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    20 Margaret Qualley Moments On "Maid" That Are Emotionally Devastating

    Consider this Margaret Qualley's Emmy campaign.

    So, Margaret Qualley has been acting for a minute. You might know her from HBO's The Leftovers, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and FX's Fosse/Verdon — for that last project, she even received an Emmy nomination for her role as dancer Ann Reinking.

    Margaret Qualley
    Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images / Via

    She's now back on the small screen, this time starring on Netflix's miniseries Maid as Alex, a single mother and domestic violence survivor trying to make ends meet as a cleaner. Her performance, in short, is absolutely stunning.

    Maddy and Alex

    Alex is smart, funny, kind, tough, and extremely complicated — and Qualley embodies her perfectly. To pay homage to her truly Emmy-worthy performance, here are her standout moments on Maid, a must-watch if you haven't already seen it!


    1. When a driver hits Alex's car as she's running frantically on the freeway trying to find Schmariel for her daughter, Maddy.

    Maddy and Alex
    Netflix / Via

    Between Maddy screaming for her doll and the driver hitting the car with her in it, this is the one of the TENSEST scenes on the show. Qualley captures all of its ups and downs beautifully. 

    2. When Alex finds herself all alone at the ferry station.

    Alex and Maddy at the ferry station
    Netflix / Via

    Qualley devastatingly embodies all that Alex is going through, particularly the stress of having no one reliable to help her. You can see her crying quietly to herself but trying her best to entertain Maddy with Schmariel the doll. 

    3. When Alex tells Regina off.

    Alex tells off Regina
    Netflix / Via

    After inadvertently doggy-napping Mr. Darcy with Danielle, Alex confronts Regina, and it's just so satisfying to see her pop off because Alex is such an introverted character. 

    4. When Alex helps Sean out when he's high, even though he's trying to take Maddy away from her in court.

    Sean and Alex
    Netflix / Via

    This moment fleshes out Alex's complicated relationship with her ex and abuser. It also goes to show talented Qualley and Nick Robinson together on the screen. 

    5. When Alex tells Regina that she lives for her daughter.

    Netflix / Via

    This scene is absolutely beautiful — Qualley and Anika Noni Rose shine together as scene partners. Both play such reserved characters, so it's lovely when they both open up...even if Alex does refer to Regina as "the c*nt" in her notebook...

    6. When Alex narrates what her home would look like after Regina tells her about her divorce and son.

    Alex on bed
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    "Our space is a home because we love each other in it." CUE THE TEARS.

    7. When Alex realizes that she hid in the cupboard as a child because her father hurt her mother.

    Alex tells her father not to touch her daughter
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    Qualley spends much of her time saying "yes" and swallowing her pride to help her daughter, but the moments when Alex does go off are so emotionally effective. 

    8. The heartbreaking moment when Alex's landlords kick her out because of Sean's reckless behavior at Maddy's birthday party.

    Netflix / Via

    Qualley is just crying on a car, not making a peep, and that says everything we need to know about what happened and how she's feeling. 

    9. When Alex tells Nate that they're not equal.

    Alex and Nate
    Netflix / Via

    Nate is very dreamy, and the feelings are obviously mutual between them. However, Alex is very aware that his generosity is the difference between her and her family living on the streets — that there's a power dynamic hidden in his nice-guy act. 

    10. When Alex freezes after her mother breaks into her own home and hurts her hand.

    Netflix / Via

    Alex doesn't even talk through the whole ordeal, but you can just tell her genuine shock and anxiety as she weighs how much of a responsibility her mother has become. 

    11. When Alex tells her mom that she loves her at the hospital.

    Alex tells her mom that she loves her
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    Qualley's chemistry with her IRL mother (*the* Andie MacDowell) translates beautifully onto the small screen.   

    12. When Alex takes her daughter on a bear hunt.

    Alex and Maddy go bear hunting in the woods
    Netflix / Via

    We also need to talk about the chemistry between Qualley and Rylea Nevaeh Whittet, who plays Maddy. Their relationship feels incredibly natural, and it really moves the show forward. 

    13. When Alex becomes horribly depressed after Sean demonizes her for getting into college and returns her car to Nate.

    Alex on couch
    Netflix / Via

    You literally feel Alex's emptiness and loss of hope. It's gutting. 

    14. When Alex takes Maddy away from the trailer after finding her in the cupboard.

    Alex and Maddy
    Netflix / Via

    After Sean yells and throws things at her, Alex's instincts kick in when she finds her daughter hiding in a cupboard. She climbs out of her dark place (quite literally, in a dream sequence) and does whatever she can to get them to a safe place. 

    15. When Alex meets her first client outside of Value Maids.

    Alex and client
    Netflix / Via

    This intimate moment snapshots Alex's intelligence, kindness, and will in the face of an ashamed client with a hoarding problem. 

    16. When Alex serves Sean.

    Alex serves Sean
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    With actual, meaningful support and a renewed sense of self, Alex serves Sean to get full custody of her daughter so that they can move to Montana together.

    17. When Alex confronts her mother about being homeless.

    Alex and Paula in Walmart parking lot
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    Paula's chatty and flighty nature is really grounded by Alex's knowing stares and quiet worry.  

    18. When Alex confronts her dad.

    Alex tells her dad "Then I guess we don't have much to say to each other"
    Netflix / Via

    In this painful scene with Billy Burke, Alex realizes that her father will never be there for her, so she resigns from their conversation altogether. Because he's sympathetic to Sean's struggles with alcohol addiction, he refuses to acknowledge that Sean emotionally abused her. 

    19. When Alex tells Paula that she's going without her.

    Alex talks to her mom
    Netflix / Via

    Again, Qualley's ability to express between the lines is perfection. Here, Alex has finally resolved to let her mother be and move on with her life, no matter how much she feels obligated to care for her. She's skeptical about her mother's latest romance, but she lets go of trying to rescue her. 

    20. When Alex describes her happiest day to her writing group.

    Alex and Maddy hiking
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    Alex says that her happiest day hasn't happened yet, but she more or less describes her near future. Qualley's narration brims with this tentative sense of hope that feels especially powerful given all that Alex has been through. 

    What was your favorite Margaret Qualley moment on Maid? Drop your thoughts below!