Sunday, July 21, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3, Episode 9 “Heroic” (B)

June was on display in front of the cameras just two episodes ago, and now she couldn’t possibly be any lonelier. The notion that, because her walking partner was in the hospital, she shouldn’t be allowed to do anything either, seems preposterous but is also clearly designed to keep the handmaids from developing any sort of autonomous identity. It was repulsive to see how hard the doctors worked to save only the baby, unconcerned about whether her mother survived. The performance of the hour came from Gil Bellows, so many years after his breakout role in “The Shawshank Redemption,” as the doctor who remembered June’s mother and convinced her that he had to give her a diagnosis of suicidal thoughts rather than homicidal ones since that would certainly lead to her ending up on the wall. It’s interesting to think about the people who exist in this world who don’t buy into the ideology but do their best to help whoever they can given the context, which in this case was his patient – the baby. Trying to stab Serena seemed more borne of her going stir-crazy, especially since it would likely lead to her execution, but she does have a strong desire to see her dead. Asking Janine to help her kill Natalie demonstrated the extent to which Janine’s worldview has changed since we first met and she had her eye cruelly taken out. It’s impossible to imagine how someone would behave in circumstances like this, and Janine is an example of someone who has chosen to find the brightness in a truly dark and horrific place.

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