The First Lady: Season 1/ Episode 8 “punch perfect” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

As Gerald Ford’s administration ends, Michelle faces the murders of Black kids by vigilantes and cops, and Eleanor the inaction of her husband against Nazis.

Aired (Showtime) 6/5/2022
Director(s) Susanne Bier
Writer(s) Nikole Beckwith, Ellen Fairey, Abby Ajayi

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


Betty – Betty, Gerald

We skip the entire battle with Jimmy Carter and go straight to the night Gerald loses, and with that, it is a sad day, but Betty hopes this means retirement. However, even a president who lost the election is still a former president. They still get secret service, go to meetings, make speeches, and tour, just now without the need to bring the family along.

Betty after Gerald leaves office

So with Betty alone and a party next door, she decides to be social and drink, and sadly she drinks herself to collapse.

Eleanor – Eleanor, Franklin, Hick, Sara

Eleanor’s advocacy for justice wears on her lover and family. With it being 1940 and Germany marching through Europe within weeks, Eleanor worries for the refugees, specifically Jewish refugees, who are consistently denied entry into America because of Franklin’s desire to remain neutral. Undeterred, she keeps the topic from being swept under the rug by forcing people at a dinner to see pictures of what they are trying to ignore. She obsesses over it so much that Hick even grows tired of her.

But, because she continued, she got at least those on the SS Quanza into the United States safely. She even gets the rare moment of praise from her mother-in-law, seemingly within days or weeks before she might have died.

Michelle – Michelle, Barack, Malia

With Tamir Rice to Eric Garner’s death happening, the Obamas feel a bit guilty for not doing more as the United States of America’s first Black family. Michelle, especially since she has experienced racism in all forms. Be it during Barack’s campaign and terms, or even when she was younger when her father’s car got keyed for visiting friends in a nice neighborhood. Never mind her high school guidance counselor making it seem that Michelle could never make it into Princeton without a sport on her record.

A young Michelle shocked by her guidance counselor's lack of encoragement

But, she proved that heifer wrong, and when Michelle does the commencement speech at Tuskegee University, she says what Barack seems too afraid to. Why? Because of how it can affect the Democrats and because it can give fodder for conservative media.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Are they going to address Franklin making Japanese internment camps?
  2. What are they going to do for two episodes with Betty, besides addressing her drinking problem, since her husband is no longer president?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Hillary’s campaign is on the horizon, so it should be interesting to see if they decide to introduce Trump v. Hillary beyond the “They go low, we go high” speech
  2. Betty’s alcoholism addressed, since it was skipped this episode despite how Betty ended things in the last
  3. Eleanor realizing her husband’s administration is part of the problem and she is barely able to change the machine, despite being insider of it



Michelle Getting The Betty Treatment

I honestly don’t know why only Betty, up until now, has had a younger version used to develop the character/person? Never mind why archival footage isn’t used, but that is a creative decision that maybe is for the best? Either way, I’m glad they are utilizing a younger Michelle again. Sadly not to the same extent we got for the younger Betty, but enough to establish Michelle has dealt with racism throughout her life, and being that she isn’t a politician, she isn’t going to step carefully to avoid hurting people’s feelings when said people don’t give a damn about hers, or people who look like her.

On The Fence

Wishing They Did More With Lexi Underwood

Malia crying over the nose
Look at her showing Viola Davis she can give a snotty moment too

While a job is a job, it is sad Underwood didn’t get to work with Viola Davis on something that could better utilize her talents. We’ve seen what she can do between “Little Fires Everywhere” and “If Not Now, When?”. Even in “Sneakerella,” they allow her to sing, dance, and show off a bit. But this isn’t about Michelle only, so let’s just be glad she was cast, and this could lead to future work.

[ninja_tables id=”46704″]

Michelle processing what's going on in America
The First Lady: Season 1/ Episode 8 “punch perfect” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
With Michelle’s past used to amplify who she is in modern times, we get a decent episode that shows “The First Lady” is running out of steam and thankfully over in two episodes.
Wishing They Did More With Lexi Underwood
Michelle Getting The Betty Treatment
Community Rating0 Votes
Michelle Getting The Betty Treatment
Wishing They Did More With Lexi Underwood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.