In the recent jaw-dropping season four finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall,” Midge and real-life comedian, Lenny Bruce, finally sleep together. With this memorable finale fresh in audiences’ minds, fans will already know that there are more than enough moments to catch audiences off guard.
These range from hilarious antics that Midge, her family, and Susie have gotten into and heartbreak to heart-stopping romance. These shocking moments keep the audience hooked on the edge of their seats, wondering what will happen next for Midge on her rise to comedy stardom, along with her colorful friends and family.
Midge Getting Arrested For Indecent Exposure
In the pilot, Midge goes back to The Gaslight and, on the spot, gives an impromptu profanity-laden stand-up act after her husband leaves her for another woman. The audience loves it but then Midge takes things too far and exposes her breasts and is arrested for indecent exposure.
This is shocking not only because it’s the first instance of nudity in the series, but for being Midge’s first big act of rebellion. Up until this point, Midge comes across as the perfect ’50s housewife – but after her act of public nudity, she takes a major turn as a character and becomes the frequently arrested, rebellious, aspiring comedian she is for the rest of the series. Without this act, she would also never meet Lenny Bruce or become friends and business partners with Susie.
Midge Meets Lenny Bruce
In the pilot, Midge meets Lenny Bruce – who was also arrested – and Midge bails him out of jail the next morning. What’s shocking about this isn’t just that the show introduced real-life comedian Lenny Bruce into the narrative, but how retroactively this is the moment when Midge meets one of the most important people in her life as a comedian.
The chemistry between Midge and Lenny in the first episode is very unexpected. It foreshadows what is to come between the two both as a mentorship and as a will-they-won’t-they romance, in what could have just been a one-time appearance of a historical figure.
Midge Discovers Sophie Lennon Isn’t What She Appears
In “Put That on Your Plate,” Midge visits Sophie and discovers that she isn’t the down-to-earth dowdy woman from Queens she appears to be in her comedy act, but wealthy, Yale-drama educated, and snobbish.
This reveal plays with the audience’s expectations, as well as perfectly illustrates how Sophie is the polar opposite of Midge as a comedian. Where Midge is her more honest self on stage than her previous perfect housewife persona, Sophie’s whole act onstage is false and conceals her true self. This sets up the eventual long-running rivalry between Midge and Sophie, which Midge instigates after she mocks Sophie’s act and exposes her true self onstage at the Gaslight.
Midge Sleeps With Joel
In “Thank You and Good Night,” Midge and Joel reconcile and sleep together after being separated. Their separation due to Joel cheating on Midge with Penny Pan was what gave Midge the drive to become a comedian. So for Midge to go to her husband, whose rejection caused her to do her first stand-up act, was very unexpected.
This act doesn’t result in them getting back together, though, as Joel will only stay with Midge if she gives up her beloved comedy career. In a way, Midge sleeping with Joel proves to her that comedy is the right choice over Joel.
Rose Moves To Paris
In “Simone,” Midge’s mother Rose decides to move to Paris. While Rose does reminisce about her carefree past in Paris in season one, it was shocking for the show to take such a departure from the heavily New York City-centered setting.
This also causes a big lifestyle change for Rose, as in Paris she becomes far more bohemian than the audience is used to seeing her. This includes living in a small apartment very different from the NYC penthouse and adopting a small dog. When Abe follows her to Paris, the two start to rekindle their romance and bond more than they did previously back in New York.
Abe Watches Midge’s Act For The First Time
In “Midnight at the Concord,” while Midge is performing a risqué act about her parents’ sex lives, she discovers her father in the audience. This scene is shocking on multiple levels. It’s shocking to Abe because he didn’t know his daughter is a comedian. It’s shocking to Midge because she didn’t realize he was in the audience and had been keeping her career as a comedian a secret. It’s also shocking to the audience who didn’t expect Abe to be there.
This causes a lot of tension between her and Abe as he tries to keep it a secret and sets up Midge’s eventual reveal to her family that she is a stand-up comedian in “Look, She Made a Hat.” Abe’s discovery foreshadows a lot of his and Rose’s unease at Midge’s standup career and further shatters the illusion that Midge is the perfect daughter to them.
Midge Is Fired Off Of Shy’s Tour
In “A Jewish Girl Walks Into The Apollo,” Midge is abruptly fired by Reggie, Shy’s manager, before the plane is about to take off for Europe.
This is shocking because it shows that Midge has truly gone too far by almost outing Shy at her gig at the Apollo. What could have been her big break is ruined by her carelessness. This carelessness sets up Midge’s philosophy for much of season four of never opening for anyone, as well as Shy marrying a woman to cover up his sexuality. These storylines greatly influenced the majority of season four – without Midge being fired she would never end up performing at the Wolford – which dominates many storylines.
Rose Gets Hypnotized
In “Ethan… Esther… Chaim,” Rose is hypnotized by an illusionist. What’s shocking is what Rose does while she is under hypnosis in perfectly recreating her daughter’s comedy act. The usually prim and proper Rose humiliates the entire family in her daughter’s act. The act exposes many of the family’s secrets and embarrassing personal details. These include ones that get Moishe and Noah angry, such as how Noah may have only chosen his blond, blue-eyed wife for her looks, and how Rose flirts with other men to get things fixed in their apartment.
Midge’s family hearing these jokes could, in the future, cause a serious lack of trust in Midge and others for exposing such embarrassing secrets on stage. This is not only a shock to the audience, however, but to Midge herself, who did not know Rose had seen her act. This in turn could cause conflict further down the line in the mother and daughter’s relationship because of the lack of trust.
Joel Tells Midge He Is Having An Affair
In the pilot, Joel reveals to Midge that he is having an affair with Penny Pan. This is shocking in that it upends Midge’s previously seemingly idealistic life as a wealthy housewife and puts her on the path to becoming the rebellious comedian she is for the rest of the series.
This is a catalyst for the entire premise of the show. Without this revelation, Midge would still be acting the part of the perfect housewife and never set foot on stage at The Gaslight or meet her manager, Susie, or Lenny Bruce, her mentor and eventual love interest.
Midge And Lenny Sleep Together
In “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall,” after a police raid of The Wolford, Midge and Lenny escape to Lenny’s hotel room and sleep together. This is shocking as it’s the major pay-off of four years of will-they-won’t-they between Midge and real-life comedian, Lenny Bruce.
Previously, Lenny was Midge’s mentor that had strong chemistry with her, but it was uncertain to the audience whether the two would act on their feelings toward each other. This will be very interesting going forward if Midge and Lenny continue onto season five as a couple, knowing that the real-life Lenny Bruce died young in 1966 from a drug overdose. This could take the final season into a sad turn if they do go into Lenny’s tragic death, but perhaps they could diverge from real life and give Midge and Lenny a happier ending.