So, how am I supposed to feel about this episode?
Am I supposed to feel sympathy still for some of these characters?
Now, granted, The Handmaid’s Tale is supposed to be a morally complex show where few if any characters are shown as being universally right or wrong. It’s why objectively awful people like Serena Joy and Aunt Lydia sometimes do good or benevolent deeds for series protagonist June.
But is there a line that June can cross where we can see she maybe went too far? Particularly given all the plot armor she seems to have lately, when do we get to a point when she’s gone too far.
I think we may have reached that point.
Mrs. Lawrence dies in this episode. She’s clearly slipping, almost telling some other Wives about the “take some kids to Canada” plot and almost walking out to kidnap some kids herself. June gets a little sharp with the generally harmless woman who only wants to help but has mental illnesses that keep her from being even remotely anything more than a well-intentioned person who wants to help but can’t.
So, when June finds the woman choking to death on her own vomit after overdosing on her pills, after initially looking like she’s going to go for help, she stops and lets Mrs. Lawrence die.
And, like with Winslow, she gets away with it.
Is Commander Lawrence still going to Canada with the kids? I dunno. He’s in deep mourning. Now, I know June is meant to be that ruthless, but am I supposed to still sympathize with her? Is any blow against Gilead worth any sacrifice? At what point does she maybe become as bad as some of her oppressors?
There’s no good answer for that.
Then again, June’s actions reminded me a lot of Walter White doing the same for Jane on Breaking Bad. That was murder by inaction, and so was June’s actions here.
But then we have the Waterfords.
Was it satisfying seeing Luke pop Wimpy Fred one? Yup.
Was it satisfying learning Serena Joy turned Fred in in exchange for once again pretending Nichole is her daughter? Sort of.
Am I supposed to sympathize with the Waterfords? I dunno, but I can’t. These people are not good people, they don’t know what it means to be a good person, and the more Fred shoots Bible verses at Luke justifying various actions, the more I want people like Luke to tell them off or pop ’em in the nose.
Well, one episode left for the season. Will June get what she deserves for the season? And by that, I mean will all her recent, personal success somehow lead her to some sort of equally or harsher setback.