The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 2/ Episode 3 “The Punishment Room” – Recap/ Review (With Spoilers)

Miriam at Mary's wedding reception.
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As Abe and Joel hold their recent changes steady, Miriam realizes her social etiquette is going out the window and Susie? Well, she is just tired of being broke.


Network
Amazon Prime
Director(s) Scott Ellis
Writer(s) Daniel Palladino
Air Date 12/4/2018

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Money Troubles: Susie, Miriam

You know what is frustrating? Having a client who has money. Because of that, they lack drive, literal hunger, and that is what is causing Susie a whole lot of issues. For here is Miriam, living the high life and Susie can’t pay a telephone bill. Add in Miriam is constantly late and talking about finding $2000 and it makes her unwilling to use her girls to impress a guy something to get pissed about. After all, damn how it will look, Susie needs to make a piece of the pie Miriam could be bringing in.

Luckily, while prepping to sell her records, she learns someone taped Miriam and the boys have been selling the record. Meaning Susie now has a bone to pick with those guys.

The Consistency Holds: Joel, Archie, Abe, Rose, Shirley, Moishe

Shirley asking if there will be another Great Depression.
Shirley: Is there gonna be another Great Depression soon?

Joel continues to get his parents finances together by doing his mother’s treasure hunts. Long story short, from their house to the factory, even Miriam’s apartment, his parents have hidden money. I’m talking thousands of dollars since neither seem to trust banks all that much. You know, because they lived through the great depression.

But, luckily, despite Shirley and Moishe acting up at the bank, this includes Shirley talking about bribe money and Moishe making a big deal about finding Jewish people in the bank, Archie comes to the rescue! He convinces his cousin to give Joel a loan and Joel, during the treasure hunt, finds a place in the factor to maybe make into his apartment. Which, with plans to buy the building, should be feasible.

As for Abe and Rose? Oh, things couldn’t be better. Well, they do hit a rough patch with Rose damn near emptying the art department by asking the girls what they plan to do after graduating. However, Abe defends her to the chair of the department and kind of calls out the chairperson as well. What is the point of the 16 or so girls being in a department that doesn’t have female teachers? What are they doing for girls who are in a profession that won’t lead to lucrative results? They’re all valid questions and while the chairperson is ready to stop Rose from auditing classes because she ask that of the girls, and they are ready to leave the program, Abe ends that discussion.

Societal Etiquette: Miriam, Mary

Miriam has been working on balancing out her life. That is, being this sweet, well off, Jewish girl from a good upbringing and being able to roll with the raunchy culture of the clubs and comics. However, trying to keep these two worlds apart, despite them being everything which surmises Miriam, it is getting rather difficult. Take Mary’s wedding and reception. That girl who is unaccustomed to hearing “No” and anything but the best gets Mary a nice wedding and reception room – without money exchanging hands.

However, that same girl embarrasses herself, and Mary, at the reception. Such as making it clear Mary is having a shotgun wedding. Leading to Mary disavowing Miriam a bit and Miriam, as she begs for forgiveness, being downgraded back to the switchboard. Pushing the idea, her two worlds need to come together or else one may die for the other.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Harry and Susie cross paths this episode but no word is said over the alleged calling of goons.

Highlights

Abe and Rose

Abe siding with Rose.
Abe: You know, basically, I think I’m on her side.

There was just something about Abe ready to defend Rose to his colleague over apologizing for her that just hit me in a special place. What I mean by that is, as much as you recognize Abe is just trying to get Rose to stay in New York, it doesn’t seem like his motive is purely selfish. With him showing some sort of understanding behind Rose’s thought process, and how aggressive he was being with the chairperson, you got this sense that he and Rose were a team. That their relationship has truly shifted and likely will stay that course.

Code Switching In A Different Light

When code-switching is usually brought up, it is because of Black and Brown people, as well as LGBTQIA, trying to blend into a surrounding. However, as shown by Midge, there are other situations. Now, maybe they aren’t as life and death, as it is for the aforementioned, but that is one of the unique things The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel brings. For Miriam, she has to code switch to do the thing she loves for while it is fine that her appearance is that of a well to do housewife, that is the Trojan Horse to her raunchy style.

Yet, with living a dual life, we’re starting to see that strain. Whether Miriam likes it or not, they are starting to bleed into one another. She, with her desire to practice her standup whenever in a public place, can’t maintain her posh attitude anymore. Yet, while saying that, you have to recognize her privilege. For if this simply is who Miriam is becoming, it won’t stop opportunities from coming her way. Hell, it is the reason so many take an interest in her.

However, you see what having the same mouth and being funny does for Susie right? Can you imagine the Black girl who works in the makeup department getting away with talking like that? Nope. So while you are given the opportunity to show code-switching isn’t just for a handful of groups, you are reminded that for some it is life and death and others, it is just something to get what you want more easily.

A Reminder That Life Isn’t Roses For Everyone

While it sucks to see Susie struggling, she is the only real reminder that there are normal people in this show’s universe. Joel is getting major loans at the bank, Miriam has the ability to live with her parents, work, and do comedy. Rose went off to Paris just because New York was stressing her out and her family flew over to get her back. When it comes to most of this show, we’re dealing with what looks like the rich.

Susie telling Miriam she broke.
Susie: Think about my life for a moment. I’m broke.

However, Susie helps remind us there are normal people too. In fact, she is the only one really pushing Miriam towards the end goal of becoming a prominent comic. After all, with Miriam being late, and heavily reliant on Susie to get things done, if she was on her own it would take 8 seasons for Miriam to make it. With Susie? Well, maybe 3 or 4. With making it meaning Miriam on television and not for a feminine product commercial.

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