We take a trip down to DC to learn if things are better or worse in the capital and oh, not only are they worse but June gets a wake-up call.
|Introduced This Episode|
|Commander Winslow||Christopher Meloni|
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Welcome To DC: Fred, Serena Joy, Aunt Lydia, June, Commander Winslow, Olivia
To further Fred and Serena Joy’s cause, things are taken to DC for better visuals, more spectacle, and an increase in pressure. All of which helps Fred recover from the damage June did for now High Commander Winslow is allowed to see his media savviness play out. Also, as that happens, Serena gets to spend time with Commander Winslow’s wife Olivia who has, at minimum, 6 kids.
And while the elite play and have public prayers, Aunt Lydia and June see how different DC is from the Boston area. One of the first things that they notice is an increase in security, which is expected, but the more shocking bit is how far the system goes to keep Handmaids silent. For example, Commander Winslow’s handmaid has her lips either stapled or sewn so she can’t speak. On top of that, she wears a lower face mask which is too tight to speak clearly. Something which may or may not become a new thing in the northern region.
Negotiations With The Swiss: Nick, June, Serena Joy
With Canada being uneasy about the negotiations, strictly considering them due to Gilead’s military strength, it leads to the Swiss getting involved and trying to see what they can get out of this. The answer? Well, June, despite what she is told not to do, tries to cut a deal with the Swiss so Nicohle will stay in Canada. Now, as for what the Swiss want? Espionage information. Gilead isn’t online, in a public sense, and so everyone only knows what they put out there. So, any information about their power structure and more would be helpful.
Unfortunately for June, the only one she knows with such information is Nick. Someone who the Swiss don’t trust for they know he was a crusader that led to the fall of the US government. Thus making June’s rebellion for naught.
Small, Cruel, And Empty: June, Serena Joy
Well, at least in terms of her making any headway. For Serena Joy, it perhaps gave hope for who else but June could possibly derail everything? And her failure is probably why the two decide to have one out. One in which Serena makes it seem she wouldn’t be trying to get Nicohle back if June escaped to Canada with her and June ending her attempts at making Serena an ally, or useful to her, by hitting a low blow.
As in what kind of low blow? Well, she points out Serena is empty. Which, on one hand, could be her talking about how Serena Joy is emotionally empty but let’s not forget that Serena Joy, thanks to an assassination attempt, also can’t have kids so she is also without a womb. So the emptiness inside could take on that meaning as well, and that is likely the cruelest thing June can say.
So, more than likely, if June ever has her revolution, Serena Joy will be on the opposing side.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Taking note the increase in security, how was June able to move about so freely, yell at the former Lincoln Memorial, and act more rebellious than ever? Especially the Nick situation?
- While it could have just been being friendly, did anyone else get some slightly uncomfortable vibes from how long Commander Winslow had his hand on Fred’s back and how Fred was reacting to that?
Serena Joy Back To Being A Villain
Some characters just don’t work well trying to live in some sort of gray area. Nick does to a point, but he barely says much and at this point is a reoccurring role. So him being in the gray area works. As for Serena Joy? With this world crafted by her and her mad she lacks the power she thought she would have, any attempt at trying to become a hero, outside of her own point of view, would be massively difficult. Outside of sacrificing herself, as she did and lost a finger for, wouldn’t make her seem look a good guy or complex.
Essentially, Serena Joy will always be a selfish character, and even if they continued to attempt to make her someone selfish, but with a goal which aligned with June, there is no means to recover. So it seems best to return her to simply being a villain than trying to have her be someone who deserves sympathy. For really, lest we forget, she held June down, more than once, as Fred raped her and is there any real coming back from that?
June Clearly Betraying Gilead And Living To See Another Day
All I want to know is how June can speak to a foreign government, clearly try to coax some sort of deal in her favor, and not be put on notice? I mean, considering this mask thing they now use, would it be so hard to find a woman with similar features to June? Would the Swiss even care if June died? Nick is being sent out to Chicago so he wouldn’t know. So, as with many of the episodes this season, you’re left to wonder how in the world is June getting away with this?
On The Fence
What’s Up With Aunt Lydia?
Every time we see Aunt Lydia it is like she switches from being a hand to the authoritarian government to a victim of circumstance happy she can enjoy some comforts. This episode leaned her towards being a far kinder character than we’ve seen since June was pregnant and there is a serious need to ask why? Is she trying to atone or make up for how brutal she was to Janine? Which, so it seems, didn’t cause her to be punished in the slightest.
Yet, maybe something happened off camera? How else could you explain, as June asked if Aunt Lydia wanted them silenced, Aunt Lydia not being hardline? Perhaps even glad, and intrigued, by the local custom?
Off and on, like Serena Joy, there have been attempts at softening Aunt Lydia, and according to a BUILD interview featuring the actresses who play Rita and Janine, her backstory will be featured this season. But, also like Serena Joy, there is a need to question do we need a villainous character softened up or do we just need to know the reason behind their resolve?
The Swiss, DC Culture And Some Form Of End Game
While it is always interesting to see not just outside of the Boston area, but also get a vibe of how other countries see and deal with Gilead, I don’t think this trip was made to be as interesting as it could. Don’t get me wrong, seeing the Washington Monument made into a cross, or the destruction of the Lincoln Memorial were stunning images. Yet, there is just something about seeing this imagery and feeling like June isn’t making any progress in her revolution which makes this show seem so long.
What I mean by that is, June touts herself about as this almost untouchable bad ass who lucks into multiple situations to be amongst powerful people. Both those who benefit from Gilead and those who are oppressed by the regime. But, episode after episode, especially this season, we’re back to that vibe of the show being more about world building than any sort of plot made to make us feel an ending is planned. Yes, you may have an ideal ending planned, but it seems Hulu and the writers rather milk this show for all it is worth, be it accolades, ratings, and of course paychecks, than present any sense the end game for June or Gilead is anytime soon.
The Handmaid's Tale
|Season/ Episode||Synopsis||Episode Information||Topics & Focused Characters|
|Season 3, Episode 12 “Sacrifice”||June makes a monumental decision which seems to weigh on her more than any other. Though, when it comes to Serena, her decision has her in a nearly joyous mood.|
|Season 3, Episode 10 “Witness”||June takes on a major sacrifice to make a breakthrough in her goal to liberate Gilead’s children. A plan which will test how competent Gilead’s security and leadership are.|
|Season 3, Episode 11 “Liars”||With a recent announcement of season 4, it seems marketing coordinated that with an episode that may finally be the beginning of the end.|
|Season 3, Episode 8 “Unfit”||We finally get to learn about Aunt Lydia’s life before Gilead took over, but that may become an afterthought considering how the episode ends.|
|Season 3, Episode 9 "Heroic"||As June is pushed to the brink of utter madness, murder even, she snaps. But, in snapping, she may have found a new purpose for her life.|
|Season 3, Episode 7 “Under His Eye”||As June loses yet another ally, so begins her possibly losing it. Though she might not be alone as Emily does as well. But, as that happens, Serena finds a crew.|
|Season 3, Episode 6 “Household”||We take a trip down to DC to learn if things are better or worse in the capital and oh, not only are they worse but June gets a wake-up call.|
|Season 3, Episode 5 “Unknown Caller”||We’ve come to the point where things might be beyond June’s control, and she may be forced to realize she’s no different than Commander Lawrence’s Marthas.|
|Season 3, Episode 4 “God Bless The Child”||June really tests the limits of her influence, but this time with the Waterfords and Aunt Lydia. Especially when Janine puts herself in a dangerous situation.|
|Season 3, Episode 3 “Useful”||Commander Lawrence begins to reveal his intentions to us and to say, even after an hour, they can seem ambiguous, that’s an understatement.|
|Season 3, Episode 2 “Mary and Martha”||A few old faces return this episode, and we learn how willing Commander Lawrence is when it comes to participating in the new underground railroad.|
|Season 3, Episode 1 “Night” [Season Premiere]||The Handmaid’s Tale returns, and like many a season premiere, we are presented the calm before the storm.|
|Season 2/ Episode 13 “The Word” [Season Finale]||For those, like me, who thought The Handmaid’s Tale was in a perpetual cycle, many things happen which break the wheel and lead us to believe Season 3 will be the fall of Gilead.|
|Season 2/ Episode 12 “Postpartum”||June may find herself responsible for yet another death as Emily finds herself in a rather peculiar commander’s home.|
|Season 2/ Episode 11 “Holly”||Desperate times call for desperate measures and June finds herself having to put her baby first as things become impossible for her.|
|Season 2/ Episode 10 “The Last Ceremony”|
Perhaps the happiest day of June’s life in a long time also meets yet another where she ends up getting someone killed.
|Season 2/ Episode 9 “Smart Power”||A trip to Canada temps Serena Joy, Nick meets Luke, and June searches for a godmother. Including Aunt Lydia who opens up to her.|
|Season 2, Episode 8 “Women’s Work”||Many women get a taste of the old world and there is the slightest bit of hope things could get better for them. However, said blessing is finite.|
|Season 2, Episode 7 “After”||A quiet revolution has begun with a bang and it seems Lillie’s bomb was just an exclamation point before a new chapter.|
|Season 2/ Episode 6 “First Blood”||As Serena Joy and June continue their complicated relationship, something possibly game-changing happens at the end of the episode.|
|Season 2/ Episode 5 “Seeds”||Just as it seemed the world broke and killed June and she has assumed the role of Offred, she gets two serious wake-up calls.|
|Season 2/ Episode 4 “Other Woman”||How long can you fight and be defeated, be the cause of others misery and death, before you decide to give up? It seems June has found out the answer.|
|Season 2/ Episode 3 “Baggage”||Guilt over not being the perfect mom, nor feminist, haunts June as she reminisces about her mother and how she has been as a mom.|
|Season 2/ Episode 2 “Unwomen”||The colonies are finally seen as well as an update on two favorites – Emily and Janine.|
|Season 2/ Episode 1 “June” [Season Premiere]||After her grand act of defiance inspiring a non-violent protest, it is time to see how Aunt Lydia plans to punish the girls and whether June’s pregnancy means anything in regards to that.|
|Season 1/ Episode 9 “The Bridge”||It’s easy to get desensitized. Both in terms of what the show offers and in general. Thus making the job of an actor harder for they have to give more of themselves over to you – the audience. Now, up to this point, I shed no tears, felt no significant shock, and only admired Moss and Dowd’s performance. But in this episode, one of those things changed.|
|Season 1/ Episode 4 “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum”||With it being 13 days since June has been outside, seen someone besides the meek Rita and malicious Serena Joy, she is losing it. Yet, she finds a message hidden away for her that provides strength.|
|Season 1/ Episode 7 “The Other Side”||Rather than drag out what may have happened to Luke, as I want to believe they are doing with Moira, we get an episode dedicated to him.|
|Season 1/ Episode 6 “A Woman’s Place”||As the Mexico ambassador visits, we get a peek inside the past of Serena Joy and her part in what eventually created Gilead.|
|Season 1/ Episode 5 “Faithful”||Many characters have their true colors revealed and, alongside this, June herself we learn isn’t as innocent as she seems.|
|Season 1/ Episode 3 “Late”||As it’s revealed what happens to those like the original Ofglen, June continues to try to navigate through a world in which she finds herself to be the lobster in the boiling pot.|
|Season 1/ Episode 8 “Jezebels”||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.|
|Season 1/ Episode 1 “Offred” [Series Premiere]||Being that Young Adult novels have come to dominate visual media dealing with a post-war period, it is a bit refreshing that those under 25 play little to no role in the series. Women who have experienced life instead are the focus and how they are dealing with a world which sent back women’s right at least a century.|
|Season 1/ Episode 10 “Night” [Season Finale]||Solidarity is what causes and maintains revolutions. But for solidarity to sprout there needs to be one voice. One refusal to the oppressor. Which is what we get in The Handmaid’s Talefinale: “Night.”|
|Season 1/ Episode 2 “Birth Day”|
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