Would it be wrong, if not odd, to say I was a bit bored by “Jezebel?” Granted, we got another character’s background story and saw someone from June’s past, but I found it difficult to be excited or engaged. To help understand why, look below.
The Life and Times of Nick Blaine: Nick, June
Before the formation of Gilead, Nick didn’t have the best life. Due to family issues, he had a hard time holding a job and seemed sort of aimless. However, that was before meeting Commander Pryce and learning about the Sons of Jacob. [note] What likely is the name of the group which took over America and renamed it Gilead.[/note] Through Pryce, Nick got his driving job. The one he has been doing for years. On top of that, Pryce is the one who assigned him to be an eye. One which is supposed to watch over Fred’s household.
Something which he does, but it isn’t clear what he says and who he would even report to. For while even commanders aren’t above the law, we learn they are allowed discretions. Heck, even Nick takes advantage of his position to trade drugs, pregnancy tests, and more [note]With a woman who looks like the original Offred who hanged herself. Also, a woman who Nick seems to have a thing with[/note]. All of which June doesn’t see, but with her knowing so little about Nick, she wonders if he is happy? Could this life he lives really be enough for him? An idea Nick, with his dead in the eye look, may not have truly thought about.
You know, watching Nick’s storyline reminded me how much presence is importance when it comes to acting. There isn’t a need to be like Aunt Lydia to control a room. June shows this often just by looking indirectly at the camera, often with the same blank look Nick has. Yet, Moss has something you don’t see in _. Which I think was part of the reason I was lulled into complacency for this episode. For really, what reason is there to invest in Nick?
Granted, he is part of The Eye, but even Rita seems more interesting than him. He is like a shadow on a wall, a fitting member of an observer organization. Making for Nick deciding to break things off with June a welcomed end. Especially if that means he can get pushed back into his little room over the garage space. Alongside him just weirdly, almost in an uninterested way, watching everyone.
Never Trust Janine: June, Moira, Fred
While the wife is away, Fred likes to play. So, the day before Serena Joy is due to return from seeing her mother, he asks June to doll herself. Reason being, they are going to what looks like a swingers party. Well, a swingers party or what I’d imagine the Playboy Club looked like in the 70s or 80s. In this place, somewhere near Boston, are the Jezebels. These women, seemingly too smart and unable to adhere to the wife of a Martha, wife, or Handmaiden, are purely for pleasure. Be it conversation or sexual.
Of these women, we see Moira who is alive and well. Albeit, her spirit is broken now and she hasn’t any new intentions of escaping, but with all the food, booze, and drugs she wants, she is happy. Well, as happy as a trapped sex worker can be.
Leading you to probably wonder: What happened? Well, Moira did get to Boston and was working her way through the Femaleroad [note]The new underground railroad[/note] but her coyote, for a lack of a better term, got caught. Alongside that, she was caught, interrogated, punished and told it was either the colonies or jezebels. So, here she is with a bunch of former CEOs, journalist, and also a handful of professors.
But, we can’t move onto the commentary without bringing Fred more into this. The man who helped craft the Handmaid laws with Commander Pryce (Robert Curtis Brown) and Guthrie (Christian Lloyd) seemingly is a regular to this club. Well, at least her was with the old Offred it seems. In fact, perhaps the main thing worth noting from digging into Nick’s past is how it seems the fault of the former Offred’s death lies squarely on Fred. As for the whys and what was the final straw? Well, maybe that will be the focus of the season will build to. What was the reason the former Offred couldn’t deal with the Waterfords anymore?
I was excited to see the title “Jezebels” for the episode but, I gotta admit, outside of seeing Moira, I’m kind of disappointed. For while how sinister Fred was acting was making my skin crawl, nothing really came out of it. He was simply horny and wanted to have sex with June without Nick or Rita around, so it seems. He wanted June to be allowed to be vocal and perhaps really stroke his ego. However, at this point, I think June is using sex as leverage. Maybe, to a certain degree, to feel alive, but mostly as an insurance policy.
After all, with the way laws and society is, who else is Fred or Nick going to get to sleep with? For while Nick is a member of The Eye, as he notes, no one is above the law. So, in a way, while June can’t probably testify against a man, she gains some power by sleeping with these men – willingly. But, while the quest for survival is clearly killing June inside, it does push the question of who is next? Which character shall we look at the past life of next week? I’m hoping for Rita or Aunt Lydia. For while I know Fred’s episode is around the corner, I’m enjoying learning about him in bits and pieces. I think that is better for the character than a Nick or even Luke styled, episode.
With that said, I’d love to learn more about the Sons of Jacob in one sitting. For if there is one thing about Fred I wouldn’t mind focused on, in his inevitable episode, is the formation of Gilead vs. him specifically. Especially the fall of America and rise of Gilead.