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In Season 4, Mrs. Maisel tries to have it all

Miriam “Midge” Maisel has never played by the rules. But she’s back, finally, for Season 4 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and this time, she’s actively trying to break them all.

Midge has been kicked off of the tour that was supposed to make her career and suddenly can’t get a gig anywhere, she’s taken out a loan from her father-in-law that she no longer has the money to pay off and she’s bought back her Upper West Side apartment but doesn’t even have milk money for her kids. (Mind you, she does still seem to have money for martinis at comedy clubs somehow.)

Yet she’s insistent that she won’t sacrifice her style, her jokes, or herself — she doesn’t want the limits imposed by doing opening acts, no more palatable jokes about room service or lipstick. It’s 1960, second-wave feminism is just beginning, and Midge is intent on proving she can have it all.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has always been focused on women, of course — though ex-husband Joel and father Abe have big arcs in this season, too — and Midge and her manager Suzy have always pushed boundaries for what’s appropriate or allowed for women in the 1950s.

But the 50’s are over and, at least in the first two episodes of the show — all that’s been released to critics so far — it looks like the show is taking a sharper direction, one aimed at more cutting social commentary about the privileges afforded men that are not given to women.

Unable to book a gig, displaced by male comedians who are well-known as hacks — one rattles off a list of one-liner, vaguely antisemitic jokes, even though he’s Jewish — Midge conspires to jump on stage and imitate the next comic, affecting a belly laugh and swagger. His tasteless, bawdy jokes don’t get a laugh coming from a woman; in fact, they’re so inappropriate, she’s bodily removed from the stage, even though, as she points out to the club’s owner, they’re the exact same ones the male comic was about to make in his act.

In jail, where she’s been booked after being kicked out of the club, Midge rails against the system. “It’s not about what you say. It’s about who you happen to be when you say what you happen to say, and who happens to be around,” she says, effectively performing an off-the-cuff set for the other women in the cell.

Midge, it seems, might be done trying to make it in a man’s world, impressing the patriarchal system. She wants to change the whole industry, she tells Suzy, and it seems likely that one part of that big change is giving up on men — their rules, their sense of humor, their ability to control her and dictate her life.

It’s not easy; Midge flirts her way through the Upper West Side, begging various businesses who knew her when she was still married to Joel to raise her credit limit — the dry cleaners, the bakery, the pharmacy — so she can keep up appearances, a balancing act sure to tumble down in the coming episodes.

We’ve learned, since the days of second-wave feminism, that it’s nearly impossible to “have it all.” So hopefully, the season will explore the 60’s and its feminist movement with a critical eye, not merely trumpet a girl boss narrative of smashing the patriarchy through grit and hard work — though “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has not always been the most nuanced in its storylines. (Its portrayal of Judaism is, after all, pretty reliant on stereotypes of nagging and neuroticism, and bar mitzvah one-liners.)

But it’s clear that Midge wants to use her comedy to create change, to do real social commentary. “A voice is a powerful thing,” she says, in a comedy set that bookends the first episode of the new season. “It can change the way people think, which can change the way people act,” she says in the first episode, setting the tone for the season. “But it can’t do anything if you keep your mouth shut.”

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