In the first season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Midge Maisel’s parents, Abe and Rose Weissman, were very often present, but really did not have many storylines of their own. Really, their entire roles in that season were in reaction to their daughter’s world-shattering news that she had separated from her husband, Joel Maisel. But Season 2 finally delivers complex stories for Abe and Rose as individuals, and even leaves us with a massive cliffhanger regarding Abe. Viewers might be left wondering is Bell Labs real, and what is really going on with Abe’s job there? Let’s break down that surprising cliffhanger and what fans should know about the actual Bell Labs.
Spoiler alert: This post will discuss plot details from the Season 2 finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. One word to sum up Abe Weissman throughout all of the second season of Mrs. Maisel would be disoriented. The academic is constantly thrown off guard in pretty much every episode of the new season. First, he is shocked to discover that his wife ran off to start a new life in Paris, then he gets a one-two punch of finding out that both of his children have been keeping their careers secret from him: Midge’s life as a stand-up comic and Noah’s as a CIA agent. And Noah’s secret comes with another shocking reveal for Abe, that he is apparently under investigation by the U.S. government. It is unclear why the CIA is interested in Abe, but Noah mentions it could trace back to some political activism that Abe was a part of in his 20s.
And all of this disorientation revolves around Abe’s fancy new job at Bell Labs, the research facility that brought Abe aboard for a project on creating a computer that can sing. While that specific project did not exists in real life, Bell Labs actually is a real place. The research and development company was founded in 1925 by AT&T and Western Electric. The prolific institution is responsible for numerous inventions and advancements in science, including developing the transistor, the laser, and the programming language C++. The laboratory has been awarded nine Nobel Prizes for work completed there. Bell Labs is still in business to this day, although now it is owned by Nokia.
With all of that prestige attached to Bell Labs, it is no wonder why Abe was so excited to get to work there. But that pesky, mysterious government investigation into Abe also overlapped with a problem involving Bell Labs… and of course it all goes back to Midge. While she was on her makeshift East coast comedy tour, Midge mentioned her father’s project at Bell Labs in her set in a Washington D.C. club. According to Noah, someone involved in Abe’s investigation put two and two together and realized Midge was talking about him. When it got back to Bell Labs that Abe effectively broke his non-disclosure agreement, they threatened to let him go.
At this point, though, Abe was already at his wits end with both Bell Labs and his teaching job at Columbia. He fires back at the Bell Labs scientists that he used to protest the type of person he’s become, and wonders how he ended up here. Abe makes the surprising decision to quit both of his jobs and return to his roots as a political activist… although we are left in the dark about what specifically he is planning to do. Rose also points out that they will lose their apartment if he quits Columbia, so that is another big change fans can expect in Season 3. It is unclear exactly what Abe is going to do, but it will definitely be shocking, so buckle up for a whole new Abe next season.
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