Wednesday, May 2, 2018

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale (Season Premiere)

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

Last year’s big winner for Best Drama Series is back with its highly-anticipated second season, and though Hulu dropped two episodes last Wednesday, I’m taking it one hour at a time to make it last longer. This opening installment was extraordinarily intense, revealing that June’s mystery ride to freedom wasn’t that at all, but instead a horrific visit to a stadium of gallows, where Aunt Lydia put on a grand show to make all of them think they were about to die. Forcing them to stand out in the rain holding a rock after that was cruel, and Aunt Lydia demonstrated just how vindictive she was by tasing June right before revealing to the group that she was pregnant. Seeing just what fate awaited her if she refused to be cooperative, June made the smart choice to comply, calmly eating her soup with all the handmaids staring at her as one among them had her hand burned to send a message. Pairing this showcase of emotional terrorism with flashbacks to the rise of Gilead, with June having to get her prescription signed by her husband and being questioned about her dedication to motherhood when her daughter went to school with a slight fever escalating quickly to reports of the hostile takeover by this fringe religion of the government. I’m sure we’ll see more of that soon, but at the moment there’s cause for celebration, since Nick came through and spirited June to relative safety, allowing her to brutally remove her tag and prepare for whatever awaits her next in what’s sure to be a ferociously interesting season.

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