Monday, September 26, 2022

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 5, Episode 2 “Ballet” (B+)

One of the most fascinating parts of this show’s world has always been how Gilead manages to function on the international stage. I can imagine it would be quite chilling for someone like Mark to travel as Serena’s escort well aware of the dangers that face him, and how he would say things like the traditional Gilead greetings as a way of honoring the local customs. There was something entertaining about how he didn’t know Lydia’s name and she was shocked that he wouldn’t have known. Serena was smart to position herself as Gilead’s best asset by making Fred’s funeral a way to appeal to an international audience who might be able to see Gilead in a more sympathetic light. June, who was doing pretty well taking a break from agitating Rita and remembering Scrabble games with Fred, was fuming when she saw Serena almost smile at the camera knowing she was watching with Hannah standing there giving her flowers. Both Esther and Janine seemed to be doing well adjusting to the reality of their situations, but Esther was apparently not ready to accept her life. It’s not clear that they’re both dead yet but it doesn’t look good, and if that news reaches June, which it likely will, it’s only going to inspire her to go more on the warpath. I’m continually intrigued by both Joseph and Nick, with the former being admonished by Warren for not following any Gilead customs and the latter being wisely targeted by Mark as a potential asset for the United States government.

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