Emmy episode analysis: Jane Lynch (‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’) sabotages our hero at ‘Vote for Kennedy’ telethon

After she was nominated in the Best Comedy Guest Actress category last year, Jane Lynch returns with her 12th career nomination for her performance as Sophie Lennon in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Lynch has submitted the second season’s penultimate episode, “Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy,” to Emmy judges.

In the hour, Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) and Susie (Alex Borstein) are at a telethon where Midge is scheduled to perform. Sophie first appears doing her act and accentuating every other punchline with her trademark phrase, “Put that on your plate!” Midge and Susie marvel at how repetitive the material is. Sophie comes back out on stage to interview several people who suffer from arthritis and she does her normal shtick with them. When one of the people mentions that she can’t even bend over to pick up her grandson, Sophie warns that she’s getting emotional and tries to shed some tears in a very uncomfortable display.

SEE 2019 Emmy nominations complete list: All the nominees for the 71st Emmy Awards

Things go south when they both realize that that Sophie is still upset over Midge exposing her working class, low-brow persona as just being an act. Sophie sabotages Midge by forcing her to answer phones off-camera and having her performance bumped until the very end of the broadcast. Susie walks into Sophie’s dressing room to confront her about how she’s trying to destroy Midge’s career. Sophie calmly explains that Midge attacked her in the press but that everything could have been remedied through an apology. Susie answers back that Midge is going to be bigger than Sophie ever will be and she will not stand for Sophie’s blackballing.

A win here would mark the fifth career Emmy for Lynch. She won her first trophy for Comedy Supporting Actress for “Glee” in 2010 and picked up two wins for Reality Program Host for “Hollywood Game Night” in 2014 and 2015. She won again in 2017 for Short Form Comedy/Drama Actress for “Dropping the Soap.”

Could Lynch put another Emmy on her plate? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:

PROS

Even if it’s only for a brief moment, we do get to see Lynch playing both the crass, blue-collar Sophie and the sophisticated and formal person she actually is, which is always a great way to demonstrate range. This also works when she attempts to cry at a woman’s story about her arthritis, which is cringe humor at its absolute best. It takes a ton of skill to pull off that kind of physical gag and Lynch knocks it out of the park with how uncomfortable she looks doing it.

“Maisel” did extremely well in nominations this year garnering 20 nominations and if it sweeps like it did last year, it’s not that hard seeing Lynch going along for the ride. In this specific category, having two women from both “Saturday Night Live” and “Fleabag” in the category could lead to vote-splitting and give Lynch an added edge.

CONS

Even though her character’s presence looms through a good amount of the episode, she’s only in it for a little over six minutes. Additionally, it doesn’t help that in her one-on-one scene with Borstein, the latter gets a bigger showcase and there’s not really any laugh-out-loud moments other than the uncomfortable crying attempt.

“Saturday Night Live” has won this category for the past three years and the amount of range and screen time that Emma Thompson and Sandra Oh get to display will be very tough to compete with.

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