Midge's first act that got her arrested is this: she turns venting and a breakdown into comedy and proves that she is much more talented than her husband ever was.
It also helps she doesn't fall apart sobbing over what she must have done wrong because she recounts that she was a great wife by the standards of the time and more. It serves also as an Ironic Echo when Susie gives her "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Joel at the first season finale when he accuses Susie of ripping the family apart.
Midge fails to get a job at the department store at first, but when she assists a woman with finding a good lipstick for her coloring and outfit, she goes back and tells the hiring manager she'd love to be make-up girl.
Midge spelling out on stage why Sophie Lennon's stage act is superficial and expressing her fury that women have to pretend to be something they're not to please people.
Our first view of Midge in the season, now sentenced to the mind-numbing job of directing calls at the store's giant switchboard, but getting through it all with a smile on her face and even effortlessly taking over the other women's calls as they break down one by one. This scene is also a particularly impressive one-take that involved a lot of complex staging and camera work.
Later in the season, she ends up getting her position at the makeup counter back.
Susie gets taken by a couple of hit men who have been hired by Sophie Lennon and her agent to rough her up, only to end up befriending them after they all turn out to be from Rockaway. No matter what Lennon sends her way, Susie manages to best her.
After Midge has her spot at a high-end club repeatedly bumped for male comics, and the comics themselves make a bunch of sexist remarks, when her turn finally does come she spends the set viciously insulting them, which the crowd eats up. This also gets her payback against the club owner, as he'll now have a hell of a time convincing some big moneymakers to perform there again.
After Rose inadvertently convinces the majority of the female student body in Columbia's art department to go to the business department because that's where the best husband material was and Columbia doesn't have any female professors and being a female artist blows. Rose is this close to getting pushed out of the classes, when Abe and Rose talk to the Dean about their points of view and leave him dumbfounded.
Upon their arrival at Steiner Mountain Resorts, Midge is dismayed to find that Paulie, the resort's executive director, wants her to not participate in the Mrs. Steiner swimsuit pageant and instead be the sash girl. When she tells Joel about this during the orientation speech, Joel decides to take the podium, announce to the resort that he and Midge are separated, they are amicable, and please stop gossiping. He then shames Paulie for kicking Midge out of the beauty contest, saying she had a winning streak and every cash prize she won was donated to an orphanage in the Bronx and thanks to him "some orphans are going to go hungry!" Rose later admits to Midge that she found it "surprisingly manly" although wishing that Joel would keep his and Midge's relationship private.
In Midnight at the Concord, Midge gets an opening at the Revlon Counter at B. Altman's and is able to get a ride from Benjamin to get the coveted spot. A win after having been demoted.
Joel beats a rival for dates by emphasizing while he works in aluminum sliding for his father, he works for his father at a factory that manufactures women's clothing....
Midge gets caught performing stand-up at the Concord by her father and while she is thrown off by his presence (and disapproval), she manages to push her stage fright and give a hilarious performance about sex, food, the Catskills, and family.
The next episode has Midge telling her father that this is what she wants to do and he cannot make her quit.
Joel spends a season standing up to his overbearing, crass, corrupt, incompetent parents and manages to save their business.
He also decks a rival comedian/manager for locking Susie in a closet and harassing both Midge and Susie; He even tells off the owner in the building that talent needs to be respected and one day Midge will put "this shithole on the map!"
Midge manages to get more calls and volunteers into a dying telethon; cut to the viewing audience at home: the diner she frequents is laughing uproariously where one manager brags about getting her on TV, her switchboard co-workers are amazed at her skills, the Gaslight is crowded and hysterical, and Abe smiles looks through Midge's bedroom window to see their next door neighbors watching Midge on TV while Joel watches in awe ignoring the model he had over the night.
Susie threatening to rain fire and brimstone down on Sophie if she keeps on sabotaging Midge. The tirade actually earns Sophie's respect as her own manager Harry Drake would never go to bat for her like that, and she asks Susie to take over the job.
After being hit by a huge wave of Break the Haughty moments towards the end of the season, Abe decides to throw away his cushy positions at Columbia and Bell Labs to become an activist again.
The show cleaning up at the Emmys with its first season winning eight awards (the only one it was nominated for and didn't win was Tony Shaloub as supporting actor in a comedy).
Season 2 swept the SAG Awards TV Comedy Categories, the first time since 30 Rock in 2008 that a show had managed to pull this off: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor for Tony Shalhoub, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor for Rachel Brosnahan, and the nine-member ensemble for Best Ensemble in a Comedy series.