Mrs. Maisel Finale Recap: The Snowball Effect — Plus, Grade Season 4

Mrs. Maisel Season 4 Finale Recap

Lenny Bruce’s legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall performance served as the backdrop of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Season 4 finale, and set the stage for the show’s titular heroine to finally step into the spotlight in the Prime Video hit’s upcoming fifth and final season.

After four banter-filled, flirty seasons, Lenny (a never-better Luke Kirby) stopped being polite and started getting real with Midge, confronting her on the storied venue’s stage shortly after his show-stopping set and accusing her of committing intentional career sabotage. (It’s probably no small coincidence that their tense face-off occurs shortly after they have sex for the first time.) His breaking point comes when Midge — who is currently toiling away as an MC at an illegal strip club — turns down a plum, high-profile gig opening for Tony Bennett on principle. And out of fear.

“You’re not going to get [to Carnegie Hall by] hiding yourself away in a club that technically doesn’t exist,” he argues. “So what, you got dumped by [Shy] Baldwin. Who gives a s–t? Go get another gig, and another, and another.

“Ninety percent of this game is how they see you,” he adds. “They see you hanging with Tony Bennett, they think you deserve to be there. They see you hauled off to jail for saying f–k at a strip club, they think you deserve that also. Wise up.”

And then, as if possessing prescient knowledge that his own skyrocketing career will be tragically cut short (a looming tragedy that Midge herself got a sneak peak while poking around in his bathroom post coital), Lenny makes it personal.

“If you blow this, Midge,” he says, fighting back tears. “You will break my f–king heart.”

And just in case Lenny’s message fails to move the needle Midge, the universe — AKA Team Palladino — backs his stern words of tough love-infused wisdom up with a literal sign from above.

While trudging through blizzard conditions on the way to the subway, Midge clocks a billboard emblazoned with two simple words: Go Forward. When she moves in for a closer look amid the whiteout conditions, she realizes it’s actually an advertisement for… The Gordon Ford Show.

And before you can say The Tonight Show With Mrs. Maisel, the screen fades to black and Season 4 comes to an end.

Other key takeaways from, “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?“:

* Moishe miraculously survives a near-fatal heart attack that he later insists was absolutely not triggered by the news that his son Joel’s girlfriend, Mei, is non-Jewish, Chinese and also pregnant. He’s actually cool with all of that. He does, however, make one demand of his son: Mei “has to be Jewish by the time you tell your mother.”

* In a less competitive week, Tony Shalhoub would be a shoo-in for TVLine’s Performer of the Week for the scene where a surprisingly vulnerable and emotionally present Abe eulogizes a back-from-the-dead Moishe at his hospital bedside.

* Despite receiving dire threats from New York’s terrifying matchmaking mob (comprised of Gilmore Girls‘ grande dame Kelly Bishop, the inimitable Jackie Hoffman, Broadway vet Patrice Johnson and The Leftovers‘ Marceline Hugot, all of whom I really hope return next season or at least get their own spinoff), Rose — in the wake of a rousing pep talk from Midge — decides to forge ahead with her career as a romance broker.

* The second phone line gimmick at Susie’s circus of an office was ridiculous and probably went on a few beats too long but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love every freakin’ second of it.

* This episode, written and directed by series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, was the best of the season. By far.

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