The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 7, “A House Full of Extremely Lame Horses,” features surprisingly emotional moments. These quieter, character-driven stories should have been the focus of the series’ final season all along. Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) is at another turning point when it comes to her family particularly. The dysfunctional family dynamics are finally being delved into on a deeper level.
“No one who’s achieved anything is ever happy” is such a fascinating ethos that this show could explore. While this episode certainly sets this up, there’s little payoff. This could be an important throughline that ties all of these stories together. This is an important moment for Abe (Tony Schalhoub) to reflect on his rampant cynicism and how it’s impacted his own view of the world as well as his family.
Abe’s relationship with Ethan and Esther is put front and center and it’s frankly fascinating. The contrast between his role as a parent and his role as a grandfather is an important one to fully flesh out Abe’s character. This is a very realistic dynamic that plays out in real life all the time. Watching Abe confront his outdated and unhelpful attitudes toward child development is a plausible explanation for this character’s parenting choices.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 5 Episode 7, “A House Full of Extremely Lame Horses,” features a hint of a story that feels so crucial. Rose (Marin Hinkle) has been her own brand of chaos from the beginning. While this is mentioned and implied rather than discussed outright, it’s clear that this character’s story is coming to an end. In a way, Midge’s choice to keep up appearances is a fitting tribute to the woman who always prioritized appearances above all else. Hopefully, this comfort will be enough in her final chapter.
The time jumping is starting to feel more than a little bit distracting. While it’s important to set up where everyone eventually ends up, the execution is falling flat. The only stories from the future/present day that feels worth unpacking are those of Esther and Ethan. There have been teases of Esther and Ethan’s stories and how their lives have been impacted by their mother for better and worse. It’s too bad that the series doesn’t lean into these potential storylines.
It’s unfortunate that the series feels the need to throw new comic James under the bus with the insistence that it’s not his turn yet. One wonders why the show would even bother spending time on this character if the ultimate conclusion is that he serves no other purpose other than to further Midge’s story. If the Maisel television universe is to continue, this character does make a natural choice. It’s unfortunate that the series also doesn’t expand this character as he deserves.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel continues to be visually fun and dynamic, with hints of compelling stories. It’s disappointing that as the series prepares for its final curtain, stories and character development are still being left on the table. With the final curtain call around the corner, decisions need to be made quickly. This bittersweet tone is sure to carry through to the end of the series.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel streams Fridays on Prime Video.