Prime Video’s ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ follows the ups and downs in the story of Midge Maisel, who embarks on a career as a stand-up comedian after her husband cheats on her and demands a divorce. For the first four seasons, we see Midge find a footing in the field and witness a sharp rise leading her to open for Shy Baldwin. However, one wrong line leads the whole thing to fall through, and Midge finds herself back at square one.
All through this, her manager, Susie Myerson, keeps her afloat. No matter how badly Midge screws up, Susie is always there to encourage her and find new ways to keep her career alive. Their professional relationship develops into a friendship, and they help each other through their personal struggles. In the fifth season’s second episode, we discover that Midge and Susie part ways down the line. Why does that happen? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
Why Do Midge and Susie Break Up?
If it wasn’t for Susie, Midge would never have broken out of her shell and probably spent the rest of her life just as it had always been. The first time Midge got on stage, it was Susie who recognized her potential. She advised Midge to work as a stand-up comedian. Despite being a newbie as a manager, Susie displayed exceptional competence at her job, booked places for Midge, connected her to the right people, and showed her how great she could be.
Susie and Midge’s relationship also sees some tough times, especially when Susie loses all of Midge’s money, landing the latter in debt to her father-in-law. Despite all this, they stick with each other because they don’t have any other option. Over time, as Midge’s career takes off, Susie’s notoriety as a manager who would go to any lengths for her client takes off too.
In the fifth season, when Midge is interviewed in the 80s, we discover that she and Susie have had incredible careers. Midge has established herself as one of the leading entertainers in the industry and has become a living legend. Susie, on the other hand, has taken high-profile clients, which include the likes of Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand. The interviewer comments that Susie Myerson represents all the big names in the industry except Midge. What happened between them to break a twenty-five-year-long successful relationship?
The true reason behind their breakup remains to be seen, but it might have something to do with Midge. Considering that she was Susie’s first client, it is possible that Midge got possessive of Susie as her client list increased. She would have felt like Susie was paying more attention to other people and wasn’t as present for Midge as she used to be. Midge hints at this when she says that their breakup was because they tried to be friends in show business. Perhaps, they both realized that it was a mistake to have their personal and professional life entangled so much and decided to part ways.
Picking up from Midge’s “tried to be friends” line from the interview, it is possible that Susie tried to interfere or advise on the matters that touched a nerve for Midge. From the scene in 1981, it is hinted that the relationship between Midge and her daughter, Esther is not so good. There is also the string of romantic relationships Midge has had over the years. Perhaps, Susie said something, even if well-intentioned, about her relationships that didn’t sit well with Midge, and she decided to fire her agent.
Another reason behind the breakup could be that Midge turned out to be another version of Sophie Lennon. Sophie had asked Susie to be her manager, and the latter took it as an opportunity. She got Sophie everything she wanted. The actress wanted to be on Broadway, so Susie did what the others considered impossible. She got Sophie the leading role in Miss Julie, which was ruined after Sophie’s meltdown on stage. Just when everyone thought Sophie was done for good, Susie resurrected her career through one appearance on the Gordon Ford show, but she knew she could never work with her again.
Possibly, as Midge became more successful, she walked down the same path as Sophie. An incident at Carnegie Hall is mentioned, where Midge loses her cool. While it didn’t seem to affect her career, it could have been one of those points where Susie decided that Midge was more trouble than she was worth. Giving her twenty-five years of her life was enough for Susie, and she decided to part ways before things could get any worse.