Sunday, July 15, 2018

What I'm Watching: The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2, Episode 9 “Smart Power” (B+)

One of the things about this show that has always intrigued me so much is the narrative of events that led to the creation of Gilead and the way in which the rest of the world views this religious totalitarian nation. As we saw previously with the ambassador from Mexico, other countries are hurting greatly from a lack of trade with the former United States, and the resumption of diplomatic relations can help everyone, similar to current events regarding North Korea, a regime that might not actually atone for its misdeeds but can still be normalized for the good of the world. It was fascinating to present this episode’s trip to Canada through the eyes of Serena, who has become an increasingly sympathetic character, so awed by the freedoms she could enjoy over the border and reminded of the limitations she has back in Gilead. The protestors weren’t quite as enraged and mean as they were in the flashbacks to her lecture tour days, but they definitely got to her, specifically Luke, who wisely held up a sign making it impossible for the Waterfords to ignore him. Mark Tuello, played by Sam Jaeger from “Parenthood,” seemed like an inappropriate distraction for Serena, but finding out that he was an agent of the American government looking to extradite her to Hawaii for asylum showed how resistance works in this scary future, with extraction options possible, but only for those who are willing. June trying to find multiple godmothers to look after her baby in Gilead was a fitting subplot, with all her efforts seemingly rewarded by the news from Nick, the hero of this episode, that Luke and Moira are both alive and well and not even close to forgetting about her.

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