Saturday, May 13, 2017

Round Two: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 1, Episode 2 “Birth Day” (B+)

In its second installment, this show lived up to the expectations set by the first hour. I feel very invested in the story, eager to find out how we got here and see this super creepy religious cult rise to power. Visiting the birth of June’s daughter presented a very frightening situation in the abandoned hospital when the baby went missing while the alarms were blaring and another woman tried to steal her baby. The sight of the empty viewing room previously full of babies was especially disturbing. It was a formidable and powerful memory to recall while she was at the house helping one of the handmaids give birth. The contradictions between the noble wives and the handmaids in their birthing situations were immense, and it’s crazy that the wife comes up to be part of the birth as if she’s actually involved somehow. Serena offering Offred a cookie was especially harsh, and her defiantly spitting it out was a subtle sign of resistance. The commander inviting Offred into his room was a mysterious event, and the fact that he wanted to play Scrabble was truly worthy of the laughter Offred burst into after letting him win and leaving. That he values an intellectual relationship with her is interesting, but the news that Ofglen is gone, replaced by another handmaid who claims to be her, is unsettling and surely can’t mean anything good. If Serena ever finds out what Offred, she’s going to make her life even more of a living hell.

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