[This story contains spoilers for episode six of season five of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.]
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season five’s sixth episode, “The Testi-Roastial,” finally unveils what has been teased since the second episode. Joel (Michael Zegen) confronts Susie (Alex Borstein) about her dealings with mobsters and discovers how much of Midge’s (Rachel Brosnahan) career they own. Joel offers himself up as protection for Midge, and he takes the fall for himself and Archie Cleary (Joel Johnstone) when the authorities intervene. In an interview with The, Zegen explains that Joel always wanted to protect Midge and their children.
Zegen on Joel’s Sacrifice for Midge
Zegen says, “He loves her. He’s always kind of looking for redemption because I guess he’s always trying to make up for what he did to her, and it’s sort of what he’s been doing, or what I think he’ll be doing for the rest of his life, kind of making up for that moment when he left her, which was really the biggest mistake of his life, as good as it turned out for everybody else and for himself.” Zegen continues, “He did it to protect her, and it’s completely admirable, and they have kids together, and he wanted to protect them, too. So, hopefully, the audience sees that.”
The episode also includes a flashback to a 1985 arrest of Joel by the FBI for money laundering, racketeering, and wire fraud during synagogue services. Susie tells Midge that she had no idea about Joel’s mob dealings, leading to Midge auditing Susie’s books and ultimately ending their personal and professional relationship. In the present day, Midge extends an olive branch in a video for Susie’s roast, and Susie accepts the offer.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel airs on Amazon Prime Video every Friday.