The 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Season 2 Recap You Need Before Watching Season 3
In just two seasons, Miriam "Midge" Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) went from hesitantly falling into a comedy career to booking an international tour. Given that whirlwind sequence of events — and the breakneck speed of the show's dialogue — you may need a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2 recap before hitting play on Season 3. Not only did a lot change in Midge's professional life, but in her personal life, too.
When Season 2 opened, Midge had been moved from B. Altman's cosmetics counter to working as a switchboard operator. Outside of her day job, she was pursuing comedy full-force, while still navigating her nebulous relationship with Joel (Michael Zegen). Season 2 expanded on the stories of everyone else in her orbit, too, including her manager Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein), her father Abe Weissman (Tony Shalhoub), and her mother Rose Weissman (Marin Hinkle). Fellow comedian Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby) continued to give her valuable advice, while Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch) gave her just as much grief.
But it was the introduction of new characters in Season 2 that really changed Midge's life — none more so than Leroy McClain's Shy Baldwin. Before she heads off to be Shy's opening act, refresh your memory about how she got there.
The Weissmans Went To Paris
Midge and Abe traveled to Paris to bring home Rose, who'd settled in the French capital after being lied to by her family. (Abe never told Rose that Midge turned down Joel when he tried to get back together in Season 1.) Though the trip didn't do much to advance the plot, it was très magnifique when it came to costumes and scenery — and it rekindled the romance between Abe and Rose. They eventually returned to the Upper West Side, but their Paris trip also allowed Susie a chance to live the high life in their apartment while they were gone.
Midge Moved On From Joel (Sort Of)
After a lot of pressing from Rose, Midge found herself a new love interest in Zachary Levi's Benjamin Ettenber, who she met while on summer vacation in the Catskills. Their courtship accelerated so quickly that the good doctor asked Abe for Midge's hand in marriage, which Midge accepted. However, she forgot all about Benjamin when Shy invited her on tour. And after speaking with Lenny about how a career in comedy could leave her all alone, Midge ended the season propositioning Joel for one last night together.
Abe Discovered Midge's Act
While staying at the Steiner Resort in the Catskills, Susie got Midge a gig at a neighboring resort, the Concord. But Abe, fed up with Joel's father and Polynesian Night at Steiner, went to check out the show at the Concord, unaware that Midge was performing there. He was angry to learn his daughter had been lying to him — and upset about her risqué act — but he kept his feelings bottled up. It wasn't until two episodes later that Midge let the rest of the family in on her big secret at Yom Kippur breakfast, so now everyone is aware of Midge's budding comedy career. The family also learned Midge's brother Noah was keeping a secret of his own: he's been a CIA agent this whole time.
Meanwhile, Abe had a crisis in his own career: after Midge made a joke about his government project in one of her sets, Bell Labs fired him for being a "security risk." Abe then decided he wanted to give up his tenured position at Columbia, too, meaning the Weissmans will lose their apartment. Abe ended the season meeting with a lawyer to figure out how to preserve their lifestyle.
Midge & Susie Went On Tour
Midge angered some male comedians earlier on in the season, and when she returned to the same bar in the Season 3 finale, she was kicked offstage for talking about pregnancy. She had some career highlights as well — like her first East Coast tour and a telethon — but they didn't go off without a hitch. Sophie Lennon, still angry at Midge for exposing that her act is fake, had Midge pushed to the latest time slot during the telethon. And while on tour, Midge forgot all about the baby shower she was hosting for her pal Imogene.
Susie Received An Unexpected Job Offer
Sophie may have bumped Midge during the telethon, but Susie got it much worse. In Season 3's first episode, Sophie's manager Harry Drake used his mob connections to have Susie kidnapped. Fortunately, she ended the encounter unscathed, and after she told Sophie off at the telethon, it led to quite the unexpected opportunity: Sophie asked Susie to become her manager. Susie's response to Sophie's offer wasn't revealed (besides a relatable "what the f*ck?") and she intentionally didn't tell Midge about it when she had the chance. So Susie's potential new client could cause tension between her and Midge in Season 3.
Midge's Career Got A Boost
In the series finale, Midge also got a big career opportunity: singer Shy Baldwin was so impressed with her telethon performance that he asked her to be the opening act for his six-month tour in the U.S. and Europe. She immediately said yes, forgetting all about her impending engagement to Benjamin. But hey, you're not watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for Midge's love life — you're watching to see her make it in comedy.
When Midge hits the road in Season 3, that will leave Joel to care for their two children. As he spent most of Season 2 trying to save his family's clothing factory, that could be another source of conflict. But when Midge takes the international stage, she might find that she doesn't mind being all on her own.