Monday, May 22, 2017

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 1, Episode 4 “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum” (B+)

This episode’s flashbacks were helpful in showing us how Offred got to where she is now after the religious order had already taken power. Moira’s reaction to learning how to have sex with the commanders and their wives was one of complete disbelief, and we got the answer to why we haven’t seen her around in the present day. I was shocked to see that Offred participated with her in an attempt to run away, stealing the clothes of one of the aunts before she attracted too much attention and gave an encouraging nod to Moira to get on the train to Boston and find her freedom. I’m not sure if we’ll ever know what happened to Moira, and it’s hard to imagine that she made it anywhere safe given that the street and subway signs have all been taken down to keep inhabitants at bay. I did notice from the makeup of the men getting off the train that there seems to be no inherent racism or white nationalism present in this new world, rather just the incredible subjugation of women. We also learned a few helpful hints about other places, like an apparently free Canada and a more cooperative Mexico. The notion that something like the UN still exists is crazy, though I guess we also can’t really know if this order still controls more than just a small area of Massachusetts since we haven’t seen anything of the outside world. Offred’s trip to the doctor was yet another example of a man reacting far less coldly to a handmaid than the women put in charge, as Kristian Bruun, best known as Donnie on “Orphan Black,” offered to impregnate her so that she wouldn’t have to contend with the commander’s likely sterile condition. Offred’s latest Scrabble game with the commander was affirming, and she seems set to tackle her horrific life with just a bit more optimism than before.

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