The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is taking a page from This Is Us‘ well worn multiple-timeline playbook in its fifth season, injecting the first three of its final nine episodes with fleeting glimpses of its characters’ circa-future lives.
For the cast, the narrative twist made receiving each script an event unto itself. “We never knew what was coming and we were so surprised,” leading lady Rachel Brosnahan tells TVLine. “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,” the Emmy winner adds with a laugh. “I asked Amy and Dan to make a flash-forward [cheat sheet for me].”
Ask and you shall receive!
To help everyone (Maisel cast members included!) stay on top of this season’s innumerable flash-forward developments, we launched this handy tracking board featuring all of the major reveals. This chart was updated throughout the season (as events warranted).
Season 5, Episode 1: Esther's a Genius With Mommy Issues!
The premiere jumps ahead to 1981 and finds Midge’s college-age daughter (played by Red Oaks‘ Alexandra Socha) unpacking her copious mommy baggage with her MIT-based shrink. During the brief sequence, we learn that Esther is a genius-level scientist who is being pursued by NASA. She also harbors deep resentment toward her famous and impossible-to-please mother.
Season 5, Episode 2: Midge on 60 Minutes!
How big a star is Midge in 1981? So big that the iconic CBS news magazine is doing a profile on her. In the introduction to the piece, Midge is labeled a worldwide celebrity whose burgeoning awards chest includes both an Emmy and a Grammy. She’s halfway to an EGOT!
Season 5, Episode 2: Midge Becomes Tight With Bob Hope!
The 60 Minutes segment revealed that, at age 30, Midge performed 18 consecutive sold-out nights at New York’s famed Copacabana nightclub. Other feathers in Midge’s career cap: She joined Bob Hope on multiple legs of his USO tours and followed in Lenny Bruce’s footsteps to Carnegie Hall (where she headlined an “infamous” circa-1971 show).
Season 5, Episode 2: Midge Gets Married 3 More Times!
Another 60 Minutes bombshell: In the wake of her failed marriage to Joel, Midge goes on to tie the knot three more times. All of those unions similarly end in divorce. Although the segment features several photos of Midge cozying up to A-listers like Paul Simon, it does not specify which of those celebs were her ex-husbands vs. mere ex-boyfriends.
Season 5, Episode 2: Susie Achieves Superstardom, Too!
Midge’s stratospheric success propels her long-suffering manager, Susie Myerson, to Hollywood’s A-list, too. The “powerful entertainment manager,” as 60 Minutes refers to her, will go on to sign Liza Minelli, George Carlin and Barbra Streisand.
Season 5, Episode 2: Midge and Susie Go Kaput
Say it ain’t so! The 60 Minutes piece refers to Midge and Susie as estranged. A “25-year-friendship gone bust,” the piece declares. It’s unclear what future event causes the dynamic duo to split up, although Midge boils it down to this: “Two people in show business tried to have a friendship.”
Season 5, Episode 3: Adult Ethan Is Living in Israel!
Midge’s oldest child, now-twentysomething son Ethan (played by Boardwalk Empire‘s Ben Rosenfield), is glimpsed in 1984 living in Israel, where he is working on a kibbutz while studying to be a rabbi. He informs his mother — who arrives via helicopter for this particular visit (she’s in the country to attend an UJA Foundation event, where she’s being honored) — that he’s engaged to be married. His bride-to-be, Chava, is ex-military!
Season 5, Episode 5: Joel's in Prison!
After a flash forward-less fourth episode, Mrs. Maisel‘s fifth episode briefly jumped ahead 27 years to 1987 with a 55-year-old Midge visiting former Husband No. 1 Joel in prison. It’s never explicitly revealed (at least not yet) why he’s in the slammer, although the dialogue intimates that it involved protecting his famous ex-wife.
Season 5, Episode 6: Midge Was Engaged to Philip Roth!
Among Midge’s many famous future suitors was acclaimed American novelist Philip Roth, although the pair never made it down the aisle. A flash-forward in Episode 6 reveals that Midge broke off her engagement to the literary legend the morning of their wedding. Her reasons were twofold: He didn’t make her laugh and she was still holding a torch for Joel. Translation: We still do not definitively know the identity of Midge’s three other ex-husbands (after Joel).
Season 5, Episode 6: Joel's In Prison... Because of Midge!
That big Episode 5 mystery surrounding Future Joel’s prison stint did not remain a mystery for long. In Episode 6, viewers learned that Joel secretly made a deal with lovable mafiosos Frank and Nicky in order to get his ex, Midge, out from under their thumb — an underground trade that ultimately landed him in the clink.
Season 5, Episode 6: Midge and Susie Schism Explained!
Joel’s honorable sacrifice (as outlined in the previous slide) was what led to Midge and Susie’s seismic estrangement, as it was Susie’s mob ties that Midge unwittingly got entangled in. All hell breaks lose between the two besties when, in Episode 6, Midge learns the truth.
Season 5, Episode 7: R.I.P., Rose
A 1973 flash-forward confirmed what was foreshadowed earlier in the season: Rose will die young. In Episode 7, Midge — who we learn is quietly bankrolling Rose’s money-losing romance emporium — laments that her mom does not have long to live.
Season 5, Episode 9: Ugh. Lenny.
In a flash-forward to 1965, Susie looks on in profound sadness as post-obscenity conviction Lenny (presumably drunk and probably high) bombs on stage at a San Francisco comedy club, his downward spiral well underway. One year later the real Lenny Bruce would die of a drug overdose.
Season 5, Episode 9: Reunited and It Feels So... Marvelous
We used the essentially qualifier in the previous slide because the 2005 flash-forward ends with the reveal that Midge and a now-retired Susie have officially patched things up. And even though they live a continent apart, the rekindled BFFs enjoy a nightly check-in by phone while watching the latest episode of Jeopardy!