The series finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel starts out in San Francisco 1965. Lenny is doing a standup routine, and it’s not going well. He’s aimless on stage and loses the audience’s attention quickly. He’s no longer the Lenny he once was. His sharpness is gone. He’s forgetting bits. He’s crumbling under the spotlight.
Susie is watching Lenny in horror. She can’t believe what she’s seeing. Afterward, Susie goes up to Lenny and asks him to leave with her. She is Midge’s manager and can help him get back on his feet. She calls his standup a “f***ing disgrace.”
Lenny doesn’t take Susie up on her offer. He doesn’t think he has a future in standup. Susie pleads with Lenny to reconsider. “Because you are Lenny Bruce. There’s only ever going to be one of you. Let’s get him back,” Susie says. Lenny is called away before he can give Susie a real answer. “Keep those favors. Use ‘em for someone worthy,” he says. Before he goes, Lenny asks if Midge is around. Susie says no.
When Susie walks outside, Midge is there smoking a cigarette. Midge immediately asks about Lenny. “He’s a mess, Miriam,” she says. Midge doesn’t go in to see him, but she looks devastated as they leave Lenny behind. As we all know, Lenny would die one year later.
The episode flashes back to New York City 1961. Susie is currently sleeping on a park bench. She ends up getting arrested after fighting the police. Midge bails her out. Midge takes Susie for coffee to get the full story. Midge knows that Susie is upset, but Susie is tight-lipped. Slowly but surely, Susie begins to open up about Hedy and their past. Susie moved to New York after Hedy came back from Paris engaged when they were younger. That’s the first and last time Susie’s been in love.
Gordon begrudgingly tells Midge that she’s going to be on the show… tonight. Midge runs straight to Susie to tell her the news. Apparently, Hedy’s the one who made the ask.
Meanwhile, Moishe tells Joel that he’s going to retire from the company. After a shower fall, he reconnected with Shirley. They’re selling the house and getting a condo in Boca Raton as soon as they can walk again. Suddenly, Joel gets a call from Midge about The Gordon Ford Show. Joel is beaming with pride. He gives Midge his blessing to talk about him during her routine if she needs to.
“Have I ever told you that you are amazing?” she asks. Joel replies, “You have. A lot. More than I deserve.” Midge wants Joel there in the audience. Joel promises he’ll be there. “I’ll leave the tickets under ‘the one that got away,’” Midge quips.
Abe rushes home to tell Rose about Midge being on The Gordon Ford Show tonight. Rose isn’t amused and says she’s not going. Rose doesn’t believe that Midge has been trying to call her all day as Abe says. Well, the phone has been off the hook. Midge has enlisted Joel, Shirley, and more to try and get a hold of Rose all day. Once Rose realizes that, she and Abe leave in a rush. There are no cabs available on the Upper West Side. They run down the street trying to get a cab. No amount of bargaining works. Rose even offers up her wedding ring! They end up on the bus, which Rose later calls a “harrowing” experience.
Gordon decides to tear Midge down just as she was rising. She’s not going on the show to perform. She’s just coming on as a writer. Susie runs after Gordon, but he’s not changing his mind. Susie screams for Mike in the middle of the office. He doesn’t know what’s going on. She demands that he fix this. Gordon changed Midge’s moment to a human interest piece at the last minute.
Midge gets ready and takes her on the set stool. Joel wonders what’s up, and Midge just shakes her head. Gordon begins interviewing Midge during the show. It’s very cut and dry. He calls her “resident lady writer,” and he does so offensively. Midge decides to take her shot. Gordon cuts her off and goes to commercial, even though he still had 4 minutes left.
Mike demands that Gordon makes up for those lost 4 minutes. Joel goes to Susie to inquire about what’s going on. Susie thinks this is all her fault because of the Hedy situation. Mike tries to convince Gordon to let Midge do her thing. It’s just 4 minutes.
Midge walks off stage to talk to Abe. He tells her he’s so proud of her regardless of what happens. Rose is so grateful that Midge went to such lengths to get her here.
Midge walks back to her seat and sees the mic. She grabs Susie. These are the 4 most important minutes of her life. Midge is thinking about doing something that could “ruin” her and Susie. Susie knows exactly what Midge means and gives her the OK. “Tits up,” Susie says. That’s all Midge needs to hear.
Midge takes her seat on the stool and tells Gordon she’s “never been great at following rules” before they go live. She takes the jump, leaps off the stool, and grabs the mic. She gets her 4 minutes and shines. It’s a game-changing moment. The crowd goes wild for her.
“I think it’s inevitable that they will hate me when they grow up,” Midge says about her kids during the routine. Her jokes all land. Even Gordon is laughing. Everyone is orbiting around Midge.
“I want a big life. I want to experience everything. I want to break every single rule there is,” Midge says. “They say ambition is an unattractive trait in a woman. Maybe. But you know what’s really unattractive? Waiting around for something to happen.” Midge is not waiting around. She’s walking straight into stardom. The crowd erupts.
After her standup, Gordon welcomes her to the chair and begins to interview her. He calls her routine “terrific.” Gordon admits he was wrong about her. He introduces her as “the magnificent, the magical, the marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Midge blows Joel a kiss in the crowd. As the crowd continues to applaud Midge, Gordon whispers, “You’re fired.”
Six months earlier, Lenny is trying to teach Midge how to be famous. It’s been a great night for them both. Their only night together. She opens up her fortune cookie, the same one she kept close and read again on the night everything changed for her.
The show flashes forward to 2005. Her team is going over her schedule. Midge wants to stay booked and busy, but she definitely wants to be in New York for the holidays. Midge walks through her lavish apartment and fondly touches her wedding photo with Joel, a coveted possession. After she spends her evening alone, she calls Susie. They’re going to watch an episode of Jeopardy: Tournament of Champions together, even though they’re on separate coasts.
Midge tells Susie about her day. Midge wants Susie to come back to work. Susie has done her time. Midge and Susie bicker and laugh over the phone, just like in old times. Just like it always should be.