*SPOILER ALERT: if you are one of the two people left who haven’t watched this show, and you care about spoilers, stop reading now!*
I might be the third to last person to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but I am all. caught. up. now.
I am also breathless over “Comedy or Cabbage.” Still.
I keep coming back to the last 17 minutes of that episode, and how just…perfect it is, from the angsty Cuban rock song and the hot lights in the club, right down to the camera work and blocking as Midge walks Lenny back to his hotel room. He is always angled towards her, and the way he turns, almost dancing, to keep his body facing hers reads like a deep crush, the kind you’re almost afraid to admit to yourself.
I mean, the sequence at the club is everything–I get little shivers when Lenny loops Midge’s hand around his neck and holds her forearm. It’s so earnest and tender. And panty melting (props to Luke Kirby, who smolders like a six-hour campfire on an August night)–but that walk and the tension so thick you could make a sandwich from it outside shiny-number-thirteen-with-the-missing-one are subtler, which I seriously dig.
The other underrated moment for me happens on the set of Miami After Dark, when Lenny goes for the easy joke, leaning back to get Midge’s attention while flanked by matching blondes, and she responds by waving a cruller. His laughter there feels so authentic, and like he really didn’t expect it, because she can–and does–surprise him, which only makes him love her more.
I get super invested in my favorite characters, to the point where I yell at them on-screen, cry, gasp and clutch throw pillows. When Lenny says, “Someday? Before I’m dead,” my heart made a little squeak of grief that physically whooshed out of me.
The almost imperceptible shift in expression from a caricature of rejection to abject misery as Midge walks away and the shot tightens on him? Oof.
Mutual pining is one of my favorite tropes. I love when two characters just long for one another and the longing stretches to the breaking point. Like, I LOVE it. Usually, I’m in it for the payoff, but on this one? I’m with the creators, who’ve been pretty vocal that this pair won’t cross any lines. That said, I’m a thousand percent here for more unrequited, on-screen chemistry.
Also, Mr. Kirby, if you’re reading this, you would make an excellent Adrian Tempest. Just saying.