Palm Royale – S01E01 – Maxine Goes to Palm Beach | Transcript

"Palm Royale" sets Maxine amidst 1960s Palm Beach elite, tackling societal rifts and aiding an illegal abortion, sparking intrigue and drama.
Palm Royale - S01E01 - Pilot

Palm Royale
Season 1 – Episode 1
Episode title: Maxine Goes to Palm Beach
Original air date: March 20, 2024

Plot: In the 1960s Palm Beach setting of “Palm Royale,” the series introduces Maxine Simmons (Kristen Wiig), who is new to the area’s elite social circles. The plot thickens as Maxine uses her knowledge from the Palm Beach Daily News to blend in with the high society at the exclusive Palm Royale club. Her adventures highlight the contrasts between Palm Beach’s lavish lifestyle and the more ordinary West Palm Beach, stirring up drama when a society lady’s secret visit to the mainland is exposed. The show also tackles significant issues of the era, such as illegal abortion, through a subplot where Maxine helps a friend in need, demonstrating the series’ willingness to explore the complexities of social status, personal ambition, and women’s rights during a period of social upheaval.

* * *

[narrator] It’s all a blur.

A hazy, crazy blur.

[person] Try, Maxine.

[Maxine] All I do is try.

All I ever wanted was to belong.

To be a somebody in this world.

But there’s a catch when a woman wants to be a somebody.

And that catch is everyone else.

[“Why Don’t You Do Right” playing]

[Maxine] It was the beginning of the season.

Those heady months, when the wealthiest descend on Palm Beachto mix and mingle like crabs in a barrel.

Question is, which crab bit me?

Was it…

Evelyn Rollins, the self-appointed Queen Bee, and stalwart adversary in the fight against pediatric cancer?

Her advocacy made her a superstar.

Volunteer of the Year nine years in a row.

I am one humbled volunteer.

[audience applauding]

[Maxine] Or was it Dinah Donahue?

The ambassador’s wife.

Have a good day.

See you at the club.

[Maxine] She was poised to dethrone Ms. Evelyn…

if her libido didn’t get the better of her.

It could’ve been any one of the ladies in The Shiny Sheet.

The widow, who was as fizzy and dizzy as a glass of champagne.

Or the sugar heiress with thirty million to spare.

And a mobster husband.


There’s an old saw here that goes: When you first come to Palm Beach,

you think you’re the oldest and the richest,

and then you realize you’re the youngest and the poorest.

I had only been in Palm Beach two weeks.

But I already knew the Palm Royale, the most exclusive club in the world,

was where I belonged.

Crabs be damned.

[server] Your Grasshopper.


You found the crème de cacao after all.

We sent someone out for it.

Well, that is what I call “going above and beyond.” [chuckles]


Oh, oh. Wait.

Don’t you need me to, uh, sign for it?

Excuse me?

Did I spill? [chuckles]

In a manner.

[Dinah] You’re not going to believe this.

Perry said the women stormed into the Oak Room,

demanded a table, said it was their right.

It’s a men’s only lunch.

[Evelyn] Mmm.

I’m all for segregation of the sexes.

[Raquel scoffs]

Private spaces for our private faces, I say.

[Dinah] If this is the state of the feminine world in 1969,

can you imagine what 1970 will bring?




Ladies, a country can fall. No thing of beauty is safe.

[Raquel scoffs]

No thing of beauty is safe.

Palm Beach is the last American sanctuary, ladies.

It goes to hell, I’m fleeing to Capri, and this country can lose my number.

[members chuckle]


I long for a kinder, gentler time,

when a woman’s capacity to humiliate herself wasn’t so bottomless.

So true.

Mrs. Nixon weighed in, said women already have equal rights.

They simply need to choose to exercise them.


Exactly. Did you know she was a teacher?

[Evelyn sighs]

Yeah, Pat Nixon,

before becoming First Lady. A teacher.


She lifted herself up from that lowly station all the way to the White House.

[inhales sharply] I marvel, Mrs. Rollins.

You know my name.

Of course I do. You’re in The Shiny Sheet.

[inhales deeply] All y’all are.

Read about you every day. You’re family to me.

Mrs. Davidsoul.


[inhales sharply] Mrs. Donahue.

Mrs. Kimberly-Marco.

We don’t know you.

I’m Maxine Simmons. Charmed.

I’m not interrupting, am I?


I loved what you said about the death of gentility. I mourn. I mean, I mourn.

We certainly live in opportunistic times.


Hear, hear.

Now, where were we?

Ladies, let’s raise a glass to the feting of our dear Dinah.

[Mary] Oh.

[Evelyn clears throat]


[Evelyn] Mm-hmm.

To the volunteer of the year,

our very best friend and pediatric cancer’s worst enemy.

Don’t make me blush, Evelyn.

[Evelyn chuckles]

Oh, who’s doing your gown for the ball?

Grayman for Ceil Chapman, as one does.


But it isn’t about the gown or the party. It’s not my night.

It’s cancer’s night.

[Evelyn] Mmm.

[Mary] Yes.

To be honest, I really thought it was going

to be Evelyn’s year… [clicks tongue] …again. [chuckles]

We all did.

I may not be volunteer of the year…

[inhales sharply] …but that only opens up my calendar to rise to a higher station.

[Dinah] Oh, yeah.

[Evelyn chuckling]

[Dinah] Who needs a top up?

[Evelyn] Darling you know I do.

[club ambassador clears throat]

Oh. Oh, well, thank you. [chuckles]

Do you mind if I just finish my drink?

This kind sir went through quite an ordeal commandeering the crème de cacao.

[clicks tongue] I will allow you your dignity another four seconds,

or that kind sir will drag you out by your toenails.

He’s a veteran of Korea. He can do things.

Thank you for your service, soldier.

[club ambassador] How did you get past security?

I came in the back.

There are no doors in the back of the Palm Royale.

I never said I used the door.

I used the wall.

Most athletic.

My athleticism is just one of my many positive attributes

that would make me a wonderful addition

to the roster of members here at the Palm Royale.

You will never be a member of the Palm Royale.

[inhales deeply] It’s a high bar, I know. [chuckles]

But one I could surely reach, just given the chance.

As you know, to even start the membership process,

I need another member to nominate me.

And how can I get that if I can’t get to know anybody? [breathing deeply]

I’m just a really nice person,

new to Palm Beach, looking to make a friend or two. [chuckles]

The Palm Royale represents safety in a rapidly changing world,

embodying that which is sacred.

Refined companionship, sanctity and a deep heart conviction

that beauty is not dead. [chuckles]

[clears throat]

Okay. Stand up.

Robert will take your picture.

[breathes heavily] You will not regret this.

[Robert] Come on.

I promise. Oh! Thank you!

Come on, let’s do this.

Thank you! Here? Okay.

Oh, my gosh. [chuckles] This is so exciting. [sniffs] Okay.

No, no. Wait. No. How about this?

[Maxine] Oh, it’s the Grand Ballroom.

So much bigger than it is in pictures.

Why, on this very dance floor,

Marjorie Merriweather Post refused the advances of one Joseph Kennedy…


…father to the deceased president.


Incredible. Hey, hey.

This way, please.

Oh… It smells good.

Someone making a graham cracker crust?

[scoffs] Sourdough.

[chuckles] Top of the morning, pals.

[sniffs] Mmm. Oh. All right. Well, okay. Until next time.

Hope not.

Well, Robert, I hardly knew you.


[Maxine] Ever since my pageant days,

I’ve maintained a posture of relentless positivity.

When I was doing pageants,

the other contestants would always underestimate me.

The same seemed true for the entire isle of Palm Beach.

The ladies who ruled it all vying for a shot at being one thing:

queen of the season.

But soon they’d love me.

Soon these old money mavens would see my value

and affirm what I’ve always known…

that I belong.

One simply must trust that the path to personal glory will reveal itself

if one remains resolutely sunny.



I’m so glad we’re the same size, Norma. This one was a real hit.

Oh. Hydrangea print maxi, dare I?

Dare I do.

Ooh. [exhales deeply] These are some impressive baubles, Norma!


Mmm. Gucci croc clutch. Should I? Yes, I should.

[door lock clicks]

[door closes]

[sighs] You are too good to me, Norma.

I’ll have these back by tomorrow. It’s a scorcher out there.

The weather lady said you could take an egg and actually fry it on the asphalt.

I might just try it.



[sighs] I’m gonna make you so proud.

You get some rest. Okay.

[monitor beeps]

[people chattering]

[Maxine] True, at the present moment,

I found myself in less than stellar accommodations.

But this was merely a temporary base of operations

until I stepped into my destiny.

[Richard Nixon] … urgent problem: the war in Vietnam.


[trampoline creaking]

[Nixon] Since I took office four months ago,

nothing has taken so much of my time

and energy as the search for a way to bring lasting peace to Vietnam.


I know that some believe that

I should have ended the war immediately after the inauguration.


[Nixon] I want to end it.


[Nixon] The American people…

I have tried to present the facts about Vietnam with complete honesty,

and I shall continue to do so in my reports to the American people.

[Maxine clears throat]

[pedestrian] Oh, thank you.

Oh. Hiya! Have a moment for your sex?

Pardon and excuse me.

Well, maybe you’ve heard,

monumental change is in the air, and you’re a part of it.

I’m Linda Shaw.




Yeah, you are.

I’m, um, part of a group of women

dedicated to raising the collective consciousness of the global sisterhood.

I love that. But listen, Linda…


…I do have a nail appointment.

I would love a couple minutes of your time to ask you about yourself.

About me?


Oh. Well, fire away.

Do you work, Maxine?

Oh, God, no.

You want to work?

God, no.

Studies have shown that women who stay at home

display feelings of agitation and sadness.

Hiding their anxiety and their despair behind a smile,

when, frankly, they’re dying inside.

I’m not dying inside.

You’ve heard of the problem that has no name?

Since it has no name, no.

Betty Friedan coined it.

Unhappy women have been immersing themselves with the idea

that they’re not supposed to have any ambition outside their own home.

Here. It’s an invitation to our Thursday circle.

You should come.

“Our Bodies, Our Shelves.”

It’s a bookstore. Safe space dedicated to lifting the underserved.

The woman, the woman of color, the native woman,

and all types of sexualities.

[sighs] I do appreciate your spiel.

It’s just… We’re heading into charity season,

and my time is simply not my own.


Are you not aware that all women are fighting for their very right to exist?

Honestly, I think you’re being a little dramatic and kind of presumptuous.

[inhales sharply] You look well-fed, and I mean that in a… in a nice way.

You’re clearly educated. Plus, you’re an American.

Do you want to know what I see when I look at you, Linda?

I see a vibrant woman

whose only limitation is a lack of imagination for herself.

But I do hope you have a fabulous party, truly.

What color does one wear when being feted for volunteerism?

When the entire town is raising its glass to you.

What color is the dress?

Oh, no dress yet. Just musing aloud, Mitzi.

Lots of ladies are digging Zimbalist pink. For a pink, it’s really a neutral.

I love that. Let’s try it. [inhales sharply]

Did you see The Shiny Sheet this morning?

It said, “Evelyn Rollins poised to rule the town despite setback.”

I’m not a reader.

Mitzi, I’m disappointed. Don’t you want to grow up someday and not work?

I’m gonna model. Been studying all my free Saturdays at The Barbizon.



Well, just don’t take on too much debt with your education.


Okay, tell me you don’t love me.

Why, it’s the feted volunteer at a Cuban restaurant.

What in the H is Dinah Donahue doing in West Palm Beach?

What do you think they’re talking about?

Oh, that has all the markings of a lovers’ quarrel.

[Mitzi] How do you know?

[Maxine] See the way he knocked over that chair?

That is passion for you if I’ve ever seen it.


There he goes, storming off. [sighs] Oh, this isn’t good.

Mmm. Oh.

Oh, look at her. She’s crushed.

Oh, now she’s slumping over her car.

Mitzi, it’s an opening in the path to personal glory.


[Maxine] Poor Dinah was distraught.

I couldn’t very well just sidle up on her like a perfect stranger.

Sure, she was in pain.


[Maxine] But if I confronted her vulnerability publicly,

she’d never let me into her confidence.

It had to be done very carefully.


[Maxine] The introduction, discreet.

[tires squeal]

[horn honks]


[horn honks]

[tires squeal]

[tires screech]



[screams] Oh! Oh, God!


[breathing shakily] Oh! Oh, my God! Oh, my Lord! Oh, my…

Are you all right? This is all my fault.


No, I… I… I’m fine.


Uh, it’s… it’s… it’s… it’s just a scratch.

A scratch? I convexed your bumper.


You must allow me to pay for the damage.

Oh, no, please, I couldn’t accept that.

We’ve met before, yes? Mrs. Simmons, was it?

It was… [stammers] …is. Um, well, yes.

Please, I’d feel much better

if you’d take some…

Please, no.

How about just buy me lunch instead?

[gasps] Your forehead, it’s hemorrhaging.


We must hail an ambulance.

Oh, no, please.

I-I don’t want to cause any attention.

Maybe you could, uh, just drive me to the emergency room?

I will do you one better, and I will take you to my personal physician.

If you insist.

It’s amazing that you could get me in here so fast. I really appreciate it.

It is the least, honestly. Dr. Prescott is on the pediatric cancer board with me.

Our families have known each other

going back some 75 years.


My grandmother is his mother’s second cousin removed.

That is quite a connection.

Do you have family, Maxine?

Yes, my husband.


He’s a pilot.

A well-decorated airman, very well-known in pilot circles.

And he’s the only scion of a plastics and mouthwash fortune.

Plastics and mouthwash?



Well, there’s only one family in both plastics and mouthwash.


Is he a Dellacorte?

[chuckles] Yes. Yes, he is.

Should have led with that.

Well, I’m new to Palm Beach.


I didn’t want to come off tacky.

Well, I’ve only been here myself going on three seasons.

And look at how far you’ve come. Feted in year three.

[sighs] It’s been a hasty rise. [chuckles]

Wow. [chuckles]

What do you say, after this, you and I go grab a couple of Cobb salads?

I-I would love to bend your ear about potentially joining the club.

Maxine, may I be honest? I feel terrible for the position I’ve put you in.

[inhales deeply] But I fear a friendship between us simply won’t be in the cards.

Why not?

It wouldn’t be the thing, that’s all.

It’s lonely being the new girl, Dinah. You should know that.

If I were to sponsor you, the initiation fee is $30,000,

with another 500 in monthlies.

Be honest, do you have that kind of money, Maxine?

Gee… [chuckles] …I’m a wee insulted.


Maxine! Your clutch is from Gucci’s 1960 collection.

It’s lovely, certainly quality, but I’m sad to say it gives you away.

[Dr. Prescott] Dinah!

To what do I owe the pleasure, kiddo?

Hello, Percy! Oh! Maxine here is feeling off after a minor traffic thumping.

Oh, let’s take a look.



So, what happened, sweetie?

Dinah plowed into my Belvedere.



You were involved in this accident?

She was.

I’m absolutely fine.

After I’m done with Maxine, I’m giving you a full once-over.

That won’t be necessary. [chuckles]

[Dr. Prescott] I insist.

[Maxine] I mean, you should listen to him, Dinah. He’s right.

What if there are extenuating circumstances on your internal organs?

I said no. [chuckles]

I agree with Maxine, Dinah.

You’re here. Let’s be on the safe side.

I don’t want to be examined. [chuckles]

I’ll give you a sedative.


I don’t want a sedative. I would like to leave, please.

Maxine, would you hurry the fuck up. Please!

Dinah, you’re hysterical. N-Now, I insist you take a sedative.

I’ll take care of this. It’s nothing a little girl talk can’t fix. Okay.

You okay in there?

[Dinah sobbing]

[sighs] Dinah? Honey, he’s your doctor.

You said he’s family. Why won’t you let him take a look at you?

I have a feeling this outburst

doesn’t have anything to do with the accident, does it?

[Dinah] No.

[sighs] I’m an amazing listener.

[Dinah sniffles]

That’s very kind, but…

No, but listen… Dinah, Dinah,

I don’t know any of the people that you know.

So, if you have something to get off your chest, well, I’m your gal.

[Dinah breathing heavily]

Let me in.

[Dinah whimpering]

[breathes shakily]

Oh, baby girl, it’s okay.

You just tell me everything.

[Dinah sniffles, whimpers]

Don’t leave anything out.

I can’t have it, of course.

Well, just pass it off as your husband’s.

[sighs] That’s what my friend Krissy back in Atlanta did.

It might come out the wrong color for that particular ruse.


There’s a doctor in San Juan who takes care of these things.

My friend, Heather Quincy Moneypenny, has availed herself of him multiple times.

But… [sighs] …both his discretion and forceps are questionable.

Well, still… [pants] There’s your answer.

I can’t just disappear.

Perry arrives for the season on Friday,

the ball is Saturday, and then there’ll be no getting away.

[mouthing words] Oh, right. [pants]


[Maxine] Oh, look, I don’t mean to push, but there’s another option.

Have it. Go with your Cuban. You love him.

He’s the tennis pro at the club, Maxine. [scoffs]

It’s romantic. [sighs]

Romance. Here’s what I’ve known of romance.

My first husband was a real rake.


His hefty trust fund

fanned the flames of his incorrigibility.

And when I committed the unforgivable sin of turning thirty…


…he found another.

And I ended up with a Park Avenue floor-through and a hefty settlement.

And now, here I am with Perry.


And six months north of 40.


And one of these years, soon, I predict…

he will move on.

I will be traded in for some gamine widow

who’s lost her husband in a “tragic sailing accident.” [chuckles]

And when that happens,

the Palm Beach estate and my jewelry collection will… [inhales deeply]

…keep me company. [chuckles]

Until some old codger in oil decides that he’s lonely,

and that I won’t embarrass him at parties.

I’m at peace with the knowledge that my marriage will fail,

but I could never initiate its demise.

I would lose everything if I did.

[inhales deeply] So you see, only the poor can afford to know romance.

[inhales deeply] Well, that’s certainly true for me.

I mean, I don’t mean to suggest that I’m poor.


I’m rich in love.

I believe in love above all else.

Love is a lie.

No, it isn’t.

It is.

It isn’t.

It is.

It isn’t.

[door opens]

I should get you home.

[door closes]

No! No, you’ve done too much already, please.

There’s no need to be proud with me, Maxine. I do hope we’re past that.


You live here?

Oh, only until the house is ready.

Ah, well.

Thank you, Maxine, for everything today.


Maybe we can do it again tomorrow.

Get into a car accident.

Tell a perfect stranger all my secrets. [chuckles]

Break a man’s heart. I can’t say I want to do any of it again.

I guess I meant the friendship part.

I’m new in town and I’m so, so lonely.

You’re very good at making things awkward. You must work on that.

I didn’t mean to say anything to make you uncomfortable.

And yet, here we are. [chuckles]



I can find you something closer that works with your deadline.

You would do that for me?

Dinah, I’m very resourceful. And oh-so discreet.

[shakers rattling]

Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex,

“One is not born, but rather becomes woman.”

Linda and I have discovered three cultural notions of femininity.

Woman as inferior.

She is not worthy of equal pay because she’s lesser than.

Burned alive.

Woman as passive.

She leaves the politics to her husband and can’t be bothered getting off the couch.


Woman as a beautiful object.

She is the locus of desire, a body to be plundered.

She self-destructs.

Let’s take a moment. Stay in this with open-eyed silence.

Look at a partner. Don’t be afraid to cry.

[door opens, bell dings]

[Linda] Give in, right. Give in.


Oh, Maxine. Hi, I’m… I’m s… I’m glad you came.

Listen. Listen, we have a sister in need.

Okay, um, we’re just in…


What a beautiful tablescape. [chuckles]

That’s our Linda.


[whispering] We’re in the middle of a ritual,

and we’re communicating through the eyes, so…

My friend needs an abortion.

Help us, Lord.


[monitor beeping]

[Maxine] I made a friend, Norma, an honest-to-goodness friend.

She’s a member of the social set. An honoree at that.

Can you believe it? [sighs]

I know it sounds so crass when I say it out loud.

But I know that you know I have a vast amount of love in my life,

a vast amount. [sighs]

Just hanging on gets harder as the years pass.

I’m trying to do it with a smile, Norma, I really am. [sighs] I’m just tired.

Stop it, Maxine! Pity is for the pitiful! [huffs]

[sighs] Oh, Norma!

[sighs] Why don’t you have anything from this decade? [sighs]


I wish we were the same shoe size. [sighs]


You really are hanging in there, aren’t you, Norma?

[chuckles] Honestly, you are an inspiration.

I am the only one that ever visits you, you know.

[grunts] See you tomorrow.

[Evelyn] Make sure it’s taken care of.

[Nurse] Yes, ma’am.

[Evelyn] I’ll be back tomorrow.

[door closes]

[Maxine] She had no idea anyone had eyes on her.

She looked so, I don’t know…



They won’t be missed.

Are they stolen?

Uh, the family is really struggling right now.

So I think they’ll part with them for the right price.

I’ll give you 20 for the lot.

Twenty dollars?

[grunts] 20,000. Are there more where these came from?

There’s a lot of struggling in the family at this moment.

[server] There you are ma’am.

Thank you.

[all gasp]

Oh! Oh, heaven must be missing an angel.

Oh! Dinah! [chuckles]


Grayman. [sighs] Have any of the other ladies been in?

They have. But you are the honoree. I wouldn’t let you recede.

What is Evelyn wearing?



[Grayman chuckling]

You’re terrible, Grayman. Evelyn’s doing her best to keep up.

Well, she’s slipping.

Mmm. Her husband has had her on a real roller coaster,

in and out of hospice all these years.

[Grayman] Oh, yes. He’s simply on his last leg.

Opportunities for ascension left and right.

Grayman. She said she had her sights set on something higher.

The only thing higher than pediatric cancer is the Beach Ball,

and we all know that’s not happening this year.

The end of an era.

It’s just so sad, isn’t it?

[Dinah] Hmm.

I hate to be the one to rush this along,

but we have to go meet a friend for… for tea.

Yes, yes.

Grayman, I’ll send someone for it on Thursday?

It will be ready.


[Dinah, Grayman chuckle]

[Maxine] Bye, Grayman.

[sighs] I appreciate you not saying anything in front of Grayman.

He’s a gossip of the worst sort. But my word, can he drape.

We all have our place.


Maxine, I do love Eddie.

Understand? I can’t have his child.

Of course you can’t.

And he can never know about this. It would kill him.

He won’t. Don’t worry.

Do you read The Shiny Sheet?


You should.

Well, the women in those pages have no identity, no worth, no impact.

Those women are a credit to their sex.

They’re raising great money for good causes, and look good while doing it.

Forgive my language,

but I don’t concern myself with the shenanigans of vapid poons.

Linda didn’t want to come?

Linda finds women like your friend… [inhales deeply] …very triggering.

Dinah… She’ll be okay, won’t she?

She’ll be fine.

And who are these women anyway? I didn’t even bother to ask.

They’re all nurses, an underground collective.

The doctor lets them use this place after hours.

It’s honestly the best you can do in Florida,

as clean and as safe as money can currently buy.

She’s a new friend, and I just wanna make sure she’s okay. [chuckles]

Maxine, you’re a feminist.


[Virginia chuckles]

Me? [laughs]

Which one’s gonna look out for her over the next couple of days?

It’s me.

A little spotting is normal,

but keep an eye out for excessive bleeding and fever.

If anything does go wrong, which it shouldn’t, you were never here.

Technically, you’re a fugitive, so zip it.


Right on, sister.

No, that’ll be a 1,000. Cash.

Dinah didn’t pay you? Honestly, that seems like a lot.

We work on a sliding scale.

You look like you can afford it.

[exhales deeply] That is so kind. [chuckles]

[Dinah sighs]


[inhales deeply] Aw. [sighs]

[Maxine] Got it?

[inhales sharply, chuckles]

I keep thinking about how beautiful what could have been, could have been.

But this was right.

Of course.

[gasps] You might be the only true friend I’ve ever had.


[sniffs] Hmm.

[Maxine sighs]

Mmm. You’re a real peach, Maxine.

Oh! It’s nothing. [breathes heavily]

I… Oh!

Honestly, I feel tip-top, like none of it ever happened.

[Maxine] Oh?

Hmm. You’re good. [chuckles]

Would you mind running to Ceil’s to pick up the gown for Saturday?

I called Grayman. He’s expecting you.

Don’t you have people for that?

I have you, my pal.

Oh, I’m so glad you feel that way.

[stammers] I don’t wanna be uncouth.

But since you’re feeling sweller than expected,

um, I was thinking maybe you would reconsider sponsoring me. [chuckles]

I’m not gonna sponsor you, Maxine.

I have the money. I do…

Yes, Dellacorte millions.

I never told you how Douglas and I met.

He of plastics and mouthwash?


He was a judge at the Miss Chattanooga pageant.

You don’t say.

Anyhoo, I was a finalist. Uh, had already gone through evening gown, swimsuit,

and now it was time for the interview portion.

Ugh, this was a category I usually excelled at.

This time, the question flat-out stumped me.

“What is your greatest flaw?”

[chuckles] I mean, it’s the kind of question that pageant girls

are supposed to answer with deprecating humor

while still acknowledging one’s appeal.

You know, like, “My sister says I’m too generous for my own good” or some such.

But I honestly couldn’t think of one flaw.

So I said so. [chuckles] I was honest.

I said, “Look, I’m pretty darn happy with who I am.”

And I lost.

I went into interview with high marks,

but because I thought too much of myself and I refused to lie,

I was destroyed.

Douglas was the only judge that thought it was a good answer.

He voted with the other judges against me. But do you want to know why?

Because if I would have won, I would have gone on to Miss Tennessee,

and then Miss America, and I would have belonged to the world.

And Douglas wanted me to belong to him.

I have lost the thread here, Maxine.

I’m asking you to help me…


Why do you want it so badly?

Why do you?

You don’t know what it’s like to be a real person, Dinah.

It’s scarier than you think.


If you take a right out of the drive, three estates over,

the Dellacorte mansion. But you knew that, of course.

I… Actually, I did.

And did you know that the owner of that estate hosts the annual Beach Ball?

I did. Of course I did. [chuckles]

And did you know that there will be no Beach Ball this year, Maxine?

Because the last Dellacorte is at death’s door.

And I assure you that when she goes,

that will be the end of the Beach Ball and the end of the Dellacortes.

You are a liar, Maxine.

But you said I was the only true friend you’ve ever had.

I never said any such thing. I’d like you to leave, please.

Now who’s the liar?

You are!



[sniffs, sighing]

I had hoped to see it on her one last time,

but I suppose I’m forced to wait for The Shiny Sheet.

I hope she makes a showing.

She will.



Oh. Hello.

Should Mrs. Donahue call you if she needs any adjustments?

My clients are free to call me anytime, day or night.

Mrs. Donahue knows that. [chuckles]

I’m sure she’ll be fine.

[clears throat, hums] Why wouldn’t she be?

[stammers] I certainly didn’t mean to suggest anything.

But you did.

Grayman, it is so great to know that Dinah has your support

during these difficult days.

[Grayman] Oh, of course.

[Maxine] And as her friend, I’m so very reassured by that.



[chuckles] Mrs. Rollins is waiting. You should see to her. I insist.

[Richard Nixon on TV] But as President of the United States,

I would be untrue to my oath of office if I allowed the policy of this nation

to be dictated by the minority who hold that point of view,

and who try to impose it on the nation by mounting demonstrations in the street.



Oh! [mutters, winces] Coming!

Ouch! It’s tight. [groans]


That’s my dress.

Oh. I was just trying it on for size. I’ll take it off.

Why did Grayman and Evelyn Rollins bring me a basket of cupcakes from Ganache?

Um, I don’t follow…

In Palm Beach, Ganache cupcakes are reserved for the sick.

But you’re not sick.

Someone gave them the idea I was.

Ugh, oh! How could I have been so stupid?

Oh, I’m… I’m so sorry. Did you manage to put them off?

What else did you tell them?

Nothing. Please believe me.

I’m not the kind of woman that would ever betray another woman. I’m a feminist.

You’re a bitch.

I really don’t like the way that you’re talking to me right now, Dinah.

I’m not nothing. I’m a person of tremendous value to you.

[scoffs] Is any part of you real?

What? What is that supposed to mean?

Oh, hi, darling.

Oh. Hi. [chuckles]

Well, ain’t you looking snazzy?

[squeals] Just for dinner. [laughs]

How was Arizona?

Arizona was Arizona.

[laughs] Oh! Uh, and this is Dinah, my new very good friend. [chuckles]

Captain Douglas Dellacorte Simmons.

A pilot?

[Maxine] Hmm.

And a Dellacorte?

Uh, why don’t you go in there and, uh, wash your paws?

I’m having some meat loaf sent up.

Mmm. [chuckles] Yummy.


That. That is what I hope for you. Real love.

I know how much your station means to you, the financial value of your marriage.

[sighs] And I don’t want to make this awkward, Dinah.

I want to be a good friend to you.

Honestly, you’re just making it really hard for me.


Welcome to the club, Mrs. Simmons.

Mrs. Dellacorte.

I just want you to know how happy I am to be here

and that Dinah would vouch for my character.

Your Grasshopper.

Thank you, soldier.

Didn’t think I could do it, did you?

I’ll be at the bar if you need anything else.

Robert? Don’t underestimate a Dellacorte.

I would never.


How long do you think she’ll last?

She’s toast.

[Maxine] Told you I’d make you proud.

I did it.

I really did it! [chuckles]


[people applauding]

Could you hold this? Thank you.


She’s positively glowing.

I share this with the good women of Palm Beach, who know better than anyone that charity does indeed begin at home.

[people applauding]

[waltz music playing]

[laughs] You were born for this.


Aw, thanks, babe.

[chuckles, squeals] Whoo! [chuckles, gasps]

Douglas. I couldn’t be more surprised to see you.

[chuckles, breathing sharply]

Evelyn, it’s been too long.

Yes, it has.

[stammers] Evelyn, this is my wife, Maxine.


I believe we met last week.

You didn’t tell me who you were, darling. You should have.

You know now. [chuckles]


Be a love, Douglas. Fetch we girls some champers.

Of course.


You two, behave.

[Evelyn chuckles] You too. [chuckles]


[chuckles] He was always such a lovely boy.

[chuckles] Yeah.

[chuckles] Lovely and, um, wayward.

[sighs] It’s positively such a beautiful night. [chuckles]

Isn’t it?


Dinah looked absolutely smashing, didn’t she?

You know, in the end, I suppose it was right that they honored her instead of me.

She certainly is the more charitable of the two of us.

But of course, you already know that.

Excuse me?

She sponsored you. And I would never, ever, after what you did.

[chuckles] I didn’t do anything to Dinah.

Not Dinah, Norma.

You don’t think I know what’s going on?

Douglas was the apple of her eye. She had such high hopes for him.

Instead, he was tricked by an also-ran pageant queen.

You don’t belong here.


[person] What happened, Maxine?

[Maxine] I have no memory of the incident in question.

And that either makes everyone else liars… or…


…I snapped.


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