How bad is Gilead? Not so bad it can’t get worse.
Here’s the thing. Offred is suspicious when, suddenly, she’s getting a good lunch, like a REALLY good lunch, and Serena Joy is being nice to her. Why? Well, the house seems to think she’s pregnant since she hasn’t had her period yet.
See, it’s not like Offred told them she was missing a period.
But this episode does some neat stuff with parallel structuring. We see Offred back in her days as June when everything went to hell. She and Moira were out jogging, and then stopped by for a coffee. And June’s debit was rejected. Insufficient funds despite the fact she just got paid. And the usual barista wasn’t there, and the one who was called June and her good friend Moira a pair of f-ing sluts. Um, what?
Then June and the other women at her office were suddenly fired. Why? Well, Congress was killed in a “terrorist” bombing at some point and the Constitution was suspended and, well, the law changed. Women can no longer have outside the home employment. Or own property. Or control their own finances. June’s $4000 in savings is now her husband’s property. And while Moira is ranting, the thing is, both June and Luke don’t see how this thing can go on much longer.
Attending a protest later, June and Moira see the police pull out a machine gun and open fire on the protesters.
Yeah, it can get that bad.
As for the present, Offred is being questioned by the Eyes (and, in particular, Aunt Lydia with a taser stick) after a trip to see a new baby. They want to know about Ofglen. Do they want to know about the resistance? I mean, Nick told Offred that the Eyes always learn what they want to know. No one holds out forever.
Fortunately, the Eyes don’t ask about the resistance. They ask about Ofglen’s sexuality. She’s what they call a “gender traitor,” having a relationship with a Martha. You can’t call her gay. You can’t quote the Bible in a way they don’t like either. The only thing really saving Offred is Serena coming in saying Offred is pregnant.
And then Offred has her period and Serena goes from friendly to angry and locks Offred in her room.
As for Ofglen, real name Emily, she’s literally gagged for most of the episode. She has a trial. No defense attorneys. Just a prosecutor who refers to a Bible verse and that’s that. The Martha is hung in front of Emily. Emily, however, as a Handmaid is too valuable. She just gets her genitals mutilated.
There are some more anguished screams of rage coming from her now.
It can always get worse.
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The X-Files “The Erlenmeyer Flask”