What happened to Midge after the 1960s? ET breaks down every notable revelation about her life in the final season's future scenes.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel flipped the script for its fifth and final season, introducing flash-forwards as it wraps up its five-season run.
The decision to sprinkle breadcrumbs offering glimpses of the future throughout the season, revealing what happened to Midge and her family -- including her kids, Ethan and Esther, all grown up -- beyond the 1960s was a story element Maisel producers had in their back pocket for years.
"We had the idea to do it early on," executive producer Dan Palladino told ET's Deidre Behar, sharing that they even "experimented" with introducing the device earlier in the series but ultimately decided "it was too soon."
"We were trying it in season 2 and we felt like if we're going to do this, which is kind of ambitious because it takes makeup, we have to be organized on where these people are in time," he noted. "We decided the last season was going to be the perfect place to do it."
Once the creative decision was made, the writers "dove right into it," Palladino shared, adding that "it was fun because we got to do time-travel, but we're not science fiction." "We got to see the touchstones in their lives all throughout their lives. We loved it. We've never tried anything like that. It was ambitious and it was a great storytelling device for us."
Creator/executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino agreed, acknowledging that the flash-forwards -- new to the world of Maisel -- "added an extra element to the fifth season." "It added a little bit of a window into the future that I think people would like to know," she said. "It allowed us to not just tell the straight story, to sort of veer off-course a little bit."
As the season unfolds, ET will highlight every notable scene in each episode that's set in the future as the puzzle pieces fall into place on where Midge ended up in the decades after the Maisel narrative ends.
Season 5, Episode 1: "Go Forward"
Cambridge, Massachusetts; 1981 - The season opens with an unfamiliar, frazzled young woman, who messily throws miscellaneous papers and items from her bag on the floor looking for a hair tie that's on her wrist, during a chaotic therapy session. The young woman is actually Midge's daughter, Esther (played by Alexandra Socha), all grown up in 1981 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The complete opposite from her mother, Esther mutters disdainfully that she should just shave her hair as a result of her wasted 10 minutes locating her hair tie, sarcastically sharing, "She would just love that," a not-so-subtle reference to her mom.
As Esther starts to spiral, rattling off all that's bothering her about Midge -- including late-night schedules (she apparently finishes her days at 4 a.m.) profoundly affecting her sleep (Esther has to be at a lab at 8 a.m.) -- it gradually becomes clear that she has trouble keeping her active mind (and brain) at bay. "It's not my fault that everyone in the world is slower than I am. They always were," after complaining about constant criticisms by Midge. According to Esther, who is revealed to be an uber-smart Ph.D candidate, the only person she felt comfortable speaking with was her grandfather, Midge's dad Abe. It seems she has a lot of "mommy issues," to put it bluntly, because after she seemingly figures out a complicated DNA sequencing problem that's been bugging her and her therapist congratulates her, Esther's only response is this: "Well, tell it to my mother!"
Season 5, Episode 2: "It's a Man, Man, Man, Man World"
The familiar 60 Minutes clock opens the second episode as Midge is the prime focus of a segment on the famed newsmagazine, further confirming she experienced major success in her comedy career. The anchor's opening shares how Midge's rise from a cafe in Greenwich Village to "worldwide fame and notoriety is the stuff of legend." Soon, a slightly older Midge -- who the anchor says became "press shy" -- is revealed with perfectly-sprayed hair, bright red nails and a pink buttoned suit.
By the time the interview takes place in her career, though it's unclear what year it is, Midge has already won multiple awards, including a GRAMMY, Emmy and even the French Order of the Arts and Letters. She's also sold out several worldwide comedy tours, 18 sold-out tapes at the Copacabana at age 30, celebrity friendships with people like Carol Burnett. She also apparently took a page out of Lenny Bruce's playbook as she grew older, including an infamous 1971 show at Carnegie Hall that began "a brand new chapter" for Midge. Her grown-up daughter, by now Dr. Esther Maisel, also makes an appearance and rigidly says other kids were "oddly" jealous of her having Midge as a mother. And, the 60 Minutes segment reveals, Midge ended up being married three more times after Joel and having multiple relationships. "Lucky in life, unlucky in love," Midge succinctly explains.
But the biggest surprise is the fallout that eventually happens between Midge and Susie, who has by then become a big-name manager for the "who's who" in Hollywood -- except Midge. It's clear the two former friends/colleagues still have a lot to work through as Midge's face visibly falls at the mere mention of Susie's name. "What happened... is that two people in show business tried to have a friendship," she says bluntly. So, what really happened?
Season 5, Episode 3: "Typos and Torsos"
Israel; 1984 - Midge's grown-up son, Ethan (played by Ben Rosenfield), is introduced after Midge takes a private helicopter to pay an unannounced visit as he's tending to a lettuce farm while completing missionary work. During their mother-son chat, it's revealed he never went to college and instead decided to study to be a rabbi. And that Midge wants her son by her side as she receives a prestigious honor, which is the main reason for her visit. It also turns out Ethan has exciting news to share. He breaks the news to his mom that he's getting married to a woman he met in Israel.
The news stuns Midge speechless, who's not happy about her son walking down the aisle considering her own terrible track record. When Midge gets ready to leave, she admits to Ethan she wishes he told her earlier that he was engaged. Though he apologizes about not breaking the news to her earlier, it's obvious Midge is still working through her son's impending marriage. It doesn't help that Ethan's fiancee expresses point-blank that she does not like Midge. "Well, she's my mother," Ethan says as he watches the helicopter take off.
The first three episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's final season are streaming now on Prime Video, with subsequent episodes dropping every Friday.