The Handmaid’s Tale (S03E01) “Night”

Hello everyone, and welcome back for another season of ‘“The Handmaid’s Tale’ as well as another round of recaps by moi, lover of dystopian stories, parentheses, and the word penultimate.

Where we left off last year: Stumpy Serena (too soon?) helps June escape with baby Nichole, but at the last minute, June decides to stay in Gilead until she can get Hannah back, and gives the baby to Emily.

In the season premiere, we pick up pretty much where we left off.  Back at the Waterfords’ house, Fred is freaking out and tells Stumpy (yeah, I don’t care if it’s too soon, I’m sticking with it) to call 911.  You can imagine his surprise when she coldly tells him she’s not going to do that, because she wants them to have more time to get away to safety.  Boom!

June, meanwhile, has a surprisingly normal conversation with Mrs. Mackenzie, Hannah’s adoptive mom (not really, but you know what I mean) before going back to the Waterfords’ house.  Fred is coming up with a cover story for Nichole’s disappearance (his own skin is on the line as much as Serena’s or June’s).  Serena yells at June, which makes no sense, and I have to admit that at this point I wondered if Serena was having some kind of break with reality.  Did anyone else feel like that?

And what happened to Emily and Nichole?  Glad you asked.  They make it safely to Canada, and are given asylum.  It seems that there are regular patrols of the border looking for refugees.  Not only are they treated well and with sympathetic kindness, they’re given a standing ovation at the hospital where they’re taken to be examined.  Just by virtue of escaping, they’re heroes, which really brought home to me how the Republic of Gilead is regarded by the rest of the world (notwithstanding Mexico’s willingness to trade for Handmaids).

Serena is sitting at her dressing table, disinfecting the stump.  Fred comes in and Ella her he has a doer story for Nichole’s disappearance.  Serena tells him he doesn’t have to protect her.  She slowly dresses in her Commander’s Wife clothes.  Opens the bottle of disinfectant and pours it out.

June is in her room when she notices smoke.  She follows it to the Waterfords’ bedroom.  Serena is standing at the foot of the bed, which is on fire.  She is worryingly close to the flames that engulf the bed, and clearly June thinks Serena is thisclose to throwing herself on the fire.  June gently leads her away, and they clear the house.  Outside, people are gathering to watch the house turn into a smoking ruin.

Luke and Moira rush to the refugee center, where they receive and envelope containing a photo of Hannah.  There, they meet Emily and the baby.

June is at the Red Center and sees that her suitcase has been packed.  She has a new posting with Commander Lawrence.

Thoughts?  How do you think the show is doing since it went beyond the written story that was the original blueprint?  I find myself less and less interested in June, to be honest.  I don’t feel like there’s any urgency, I used to think her ending up on the wall was possible, but I don’t feel that anymore.  And really, I found her failure, once again, to get to Canada frustrating.  Season 2 ended exactly as it began.  And the argument that she’s staying to find Hannah doesn’t make sense.  After all, when Nick tells her she’s going to die in Gilead, she answers that she knows that, so how does that help Hannah?  Isn’t it a smarter move to go to Canada and work to bring Gilead down?  It’s not like Hannah is in any imminent danger, she’s being well cared for, and is years away from marriage, even by Gilead’s standards.  I’m far more interested in Emily these days, and in seeing how her reunion with her wife and son go.  Overall, I’m finding The Handmaid’s Tale less compelling than I used to.  Agree?  Disagree?  Think I should be sent to the wall for blasphemy?  Feel free to post a comments.

 

Quotes:

“I’m sorry baby girl.  Mom’s got work to do.”

“My baby screamedd for her mother.  And I hope this feels like that.”

“Burn motherf***er, burn.”

 

Other things:

– Would TPTB really believe two kidnapping stories?  Because I tend to think not.

– The bottle of disinfectant had pictures, not words, so women could use it without reading it. It had a prominent picture of a hand.  Is it specifically bottled for women to use to clean the stump after they’ve had a finger cut off as a punishment?  Because if so,  gross!

– Did you notice June’s bloody feet, when she was scrubbing the floor at the Center?