Episode 3 of Maid Season 1 begins with Alex attending a court-mandated class on parenting. Denise reassures her that this will look good on her report, as they next head off to see Howie next, a lawyer who gives Alex some solid advice. This scene also highlights some of the serious issues with the court system, given they don’t actually see emotional abuse in the same light as physical abuse.
As Alex tries to grapple the gravity of this situation (and the mountain of paperwork she needs to fill out) she’s also given her next cleaning job. To say the place is a state would be an understatement. There are rats in the bathroom, a foul toilet and a completely unhelpful assistant that are just a few of the obstacles she needs to face. However bad things get though, Alex refuses to quit.
That evening, Alex heads home from her job but notices Sean out at the bar. He’s drunk, starting fights and neglecting Maddy, who’s with his mum back home. Alex is livid, and confronts him about what he’s doing. She doesn’t get far of course, and eventually skips home before things turn nasty.
After filling out some paperwork to move into the shelter, Alex manages to bag herself some accommodation. The trouble is, it’s a halfway house with ex-cons and a whole mix of characters in the area – hardly idea. Given Paula is with her, she tries to brighten up Alex’s mood, telling her to make the most of this.
Alex is worried though, and it’s not helped by Paula laughing at the idea of emotional abuse and shrugging off Alex’s issues that she’s had to deal with. The two spend the day together nonetheless though, with Alex doing most of the heavy lifting as Paula prepares for a show. There is no show though, as it turns out, reinforcing just how little Paula actually pays attention.
Things eventually turn sour that evening when Basil and Paula head out for dinner together. Basil suggest Alex pay for all this now, given they’ve been helping her. Alex is incredulous, pointing out that she’s been moved into a homeless shelter and scoffing at her mother’s stupidity. “You’re the worst Mum in the world,” She eventually rasps. “Not the worst. I didn’t lose custody of you,” Paula chimes back. It’s a serious low blow and one that eventually sees Alex leave in disgust.
While Alex claws and scrambles to do her best, Sean continues to spiral. He’s doing coke, not showing up to work and on the verge of getting fired. Now, the cynic in me thinks he should just crash and burn, showing the court first-hand how much of a mess he is – but Alex is not like that.
She catches up with Alex down by the shore, telling him to look out for Maddy first and foremost. She even offers to give him a lift home – and implores him to get cleaned up.
When Maddy shows up at court the next day, Denise expresses her concerns about the missed paperwork. However, outside the courthouse Alex is thrown a bone from Sean.
He’s going to drop the full custody ex-parte and wants to share custody of Maddy. It’s not ideal but Alex gets Maddy back that day. And thee cherry atop the cake? Paula has actually painted a beautiful mural up on Maddy’s bedroom wall.
The Episode Review
Maid returns with another solid episode, this time turning the attention toward Alex’s rehab and clawing her way back into the court’s good books. Seeing just how bad Paula actually is as a mother is tough to watch, especially when she scoffs at the idea of emotional abuse.
In fact, given the court system doesn’t actually recognize this as a valid form of abuse is another talking point unto itself. Those who haven’t been through it will not understand but the constant put-downs, snidey remarks and jabs eventually wear you down to the point of believing what you’re told, and it’s hard to build your confidence up again after that.
Despite all the anger, bitterness and feuding, Alex’s kindness eventually sees her thrown a bone by Sean. He’s a mess, and here we see him drunk and doing drugs without caring about putting Maddy first. Although shared custody is less than ideal, it’s at least a step-up from potentially losing Maddy altogether.
Maid has been a really solid watch so far and hopefully this is the turning point Alex needs to turn her life around.