Sunday, June 3, 2018

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2, Episode 6 “First Blood” (B+)

Not that this show doesn’t usually address gender roles in a fascinating way in every episode, but this hour felt particularly poignant. Offred felt no sympathy for Nick in not wanting to be forced to have sex with someone she didn’t want to, and she tried to help his very nice-seeming wife before she realized that she had grown up in such a brainwashed society that her first thought for why Nick didn’t want to be with her was that he might be a “gender traitor.” Showcasing Serena as the voice of the Gilead movement long before it was normalized is immensely ironic in that women were stifled and silenced in this new world order. This show reaches peak disturbing mode when it showcases flash of Gilead and its rise in the society we know today, with Serena being shouted down as a Nazi by furious protesters and then “blowing up on Twitter” after a speech. Though this episode aired almost two weeks ago, its timing feels especially appropriate following the swift cancellation of “Roseanne” following a highly objectionable tweet by its star. Fred declaring “She has a right to speak! This is America!” was so eerie and strange given that he was fighting to speak about a society in which people no longer have the right to speak. Though mentions of June’s first pregnancy tend to irk Serena, she seemed to be trying so hard to get along, bonding about pregnancy pillows, brunch places (not in Framingham though, twenty minutes from where I grew up), and inviting over other handmaids to gab with Offred, including the tongueless Ofglen. Responding so harshly and inhumanely to Offred's request to see Hannah demonstrated how inferior she believes her to be, and Fred had to step in to make himself seem like the hero in order to keep his house in order. It does appear that this is the last we'll be seeing of him following the terrorist attack carried out by a handmaid at the new Rachel and Leah Center, an event that is sure to increase security measures that surely won't mean good news for any of the handmaids or resistance members.

No comments: