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

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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 gettyimages.com

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
RICARDO HUBBS/NETFLIX / Via netflix.com

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!

Alex
RICARDO HUBBS/NETFLIX / Via netflix.com

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

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex and Maddy at the ferry station

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

3.When Alex tells Regina off.

Alex tells off Regina

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex

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...

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

Alex on bed

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

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

in

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex and Nate

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex tells her mom that she loves her

Qualley's chemistry with her IRL mother (*the* Andie MacDowell) translates beautifully onto the small screen.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex and Maddy go bear hunting in the woods

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex on couch

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

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex and Maddy

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex and client

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

Netflix / Via netflix.com

16.When Alex serves Sean.

Alex serves Sean

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

17.When Alex confronts her mother about being homeless.

Alex and Paula in Walmart parking lot

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

Netflix / Via netflix.com

18.When Alex confronts her dad.

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

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex talks to her mom

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

Alex and Maddy hiking

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.

Netflix / Via netflix.com

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

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