Of all three love interests on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg is the best one on paper. Certainly, Midge’s flirtation with the charismatic stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce in the Season 3 episode “It’s Comedy or Cabbage” was epic. The chemistry between the two has been electrifying since the first scene they shared. Still, as most fans already know, a potential future for Midge and Lenny could only last for so long before the real-life legendary funny man dies from an accidental morphine overdose in the year 1966.
Furthermore, despite divorcing then drunkenly remarrying in Las Vegas, only to separate once again, another reconciliation between Joel and Midge is possibly on the horizon, though ill-advised. Currently, he’s romantically involved with Mei Lin, a strong and capable medical student who doesn’t seem like the kind of woman with a high tolerance for the Maisels’ on-again, off-again shenanigans. It’s evident that Joel is still hung up on Midge, and she’s not entirely over him either. However, the fact remains that their relationship is just as dysfunctional as ever. Even though both exes have grown tremendously since Season 1, fans aren’t fully convinced that Midge should backslide and get together with Joel.
Therefore, that leaves Benjamin, the sardonic yet irresistibly charming surgeon who proposes to Midge at the end of a whirlwind romance in Season 2. Joel is constantly threatened by Midge’s ambition and talent, whereas Benjamin is not. In fact, he admires her for her independence and passion for performing on stage. Moreover, Benjamin is supportive of her burgeoning comedy career and genuinely laughs at her jokes when watching her perform at The Gaslight Cafe. Benjamin is in love with her unique brand of weird, and by the end of the second season, he decides that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, even going so far as to undergo a lengthy application process from her hard to impress father, Abe.
Midge says yes without entirely thinking the proposal through. At the time, she was frustrated with her stand-up career and close to quitting, so she accepted his marriage offer thinking that part of her life was done. However, when Shy Baldwin rings Midge and asks her to be his opening act on tour, she abruptly ends her engagement to Benjamin with a letter. The comedian on the rise then leaves for a six-month tour, carelessly breaking Benjamin’s heart. To add insult to injury, Midge has a one-night stand with her ex-husband, Joel, cementing that Benjamin was just a rebound and, unfortunately, nothing more.
When The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel picks up in Season 3, Benjamin is nowhere to be found for most of the season until Midge’s mother, Rose, visits his work and unintentionally reopens old wounds. Consequently, her meddling leads Benjamin to believe that Midge sent her mother to set him up with another girl in an attempt to alleviate her guilt over how poorly she treated him.
He later angrily confronts Midge at the Stage Deli for gutlessly sending him a letter instead of breaking up with him over the phone or in person. Midge explains that she didn’t think Benjamin could handle how often she would have to travel for work or how she would incorporate their relationship into her act, citing Joel’s past shortcomings as a prime example of why they wouldn’t make it as husband and wife. Benjamin then points out that he’s not Joel and that Midge never even gave their relationship a chance. She should have asked him what he could handle, but instead, Midge wrote Benjamin off and left him out of the equation altogether.
Without a doubt, Benjamin deserves much better than what he got, and as it turns out, many The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fans agree. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they’re ready to close the door on the pair completely. Supporters of a Midge and Benjamin recoupling are hopeful that the two will revisit their romance in the future, but perhaps they shouldn’t hold their breath waiting. According to Glamour, the show’s creator/executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino said, “We left it on a precipice, but we always knew that’s what the relationship was going to be. It was going to be a relationship that Midge would have jumped at before, but she’s learning that being a comic is a lonely life. It’s a selfish life, and she’s selfish. It’s also heartbreaking for her because she knows he’s the real thing.”
In the end, Benjamin at least received some closure about the relationship after calling Midge out face-to-face over her cowardly mishandling of their breakup. While it doesn’t seem like he’ll be Midge’s endgame or come back to the series anytime soon, there’s still the possibility of Benjamin finding his happily ever after in another equally strong-willed and quirky character should he return with Mei Lin. For all one knows, Mei could meet Benjamin at Lenox Hill Hospital if she completes her residency there after finishing medical school. Whatever the future holds for Midge’s former flames, fans will have to wait and see where everything goes in the highly-anticipated fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Season 4 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has yet to receive an official release date but is set to premiere sometime in 2021.
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