Thursday, July 4, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3, Episode 6 “Household” (B+)

This show never goes quite as far as I’d like it to in terms of showing us the full scope of what Gilead looks like both internally and on the international scene, but I think that might be purposeful as a reflection of how little both the handmaids like June and those who have escaped to Canada actually know about what’s going on elsewhere. Traveling to Washington with the Waterfords was both extremely enlightening and horrifically depressing, and this episode managed to be immensely disturbing in typical fashion. Seeing the handmaids with their mouths covered by their robes was unsettling enough before June saw what had been done to Ofgeorge, while Lydia seemed fascinated by the prospect of attaining one. She’s such a complex character, one who believes somehow that she is doing the right thing, intent on serving her true purpose while clearing causing pain to those around her, including June, with whom she shared an unexpectedly intimate and genuine moment. June was brutally honest with Serena, and it now seems unlikely that Serena will swing over to work with the resistance. I was curious who would be cast as the high commander and his wife, and I immediately recognized Christopher Meloni, from “Law and Order: SVU,” “Happy,” and a fantastic villainous role on “True Blood,” and Elizabeth Reaser from “Grey’s Anatomy” as the couple. Winslow offering Fred a high position in DC while also hitting on him demonstrates the hypocrisy of these religious zealots, and we’ll see how Fred responds to the situation. Making a deal for Nick’s cooperation was clearly not a welcome choice because of his past actions, and now June is left with few options. Having her look at the Lincoln Memorial with nothing but his legs left was chilling, though not nearly as much as the sight of all the handmaids kneeling in prayer in front of the Washington Monument, now replaced with a giant cross. Being in Spain and hearing all about the Spanish Inquisition made that sight even more unnerving for me.

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