March 23, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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The Handmaid’s Tale “Jezebels”

Season One, Episode Eight.

Just when you thought this society couldn’t get any more messed up than it already was…

I’ve noted in the past that the society presented in Gilead is one that doesn’t really work well for anyone.  Of course, as is always the case, there are ways around that if you happen to be one of the people running the show.

That’s where the Jezebels come in.

We’ve met the Handmaids.  They’re there to bear children and that’s it.

We’ve met the Marthas.  They’re servants and that’s it.

We’ve seen the Aunts, the sadistic women who train the Handmaids.

We’ve seen the Wives, the women who ostensibly get the benefits of being married to an important person but what they have it pretty empty if you take a serious look at what’s going on.

We’ve seen the Eyes in the form of Nick.  They’re spies looking into everything and everybody.  This episode gives us Nick’s backstory, how he bounced around from job to job, overheard the debate over creating the Handmaid program and even gave his own two cents on the topic when asked by Commander Fred afterwards.  He was the one who found the previous Offred’s body; he was the one who rose through the ranks by reporting a superior.  There’s a real Orwellian quality to this society like any “good” distopian society will have.

By the by, good reaction from Serena Joy to her husband when we get the flashback to the death of the previous Offred.  “What did you think would happen?!”  Yes, what did anyone think would happen?  And with what?

But even with the conception ceremony, there didn’t seem to be much in the way of pleasure for Commanders either.

But then we meet the Jezebels.  Who are they?  They’re women whose sole task is to provide sexual pleasure for the Commanders.  Prostitutes, essentially.  How do we find them?  Commander Fred decides to treat Offred with a trip to the Jezebel house as a treat to surprise the woman he’s clearly crushing on.

Smooth move, by the by jerk, taking your crush to a whorehouse.

It does work out a little.  Offred finds her friend Moira there.  Moira didn’t escape, and she was deemed too dangerous to retrain, so they sent her to Jezebel school.  Contact with Offred gives Moira hope, so maybe something will come of that.  Nick does break off his whatever with Offred, but we’re near the end of the first season.  Something big is bound to be around the corner…

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