Palm Royale Episode 8 Is Too Ridiculous For Its Own Good

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 1, 2024
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Palm Royale Episode 8 Recap - Yes, The Whale Is Real
Palm Royale | Image via Apple TV+




Episode 8 of Palm Royale is far too ridiculous for its own good, ruining a lot of goodwill that has been built up over several weeks.

I’ll be the first to admit that the tone of Palm Royale has been all over the place since the beginning, but Episode 8, “Maxine Saves the Whale”, takes a step too far from soap opera parody territory and lurches directly into a woo-woo magical-realism nonsense.

I assumed, understandably, that the title of this episode was a metaphor. But that isn’t the case. Instead, a literal whale washes ashore in Palm Beach and threatens to ruin Maxine’s gala. So, in the manner of a zany sitcom plot plucked out of thin air, Max has to figure out how to deal with the majestic creature and in so doing figure out more about herself.

Or something like that, anyway.

Yes, That’s A Real Whale

Of course, the whale itself, while real, is a metaphor. Animal control tell Maxine that she needs to keep it wet to keep it alive, or else it’ll die and rot in a rather mundane way or excitingly explode due to pent-up gasses, which is more interesting but even more of a mess. So, Maxine has to enlist the help of the feminists – who else? – to keep the creature moist, trying to furiously maintain an elegant façade that is invariably on its way to wrack and ruin.

Whatever could it mean?

Douglas Hasn’t Learned His Lesson

On an actual tangible character level, Palm Royale continues where we left off in Episode 7, with Maxine having dobbed the fake Prince of Luxembourg in to the police and inadvertently ruined Robert’s love life, which he finds out about quite by accident in this episode. Robert is understandably furious since he thinks Maxine’s limp rationalization that he was a conman is the pot calling the kettle black, since she ratted him out to protect Douglas, who himself was trying to get off the hook for an actual con.

And Douglas hasn’t learned his lesson. As implied in the previous episode, he’s an easy mark for Evelyn, who promises him a healthy share of Linda’s newfound fortune if he helps to dig up enough evidence suggesting she was responsible for Skeet’s death. But Douglas has grander ambitions, so he pitches Linda directly with a new business opportunity that he and Pinky have rustled up that she could be a vital part of for the cool investment fee of $3 million. And if she doesn’t go in for the idea, well… he could always team up with Evelyn.

Maxine Can Speak Whale

Meanwhile, Maxine and Evelyn both develop very weird connections with the whale, beginning to believe it’s some kind of karmic comeuppance that they’re both due. Irrespective of advice from the animal control people, Maxine is quite adamant that the whale will only depart if she balances her own moral ledger, which she attempts to do by reuniting Norma with her former fling, Axel Rosenhips, who is now betrothed to Dinah.

Maxine heads out to Dinah’s yacht party to play matchmaker, but her problem is actually solved by – and I swear this is true, though I must concede it sounds even more ridiculous written down – making whale noises into a microphone. The whale, hearing this, just shuffles back into the sea under its own steam.

Evelyn Is Grieving

I don’t even know where to begin with any of this, so I don’t think I’ll bother. It’s perhaps of more importance to note that the whale’s departure is particularly devasting to dear old Evelyn, who in the meantime had slipped into a kind of catatonic state induced by the natural beauty of the universe being transferred directly from the whale.

In reality, she’s grieving. She has just buried her former love and been slighted by his inheritance. And, just when it seems like she has formed a new loving bond with this majestic, stranded creature, it slopes off into the sea because Maxine, of all people, sang the song of its people. Evelyn, distraught, retreats into the arms of Eddie, since why not, at this point?

Palm Royale Episode 8 Recap - Yes, The Whale Is Real

Palm Royale | Image via Apple TV+

Robert and Douglas Are Arrested, and Norma Attempts To Kill Maxine (Again)

Towards the end of Palm Royale Episode 8, Robert discovers something that I’ve been predicting for several weeks now – that it was Douglas who was having an affair with Mitzi. And yes, you don’t need me to point out that this puts him in pretty much the same situation Maxine was in in the previous episode. He has the power to destroy her relationship, but will his petty desire for revenge trump his innate fondness for Maxine?

It’ll have to wait until Episode 9 either way, since when Robert goes to confront Douglas, both of them are arrested during a police raid. Robert didn’t tell him they were meeting in a gay bar.

As for Maxine, she ends up in the sea, pushed overboard by Norma, who has spent the previous few episodes trying to kill her. She’s getting closer and closer every time, although she may have inadvertently poisoned Ann in the process.

Still, at least the whale thanks Maxine.

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