The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2 premiere recap: Parlez vous francais?


To answer the question from the headline, not much. So, if you don’t remember the French you took in high school, get used to reading subtitles on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Unlike most season premieres, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel did not pick up right where last season left off.

If you remember, Season 1 ended with Midge (Emmy-Award-Winning Rachel Brosnahan) delivering her much-anticipated opening routine for Lenny Bruce. And just when she thinks she patched things up with her estranged, cheating husband, Joel (Michael Zegan), he happens to catch the routine and leaves, crushed.

Midge’s life seems to be out-of-sorts, even with the blaring backdrop of Barbara Streisand’s “Just Leave Everything to Me.”

She was demoted from her job at B. Altman to a switchboard operator. I usually love vintage scenes that playoff old technologies that died before I was even a twinkle in my mother’s eye. But his scene stressed me out. Everyone leans on Midge. Everyone depends on her to clean up their messes. Even her own father’s mess.

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Midge races home to discover that her mother (Marin Hinkle) has moved to Paris and her father (Tony Shalhoub) had no recollection of having been told. While her father’s lack of perceptiveness surprises Midge, she shouldn’t be so quick to judge. She lives in the apartment, too, and didn’t notice that her mother’s closet was empty or that she didn’t see her for a few days.

Midge and Abe travel to Paris and find Rose in a tiny apartment, with one broken chair, a shared bathroom, and a tiny brown dachshund named Simone. Rose seems like a completely different person, which infuriates her husband further. I find it hilarious that Abe only brought Midge because he thought she knew French.

Truthfully, it broke my heart a little watching Rose seems so cold toward her daughter. It’s one thing to prove a point to your husband. It’s another thing to prove a point to your child. But then I remember, Midge is an adult, and she can’t act like a child when it comes to her parent’s anymore.

The France scenes were funny, but it felt a little forced. I was dying to know what happened between Midge and Joel after the comedy club and we don’t find out until almost the end.

Midge wonders into a club in which three women sing on stage (in French, of course). She ends up on stage from trying to fix one of the girl’s dress zippers. She’s stunned to find out they are men, not women. I mean it’s 1950-something, so that’s understandable.

Next thing we know, Midge is off on a tangent in English to a room full of French speakers. Luckily, an American woman translates for her and finally, the French start getting her jokes.

This is when we find out how Joel gave her back his wedding ring and ended the marriage.

Later, Midge is alone on some crazy kissing bridge, and she’s feeling lonely. So, she calls Joel and begs him to reconsider. He loves her, but he can’t be a joke. But he doesn’t want her to stop doing stand-up. He just knows he can’t be with her if she continues. And I can’t say I blame him.

Brosnahan is brilliant in this scene. As good as she is during her stand-up routines and delivering one of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s famous sharp-tongued monologues, she’s even better in soft scenes like this. She’s no one-trick-pony.

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Meanwhile, Susie (Emmy-Award-winning Alex Borstein) gets kidnapped by two thugs who happen to be from the same neighborhood as her. So, they don’t rough her up, despite the fact that she’s a girl, and that they didn’t know that at first. I don’t know who they work for, but they told her to get her stuff worked out or else their “boss” will send someone else.

Also, it looks like Midge is headed to Philly next to perform! If you’ve read my other articles, you know I live here and can confirm that it is nothing like any part of New York. I’m lookin’ at you, Susie!

Look out for Episode 2’s recap shortly!

Watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel anytime.