'Mrs America' Episode 7: Phyllis Schlafly smacked in the face with a pie, but who is behind it?
The episode centers around Bella Abzug, who is put in charge of the National Women's Conference. In the meanwhile Phyllis Schlafly and her coterie clash over how to best disrupt the conference
With just three episodes remaining in the FX biographical miniseries ‘Mrs America’, things are only bound to get more heated. And Episode 7, ‘Bella’ will see some conflict.
Per IMDb, the episode centers around Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale), who is put in charge of the first-ever government-funded National Women's Conference. In the meanwhile, Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett) and her coterie of white, Christian, housewives clash over how to best disrupt the conference.
Bella Abzug was fondly known as “Battling Bella”. She was a three-time member of the US House of Representatives from New York. “This woman's place is in the House -- the House of Representatives,” was her famous slogan that continues to be a widely popular call even today. While in office, Abzug lobbied against the Vietnam War and also introduced the first federal gay rights bill. She also co-founded the NWPC with Chisholm, Steinem and others. Abzug died in 1998.
Abzug’s character, portrayed spectacularly by Margo Martindale, has been at the center of the story since Episode 1 and she has had ample screen time in all the episodes so far, but this is the first one that focuses wholly on her and that should give the viewers a glimpse of the show’s interpretation of Abzug’s personal and professional lives.
The aforementioned rise in conflict is something that we definitely see in the episode’s 42-second-long promo. It begins with Schlafly telling her compatriots, “The press is crawling about a showdown. And where Bella Abzug is, Gloria Steinem is not far behind!”
Showdowns, so far, have not gone well for Schlafly. While she managed to create a Goliath-like opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, she has failed to create a mark with oratory, save one occasion when feminist and author of ‘The Feminine Mystique’ Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman) lost her temper on stage and said Schlafly should be burnt at the stake.
Still, one has to be careful while dealing with her and Bella should know better than to take advice from Friedan, who tells her, “Phyllis has one message, and she sticks to it.”
Meanwhile, Schlafly plans to deliver a speech from the floor, thereby solidifying her position in the national media as a vocal opponent of the ERA. Over video montages, we can hear Abzug calling Schlafly a “liar and a con artist.”
Right before the promo ends, however, we see a waiter at an event running towards Schlafly and hitting her squarely on the face with a pie. In the very next scene, we see Schlafly with an eyepatch, smiling and saying it didn’t hurt at all. One has to wonder if Abzug’s ominous pronouncement was in reference to this incident and if it was a machination of Schlafly’s crafty brain to gain more public sympathy. Knowing Phyllis, it is altogether not improbable.
'Mrs America' drops new episodes weekly every Wednesday only on Hulu.