The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3, Episode 7 “Under His Eye” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

June embracing a wall.
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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.


Network
Hulu
Director(s) Mike Barker
Writer(s) Nina Fiore, John Herrera
Air Date 7/3/2019

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Recap

Like-Minded: Serena, Olivia, Fred, Commander Winslow

While June returns home, Serena and Fred remain in DC as Fred works on an extradition treaty and finds himself increasingly gaining favor with Commander Winslow. Someone who, alongside Olivia, makes it seem the possibility of something long term for the Waterfords in DC could be a possibility. Which, not just for Fred, but Serena as well, seems like a welcome change. If only due to Serena and Olvia bonding far more than Serena did with Ms. Putnam or the rest in the Boston area. Especially since Olivia presents the idea her clique are women like Serena, who did a lot of the work their husbands get the credit for.

Bird-Dog: Moira, Emily

Despite Moira being in Canada for at least a few months now, it seems she hasn’t really expanded her social circle. That or her knowledge of the local lesbian community, so with the meeting of Emily, she latches onto her. Leading to her, like a curious child, asking questions, seeing who they may mutually know, and she is so giddy that you can see Emily is a little uncomfortable. At least, considering how for years she wasn’t able to talk like this, the ability to talk about girls she liked and the one she loves, openly, is hard to get readjusted to.

Yet, there might be something about Moira beyond how friendly she is that Emily is drawn to. For example, her activism. After all, what Emily has been doing for a long time is figuring ways to survive or running. So the opportunity to actually fight and know she won’t be killed, it appeals to her. Hence why she joins Moira in Bird-Dogging a politician so that Nicohle doesn’t get extradited to Gilead or anyone else. A quite cathartic release that may get Emily arrested, but makes her feel more alive than she has in a long time.

You Stupid B***h: OfMatthew, June, Eleanor, Commander Lawrence

OfMatthew looking indignant as she tells June she saved her.

With Serena lost as a potential ally, Commander Lawrence might be the only person in power who she can rely on. However, with him not manipulatable, it leaves his wife, Eleanor as the only way she can get things done. So, with the help of a Martha, June tries to use Eleanor to get Hannah or at least push the idea they will be together soon and can leave. However, multiple issues get in the way of that. The first being June learning Eleanor has a mental ailment which gets in the way of her dealing with high pressured situations. Secondly, there is OfMatthew.

She, for a long time, has seem strangely fine with the ways of Gilead while, on occasion, giving some kind of hint that maybe she doesn’t think this new world is perfect. But, with her snitching on the Martha that June was relying on, June flips out on her since now June has another death on her hands. So, first June nearly chokes out of OfMatthew, but is pulled off her. However, going by the preview of the next episode, it seems June will punish OfMatthew one way or another.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Eleanor, formerly, was a full-time teacher. However, Joseph didn’t want kids, and with her medication regimen, it was difficult.

Highlights

Someone We’re Familiar With Dies & It’s June’s Fault

While OfMatthew snitched, essentially June not being smart when working around OfMatthew caused the woman to die. That and pushing the Martha way past what she was comfortable with. Yet, with June thinking she has more sway with Commander Lawrence than she likely has, so comes her making foolish decisions.

But, considering how OfMatthew wasn’t particularly liked before all this, it should be interesting to see her being shunned by the rest of the Handmaids. Especially since Aunt Lydia feels the need to get involved.

Serena Has Found A Community

Mopey Serena is not a fun Serena. A devious, and happy in a twisted way Serena? She is much more fun. Especially with Olivia by her side, who seems to be a supporter, and who recognizes Serena’s brilliance. Leading to her possibly doing in DC what June wanted her to do in the Boston area.

On The Fence

The Mackenzies Are Gone

With news of their Martha’s doing come the Mackenzies leaving and with June losing Serena, so goes her means of knowing where they could have went. Which, in a way, seems like a good thing since it means June is losing something personal, her daughter, rather than just losing allies. Yet, with the move comes the feeling that the show will extend to another season since finding Hannah, never mind getting her to Canada, is no longer something likely to be done in this season.

Splitting Off Fred & Serena From June

Fred & Serena dancing.

The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t necessarily the best at utilizing what is a rather large cast. Making the split just between Boston and Canada not ideal, but functioning. However, now splitting things between three locations, arguably this may hurt the show more than help it. Especially since the program is increasingly losing its luster and barely does enough with those already established.

I mean, isn’t it terrible that Rita has been around since the beginning and we know a handful of facts about her? That Janine is usually just in the background now, and we’re just now, 3 seasons in, getting to learn about Aunt Lydia? Not to sound like I’m complaining about every little thing, but for a show touted as a cultural phenomenon in many ways, it seems to less and less live up to such a title.

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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
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.
Director(s) Mike Barker
Writer(s) Nina Fiore, John Herrera
Air Date 7/3/2019
  • Like-Minded: Serena, Olivia, Fred, Commander Winslow
  • Bird-Dog: Moira, Emily
  • You Stupid B***h: OfMatthew, June, Eleanor, Commander Lawrence
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.
Director(s) Dearbhla Walsh
Writer(s) Dorothy Fortenberrry
Air Date 6/26/2019
Introduced This Episode
Commander Winslow Christopher Meloni
Olivia Elizabeth Reaser
OfGeorge Kirrilee Berger
  • Welcome To DC: Fred, Serena Joy, Aunt Lydia, June, Commander Winslow, Olivia
  • Negotiations With The Swiss: Nick, June, Serena Joy
  • Small, Cruel, And Empty: June, Serena Joy
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.
Director(s) Colin Watkinson
Writer(s) Marissa Jo Cerar
Air Date 6/19/19
  • Reminiscing About The Past: Eleanor, June
  • Attempts At Moving On: Luke, June, Serena, Mr. Tuello, Fred
  • Know Your Place: Aunt Lydia, June, Serena, Fred
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.
Director(s) Amma Asante
Writer(s) Eric Tuchman
Air Date 6/12/2019
Introduced This Episode
Oliver Charlie Zeltzer
OfMatthew Ashleigh LaThrop
  • Planning For The Future: June, OfMatthew, Oliver, Sylvia, Emily
  • Orchestrating Peace: June, Serena, Fred, Naomi
  • Separate & Unequal: Aunt Lydia, Janine, Naomi, Serena, June
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.
Director(s) Amma Asante
Writer(s) Yahlin Chang
Air Date 6/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Pamela Laila Robins
Sienna Sugenja Sri
  • Serena Runs Home To Mother: Pamela, Serena
  • June Tries To Manipulate Joseph Like She Did Fred, Serena, and Nick: June, Commander Lawrence, Fred, Nick, Serena
  • Commander Lawrence Doesn’t Like To Be Bored, And It Shows: Commander Lawrence, June, Beth, Sienna
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.
Director(s) Mike Barker
Writer(s) Kira Snyder
Air Date 6/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Beth Kristen Gutoskie
Cora Victoria Fodor
  • The Healing Process: Moira, Luke, Emily
  • Trouble Brewing: Aunt Lydia, Commander Lawrence, Beth, Cora, June
  • I Can Deal With A Lot, But Don’t Lie: Commander Lawrence, Beth, Cora, June
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.
Director(s) Mike Barker
Writer(s) Bruce Miller
Air Date 6/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Mrs. Mackenzie Amy Landecker
  • Family Means Nobody Gets Left Behind Or Forgotten:June, Commander Lawrence, Mrs. Mackenzie
  • Meanwhile, In Canada: Luke, Moira, Emily, June
  • Things Will Never Be The Same: June, Serena, Nick, Fred, Emily, Commander Lawrence
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.
Director(s) Mike Barker
Writer(s) Bruce Miller
Air Date 7/11/2018
  • Ain’t No Girl Safe Raised in Gilead: June, Serena Joy, Fred
  • All Villains Eventually Fall: Emily, Aunt Lydia, Joseph
  • No One Gets Left Behind or Forgotten: Emily, June, Joseph, Serena Joy, Rita, Nick, Fred
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.
Director(s) Daina Reid
Writer(s) Eric Tuchman
Air Date 7/4/2018
Actors Introduced
Commander Joseph Lawrence Bradley Whitford
Cora Victoria Fodor
Eleanor Julie Dretzin
  • We Value Privacy Here: Joseph, Cora, Eleanor, Emily, Aunt Lydia
  • Find Love Where You Can Get It: Nick, Eden, June, Isaac
  • Dr. Jekyll, Mrs. Hyde: Serena Joy, June, Fred
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.
Director(s) Daina Reid
Writer(s) Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder
Air Date 6/27/2018
  • The Great Escape: June
  • The Discovery: June, Fred, Serena Joy
  • The Joys and Pain of Childbirth: June
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.

Director(s) Jeremy Podeswa
Writer(s) Yahlin Chang
Air Date 6/20/2018
  • False Labor: June, Serena Joy, Fred
  • In The Lonely Hour: Eden, Nick, Isaac
  • Mommy Loves You: Hannah, Nick, June, Fred
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.
Director(s) Jeremy Podeswa
Writer(s) Dorothy Fortenberry
Air Date 6/13/2018
Actors Introduced
Isaac Rohan Mead
Mark Sam Jaeger
Stuart James Gilbert
  • The Search For A God Mother: Serena Joy, June, Janine, Rita, Aunt Lydia
  • Meanwhile in Canada: Serena Joy, Fred, Moira, Luke
  • The Whisper Revolution Continues: Nick, Luke, Moira, Fred, Serena Joy, June
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.
Director(s) Kari Skogland
Writer(s) Nina Fiore, John Herrera
Air Date 6/6/2018
Actors Introduced
Dr. Hodgson Karen Glave
  • Back To Work: Serena Joy, June, Commander Fred, Janine
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Serena Joy, June, Commander Fred
  • A Mother’s Love: Janine, Warren, Naomi, Aunt Lydia, June
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.
Director(s) Kari Skogland
Writer(s) Lynn Renee Maxcy
Air Date 5/30/2018
Actors Introduced
Commander Cushing Greg Bryk
Odette Rebecca Rittenhouse
  • Meanwhile, In Canada: Moira, Luke
  • Aftermath: June, Serena Joy, Fred, Nick
  • The Whispered Revolution: June, Janine, Emily, Serena Joy
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.
Director(s) Mike Barker
Writer(s) Eric Tuchman
Air Date 5/23/2018
  • Be Mindful of Eden: Eden, Nick, June, Serena Joy
  • Just When I Thought We Could Be Friends: Serena Joy, Fred, June
  • Tick, Tick, BOOM: June, Fred, Nick
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.
Director(s) Mike Barker
Writer(s) Kira Snyder
Air Date 5/16/2018
Actors Introduced
Eden Sydney Sweeney
  • Meanwhile, Out West: Janine, Emily
  • A Slow Death: Nick, June, Serena Joy, Rita, Aunt Lydia
  • The Dead Shall Rise: June, Nick, Serena Joy, Fred
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.
Director(s) Kari Skogland
Writer(s) Yahlin Chang
Air Date 5/9/2018
Actors Introduced
Annie Kelly Jenrette
  • Annie Are You Okay?: June, Luke
  • For June To Live, Offred Must Take Over: Aunt Lydia, June, Serena Joy, Alma, Rita
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.
Director(s) Kari Skogland
Writer(s) Dorothy Fortenberry
Air Date 5/2/2018
Actors Introduced
Holly Cherry Jones
Omar Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
  • Getting Used To Canada: Moira, Erin, Luke
  • Mother/Daughter Relationship: June
  • The Econopeople/ Being My Own Savior: June
Season 2/ Episode 2 “Unwomen”The colonies are finally seen as well as an update on two favorites – Emily and Janine.
Director(s) Mike Barker
Writer(s) Bruce Miller
Air Date 4/25/2018
Actors Introduced
Dan John Carroll Lynch
Ms. O’Conner Marisa Tomei
Jenna Keeya King
Sylvia Clea DuVall
  • The University Purge: Emily
  • The Boston Massacre: June, Nick
  • The Four Horsemen: Emily, 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.
Director(s) Mike Barker
Writer(s) Bruce Miller
Air Date 4/25/2018
Actors Introduced
Ofwyatt Alana Pancyr
Ofrobert ?
  • The Final Days: June, Hannah, Luke
  • A Revolutionary With A Safety Net: Aunt Lydia, June
  • The Escape Route: Nick, June, Fred, Serena Joy
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.
  • The Things Asked of Us: Janine, June, Moira
  • The Soul, It Cries for Freedom: Janine, June, Moira
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.
  • Breakout!: Moira, June
  • I Want To Know You/ Have Your Life Be Bearable: June, Serena Joy, Commander Fred Whitford
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.
  • Before The Car Accident: Luke, June, Hannah
  • After The Car Accident: Luke, Zoe [Rosa Gilmore], Peter [Ben Lewis], Christine [Kim Roberts], TBD (Erin Way)
  • 3 Years Later: Luke, TBD
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.
  • The Woman Behind The Man: Serena Joy, Fred
  • A Valuable Commodity: June
  • Luke? He’s Alive.: June
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.
  • I Can See Your True Colors: Fred, June
  • One Way Or Another: June, Nick, Serena Joy, Emily
  • I Was the Other Woman: Luke, June
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.
  • It All Started Little By Little: June, Moira
  • The Benefits of People Thinking You’re Pregnant: June
  • What Happens to Gender Traitors: Emily (Formerly Known as Ofglen)
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.
  • The Life and Times of Nick Blaine: Nick, June
  • Never Trust Janine: June, Moira, Fred
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.”
  • Family: Luke, Moira
  • Insurance Policy: June, Serena Joy, Fred
  • Solidarity: June, Aunt Lydia, Janine
Season 1/ Episode 2 “Birth Day”
  • Birthday: June, Janine
  • I Would Like To Play A Game: Commander Waterford [Joseph Fiennes], June, Ofglen [Alexis Bledel]
  • I Am Ofglen: June

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4 COMMENTS

  1. With regards to the “cultural phenomenon” tag that is often put on “The Handmaid’s Tale”…. do you think this show gets a lot of credit just for being the ONLY show which brings up a lot of these contentious issues? Like, it’s getting “points for effort”, because even if it handles these things in a superficial or implausible manner, at least it bothers to mention them?

    I have a sneaking suspicion this may be the case. It might also be that they want to encourage more ambitious programming, and if something like this can be praised and successful, it paves the way for future, more innovative shows.

    • I wouldn’t say it is the only show which brings up a lot of the contentious issues surrounding female autonomy, fanaticism, or things of that ilk. However, for Americans, it premiering within months of Trump’s presidency gave it good timing and elevated it immensely. If Clinton didn’t concede the presidency, due to an outdated system, I don’t think the show would be as notable or renowned. So I think it gets less points for effort and more praise for representing a worst-case scenario based on lucking into trying times in American history.

      Hence why there hasn’t really been any real influx of shows, outside of maybe Years and Years, which have created a semi-horror/dystopian style of a near future. At least on any network whose productions I track.

  2. I don’t know… I can’t help but think June being separated from Fred and Serena is something that should’ve happened at the end of Season 1, and that it’s finally happening now is something of a relief, even if it’s a bit late. Given all of June’s very public transgressions, I found it kind of absurd that she’d be reassigned to the same household and kept on such a loose leash, even after that suicide bombing made breeders even more scarce… but logic aside, putting her in the same household meant that Season 2 ended up repeating a lot of dramatic beats that Season 1 had already run into the ground…. at least moving these characters to different locations and having them mix with a different social circle promises some new dynamics at last.

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but this show wouldn’t have such a problem finding things for it’s crowded ensemble of characters to do if it had just killed-off all the characters that die in the book, at the exact point they die in the source material… you have at least SEVEN characters who should’ve been written-out of the series by now – and I’m not just saying this as some literary purist. Choosing to spare so many characters just is counterproductive, even in the context of long form television writing. It not only results in a feeling of diminished stakes, it can make the storytelling feel cluttered and unfocused.

    I’m not all that impressed with the bad stuff happening to Of-Matthew… she’s rather a minor character in terms of screentime and she’s not in the book… the worst stuff in this series tends to always happen to minor characters that aren’t in the source material:
    I won’t be impressed until this series finally has the courage to kill off one of the main characters, one who was introduced in the novel
    (so in other words… kill off Fred, Serena, Nick, Lydia, Moira, Janine, Emily or Luke already, they’ve all had enough implausible reprieves… I’ve given up any hope of June being written out, and just accepted she has “magical plot armour”, being the protagonist and all. But surely that invulnerability shouldn’t extend to all eight of the supporting characters, none of whom got a good ending in Atwood’s original story?)

    Yeah, it is bizarre that Rita hasn’t got a “day in the limelight” flashback episode yet, every other character from the book has… I wonder why. Emily’s backstory was completely invented for the series, whilst Serena’s was substantially expanded.

    Lydia is a composite of several “Aunt” characters from the book. There’s a reference in the book to one of them running a weight-watchers Centre in Iowa before becoming an agent of the regime. Will be interested to see if the series incorporates this into Lydia’s “day in the limelight” episode, or go in a completely different direction.

    • I agree that this show is overdue for a major death. The only ones they have killed thus far are characters who we’ve barely gotten to know. But, if they were to kill anyone, I feel like it wouldn’t have any impact unless it was Hannah. All the adults you noted, Fred, Serena, Nick, and the rest, as much as they are familiar faces, they just don’t seem worth overly investing in anymore. They just exist and happen to be the people we focus on. However, killing Hannah, while she is someone we also have barely seen, she also has been a driving force for June. So with killing her, it might break something in June. Create a true sense of urgency rather than continue what feels like a rather sluggish tale.

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