The Marvelous Mrs Maisel Season 5 Finale Recap: Why Does Gordon Fire Midge?

Image Credit: Philippe Antonello/Prime Video

Prime Video’s ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ comes to an end with the final episode of its fifth season, tying up loose ends in the titular character’s story. For the past four seasons, we saw Midge Maisel trudging through an industry where the odds are already stacked against her. Despite the challenges in her path, she always manages to find a way around it, even if it means breaking a rule or two. Finally, when the time comes for her to shine, she does so by thwarting every expectation and doing what she does best. She doesn’t wait for the spotlight to find her. She creates it for herself. Here’s what the ending means for Midge and Susie Myerson. SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 9 Recap

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Lenny Bruce was last seen boarding a plane to Los Angeles following his gig at Carnegie Hall. Things seemed to be going well for him then, but when Susie finds him in 1965, Lenny Bruce is going through quite a rough patch. The episode opens with his botched performance, where he fails to get even a single laugh out of his audience. When she sees this, Susie offers to become his agent and help him get back on his feet, but he refuses her help.

Back in 1963, just as Hedy tells Gordon to get Midge on the show, Midge receives a call about Susie getting arrested. After spending a night in jail and clearly on edge since she last talked with Hedy, Susie finally reveals everything about their relationship in college. They were the classic case of “opposites attract” and made big plans for their future after college. However, Hedy, most probably under pressure from her family, was forced to break up with Susie and got engaged to someone else, though she didn’t marry the man.

Midge is sorry to find out that she put Susie through all this, but it’s all worth it when Gordon says he’ll have Midge on the show. The problem is that it’s going to be on the same day. Midge doesn’t have much time to prepare, but this is an opportunity that she can’t miss. This is what she’d been working for all this time, so she gets the best jokes and her best dress ready. She calls her family, especially her mother, to invite them to watch her perform live. However, the twist arrives when Gordon tells her she’ll be on the show as a writer, not a comic.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Finale Ending: Why Does Gordon Fire Midge?

Image Credit: Philippe Antonello/Prime Video

After receiving a shock from Shy Baldwin, Midge was convinced she didn’t need to appease anyone else to get where she wanted to go. She decided to stick to her acts and say as she pleases rather than open to someone who would put limitations on her. However, this approach didn’t pan out, and as pointed out by Lenny, getting jilted in this way is no reason to stop working. He makes Midge realize that if she wants to do better, she must expose herself to the troubles that being a comic invites. This is the only way forward.

At the beginning of the fifth season, Midge puts her career entirely in the hands of Susie and is ready to do whatever it takes. Susie sees an opportunity in Gordon Ford, and even though Midge has never worked as a writer before, she gets her a job on the show as the first female writer on the team. The goal is to get Midge on the Gordon Ford Show. It would give her a wide audience net, and being on one of the biggest shows in the country would undoubtedly boost her career. However, it’s not as easy as they thought it to be.

Gordon and his producer devised a rule to never get an employee, especially a writer, on the show. Even though almost all the writers on his team are comics, none have appeared on the show because of the rule. The same applies to Midge, and Gordon is hell-bent on not breaking the rule at any cost. When this doesn’t work out, Midge and Susie try for the Jack Parr show, but they are not ready for someone like Midge yet. Eventually, Midge forces Susie to use her connection with Hedy, who would, in turn, force Gordon’s hand and get Midge on the show. The plan succeeds, but it makes Gordon very angry. He can’t say no to Hedy, but he has to show his anger somehow. He brings Midge on the show, not as a comic but as a writer. To add insult to injury, he doesn’t let Midge sit on the couch.

Gordon is so desperate to get it over with that he doesn’t let Midge speak much and goes to commercial sooner than they were supposed to. With four minutes of airtime left, Gordon is under pressure to continue the conversation, even though he has no idea how to proceed. And this is when Midge sees an opportunity. Four minutes are enough for her to display her talent. Four minutes are enough to deliver a set that would prove her worth as a comic. However, this would mean going against Gordon and possibly undoing everything she and Susie had worked for.

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When she proposes this idea to Susie, Midge receives support. Susie has known her long enough to know that Midge is at her best in such situations. When the commercials end and the show goes back on air, Midge quickly turns the tide in her favor and, despite Gordon’s protests, takes the stage and performs like she would at any other gig. She digs into her family history and her relationship with Joel, who gives her permission to say whatever she wants about him, to deliver one punch after another.

This is reminiscent of when she first started her journey and, in a way, brings her story full circle. This is how she started her career, by grabbing the mike, not waiting for someone’s permission to show how competent she is. This is how she made her mark and continued to do so over the years. She is so good that Gordon can’t help but invite her to the couch and treat her as a comic rather than reducing her role to a writer on his team. He treats her like any other guest on the show, validating her efforts and talent. However, because she broke every rule Gordon made, he tells her she won’t work for him anymore. She is fired, and she doesn’t mind.

Being a writer was never the endgame for Midge. She wanted to be recognized as a comic. She wanted to be on TV as a comic and perform in venues like Carnegie Hall as a comic. She wanted to hear laughs from her audience rather than writing for someone else and staying behind the scenes. She’d hoped to get this from The Gordon Ford Show, but when things don’t pan out as she’d hoped, she chooses to be a comic rather than a writer. She knew that the moment she took to the stage and performed, she’d be kicked out of the show. But this is a risk she was ready to take because being on the show would mean her being on more shows and then more great gigs. This would finally put her on the path she was always meant to be on. No detours anymore.

Do Midge and Susie End Up Together?

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An early episode in Season 5 mentions Midge’s several relationships over the years, but none as great as she had with Susie. There was nothing of a romantic nature between them (though it is hinted that Susie might have been in love with Midge), but more about their friendship that stood the test of time. Even after they part ways, they come around and become friends.

The final scene of the series takes place in 2005, years after Midge and Susie patched up. Midge is still working hard, giving every single day of her life to something. She is appalled when her assistants and managers suggest she take a break for a day. This sentiment is shared by Susie, who has retired from the business and is living a life of luxury. Both women are single at this point. Susie had made it clear that ever since Hedy left her behind, she had lost her faith in love and would never be with anyone again.

For Midge, none of her marriages worked, mainly because she remained in love with Joel but couldn’t get back together with him. Even when they have no one, Midge and Susie have each other. Their sense of camaraderie is still intact, and Susie still makes Midge laugh like no one else. They watch a taped episode of ‘Jeopardy’ in the comfort of their mansions, syncing their viewing so that even in different cities, they are watching it simultaneously.

The final scene emphasizes the essence of the show. It was always about Midge and Susie. They got into this together. If it hadn’t for Susie, Midge would have never recognized her talent for comedy. If Midge didn’t come along, who knows how long Susie would have to work at the Gaslight, waiting for some talented person in need to show up. Midge and Susie started from nothing and stood with each other through thick and thin, becoming the legends everyone would look up to. One’s story would be incomplete without the other. So, it makes sense that the show would end focusing on their friendship, which is still going strong.

Read More: Is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Based on a True Story?