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TV Series The Handmaid's Tale: Season 3, Episode 7 "Under His Eye" - Recap,...
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The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3, Episode 7 “Under His Eye” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

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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 Date7/3/2019
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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.

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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

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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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Community Rating

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Amari Allahhttps://wherever-i-look.com
I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

Review Summary

Splitting Off Fred & Serena From June
74 %
The Mackenzies Are Gone
75 %
Serena Has Found A Community
80 %
Someone We’re Familiar With Dies & It’s June’s Fault
81 %

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Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?

  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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