The stakes were higher than ever on Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 8, but it was not so evident at first.
The first half of "Houston" was pretty mundane. Nothing exciting happened, despite Alice and Pamela bunking with Republican feminist Audrey.
But that quickly changed as soon as Alice went out for drinks.
Alice had to confront everything she ever thought about feminists when she bonded with one at the bar.
Of course, she did not realize that they were a feminist at first, and they bonded over Christianity and shared experiences.
But when Alice found out that her new friend was a member of the National Organization for Women, she was horrified. She felt betrayed that this stranger sat down to talk to her and did not immediately say that she was a feminist activist.
Alice may have felt deceived, but it was not because she refused to associate with feminists, even if that was what she told herself at first. Alice felt betrayed because everything Phyllis said to Alice about feminists proved to be untrue.
Once Alice knew this, she became lost. She did not know what to do with herself or with this information. Her best friend, Phyllis, lied to her, even though Alice was the one who brought the Equal Rights Amendment to Phyllis's attention.
When Alice recognized how harmful Stop ERA has become, it signified that the show came full circle.
On Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 1, it was Alice who convinced Phyllis to look at the Equal Rights Amendment. She was the strongest anti-feminist of the group and persuaded Phyllis to read Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan to see how crazy they were.
But now, especially after meeting Gloria face-to-face, she was not so sure anymore. After that, Alice still did not agree with Gloria on a lot of things, but she felt like she misjudged Gloria's character.
Especially since Gloria saw Alice's Stop ERA pin, and chose to be kind and inclusive anyways.
Alice was so taken aback by Gloria that she even lied to Phyllis about running into her at the convention. Alice was not ready to confront her best friend, especially in front of a crowd of thousands that would rush to Phyllis's defense.
Alice cannot afford to be humiliated again, but she still learned something from the night spent frolicking around the National Women's Convention, completely drunk.
Excuse me. I wanted to ask why we're opposing all of the feminist resolutions. We're not anti-employment, or education, or minority women. I'm not saying that we shouldn't fight for what we believe in. But shouldn't we try to find consensus about something?Alice
Alice learned that Stop ERA and the Eagles Forum were scared of the unknown. Feminists would never take her concerns seriously as long as she is hanging homophobic posters, judging hastily, and spreading information without fact-checking it first.
Most importantly, Alice learned how dangerous miscommunication could be.
The Eagles Forum struggled with their agenda because they decided to fear the worst rather than open a discussion.
Flo: You've got a beautiful voice.
Alice: That's our favorite song at home. I learned it with all my kids when they were in school.
Flo: Woody Guthrie wrote it.
Alice: Oh, he's a poet.
Flo: He's a socialist.
Alice: Come on, don't be ridiculous.
Flo: You were up there belting out a Marxist song.
Alice: No, no, no. It's patriotic!
Feminist activists refused to listen to valid concerns that people like Alice or Pamela may have had. Of course, some concerns stemmed from irrational fears, but some were also valid.
For example, Pamela struggled because of her abusive husband, Kevin, who kept impregnating her. Pamela was afraid of Kevin divorcing her and leaving her with nothing.
Furthermore, Pamela had no freedom to pursue a career. She was financially reliant on her husband, and if she tried to get a job, well, he would abuse her until she quit.
Until the language around alimony laws changed, Pamela would not get any benefits if Kevin left her, and conservative states had no interest in adjusting their family laws.
If Kevin decided to leave Pamela after the potential ratification of the ERA, she would not receive alimony unless Illinois changed the language of their laws.
But feminists would not listen to women like Pamela, because they were too busy trying to shut down activists like Phyllis. So, they never learned of valid concerns homemakers might have had.
Stop ERA Activist: You give the libbers an inch, they'll take a mile.
Alice: Let them. There's a lot of land.
Once Alice realized the root of the problem, she wanted to advocate for compromise, but she stumbled upon her first obstacle -- everyone else from Stop ERA ignored her.
That was what raised the stakes higher than they ever were before on "Houston," because now, Alice has some choices to make.
Alice can pretend that nothing out of the ordinary happened at the National Women's Conference. She can go back to Illinois, remain involved out of loyalty to Phyllis, and ignore her newfound observations.
Or, Alice can make a difference. She was the one who brought the ERA to Phyllis's attention. Phyllis turned it into a national conservative movement. At this point, Alice would not be able to stop her friend, but she could stand up to her.
With only one episode left of the mini-series, we can hardly wait to see what Alice will decide.
If we want to be taken seriously, we have to show that we are not hard-hearted. That we are not stubborn just for the sake of it. That's not Christian. I came here to defend myself. But I have to ask, who exactly is attacking us?Alice
Over to you, Fanatics!
What did you think of Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 8?
How do you think Alice will move forward with the new revelations she made?
Do you think she will declare herself a feminist? Denounce the Eagles Forum?
Or do you think she will remain loyal to Phyllis and Stop ERA? And what are your expectations for the series finale?
Sarah Novack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.