Saturday, June 16, 2018

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2, Episode 7 “After” (B+)

I know it’s a dangerous thing to be so far behind on this show when two more episodes have aired, but I’m doing my best to catch up after a busy few weeks. This post-attack installment was very effective, for the first time in a while linking the three main threads of the show and displaying what was happening in relation to the same events in each place. Fred survived the attack, which is a surprise but also means that he’s incapacitated, forcing Serena, Nick, and Offred to work together to ensure that their house won’t be impacted by this investigation, which, to help maximize the impact of the terror, is punishing entire homes for what one member did. Serena sharing that she used to vacation with Cushing before all this was a vulnerable moment, and one that gave Offred the energy to stress the importance of making sure that he believed she was taken rather than having run away. Serena is asserting herself in a major way now that Fred is no longer able to be in charge, and having Offred copy-edit the new orders was a huge gain. Maybe while she’s inciting individuality by introducing herself as June to other handmaids, she can also help change the world they live in to something more tolerable. Serena handing her a pen was a big moment. Seeing how Little Canada hears the news of the attack with actual names reported rather than a funeral ceremony with red veils was intense, and I can now understand why Emily and Janine were sent away to prison since their crimes can be forgiven as long as the roster of handmaids remains full.

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