- Midge delivers her wedding speech. She mentions her delight at going to college and meeting women who would brave the world with her. It then cuts to her and two other women fanning their nether regions because they decided to bleach themselves and it burns. Midge complains, and one woman points out it was her own idea.
- Midge also talks of how her courtship with Joel has very high class (to pull the legs of the more conservative members of the wedding party) that he would take her to galleries, cutting to a burlesque bar where they watch a woman dance topless and check out some comedy stand up.
- Midge then ends her wedding speech by announcing to everyone that there is shrimp in the egg rolls: panicking the whole party and making Joel laugh.
- Her father and the Rabbi argue whether eating shrimp is forbidden or not.
- Midge's first stand-up act, with her drunk and soaking wet, is packed with gems.Midge: I know men like stupid girls. Am I right?Onlooker: Uh...Midge: But I thought Joel wanted more than stupid. I thought he wanted to be challenged. You know what I mean?Onlooker's date: Uh...Midge: You two are going to be together forever.
Ya Shivu v Bolshom Dome Na Kholme
- As soon as Midge enters the club, Susie pushes the current performer off the stage to make way for Midge.
- Joel comes into work and finds that Penny, the secretary he had been sleeping with, has been moved to the Billing Department. Her replacement is Mrs. Moskovitz, very friendly, competent, and also Joel's former babysitter."You were running around in those little green pants."
- The doorman at Midge's apartment building referring to Susie as "some guy", apparently seeing her pants, vest, and hat, but not her ponytail or rather large bust.
- Abe: "You want a husband who will fight for you! Not one who will point to the attic and say theyre up there!
Because You Left
The Disappointment of the Dionne Quintuplets
- Midge finds out about the drawbacks of moving back in with her parents, after she comes home late one evening from a standup gig, and finds them still up, waiting for her:Abe: Where have you been?Midge: You scared the daylights out of me.Abe: Answer me, Miriam.Midge: I was out.Abe: "Out" where?Midge: With a friend.Abe: What friend?Midge: I'm sorry, did something happen?Abe: Do you know what time it is?Midge: It's late.Abe: It's 2:00 in the morning.Abe: Don't you wear a watch?Midge: Not with this outfit.Rose: We were worried, Miriam, worried sick, if you must know.Abe: Your mother vomited.Rose: I did not vomit.Abe: Well, she did something in the bathroom that took a very long time. And she did not come out looking happy.Midge: I'm sorry I was late, but-Abe: But what?Midge: You do know I'm not 16 anymore, don't you?Abe: We thought we did, but then you act like this, sneaking out-Midge: I did not sneak out.Abe: ...sneaking in.Midge: I did not sneak in.Abe: You left your baby here alone.Midge: With her grandparents!Abe: And where is your son, anyway?Midge: Shooting craps.Rose: What?Midge: He's with Joel. Shooting craps.Rose: Oh.Midge: I-I'm kidding. Can we just lighten the mood a little?Abe: No, we cannot. You know the rules of this house. Rule number one: you do not leave your towels on the floor we'll get back to that, by the way. Rule number two: home by 11:00.Midge: Are you kidding me?Abe: 10:00 if you keep arguing.Midge: You can't give me a curfew. I'm a 26-year-old woman, I have two children.Abe: As long as you're living under this roof, my rules apply.Midge: Mama, this is a tad overdramatic, don't you think?Rose: You could've been dead and dismembered in an alley.
- Midge's hijacking of the Jane Jacobs protest in Washington Square Park.
Mrs. X at the Gaslight
Put That On Your Plate!
- Midge gets mileage out of realizing what it meant when she heard the sound of her parents moving their beds together and apart:When I was a kid I thought it was ghosts, and I used to dress up as a ghost on Halloween, other kids would make ghost noises like wooooo woooo and Id embarrass myself going ooooh oohhh yeahhh.
- Abe calls Midge in a panic because Rose is not around for a faculty party because she's in Paris.Midge: Papa, what did she say?Abe: That she was going to Paris and she'd be back before the party.Midge: She said that?Midge: "Assumed"?Abe: This is a great party, Miriam. They have a band-Midge: Papa, did you ask when she'd be back?Abe: Yes!Midge: A second ago, you said you assumed-Abe: Ask assumed same thing!Midge: Not at all the same thing!Abe: Pretty close!Midge: You teach at Columbia! They should be terrified!
Rose: I'm going to Paris.Abe: [engrossed in his newspaper] Mmm-hmmm.Rose: I don't feel like I have a life here anymore. Everything and everyone that I always counted on has let me down. I don't know what my place is here. You don't need me, Miriam doesn't need me, I serve no purpose. I'm unhappy, and I'm tired of being unhappy, so I booked myself a flight for tomorrow night. Zelda's making lamb for dinner. [exits the kitchen]Abe: [still fixated on his newspaper] Lamb's good.
- Midge decides to get her father to recreate the moment to recall exactly what Rose said. Cue a flashback of Abe at the breakfast table in the kitchen:
Midge: Papa, are you kidding me?!Abe: What?Midge: Mama moved to Paris!Abe: What? Oh, that's ridiculous!Midge: Did you hear what you just said?!Abe: What?Midge: You just told me that Mama told you she was moving to Paris!Abe: I never said that.Midge: "I don't feel like I have a life here. Everyone and everything that I have ever counted on has let me down?" and you said, "Okay-"Abe: No, I said lamb was okay, and it was.Midge: [groans] Ugh, good grief. Honestly, Papa, you don't listen!Abe: Not true!Midge: You don't listen to anyone!Abe: Not true!Midge: "I don't feel like I have a life here"?Abe: Stop repeating that![They enter the parents' bedroom]Abe: All right, I'll admit that sometimes I tune people out, but mostly because they rarely have anything useful or interesting to say. [Midge opens Rose's closet, which has been cleaned out]Midge: It's empty.Abe: What?Midge: Her closet's empty. [opens her drawers] Her drawers are empty, her perfume's gone!Abe: [enters the closet] Where's her things? Where'd they go?Midge: I'm guessing Paris.Abe: ...but what was she gonna wear to the party tonight?Midge: You didn't notice this?! [gestures to the bed] You sleep right there!Abe: You live here too! You didn't notice this either!Midge: YOU'RE HER HUSBAND!Abe: Youre in her closet way more than I am...
- ...back in the present day:
Abe: What are you doing?Zelda: Nothing.Abe: You're in on it, aren't you? You helped her pack.Zelda: No-Abe: And you're still helping her! Packing up dishes to send to her right now, aren't ya?Zelda: Only the ones from her grandmother.Midge: [to Abe] You do hate those dishes...Abe: [sputtering] Yes...b-but this isn't the way I wanted to get rid of them!Midge: Zelda, do you know where she is?Zelda: She left me address.Midge: Why didn't you tell us?Zelda: She said not to say anything; to wait until Mr. Weissman asked.Abe: He's asking! I'm asking! Zelda, please, where is Mrs. Weissman?[Zelda nonchalantly walks over to the corkboard, where, dead center where anyone should be able to find it, there is a sheet reading "Rose's Permanent Address in Paris: 18 Bis Rue du Maillet."]Midge: Was that up there the whole time?Zelda: Yes.Abe: In plain view, just like that?Zelda: [with a tone of "you should've seen it by now"] Yes.Abe: [to Midge] Okay, you pack. [to Zelda] You, unpack.Midge: What? Why?Abe: Because, the idiot twins are going to go to Paris to bring your mother back.Midge: But- [Abe waves her out of the room]Abe: [to Zelda] And then we'll have a little talk about loyalty. To the person who signs the checks, not the person you like more. American loyalty!
- This hilarious back-and-forth is cut off by them hearing sounds from the kitchen. It's Zelda packing up plates and cutlery to ship to Paris.
- There's plenty of comedy gold from transplanting the cast to Paris:
Marie: [in French, subtitled] These two are yours, Rose?Rose: Yes.Marie: They barged in here. Just pushed right past me. This one [Abe] yelling and that one [Midge] in twelve shades of pink.Rose: They're just tired from the trip. Everything's fine now, Marie. [removes some radishes from her grocery bag] Oh, I got your radishes.Marie: Have them get their large American bags out of the courtyard. [accepts the radishes] Very nice radishes.
- As Abe is trying to produce money to pay for the cab ride from Orly, Midge is distracted admiring passing women's hats.
- Entering the courtyard of Rose's building, they are face to face with her landlady who chides them as they're making their way up the stairs to Rose's door. While pounding on the door, they're surprised by Rose, who was out shopping at the market.
Midge: Papa, this isn't sweet.Abe: Fuck sweet, she got a dog!
- Once in Rose's apartment, Midge reminds her father to use "sweet talk", advice Abe promptly ignores. As he's badgering Rose like a big Manchild, Midge is silently rolling her eyes.
- The fact that Rose got a dog, the titular Simone, is what sets Abe off:
Abe: She deigned to dine...Midge: You know, when Ethan acts like this, I take away his fire truck.
- Afterwards, when Midge comes down after agreeing to go out to dinner:
- And so Midge and her parents end up going to dinner at a bistro near Rose's place.
Abe: Okay. I've sat here long enough. You want to play it like that? Fine. Miriam, go home. Me? I am not going home without my wife. Period. [grabs his coat and gets up] Now, if you'll excuse me, my dinnertime is six o'clock. Only gangsters eat at nine o'clock, after some bootlegging and a hot game of craps. We will continue this nightmare tomorrow.
- Abe's exasperation at Rose bringing her dog to the restaurant and feeding Simone steak tartare off the plate.
- Midge and Rose toast to each other with in the Parisian style, saying Proost. Abe angrily cuts them off saying, Dont bring him into this," thinking they're dirtying the name of the celebrated 19th century French novelist Marcel Proust.
- Abe's remark when the attempt at dinner diplomacy fails, between Rose's stubborn refusals and Midge's insistence on returning home to her active life:
- After Midge goes home, Abe goes native: the next time we see him he's wearing a beret and sitting in a café arguing about philosophy with a bunch of other middle-aged expat intellectuals, having the time of his life.
- An American ex-pat, after Midge gives a impromptu stand-up at a French Drag show, gives her a psychiatrist's name who has done wonders for her friend Sylvia Plath.Midge: Who here has ever been attacked in public by their husband's secretary? (over half the club raises their hands) Right, it's France.
- Susie befriends the two men sent by Harry Drake to strongarm her, after they find out she is from Far Rockaway like them.
- Midge's switchboard colleague Ginger tries to show her an article in the Village Voice by the reporter that Susie gave an interview to, while Midge sheepishly tries to deny that she's the "Mrs. Maisel" in the article.
- Susie's staying in Midge's apartment to hide from Harry Drake in case he sends more goons (with the cover story that her apartment is being fumigated if anyone should ask). At one point, we see her laughing at a record. Then a cut later, she's crying at Charlotte's Web.
Susie: Aw, Zelda made me a sandwich. That's sweet!
- Susie cursing about how much smaller Midge's thighs measure than Susie's.18 and a half? That's one tiny fucking thigh!
- She wakes up with instructions left by Midge to not wear Abe's robe or touch Rose's pink soap. There's at least 38 rules in between them that Susie skips over that must have been very interesting. In both cases, the ensuing montage shows her doing just that.
- Susie finds a joint in one of the drawers, smokes it and decides to take a bubble bath. In the midst of this, she gets rudely interrupted by Imogene, who viciously grills her:Imogene: Who are you?!Susie: I...Imogene: What are you doing here?Susie: I...Imogene: Why are you in the bathtub?Susie: Wait, I know this one.Imogene: I don't know you. You don't live here. Are you a burglar?Susie: Uh...Imogene: Did you break in here to steal jewelry and then decide it would be funny to take a bath?Susie: You look like Zelda but younger. Are you Zelda but younger?Imogene: No, I'm not! I'm an actual friend of the people who live here, and I am going to call the cops if you don't tell me who you are and what you are doing in this apartment!Susie: [doing an "I can explain everything" motion with her hands] I know the...short brunette-Imogene: Midge?! You're a friend of Midge?! I know all her friends, and I have never seen you before ever. Where do you know Midge from? Where?!Susie: The club.Imogene: What club?Susie: The-Imogene: Do not mumble!Susie: The Gaslight.Imogene: [makes a face] The downtown dumpy, sticky place? That still does not explain why you are here in that bathtub, which is way too full of bubbles, by the way. You don't need to use the entire bottle, THAT'S JUST OVERKILL!Susie: I'm sorry. I'm having a little trouble focusing here right now. [chuckles] I'm...very high, and there's just a lot of words coming from a little, yellow light source, and it's freaking me out. It feels like a flower's yelling at me...
- Midge thankfully shows up and takes Imogene to the kitchen to have a chat and shoo her away. Imogene is freaking out like a gossipy teenage girl over Joel having quit his job and Midge being out of the loop on these matters. The conversation ends with Imogene letting slip that Susie has used Rose's soap.Midge: [picking up the empty soap bottle] Enjoying your bath?Susie: Immensely. Just laying here, soaking. My brain's gone bye-bye. Everything was perfect until the vanilla muffin waltzed in here and killed my buzz.Midge: [exasperated] What did you tell her?!Susie: Who?Midge: The muffin!Susie: Oh. I don't know.Midge: You mentioned the Gaslight!Susie: No. I'm pretty sure I didn't mention the Gaslight.Midge: You definitely mentioned the Gaslight because she mentioned the Gaslight.Susie: She did?Midge: I have to know what you're saying. To my friends. To the press! I know about that interview you gave to the Village Voice! You didn't even ask me about it before you did it! You just went ahead and [sees Susie's foot reaching for the water faucets] do not add more hot water!Susie: So bossy...Midge: Get out of the tub.Susie: What? Why?Midge: [clenching her teeth] Because, I need to talk to you...Susie: [annoyed] Fine. [Midge stares at Susie] Well, go wait in the hall!Midge: Why?Susie: What do you mean, why? I've measured myself. There's no way I'm gonna be fucking naked in front of you...[Midge relents, grabbing the remaining bar of pink soap and glaring at Susie as she steps out into the hall]
- Susie lectures Midge about the importance of having publicity, as that will gain her better gigs. In the middle of her lecture, she opens the fridge and finds that Zelda's made her a sandwich and labeled it:
- Susie cursing about how much smaller Midge's thighs measure than Susie's.
- Joel is introduced doing an audit of his parents' shirt factory.
- While touring the floor and trying to point out to his dad the various unproductive workers and his need for an on-call repairman (as opposed to a guy who only comes on Friday mornings), Shirley comes up to Moishe saying she's been locked out of the office. Joel hurriedly scrambles over to Moishe's office, which is currently occupied by his secretary Mrs. Moscowitz, and slams the door shut before his parents can get in. Joel gets the rundown on his mother's accounting, while through the windows, his parents tap on the glass trying to get him to look up, then Moishe just goes off and gets a spare key.
- Shirley's strange system of accounting, which involves doodles, Yiddish, ancient Aramaic, and has eliminated the number 6.Joel: You have Kaufman & Hart write this bit?
- Joel suggests to his mother that she get a cup of coffee from the new machine he's installed in the break room. What sells it is Moishe's exasperated throwing his hands up in defeat when Shirley finds the coffee delicious.
- Midge's standup routine at her first paying gig. After being constantly bumped aside for the male comics who make sexist remarks at her, she roasts them in an epic routine:Midge: I don't want my own apartment! I don't feel ready, mentally, to have my own keys, my own plumbing, my own angry Ukrainian super. I don't feel prepared to take on that kind of responsibility alone. The only thing I feel prepared to take on, right now, at this very minute...is those fucking losers at the bar. I mean, look at them! The "before" picture in a Charles Atlas◊ male virility enhancement ad! Just standing there, waiting for me to bomb! It's midnight on a Tuesday and the highlight of their evening is the possibility of seeing a chick fail! Am I supposed to find them intimidating? 'Cause—'cause all I see is a lineup of men who had to go into comedy just to get laid. Seriously! We know that if, say, Eugene over there, came up to you at a bar in his big-boy suit, with his tiny baby hands, and no opening line pre-written for him, he'd be sent crawling home alone to whack off in his onesie! And Stan, with a voice that bored a thousand ships into sinking themselves. If he couldn't say to some unwitting female, "I got a gig downtown in an hour," he'd have to say, "My mother should be asleep by now." All comics are comics 'cause something in their lives went horribly wrong. Something went to shit. Either their hairline—Eugene—or their personal lives—me. And Stan. I-I don't even need to know the details, but looking at Stan, you just want to apologize and tell him everything's gonna be okay, which it won't...'cause it's Stan. But men, those over there, and men in general, think that they are the only ones who get to use comedy to close up those holes in their soul. They run around telling everyone that women aren't funny, only men are funny. [pauses as Susie readjusts the spotlight] Now, think about this. Comedy is fueled by oppression, by the lack of power, by sadness and disappointment, by abandonment and humiliation. Now, who the hell does that describe more than women? Judging by those standards, only women should be funny. And Stan. [beat] Speaking of things that women and Stan have in common, have you heard this term "child bearing hips"?
- Despite being placed as the coatroom attendant, Midge still makes her effort to be involved on the makeup floor, making exaggerated sounds of revulsion at a coworker's recommendations to a customer.
- Jackie is getting annoyed enough with Susie sleeping at the Gaslight that he complains to Midge about her lack of cleanliness and threatens to start charging overnight stays at "Hotel de Gaslight".
- Midge's wedding toast is both hilarious and cringe-worthy. Complete with her making jokes about convincing the crowd that she didn't have sex with Father O'Brien to get them the Window Room for the reception.
- Joel reading his mother's treasure maps, eventually finding out that his parents stashed a bag with $2,000 in Midge's parents' closet. She's incredulous at the fact that Moishe used a portable rotary blade to carve a hiding spot in one of the walls, and says that the craziness skipped over Joel's generation.
- Rose fainting and hyperventilating as she enters her art class and is confronted with their subject: a nude man.
- One of the other students draws a smiley face on the model's penis.
- Susie's whole conversation with the phone company as she tries to figure out her high phone bill. Evidently, the phone company's idea of "long distance calls" is "anything that exceeds two miles". The operator rubs more salt in that wound by adding in at the end of the conversation that their offices are in Harlem, meaning this service call is long distance as well.
- The episode opens with a shot-for-shot recreation of the opening credits to the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird. That is, until we see the shot of a kid moving a toy U-Haul trailer, as the music swells and Abe suddenly snatches it away from Ethan, revealing that he's created a bunch of miniature models of the family's luggage and trailer to prepare for packing.
- Midge has lunch with Susie at the Stage Deli for one last meeting before she heads off on vacation. However, due to miscommunication, Susie does a massive Spit Take as Midge reveals that her summer vacation (during which she won't be able to do gigs in Manhattan) will be two whole months, not a short week.Susie Myerson: Geez, I almost did a spit take.Midge Maisel: Almost?! That was a fucking spit take!Susie Myerson: You're going to the Catskills for two months?Midge Maisel: I told you a million times I was going to the Catskills!Susie Myerson: Yeah, but I figured it was five days, tops, not two fucking months!Midge Maisel: I think you got the guy in back of me, too.
- Midge chases around the floor looking for dance partners with her initials during the first dance, while the band play Louis Prima's "Sing Sing Sing". In the process, she sets up one couple and promises an employee a good recommendation from her father for his employment.
- Before the dance, Abe reveals he has a drinking index to regulate his alcohol consumption. Based on the fact that Joel and Rose have to assist him back to the cottage after the dance, it's clearly working.
- His attempt to create a revised index leaves him passed out on his back at the Fourth of July fireworks display.
- As the family finishes settling in, Paulie approaches Midge and Rose as they're sitting on the cottage porch, and has an exciting proposition for Midge regarding the Steiner swimsuit pageant: that she be sash girl. Despite his efforts to frame it as a good thing, Midge is not exactly thrilled:Midge: But the sash girl doesn't compete. She just hands the sash to the winner.Paulie: That's right.Midge: But what if I win? I hand the sash to myself?Rose: The photograph will look ridiculous.Paulie: Look, you've competed as a teen, as an ingenue, and in the Mrs. Steiner Pageant these past four years, but this year, we're hard-pressed to make the argument that you are any of those things. Not after the recent change in your situation.Midge: But I'm technically still married.Paulie: Yes, but the Mrs. Steiner Swimsuit Pageant winner is always accompanied by her husband. And having him there with you? [grimaces] It might cast a pall.Midge: I see.Paulie: But of course we want you there, and that's why we'd like you to enjoy the honor of handing the sash to this year's winner.Midge: But what about the weird old lady who always hands out the sash?Paulie: That would be my grandmother.Midge: Sorry. Won't she be disappointed?Paulie: She passed.Midge: So I guess she won't mind...Paulie: I appreciate your understanding.
Midge: I just got kicked out of the swimsuit pageant.Rose: That does it. You're definitely wearing the Mamie Van Doren.
- After Paulie leaves:
- To explain her regular night outings to her mom, Midge claims she's been doing some dating across the five boroughs, inventing some blatanly fictitious bad dates. Such as the trapper who gave her that fur coat she wore to synagogue (actually a gift from Sophie Lennon), or a date with a cab driver that went so badly she ditched him and tried going out with a carnie.
- The Steiner welcome song. The highlight is at the point where the men and women parts split off. Josh, the head of the lifeguards, holds the last note for a very long time as part of a note challenge (Midge enthusiastically shouts "note challenge!"). Joel comes in during the "note challenge", apologizing for being caught in traffic. He's relieved when Midge tells him he's missed out on the "bear shit" joke. Then Joel bemoans the lifeguard as an amateur.
- Abe warns Joel that as he'll be sleeping on the porch, he might witness Abe doing things he doesn't do in the city. Every morning, before the sun comes up, he goes out to do his morning calisthenics, which he does while wearing a romper. No one has seen him wear it, not even Rose. The next morning, Joel briefly wakes up as Abe exits the cottage in his romper, goes down to one of the piers, and performs his early morning exercises with a stony face, all in time to the beat of Robert Preston's "Go You Chicken Fat Go!"
- Later, Abe asks Joel if he saw him in his romper. Joel hesitantly admits he did.
- A few episodes later, we learn that Moishe and Shirley know about it too.
- At the swimsuit pageant, Midge is ultimately the sash girl, sporting a turquoise-with-white-polka-dots bikini. After handing the sash to the winning contestant, a photographer steps in to take pictures, but is apparently so used to Midge being a contestant that he takes a photo of her and has to be redirected by Buzz to the actual winner.
- Later, as Midge is on her way to the car to get some magazines for sunbathing, she runs smack-dub into Susie, who has gotten into the resort by posing as a plumber.Midge: Susie?!Susie: What the fuck are you wearing?Midge: What the hell are you doing here?!Susie: My question first.Midge: It's my Mamie Van Doren.Susie: You constantly astonish me.Midge: I repeat, what are you doing here?Susie: Well, my star/only client decides to go off and spend the fucking summer up in the land of canoes and knishes, and I couldn't just let things stop, so I came up to look for a gig for you up here on the off chance- [coughs as she swallows a bug] I ate a bug.Midge: Happens a lot.Susie: Ugh! It's in my throat. It's still moving.Midge: Susie, I can't play gigs up here, okay? Everybody knows me!Susie: Don't worry, there's hundreds of places up here. A lot of them are shit, but some of them have pretty good rooms; that's what I'm aiming for.Midge: But how would I do this? I'm here on vacation.Susie: You'll slip out, just like you've been doing for most of the year, no big deal.Midge: Oh. Well...you got any leads?Susie: Friends at the Stage Deli are lending a hand. It's not easy breaking through, but I'm trying.Midge: [gestures to the toilet plunger Susie's holding] What is that?Susie: [mischievous smile] That's my ticket in, sister. My magic pass to this godforsaken place.Midge: How so?Susie: All I have to do is walk around holding this thing, everyone thinks I work here. It's genius.Midge: But how will you eat? Where are you staying?Susie: Let me worry about that. You just wait for my call. Be ready.Midge: I'll be ready.Susie: And if I don't book you, at the very least, I'll have made- [swallows another bug] Ugh! Shit! I ate another bug!Midge: Go get something to drink.Susie: Agh, it's mating with the other one!Midge: Really, a little bit of water!Susie: God, I hate nature...
- Later, as Midge is on her way to the car to get some magazines for sunbathing, she runs smack-dub into Susie, who has gotten into the resort by posing as a plumber.
- The gossip at the beauty salon while Rose gets her hair dried, with two old Jewish women discussing Tony Curtis's Take That! comments about Marilyn Monroe being as kissable as Hitler, dismissing it because Hitler had thin lips and maybe that was why he was so angry.
- Rose trying to talk up Benjamin to Midge during various activities at the resort, even while in a crowd awaiting the news of the fate of a resort goer who disappeared at the lake. The whole time, Midge has an annoyed face of "please stop trying to play matchmaker to me, Mom." By the time she finally relents and approaches Benjamin while he's playing cards on the porch, she really is tempted to just murder her mom:Midge: Benjamin, right?Benjamin: I'm sorry?Midge: Ida's son?Benjamin: That's the rumor.Midge: Get up.Benjamin: What?Midge: We are going to do something together. The sooner the better. Get up.Benjamin: I'm a million steps behind.Midge: I'm Miriam Maisel.Benjamin: You say that like I should know it.Midge: Most people do know me here. Eight swimsuit sashes? Top-seeded badminton champ? 22 straight years in the Steiner Fire Safety Captain's Club? Nothing?Benjamin: [trying to suppress a smile] I'm just trying not to laugh here.Midge: What's going on is not funny! Now, we have to do something together to satisfy my mother's insatiable desire for us to meet before I tie her to a concrete post and throw her in the lake!Benjamin: Is she dead before you tie her to the post, or do you tie her to the post alive and dump her in like that?Midge: She's alive.Benjamin: There'll be screaming.Midge: Not with a gag in her mouth.Benjamin: You've thought this through.Midge: Stand. Start walking.Benjamin: [stands up] I'll admit my mother's mentioned you.Midge: Our mothers have been scheming to set us up for days, and it will not stop until they see us doing something together. So we'll do something, tell them we gave it a shot, nothing came of it, and I can get back to my life.Benjamin: And you want to do it now?Midge: Right now.Benjamin: You're not missing a meeting of the Steiner Fire Safety Corporal Club?Midge: Captain, captain. And we don't meet till Thursday.Benjamin: It's raining.Midge: It'll pass.Benjamin: If it doesn't?Midge: We melt.Benjamin: Okay. I'm convinced.
- Midge's plan for getting her mother off her back is to go out boating with Benjamin on the lake, since it's "private but on display". Benjamin refuses to row, though, resulting in a long awkward moment as Midge tries to get Benjamin to act like they're having a good time sitting on their boat out in the water. She tries to spice up the illusion by suggesting they act like he's reading things she finds funny.Midge: [seeing Benjamin read a pamphlet] What is that?Benjamin: The Steiner Daily Newsletter.Midge: But we've got to at least look like we're talking.Benjamin: We are talking.Midge: You're reading.Benjamin: I am trying to stay informed, and I am loving this new font.Midge: Well, read something and I'll pretend that I'm enjoying it.Benjamin: [clears throat] Ahem. "Arthur Rossman would like to thank all the fellow guests who consoled him on the death of his beloved dog Mogul." [Midge starts laughing, rather artificially at that.] You are sick.Midge: Well, read something light that I can laugh at!Benjamin: "There will be a twilight gathering of Holocaust survivors tonight in-"Midge: Just shut up.Benjamin: This is going very well.
- Midge's plan for getting her mother off her back is to go out boating with Benjamin on the lake, since it's "private but on display". Benjamin refuses to row, though, resulting in a long awkward moment as Midge tries to get Benjamin to act like they're having a good time sitting on their boat out in the water. She tries to spice up the illusion by suggesting they act like he's reading things she finds funny.
- As the family unpacks after arriving, their attendant is sent to get their luggage from the car.
- Samuel: "There's a baby in the backseat, Mr. Weissman!"Midge: "Bring that too!"
Midnight at the Concord
- By now, you've probably noticed the various announcements that get made over the PA system. They seem like something right out of M*A*S*H.
- Beauty Salon talk about the merits of getting buried in Israel or Florida.Shirley: I would love to be buried in Florida. Doesn't it sound wonderful, Rose?Rose: You being buried in Florida? I guess it does.Midge: Mama!Rose: She asked a question, I answered a question.Shirley: Moishe's insisting we get buried in Israel.Ida Ettenberg: I could never be buried in the desert.Shirley: Oh, I do like dates, though.Midge: I never want this conversation to end.note
- This one has a Brick Joke in season 3 after Midge's tour takes her to Miami.
- While it's admittedly somewhat creepy, it's also darkly funny when Susie runs into Chester, a squatter who has managed to live on the resort property for seven years using the same schtick of pretending to be an employee and is thrilled to see another person with the same idea as him.
- "Criss-cross! Criss-cross!"
- Joel teaching a girl how to bowl. Especially when it turns to her taking terrible shots because she's trying to impress him.
- Abe is obsessive-compulsive about the shuffleboard's cleanliness, which, given who plays him, is a great in-joke to anyone who's seen Monk.
- Abe is annoyed at Moishe for using both phones in the rec room to loudly conduct business and chides him for being a distraction to others (especially Abe, who is cleaning the shuffleboard), which results in Moishe delivering a very hammy response:Moishe: Listen to me, you mashugana alta kaka! You do not tell me what I should know! I know! I want what I paid for! You hear me, you goddamn schvantz?! [picks up a second phone] Hold on. Hello, putz! You cheating, lying...[listens] No, no, no, don't even try to abi gezunt dos leben ken zikh ale mol nemennote . I will not retract that!Abe: Moishe!Moishe: Hold on. [sets down the phone he's holding] You need a phone?Abe: No, I don't need the phone. You shouldn't be conducting work up here. That is not what the Catskills is for.Moishe: It's not.Abe: No. The Catskills is a time to unwind. It's a sanctuary from work. Do you see us working?Moishe: I do not see you working.Abe: There you go.Moishe: I don't see you doing anything. I see two men standing around a toy!Abe: It is not a toy.Moishe: I apologize if my work has upset your playtime, but in my business, we're not so lucky to get the whole summer off, like some people. We don't have ivory towers and uncalloused hands! In my business, a man sweats and stinks till he dies!Abe: All right, thank you for explaining that to me, but I have to insist that you stop yelling into two telephones because, clearly, yelling into one isn't enough, while other people are trying to relax!Moishe: All right, I'm sorry. I'll tell the two thieves who were trying to take food out of my family's mouth that they win!Abe: Thank you.Moishe: They can continue to rape and pillage as they see fit!Abe: You're still holding two phones.Moishe: [into both phones] Fuck you, I'll call you back. [hangs both phones up] Good?!Abe: Great.
- Midge jumps at the opportunity to get a shift at the Revlon Counter in B. Altman, and has to get a ride down to the city. She quickly ends her session at the beauty salon, freaking out like it's a matter of life and death, eventually getting an offer to hitch a ride with Benjamin.Midge: REVLON COUNTER!!! [bolts out the door while everyone stares in her direction]
- During the drive, Midge dozes off whenever Benjamin has the radio tuned to the news. Eventually, she decides to lighten the mood by doing some riffing.Radio Announcer: There are renewed calls today for real estate developer Robert Moses to step down as Chairman of New York City's Committee on Slum Clearance. The demands came after Mr. Moses dismissed the city's billion dollar Title One program as a "dead duck". [Benjamin silences the radio]Midge: [in her best approximation of the newscaster's voice] Moses's mother, the only person in New York City who still likes him, came to her son's defense, insisting that his remark was misconstrued and that the phrase "dead duck" has positive connotations for him. She said that little Robbie Moses carried his deceased duck Quackers to school with him each day for company at playtime and slept with it at night. "The duck was alive when it was given to him," Mrs. Moses clarified, "but little Robert snapped its neck when it waddled between him and a dollar bill." In other news, Hawaii is now a state. A few Jewish women are campaigning to have it moved to an area off the coast of Long Island because that's a long flight. [beat] This just in: religion is being replaced by news radio as the opiate of the masses because, much like opiates, it puts people to sleep. We interrupt our previously scheduled program to bring you this: the world is ending. Everything's bad. The Russians have landed. Does anyone actually like borscht? A Frenchman, a Yankee, and a Ruskie walk into a bar in Geneva...
- During the drive, Midge dozes off whenever Benjamin has the radio tuned to the news. Eventually, she decides to lighten the mood by doing some riffing.
- Susie gets through to her contact at the Stage Deli who informs her of a slot opening up at the Concord. The conversation is briefly interrupted by the appearance of the aforementioned Chester (crossing the room as a bellhop) doing the "criss-cross" gesture as he crosses the room, and her having to show her plunger to make the staff think she's on a service call.
- While back in Manhattan, Benjamin takes Midge to see The Legend of Lizzie (a play about Lizzie Borden) on Broadway. They are so unimpressed by the play that they decide to leave at intermission and go to a nearby club where Lenny Bruce is performing.Benjamin: I'm just wondering, why did they make a play about Lizzie Borden? There's not a lot of story there. 40 whacks, 41 whacks?Midge: And why did they put the murder in the first act? I mean, isn't that the whole big thing that happens?Benjamin: Well, the clean up was quite extensive.Midge: But what's the second act?Benjamin: [makes Oh, Crap! face] Oh, no.Midge: What?Benjamin: Act two's a trial.Midge: Shit!Benjamin: I hate trials. All that ridiculous Perry Mason crap. The "I object" and "Your Honor, may I approach?"Midge: And the banging with the gavel.Benjamin: And the righteous district attorney.Midge: I hate district attorneys.Benjamin: And somebody's gonna get up and give a big dramatic speech.Midge: Where the actor spits on you.Benjamin: They have to spit on you.Midge: It's not dramatic unless they spit on you.Benjamin: I've been to real trials. No one gives a dramatic speech, but they still spit on you.
- This is much funnier when you know that The Legend of Lizzie was a real play. But you couldn't see it in the summer of 1959; it opened and closed in February of that year, after a grand total of two performances. The New York Times review of the play said: "By the ingenuity of his playwriting, Reginald Lawrence has made the case of Lizzie Borden uninteresting." It puts a new spin on Benjamin's comments when he and Midge are at the Stage Deli later, about them seeing the second half later, if they hear it's good.
- After Lenny Bruce performs his set, Midge gets his attention by plucking the olive from her drink and throwing it at the back of his head. Lenny takes it in stride.Lenny Bruce: [bemused] You threw an olive at my head. I don't know if you've heard, but I've become very litigious.
- Following the visit to Lenny Bruce, Midge takes Benjamin to dinner at the Stage Deli. They shove away a couple trying to sit at Midge's favorite booth. One of the staff even slides her a $5 bill.
Midge: She's the one you see walking around Steiner with the plunger. She's my manager.Benjamin: Your manager is walking around Steiner with a plunger? I don't know a lot about show business, but perhaps you need a different manager.
- Benjamin is convinced for a moment that Midge's family owns the restaurant because everyone knows her by first name.
- Some poor word choice as Midge tries to explain her double life to Benjamin momentarily leads him to think B. Altman is her secret second job behind her comedy work, and not the other way around.
- Benjamin starts what will become a Running Gag in later episodes as he finds it hard to believe the plumber at Steiner is Midge's manager:
- While Midge is on her brief trip back into the city, Susie secures a gig for her at the Concord. This being decades before the invention of cell phones, Susie has to go on a very lengthy manhunt to try and track Midge down, calling her while she's at her parents' apartment:Midge: Hello?Susie: What the fuck are you doing in New York and I'm in the Catskills?Midge: Oh. I had to come back.Susie: And you didn't tell me?Midge: Oh I'm sorry.Susie: I came up here because of you!Midge: I know.Susie: I looked all over this nightmare place trying to find you. I went to bingo and bunny hop and color your face. Nowhere.Midge: Susie-Susie: I went to the beauty parlor, and the indoor skating rink—a skating rink! In the middle of summer! What group of total and complete assholes needs a skating rink in the middle of summer?! How the fuck did these people make it out of the desert to begin with?! I went everywhere. I was in such a frenzy, I lost my plunger. I just left it somewhere, and then I had to go hunting for it, which meant I had to go back to the skating rink. And then back to bingo bullshit. And then back to pogo pony up your ass.Susie: I've been paging you nonstop to the point where they finally figured out something was up and put a lock on the microphone. And then, as I was crouching in the bushes outside your family's house, I thought, "Wait a minute, what's a real shit move someone like Miriam Maisel could pull? She could up and desert me here and go back to the city she never should've left in the first place!"Midge: I'm-Susie: So I called B. Asshole, where you work, and tried to get some info out of the brain trust at the switchboard, but there was so much buzzing in their heads. So then, as a Hail fucking Mary, I call your house, and what ho!Midge: I. Am. Sorry.Susie: [slams her hand several times on the side of the phone booth] What fucking ho!Midge: I got a chance to get back up to the makeup floor. I had to get back right away.Susie: Are you done playing with lipstick? 'Cause I got you a gig.Midge: What? Where?Susie: The Concord. Late show. Tonight.Midge: Tonight? That's short notice.Susie: Well, it wouldn't have been short if you'd been fucking up here!Midge: Well, I—I was gonna come back here after work, but I guess maybe I could take a bus to-Susie: I don't care about your goddamn schedule, just get your ass back here!Midge: Okay. I'll be there.Susie: Be there!Midge: I just said, I'll be there.Susie: Because if you're not there, in my travels today, I found a lot of places I could hide your body with minimal digging! Understand?Midge: [smiling] It's exciting, about the gig.Susie: Fuck you. [hangs up; Midge excitedly walks over to her closet and grabs the black cocktail dress she normally wears for standup routines]
Midge: I'm sorry, are we just gonna ignore the smell in the car?Noah: [cheerfully] Yes, we are!Astrid: Noah...Midge: Well, you smell it, right? It's a very strong smell. It's like a skunk or mold or rotting fruit or-Astrid: Me. It's me.Midge: No, Astrid, it's not...[sniffs] Oh, my God, it is you.Noah: Here you go. [hands Midge a handkerchief]Astrid: So I went to Chinatown and I bought this herbal paste that you're supposed to put on during certain times when certain things are happening or supposed to be happening, or are probably happening to most people anyway, but theoretically, when things could be happening, just to someone else but never to me, you put it on.Midge: [fanning herself] Ugh, it's so strong. It's like a mixture of ammonia and Esther's diaper.Astrid: So you put the paste on, which I did, and then a month later, you're supposed to get pregnant. They didn't tell me about the smell. [laughs] I don't think—they might have. They're Chinese. But...it has a smell, and it tends to harden as it dries, which is why I'm walking so funny.Midge: You know what, let's just go back to ignoring it, shall we?Noah: That's what I've been doing for a month.
- Midge convinces her brother Noah to give her a lift and take a detour to the Concord. There's an awful stench in the car that is getting on Midge's case.
Midge: Oh, hey, Noah, you can drop me off at the Concord.Noah: Why?Astrid: Oh, is it because of me? No, you shouldn't have to walk. I'll walk. [to Noah] Hey, drop me off at the Concord.Midge: No, it's not because of you, Astrid. I just...want to go to the Concord. I'm meeting friends there.Noah: What friends?Midge: Concord friends.Noah: [smiles] Now I understand the dress.Midge: Stop it.Astrid: Wait, what do you mean?Noah: Midge has a man.Astrid: [gleefully] Oh, a man! A little shayna punimnote at the Concord! Oh, I'm so happy I could hug you!Midge: [coldly] Astrid...Astrid: I won't. I promise. [she shakes her head and shoulders] Shayna punim!
- From her fancy cocktail dress, Astrid and Noah think Midge is going to the Concord to meet a date:
Melvin: This isn't the girl I hired.Midge: It isn't?Susie: Yes, it is.Melvin: No. No, no, no. She doesn't look anything like the picture you showed me. [takes a folded picture out of his pants pocket] The picture you showed me looked funny. She doesn't look funny. W-what is she, a a singer?Susie: No. She's not a singer, she's a comic.Melvin: No.Susie: Look, she just doesn't have her makeup on yet. Okay? By the way, it's a little creepy, you carrying her picture around in your pants like that.Melvin: [incredulous] Makeup? How much makeup? How much makeup does she wear?Susie: Who are you, Max Factor?Melvin: I need a comic.Susie: And you got one.Melvin: A funny comic.Susie: Will you relax? You worry like that, you'll take ten years off your life. And from the looks of you, you only have about five left to begin with. [The manager walks away]Melvin: [grumbles; to Midge] Dressing room's in the back. Get your makeup on. [to Susie] She better look funny!
- The manager of the Concord thinks Midge isn't the girl that Susie said he'd be getting, saying she looks totally different from the woman in the photograph Susie provided him, much to Midge's confusion.
Midge: That's Mamie Eisenhower.Susie: Yeah, so?Midge: You told him I look like Mamie Eisenhower?Susie: Look, I said what I need to get you the gig, and I got you the gig. We're just lucky that moron doesn't read a fucking newspaper.Midge: Susie, he thinks I'm gonna go out on the stage looking like the President's wife! And when I don't, he's gonna pull me off the stage in front of 400,000 people!
- Looking at the photograph, Midge realizes just why such a mixup happened:
- Midge's stand up at the Concord manages to be this and a Moment of Awesome.
Midge: But really, I have great affection for the mountains. I've been coming up here with my family since I was born. It is the best place to have your first nervous breakdown. Which automatically comes with spending months in a cabin with your family every year since you were born. My first everything happened in the Catskills. Evvveerything. My mother first told me to keep my knees closed until there's a ring on my finger in the Catskills. Actually, she told me it was biologically impossible to have sex without a ring on your finger. Guess what, Mom, it's not! Anyhow, the first boy I ever kissed? I kissed in the Catskills. Mm-hmm. The first time I ever let a boy go Christopher Columbus on my nether regions, it was in the Catskills. And this boy, he was my [spots her dad in the front row] ...papa.Midge: [stammering] I—I...[exhales] The Catskills. Things happen in the Catskills. All kinds of things happen. Games. There's games. You like games? I like games. And--and when people come up here with kids, they want things for the kids to play so the adults can go be adults. Parents don't really want to know what's going on with their kids behind their backs. I mean, they'd prefer they weren't eaten by a lion or whatever eats people in Upstate New York, but, otherwise...secrets. Secrets. Kids have secrets. Mothers and daughters and daughters and fathers and—you know, it's weird with daughters and fathers, isn't it? Isn't it weird? I—is it weird? Is it?Susie: [from backstage] Is it? Fucking make up your mind!Midge: ...Because fathers never really know who their daughters are. T-they don't want to know, do they? It would be terrifying to know who they are and what they're doing. A-and because they don't really know any of this, sometimes they can just...walk in unexpectedly, and suddenly, it's like, "Hey, you're a whore! WHO KNEW!" [quietly] Not that I'm a whore. I am definitely not a whore. I do not charge for sex! I mean, that's free. I mean, it's free to guys I want to be free to! Like husband. Boyfriend. One girl in college. Anyone with a decent ticket to a Sinatra concert. Even my mother would give it up for a Sinatra ticket. No she wouldn't. My mother wouldn't give it up for anything, to anyone. Well, my father. She'll—she'll give it up to him. I mean, not that she told me she'd give it up to him, but I'm assuming...well, I'm here, so SOMEBODY gave up something to somebody at some point! [the room breaks out in laughter] Anyhow, everyone has sex. Daughters have sex. Sons have sex. Babies come from sex! Boy, I have got to stop saying the word 'sex.' I actually have never said "sex" this much before. I don't think I've ever said the word "sex" in front of my father, because my father looks like what you'd think a Columbia professor would look like, with lots of brown and tweed and plaid and a scowl of intellectual superiority because he is intellectually superior; he is very smart. My mother once told me that she pictured having sex with his MIND on their wedding night so she didn't have to think about his penis! [the room breaks into uproarious laughter] She did not say that. Some other woman said that, just some other person, and I overheard them and...let's go back to food, shall we?
- Her reaction to spotting her father in the audience and subsequent recovery is worth mentioning...
Susie: Are we in trouble?[Midge slowly nods]
- "...And the donkey who looked just like my father stood up and said, "WHO ELSE WANTS A PIECE OF THIS?!"
- Abe has only one thing to say to Midge when he finds her backstage after the show: "I'm taking you home." Then he puts on his giant beachcomber hat. And the scene cuts to him driving Midge and Susie back towards the resort, while Midge and Susie sit in the backseat in uncomfortable silence.
- Returning to the cottage, Midge and Susie stand in awkward silence as Abe retreats upstairs, Midge sporting a Thousand-Yard Stare while Susie looks very uncomfortable.Susie: Is he—Is he coming back down?Midge: ...I don't know.Susie: Should we wait?Midge: ...I don't know.Susie: Can we sit?Midge: ...I don't know.
- They end up falling asleep on the patio couch, with Susie sprawled out and using Midge's lap as a pillow (and one foot on a nearby table), while Midge is sitting upright, one hand protecting her purse. During the night, Susie has a dream about being attacked by a giant beaver while ice skating. She also snickers as she recounts the "sex with his mind" joke Midge gave in her performance.
- The Maisel-Weissman breakfast is very tense, to the point that Midge says to Joel later that it was worse than Hiroshima.
Astrid: These were important fucking temples!
- Astrid screams in terror and bumps the table when Shirley sits down, as Shirley's giant furs cause Astrid to briefly mistake her for a bear.
- Astrid is fasting for Tisha B'Av and is upset that no one else seems to care about the significance of the date.
Rose: I don't know what's keeping Abe. He's usually up so early.Moishe: Right. Running around in that funny little romper of his. [he and Shirley laugh]Rose: His what?Shirley: Rosie, don't play dumb. We've all seen Abe in his little romper; it's hysterical! [laughs]Moishe: And so formfitting! Every cut of the mohel's knife on vivid display!Rose: Please don't let him hear you talking about his romper, Moishe.
- Before Abe shows up, Moishe and Shirley wonder if he's out in his romper.
Joel: Maybe we should take this away from the table.Noah: What, so you can beat me up? No, thanks.Joel: I couldn't beat you up.Noah: I'm completely out of shape.Joel: I'm sore from playing horseshoes.Moishe: What are you, competing for the Biggest Steiner Sissy Sash?
- When Joel sits down, he and Noah trade some back and forth insults about what happened last year that prompts Moishe to ask if they're competing for the "Steiner Sissy Sash".
Joel: I'm missing something. What's wrong, Abe?Noah: What's wrong? A lot of us are still processing this thing you did to my sister. Okay?Abe: This isn't about their breakup, Noah. No. That was centuries ago. [looks in Midge's direction] Many things have happened since. Many suns have risen and many have set.Shirley: He's lost his mind.Moishe: Like he's swallowed Gandhi.Midge: [warily] Papa-Abe: Why is everyone so focused on me?Midge: [more insistently] Papa!Abe: I'm trying to eat.Midge: PAPA!Abe: [relents and gets up from his chair] Porch.
- Abe is the last to show up. Naturally, the one seat still open is right next to Midge. Not wanting to sit next to his daughter after she humiliated him in front of an audience, Abe just rudely evicts Noah from his seat.
- "Attention, Steiner diners. Good news, THE MISSING PLUMBER HAS BEEN FOUND!" Which prompts a mixture of applause and confused looks from around the table. Noah gives Midge an odd look of "What exactly happened?" to which Midge gives him a silent shrug of "Don't Ask".
- Everyone knows something's off about Abe when he turns down his favorite tomato juice.
Midge: You must have a lot of questions.Abe: You know, I woke up several times in the night thinking I'd imagined what I saw. Maybe someone slipped something into my drink. Lysergic acid. That's a drug that makes you hallucinate. See colors, monsters, daughters saying horrible things on a showroom stage in front of a thousand people. It's impossible, what I saw.Midge: It's not. You saw it. It was me.Abe: Is this a hobby?Midge: It's a profession.Abe: And you make money from this?Midge: A little. Not enough. But that's the plan.Abe: You want to be Milton Berle.Midge: God, no.Abe: Then whom?Midge: I don't know. Me.Abe: You're already you!Midge: It's all me.Abe: And the arrests?Midge: How did you know about that?Abe: Never mind how I know.note What did you do to get arrested twice? They said misdemeanors, but that could be many things. Was it gambling?Midge: No.Abe: Did you break in somewhere?Midge: [exasperated] Yes, I'm the notorious cat burglar of the Upper West Side!Abe: So you won't tell me.Midge: No.Abe: My God, the first time we brought you here, I was carrying you! [beat] Who was that woman?Midge: [confused] What woman?Abe: The woman with us in the car last night.Midge: [realizes he's referring to Susie] Oh! I'm so used to people thinking she's a guy, I didn't know who you were talking about.Abe: She's clearly a woman.Midge: Her name's Susie. She's my manager.Abe: She doesn't look professional.Midge: It's part of her act.Abe: She's a comedian, too?Abe: *Face Palm* My head is spinning...Midge: Let me get you a tomato juice.Abe: You've ruined tomato juice for me!Midge: You don't mean that.Abe: It's ruined. [their conversation is interrupted by a tumbler wandering along the porch]Tumbler: Who wants to pick a card-Abe: [shooing him off with his hands] Get us the fuck away from us! [The tumbler moves on and Abe focuses back on Midge]
- Knowing why her dad is in a bad mood, Midge drags him out to the porch so they can discuss what happened:
Midge: In a way, I'm glad this happened.Abe: Really?Midge: I want people to know. Mama should know. It's time.Abe: No.Midge: I don't want to hide it anymore! I've been trying to find a way to tell you all.Abe: And what if you don't stick with it? Why put her through this tsuris?Midge: I'm sticking with it.Midge: That's not fair. Joel left me!Abe: You were going to get back together. You made a point of telling me.Midge: We decided not to!Abe: Are you seeing the flip-flops here?Midge: It was more like "he flipped, I flopped."Abe: Well, I can't keep falling behind and playing catch-up on your life, Miriam! I need some control over this!Midge: So what do you want me to do?Abe: I want you to lie low. Do not tell your mother or anyone else about this absurd thing you're doing. I'll let you know when the time is right.Midge: I'd like to tell her when we get back to the city.Abe: No, when we get back, we unpack.Midge: We'll unpack either way.Abe: No, if everyone gets distracted, we won't unpack, and suitcases and boxes will be crowding the place for weeks! I can't live like that.Midge: Fine, then after we unpack.Abe: And get past Hanukkah.Midge: Hanukkah? That's months away!Abe: You want to spoil your mother's Hanukkah by telling her you're pursuing a life as a foul-mouthed comic?Midge: My act's not all foul. You came on a blue night.Abe: Miriam, you obey me. Now lay low and don't tell anyone until I decide the time is right. I. Me. Your father.Midge: [realizing she's not going to win this argument] All right. I'll lay low.
- Midge makes clear to her father she has every intention of sticking with standup comedy no matter what:
- While Abe and Noah are at the shuffleboard, a pageboy comes in with the telephone saying "Phone call! Phone call!" Abe moans, thinking it's someone calling for Moishe, and he'll have to endure more of Moishe yelling into two telephones simultaneously again...then the page adds "Phone call for Abe Weissman!" at which point Abe relaxes.
- Abe takes his son Noah to Bell Labs and introduces him to his boss Charles, hoping to get Noah a job there. While they're headed to see Charles, Abe explains that he's got the authority to pick a very diverse staff for his project. He almost hired a woman too.
- Charles says that Noah won't be hired to work at Bell Labs. When Abe persists, Charles takes the conversation to a secure room. Abe tries to constantly ask what's going on, but is constantly interrupted as a long line of officials and lawyers enter the room one by one, each being preceded by a loud buzz, the door opening, and Charles introducing them. Once everyone's settled in, Abe's boss informs him that Noah is involved in a classified project for the US government. In fact, Noah has a much higher security clearance than him. And Abe's clearance level is actually very low, to the point that the janitors have higher clearance than him. Noah throwing back the whole "A secret's a secret" line in his father's face is the icing on the cake.
- Abe is so rocked by having learned in the span of half an episode that both of his children have secret lives of their own, that the next morning, we see him brooding at the pier where we saw him do his morning routine two episodes ago, while a choir sings a sad rendition of "Go You Chicken Fat Go!"
- He also takes to deciding for a while that he will only refer to Noah as "Son X".
- When Abe and Noah come back to Steiner, Noah's first reaction upon seeing Samuel, the staff helper assigned to them, is "What happened to Jimmy?"
- Every year, the resort employees' put on a play to close out the season. This year, their play is Around the World in Eighty Minutes, "a sensational musical odyssey to some of the most exotic places on Earth." Highlights include:
- Shirley is offended at the Cossack performance in a room full of Jews (when Russia is introduced), while Midge finds the whole thing hysterical (a benefit of a degree in Russian literature).Midge: [laughing] Buzz has a bit of a masochistic side!Rose: Why are you laughing? Is it supposed to be funny?
- For "Italy", Chester "rows" across the stage as a Venetian gondolier.Midge: The rest of the world is going to get us for this one day....
- During the "Brazil" big band number, Susie performs with a stone face as one of the backup dancers (playing cocoa farmers), which contrasts with her smiling and enthusiastic co-dancers. Midge stares at her with a priceless "WTF" face, then after a few lines, rolls her eyes and returns to her family's table.
- When the cast comes together for the curtain call, Chester does the "criss-cross" thing to Susie behind everyone's backs, and she just glares at him.
- Shirley is offended at the Cossack performance in a room full of Jews (when Russia is introduced), while Midge finds the whole thing hysterical (a benefit of a degree in Russian literature).
Look, She Made a Hat
- Astrid at the synagogue. Her dramatic reading along with the scripture is enough to make Moishe wonder, "Has anyone ever had her diagnosed?" which Rose follows up with the instruction "Less Catholic, Astrid."
- Abe and Moishe trading back and forths about why Moishe is choosing to sit instead of stand, even though he and Abe are the same age.Abe: I don't understand why you get to sit.Moishe: The elder can sit, rabbi said.Abe: We are the same age, and I'm standing.Moishe: Well, good for you. You get to be king of the Jews. How'd that work out for the last guy?
- Shirley's mom dozes off in her seat.Rose: Shirley, your mother is tipping over again.Shirley: Oh, it's okay, I tied her to the bench.
- Abe and Moishe trading back and forths about why Moishe is choosing to sit instead of stand, even though he and Abe are the same age.
- Midge uses the Yom Kippur dinner as her venue to reveal her new career as a stand-up comic.
- Midge has a scheduling conflict. She's supposed to do a gig for a booker at the Gaslight that night. Her intention is to slip out of dinner early and have her father assist in creating a distraction so no one sees her slip out and she can quietly slip back in later. Abe, of course, finds the whole charade absurd and suggests the more practical solution: just be upfront and reveal the truth to everyone else.
- Before this, Joel even offers to fake a stroke to cover for Midge, saying he's kinda overdue for one with his family's health history.
- Rose, like Abe, doesn't get Susie's role as Midge's manager, having also encountered her in her "plumber" guise:Rose: You were a plumber at Steiner's. You came to fix our sink, and when you left, it was worse.Midge: She's not a plumber, Mama!Rose: I should say not.Susie: That sink was not fixable.
- Astrid uses this as an opportunity to randomly blurt out that she's finally pregnant.
- Abe pretending that he doesn't know Susie (since he doesn't want Rose to find out that he already knew about Midge's stand-up career):Susie: Hi, Abe.Abe: Very good. Deducing that I am Abe, Miriam's father. Hello, Person I've Never Met Before. Nice to see you for the very first time.Susie: Okay, so clearly I missed a pretty hefty cocktail hour.
- The Rabbi comes by for the lamb, but quickly bows out as Midge's announcement takes up the whole converation.Moishe: Come on in, Rabbi. Grab a seat. We're gonna be here a while.Susie: Gut Yontiv, Rabbi.
- Declan Howell's "drunken" ramblings at the bar (he's just exaggerating his state of drunkenness). The Here We Go Again! attitudes that his friends have as he gets up on the counter sells it.
- Before this, Midge runs into Jane Jacobs and reminds her of the rally from Washington Square Park last year that Midge hijacked and gave a speech at. Then Jacobs calls her "nuts" behind her back.
- Susie: "The Eisenhower Penis Tour has begun!"
- While trapped in the closet of the club manager who tries to stiff them, Susie of course observes that the owners are in need of a new plunger.
- Midge and Susie listen to a recording Midge made of Susie's snoring. At one point the snoring stops abruptly.Susie: ... Did I die?Midge: Maybe. You really need to see a doctor.
Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy
- The Phil Donnelly Dancers at the telethon who do "Pink Shoe Laces". Theyre supposedly performing the latest dance craze, as if theyre cheery teenagers, but theyre obviously expert dancers performing a highly choreographed routine with joyless stone faces.
- When Midge finally gets her set, she does a Finger Gun gesture at the camera and the studio audience and claims that this is a most unlikely stickup only being witnessed by some drunk cameramen, three sailors on leave and 14 people half-asleep in front of their TVs. All the camera crew and executives are reduced to stitches..
- Sophie's interview of the arthritis sufferers is cringy, yet her poor wail of "ARTHRITIS!" is gif-worthy.
- Remember Ginger showing Midge the article in the Village Voice back in "Midway to Midtown"? During the cutaway to Midge's friends and family watching the telethon, we see Ginger watching with her roommates and exclaiming, "I can't believe it! Mrs. Maisel is Mrs. Maisel!"
- We get a repeat of the Overly Long Gag of various suits entering the secure room with Abe just to talk about Midge's comedy act somehow ruining his job. When they're all in, the buzzer rings once more, with us expecting the head of security to come in...but no one appears.Charles: They must have buzzed the wrong room.
Abe: And if you ever threaten my daughter again, I will punch you right in the nose. It won't hurt. I'm not strong. But, at the very least, you will be embarrassed that you got punched in the nose by a not-strong mathematician. You really want to mess with me? Go ahead. Take your best shot. And then you will find out what Abe Weissman is truly made of. [gets up to leave, but the door is still shut, so he turns back to Charles] You're going to have to buzz me out. [*BUZZ*]
- Charles and the others make clear that Midge is now seen as a government "security risk", prompting Abe to make this threat:
- Rose's fortune teller describes Midge's future. Her description is so obviously one of Midge performing a stand-up routine. Yet Rose keeps bending every point to describe Midge getting married to Benjamin. After she leaves:Cosma: I don't know why you'd wear a black cocktail dress to a wedding, but whatever... [eats the slice of pizza in her hand]
- Archie and Joel go blow off steam in a park by batting baseballs into a field. When they're done, they have hilarious Didn't Think This Through faces as they realize they'll have to go out and pick up all the balls they just batted.
- When Susie goes to Sophie's mansion, she is greeted by Sophie's butler.Dawes: Miss Myerson?Susie: Yeah.Dawes: May I see some form of identification?Susie: *shows her middle finger*Dawes: Won't you come in.
"Strike up the Band"
- Midge's attempt to think of dick jokes to throw at the privates for the USO event:
- What do leprechauns and guys with big dicks have in common? Theyre hard to find and incredibly lucky.
- His dick was so big, the mohel had to bring a machete.
- His dick was bigger than Disneyland. Better rides, too.
- His dick was so big, it wasnt a dick at all. It was a Richard.
- His dick was so big, even when he cheated on me, his dick was the bigger dick.
- During the singalong at the end, Midge is dancing to the music and leaning on Susie, who is standing there uncomfortably with a stone face as she's like "When will this be over?"
- Sophie Lennon has come to Susie's crappy apartment looking for her.Sophie: The last time I had to track someone down it was to tell Desi Arnaz he gave me the clap!Susie: I'm sorry. About this and the clap.Sophie: The clap was worth it...
- With Sophie during this scene is Jackie, who looks uncomfortable wearing one of Sophie's fur coats.
- Rose is amazed that in all these years, it never once occurred to Abe that she was using her trust fund to pay for their huge apartment, decorations and such.Rose: You really think we live like this on your salary? You really think that Miriam has all those fabulous clothes because you were a professor at Columbia? The vacations, the dinners, the cocktail parties; you think all that exists because you taught eight hyper-intelligent, emotionally-retarded eunuchs to draw symbols on a chalkboard?Abe: I think you're oversimplifying my classes.
- Abe doesn't even know how much a bottle of milk costs.
- Upon seeing Midge has received flowers from Lenny Bruce, Abe is coaxed into going to catch Lenny Bruce at Upstairs at the Downstairs for himself. Lenny's performance starts smooth, but he runs afoul of obscenity laws again and gets arrested. Then Abe gets arrested himself trying to speak up for Lenny. Smash cut to them in a jail cell, where Lenny is asleep and Abe is seated upright. Then Abe offhandedly mentions the flowers.
- Midge angry conga line dancing away from Susie to end their fight.
- The most important thing this episode teaches us about Abe: everyone better listen to him. He's got on two sweaters!
- Midge and Joel need to finalize their divorce. Unfortunately, the judge doesn't seem too inclined to grant it, as neither is giving anything to suggest a divorce is warranted. And Midge is on a tight schedule due to needing to make a photo shoot. Eventually, to move things along, Joel makes up a lie about having affairs with other women, with Susie helpfully "claiming" to be one of them.Joel: Look, I didn't just commit adultery once, okay? I slept with a ton of other women. Had 'em lined up from here to Sheboygan.Midge: What?Joel: Just go with me here.Midge: Really?Joel: Yes.Susie: Im one of them, your honor. We had a hot, sexy thing going on. Im talking dungeon stuff, barnyard stuff. Hes a bad guy. You should go ahead and grant that lady a divorce. Go on, bang the gavel.
- Abe's activist friends have come over to the apartment. Midge is also over, and tries to sleep, but they are so loud she puts a pillow over her head in an attempt to drown out the noise. That's not enough, and by morning she has four pillows stacked on top of her head.
- The reveal of where Rose's family comes from. Abe assures Midge that Rose is just off in Providence handling some issues with her trust fund. Midge, remembering what happened last year when Rose ran off to Paris, is wise to ask her dad to confirm with certainty that yes, Rose is coming back this time. Then we cut to Rose in the back of a car, being driven across Oklahoma farmland while "The Everlasting Hills of Oklahoma" plays in the background. Then a caption reveals where she is: Providence, Oklahoma.
- What sells the joke is that when the camera cuts to Rose in the car, with that soundtrack, you're led to think there was going to be some sort of secret past or something, where she claimed to be from Rhode Island, but was secretly from blue collar Oklahoma. Or that she was from Rhode Island, but had some secret business in Oklahoma. Then the caption comes on and no, shes not harboring any secrets in saying she's going to Providence, the show just played on audiences' expectations that she was going to the Rhode Island capital.
- Her family's huge mansion is incongruously located in the middle of a huge Oklahoma plain, nothing around for miles except the oil rigs around the manor. It's like finding a Hollywood starlet's home in the middle of the Nevada desert.
- Susie asks Harry Drake's Army of Lawyers if any of them ever switch places from time to time when they're all in a room together.
- When Susie visits Sophie's mansion to talk to her about getting the rights for Sophie to put on Miss Julie, Sophie takes her on a detour to an upstairs parlor where Sophie has a whole writing team churning up joke material for her. Susie is surprised to see that Herb Smith is among Sophie's writing staff.
- Our introduction to Noah is to see that he's grown out a very long beard since we last saw him, because Astrid had a premonition.note Midge refers to him as "Tolstoy with the little bun in the oven" when passing out papers outlining a schedule for who gets the Maisel kids on what days.
- The whole exchange as Midge works out an arrangement over who of the family will be looking after Ethan and Esther on what days.
Rose: We're not on the list.Midge: Well, not yet.Abe: Not yet? We're their grandparents.Moishe: We made the list.Shirley: Yeah, we made the list.Rose: Wh-why are we not on the list?Midge: I held off putting you on the list until you land somewhere.Rose: Oh. I see. You don't want them curled up with us in our Bowery flophouse.Midge: [exasperated] Mama!Rose: With our patched clothes and our smallpox blankets.Midge: You don't have a place to live right now. As soon as you do-Rose: So your going off to be a comedian means I don't get to see my grandchildren.Midge: Mama, no.Abe: If we took that place on 65th, there'd be no issue.Rose: Oh, fine, great, and with the wrecking balls, we won't need our alarm clock.Abe: Why are you mad at me? It's your fault your daughter's a comedian.Rose: How so?Midge: Yeah, how so?Abe: [to Midge] It's that German edge she gave you. The Lehman blood. [to Rose] You gave her the oompah.Midge: Papa!Rose: Well, it was your penis she was talking about on stage, not mine.Astrid: Yep! [giggles]Abe: Because "penis" is a funny word. I've learned this about comedians: they say funny words for cheap laughs.Midge: Guys, please!Abe: [to Rose] If you had a penis, she'd be talking about you, not me. [to Midge] Wouldn't you talk about your mother's penis if she had one?Midge: For hours and hours and hours.
- Abe and Rose are miffed over the fact that they're not on the list. Midge tries to explain that she left them off while their living situation is in limbo, but that doesn't do much to settle them.
Noah: I don't know why you won't come and stay with us. It's the answer to all your problems.Abe: You live in a one-bedroom in Poughkeepsie. And that beard is a fire hazard.Zelda: And your kitchen, Noah, is for shit.Noah: This is ridiculous! We have a pullout in the living room.Rose: A pullout?
- Noah and Astrid offer to take them in, which Abe, Rose and Zelda refuse:
- Susie's nervousness while flying for the first time, with Midge trying her best to alleviate Susie's anxiety.
- Due to a weird communication snafu while negotiating with Reggie, Susie blanks out and as a "special request", asks that Midge's room be full of yellow teddy bears.
- Midge's beehive hairdo during her first routine on a Vegas stage. She looks more like Zoya the Destroyer from GLOW.
- Midge writes her parents' fondness for argument into her routine.Midge: Complaining. This is big with us. What repressing your emotions is to WASPs, complaining is to Jews. It's second nature. But the key is, the complaints should never be about big important things, only little things like, "It's hot out; this restaurant is so far; the line is so long." You know, things nobody can do anything about. Remember, you're not trying to fix anything. You're just trying to be heard. Guilt is big with us, and we use it wisely. And it's not for making yourself feel bad about something you did. It's for making someone else feel bad about something they didn't do. [audience laughter] Jewish parents. [audience applause] Mm-hmm. Yell at your sons for not eating enough, yell at your daughters for eating too much. And there's the saying often attributed to our great prophet Abraham: "Anything you can do isn't all that interesting to me."
- Abe organizes a mass protest at the D.A.'s office...to demand they don't drop the charges against them.
- He later calls them back to state when they plan on "storming" the place at a certain time.
- Abe and Rose try to cope with being Moishe and Shirley's houseguests. Emphasis on "try" because, well, Moishe is shown rousting them at 5:00 am so he can ask Abe to move his car (which is blocking Moishe's car from getting out). While Abe is trying to back out, he almost runs over the milkman. Then, during breakfast, Shirley listens to both the TV and the radio at the same time, and refuses to turn the TV show off so as not to miss J. Fredd Muggs the monkey on The Today Show. Abe and Rose retreat to the solace of their guest room. Then Zelda joins them.
- Later in the episode, the cycle repeats, only this time it's Shirley waking them up at 5:00 am to collect their bedsheets as it's laundry day. Also, Abe and Rose don't even have to say a word when Zelda joins them in their room.
- Joel travels out to Las Vegas to see Midge. After watching her set, and hitting the slot machines, they get drunk at the restaurant. Over drinks, they notice Kim Novak from Vertigo over at the roulette table, and Midge convinces Joel to steal a napkin with Novak's Lipstick Mark to give to Imogene. Which he does, reducing them both to hysterical giggling. One scene cut later, we see them waking up naked together in one of the beds in Midge's room, with all the teddy bears moved to the other bed. Then they try to process what happened last night, they both have the most epic Oh, Crap! faces as they realize they had an impromptu Vegas wedding while drunk:Midge: Some night.Joel: Last night.Midge: Yeah?Joel: We saw Shy. We played slots.Midge: There's your bucket of pennies.Joel: Kim Novak was playing roulette.Midge: We stole her napkin. You smelled her. Then you bought drinks for the whole lounge.Joel: That was dumb.Midge: Especially since they're free.Joel: There's a chapel downstairs. Right inside the hotel.Midge: How do you know?[Joel stops, his eyes going wide]Joel: Did we...?Midge: No.Joel: I think we-Midge: No. No, no, no. [looks at her hand and sees a ring on her hand she didn't realize was there] Oh, boy.Joel: Is that a diamond?Midge: Glass. Mama knows. [jumps out of bed and crosses the room to her purse] Hold on. Hold on.Joel: I can't feel my tongue. It's like I've had Novocain. Seriously, we didn't go to a dentist last night, did we? [Midge finds photographs in her purse and lays them out on the bed. They're of Midge and Joel with a bouquet of flowers] We got married?Midge: We got married.Joel: Shit. And we definitely didn't go to a dentist?Midge: Not unless you can get married at the dentist. [tries and fails to suppress laughter]Joel: Why in the world are you laughing?Midge: You're right. This is serious. We have so much to discuss. Like our starter home. Something in Westchester might be nice. And where to honeymoon. Niagara Falls is probably long booked. We could go on a cruise-Joel: Midge.Midge: You should know, I have kids. From a previous marriage, but I think you'll like them.Joel: Midge!Midge: And we should meet each other's parents. You're Jewish, right?Joel: How can they just let two people drunk off their asses get married like that?Midge: I don't think they let you get married here if you're sober.Joel: This is not good. This is paperwork and legal stuff. We just got divorced!Midge: Maybe this time we'll get a discount.Joel: It's embarrassing. People shouldn't know. Don't tell Imogene.Midge: I won't.Joel: Or Archie. Or anyone. It's not right, it's not good.
- When the talk turns to Mei, Midge asks Joel if she can sharpen a pencil.
- Just like last year in the Catskills, Susie really hates nature and grumbles about there being sand everywhere.Susie: Why do Jews do this to themselves? Why do they find terrible places and go live there? "Hey here's a piece of the desert, surrounded by people who hate us! Where do I sign?"
- Midge is incredulous that Susie doesn't know how to swim.Midge: Are you kidding? You grew up in the Rockaways! Your house was on stilts! How do you not know how to swim?Susie: 'Cause my drunken whore of a mother never taught me. Okay?Midge: What if you fell in the water?
- Midge subsequently decides to teach Susie how to swim.
- Abe and his activist friends are conversing at the kitchen table in Moishe and Shirley's house over the paper they're using. The discussion is interrupted when Shirley pulls Abe aside to the kitchen to dress him down about having uninvited guests over. Abe claims that he got permission from Moishe. Shirley doesn't believe him, so she summons Moishe and gets him to confirm that no, Abe didn't get permission from him at all. Cut to Abe and co. trying to continue their work on the subway.
- Abe and Rose have been driven to the end of their rope by Moishe and Shirley. So Rose decides it's time to leave, and hustles Abe into a cab. Cue card that says "24 HOURS LATER", and they're at the hotel in Miami where Midge is staying. How does Midge find out they're here? Because she decides to use the staircase into the lobby to make a dramatic entrance (as she's observed) to show off. Then she walks past them, stops, and does a double take.
- As Joel and Archie are working on setting up the club, Joel mentions that there's a rumbling noise coming from the walls that's either from "rusty pipes or a golem". Later, when the rumbling sound happens again:Archie: Golem?Joel: That's him.Archie: So, when the exorcism is done, how long until you're gonna open the place?
- The episode opens with Midge having fallen asleep on a lounge chair by the pool while "Good Morning" from Singin' in the Rain plays. As she wakes up, a group of chorus dancers are practicing synchronized choreography in the pool, until Midge nonchalantly bull's-eyes the girl on top of a complicated pyramid right in the face with a beachball, and knocks her off into the water.
- Susie's in New York having to deal with getting Sophie into the lead role on Miss Julie. When she's told that they've lost their booking at the theatre, Susie calls on her new mob enforcer friends from the last season to use their union connections to grease the wheels.
Susie: You ever worry people might not be so scared of you if they saw you drinking a liquidated tootoo?
- Before this, Susie approaches a bookie in the Stage Deli and tries to get some guidance on how to place a bet on the Yankees. The guy is drinking a cherry milkshake.
- Susie is by the pool when the page comes out with a phone saying "Phone call for Susie Myerson!" He gives the phone to Susie, who compliments and tips him for remembering her face.
- When bringing her parents to see her perform standup, Midge has to grab Rose and drag her away from ordering a drink at the bar.
Susie Myerson: Susie Myerson here.Milken Prince: How are you?Susie Myerson: I'm fine.Milken Prince: And Florida?Susie Myerson: Florida's fine.Susie Myerson: What?Milken Prince: Right now, backstage. Loud, violent, animalistic sex.Susie Myerson: That's impossible, they hate each other.[Milken turns the receiver away from his ear, so that Susie can get a taste of the VERY LOUD moans and screams of pleasure that Sophie is making]Milken Prince: Does that sound like they hate each other?Susie Myerson: [now looking disgusted] Kinda, yeah. [Milken turns the receiver away again, so she can hear a little more of the carnal noises] You sure that's not their dogs?Milken Prince: I know. 2:00 pm this afternoon, I walked into the theatre, welcomed everyone to the first day of tech, and bam, off they went!Susie Myerson: Wait, they've been at it since 2:00?Milken Prince: Yes. [turns the receiver away. Susie listens for a few more seconds to Sophie's screams]Susie Myerson: Jesus Christ, that is disturbing...Milken Prince: Flower Drum Song has complained. Bye Bye Birdie called Equity! There will be a hefty fine! Any suggestions?Susie Myerson: Well they gotta finish eventually! You just wait it out! The woman hasn't had anything but Jello for a month! How long can she last? [Milken gives her a little more taste of the noise] Eugh! Stop doing that!Milken Prince: Enjoy Florida. [hangs up][Susie returns to Abe and Rose's table]Susie Myerson: The stars of my Broadway show are hate-fucking. So! Who wants another drink?Rose Weissman: [who has four martini glasses in front of her] Oh! Oh me! I do!
- After Midge leaves to finish getting ready, Susie sits down with Abe and Rose. Abe insists that Susie give him a preview of Midge's act for him so he doesn't have any surprises and knows when to cover his ears or "cough strategically."
- Susie is dragged away from the table when the maitre'd comes by to tell her she's got a call. It's the director of the Miss Julie play up in New York:
- Rose's drunk dancing when Shy begins singing.
- Shirley Maisel wakes Midge up telling her that a man (Susie) was cussing at her for Midge to get her "ass on the subway" and Shirley even complains that Susie mistook her for a man. And upon finding out the caller's name:
- What kind of boy's name is "Susie"?
- While Susie's been away, it turns out that Jackie, whilst subletting Susie's apartment, is now sub-subletting the place to Chester (the "criss-cross, criss-cross" squatter from Steiner).
- Abe has been going over the Weissman finances, and as he and Rose explain, he needs to be dead by 1965.
- Midge does some recording for radio commercials. With some of the recordings, they get a check. But on others, they get paid in free lifetime supplies of the product being promoted.
Midge: "Look at that! I want it!"Director: Sounds good. Next line.Midge: "It's so big, Daddy! I wanna lick it!" Wait. Is this pornography?Director: It's not pornography.Susie: Sounds like pornography.Director: It's not pornography! From the last line?Midge: "It's so big, Daddy! I wanna lick it!" This is pornography!Susie: Definitely pornography.Director: No! No, look, she's a kid out with her dad. He's buying her an ice cream bar.Susie: Yeah at a cathouse.Director: Not at a cathouse.Midge: This is pornography!
- The first one is a commercial for ice cream. Midge has a hard time reading her lines because they read like pornography.
Producer: Thanks, Susie.Susie: All I need is the check.Producer: The check? I thought you understood how the compensation was going to work.[cuts to Susie and Midge each having to carry a large box of tampons out of the building to a cab]
- The second one is for Pursette's, a tampon brand.
- In the cab, Susie contemplates selling the tampons secondhand on the street.
Susie: Thanks, Thomason. All we need is the check and we're on our way.[cuts to Susie and Midge each carrying a very heavy crate of Karo syrup out to the cab]Susie: I think mine's leaking.
- This happens again when Midge advertises Karo syrup:
- This time, they just abandon the syrup crates with Dickie.
- When reading lines for a funeral home commercial, Midge has a hard time not corpsing.
- At Astrid's bris for her and Noah's son, she has a hard time keeping her husband's CIA job a secret.
- Midge realizes Phylis may not be the best person to work for...Abe: She's come out against Nixon.Midge: Good, we don't like Nixon.Abe: She says it's because she thinks he's too left-wing.Midge: That doesn't sound real.
- To repeat: Someone in 1959 thinks Richard Nixon is too liberal.
- When it comes time to promote Phylis Schafely for a live spot on the radio, Midge, following Abe's advice, refuses to debase herself by advocating for a racist and sexist anti-semetic who uses too much hairspray. With Midge refusing to budge, Susie steps in and reads Midge's lines...and only makes it a few pages before she realizes Midge is right and she also quits.Johnny: "America, the land of promise. Honey, do you ever think about the kind of world you want our kids to inherit?"[pause for what's supposed to be Midge's lines. Midge folds her arms and glowers at Dickie in the control room]Dickie: Talk goddamnit![Susie sighs and goes into the booth to pick up the headset]Susie: Uh, "It's all I can think about when I look into their sweet innocent faces and their big blue eyes."Johnny: "But there are so many forces working to usurp us."Susie: "I know, dear. Like foreigners, and communists who don't even think we should fly the American flag outside our little house."Johnny: "There's nothing wrong with taking pride in the stars and stripes. Here, lean in, honey!"Susie: "Oh, I love it when you rub my nose."Johnny: "And there's nothing wrong with taking pride in our country's might."Susie: "I was just explaining to little Timmy this morning that the atomic bomb [flips page] is a marvelous gift that was given to our country by God-" [tears off headset] Holy fuck, this woman's a monster!Midge: That's what I was saying!Director: What the hell is going on here?Susie: Right? Plus the segues are terrible.Dickie: Irene![Irene, Dickie's assistant, has to run in and take Susie's place]Johnny: "Can you also tell the children that we can't let certain well-financed minorities determine America's future?"Irene: [flips frantically in the script] Where are we?Susie: [regarding Johnny's line] What the fuck!Midge: We really have to start reading these contracts.Susie: I did! It said nothing about this woman being Satan!Irene: "Yes, I did, dear. I told them to brush their teeth and not let certain well-financed minorities, um, have futures." Something like that. "America!" Yay!Johnny: I'm sorry. Where are we?Dickie: Aaaaaaaaaand we're out![The shell-shocked Midge and Susie exit the booth]Susie: So! Does this pay cash or check or flags?Irene: [in the booth] This woman's a monster!
- While Susie is with Jackie and Chester in her apartment, she gets a visit from her bookie who needs to collect $40. Susie supplies $30, but needs another $10 to cover the rest. Jackie pitches in $7, which is all he has as Chester owes him $3. Chester only has $2 on him at the moment, and the guy at the newsstand owes him $1. Which he quickly grabs from the guy as he passes by. The bookie has some snarky but rather sage advice:Bookie: Hey, remember that talk we had about not being friends?Susie: Yeah.Bookie: Well if you were my friend, I would tell you that if you need a bucket brigade to cobble up scratch, it might be time to slow down the gambling a little. But you're not my friend.
- Midge and Susie's facial reactions and side remarks as Sophie's production of Miss Julie begins to fall apart.
Midge: Is she supposed to be so quiet?Susie: No. You're supposed to be able to hear it.Sophie: [onstage, still softly] Come dance with me, Jean.Gavin: I promised to dance with Christine this time.Sophie: Christine is someone else, Gavin.Midge: Did she say "Gavin"?Susie: Shit! Shit!
- The first sign of trouble is when she's late for her cue.
- When she knocks over a table, she's so caught with stage fright that she speaks in a softer voice that's barely audible to the orchestra section.
Sophie: SHE CAN GET SOMEBODY ELSE, CAN SHE, CHRISTINE! WILL YOU LET ME BORROW JEAN FROM YOU? HUH?Moira: That isn't for me to say, Miss Julie!Gavin: Frankly speaking, is it wise for Miss Julie to dance twice with the same partner? People will start to talk!Sophie: What is that? What kind of TALK? What do you mean? [laughter from the audience; a mortified Midge and Susie look at each other]Susie: They sound like my grandparents!Gavin: ...It doesn't look well to prefer one servant to all the rest!Sophie: Preferred? What ideas! I am surprised! I, the mistress of the house!Midge: [to Susie] It's fine, she's just projecting for the back row.Susie: Where, Yankee Stadium?
- The director has to encourage Sophie to be a bit louder. Which just means she overprojects.
Sophie: Give me something to drink.Gavin: We have nothing but beer.Sophie: Beer? [Aside Glance] I didn't know you were serving breakfast. [The audience breaks out in more uncomfortable laughter. Susie buries her face in her hands while Midge stares ahead, with Bile Fascination]Susie: I can't watch, I can't watch...Midge: I can't not.
- Susie is reduced to saying "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" as Sophie's improvisations begin to blur the lines between fiction and reality.
- The director is shown after this particular moment popping pills off to the side.
- Another bizarre improvisation later, we see Susie staring at the playbill to distract herself, and Midge continuing to stare with slack-jawed disbelief at the trainwreck.
- Sophie's gradual breakdown is just a sight to behold. The further the play progresses, the more and more Sophie just leans into the character, blurring the lines between Julie and "Sophie from Queens," eventually throwing out the script entirely and just doing her routine. While Gavin is reduced to sitting at a chair, face firmly buried in one hand, and so stunned by this trainwreck he doesn't even stand up for the curtain call. Just to sell it is her dance to the applause.
"A Jewish Girl Walks Into the Apollo..."
- When Midge takes the stage at the Apollo the first reaction is just a pained "Oh NO!" from someone in the crowd.