The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 6, “The Testi-Roastial,” is among the best episodes of the series’ final season. While imperfect, the episode highlights what has made this series so enjoyable from the beginning. Unfortunately, the flaws that have been evident all season are crystal clear on this episode. It is glaringly obvious what has not been working on this season in particular.
Susie (Alex Borstein) is now the big star, which feels appropriate. While Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) may be the “talent,” Susie is the Manager of all managers. For all of her flaws, there would be no Marvelous Mrs. Maisel without Susie’s herculean efforts. Susie is the definition of hustle. Of course, Susie has resulted to less-than-savoury methods to remain at the top of her game, but she has remained there nonetheless.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that there’s been enough time for Susie to truly reckon with the consequences of her actions. There have been hints that this was coming. The time jump does this story no favours. It seems as though Midge has had a complete change of heart and forgiven Susie for essentially leading to Joel’s (Michael Zegen) arrest and imprisonment. While in the show, Midge has had years to process this, it seems as though it’s only been moments.
The roast itself is a sweet and hilarious way to pay tribute to Susie’s accomplishments. For all the roasting she has done over her career, it’s nice to see that she’s able to take it as much as she’s able to dish it out. Her discomfort is fitting for a roast, where no one says anything that isn’t the cringiest thing ever said. This is exactly where Susie deserves to be after years of causing absolute chaos.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 6, “The Testi-Roastial,” is also a reflection on all that could have been. Again, it makes sense that the series would try to address the fallout of Susie and Midge’s friendship and professional break-up. There’s also a note of bittersweetness as the characters are allowed to process the fact that years of love and friendship are never to be. This friendship has always been the heart of this story.
Unfortunately, the random name dropping has officially gotten out of hand. This is the fastest way to pull viewers out of the story, to constantly drop references to real-life people. Even though this might technically further Susie as a character, it completely removes viewers from the story. The blurring of the lines between fiction and reality is too much for this story to handle.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is showing signs of beginning to tie up loose ends. This episode proves that the powers that be always knew what makes this series so endearing. For all of its flaws, magic happens every time the series focuses on Midge and Susie. This is one of the great TV friendships. It’s never wrong to give these two the spotlight.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel streams Fridays on Prime Video.