Thursday, November 3, 2022

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 5, Episode 9 “Allegiance” (B+)

I had a feeling that something bad was going to happen since this felt like too much hope for this show. It’s not what I expected, since Hannah is both still alive and apparently aware of who she is, which is a good sign for the eventual reunion she might have with her real parents. Unfortunately, the mission was a disaster, resulting in the deaths of all the soldiers on board the planes, and a vigil in Toronto that was interrupted by gunfire during a passionate pledge of allegiance. Not being safe and welcome in Toronto means that June may feel like she has to go back to Gilead, without hoping for any sort of Bethlehem given how furious she was at him. It’s worth noting that Bradley Whitford directed this episode, which highlighted a very strong performance from a man who talks straight and often tries to find levity in situations but is grasping for that these days. Having Lydia by his side makes for an odd pairing given how much of a true believer she is, and she did a much better job of explaining Joseph’s very unromantic proposal to an entirely horrified Naomi Putnam. It does make some sense for the two of them to provide cover for each other, but Naomi seems both too distressed by the death of her husband and too aligned with Gilead’s mission to be a productive presence in his household. The news of Rose’s pregnancy certainly caught June by surprise, but she’s also going to soon experience how miserable it is to have a child who’s only meant to serve a great purpose in Gilead. Serena struggled to get Mrs. Wheeler and Mr. Wheeler to allow her to come to the event she had suggested, but she was just using it as an opportunity to escape, a dangerous gamble that will likely have her coming straight to the last person she would have ever thought of just a short time ago to help her.

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