The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel, an American comedy-drama season five episode 1, “Go Forward” starts in a therapist’s room with a young Midge Maisel look alike. The audience learns that it is Esther, Midge’s daughter. The year is 1981, and Esther is discussing her frustration with her mother. Moving backward, the show is transported back to 1961. Miriam is suffering from hyperthermia and is in an ill state, unable to be coherent. Susie (her manager) is trying to piece Midge together. Once Midge is conscious, she begins to apologize to Susie, letting her know that she wants her to be in charge of her career fully and that from now on she will trust her decisions.
As we follow Midge in her life, the audience gets glimpses into the people around her by showing the relationship dynamic of her family. A riveting Thanksgiving family dinner takes place. Ultimately, the turkey was not the main event but rather the shockers the whole family received. The show picks up where the show left off with Miriam’s ex-love interest, Joel, the father of Midge’s children. Shots are fired with the announcement of the engagement and pregnancy of his girlfriend and the divorce between his parents. The show’s humor is timely as Miriam’s philosophical father extends a piece of advice to his grandchildren; to savor the beauty of their childhood.
To his surprise, Joel’s world is turned upside down when he is faced with his girlfriend, Mei. She expresses to Joel that she will be leaving for Chicago to pursue her dreams as a doctor without him. Later on, the audience sees the effects and outcome of this situation when Joel confronts Mei’s father about this decision.
Tuning the dial, the audience then follows Susie’s endeavor to get Midge a TV opportunity on 30 Rock. Her first attempt was going to the studio but she was unsuccessful; she then decides to follow Mike Carr, a talent booker, to a Christmas farm where he was spending a day with his kids. Susie’s tenacity is not well received by Mike, he is adamant on his refusal to give Midge a chance and tells Susie to scram in a more modern manner. Susie takes the L for now, as she tries to manage her business with her other clientele. She shares with Midge her struggle to get Alfie, a magician who is scared of flying, on a trip to Vegas. Midge sympathizes with Susie and decides to help her friend.
The next cut scene shows Midge and Alfie walking toward the airport. Alfie is tense and decides to tell Midge that he received a call from a Talent Manager who is interested in working with him. Midge understands the difficult task and gives a word of advice to Alfie, letting him know that Susie’s workmanship has led him to the opportunities that he has received. Midge explains that Susie has demonstrated care and attention when no one has done that for him, making him aware that she is rare for her attributes. Alfie acknowledges these words as Midge sees him walk towards the gate.
As Midge is making her way out of the airport she has two encounters. One with her parents and another with a stranger, Lenny. Her parents were there for a trip that went astray. As she tries to have a conversation with her parents, her father critiques Midge’s loyalty. Midge explains that she is there as a favor to Susie, and to ease the discord, Midge offers to share a cab, but her father refuses. In his wallows, Abe (Midge’s father) shares with his wife, Rose, that they have had a pattern of misfortune lately. This observation makes Rose suspicious and interested in answers. On the second encounter, the now stranger that Midge encounters apologizes for not reaching out to her. Midge tries to remain neutral and as he walks away she says, “Lenny! I’m not gonna blow it” to which he replies “I’m gonna hold you to that.”
The first episode finalizes with Midge performing at a nightclub. Being rusty, her confidence is wobbly. Susie reassures her and tells her to not worry, that her first comeback is supposed to be like this, and that if she sucks then oh well they’ll compare and contrast later. As she makes her way to the stage, Susie realizes that before her is Gordon Ford, the TV host of the Gordon Ford Show. Susie’s nerves skyrocket as she recalls the words that she told Midge. Nervously, Midge faces the audience. She begins with a bumpy introduction but quickly turns the tables around and has everyone laughing. This outcome makes Susie act fast as she moves towards Gordon to pitch Midge. As Midge walks towards them, she finds out about the opportunity to be a show writer. Midge is conflicted but Susie encourages her to trust her, reflecting on this and previous scenarios Midge accepts the offer. Susie gets the last laugh as she sees Mike Carr and returns the same gesture right back to him.