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The Ending Of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 4 Explained

Contains spoilers for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" Season 4 finale, "How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?"

The 1950s housewife-turned-comedian Mrs. Maisel isn't feeling so marvelous at the start of Season 4. After riding high as the opening act for musician Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain), she is dumped because her act has too many risqué jokes. Stubborn as always and afraid of feeling that pain again, she vows to only take gigs that let her say whatever she wants. In doing so, it means she is done with being just an opening act.

And so, Season 4 of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" follows Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) through a whirlwind as she tries to rebuild her old lifestyle — namely the nice apartment on the Upper West Side — and her career. She sets her sights on an illegal strip club, turning it into a high-production, illegal strip club, but, in placing her focus on one location, she ends up rejecting job after job at any other venue. Midge's dodgy decision gets her nowhere, and the season finale, "How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?" makes it clear that something needs to change for her to get that success she so desperately wants.

Mrs. Maisel's stubbornness will be her undoing — if she lets it

After drawing a new clientele (read: women who like fruity drinks with little umbrellas) to the strip club with her comedy, Midge has found herself in a comfortable spot. The only problem is that the club is suddenly raided and left in limbo while she's still in debt with her former father-in-law (Kevin Pollak), her dry cleaner, and her grocer.

In comes her longtime friend and ally, Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby), with a seemingly perfect solution in the form of a great gig. But it's an opening act, so Midge refuses it. Well, only after she and Lenny act on the tension that's been slowly building between them and sleep together. In a searing final scene, Lenny rebukes her for turning down the job, essentially telling her that she can't be so picky if she wants success, the kind of success that got him to Carnegie Hall. Their fight ends with Midge leaving the famed venue and stumbling onto the street amidst a blizzard, capping off a fictional sequence rooted in historical precedent. For anyone who's curious, the real Lenny Bruce did indeed do a midnight Carnegie Hall show as a blizzard raged outside, improvising in front of a packed house in 1961.

This scene between Midge and Lenny highlights the best of their relationship: He forces her to reconsider her "plan" and reminds her to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. This shared desire for success is what brought them together, after all. "What we love about the Lenny-Midge relationship ... is that he appreciated her for her talent — for her guts," co-creator Amy Sherman-Palladino told Vanity Fair in December 2019. "He saw something in her — that she was going to try to strike out in a way that he's trying to strike out." Midge, though, has been so hurt by her experience with Shy Baldwin that's she's been afraid to keep going.

Midge only has one season left to go forward

The last scene before the credits roll hints at Mrs. Maisel's future. Dazed and alone, Midge stumbles out into the blizzard and sees the words "Go Forward" on a billboard, then blinks and sees it properly: "The Gordon Ford Show." It's the same talk show where comedian Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch) restarted her career with and, just a few episodes earlier, Susie (Alex Borstein) tried to secure a spot in the line-up for Midge. With Season 5 confirmed as the final season, this scene hints that Midge will take Lenny's advice and that getting on Gordon Ford's show will be her next step. She only has one more season to get her own Carnegie Hall moment, so she'd better act fast.

At the start of Season 4, Midge fumes over her split with Shy Baldwin. As Amy Sherman-Palladino told Deadline, "Anger is a great motivator, much better than happiness or satisfaction." Now, it seems there will be another shift in Midge's motivation. It remains to be seen if Lenny's disappointment will feed into that, but he's bound to be present next season in some capacity. The real Bruce dated a fellow comedian in the '60s: Lotus Weinstock, a Jewish mother, just like Midge (via The Los Angeles Times).

Originally, Lenny was only meant to be in the pilot, but Luke Kirby's charm and chemistry with Rachel Brosnahan have kept him around. However, that little bag of drugs that Midge finds in his bathroom is a hint at what comes next for the infamous comic, who died in 1966 from an overdose. Unless the next season skips ahead several years, we probably won't see his death in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" — we'll only feel the shadow of it.

Trouble is brewing for several characters in Season 5

"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" Season 4 finale leaves plenty of material for the next season, which Amazon has confirmed will be the last. Practically every character has some trouble brewing in their future: Midge's mother, Rose (Marin Hinkle), has been glowing from her new job as a matchmaker but has found herself at odds with Manhattan's established circle of matchmakers. Now, they're at war. What, exactly, a war between matchmakers looks like is something we'll have to find out in Season 5.

Meanwhile, Susie has spent the season building up her management business. She's got two promising new clients but has been leaning heavily on her mobster friends for help, who expect a cut in return. We're bound to see that tension break next season, as their kindness almost certainly doesn't come without strings attached. Finally, Joel's dad (Kevin Pollak) survives his heart attack and gives his blessing to Joel (Michael Zegen) and Mei (Stephanie Hsu). However, Joel still needs to tell his mother (Caroline Aaron) about their relationship and pregnancy, so next season will likely explore how well Joel and Mei can actually build a life together.

For most of the characters, things have been going well and their dreams are in reach, but Season 5 is poised to threaten all of it. No matter what happens, it'll at least be a laugh.