If you watched the season 3 finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you know that there’s one major question: where do the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Shy go from here? A most cherished friendship was decimated in one well-meaning but misguided stand-up act. Can they get over this unexpected rift? Or is this truly the end of a very beautiful relationship? Let’s talk about it.
The elephant in the room is that Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) may have unintentionally outed her friend/one of the biggest performers in the world, Shy Baldwin (LeRoy McClain). With the pressures of having to follow one of the most famous comics of all time, Moms Mabley (Wanda Sykes), Midge had to quickly figure out what was going to make her harsh critics howl with laughter. A few crass jokes, including a mention of “Judy Garland shoes” in reference to Shy, was just one of several gay stereotypes she used without ever saying the word “gay.” Turns out that was all Mrs. Maisel needed to say in a public forum to accidentally commit career suicide.
Perception is key in this situation. To the outside world, a Caucasian, Jewish, up-and-coming female comedian nailed her material in a venue that has always been infamous for being the toughest crowd to please. The Apollo Theater in New York has always had a predominantly black audience with high expectations for talent. However, to the small, internal world of Shy Baldwin, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s material was perceived as drawing attention to what his inner circle knows to be true, he is gay.
Being a closeted, gay, black man during the times where all-male ‘50s heartthrobs were assumed to be heterosexual was difficult enough. Midge accidentally discovering his secret months before seemed threatening, but proved that she was trustworthy and developed a pure friendship. I truly believe the intention behind Midge going on stage and taking jabs at Shy was her sharing about her friend because she thought it was funny. What she failed to understand was that in this particular case, her friend had an image to uphold and the picture she painted of him could destroy his whole career. In one act, she turned from confidant to a liability and he had no choice but to let her go. So, where do they go from here?
Now that she’s off the biggest tour of her life, it’s safe to say the next step in the entertainment game is that she’ll be blackballed. Shy’s manager, Reggie (Sterling K. Brown), will make sure that she never works in the business again. Granted, Reggie was the person that originally told Midge to tell the audience about Shy in her introduction of him, but she took his words a little too literally. The only one that can save her career at this point is an understanding Shy or a more famous performer that’s not afraid to become overly involved with her – professionally speaking.
Time will tell what the future holds for the two dynamic characters, but one thing is for sure, together they were unstoppable in conquering the love and adoration of audiences around the world. There could be fallout from Mrs. Maisel fans in the show for not having her on tour with Shy. I cannot wait to see where Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino take this storyline in the upcoming season on Amazon.
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