Thursday, July 19, 2018

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2, Episode 11 “Holly” (B+)

One of the ways in which this show succeeds most formidably is the way in which it portrays the repression that the handmaids and others not in power in this society experience, especially in contrast to the liberties they previously had. Hannah having trouble separating before school one day was a harmless enough memory that obviously has far more meaning to June given her present situation, and watching her curse Luke out and yell about the wrong song coming on during her first labor was a far cry from the cold, lonely, painful delivery that she managed to pull off in the abandoned house where no one knew to come looking for her. Fred and Serena showing up shouting for Offred was most notable because their fighting felt far more contemporary than the more antiquated style that Gilead usually uses, showing that they too are putting up a front and would much rather be free to speak freely in a way that allows them to truly be themselves. Offred shooting them from above would have been too easy, and the fact that she now has a child in the middle of the freezing woods with no one but people who think she’s run away coming to look for her means that she’s essentially hopeless. Naming the baby after her mother cements a connection with this offspring that soon may not belong to her, and hearing the radio of the American government in exile was a nice glimmer of hope that’s all too rare on this show.

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