January 28, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

The Handmaid’s Tale “Fairytale”

Season Five, Episode Five.

So, I was watching this episode and saw that Hannah was included in the “previously on” and the episode featured scenes of her as a kid, and I had a thought that the series hasn’t ever really done anything from her point of view, and I think it might be interesting to find out, you know, what does she think of all this and actually make Hannah a character instead of a McGovin.

What a concept…

Now, the episode doesn’t do that.  Instead, it has Luke and June heading into No Man’s Land to ask a Guardian for information about their daughter while Serena Joy apparently forgot she is still a woman as far as Gilead is concerned, so even if she’s a pregnant miracle with what might be good ideas, that doesn’t mean any of the men from Gilead (except maybe for that nonbeliever Lawrence) will actually listen to her, to say nothing of the fact that she’s being treated like, I dunno, a holy relic as opposed to a human being.  These people aren’t interested in her as a person so much as they are in her as a symbol that Gilead was right all along.  So yeah, end the episode with her being condescended into bed and given pills to take.  Nothing like a scene to remind me of Rosemary’s Baby to show how well and truly screwed that woman is and she hasn’t quite realized it yet.

Oh, and Lawrence wants to attract refugees back with forgiveness and letting people see what Gilead is doing, but according to Putnam, the council that runs that hellhole of a country doesn’t want outsiders getting involved with what they do, and why offer forgiveness?  That’s, like, a good Christian value.  Gilead doesn’t stand for that sort of thing!

You know, The Handmaid’s Tale used to be kind of subtle.

That said, there were two things I liked about this episode.  One was Luke and June’s trip into No Man’s Land to get some information on Hannah.  Oh, it isn’t all that much.  They exchange letters with a Guardian down there, some kid named Jaden, who spends a lot of his shift hanging around an abandoned bowling alley.  Jaden grew up in Gilead and doesn’t much remember the time before…wait, how long has Gilead been a country?

The point is, here’s a person who has only know Gilead.  He doesn’t necessarily want to overthrow the place, but he does think people should be allowed to have fun and talk to their families, hence the reason he plays mailman.  He’s…a nice kid.  I mean, this is The Handmaid’s Tale, so I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, like Jaden was really a jerk all along, but no.  That’s not the shoe dropping.  That would be June and Luke getting caught on the walk back after Jaden steps on a landmine and loses a foot.  Unknown parties capture Luke and June as the closing credits pop up, but yeah, what is life like in Gilead for people who don’t remember what happened before?  I mean, what does Hannah even want anymore?

But then there was a small thing that has all the ingredients to become something bigger:  anti-refugee protests among Canadians.  I may not see how so many people can be Gilead fans, but this one I can see.  A bunch of Americans move into Canada and set up a government in exile?  Of course some people might object to that.  Besides, as much as The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t really subtle anymore, having some citizens of a large democracy suddenly decide they want to keep people from crossing their southern border, well…yeah, I can understand it.  Is that too much?  Maybe, but I can get behind that sort of a plot development.  It actually makes more sense than people suddenly are all behind Gilead while knowing a little of what’s going on down there.  But people wanting to keep foreigners out, regardless of where they came from and what’s happening there?

Yeah, that I can believe.

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