The Handmaid’s Tale (S03E02) “Mary and Martha”

June is waiting for her new walking partner, who goes by the name Ofmatthew.  Ofmatthew is one of the pious, Kool Aid-drinking Handmaids.  (Or so it seems, though way back in season we we thought the same of Emily, so who can tell?)  Their conversation consists of a lot of Under His Eye-ing and Praise Be-ing and if it makes me this stabby, I can’t imagine how June must feel.

When she gets back to Chez Lawrence with dinner, she’s told that Aunt Lydia has paid them a call.  She goes into the parlor, where Aunt Lydia is with the Lawrences.  It seems she’s checking up on them, and Lawreceasures her that the Ceremony went well.  After this cozy little chat, Aunt Lydia tells June that she wants to inspect her room, but as June helps her up the stairs, Aunt Lydia cattle prods her, and screams that she should be on the wall, until Lawrence appears.

Canada: Nichole seems to be staying with Luke, Moira, and Erin.  Luke wonders why Emily hasn’t contacted her own family.  Emily is currently at the doctor, and gets references to several specialists.

The Lawrence marthas, Cora and Beth, are in the kitchen with another martha named Allison, who is being smuggled out.  When Lawrence objects to the visitor, June convinces him to let her stay, then convinces the marthas to let her help.  She’s dressed in a drab, gray martha uniform, and mentions that she feels invisible for the first time in ages, and it makes sense why they would be the group who would successfully run a resistence.  No one sees them.  They’re kind of like the pak’ma’ra.  June assumes that she’s going to the front.  She’s a former chemistry teacher, and now uses her knowledge to make bombs.  Perhaps you’re familiar with her work?

Luke is being kind of a tool to Emily, who is having dinner with them.  He can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t immediately contact their family.  Moira, who had personal experience of Gilead, is more understanding.

The escape wasn’t a success.  Allison and an injured martha end up back at the Lawrences.  Mrs. L is incredibly calm and cool while dealing with the Guardians who show up, and then take over cleaning the bloodstain on the wall.  Lawrence is none too thrilled and tells June to deal with it.  He also tells her that he knew it would be a mistake to take her in.  June makes Allison leave, but the injured martha dies.  June buries her in the garden.

Later, while soaking in the bath, Beth brings in a salve for her blistered hands.  Lawrence has sent Cora away, but we don’t know where.

The next morning, June walks past Mrs. L, who is calmly planting flowers in the disturbed ground where June buried the martha.  June meets Ofmatthew, who tells her a martha escaped (go Allison!) and that a Handmaid was hit by a car.  June quietly says her walking partner snapped and shoved her in front of a bus.  A bus roars past.  Nice!

Emily leaves the opthamologist with new glasses.  In the hallway, she calls Sylvia.  Sylvia, who is driving, is shocked to hear her voice, and the last thing we see is a traffic jam caused by Sylvia’s stopped car.  How will Emily and Sylvia be when they reunite?  Can they ever go back to being a happy family after everything Emily’s endured?  All good questions.  Can’t wait to find out the answers.

Other things:

– Did you notice the stop sign?  It had a hand held palm out, instead of the word stop.  No reading allowed!

– So, what’s the deal with Lawrence?  And Mrs. L?  Why is she so neurotic and then, she’s suddenly not?  Is he really evil or just super manipulative?  Or does he just do exactly what he likes and if it’s in your favor, great; if not, oh well, tough?  (I have some experience with people like that.)

– Emily has mildly high cholesterol.  She’s gone from being worried that she could die at any time to worrying about her cholesterol.


“Yep.  Aces.  Praise be.”

“That must have been some blow job.”

“Red Center Special.”

“He doesn’t like liars.”