The First Lady: Season 1/ Episode 7 “nadir” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Another day, another series of events that remind the First Ladies that their husbands’ desire to win elections likely matters more than why they decided to be President.


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Betty shocked by what she hears

Another day, another series of events that remind the First Ladies that their husbands’ desire to win elections likely matters more than why they decided to be President.


Aired (Showtime) 5-29-2022
Director(s) Susanne Bier
Writer(s) Nicole Jefferson Asher, Ellen Fairey, Zora Bikangaga

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Recap

Eleanor – Eleanor, Franklin, Hick

With Hick away and the honeymoon period over, Eleanor focuses on things in D.C. Be it learning the organization she was part of, the Daughters of the American Revolution are racist, or pushing Franklin for integration. Which, of course, he isn’t going to do out of fear of losing the vote. However, Eleanor pursues highlighting Black musicians and the Tuskegee Airmen to show Black people as capable of anything whites can do.

Michelle – Michelle, Barack

Michelle talking to a mother in mourning

The Sandy Hook shooting happens, and combined with that, a girl from the South Side of Chicago, near where Michelle grew up, dies. Now, what makes this girl special is that she was performing at the White House at Barack’s second inauguration a little more than a week before. But as we’ve seen, gun control, whether it is children dying or not, is something America isn’t prone to act on. No matter the victims’ sex, race, or age.

Betty – Betty, Gerald, Don, Dick

While Eleanor and Michelle’s part in their husbands’ campaigns, beyond the first, are skipped over, that isn’t the case for Betty. With high poll numbers, Don and Dick, to save their jobs, seem to be willing to embrace Betty in hopes she can get moderates, independents, and maybe even some Democrats to vote for Gerald. They know the far right is in Reagan’s pocket, so they’ve given up on them.

However, with being back on the road, it seems Betty’s pill addiction, mixed with her love for alcohol, is being broadcasted to the worry of Gerald and their family.

Things To Note

  • Unexpected Content Advisory: Violence (Dead child’s body – but no blood)

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Is Betty still injured? Why is she still popping pills?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Betty’s pill addiction revealed
  2. Hick getting tired of being a mistress

Review


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Highlights

Building Up To Betty’s Addiction Being Revealed

What more can we say about Betty? She is the sole character whose life, personal and political, gets focused on. Nancy’s husband killing himself triggers memories of her own father killing himself. Her struggles in the White House continue to exacerbate her drinking and pill issues. And as Don and Dick continue to pester her, more and more, she shows herself to be the main First Lady who we’re supposed to know on a personal level. Not by what she did or influenced, but who she is as a person.

A Reminder That Winning Is Everything, And The People Can Wait

Politics is a dirty business. Everyone can’t win, and some must be sacrificed, lied to, or ignored. We see that with Franklin regarding Black people. Gerald isn’t going to court the far-right and instead focuses on moderates and independents, and as for Barack? Well, they skipped his campaign and the debates in this episode, but we saw how he was willing to leave the LGBT+ community behind in the last.

What’s their excuse across the board? That if they lose, all is for naught. But, as seen, even when they win, it doesn’t guarantee change. It just maintains what they were able to do in their first term.

On The Fence

Eleanor and Michelle Operating On A Checklist

Eleanor speaking to an opera performer

 Increasingly, as we get to know Betty deeper and deeper, it feels Eleanor and Michelle are operating on a checklist. Michelle, with her being part of recent history, it seems most of her episodes are focused on reacting to events like Sandy Hook, the quest for gay marriage to be legalized nationally, and things like that. Which is understandable, but it makes it so her storyline always feels reactive.

As for Eleanor? As much as you have to appreciate her work, increasingly, you have to wonder what the goal is? Is she supposed to be a Trojan Horse at times, to highlight the people Eleanor put a spotlight on? Is the show deciding to tap into Eleanor being queer to push that narrative? It seems like there isn’t a straightforward goal on what to do with her, and it is increasingly frustrating.

[ninja_tables id=”46704″]

Betty shocked by what she hears
The First Lady: Season 1/ Episode 7 “nadir” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
The First Lady chugs along, delivering what is expected with Betty having the most personal, Michelle the most modern, and Eleanor? Well, with the people behind the show seemingly trying to pack an extraordinary life into an hour-long show and struggling to honor all parts of what makes her an iconic American figure.
Building Up To Betty’s Addiction Being Revealed
82
A Reminder That Winning Is Everything, And The People Can Wait
81
Eleanor and Michelle Operating On A Checklist
77
Community Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights
A Reminder That Winning Is Everything, And The People Can Wait
Building Up To Betty’s Addiction Being Revealed
Disputable
Eleanor and Michelle Operating On A Checklist
80

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