The following story includes major spoilers from the series finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel… proceed with caution
The last ever episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which dropped on Amazon this morning (read our recap), pretty much tied up every character’s story arc with a resplendent, period appropriate bow. That’s not to say we weren’t left with a burning question or two or…. OK, we had nearly a dozen. Luckily, series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and fellow EP Daniel Palladino made themselves available to TVLine early Friday morning to field every last one of them.
TVLINE | How are you both feeling this morning?
AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO | I think its great that it’s out there. I hope people enjoy it. I hope people feel like it was worth their hours and hours of investment.
DANIEL PALLADINO | We threw everything we had at this last season.
AS-P | There’s no kitchen sink left.
TVLINE | The flash-forward interludes in the finale steered clear of the year 1966, which is when the real Lenny Bruce died. Did you ever consider showing us Midge’s reaction to news of his passing?
DANIEL | We debated it. We thought it would be too on-the-nose sentimental.
AMY | Everyone knows he dies. They know what his sad end was. What we wanted to do instead was show the decline. And that’s why we started [the finale] the way we did… And if we see his demise [play out] more on stage, it ties it in a little more thematically with Midge’s journey. And that picture of him naked and dead in his bathroom, which is kind of an iconic and horrifying picture, it was so burned into our brains that we were like, “Let’s not see him like that. Let’s see the demise of the work and his great brain and the great talent” instead.
TVLINE | The final shot of the entire series was of Susie and not Midge. Why?
DANIEL | [Laughs]
AMY | The practical reason was that we had this big wide, expansive shot of Susie and Midge [was on a tiny set]. You can only get the camera back so far when you have a [tiny] set. So we felt like we wanted to end on the bigness of their friendship. The last laugh we hear [after the screen fades to black] is Midge’s.
TVLINE | Speaking of Midge’s apartment, here’s an inside baseball question from a fellow New Yorker: Does she live in The Dakota or The Ansonia? ‘Cause it looked like The Ansonia but Yoko Ono, who Midge mentioned living in the same building as her, famously resides at The Dakota.
AMY | She lives in The Dansonia.
DANIEL | [Laughs] It’s a fictional Manhattan she is living in.
TVLINE | All of the show’s series regulars were present for the big, climactic Gordon Ford Show sequence with the exception of Kevin Pollak. It was explained that Moishe was still recovering from the mishap in the bathroom, but his absence still felt somewhat conspicuous.
DANIEL | Moishe and Shirley’s big last moment was that shower thing where they [reach] the culmination of their journey. It was just a choice that we made.
TVLINE | Was that elaborate taxi cab bottleneck set piece actually shot on Park Ave?
DANIEL | Yes. [The city] lets you do that on a Sunday night for a certain number of hours. They gave us three blocks.
AMY | They gave us way more than I thought we were going to get… We rehearsed that scene at the Steiner Studios parking lot [in Brooklyn]. We cleared the parking lot and we brought in cabs and every crew member lined up their cars and we measured it and taped it and rehearsed it over and over because we simply wouldn’t have had time to put it all together [during the limited time we had to shoot along Central Park East]. It was two days with stand-ins for Marin Hinkle and Tony Shalhoub and then a day when we brought Marin and Tony in and we ran them around the Steiner parking lot.
DANIEL | It was Michael Mann type s–t we were doing.
TVLINE | Was that just a case of you wanting to include a big set piece in the final episode?
AMY | Rose and Midge were thick as thieves in the pilot. Best friends. And we had never really gotten back to that. Rose still had never seen Midge do stand-up — at least not in a sober state. Midge asking Rose to [attend the Gordon Ford Show] taping and Rose realizing that her daughter wants her to be a part of this thing that she has been so dismissive and afraid of was [a significant] emotional burst. And this felt like a fun, cinematic way to show how important it was to Rose. She will run through f–king [traffic] because she has to get to her daughter’s show.
TVLINE | What did Rose die of?
DANIEL | We figured it was cancer.
TVLINE | When in the timeline did she die?
AMY | She didn’t live too much longer after we saw her in Episode 7’s [1973 flash-forward.
TVLINE | How much of Gordon Ford’s enthusiastic reception to Midge’s four-minute set was genuine and how much of it was him just saving face?
AMY | It was 100 percent genuine. His pride is so big that for him to be won over he really had to be won over. His territory had been peed on. He was instructed to do something he didn’t want to do. We wanted it to be genuine, [almost like him admitting], “I was a d–k. You were the real deal.”
TVLINE | It cracked me up that Susie and Midge were still using a VCR in 2005…
AMY | Trying to get an old person, once they know how to do something, to do something else is [impossible]. At some point you’re just like, “F–k it. I press a button, something happens, that’s all I care about.”
TVLINE | Kudos to the team who made Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein look genuinely old in that final [Midge-Susie] scene.
AMY | That was our biggest [concern] this year.
DANIEL | That’s good to hear because it’s so [hard] to do… We hired Mike Marino, one of the best prosthetic artists in the business… It was a lot of work.
AMY | We didn’t want people to be so [pulled] out of the reality of it that they’re just staring at the makeup and they don’t hear the scene.