'Palm Royale' Episode 6 recap: Maxine, a prince and some out-of-this-world secrets (2024)

Welcome back to Shiny Sheet recaps "Palm Royale," our weekly rundown of the new Apple TV+ series set in Palm Beach.

Each week, we look at five Palm Beach-related or key moments in that week's episode of the series that premiered March 20.

Watch out: There are spoilers ahead, so if you don't want to know, stop reading right now and come back after you've watched.

We're on Episode 6, "Maxine Takes a Step," and have just passed the halfway mark of this 10-episode season of "Palm Royale."

To catch you up: Maxine (Kristen Wiig) is an eager social climber and former beauty queen who is desperate to break into Palm Beach society in 1969.

Apple's description of this episode says, "With both the Beach Ball and a real estate deal set to take off, Maxine and Douglas need to secure the favor of a visiting prince."

We didn’t hear much, if anything, about the Beach Ball in the last episode. What’s happening with that? Will Ann Holiday (Mindy Cohn) of Palm Beach Daily News, aka The Shiny Sheet, reveal some major secret about Maxine? What will happen now that the secrets kept by Norma (Carol Burnett) in her gold Rolodex are destroyed, and the gun used to shoot Skeet (Bruce Dern, Laura Dern's actual father who in "Palm Royale" plays her screen father) is gone? Will tension continue to grow between Maxine and Douglas (Josh Lucas) after Maxine's weird come-on to Robert (Ricky Martin)?

A fun element of this episode: There's a ton of space race nostalgia. A lot of the action takes place as a rocket is set to take astronauts on a lunar mission. It's a fun nod to the era that opens up the opportunity for some costumes that seem straight out of a 1960s fever dream. (I can't get the image out of my head of the Palm Royale club's host, Benny (Wesley Mann), dancing in his silver spaceman outfit.)

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Season 1, Episode 6: 'Maxine Takes a Step'

1. There's a lot of West Palm Beach trash talking.

This really picked up in the last episode, when Perry Donahue (Jordan Bridges) and Douglas begin to plan their condo project.

The land for the project is in West Palm Beach. Perry and Douglas acknowledged this with a cringe and Perry said he had a key investor who would help spur interest in the condo, regardless of its location.

We meet that investor in this episode: The Prince of Luxembourg (Ben Palacios).

Perry and Douglas plan to name their condo the West Palm Beach Prince of Luxembourg Luxury Towers.

With that kind of name, Douglas tells Maxine, "People will go anywhere, even West Palm Beach."

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Later in the episode, Linda takes a dig at her stepmother Evelyn (Allison Janney), who journeys across the bridge to Our Bodies, Our Shelves in West Palm Beach. As they argue about the Rolodex and its secrets, Linda says to Evelyn: "You've already showed your hand, Evelyn, by showing your face in West Palm Beach."

We can read into that: Evelyn must be desperate if she made the short drive to West Palm.

As Evelyn leaves the book store, she looks at the women gathered there and says, "For the record, I was never in West Palm Beach."

You might ask yourself: Is this an accurate representation of Palm Beachers' feelings about their neighbors to the west in that era?

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It's not too far off.

Palm Beach was considered a self-contained paradise for the wealthy, well-heeled and famous. Those Palm Beachers who fell into those categories paid people to go to West Palm Beach — they didn't go there themselves.

The dynamic today is much more one of back-and-forth travel, less one of disdain.

Some cross the Intracoastal for work, and Palm Beachers are some of the biggest benefactors of the arts at the institutions in West Palm Beach, including the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the Norton Museum of Art.

2. The Beach Ball is hanging on by a thread.

After not really hearing anything about the supposedly pivotal Beach Ball in the last episode, we're back to that being Maxine's focus.

At this episode's beginning, Maxine tells Evelyn — while they're in a spaceflight simulator — that the secrets in the Rolodex are gone, and Maxine also threw the gun into the ocean.

This is a great reminder of just how much Evelyn hates Maxine, as the former excoriates the latter for her actions.

In an expletive-laced tirade — you know I like to quote the show, but can't really do that here — Evelyn tells Maxine that she and Linda, um, "effed" the Beach Ball.

"You think I was after that Rolodex for the godd--n addresses," Evelyn says, as she tries to help Maxine understand the error of her ways.

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Evelyn storms off, and Mary (Julia Duffy) sets Maxine right: Those secrets were the reason people went to the Beach Ball. No one will go to the gala just for Maxine, Mary says.

Mary convinces Maxine that a "marquee guest" could do the trick, and lure people in.

Thus begins Maxine's obsession with inviting the Prince of Luxembourg to the Beach Ball.

Douglas isn't exactly supportive of her efforts. He's dismissive, despite Maxine's insistence that, "Those ladies would go to a Tijuana donkey show if it meant meeting a real prince."

Maxine even tries to crash a dinner Douglas, Perry and the prince have at the Palm Royale club. She shows up in the national colors of Luxembourg and finds that Douglas lied: It's not just a boys' dinner. Perry's wife Dinah (Leslie Bibb) is there, as is Princess Stephanie (Aqueela Zoll) of Luxembourg.

Maxine is shaken by Douglas' lie, but Dinah assures her everything is fine.

When Maxine does finally corner the prince — as she presents him with a $250,000 cashier's check to use his name on the condo — he declines to attend, leaving her in a state.

She soon runs into Evelyn, who is happy to rub salt in Maxine's wound.

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Evelyn predicts that this is the beginning of the end for Maxine, and that she will soon be revealed as a fraud.

But — Robert to the rescue.

Norma's companion and best friend gives her the invitations that Norma completed just before she had the embolism that sent her into a coma.

The invitations are filled with blackmail that will encourage responses — and a cash infusion for Maxine.

Maxine initially hesitates, but it doesn't take much for Robert to convince her it's the right thing to do to "save the Dellacortes."

So, the Beach Ball is still on.

3. The prince excitement is very Palm Beach.

Maxine's description of the Palm Beach ladies' potential reaction to having a prince at the Beach Ball isn't too far from the truth.

With its reputation for luxury, and discreetness, Palm Beach has been known to attract many a royal face to its shores, and hosting a royal visitor could ensure success for a hostess for the season.

In fact, some highnesses have even had part- or full-time homes on the island.

Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Maria Pia de Savoie de Bourbon-Parma of Yugoslavia had a vacation home for decades on Pendleton Avenue.

Marjorie Meriweather Post was known for frequently entertaining royals at her Mar-a-Lago estate.

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In 1978, Princess Ghislaine de Polignac of France was photographed with cosmetics entrepreneur and icon Estée Lauder at the annual Red Cross Ball at The Breakers resort.

In 1975, Princess Giovanna Pignatelli of Italy attended a party at James Hunt Barker Gallery in Palm Beach.

Princess Lalla Nuzha of Morocco visited the island for New Year's Eve in 1967, attending the famed Coconuts' party.

The British royal family has famously spent time in Palm Beach and Palm Beach County, where then-Prince Charles enjoyed playing polo.

Perhaps most notably, the Duke and duch*ess of Windsor. King Edward VIII became the Duke of Windsor after he abdicated the throne for his twice-divorced American love, Wallis Simpson, in December 1936.

This excerpt from a 2011 Palm Beach Daily News article provides more insight into Palm Beach's royal obsession:

"Palm Beach’s social aristocracy embraced the chic castaways, making the sovereigns without a kingdom the island’s sought-after guests. Ironically, some of the resort’s best-known debutantes and hostesses often coveted adding royal titles to their fortunes. Audrey Emery was both a duch*ess and a princess, having married Grand Duke Dmitri of Russia and Prince Dmitri Djordjaze of Monte Carlo. Barbara Hutton became a serial royalist — a countess, a baroness and a double princess. Other more stately royals furthered Palm Beach’s majestic allure. Among them, King Hussein of Jordan, who was a frequent guest of Jim Kimberly and became a North Lake Way property owner."

4. Douglas and Perry are up to their necks in bad decisions.

I have a really bad feeling about this condo project.

In the last episode, Virginia (Amber Chardae Robinson) excitedly shared Norma's blackmail material about Perry with a newspaper reporter.

The article prints in this episode, exposing Perry's shady payoffs to developers that led to a building's collapse. But the article doesn't come in time to stop Douglas from investing hundreds of thousands of Norma's dollars with Perry.

Robert spots the article first and gives Douglas a heads up, which is more than Douglas deserves. But when you remember that Robert is loyal to Norma, his actions make sense. He knows that Norma's money is involved and wants to protect it.

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It also doesn't bode well for them that they've enlisted Pinky Kimberly-Marco, who Evelyn called a mobster and just got out of prison, to be their contractor.

When Douglas tells Maxine how much money he needs in wire transfers and checks, she warns him that it is most of what Norma has in the bank. Instead of proceeding with caution, he's cavalier, and tells her that's why they have to move fast: Because if Norma either wakes up or dies, the conservatorship will end, and Maxine will lose control over Norma's fortune.

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It's worth a quick note here that Linda burning Norma's trove of secrets causes a rift between Virginia and her.

It's also revealed that Virginia owns Our Bodies, Our Shelves. I'm not sure about anyone else, but I definitely thought the store belonged to Linda. And it certainly seems, in hindsight, that's what the "Palm Royale" writers wanted us to think.

This is possibly the first direct commentary about race that we've gotten during the show. While there have been some discussions, Virginia's frank assessment that everyone assumes that she, a Black woman, needed Linda's money to open Our Bodies, Our Shelves, is straightforward and forces us to confront our own prejudices in assuming Linda, a white woman, was the lady of the house, so to speak.

5. We finally learn one of Maxine's big secrets.

Ann finally confronts Maxine about her pageant wins, and the payoff is — meh.

When Maxine first encounters Ann in this episode, they're in the steam room of the Palm Royale, where they initially met.

Ann brings up Maxine's pageant wins, and says that when she researched them, the winners had different names. Not one was "Maxine."

"All those winners, they're all dead Palm Beach socialites," Ann says.

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Maxine tries to laugh it off, before proclaiming to Ann, "I am a winner." When Mary enters, Ann leaves, telling Maxine and Mary that she's on deadline.

They run into each other again at the Palm Royale during a lunar mission launch party, soon after Maxine's failed Beach Ball invitation to the prince.

This time, Ann has more information: The names may not be Maxine, but the photos from the pageants clearly show that it's her.

"Maxine Dellacorte is a nobody," Maxine tells Ann.

Her maiden name, Horton, comes from the brand of wash basin she was found in, she says. Maxine grew up in an orphanage and tells Ann that she didn't have a lot.

"What I did have, the one thing I had, was them," Maxine says. "The glamorous and proud, shallow ladies of the Shiny Sheet."

(Shallow?! Come on, Maxine.)

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She says that she would pore through their photos and imagine living lives like theirs. "They were so adored," Maxine says.

So, when Maxine signed up for her first beauty pageant, she used a name she had just read in the Shiny Sheet.

"I didn't know who I was yet, so I just used their names," Maxine says.

Maxine neglects to tell us how she got her hands on the Shiny Sheet when she wasn't in Palm Beach. She's kind of mentioned she might have been in Florida, or maybe Tennessee. Her first pageant title was Miss Junior Ocoee, a town here in the Sunshine State. Hopefully this is something the show will address later.

Of course, there was no internet, so unlike now Maxine couldn't have had a digital subscription.

Ann makes a pronouncement that I don't necessarily agree with: "That's it? Maxine, no one is going to want to read that."

Maxine must feel the same way we do: "Well, my feelings are unexpectedly hurt," she says. After all of that build-up, this is the big secret?

Even if it's kind of a non-issue, something tells me Evelyn would use anything to dig at Maxine.

Oh, and Maxine learns that Robert is gay. Not that this is a huge secret, but as the episode ends, we see Robert with a man for the first time — and it just so happens to be the Prince of Luxembourg.

Bonus: 'Loxahatchee's finest'

With the gun gone, Linda runs to tell her father that she's free, giving the credit to Maxine.

Without the burden of the gun hanging over them, Skeet tells Linda that he's ready to die.

"I wanna go," he says, to which she replies, "I know."

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When Linda later goes to watch the lunar mission launch with Skeet, she tells him she scored LSD: "Loxahatchee's finest, courtesy of my buddy Fern."

They experience an otherworldly trip while watching the launch coverage live on TV, and as she comes out of her haze, Linda realizes that Skeet is dead.

I can't tell if Loxahatchee's finest LSD is really good or really bad.

I guess we get to see a Palm Beach funeral next week.

Kristina Webb is a reporter for Palm Beach Daily News, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach her atkwebb@pbdailynews.com.Subscribe todaytosupport our journalism.

'Palm Royale' Episode 6 recap: Maxine, a prince and some out-of-this-world secrets (2024)
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