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It’s the anniversary of so many things in Miriam and Joel’s life, like him walking out on her and her getting on stage, and also the first time we meet Susie’s family.

Amazon Prime
Director(s) Jamie Babbit
Writer(s) Amy Sherman-Palladino
Air Date 12/4/2018
Introduced This Episode
Declan Rufus Sewell
Tessie Emily Bergl

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The Past Is A Living Memory: Declan, Benjamin, Joel, Archie, Miriam

It has been a year since Joel changed Miriam’s life forever and you can see there is a bit of regret there. For even with Archie helping him buy the building Maisel and Roth was in, a bunch of girls waiting to date him as well, he seemingly is in mourning. Well, at least when he is drunk.

As for Miriam? Well, she mourns in a different way. It begins with going on a date with Benjamin to an art show, then to a bar where they come across this reclusive and eccentric artist named Declan. Someone who comes off like a madman who’d fit in with Rose’s Paris. Yet, in truth, he is just a man who seemingly lost it all. How and why? Over his passion. He pushes the idea of sacrifice and that you can’t have it all. Leading to Miriam, as she looks at his masterpiece, perhaps taking note of what she lost for her career and whether she will have to shed more for the life she chose. Never mind if, in pursuing this career, she could end up like Declan.

Meet The Family: Tessie, Susie

Tessie noting the extent of how their mom is an alcoholic.
Tessie (Emily Bergl): Mom could find booze in a nunnery

When it comes to Susie’s family, it’s not as bad as you would think, but it does help you understand why the kindness at the resort threw her off. For while her sister Tessie is kind, her biological brother is an ass – to the point of questioning they are related, and Tessie’s husband is not better. Then, when it comes to their mother, she is a serious alcoholic. The kind that would break into a nunnery just to get her fix.

This all presents a bit of a problem for Susie since, with Miriam getting better, but Harry’s influence still making booking hard, she sees touring as the next step. Yet, she is a New Yorker right now. Why would she have a car? So, in an attempt to see if money could bring the family together, she asks them to invest or, at the very least, sell some family land in Vermont to drum up some cash.

That idea gets shut down by the boys. However, Tessie, who seems fairly close to Susie, she offers their mother’s car. Not because their mom, who we don’t see, supports the idea. If anything, Tessie just wants one of them to be happy and with how much of a drunk their mom is, she figures she can lie and say it was stolen. Thus giving Susie what she needs.

This Is Me: Abe, Joel, Noah, Astrid, Susie, Miriam, Shirley, Moishe, Rose

Miriam revealing to all she is a stand up comic.
Miriam: I am pursuing a carer in stand-up comedy.

It’s Yom Kippur and also the day Miriam is tasked with impressing yet another booker. Also, it is the day Astrid reveals she is pregnant and Miriam, in a long-winded speech, reveals she is a stand up comic. This comes with a lot of questions from Rose, Abe pretending he didn’t know anything, and some tempers flaring. Not because people are mad at Miriam’s news but more so because everyone was fasting and she held up dinner.

Well, that and with Miriam’s news, since Yom Kippur is a Jewish new year dealing with cleansing oneself of the past year’s sins, a lot more comes out. Noah’s government work becomes a thing at the dinner table as well. Also, Noah and Miriam get into a little spat over the idea everything is about her. Astrid tries to jump in about not being asked to babysit but is quickly steamrolled, and of course Moishe and Shirley add their 2 cents. Mostly by Moishe treating Miriam like she is a clown who can just be funny on command.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What happened to the hitmen who were supposed to come after Susie? Two guys act like they couldn’t find her, Harry sees her later on, and nothing happens? Especially considering Miriam is getting more and more work?


Meeting Susie’s Family

I wouldn’t say Susie’s family disappointed, in terms of them being ass****s and the kind you’d avoid if they were your own family. I will admit though, I was expecting something worse. Yet, considering what Susie has seen of Miriam’s life, you have to realize seeing all that wealth and sense of community has brought some sense of hope to Susie. Hence why, despite rarely saying a good word about her family, you can understand why Susie decided to see if maybe money was what made all those families come together. After all, she’s seen and heard Miriam’s family fight. Hell, one flew all the way to Paris to get away from the others. Yet, taking things from Susie’s point of view, it seemed money fixed all that.

Which pushes the idea, as much as Susie may seem like she doesn’t need anyone, doesn’t want the trouble which comes from being close to anyone – she does want that. It’s just, with an upbringing which included her being pushed almost out of frame in pictures, believing she could have that is hard. Hence why, even now, she is a bit weirded out by Miriam’s kindness and seems ready, at a moment’s notice, for her to stop. Not because Susie did anything to or against her mind you. No, she expects her to stop because of family, what people would say, or this just being a hobby.

But, one could argue, the more time she spends with Miriam, the more she realizes that sooner or later she can let her guard down. After all, Miriam is very persistent. So with her having no intentions of Susie not, eventually, becoming her friend, she minas well accept the love which comes with it.

Miriam’s Truth Is Revealed

With Miriam revealing her truth to her family, that means the cat is out of the bag. Also, it means her future, and the show’s, can have a bigger issue to deal with in the future. What exactly will that be? Well, honestly it is hard to fathom. If only because that secret was one of the central conflicts in the show.

The Sorrows of Declan

Declan (Rufus Sewell) giving Miriam an ominous warning.
Declan (Rufus Sewell): You can’t have everything.

One thing season 2 has not done a lot of is introduce new characters who just left you stunned. We got a weirdo, a love interest or two, but Declan stands out. He stands out in a Lenny Bruce kind of way but you know we likely won’t see Declan again. Yet, as he talked to Miriam, especially in front of his painting, he brought on this sort of cloud over the show. One which went beyond the sense of mourning both Miriam and Joel were having and presented a forewarning. For with Miriam about to begin a new chapter, that means a lot of stories in the past ending.

Now, as for what stories will be ending? That’s hard to say. What sacrifices, beyond just her marriage, will Miriam have to put on the table? Well, spending time with her kids and family is one. But will Benjamin have to join that? If you think of stand up comics in the modern era, a lot of the women you know are single. A handful are not like Mo’Nique and Amy Schumer, but others are single, or unwed, and while living their best life, they’d still like a family outside the one they were born in.

So you have to wonder if Miriam may end up the same way. Hugely successful but alone, with kids who perhaps feel abandoned, and seeing herself maybe on Sophie’s level but with no one to share it with. Well, besides Susie who comes around every now and then.

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