The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon Prime Video's dramedy about a Upper West Side homemaker who discovers her talent for stand up comedy, has returned with its fourth season. The new season picks up in 1960, right after Mrs Maisel loses her touring contract. If you need a refresher on all the drama and (mis)adventure that followed everyone's favourite well-dressed comedian in the third season of the Emmy-winning show, we've got you covered.
Midge and her manager Susie start touring with the USO, with the comedian opening for charismatic American singer, Shy Baldwin. It's a long tour, one that helps her avoid her estranged husband Joel after the two have a one night stand. They finally divorce too, with Joel renting out a club in Chinatown and starting anew himself. They remain good friends, navigating co-parenting and two sets of overbearing parents. Until Joel shows up at one of her shows in Las Vegas, and as is usually the case with messy onscreen couples in Vegas, they get drunk and married all over again. They decide to get the marriage annulled immediately afterwards in season 3, but we haven't seen it actually happen yet.
Midge's parents Abe and Rose lose their swanky, spacious Upper West Side apartment after Abe loses his job at Columbia University. They're forced to move in with the Maisels, their daughter's loud in-laws. Thrust into this unprecedented (but hilarious) crisis, both of them are forced to do some soul-searching. Abe ends up landing a job as a theater critic, after flirting with communism and getting arrested with notorious comedian Lenny Bruce. Rose bravely confronts some of her past, becoming a truer and more independent version of herself – which leads her to becoming a matchmaker. They're both still attached to their previously posh lifestyle though, yearning to return to it.
Lenny Bruce (loosely based on the 1960s comedian himself) has been a supporter of Midge's comedy since their first encounter with each other, a fresh respite from all the men that disparage her ambition and skill at every turn. He's only a recurring character though, and the show takes the slow burning, will-they-won't-they dynamic between Midge and Lenny forward with perfection in season three. The screen is sparkling with chemistry from the moment they meet in Havana. They dance and drink at a Cuban nightclub, deciding to go back to 'his place'. The episode had viewers on the edge of their seats, and left them there with Lenny saying to her, "Before I'm dead", as she leaves in a cab.
We finally find out more about Midge's bullish manager and best friend Susie. It is revealed that she has a gambling problem, which is exacerbated after her mom dies. We've seen Susie as a tough, no-nonsense woman so far, but her walls came down last season. She is having difficulty trusting herself and ends up asking Joel to help her manage Midge's finances.
Then there is the friendship between Midge and the dashing singer she's opening for, Shy. It is a delight to watch on screen. They're both funny and charming. They become even closer when Rose finds him bruised and beaten up, and Shy confides that he is a closeted gay man. It is a beautiful moment, which is ruined when Midge makes a series of very on-the-nose jokes about Shy's sexuality at her show at the Apollo Theatre. No one gets it, but Shy takes offence, considering it too much of a risk. She is fired by his team, standing on the tarmac with all her million cases of luggage.
Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel left all the characters in a crisis, staring at some impossible situations. Season 4 picks up right after, with Midge forced to build herself from scratch all over again.
Recommendation in collaboration with Amazon Prime Video