Reality hits hard for multiple characters as one song by Lenny Bruce paints a rather grim picture of what’s to come.
|Introduced This Episode|
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Who Is Abe Weissman?: Michael, Abe, Rose
With things clearly not working out at Bell Labs, his children not needing him as much, his university coercing him onto paid leave, Abe finds himself needing to reflect. You know, like Rose, rediscover who he was before the marriage, the children, the job, and his current lifestyle. Leading him to come up with speaking to an old friend Michael, from Abe’s activist days, and talking with Rose about making some changes. It isn’t clear how he can and will change things, since Columbia owns their home. However, something has to give and, unlike Rose, he can’t just run off to a foreign country.
Bite The Bullet: Susie, Sophie, Miriam
To say the least, sexism in the industry is frustrating the hell out of Miriam. A man can talk about his penis, as much as he wants, but her mentioning Imogene having a kid? Being pregnant? She gets treated like she just did a Lenny Bruce worthy act and she is sick of it. Also, to a certain point, she is kind of sick of Susie too since Susie’s default is New York aggression and it hasn’t done all that much.
Well, for Miriam anyway. As we learn, later on, it wasn’t just Miriam who left a positive impression that night. With Susie threatening Sophie, really laying into her, that impressed her. That passion for her client, the gall, she wants that. Yes, you heard right, Sophie Lennon wants Susie for her manager. Now, whether she accepted the offer is unknown or how Harry would react. Never mind Sophie is trying to be Sophie from Ann Arbor and not Queens, which means Susie will have to learn how to work different kinds of theaters. That is, Broadway, Carnegie, and things like that.
But, they save that for next season.
Who Will Be Miriam Maisel?: Lenny, Miriam, Susie, Shy, Joel, Abe, Benjamin
After the situation at the club, Miriam being pushed off stage, she decides to get a drink and happens to run into Lenny. He is down in the dumps himself, dealing with a warrant in Chicago, and noting he basically sold everything to pay the lawyers who keep him from real jail. But, he has a gig, a televised gig, and that may help things. Leading to Miriam, the sister-friend Lenny never knew he needed, offering to show up for moral support. Something quite needed.
This leads to her seeing Lenny perform, clean, and sing a song about ending up all alone. This song, which speaks to how Lenny and Sophie’s life is, though with Sophie having money, acts as a wake-up call for Miriam. You see, between offering to show up for Lenny and his event, Shy says he wants her to come on tour with him in the US and Europe. A tour which will take 6 months and Miriam instantly says yes.
Problem is, as she says yes to those dates, Abe says yes in giving Benjamin permission to marry her – something Joel didn’t ask permission for. Yet, with everything she could want coming at the same time, again there is this clash of what life does she want to have? As she says to Joel, at the end of the episode, she can’t go back to being a housewife. While Imogene would love for her to have another kid, she seems good with 2. So, taking note she wants to not make her career secondary, follow in her parent’s footsteps, she seemingly is going to take this gig and the guilt which comes with it.
However, one thing she wants, before possibly going down this lonely road, is one last taste of love. This means, for now, her and Joel reconciling beyond friendship and making out – maybe more. Meaning she definitely just cheated on Benjamin but may also realize Benjamin is more so the ideal on paper than what Miriam needs for this life she wants.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- Joel is still working at his father’s shop and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Reality Hits Hard
As noted in an earlier recap, Miriam didn’t have to lose all that much when she started this journey. She’d work at night, see the kids a bit, then worked at a makeup counter. Yes, she lost her husband but she was so consumed by her career and kids, Joel was good just climbing through her window to give her some stress relief. Yet, now she is at a crossroads.
One which, I should add, might not be as complicated as she thinks. Think about it, Benjamin said he wanted a woman who was weird, different right? Miriam fits the bill and to add onto how unique she is, her work calls for her to travel and with Benjamin being a doctor, he may not be able to travel to every gig, but he can meet up with her sometimes. He can afford it.
Yet, we’re reminded how much Miriam is having a hard time trying to pave her own road here. Yes, Susie is trying to pave it as much as possible but she can only do that for Miriam’s career. She has made it clear, repeatedly, when it comes to Miriam’s personal life, they aren’t friends. While she appreciates the kindness, she is a bit uncomfortable.
Making the idea of raising kids, being an active member of her family, her community, yet doing what she loves, is only going to get harder. Plus, Miriam has no female example of someone who got to have it all. Lenny has nothing but his humor and that sometimes isn’t enough. Sophie is filthy rich but can’t be herself on stage and lives in a house filled with paid staff and her pets. She may be living well but is just like Lenny. It’s just her misery is often unspoken.
So, it is going to be interesting to see Miriam stumble as she tries to become successful and try to deal with the guilt that surely will come with it. Making me wonder, would it be so wrong to ask for, between season 3, or 4, a time jump?
Now Susie Has Options
For a good part of the show, Susie has been punished for being a woman, brash, and vulgar. However, now one of the biggest entertainers wants her to manage them. This is validation and it makes you wonder how will Susie handle that? Especially since this validation comes with a new challenge. Booking comedy clubs is one thing but Sophie wants to use that Yale degree. How will Susie be able to deal with the arts community and places where she can’t curse and threaten her way in?
Think about how much of a shakeup that could present. Until Shy came on board, this show wasn’t really all that diverse with its main cast. With what Sophie wants, we may get the queer community, people of color, and more. Hopefully in prominent positions.
A New Life For Abe
Just when you thought Abe would be stuck in a perpetual state of whining, he decides to switch up his life. How? Well, that’s hard to say. While Michael is a lawyer, we’re not told what kind of law he practices and who Abe is trying to sue. Yet, this has to be the most interesting thing that has happened to Abe character the entire series.
But, look at it this way, his daughter found something she loved, his wife left the country to rediscover herself, so it should have been expected Abe would follow suit. Was he not miserable for most of the series? Did he not seem to hate what he did but enjoy the lifestyle it afforded him? Which brings the need to question, depending on this lawsuit, how will he maintain this life he has?
Bell Labs is done, he can’t expect money from there, and while tenure protects a person, surely there have to be loopholes right? The way his colleague made it seem, everyone from administrators to students hates him. This has gone beyond maybe him putting down a math formula because it doesn’t agree with his research. Hell, he threatened someone! Albeit with a butter knife, but a threat is a threat, right? So what can he really sue for and how will he handle seeing that lawsuit through is a big question for season 3.
This Really Makes You Wish For A Lenny Bruce Spinoff
While Shy and Sophie can be considered a mix of or inspired by real people, Lenny Bruce is an actual person. Someone who, depending on the documentary, wasn’t as offbeat and kind as this show presents him, but is a figure who needs a modern depiction of his life. So imagine, in a similar ilk to this show, Lenny Bruce’s life being taken on. Anyone else wanna see that?
So, What About Rose’s New Life?
Remember Rose signing up for classes, her and Abe going dancing? Yeah, what happened to that? Was that the sum of her storyline this season? Give her some kind of distraction and then she’ll be fine? Meanwhile, Abe and Joel get a nice arc between them? Susie, Sophie, even Lenny get further developed while Rose barely rises above the wife? Well, I guess there is always next season.
On The Fence
So, Back With Joel or No?
With Miriam cheating on Benjamin comes the question if Joel is romantically back in her life or if she wanted one last taste of her old life? It’s hard to say for the big issue here is whether Benjamin would have supported her going on tour or not. For isn’t that her fear? The idea he wants a housewife and she not wanting to revert back to that? Yet, with Joel being the cause and witness to this whole journey, from marriage to giving her a reason to be on stage, will she go back to what’s comfortable? Maybe even for the sake of the kids, who you know she is going to feel guilty for leaving?
We’re left with a lot of things to question the thoughts behind and how their actions will play out.
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