So Simone212 asked me things / But mostly she writes things ! on AO3, Love is Love.
So it was my bad.. Adios martini and olives.
For me this is a crucial scene.
1) Because we see the tragedy of Carol Aird’s life and her way of coping. We witness Carol trying to keep her composure while almost falling apart:
crushed by the oppressive social mores of the fiftees, cornered and humiliated by a husband who wants to continue to control her by threatening to take away what is most dear to her, her child.
2) At this moment the spark that was ignited in her by Therese becomes a flame that encourages Carol to continue to pursue Therese, whatever the consequence. The damage (losing custody) probably already done, she decides to seek her own happiness: she is going to ask Therese to come with her.
3) Cate’s magnificent unexcelled acting. We see all emotions evoked by this situation in her eyes and facial expression - outrage, humiliation, pain, fear, uncertainty - while her body language, arms crossed, shows Carol’s attempt to keep her cool, at least on the outside.