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S02.E10: All Alone

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I hope Midge isn’t pregnant either. And I don’t think she will be unless the point of the show is how a housewife had a brief shining moment but was overtaken by an unexpected pregnancy, thus devoting herself to her family. 

As for Abe, I think he would have a lot of trouble suing Bell Labs. You just know they would have very strong language about works for hire. Does anyone else find the whole Abe as activist thing so bizarre that it seems to have been conjured out of thin air? 

I cant even make his education and little things like World War Two fit the character timeline and profile. Just weird. 

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11 hours ago, AuntieMame said:

I hope Midge isn’t pregnant either. And I don’t think she will be unless the point of the show is how a housewife had a brief shining moment but was overtaken by an unexpected pregnancy, thus devoting herself to her family. 

As for Abe, I think he would have a lot of trouble suing Bell Labs. You just know they would have very strong language about works for hire. Does anyone else find the whole Abe as activist thing so bizarre that it seems to have been conjured out of thin air? 

I cant even make his education and little things like World War Two fit the character timeline and profile. Just weird. 

No idea where they're going with Abe, but Bell Labs might have strong incentives to not want any of their internal workings coming to light.  I'm also puzzled by his activism, but it could be interesting.  I will not, however, find a Midge pregnancy very interesting.  Yet I feel they are reconnecting her with Joel for a reason, whatever it might be.

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On 1/13/2019 at 10:01 PM, AuntieMame said:

I hope Midge isn’t pregnant either. And I don’t think she will be unless the point of the show is how a housewife had a brief shining moment but was overtaken by an unexpected pregnancy, thus devoting herself to her family. 

There are lots of ways they could spin a pregnancy story; having her deliver a full term baby is not the only possible outcome. They could explore getting an abortion in the early 60s--both in the U.S. and in Europe. She could have a miscarriage. She could don a fat suit to make more fun of Sophie (and conceal the pregnancy). Etc., etc.

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So much to think about...and we tried to spread it out as long as we could, but here we are with (almost) a year to wait!

Were we to assume Abe was (shock!) a Communist? I wouldn't mess with Bell Labs if I were he. (Of course, I'm watching the "Manhattan" series--featuring our own Mrs. Maisel--so I have a bias about scientists and how cutthroat that whole business of discovery can be.)

My impression was that Sophie wants to be a "serious" actress and somehow, Susie can fight for her, to get her those roles because the other guy refused to. I just don't see how Susie can put energy into Sophie when she's on the road with Midge. Susie needs a staff!

The moment I saw Shy, I thought Johnny Mathis. But he could be a combo of both Mathis and Cole.

I too liked the apartment reveal and he's ridiculous if he gives that up. Maybe Rose could intervene and teach Art History/Home Economics.

I'm in the please-don't-be-pregnant corner. Not at all interesting to me. Unless it's meant to kill her standup career. And that makes NO sense.

As a child of the 60s (and Air Force brat), my father left us for months at a time (and one year for Vietnam). It wasn't optimum but it wasn't unheard of. It would be weird to show Midge as a doting parent--it just wasn't done. Loved the baby in a drawer. Ethan and Esther will have their own problems down the line and perhaps we'll see them someday in group therapy with Sally and Bobby Draper.

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In 1959, Lenny Bruce got divorced, so that song was very personal. And if we’re going to do one year per season, we’ll have Lenny around for a while since he died in 1966.

The fact is, we don’t know what Benjamin will think of Midge’s tour. Does he support her completely? Does he expect her to be a doctor's wife who dabbles in standup locally only? Stay tuned!

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So I hadn't connected the dots until I read this forum but I think they are going to have Midge pregnant next season or at least think she is pregnant.  When Joel proposed he asked if she was surprised and she said no because she knew it would happen and then she looked down and kind-of patted her belly.  I watched that scene again because I was wondering if they were really saying the marriage happened because she was pregnant with Ethan and not that they were totally in love.  With Imogene pregnant and them talking about how they always have babies together and Midge getting kicked off stage for talking about pregnancy it does seem that the possibility is high.  Also if Joel and Midge married because she was pregnant there would be a parallel with her almost marrying for love this time.  I guess we will find out in a years time!

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2 hours ago, mtnrunner said:

So I hadn't connected the dots until I read this forum but I think they are going to have Midge pregnant next season or at least think she is pregnant.  When Joel proposed he asked if she was surprised and she said no because she knew it would happen and then she looked down and kind-of patted her belly.  I watched that scene again because I was wondering if they were really saying the marriage happened because she was pregnant with Ethan and not that they were totally in love.  With Imogene pregnant and them talking about how they always have babies together and Midge getting kicked off stage for talking about pregnancy it does seem that the possibility is high.  Also if Joel and Midge married because she was pregnant there would be a parallel with her almost marrying for love this time.  I guess we will find out in a years time!

Not sure if "parallel" is the best descriptor (but I can't think of another/better) but I have observed that many people have patterns of relationships that they repeat, so I could see her gravitating back to Joel if she is pregnant again--not that I necessarily *want* to see that. 

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On 1/17/2019 at 1:35 PM, mtnrunner said:

So I hadn't connected the dots until I read this forum but I think they are going to have Midge pregnant next season or at least think she is pregnant.  When Joel proposed he asked if she was surprised and she said no because she knew it would happen and then she looked down and kind-of patted her belly.  I watched that scene again because I was wondering if they were really saying the marriage happened because she was pregnant with Ethan and not that they were totally in love.  With Imogene pregnant and them talking about how they always have babies together and Midge getting kicked off stage for talking about pregnancy it does seem that the possibility is high.  Also if Joel and Midge married because she was pregnant there would be a parallel with her almost marrying for love this time.  I guess we will find out in a years time!

I don’t know about that. When we first met Midge it was the flashback to her wedding speech where she refers to not having eaten for three weeks to fit into her very form fitting dress. Time will tell, I guess. 

I think we all err when trying to read this show like real life. It is very much, in a way, fantasy. Things happen and look in ways that they just don’t in real life. Trying to project our....I don’t know what...sensibilities, experiences onto this show is overthinking. This is just me, but I don’t want it to delve into social justice issues, unwanted pregnancies, etc. The show has been my happy spot, my escape from all the social justice/unwanted pregnancies of the real world. As Suzie once described Midge, I want the show to remain a dollop of whipped cream come to life. 

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Katrina Lenk's deadpan delivery was amazing. It got a genuine laugh out of me (which is rare for this show). I love that they've decided she's a real psychic. It makes me want to go back to her past episodes and see what she predicted. But it did feel weird that Rose had deluded herself so much to believe there was a wedding instead of getting worked up that it seems like her stand up will derail the relationship. But this is a cartoon now so, in the words of the psychic, whatever.

More of the background black characters (see, we're not racist!) who are never part of the main or even supporting cast. This is really not a good look.

I know it was supposed to be a whimsical, charming grand gesture. BUT, threatening to harm yourself unless someone does what you want is textbook abuser behavior. Also, just wildly selfish. What is one of those people was driving to the hospital? What if he'd just had a long, hard day at work and wanted to get home?

Abe talking over the marriage with Benjamin was hilarious. I think deadpan/serious/straight man characters work better for me on this show than shtick. Maybe they just feel more natural and reactive and less presentational and broad.

Why does Miriam not want to wear champagne? If there was any time that people cared about the color of your wedding dress it was this era. She should know the rules. Why is she bristling? And, on the other hand, she's a character who is supposed to not care about the rules. So why does she want to conform. If you're so uninhibited, it's a little late to pretend to be a virginal blushing bride. Especially with two children.

Susie shouldn't need Jackie to tell her to not be a child but whatever, if it gets us through this plotline. 

Joel throwing a tantrum over Ben meeting Ethan? Real healthy behavior.

WHO is stopping you from living your life, Joel? You are sleeping around SO much. Your father paid you off to stop working. Stop it with the pity party.

Um... what? Now we're confirming that Abe was some sort of protester/activist? And again, he's volatile enough to tell off the Bell Labs guys? This along with Joel suddenly remembering his love of this random club. THIS IS TERRIBLE WRITING. First of all, everything doesn't have to be established through backstory. But secondly, you definitely shouldn't be introducing new pieces of undisclosed backstory to justify new plot developments and character behaviors. 

I'm sorry but with Miriam so thin and Imogen so baby-faced, it's impossible to take them seriously as wives and mothers. It feels like play-acting. Specifically like a high school/college play. 

I don't blame Miriam for being confused. At least on this show, sometimes she can say whatever she wants, sometimes she's arrested for obscenity, and sometimes the club owner shuts her down. Who knows where the line is? The writers should but I can't trust them to be consistent.

LOL, WHAT? Sophie wants Susie to be her manager? On the one hand, that's completely ridiculous. But supposing I entertain this crazy notion, it would at least make Susie's abrasive approach make sense if she was backed up by the power and influence of someone like Sophie instead of blustering and raving from the bottom of the food chain.

One moment in the bathroom and a five minute set and Shy wants her to be the tour opener. LOL, okay. I get that she loves him and this is a huge opportunity. But her immediate yes... Without thinking about childcare or her new fiance or anyone else. Midge really is strangely unlikeable in what should be a fluffy show. And after seeing Susie, her immediate thought was shopping spree? I mean, my God. The Gilmore Girls characters were privileged but never this unlikeable. Midge is like... Carrie Bradshaw at her worst. 

Wait, Columbia owns their apartment? How? Why? What?

Andrew Keenan-Bolger! Ted Sperling! This is fun. Why can't this just be a nice show with Broadway talent? 

SHE WENT TO SEE JOEL!?! First of all, she's just deciding for herself that it's either all alone or Jello molds. Second of all, selfish. There's no reason for her to run to Joel. If she's convinced she'd have to be alone, she could at least go to Ben and make their last night together goodbye. She's just excusing cheating on her significant other on the flimsiest grounds. WHY IS SHE SO TERRIBLE? I could take this BS on Nashville or Empire but not on this show that thinks Midge is perfect. 

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These and other moments are showing us the transformation of Miriam Maisel into "Mrs. Maisel".

Disagree. Part of my issue is that I think she would have made that same quick decision over the phone in season 1 too. 

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We would never, ever question a man for leaving his children for 6 months to go tour. The kids have a father and two sets of grandparents. That’s sort of the point of the show - a woman who is destined for more running up against the stereotypes of 1950s Jewish society (and well, American sexism). Apparently, we still expect women to conquer the world and tuck the kids in to bed every night. It’s not fair to evaluate her choices in that way... she’s been struggling with this decision for 2 seasons. Being a wife and mother was part of it.

That's not it. It's that the show wants to have it all ways without fully engaging with the question. We're not supposed to engage with her privilege when it comes to childcare. She's rarely taking care of her children but she worries about them when she goes on tour and the show expects us to think of her as a good mom suddenly. If you're going to do shorthand, you have to do a better job. It's one thing to say there are other people to take care of the kids and to not even ask those other people if they want to do so. To assume they have nothing better to do. Especially as everything is now getting a little chaotic (Joel's parents suddenly had problems with their business for no reason this season, Abe is quitting all his jobs and talking to a lawyer, Joel wants to open a club and seems to be an alcoholic). But no, we can't talk about her privilege and her selfishness. We don't even know if she can finally use the money from this tour to finally contribute some money towards childcare. I feel like getting a job in season 1 mattered but in season 2, even as she's working on her comedy career, any efforts to make money seem like hobbies. She doesn't seem to need to work to support herself and her comedy career often operates at a loss. Midge doesn't know she would be leaving the kids with a stable parent. She does know that Joel drinks a lot, sleeps around, and can be volatile when he's self-pitying. He has generally been good about keeping that from the kids but she'll be gone 6 months. It would be different if the second parent was someone more like Benjamin. I think the show was slightly better about this in season 1. I might be imagining it but I could swear there was a brief moment when they hinted that she hadn't wanted kids or at least hadn't thought it out. Maybe it was part of her stand up. That would be engaging with the issue. Instead she's not been shown to be a great mom, but we're supposed to take the show's word for it. It would also be easier to sell a stronger parenting narrative if they didn't enjoy their throwaway jokes about Ethan being such a little weirdo.

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She never gave that boyfriend a thought. He never entered her mind. That's what pulled her up short when her father mentioned him. That's when she learned what she needed to know: when it comes to her career, nothing else matters. Everyone else is an instrument, or an encumbrance. 

Again, I'm not sure I believe this. I'm not sure I believe that Miriam has become a different person since finding that stand up is her passion. I think she's always been like this, from what we've been shown. Selfish. Spoiled. Superior. Shallow. She's won the beauty pageant 8 years in a row (and probably more when she was a teen and an ingenue). She measures herself regularly. She doesn't seem to have that many close personal ties and isn't that considerate of Imogen. She thinks she's better than everyone else and the show tries to confirm that for us by having everyone tell her that she's perfectly. Also, she's totally not racist, they swear. She uses people to her advantage however it's convenient for her. I don't think that has anything to do with stand up. 

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This is just me, but I don’t want it to delve into social justice issues, unwanted pregnancies, etc. 

My issue is that the show is engaging with these issues. But in a very shallow way. It wants credit for engaging but then puts its hands up and tells you to not overthink when you ask for more. You don't get any credit for Miriam's non-bigoted treatment of peripheral gay and non-white characters when we never seriously engage with race and sexual orientation in this universe. Gestures at feminism in her stand up come across as empty when her only activism was that one random Washington Square Park scene and when the show refuses to meaningfully engage with any thorny issues and having her float through life with minimal resistance and little danger. Because Midge is perfect and eventually everyone loves her and she can handle herself even though she can't drive and leaves her luggage unattended and in some ways is surprisingly inept. I'm fine with a fluffy show with gorgeous period costumes. And I'm willing to engage with a proper smart prestige show. But dancing around the issue is not enough. In its way, TMMM is just as scared as the shows and movies of the late 50's/early 60's of engaging with difficult topics. Actually, it might even be more scared because even if it was sloppy and now offensive, at least they stepped up to the plate for a swing and a miss. TMMM just wants credit for being in the ball park.

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10 hours ago, aradia22 said:

I'm sorry but with Miriam so thin and Imogen so baby-faced, it's impossible to take them seriously as wives and mothers. It feels like play-acting. Specifically like a high school/college play. 

I too thought Miriam didn't look like she had born 2 kids, however, my mom and I are of the ethnicity and phenotype that Miriam is supposed to be, and both of us had the experience of being home with two small children when we were wearing ponytails (keeps hair out of the way of sticky little fingers) and having a door-to-door sales person come to the door (my mom in the mid 1950s; I in the early 1980s) who asked each of us, "Is your mother home?" to which each of us replied (25 years apart) "I am the mother!" so I'll give Rachel Brosnahan's tiny waist a pass.

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On 12/31/2018 at 8:15 AM, Baltimore Betty said:

Let's see a show of hands of how disappointed we were in Midge's actions before she left for her tour, instead of going to her boyfriend and having an honest conversation about her career goals and the 6 month tour she runs to her soon to be ex...she never gave that boyfriend a chance.  I got the impression that Dr. BF would have been supportive of her choice.

Yes!!!! 

Why?!!!

Benjamin is way hotter than Joel!!!!!

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On 1/17/2019 at 4:35 PM, mtnrunner said:

So I hadn't connected the dots until I read this forum but I think they are going to have Midge pregnant next season or at least think she is pregnant.  When Joel proposed he asked if she was surprised and she said no because she knew it would happen and then she looked down and kind-of patted her belly.  I watched that scene again because I was wondering if they were really saying the marriage happened because she was pregnant with Ethan and not that they were totally in love.  With Imogene pregnant and them talking about how they always have babies together and Midge getting kicked off stage for talking about pregnancy it does seem that the possibility is high.  Also if Joel and Midge married because she was pregnant there would be a parallel with her almost marrying for love this time.  I guess we will find out in a years time!

If Midge is pregnant it could be Benjamin’s. They’ve been having sex! And she’s still married to Joel. Oh my lord. 

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1 minute ago, Scarlett45 said:

If Midge is pregnant it could be Benjamin’s. They’ve been having sex!

Are we sure?

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37 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Are we sure?

Yup. A few episodes ago they had the scene in front of his apartment where he invited her up, and she was nervous because she only had sex with Joel but she was game. After that there were references to them having sex “going back to his place”. Of course couples used condoms, and women had diaphragms but you know there’s going to be a “who’s the daddy?” Plot if she is pregnant. 

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I am not going to go down the pregnancy speculation path, even though given Pallidino's "ending" for Gilmore Girls (and I suppose beginning), it is one she likes to tread.

Of course, I just now put myself on that path....sigh.

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On 1/25/2019 at 4:38 PM, shapeshifter said:

I too thought Miriam didn't look like she had born 2 kids, however, my mom and I are of the ethnicity and phenotype that Miriam is supposed to be, and both of us had the experience of being home with two small children when we were wearing ponytails (keeps hair out of the way of sticky little fingers) and having a door-to-door sales person come to the door (my mom in the mid 1950s; I in the early 1980s) who asked each of us, "Is your mother home?" to which each of us replied (25 years apart) "I am the mother!" so I'll give Rachel Brosnahan's tiny waist a pass.

Just binge watched this show recently. I'm not going to get into the in depth debates going on. Everyone else is doing a good job already. But regarding looking old enough for kids - I actually kept thinking Joel looked very young for both Midge and the kids. Then I looked up the actor and saw that he is 39. So good for him, I guess! 

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So I don’t know if there are any musical theater geeks here, but lucky you!  You have me!  I knew Midge’s direction would focus entirely on her career (her calling) during the episode when she met the reclusive artist.  The episode was called, “Look She Made a Hat” which is a callout to Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday In the Park With George.”  It is based on the life of George Seurat and takes place while he is painting “Sunday on La Grande Jatte.”  He sings the song, “Finishing the Hat” which shows his complete attention to his painting and how impossible it is to have relationships when one is a true artist.  He even stands up his lover to work on the hat.  The last line of the song was about how he has created something incredible, though at the loss of his lover:  “Look, I made a hat, where there never was a hat!”  

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43 minutes ago, KariLois said:

So I don’t know if there are any musical theater geeks here, but lucky you!  You have me!  I knew Midge’s direction would focus entirely on her career (her calling) during the episode when she met the reclusive artist.  The episode was called, “Look She Made a Hat” which is a callout to Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday In the Park With George.”  It is based on the life of George Seurat and takes place while he is painting “Sunday on La Grande Jatte.”  He sings the song, “Finishing the Hat” which shows his complete attention to his painting and how impossible it is to have relationships when one is a true artist.  He even stands up his lover to work on the hat.  The last line of the song was about how he has created something incredible, though at the loss of his lover:  “Look, I made a hat, where there never was a hat!”  

Thank you for posting this back story, @KariLois! I suspected there was more to the title and wondered.
It completes the characterizations in the episode.
I wonder if in this post-Lost world if ASP just assumed this information would be Tweeted widely the next day.

Edited by shapeshifter
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12 hours ago, KariLois said:

Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday In the Park With George.”  It is based on the life of George Seurat and takes place while he is painting “Sunday on La Grande Jatte.”

Mandy.  For me, along with Preston as Harold Hill, another great only-you in a role.

 

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Season 2 of Maisel was disappointing and frustrating for me but I didn't hate it. That said, the difference between the artistic achievement of Sunday in the Park with George and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is VAST. ASP wishes she could write something that good. I get that you can make whatever references you want but that comparison felt like incredible arrogance to me. 

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I feel forbMidge.

she is getting her dream- and she never even pursued it before settling down with kids, never even knew it existed.

yes she should have thought of the people in her life- but I understand why she didn’t.

joel has an amazing new place I see.

whar about dr Benjamin?

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Quote from Pogojoco:

 

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I was so irritated by the Joel stuff. I thought after Susie read him for filth in the Season 1 finale, it meant they weren't going to try to keep making him be such a focus. Or redeeming him. Or having Midge go back to him instead of to any one of the other, far more interesting dudes she has in her orbit. HE STOLE BOB NEWHART"S ACT, MIDGE. 

YES, to all the above. I too am surprised that Joel is so present. I thought his character would be limited to being mentioned, as in “the kids are with Joel this weekend.” I wonder, along with others, if the show is setting up an eventual reconciliation.

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TV women are notoriously fertile during one night stands.

 

I'm on the hate-the-pregnancy bandwagon. I hate how so many writers just throw a pregnancy in. Yes women get pregnant, and yes, birth control was dicey c. 1960, but really, all women don't get pregnant all the time. In TV-universe they seem to, though.

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So do we think Sophie was serious about hiring Suzie, or is she just trying to fuck with'em both, and break up the potent Suzie-Midge partnership? 

I'm thinking it's a Sophie revenge move, to try to break them up. I don't think Suzie will go for it though.

Another thought: Maybe Shy is actually a friend of Sophie's and is going to pull the rug out from under Miriam's feet, as there won't be a tour for her. Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but Sophie is hell to have as an enemy.

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I had forgotten the poor (all female) nurses had to wear those ridiculous caps.

 

Why “poor”? Back in the day, the caps denoted what nursing school you'd gone to. Personally I kinda miss the classic nurse outfit, and find the baggy pastel stuff they wear these days a bit off-putting. I knew a nurse back around 1998 who always wore her white dress and cap (and she was young, under 40) to show her pride in the profession.

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“This horrific choice is forced on all talented women”

I don’t think that’s true at all now. I have a friend who has 7 kids and is a very talented, working artist, along with her mother. My contemporaries and colleagues are choosing to stay at home, work part time, leave work for a while then come back, work full time while the dad parents... lots of options which can be changed as circumstances shift. I work from home and care for my mother so my sister can work part-time to help support her family in a job that makes her happy, after she chose to quit full time work to be a SAHM for a few years. I am not a victim, and neither is she. I’m very grateful to be alive now!

The optimum thing for the Midge situation is to go on tour with Joel so they can co-parent (as many female stars do today), but of course she doesn’t know his father told him to leave the factory. Seeing him work with that set up would have been interesting and and chance for strong development for both characters.

The Abe situation is ridiculous. WTF. Go to France with Rose on sabbatical and figure your shit out before quitting everything and suing a giant government-connected corporation, dude. You and Midge blabbed and they had a right to call you on it. 

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Good point.

Wasn't the whole reason they couldn't stay in France his jobs? If he's going to quit them both, why not live in Paris?

Also a few episodes ago they presented Abe as a pied piper to students. They literally followed him around. So now being told the department thinks he's a bad teacher feels unrealistic.

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3 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

Also a few episodes ago they presented Abe as a pied piper to students. They literally followed him around. So now being told the department thinks he's a bad teacher feels unrealistic

I’m so glad your brought that up. Abe seemed to enjoy sharing his love of math and being their STEM Hero. I don’t think he’d actually be that abusive to his students. In this era of constant student evals and consumer-driven education, if I did that, I’d be yanked out of the classroom before I even finished yelling.

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