‘Palm Royale’ Episode 2 Recap & Ending Explained: Does Maxine Save a Cat?

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The star-studded AppleTV+ show Palm Royale is a gaudy and pizzazz-fueled TV show set in 1969. The stellar cast doesn’t disappoint and brings the drama right from the start. I do love it when a comedy is a period drama because we get to see dramatic acting at its finest. Led by Kristen Wiig, the show, which is based on the novel Mr. and Mrs. American Pie, is hilariously mysterious, leaving you waiting for what’s coming next. Now, Maxine may be trying to secure her place at America’s most exclusive table, the Palm Royale Club; however, she’s simultaneously growing on the feminist circles around the area. I do appreciate the combination. Episode 1 revealed that Maxine was, in fact, already a part of high society because she’s married to Douglas Delacorte Simmons, the nephew of Norma D’ellacorte, a Palm Beach socialite on her death bed. Let’s figure out if Maxine’s prospects have improved since her husband revealed himself.

Spoiler Alert


Where is Maxine getting the money for the fancy clothes?

Now look, it’s one thing to get into the most exclusive country club in town, but it’s another to be able to afford the lifestyle. Not only do you have to look fantabulous at 8 a.m. and drink your favorite cocktails during the day, but you also have to do charity work, wear the latest garments, and be in the know of what’s happening in high society. Maxine may have some of these things in the bag, but with a pilot’s salary, there’s only so much one can afford. Maxine ends up selling all of Norma’s precious jewels in order to keep up with Evelyn and the girls in Palm Royale. Maxine buys all the expensive clothes to fit in with the crowd, and yet she’s still alienated by the ladies of Palm Royale. Even Dinah, her supposed friend, doesn’t act like it in front of the others. Robert, the waiter at Palm Royale, warns her that she would need another couple of sponsors in order to become a permanent member of the club. So, Maxine buys a table worth 10,000 dollars for a charity event dedicated to fibrosis, essentially forcing Mary, the host, into being her sponsor. Maxine is maxing out her efficiency, I suppose. 

On the other hand, she gets along quite well with Dinah’s husband, who used to be Douglas’ classmate, and he invites her to join them in a game of tennis. Since they’re odd in number, the tennis instructor who impregnated Dinah is invited to join them as well. You know, with boys and testosterone involved, there’s going to be some kind of fight. Ultimately, Maxine convinces Dinah that keeping a secret from her lover, i.e., the fact that she was pregnant, will make their relationship… spicier. 


Why does Maxine dream of murdering Norma? 

See, Maxine has been trying really hard to be the best version of herself in front of the Palm Royale ladies, so on the inside, she’s really boiling up. Especially after overhearing Evelyn’s promise that she’ll never let her into Palm Royale. She also tells all the ladies how Maxine stole Douglas from them as a “lowlife.” Though Maxine does make friends with a woman named Ann during the chaos, by telling her that she has really nice toes. During her visit to Norma after this encounter, Maxine falls asleep and imagines a scenario where she ends up killing Norma. In the dream, Norma claims Maxine doesn’t have it in her to commit such a crime. When she wakes up, she slaps herself as a reminder not to dream up such terrifying ideas. I suppose it’s a manifestation of Maxine’s darkest desire to possess what Norma has, and the only way that’s possible is by ending her life, though Norma doesn’t seem to be dying anytime soon. 


Who is Linda? 

Maxine meets Linda in the hotel corridor and learns that Linda is actually Evelyn’s stepdaughter (yikes). She realizes she might get in with Linda and maybe use her to threaten Evelyn if nothing else really works. Maxine joins Linda for one of her circles, so she can get to know her better, and Evelyn, of course. Though the circle is initially apprehensive of Maxine’s presence, Linda reminds them that everyone is welcome there. It’s funny because she talks about how, in 30 years, women would not be fighting for their personal freedom. I suppose at the time, women were fighting for the right to work and access to credit, so Linda’s words imply that only if a woman is not looking to do traditional women’s things is she fulfilling her life’s purpose. On the other hand, Maxine has a different approach. She’s all about being flattered by a man’s compliments and living a free life in high society without work. However, somehow this entire conversation leads to Evelyn, and Linda wonders why Maxine is so obsessed with her stepmother. 


What Does Maxine Try to Auction? 

Now, you must be wondering why the episode is titled “Maxine Saves a Cat,” and I’ll tell you why. Maxine breaks into Norma’s house after seeing that her hotel room has nothing to auction away. She knows this is the only way she can impress Evelyn, so she has to find something truly extraordinary. It turns out that Robert is Norma’s housekeeper as well, and he catches Maxine. She’s already picked up a random cat statue from the room by the time he shows up with a gun. I’m not quite sure where things are going with these two, but I feel like they’re going to team up soon enough, even though, at the moment, Robert hates Maxine. On the other hand, in a conversation with her nail artist Mitzi, Maxine shows her that she’s still got the flair for pageantry, teaching her how to walk like a model and also how it’s important to have a man who motivates her (she told you she was a feminist!). 

At the Fibs charity event, Maxine is shocked by everyone’s auction pieces and decides not to auction her cat, but when Ann shows up, she tells Maxine that she’s going to be the showstopper. Apparently, the cat is a stone offering to the wife of the Sun God and protector of women, the Egyptian goddess Bastet. Immediately, the crowd goes crazy, and it becomes a competition between Evelyn and Maxine herself. See, Maxine didn’t realize this was a statue that was only found in two places outside of Norma’s estate- the Met and British Museum (whoops). So, she ends up bidding 75,000 dollars and taking back her own auction item. Ann introduces herself as the new editor of “The Shiny Sheet,” the newspaper Maxine’s obsessed with. It looks like these two are going to be really good friends. There’s one thing Linda and Evelyn have in common: they don’t think Maxine should be a Palm Royale socialite because she doesn’t fit in (Linda, why?). 

At the end of Palm Royale episode 2, Maxine is seen crying outside of the club with her little cat. Linda finds her, and Maxine tells her about how everyone thinks she tricked Douglas into marrying her by getting pregnant and then losing the baby on purpose just to marry him (shame!). Now, she’s afraid she’s going to lose him because he lost his old life and riches because he chose to marry her all those years ago. Listening to her crying, Linda feels bad for Maxine. She sees how much she yearns for a life like Evelyn’s and decides to give her what she wants. Maxine honestly tells Linda how she bid 75,000 dollars that they don’t even have. She complains about not having a plan but only wanting to do what’s best for Douglas and her by coming to Palm Beach, looking after Norma, and giving Douglas what he wanted all along. Ultimately, Linda takes Maxine’s card and writes her own name on it, Penelope Rollins. Maxine and Linda seem to be real friends at this moment. Linda says goodbye to Maxine, like a permanent farewell, wishing her well, but surely this isn’t the end of it all. On the other hand, Robert shows up in Norma’s room and plays the sax for her, waking her up from her deep slumber. Like “Sleeping Beauty,” she opens her eyes. Maxine goes back to the house to return the cat to its rightful position but ends up breaking it accidentally. Maxine’s at her lowest now; Robert even tells her that Norma isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. When she gets to the hotel, she finds the motel’s overdue bill on the door. I suppose you win some, you lose some, but Maxine’s only been losing all her life. Except when it comes to true love, no? She walks into the swimming pool in her fancy yellow dress and floats away her pain. 


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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