‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Season 5: Is Abe’s Realization Too Late?

Editor’s Note: The following are spoilers for Season 5 of The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselThe Wonderful Mrs Maisel described many examples of sexism as Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) fought for his career. Even her own family isn’t immune to prejudice, cringing when Midge gets a job or plans to live as a single woman. But constant opinions never stop Midge from finding her own path, regardless of those around her. Since it is set in the 50s and 60s and follows a female lead, the show cannot avoid gender politics. instead, The Wonderful Mrs Maisel choosing to use traditional gender roles to advance the story, with many of Midge’s barriers relating to her gender or jokes about the pay gap. But sometimes, the issue has to be taken seriously, as Abe (Tony Shalhoub) realization in Episode 8, “The Princess and the Plea.”


Abe Weissman is an intellectual but has set his ways. Despite the upheaval seen on the show, she sticks to her normal feelings. But Abe likes to portray himself as the same radical thinker in his youth, when he and his friends opposed the government on a regular basis, sometimes outside the confines of the law. However, in the 60s, Abe found himself in a comfortable place where he did not feel the same urge to rebel. However, her epiphany in Episode 8, fueled by her grandson’s genius, gives her a chance to change that. At the start of the show, Midge makes no secret that growing up, she was closest to her mother, while Abe had a crush on her brother, Noah (Will Brill). Abe and Noah share a lot of interests that Midge doesn’t, but it’s sexism that Abe uses to increase the rift. By the time Abe realizes his mistake, he may be too late to mend his relationship with his daughter, but he has another chance with his granddaughter.

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Abe Has a Realization in Season 5

Tony Shalhoub as Abe Weissman in The Marvelous Mrs.  Maisel
Image via Prime Video

Season 5, Episode 7, “A House Full of Extremely Lame Horses,” shows Abe’s growing interest in his grandson’s life, especially after learning that Ethan (Colin Keane) showed no particular aptitude for schoolwork. Abe decides to change it, but while Ethan struggles, his younger sister, Esther (Ireland And Sedona Carvajal), superior. Abe recognizes Esther’s budding genius, and his mind is shaken. Midge’s strength alone can’t change a lifetime of misogyny, but Esther’s brilliance makes Abe reconsider.

When he meets friends from the paper at a restaurant, Midge and her career emerge, and things work out for Abe. He realized that he had underestimated his daughter and granddaughter. As she spoke, she defied long-held standards of seeing sexism in her ways. Of course, Abe has long grown, if spiteful, to respect Midge and her decisions, even if she doesn’t approve of them, but nowadays, she’s calling out her own prejudices and seems genuinely eager to change. But can he? Her daughter was all grown up, and their relationship couldn’t change overnight. This epiphany may be too late for him and Midge.

Abe and Midge’s relationship in ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

Image via Prime Video

Abe and Midge’s relationship isn’t broken, but it’s not perfect either. They can be distant and Abe’s sexism has influenced their interactions throughout Midge’s life. They have shared many heartfelt moments, but the father and daughter are far from understanding one another. Abe constantly belittled his daughter. When Joel (Michael Zegen) leaves Midge, Abe tells her to do whatever it takes to get her back and is confused when Midge refuses. She was shocked by him getting the job and never approved of his comedy career. After Abe quit his teaching position and chose to write for a newspaper, Midge took on the household expenses, though Abe donated the small check. The two of course love each other but rarely see each other in person.

Both father and daughter have big personalities and few interests in common. However, they are not as different as they seem. Like Abe, Midge can get angry. During his youth, Abe was a passionate advocate of free speech, which Midge also deeply felt, both of whom had been arrested for the matter. But somehow, no one saw the similarities. Instead, Abe focuses on Noah, whom he gets to know better. This seems to be a reflection of Midge’s childhood. She was a smart woman, but her family’s attitude showed that they never expected more from her than a husband and child. Abe’s sexist expectations of his children sent them down very different paths. Midge was never taught to achieve more, and although she knows that by now, she didn’t have the education or career path that her brother had. Midge lost precious years, but she has become herself despite her upbringing. Yet if Abe had had an epiphany when he was young, he could have taught him more and inspired an interest in science as he did with Noah.

Abe Can Fix His Wrong Through Esther

Alexandra Socha as Esther in The Marvelous Mrs.  Maisel flashfor to Esther's therapy session
Image via Amazon Studio

While it’s too late for her and Midge to form a relationship with Noah, it’s not too late for Esther. Esther was young, and Abe was interested in nurturing her talent. Starting at this age, she is well equipped to change standards and invest in her grandchildren equally if she commits to those changes. Abe was able to help Esther grow, teaching her things she never taught Midge. And the future timeline shows him doing just that. With a flash-forward scene featuring a grown-up Esther (Alexandra Socha) on track for his Ph. D., he’s clearly following in his grandfather’s footsteps. In his scenes, he even refers to Abe as a confidant. While Esther speaks like her mother, she also imitates some of Abe’s mannerisms, implying that he had a significant impact on her life. So this realization will likely stick with Abe.

Abe’s epiphany may have been late in his relationship with Midge, but both sides are still there. While he can’t go back and fix the mistakes he made with his daughter, he can do better with Esther, and he seems to be doing just that. Abe’s relationship with Midge is not what it should be, but with this increased understanding, the two can grow closer. While learning this lesson early can change things in significant ways for the Weissmans, it’s never too late to change, and Abe’s relationship with Esther proves that.

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