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S01.E07: Bella

Message added by Giant Misfit

Talk about the episode only. Do not use anything on the show to draw parallels to current-day politicians or political movements.

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I found this episode interesting because now that we've seen all these fractures within each group, they're having to come back together despite their differences.

I took a class on the United States in the 60s and a lot of the material was about the civil rights movement which had many of the same problems (different goals, conflicts between leaders, splintering into multiple groups) so it's familiar but painful to see the same issues occurring within the women's movement.

Seeing Rosemary, Alice, and Pamela so giddy about being delegates while Phyllis realized what chickening out had cost her was an interesting scene. Rosemary was already clearly trying to get out from under Phyllis' thumb but Alice seemed content to be her lackey forever. I hope Pamela actually gets to go, just because I want her to have a few days away from her abusive husband.

I loved when Bella pointed out to the three of them that despite their "we don't want to be working women with jobs," they were doing many things that working women do (just without any pay). For the same reason, I enjoyed with Brenda pointed out during the debate in the previous episode that for all of Phyllis' "I'm just a regular ol' housewife" schtick, she was actually a full time lobbyist.

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That pie to Phyllis' face for EVERYTHING.

I don't understand why that religious zealot woman Lottie Beth Hobbs would be against shelters for beaten wives. I guess cuz it gives women a place to escape from their rightful lords and masters? So weird. I do love how she challenged Phyllis' authority. The look on her face when Rosemary volunteered to take Phyllis' place at the convention was PRICELESS. You KNOW she had herself in mind for that. 

The dynamics among the conservative women was very interesting. They were equally as combative as the ERA women, but in a more underhanded, genteel way. Very iron fist in the velvet glove. Rosemary's power move at the meeting (of COURSE for the benefit of the group!) was a thing of beauty, and all Phyllis could do was smile. 

Go, Liza!

I did feel the teeniest bit of sympathy for Phyllis when she took off her sweater to reveal those massive hot flash sweat stains. 

And, now it's gone. What a bitch move to her sister. 

Best line of the night from Bella: "Congratulations, you're working girls." Unpaid working girls for Phyllis, er, for The Cause. 

My fave line: "I'm sick of shrinking our dreams to appeal to the middle." 

Betty and Bella...I love those two battle axes. 

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Yes!!!  Pie in the puss!  Suck, Schlafly!  And it messed up her eye, too!  Ha ha ha!  And there are fractures happening the power dynamic.  And then there's the dysfunctional Christmas family photo.  Delicious.  I find it telling that Phyllis thought what she was doing would net her political points with the Republicans and she'd be asked by them to run for congress.   Yet she kept going, getting even in deeper with Lottie Beth Hobbs (who I found out died the same year as Schlafly did - 2016).

I'm surprised how together Rosemary was in organizing a counterattack against the women's convention. 

Again, we see how fractured the women's movement was because of ego and stress. I did love Bella's take down of Phyllis' followers, though. 

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Bella might not be the easiest person to get along with (maybe stop throwing things at your employees?) but as soon as the three Stop ERA women were in a room with Bella, I cackled with glee, they were gonna get eaten alive. I love that she pointed out the irony of the fact that, in their quest to fight against working girls, they have, in fact, become working girls. For no pay to boot! Bella and Betty are sure a formidable team, but my favorite part of the episode was when Bella was telling Gloria about the case she worked in the deep south and her regrets and fears that she had compromised too much and become too much of a politician instead of a revolutionary. 

Pie in the face! Its also interesting that there are factions and splintering the Stop ERA women just as there are among the ERA, just its in a more gentile, passive aggressive kind of way. Phyllis's right hand women seems to be getting increasingly disillusioned by Phyllis. She was the one most upset by the racist southern chapter, and while Phyllis seemed more annoyed by the optics of having KKK members at their events, while she seemed to be really upset just because its upsetting. She also was quite annoyed at Phyllis leaving them high and dry at the convention, gave her a Look when the Christian right lady was complaining about women's shelters, and was not happy about Phyllis doctoring Bella's words to make the EPA sounds bad, I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up jumping ship.  

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On 5/15/2020 at 4:17 AM, tennisgurl said:

I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up jumping ship.  

I really want Pamela to be the first to go. This episode spelled it out that her husband was physically abusive. I hope she takes her kid with her and doesn't come back from Houston. What a fucking vile situation she is in. Abused at home and the rest of the time she's Phyllis' foot soldier while Phyllis drums it into her head that the abuse is her fault and har, har, going to a women's shelter is vacationing on your abusive husband's hard earned dime. Phyllis, may you sweat in front of every man you try to impress and woman you try to denigrate. 

The attitude shouldn't be surprising though, since it's obviously Eleanor's fault that Phylis regularly lashes out at her, ignores her feelings and undermines her worth whenever she feels threatened by either her or anyone else. The exclusion from the family photo was bad enough already. You know what, Eleanor shouldn't go to one of her other brothers for Thanksgiving, she should hightail it with Pamela. 

I do like the inclusion of taking a family Christmas photo as Phyllis is turning into more and more of a Grinch. Sadly, I doubt there's any heart there to grow. Only entitlement and that's plenty big enough already. 

This episode made me realize that I actually don't mind the show ending in two weeks, because I'm planning to watch it all the way through once it does. 

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I'm always so happy when Betty, Bella and Gloria are getting along (mostly) by the end of an episode.  And thank goodness Bella did right by Midge by the end of the episode, I felt so badly for her.  

Sarah Paulson's acting is so perfect in this it cracks me up -- every now and then, Alice just looks at Phyllis like "wow, you are really awful."  Hee.  

Phyllis' treatment of her sister in law is just plain cruel.

"Congratulations - you're working girls!"  LOL.  I love when anyone points out what a hypocrite Phyllis is.  

Gosh I wish my mom was still alive so we could watch this together.   😞

Edited by SlovakPrincess
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