Monday, May 29, 2017

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 1, Episode 5 “Faithful” (A-)

This show has been very good since the start, and there was something about this episode that just demonstrated an even further leap into greatness and excellent handing of all its extremely disturbing material. The opening was relatively light, with Offred learning what the commander likes and then using the magazine he gave her to analyze ways to tell how he – and later Nick – felt about her. Offred was not shy about offering her opinion to both the Commander and Serena, chastising him for touching her in front of Serena and snapping at Serena for thinking that she would feel pregnant mere moments after having sex with Nick, which itself is an interesting development. Interspersing Offred’s passion-free act of attempted baby-making with Nick, supervised by Serena, with her first passionate encounter with Luke was enormously effective, and the whole saga of how Moira picked him out off the street and then he eagerly accepted the idea of leaving his wife after Jun asked him was such a huge piece of her background that affects who she is. Ending with her sneaking in to Nick’s cabin for an actual instance of passion was powerful, and it’s clear that she’s not going to play by the rules anymore. It was surprising and enlightening to hear the new Ofglen speak up and show some personality, declaring that her new life is far better and more stable than the one she had before. The old Ofglen, Emily, had her moment as well, experiencing an invigorating joyride before taking it to a deadly level, one that is sure to have even more irreparable consequences for her.