tour, done shows in Las Vegas and…her life is still falling apart. But in a new way!
The fourth season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is coming out on February 18, and Midge — along with her entire family — has gone through so many transformations that it’s a bit hard to remember where we left off. Add in the two years that have passed since the last season aired and we definitely need a recap before we dive back in.
(This should go without saying when you’re reading a recap, but if you haven’t watched the first three seasons of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” there are spoilers ahead.)
Through each season, the characters on the show have slowly broken out of their manicured lives. In season one, Midge tried to hide her new gig as a comic while attempting to continue living her high-class, highly-controlled life on the Upper West Side. Season two dove into the history of Jewish stand-up comedy in the Catskills as Midge’s family summered at a resort, but also started to shake up their lives as Midge went public about her comedy career.
But none of the fallout from these choices truly hit the family until last season.
Midge’s father, Abe, rediscovering a few radical friends, left his tenured gig at Columbia, causing her parents to lose their apartment and move in with Midge’s abrasive former in-laws, Moishe and Shirley, in Queens. Frustrated by their inability to maintain their former, posh lifestyle, both parents spent the season struggling to figure out what they truly wanted to do with their lives now — Abe dabbled in penning pieces for alternative newspapers, and Rose tried to retain relevance in their former social circles by taking up as a meddling matchmaker.
Meanwhile, Joel, Midge’s ex-husband, decided to take a page out of Midge’s book and follow his dreams. He left his father’s business to open a nightclub in Chinatown. But, it turned out, a Chinese casino existed under his new property, and Joel had to begin working — and flirting — with Mei Lin, a medical student who helped him liaise with the illegal institution in his basement.
Our star, Midge, started the season off strong, finding her rhythm performing with famous Harlem singer Shy Baldwin as the opening act for his Las Vegas show (and accidentally remarrying Joel in a Las Vegas chapel when he flies out to visit her). Susie, high on her success with Midge, also takes on Midge’s biggest rival, the hugely successful comic Sophie Lennon, as a client; Sophie wants a manager as devoted as Susie has been to Midge to get her out of comedy and into serious theatre.
But neither of these successes lasts long. Sophie, despite being a strong actress, cracks under the pressure at her theatrical debut and the show is panned, closing almost immediately to huge losses. Midge discovers that Shy is gay, and the show has to shut down suddenly after he’s beaten up, leaving her scrambling for work. Susie picks up a serious gambling problem while in Las Vegas and loses all of Midge’s income; she burns down her mother’s house and commits insurance fraud to get back just half of it. And when the tour with Shy Baldwin is about to restart, Midge nearly reveals his closeted sexuality when opening for him at a major theatre and she’s kicked off the tour right after re-buying her old apartment with a loan against her now-voided contract.
From the trailers and promos out so far, it looks like the drama will be high. Abe and Rose are returning to the Upper West Side — via moving in with Midge, which ensures a solid quotient of Jewish nagging and chic outfits both. (Abe, for some reason, seems to be wearing a cape in one scene; do we think he becomes a magician as a side hustle?)
Joel, it seems, is still dating Mei, but trying to hide her from the family, and Susie, despite her poor financial history, is going into business for real (though possibly with the mob).
And our girl Midge is brasher than ever — maybe even a bit off the rails. In the trailer, we get flashes of her being pulled off a stage, throwing a mic down in anger, breaking plates and even seemingly trying to smash a car’s windshield. She wants to be a star, and, it seems, this season might see her lose everything else to get there.