Amazon Prime gave us an early present shortly after the third season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel premiered by announcing that the series had been renewed for a fourth season. (Though it was expected—and absolutely necessary.) On Thursday, December 12, the company announced that it ordered another installment of the Emmy-winning series starring Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel, the titular character and charmingly hilarious 1950s housewife turned stand-up comedian.
Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show’s creator and executive producer, celebrated the update in a press release. “We were thrilled to hear that for the fourth time, we do not have to pack up and vacate the premises,” she said. “We’d like to thank Amazon for all their faith and support, their partnership and enthusiasm, and for letting us hang with our favorite people, the cast and crew of Maisel, for a little while longer.”
There aren’t many details about season four available yet, but we asked the cast and producers for a few clues—and to fill us in on any remaining questions about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season three. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The season four premiere date: There are no exact details yet—but per creative and producing team Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, the writers room is scheduled to open in March. That means production should start around early summer. As for when the fourth season might drop on Amazon Prime Video, that’s still TBD.
The plot for next season: Season three saw Midge going on her first big tour, opening up for singer Shy Baldwin. It was a big step for her career, but it also involved huge shifts in her life after Shy kicked Midge off the tour in the finale.
So where does she go from there? “We’re debating that now,” Palladino tells Glamour. “We’re going to be telling the Maisel story slightly differently in the coming season.” What, exactly, does that mean? Palladino says the new season will be ”a little more open for us because we try to see a couple seasons down the line…because everything affects everything, so we’re trying to figure that out now.” (That’s not at all cryptic, is it?)
Brosnahan says she’s excited to see her character grow in season four. “I think she definitely took some steps forward in season three, and then a couple steps back,” she says. “But I’m excited to see the ways in which her eyes keep getting opened to the world around her. There’s so many new layers now, and I’m excited to see the world keep expanding.” (We hope that means more hilarious scenes of Midge and Susie in unexpected situations, like their swimming lesson in episode five.)
What will happen to Midge’s apartment? Throughout season three, viewers saw Susie (Alex Borstein) become more and more entrenched in gambling; by the end of episode eight, she had gambled away most—if not all—of Midge’s tour money. Midge, however, thinks she still has that money to buy back her old apartment.
So what’s next? “We can't assure you of anything,” Palladino says when asked. Adds Sherman-Palladino, “We’re not here to make anybody feel good. That’s not why we were put on earth. We’re still figuring everything out.”
Will Sterling K. Brown’s Reggie return? If it's up to Brown, then yes. “It’s the closest thing to theater that I’ve done, and it was exhilarating,” Brown says of the experience. “Hopefully there will be room for me to revisit the show in the future.”
It has to fit the storyline, of course, but Sherman-Palladino notes that show business is a small community. “You’re going to cross paths with other people more than once,” she says. “It’s just going to happen. So I don’t think it would be too horrible to drag the effortlessly delightful, wonderful Sterling K. Brown back.”
And what about Jane Lynch’s Sophie Lennon? At the end of season three, Susie seemingly ended her business relationship with Sophie after the comedian went rogue in her Broadway stage debut. That doesn’t mean we won’t see her return at some point, though. “We love Jane more than anything in the world,” Sherman-Palladino says. “She’s so lovely to have around, and it was really fun to watch her work this season because there were so many other nuances to Sophie.” Adds Palladino, “If Jane said, ‘I’m never coming back,’ it would be the end of Sophie Lennon. But she did not do that. So the answer is maybe.”
What will Midge and Rose’s relationship be like in season four? Rose was never supportive of her daughter’s career as a stand-up comedian, but it didn’t seem like a major issue for Midge until her mom started paying secret visits to Midge’s ex-fiancé, Benjamin, in an attempt to set him up with someone else for her new matchmaking business. So when the mother and daughter finally had it out in the season three finale, it felt like a long time coming. Will they ever learn to respect each other’s careers?
“They’re both completely and utterly right,” Sherman-Palladino says of the argument between Marin Hinkle’s Rose and Brosnahan’s Midge. “Rose has been ignoring this side of Midge. She got drunk on purpose so she didn’t have to watch her do her job. At the same time, all this stuff that’s been happening—losing the apartment, losing her daughter, losing everything—Midge has paid no attention to that whatsoever. So it was a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black when Midge says, ‘You’ve been doing this, you’ve been doing that.’ Her mother turns around and says, ‘That’s right, I have, but I’ve lost everything too. I’m exactly where you are.’ I think that’s the first moment Midge has ever even thought about it that way.”
What does Zachary Levi’s return mean for season for? Viewers never saw Midge break off things with Benjamin at the end of season two, leaving everyone to wonder when Levi would pop up in season three. By the time he did—in episodes seven and eight—one had to wonder if the timing of his appearance was because of Levi’s own busy schedule or if it was always planned for Benjamin to be absent until then. “It’s both,” Palladino says. “We wanted to pay the Benjamin story off, but first you have to suss out if the actor is remotely available. Zach was like, ‘I want to make it happen. I want to do it.’”
In short, it sounds as if the character’s storyline may be wrapped—at least for now. As Palladino says, “We left it on a precipice, but we always knew that’s what the relationship was going to be. It was going to be a relationship that Midge would have jumped at before, but she’s learning that being a comic is a lonely life. It’s a selfish life, and she’s selfish. It’s also heartbreaking for her because she knows he’s the real thing.”
What about Abe’s career? Abe’s journey from Columbia professor to theater critic in season three was definitely unexpected, but it’s one that Tony Shalhoub is excited to dive into next season as well. “He had to rebuild his identity and get back in touch with his core,” Shalhoub says. “He gets an offer to become a theater critic for the Village Voice. I don’t know where the writers are going to take that, but my hope is that he develops a real appreciation for the theater that leads him to appreciate what Midge is doing more.”
And will we see any further fallout from Shy’s decision to fire Midge? To recap: Before Midge opened for Shy at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Reggie advised her to play to the singer’s hometown crowd by talking about him. So she did—and revealed too much about Shy’s private life in the process. While she didn’t explicitly say that Shy is gay, she certainly alluded to it in her comedy. That makes her a liability to Shy and his career, even if her intentions were pure.
“Part of our theme this year was Midge learning what the business is,” Sherman-Palladino says. “You have to learn in show business the difference between real friendship and of-the-moment friendship. You’re on a show and best friends with everybody in the room, and then it gets canceled and you never see them again. It’s a weird business.”
Sherman-Palladino says viewers also have to remember that this is happening in the 1960s, and Shy is a black singer popular with white female fans. In short, he can’t risk even the slightest rumors about his sexuality being made public. “It’s a precarious situation for him, and the fear is that anything like that could stop the ride,” Sherman-Palladino says. “Midge learned a lesson that she needed to learn, but I feel like Shy also got the scare of a lifetime. He saw everything that he spent all this time working for possibly going away because she just riffed into the ether.”
Brosnahan is on Shy’s side. “She outed a black man in the 1960s,” she says. “That’s dangerous, and she’s a liability at that point. There was a misunderstanding between [Reggie and Midge] when they had a conversation backstage. Even so, what she did was terrible. Even if she didn’t mean to. I want Midge to succeed, but I think this will be an important learning experience for her.”
Brown agrees. “After you watch Midge’s performance at the Apollo, Reggie is like, ‘Yo, sis, I told you to go out there and say stuff, but I didn’t know you were going to do that.’ I think it was one of those things where Shy was like, ‘I’m not comfortable, I can’t do that anymore,’” Brown explains. “I think if there was a way to massage it, Reggie would have, but Shy calls the shots. Ultimately what he wants, he gets. I don’t blame him. Midge crossed the line as far as I’m concerned. Maybe it was Reggie’s fault for not articulating the line better, but he’s like, ‘Look, this is what it is. You’re not going to enjoy it, but I wish you the best.’”
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram here.
Originally Appeared on Glamour