How The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel finally gives its title an origin story
Warning: This article contains spoilers about the series finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, "Four Minutes."
Midge is simply marvelous!
On the series finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) was finally bestowed with her titular moniker. After going rogue with a four-minute set on The Gordon Ford Show, she is welcomed to the couch where Gordon (Reid Scott) introduces her to the crowd, saying, "I present the magical, magnificent, marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who had always envisioned Midge's big break coming via a Tonight Show-esque appearance, tells EW that she hit on this origin story for the show's title as far back as season 2.
"I remember in the room in the first or second season, we said, 'Oh, and he should call her the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.' And then we thought, 'Oh, no, no, no, no.' The last moment should be the Johnny Carson character calling her 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.' We knew early on to stay away from the word 'marvelous.' I think Abe (Tony Shalhoub) said it in some episode, but we stayed away from that word knowing that he was the one that was going to dub her."
It was a moment years in the making and since it came so near the end, it was also an emotional time for the cast. "We couldn't get through that line without crying," says Brosnahan. "I couldn't hear Reid say it without crying. So I'd asked him to avoid or mumble saying it until it was time. That was actually the very last shot that we shot. The very last shot of the entire series was me on the couch and him saying, 'I present to you the magical, marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
Philippe Antonello/Prime Video Gordon Ford (Reid Scott) at his desk on 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'
The moment isn't entirely celebratory, however. It also comes with Gordon informing Midge under his breath that she's fired. Do we detect a touch of malice in that whisper? Retaliation for Midge going over his head?
"We played around with it a bit," reveals Scott. "The first time I delivered the line, I was about to burst into tears because it was one of the last moments that we shot. There was so much emotion on that last day. And Amy Sherman-Palladino came over to me and she's like, 'Uh, yeah, Gordon doesn't cry.' But it was so hard to look at Rachel. We got to be such good friends. But there was a little bit of ambiguity in it. That was very much his sense of humor; he's going to deliver something a little biting and a little sarcastic. But there's also some real emotion there."
Scott also sees it as a moment of encouragement to Midge. "He's also letting her know that, 'Under no circumstances are you going to stay where you are. You were bound for bigger things, and I'm not going to let you just dip a toe and see how it goes.' It's his way of pushing her. Once he has this respect for her, he is like, 'Oh my God, now you got to go. You've got to show the world what I've just seen."
For Brosnahan, ending the series in Midge's moment of triumph with the entire crew on set and most of the cast observing from their place in Gordon Ford's studio audience, was overwhelming.
"Even now, I'm choking up," Brosnahan says, remembering the day. "It felt like a completely full circle, magical moment to have started this journey doing Midge's first drunken — I don't know if you can even call it stand-up — mental breakdown in a tiny audition room for only the casting director in the room. Then with our crew of hundreds of people and our entire Maisel family in the audience, to make it all the way to that couch was a cathartic moment."
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