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The First Lady Episode 3 review: Latest episode presents love stories of the three First Ladies

Starring Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson as the First Ladies, the Voot Select series is directed by Susanne Bier. 

  • Akhila Damodaran

Last Updated: 03.17 PM, May 01, 2022

The First Lady Episode 3 review: Latest episode presents love stories of the three First Ladies
A still from The First Lady Episode 3/YouTube screengrab


The new episode, titled, 'Please Allow Me' focuses on earlier lives of the First Ladies and how they met and fell in love with their respective partners, who later went on to become the President of the United States.


The episode 3, titled, 'Please Allow Me' starts with the story of earlier life of Betty. She is seen in an unhappy and abusive marriage. She meets Jerry Ford at a dinner, who encourages and offers his help to get her out of the abusive marriage. She also does not get promoted at work, which crushes her. But she is soon seen taking charge of her life, divorcing her husband and moving in a new apartment. When her husband says that he would not pay her alimony, she confidently says she never even dreamt that he would and walks out.

Betty is portrayed as a woman with lot of self-respect. When Jerry later does not call her back, she just writes a letter, expressing her disappointment in him and decides to go on her own. However, Jerry later realises that he has been ignoring and apologises. Their few scenes of then getting back together and Jerry putting efforts into the relationship are adorable.

Meanwhile, young Eleanor Roosevelt, niece of former US President, Theodore Roosevelt reluctantly cuts short her education in London for her socio-political career. She is portrayed as a shy person who opens up about how her mother never considered her beautiful during her discussion about her essay in college. Even though it was early 1900s, the people seemed quite progressive, especially when her college professor stands up for her and tells her that her mother was just 'plain' for considering her not beautiful. Though very brief, it does talk about the society notions even when it comes to marriage and relationships. Eleanor, who prefers rather to be a 'spinster' as described by her uncle, is given a lecture by him about how life is all about relationships and not just romantic ones. This makes Eleanor change her mind and go to a ball and when she is asked for a dance by her fifth cousin, Franklin, she refuses. She is portrayed as a brave and determined woman who speaks her mind. But her love story is cut short like her college education with an abrupt end. She is seen refusing Franklin for a dance the first time she meet and then cut to, she is seen walking down the isle to marry him. In fact, Franklin is not shown in marriage. Eleanor is just in her wedding dress and her uncle Theodore telling her that he is happy that she has found a perfect partner in Franklin.

Michelle, on the other hand, is seen joining a law firm after returning from Harvard Law Schoool. She meets a young and politically-inclined intern, named Barack. They start spending more time and fall in love with each other. Their romance is portrayed a little filmy. The way they run to their car as it starts raining and share their first kiss reminds one of a Bollywood film cliche.

The episode ends with Michelle and Barack in the car, singing after their wedding. The episode shows more glimpses of their wedding that the other two First Ladies, probably because how most people today find them more relatable as they have known their stories better than the other US Presidents and their First Ladies.


The episode is a feel-good watch, filled with familial moments and the love story. It offers a break from otherwise more thought-provoking and intense drama.

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