March 23, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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The Handmaid’s Tale “After”

Season Two, Episode Seven.

You know what?  At this point, I really don’t care what happens in Canada.  Yeah, Luke and Moira are sympathetic enough characters, but nothing happening there seems to have much impact on the story as a whole, so until that changes, I won’t be saying much about that part of any episode.

OK, so, the bomb from last week killed a bunch of Commanders (yay!) and even more Handmaids (boo!).  This one opens with a Handmaid funeral, and Aunt Lydia says something about how she doesn’t want her girls to be hurt, that she does what she does because she cares, and the temptation here is to call BS on her as a hypocrite, but the more I watch this show, the more I want to know what Lydia’s whole deal is.  Like, does she honestly believe the stuff she peddles?  I’m inclined to think she does.  She really thinks the psychological and occasionally physical torture she dispenses is for the Handmaid’s own good.  Why is that?  What was her life like before all this happened?

But that’s enough of that.  Everything still revolves around Offred here.  Granted, this time, there may be some good reasons for it.

First, since it was her shopping partner that blew the assembly up, she’s being interrogated by a particularly militant Commander.  We can’t expect a major named character to be killed just yet, but Commander Waterford is in the hospital barely conscious if at all, so he can’t do much.  What Offred can do is make some suggestions to Serena Joy about how much disrupting the house won’t be good for the baby.  That gets Serena to go to Nick and forge some papers from her husband, condemning the investigating Commander for heresy and treason.  Since that’s pretty much all that’s needed for a conviction in this crazy world of theirs, things quickly go back to what accounts for normal on this series.

However, getting a taste of such power gives Serena Joy the idea to do it some more, and so she drafts some papers to be revealed as “written” by Fred.  Why does she need Offred for that?  Because Offred used to work as an editor, that means she can proofread.

Yeah, Offred really isn’t in a position to say “no” here.

But since a bunch of Handmaids were killed, that means it’s back to the Colonies to pick up a few fertile women to go back to being Handmaids, and that means Janine and Emily are headed back to…a very different hellhole than the one they just left.

As it is, the episode ends with the Handmaids at the grocery store doing one of those small acts of rebellion that makes this show edge towards hopefulness before some awful thing happens to ruin that hope:  Offred whispers her real name to a couple other Handmaids, and soon they’re all doing it.

OK, it may not be a good thing that Eden heard all that, but you get the idea.

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