Post Mortems

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: The Story Behind Season 5's Game-Changing Narrative Twist (Warning: Spoilers)

The following story contains major spoilers from the first three episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s fifth season — proceed at your own peril.

The beginning of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s end featured a show-stopping narrative curveball.

The opening scene of the Season 5 premiere introduced a flash-forward conceit that will continue play out throughout the Emmy-winning comedy’s final season. And some of the futuristic reveals are jaw-droppers.

Among the details uncovered in the first three episodes (which are now streaming on Prime Video): Midge’s MIT-enrolled daughter, Esther (Red Oaks‘ Alexandra Socha, pictured), will grow up to become a brilliant scientist, albeit one with debilitating mommy issues; son Ethan (Boardwalk Empire‘s Ben Rosenfield) will spend part of his 20s working on a kibbutz in Israel while studying to be a rabbi; Midge and Susie, both of whom will achieve superstardom in their respective careers, will eventually become estranged, although it remains unclear what exactly led to the breakup.

Oh, and by middle age, the frice-married (!!) Midge will be halfway to an EGOT!

As series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino explains to TVLine, she “had been toying with” the idea of taking a big swing with regard to Mrs. Maisel‘s timeline “for a while,” adding, “We tried it in Season 2 and it completely didn’t work at all. It wasn’t time yet. It was too early. [Viewers] weren’t as invested yet. We knew we wanted to do some version of it [in the final season] but it actually got bigger as we started breaking the story, because it really helped hammer some things home that we thought was really fun.

The device proved to be a tricky, but ultimately rewarding, needle to thread, explains fellow EP, Daniel Palladino. “It was really about finding the moments to do it without overdoing it,” he shares. “We had fun quickly picking the anchor points in everyone’s lives to see where they are [and] what was happening.”

For the cast, it added an extra layer of anticipation to the final season, as each new script arrived chock full of spoilers about their characters.

“We never knew what was coming and we were so surprised,” leading lady Rachel Brosnahan enthuses. “It was fun to get a glimpse into the future and understand what happened during these pivotal points in their lives.

“It was also confusing and intimidating,” she adds with a laugh. “I asked Amy and Dan to make a flash-forward [cheat sheet for me].” (Voilayour cheat sheet has arrived!)

Chimes in co-star Alex Borstein: “It was exciting. It was also scary. You’re like, ‘How’s this going to look? How is this going to be received?'”

Maisel‘s first three Season 5 episodes featured plenty of action in its “current” 1961 timeline, too. Herewith are the highlights.

* After giving herself a six-month deadline to “break” Midge, Susie gets her No. 1 client on The Gordon Ford Show, albeit behind-the-scenes as their token “lady writer.”

* Mei dropped two grenades on her now ex-boyfriend Joel’s lap: She aborted their unborn Mrs. Maisel Season 5child and she’s moving to Chicago to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. (Here’s the full story on Stephanie Hsu’s exit.)

* Speaking of relocations, Lenny (played by former series regular Luke Kirby) ran into Midge at the airport en route to his new home base of Los Angeles. (Hopefully, that will not be the last we see of LB.)

* Milo Ventimiglia’s “Handsome Man” returned for an ambitious subway-themed set piece with Brosnahan’s Midge. And, as promised, we finally learned his real name: Silvio!

What do you think of Mrs. Maisel‘s flash-forward gambit? And your reaction to the first three episodes overall? Hit the comments!