Maid episode 1 recap – what happened in “Dollar Store”?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 1, 2021 (Last updated: November 15, 2023)
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Netflix limited series Maid episode 1 - Dollar Store


With vital insight into Alex, episode 1 provides the perfect amount of family background. This not only allows a clearer understanding of Alex’s situation but warrants enough interest to carry on watching.

This recap of Netflix limited series Maid episode 1, “Dollar Store,” contains significant spoilers.

Read the review of Maid.

Maid episode 1 recap

Alex (Margaret Qualley) grabs her young daughter Maddy (Rylea Nevaeh Whittet) and drives away from her partner Sean (Nick Robinson) as he bangs on the car. He texts her and claims she is overreacting.

After Alex buys some petrol, she is now on her last $12. As a last resort, she contacts her “friend” Tania, but after it goes to voicemail she goes to Tania’s place. But with Sean also on his way there, as he is friends with Tania’s partner, Ethan, Alex quickly leaves. Not before Ethan calls her a bitch, though. This leaves Alex and Maddy to sleep in a car for the night.

Following a visit to a social worker, Alex learns that two pay stubs are needed to get herself on the list for subsidized housing. Problem! Alex doesn’t even have a job. But it’s not all a lost cause as Alex is given a number for a maid service, Value Maids, which, as it has a high staff turnover, may be able to offer Alex some work. Next, Alex visits her mother, Paula (Andie MacDowell), who is a painter/sculptor. Paula lives with her boyfriend Basil (Toby Levins). There’s clear tension, mostly between Alex and Basil, but Paula does agree to babysit Maddy.

Alex goes to Value Maids, where she meets the boss Yolanda (Tracy Vilar). Alex receives a job on a trial basis. Her first job is for the incredibly rich Regina (Anika Noni Rose). Regina isn’t exactly the nicest person, and after Alex collapses (from lack of food), she speculates whether Alex is a drug addict. Side note: Regina has a show nursery as she and her husband prepare to sell the house.

Whilst working, Alex loses signal, and when she finally gets it back, she has 13 missed calls from Paula. Paula, who after been unable to reach Alex, called Sean and got him to pick up Maddy. Returning to pick up Maddy, a flashback shows that the reason Alex stormed out was that during a violent argument, Sean threw a glass and the shards went into Maddy’s hair.

The ending

Yolanda calls Alex. Regina has complained about the standard of Alex’s cleaning, which Alex claims were above standard. As Alex drives, Maddy drops her doll out of the car window. To calm Maddy down, Alex pulls over and looks for it. But a teen driver crashes into Alex’s car. Maddy isn’t injured, but Alex gets a ticket for illegal parking. With the car ruined and nowhere else to go, Alex calls her estranged father Hank (Billy Burke). He remarks the last time he saw her and Maddy, Maddy was still in diapers. Unable to invite her home, he drops her off at the ferry point.

Episode 1 of Maid concludes as Alex and Maddy wait for the ferry.

What did you think of Netflix limited series Maid episode 1? Comment below. 

Netflix, TV Recaps
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