The Handmaid’s Tale “Smart Power”

Dammit, stop trying to make me feel bad for Serena Joy!

Look, it’s like this:  I get why the series wants me to feel some sympathy for Serena Joy.  She’s being repressed by Gillead as much as any other woman even if she isn’t being raped once a month or so.  She’s been beaten literally and figuratively by a society she helped to create.

And therein lies the reason why I might not be inclined to feel bad for her:  she helped create this society.

So, yes, she and doofy husband Fred go to Canada on a diplomatic mission, and while Fred is off doing the sorts of things Fred does, she’s seeing what it’s like to, you know, be able to do things like read and go out on your own and even enjoy yourself.  And that representative for what’s left of the American government did offer a spot for her to defect too, plus he had the best comeback when she said she wouldn’t commit treason by reminding her that she already had.

BURN!

Yeah, I seem to remember her plotting how to hit important federal government buildings with terrorist-type actions to force the formation of the religious craphole that is the country she now calls home.  It’s very much a “be careful what you wish for” type of argument.

Yeah, the whole Canada trip was a disaster, even if Fred holds his own when confronted by Luke with, you know, the truth about what happened to Offred.  But that just means Nick has someone he can see to deliver all those letters Offred had in storage, and that means that Luke and Moira can upload all that stuff online, and that means the Canadian mission is a bust because no one should want to help a rapist.  And Fred can be a little shaken when he sees Moira in the crowd after the whole “Jezebel’s” thing.

But hey, I am not completely devoid of sympathy for Serena Joy.  She isn’t Aunt Lydia.  But she helped create the mess that is her life which is more than we can say for, say, the Handmaids.  Plus, she is going to do something awful at some point fairly soon if this show has a pattern, something where she passes her own misery down on someone beneath her.

Oh, in other news, Offred is still at home, and no doubt remembering how badly things went with Janine’s baby, she’s looking for someone to be a godmother for the baby she’s about to have due to the distinct lack of love in the Waterfords’ house.  She asks Rita and, surprisingly, Aunt Lydia.  Rita says she’ll do what she can that isn’t much, and Lydia…actually offers sympathy and talks about how she did do that sort of thing once before everything went to hell in the name of heaven.

You know, Aunt Lydia may be the least sympathetic woman on the show, but I would still love to get her backstory.

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