The Handmaid’s Tale “Mary And Martha”

Emily is in Canada now, and so is her wife.  She’s seeing all kinds of doctors and specialists, and at episode’s end, has a lovely reunion over the phone.  So, will that lead to something like a happy ending?  Probably not.  The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t really about happy endings.  It’s about small moments of triumph amidst people causing misery for other people for no good reason.

So, while I am sure Emily will have some PTSD or something kick in soon, for now, she can have some joy.

But there is something a bit more worth looking at right now.  June is in a new house.  Offred is dead.  Long live Ofjoseph.  Commander Lawrence is…eccentric.  He helped Emily escape, but somehow escaped punishment.  He also helped June see Hannah.  But he’s also still a commander in Gilead.  He can’t be that helpful, can he?

Well, the Marthas are plotting resistance in his kitchen.  He…kinda knows that.  June even asks him more directly to let a fugitive Martha stay in his house.  He…eventually agrees.  He seems more like he’d either A) prefer not to know or B) doesn’t care enough to bother.

The end result is June has someone closer to her intelligence level to deal with.  Commander Waterford was hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer.  Serena Joy was smarter than her husband, but June still seemed able mostly talk Serena into doing certain things.  But Commander Lawrence?  He’s a smart man.

Where does he stand?

Well, he has a wife with some mental issues.  He’s utterly devoted to her.  He also hates lying.

Point is, he won’t let June do whatever she wants.  He makes it clear he wasn’t quite sure asking for June as his Handmaid was a good idea.  His hatred for lying means he fires one of the Marthas, particularly when the woman they were smuggling ends up dead in his basement and buried in his backyard.  Plus, he doesn’t want June even mentioning Mrs. Lawrence.

Mrs. Lawrence?  Also kinda helpful, possibly more than her husband.  But I’m not sure how much she knows.

So, June has to stay alert.  Plus, her new shopping partner is a true believer.

So, still a precarious situation.  What could make it worse?

Aunt Lydia is still alive.

Aunt Lydia, the most hateworthy character on the show.  The biggest enigma there is.  That’s a credit to the performance of the great Ann Dowd, but she’s here.  I really want to know what this woman’s deal is.

Anyway, she hits June with her cattleprod for the crime of offering to help Lydia up some stairs.  OK, it’s really for breaking into the MacKenzie house, but you get the idea.

So, whether she’s in the resistance or not, June’s position is as precarious as ever.  She’s not winning anything yet if she does at all.  So, whatever joy she may have had, this world will drag her down again.  It’s what The Handmaid’s Tale does,

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