Post Mortems

Mrs. Maisel Season 2 Finale: Team Palladino on That Cliffhanger Ending

Mrs. Maisel Season 2 Finale

The following story contains major spoilers about Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Season 2 finale — proceed at your own peril

The second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel concluded with Rachel Brosnahan‘s titular comedienne at the mother of all crossroads. Faced with the opportunity of a lifetime to serve as the opening act for Shy Baldwin during his six-month world tour, Midge instinctively throws caution (as well as her estranged husband Joel, current beau Benjamin, her children and her parents) to the wind and accepts the gig. Below, exec producers Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino answer our burning questions about the cliffhanger and what it means for the already-ordered Season 3.

TVLINE | After accepting Shy’s offer, Midge runs to Joel vs. new squeeze Benjamin (Zachary Levi), all but confirming the latter relationship is over. Why not give the pair a proper breakup scene?
AMY  | Quite frankly, the story was not about her and Ben. The story was about Midge’s raw, ruthless ambition. It’s another awakening in her. Because without that cutthroat aspect, there’s no way she could make it in the comedy world. It all led to that moment when she said ‘Yes’ [to touring for six months with Shy], without a thought of the fact that she has just thrown everything else away. To do that, you can’t really have a breakup scene. In a weird way, the entire relationship was leading up to that moment. And that was the point of even bringing a [new] love interest in.

TVLINE | She also didn’t even consider the impact it would have on her children… 
DANIEL | We will be dealing with that [in Season 3].
| She didn’t think of anything other than that she got the chance and she’s gonna take it. The deeper she gets into this world, the more she’s gonna learn what it’s gonna take and what is inside her to reach out and go for this thing that she wants so badly, at a time when there’s no easy way for a women to achieve this goal. That’s part of her journey. We always believed that Midge was actually the happiest in her life — and she will never be as happy again — as she was the night before Joel broke up with her. That’s really when she thought she had everything. Her life was perfect. [By deciding to tour with Shy], she picked a path that is exciting and ambitious. She will travel, she’ll f–k great men, she’ll have ups and downs and make money and lose money. At the end of the day, that will seem like a more exciting life, but it may not be the life that will make her as happy and safe and protected as the other life. And that is the journey that this woman is taking.

TVLINE | So, just to confirm, she is going to go on this tour in Season 3?
AMY | it sure looks like she’s going. We bought luggage!
DANIEL | Generally, it would feel really disappointing and a cheat to ignore [such a major] story point. The show is going where people hope it’s going.

TVLINE | There is an undeniable spark between Midge and fellow comic Lenny Bruce. Any interest in exploring that?
AMY | I think  a lot of people would love to see Rachel and Luke Kirby get in bed. Part of what I love about their relationship is he looks at her as his equal. He doesn’t look at her as a skirt or a conquest. And when they’re sitting and drinking in that bar, they’re doing so as two comics who are beaten down. They’re peers and trying to help each other. And there’s something lovely and unusual about that, especially at that time. I understand  the impulse — they’re both very pretty people – but there’s something special about what they have. And I would be afraid to ruin it.

TVLINE | How many episodes are we getting in Season 3?
AMY | We don’t know yet. We’re debating.
DANIEL | Amazon has given us some flexibility so we can see what stories we have. And we want to see what we can produce without killing everybody, including ourselves.
AMY | Some of the stuff we’re talking about might take time. We’re just trying to figure out how to make sure everything good gets on the screen.

TVLINE | Do you feel pressure to go bigger every season?
DANIEL | Amy and I have been doing this so long that I think we know every mistake a writer can make. One of the mistakes you can make is [feeling] compelled to make each season bigger [than the last]. You’ll run out of runway.
AMY | We’re following the journey of these characters. It’s not really about how many explosions we have. It’s about where [the characters] are going. It gets bigger inherently because we are following more and more characters and going deeper into more peoples’ lives and that means more places and things to see, and that can make it feel like we’re trying to make it bigger and bigger and bigger. But we’re just following the story.