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Palm Royale Pilot episode

"Robert? Don't underestimate a Dellacorte."

By 'Vive AkughaPublished 2 months ago 6 min read
Image Credit: Screenshot by me

We are taken to Palm Beach in 1969, home to the prestigious Palm Royale. Maxine tries to seamlessly include herself in the Palm Royale by taking the "back door" and joining a conversation with the 4 ruling ladies. Evelyn Rollins (Allison Janey), Dinah Donahue (Leslie Bibb), Raquel Kimberly-Marco(Claudia Ferri), and Mary Jones Davidsoul(Julia Duffy) are the influential ladies.

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With her intrusion, she takes this opportunity to introduce herself and mention that the ladies are like family to her due to her knowledge of them. She is noticed and reprimanded by the club manager (James Urbaniak) and Robert Diaz (Ricky Martin). Before being thrown out and having her picture taken, she brings up a point to the manager. She acknowledges that she would need a member to nominate her to initiate the membership process and asks how that would happen if she doesn't know anyone. Feeling underestimated, she heads to shop the closet of her husband's unconscious aunt, Norma Dellacorte(Carol Burnett) which is obvious to be routine.

Image Credit: Screenshot by me

With the 4 ladies vying to be Queen of the Season, she heads to the nail salon to continue her makeover. She encounters Linda Shaw (Laura Dern) in front of the salon and they discuss. Linda tries to encourage Maxine to join her group supporting the sisterhood. She hands her an invitation to an upcoming circle at the bookstore, "Our Body, Our Shelves" which serves as a safe space for the underrepresented. However, Maxine is uninterested due to her beliefs and the upcoming charity season. While Mitzi (Kaia Gerber) does her nails, she sees Dinah in a lover's quarrel and takes this as an opportunity to get close to one of the ladies. She concocts a car jam between them which startles weeping Dinah who determined to give some compensation, takes her to her physician. In the waiting room, they discuss Maxine's husband and her interest in joining the club. However, Dinah turns down the possibility of a sponsorship from her. Despite mentioning her husband being a pilot and a Dellacorte of "plastics and mouthwash", Dinah alludes to knowing that Maxine is not wealthy. She calls out her outdated fashion as the reason, questioning if she can pay the $300,000 initial fee and $500 monthly.

Doctor Prescott (Albert Malafronte) suggests Dinah do an exam when informed she was also in the accident. She strongly rejects doing so before heading to the bathroom where Maxine follows her. Despite Dinah's hesitance, she shares the real issue with Maxine. They talk about her affair with Eddie (Jason Canela), the Tennis pro at the club turning disastrous with the pregnancy. They discuss her options including trying to book a doctor within the limited timeframe of her husband's return and her honouring with the Volunteer of the Year award. Maxine had encouraged her to have the baby and pass it off as her husband's but the issue of racial difference was made known. Again, Maxine brings up having the baby anyway for love. She agrees that she loves Eddie and knows her marriage will sink but she would never initiate it. She believes love is a lie and only the poor can afford love which Maxine opposes.

However, Maxine's real cause for opposition comes up when Dinah offers to drive her home. Unable to turn down the offer, she heads to the motel with her knowing it's not up to par with her persona. When they arrive, Dinah's shock leads her to claim it as a temporary spot while their house is getting ready. Before leaving, she encourages their continued friendship but Dinah shuts it down. Seeing the invitation Linda gave her, Maxine comes up with a solution to the friendship by suggesting help with her abortion. Dinah accepts this and Maxine heads to the bookstore. She interrupts the ritual led by Linda and Virginia (Amber Chardae Robinson) saying she has a sister in need. This is arranged and they await the day. Maxine updates Norma, steals her necklace and sells it to a Pawn Shop Owner (Tom Ayers) for $20,000. Dinah is at a dress fitting with Grayman (Dominic Burgess) who dresses the ruling ladies of Palm Beach and Maxine comes to support her about it and her plan. Dinah starts the process facilitated by some nurses from an underground collective.

Image Credit: Screenshot by me

Virginia is present due to Linda's absence. She tells Maxine that she's a feminist after she talked about her worries for Dinah and she laughed at that before having to pay for Dinah's treatment. Maxine helps Dinah recover and she appreciates it saying she may be the only true friend she has. The next day, Dinah asks her to pick up her dress from Grayman and when Maxine asks about the people she probably has for that, she says she has her, her "pal". This leads to their discussion about Maxine getting into the club again since they got closer but she declines again. Maxine tells the story of how she and her husband, Douglas (Josh Lucas) met. He was a pageant judge and failed her with the others for a question about her biggest flaw. She was confident claiming not to have any and this led to her failure. Her husband's reason despite liking the answer was because her success would lead to her progress and then to belonging to the world when he wanted her to belong to him. She explains her point of saying this is to ask for her help to belong. Dinah asks why she wants it so badly and Maxine turns the question on her. She says that Dinah doesn't know what it's like to be a real person because it's scarier than she thinks. Dinah does not appreciate this and she uncovers her knowledge of the Dellacortes. She calls Maxine a liar since she knows Norma as the last living Dellacorte. Maxine brings up the statement of being her only true friend and Dinah denies saying that before asking her to leave. Frustrated, she leaves. She still picks up Dinah's dress and hints to Grayman that there may be something going on with Dinah which Evelyn overhears.

Image Credit: Screenshot by me

At home, she wears the dress but before fully zipping answers the door to see Dinah who is furious about the effect of Maxine's hint. She calls her fake and asks if there is anything real about her before the appearance of her pilot Dellacorte husband. She is surprised by his existence and intimacy with Maxine who says that their relationship is what she wishes for Dinah. She tells Dinah that she wants to be a good friend to her but she's making it hard. Then, Dinah vouches for her character allowing her payment and membership into the Palm Royale. Seeing Robert allows her the opportunity to relish this saying he probably thought she couldn't do it and that he should never underestimate a Dellacorte. They take her picture off the "do not let in" board and he tells the manager she won't last long there. Maxine attends Dinah's event with Douglas and is confronted by Evelyn. She tells Maxine that she can't forgive what she did to Norma, and before Maxine spirals about the other things, she is informed that the reason is her relationship with Douglas. She says that Norma thought of Douglas as the "apple of her eye" and had high hopes for him but he fell for the tricks of Maxine. She says Maxine doesn't belong there and she would never sponsor her for that. This, the knowledge of her drive and the episode's indication that chaos ensues lets us know that Maxine is in for a lot. This is a good first episode. The characters, motivation and story are established well.


Image Credit: Screenshot by me

Apple TV+'s 2024 show, Palm Royale focuses on the determination for betterment through class and acknowledgement implemented in the story of Maxine Simmons. Kristen Wiig is Maxine Simmons, a woman dedicated to joining the distinguished Palm Royale club and The Shiny Sheet to improve her social standing to where she and her husband belong. Created by Abe Sylvia based on the book "Mr. & Mrs. American Pie" by Juliet McDaniel, new episodes will be released on Wednesdays to stream the 10 Apple TV+ episodes.

I wrote about the other 4 episodes in my "Palm Royale 1st 5 episodes" article.

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About the Creator

'Vive Akugha

I write on various things: social issues, well-being, cinema and out of curiosity. More!

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Comments (1)

  • Flamance @ lit.2 months ago

    Interesting story I like it

'Vive AkughaWritten by 'Vive Akugha

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