‘Maid’ on Netflix is a drama miniseries that delves into a young woman’s struggle against homelessness and poverty as she tries to do the best she can for her young daughter. Alternating between living in shelters, her car, and wherever else she can find a roof, Alex’s trying journey is intricately detailed. We also see the young single mother trying to grapple with a maze of bureaucratic procedures to get the financial assistance she desperately needs.
Created by Molly Smith Metzler and inspired by Stephanie Land’s 2019 memoir ‘Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive,’ the series is a heart-wrenching tale. Despite Alex still teetering on the edge of poverty, the miniseries offers a glimmer of hope at the end. So, where do she and her daughter end up? Does Alex finally have a home she can take Maddy to? Let’s take a look at the ending of ‘Maid.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.
The series opens with Alex lying awake next to her boyfriend, Sean. The trailer they live in shows signs of violence, and bits of broken glass litter the floor. After a few minutes, she picks up her young daughter Maddy, bundles her things into her car, and drives away. Not having anywhere else to go, Alex leaves Maddy with her mother Paula and begins to work as a maid. However, later that day, her car is totaled in an accident, and the young single mother and her daughter are forced to spend the night at the ferry station.
As Alex tries to sign up for various government assistance programs, she finds it increasingly difficult to balance taking care of her daughter, hold down her job, and continue to meet all the formal requirements needed to qualify. She checks into a domestic violence shelter, where she and Maddy are taken care of by the kind counselor Denise. Alex also gets help from an old acquaintance called Nate, who has long had feelings for her.
As she continues to clean the luxurious homes of wealthy people, Alex begins to get a deep insight into their lives. She notices how unhappy people who seem to have everything actually are and begins to write about it. After a tumultuous start, she eventually becomes close to one of her clients, Regina, a high-powered lawyer attempting to have her first child. When Alex gets a scholarship to study writing at a university in Montana, Regina helps her with the legalities and tries to get Alex full custody of Maddy so that she is allowed to leave the state to pursue her education.
Maid Ending Explained: Where Do Alex and Maddy End Up? Do They Find a Home?
After initially insisting on holding onto custody of Maddy, Sean finally realizes that he is unfit to care for his daughter due to his alcoholism and signs over his custodial rights. Alex, who is once again forced to move into the shelter, works feverishly to prepare things for her move to Montana. She also begins to save money from taking on additional housekeeping clients but still teeters on the edge of poverty. She also realizes to her dismay that her mother is now homeless, with her young boyfriend-turned-husband having run away with all her belongings.
Paula finally agrees to go to Montana with her daughter, and Alex prepares to leave her hometown. She bids goodbye to Regina and goes to pick her mother up but learns that Paula has taken on a new lover and doesn’t want to move. Alex and Maddy then head to Montana, and the series closes with Alex thinking about the future with renewed optimism.
So Alex finally makes it to university and leaves the town that she grew up in. With her scholarship to a university in Missoula, Montana — combined with various financial assistance programs for which she painstakingly completes the requirements — the young single mother can just about afford college. However, since she’s also taken student loans to cover her expenses, Alex mentions that she will likely continue working as a maid through college.
Despite her continuing financial troubles, Alex has taken a big step and is last seen optimistic about the future. She mentions how she knows there are tough days ahead but hopes for happy ones as well. Having qualified for university family housing, Alex and Maddy will finally have a home to call their own. Alex also mentions a daycare that can take care of Maddy while she works and studies. Considering finding someone to care for her daughter while she worked was one of Alex’s major hurdles, this is a significant improvement for the mother and daughter.
What Happens to Paula?
Paula, who seemingly has bipolar disorder, decides not to go with Alex to Montana at the last minute. The free-spirited artist is last seen with a new lover named Micah, who owns the handicrafts stall where Paula works. As seen with her previous relationship with Basil, Paula seems completely enamored with a man who barely seems to care about her and prefers to stay with him rather than accompany her daughter.
However, Paula’s actions are not entirely driven by selfishness, as she has also expressed how she doesn’t want to “tag along” with her daughter. She recognizes the new start her daughter is getting by going to college and, though she doesn’t say it, likely doesn’t want to be an added burden on Alex.
However, Paula is also driven by a need to be free, which makes her live precariously. She is now essentially homeless, having lost her house, the only asset she had from her own mother. In an uncertain relationship with Micah and without Alex to check in on her, Paula could end up having to live in her car again.
What Happens to Sean?
Sean initially insists on having custodial rights over Maddy and even takes Alex to court over the matter. However, after relapsing into alcoholism and attempting to quit once again, Sean realizes that he needs to work on himself before taking care of his daughter. When he finally gives Alex complete custody of Maddy, he mentions how he couldn’t stop thinking about getting a drink even while spending time with their daughter. He likens this to the behavior of his own mother and says that he doesn’t want that for Maddy.
Alex offers that Sean can visit his daughter in Montana whenever he wants, which seems to give him hope. In the end, we see Sean deciding to clean up his act and then promise to visit Maddy as often as he can. He no longer tries to convince Alex to come back home with him and finally seems to have stopped trying to control her. Though his future is uncertain, by giving full custody of Maddy to Alex, Sean appears to have recognized his faults. By further giving up his job as a bartender and focussing on carpentry, it looks like he is trying to make significant changes in his life.
Read More: Where Was Maid Filmed?