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The First Lady Ep 7: New episode of Viola Davis starrer show deals with racism and gun violence in the US

Created by Aaron Cooley, the series also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Gillian Anderson, O. T. Fagbenle, Aaron Eckhart, Dakota Fanning, Kiefer Sutherland, Jayme Lawson, Judy Greer, Rhys Wakefield, Regina Taylor and Lily Rabe. 

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  • Akhila Damodaran

Last Updated: 02.53 PM, May 29, 2022

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The First Lady Ep 7: New episode of Viola Davis starrer show deals with racism and gun violence in the US
The First Lady Episode 7/YouTube screengrab

Story:

The new episode, titled Nadir, is about Eleanor Roosevelt putting in more effort for addressing the issue of racism, Betty Ford helping her husband Jerry secure a Republican nomination for re-election with her influence as her alcoholism gets worse and Michelle grieving the death of children at an elementary school in gun violence.

Review:

The new episode, titled Nadia is about Eleanor Roosevelt fighting against racism. She is seen speaking to all female press at the White House about a racial episode in Buckingham Palace and when a reporter asks her about African-American opera singer Marian Anderson being banned from performing for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), she is left stunned. She was unaware of it despite being part of the board for DAR. As a sign of protest, she resigns from the committee and arranges for the singer to perform at the Constitution Hall. The idea of resigning was that of her lesbian lover as shown in the series, Hick.

It is interesting and exciting to note how the makers have recreated certain real-life scenes, matching even the clothes and setting. The series shows the actual footage of Anderson performing and the idea to show it as the characters of the show watching it suits better than adding the archival footage in between. Michelle Obama is seen watching the video of Anderson performing in the laptop with her children and speaking highly of Eleanor for making it happen. As they talk about it, the news of a tragedy due to a gun violence is broken, which shatters the Obamas. Michelle Obama decides to attend the prayer meet of one of the victims in another shooting incident and tells her colleagues at the White House not to make it political.

The way the victim's mother holds Michelle's hands during the prayer meet and cries her eyes out looks a little funny. And immediately after the meet, the victim's mother is seen all smiling greeting the attendees including Michelle, was odd. The emotions of the serious tragedy doesn't soak in. That's the challenge when you try to tell stories of three different people in an episode. But call it a coincidence, the episode came at the right time, considering the recent tragedy of shooting at an elementary school, killing over 15 children in the US. It sure sheds some more light on the grave issue of gun violence in the US.

Betty Ford is seen campaigning for her husband and President Jerry so that he gets nominated for re-election. The way the makers show the actual archival footage, as if the characters in the show are watching it on TV and then present the scene in the episode is amazing. The makers seem to have given attention to even minute details and the way they have recreated the whole scene is striking. The scene where Betty is seen dancing with a performer, matching the steps from the actual choreography was amazing. Betty, as everyone knew, always enjoyed dancing and wanted to be a ballet dancer. She is seen extremely happy while she shakes a leg or two with the dancer as her daughter cheers for her.

The episode ends abruptly with Betty giving a speech at a school in gratitude for helping Jerry secure the nomination for re-election. She goes to give speech after a glass full of alcohol. Her problem with alcohol addiction gets worse.

Verdict:

The episode makes for an interesting watch and curious for its final episode. It makes you hope that the story is picked up from where it left, showing Betty Ford's problem with alcoholism and the consequence of the speech she gave at the school in favour of her husband Jerry after he wins the nomination for re-election.

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