Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 1, Episode 6 “A Woman’s Place” (B+)

I was just saying to a friend of mine that I wish this show would tell us a bit more about what happened that allowed Gilead to rise up and take power. While that didn’t quite happen in this episode aside from Fred telling Serena that they were planning a three-tiered attack to topple the government, we got something even better: flashbacks to what Serena was like before everything. Learning that she was a conservative feminist author was extremely enlightening and surprising, and watching her transformation from enthusiastic participant in reactionary reform to a realization that women have no place in leadership in this new world was incredible. I’d love to see even more of that, and I hope that as the show progresses into season two we will. Offred being chosen to represent the handmaids to the Mexican delegation offered up the biggest surprise of all: the Mexican ambassador was a woman. Offred realizing that she presented a whitewashed front for the horrors of this new world was devastating, but even worse than getting caught and punished for speaking her mind when she next had the opportunity was the ambassador’s response, which was to disregard it since they were so desperate for new life that they were willing to forego human decency. And then we got a tremendously powerful and unexpected ending, with the man Offred initially thought was the ambassador proving himself to be an ally and sharing the shocking news that her husband is still alive, and that there’s good reason to have hope.

No comments: