Well fam, here we are. The finale of Handmaid’s Tale. What does it say about me that I’m low-key sad I won’t have this show around to mentally disturb me every Wednesday before bed? What am I supposed to do now? Watch Amy Adams in Sharp Objects? What happens after that’s done? I re-watch one of the 3,000 Netflix documentaries about Nazis in my queue right now? Actually, that kind of sounds like a plan.
But anyway, onto Handmaids…
Mourning For Baby Wife
So, as we all remember, at the end of last week’s episode Baby Wife aka Eden died because she was “so in love” Isaac for talking to her about soup once. Same girl, same.
We open on laundry, specifically, Baby Wife’s laundry. Sadly all that is left of poor, sweet Eden is her lederhosen. The rest of her body will be ground into animal feed, but they had to keep her clothes in case Gilead decides to stage a production of Sound of Music or something.
Everyone is really sad that Eden died even though they were all extremely mean to her when she was alive. Was listening to her discuss chowder really so hard?
Me to Me: Yes.
Rita: I was really mean to Eden.
Offred: I fucked her husband.
June finishes up rummaging through Baby Wife’s things (because that’s what you do when your bf’s ex dies) and finds her diary aka an annotated copy of the Bible. This is a BFD because, as we’ll find out later, Eden technically wasn’t even allowed to read the Bible because in Gilead reading the Bible while in possession of a vagina is a sin.
Cut to: Serena Joy in her garden, talking to the baby that she kidnapped, aka her only friend.
SJ: Nichole and I were just talking about lilies!
June: Cool, cool what are you going to do about the fact that by virtue of being a woman in Gilead Nichole is likely to face unspeakable violence and oppression throughout her life?
Serena is not impressed to find out that Eden is a Biblical scholar and instead accuses her of “hiding a multitude of sins.” No wonder she and Fred got married. They’re both complete narcs.
Offred lays it all out there: if this can happen to Eden, wtf is going to happen to our baby? Eden’s personality – apart from that whole thing where she ran away to marry her boyfriend of one second like she’s Ariana Grande or some shit – was the color beige incarnate. She was mashed potatoes taught to pray. A piece of printer paper with a Bible verse on it.
To recap, these are things we learned about Eden before her death:
– She likes the color yellow.
– She can make soup. Also pie
– She has read the Bible.
Just by virtue of the fact that Nichole’s parents are June and Nick, she’s bound to be a fuckton more interesting. Why put her through the torture of growing up in Gilead? Her name is already Nicole with a “ch.” There’s nothing left for her here.
I also want to note that Offred is rocking her sweatshirt for basically this entire episode, so I guess it wasn’t just her maternity wear. Maybe handmaids who successfully give birth get a free sweatshirt? Kind of like when you join the track team in high school. Two more pregnancies and Offred can get a varsity letter!
Anyway, Offred says “fuck” in front of the baby, which is not a great way to get Serena Joy on your side.
Bad Dads Club Feat. Fred Waterford
Cut to: Nick, conflicted, aka Nick all the time.
The whole household has gathered to see Eden’s dad apologize to Mr. Waterford for the only cool thing his daughter ever did in her life. Much like how Becca is able to make all of her contestants’ life hardships somehow relate to her breakup with Arie, Mr. Waterford is making Eden’s death all about him.
Eden’s Dad: I’m so sorry about my daughter being drowned by the government in a public pool in front of everyone.
Mr. Waterford: *Sniff* Yes this has been so hard for me.
Eden’s dad revealed that HE is the one who turned in Eden to the police. It be ya own fathers.
June side-eyes Serena so hard in this moment that I finally understand why they make her wear that hat with the wings on it. It’s not so that she can be protected from seeing the world, it’s so that the world can be protected from seeing her side-eye.
June is so pissed about this whole meeting that she decides to engage in everyone’s favorite past time, roasting Mr. Waterford.
June: Hey dickless what are you going to do when they try to drown your daughter in a pool?
Mr. Waterford is initially so deeply owned by this question that he cant even answer. Then he remembers, “Oh yeah, domestic violence.”
He slaps June across the face and then June SLAPS HIM BACK. As far as TV smack downs go, the ranking is now:
– Pumkin spitting on New York after New York yelled “SLAP ME, BITCH!” during the Flavor of Love finale.
– New York trying to slap Pumkin and being dragged away by security on the Flavor of Love Reunion.
– June slapping Mr. Waterford.
“The mouth of a woman is a deep pit.” – Mr. Waterford. Also my ex.
Mini Family Reunion
Rita is helping Offred dress her wound, and it turns out that June hurt herself more hitting Mr. Waterford than he did hitting her because Mr. Waterford is, as my 10th grade friend Chelsea would say, a baby back bitch.
Has anyone else noticed that Rita has approximately like 12x more personality this season than she did last season? Last season she was kind of a bitch and now she’s out here rolling her eyes with Offred and cursing and stuff.
Out of nowhere, Nick’s sad ass finally decides to show up. He’s been low-key ignoring June since last episode like it’s somehow her fault that he never smiled at his wife.
*Remembers that she was fucking him the entire time* Oh…right…
Rita: Your girlfriend just got slapped in the face by her rapist.
Nick: I’m sad 🙁
Somehow, even though she’s the one who got slapped, June is comforting Nick because his wife who he never talked to died. I’m just gonna leave this here.
June decides the only thing that will cheer Nick up will be to play house with the baby that they have to pretend isn’t their baby. TBH this would not cheer me up, but whatever, it appears to work on Nick.
Now I want to take a moment to talk about how freaking dark this show is. And I don’t mean dark as in emotionally dark, I mean just like dark. I’ve talked at length about the lack of lamps in the Waterford household, but this is fucking ridiculous:
This is an actual screenshot of Handmaid’s Tale. Who did this? Why? Who benefits from having every scene take place in a cave? (And yes the brightness on my screen is turned all the way up don’t @ me.)
After literally downloading this screenshot into a photo editor and increasing the brightness, I saw that it is actually Rita watching the lovely couple from afar. This is an important moment because it plants the seed that she is going to help June get the baby out later, but I almost missed it because it was invisible to the human eye.
This is the shot brightened up:
See Handmaid’s Tale? Was that so hard? I don’t even have photo shop. I did this in “photo editor” which comes free with every MacBook. I have to literally put my full face up to my computer screen to see half the shit that happens at the Waterfords’ house. And don’t even get me started on Emily’s new home. I might as well close my eyes for those scenes. Damn.
The Handmaid’s Walk
Cut to: Janine, Janine-ing.
Janine: Do you think Eden is happy?
Offred: Um no they drowned her in a swimming pool
The whole handmaid friend group is just having a nice chill by the river, despite the fact that this is the exact location where the government goes to hang people. What about that rule that only two handmaids at a time can hang out? Is that rule over? I just realized that that entire rule was thrown completely out the window this season.
In normal circumstances, one of the gals would have brought a flask and some weed, but this is Gilead and getting schwasted by the river is strictly prohibited. Such a shame. Janine is actually on my same wavelength here:
Janine/Me Returning To Work On Monday: Oh, tequila, I miss you most of all.
Oh god, it’s the wives. I’m surprised these bitches have any hours left in the day what with all the time they must spend calling the cops on black people enjoying themselves. I feel like that’s probably their full time job.
This entire scene is underscored by the wives’ stolen babies crying their asses off. Sometimes I feel like this show is low-key rude to adoptive mothers? Like, I get the point that they’re trying to make about babies needing their mothers but people raise their non-biological children all the time without the baby losing its shit or the mom becoming so deranged she sticks her non-lactating breast in its mouth. Just saying…
SJ and the one other wife who we’ve met on this show (the one who stole Janine’s baby) are having a casual girl talk, when SJ totally brings down the mood with politics. In that way, Serena Joy is me.
SJ (casual): Hey do you worry about the fact that our girl children are going to have horrifying lives?
Me: Ohhhh looks like it’s going to be a bit of a tea party if you know what I mean.
Turns out all the wives have “opinions” on what is going on in Gilead which is, truly, shocking to me. I imagined these chicks had some opinions like “ketchup is spicy,” and “Taylor Swift is amazing,” but not on like, feminism and stuff.
Emily’s New Home
Oh shit, I almost forgot that Emily was living with a man who is either a full psychopath, or my new boyfriend. On the one hand, he’s been giving me some positive vibes. On the other hand, he invented the colonies. It’s a toss up.
Emily is gearing up for the night’s ceremony, and by “gearing up for the ceremony” I mean “getting a knife.” Where the fuck did she get a knife? Seems like a pretty big oversight to have knives lying around. But I’m sure she’ll be responsible with it.
Narrator: She won’t.
Knife in hand, Emily heads to Commander Lawrence’s man cave to sit on a pillow and stare sadly into the fire and contemplate murder. Same. Is Emily okay?
Narrator: She’s not.
Some old timey rock music is playing this entire time because apparently Commander Lawrence likes oldies. Another point for the “daddy” category.
I was like, 100% sure that Emily was going to kill this guy when he just turns around an announces “no ceremony tonight sry!!!” and peaces out. Don’t you just hate when you get all dressed up and ready for murder and then your date cancels the plans last minute? So rude.
Anyway, I guess Emily won’t become a murderer today.
Narrator: Emily will become a murderer today.
Worst Wives Club
We open on the All-Male Men’s Meeting for Men, aka the government of
The United States of America Gilead.
But what’s this? A wild Pokéwife has appeared! And it’s not just any Pokéwife. It’s Serena Muhfuckin’ Joy. Here to fuck. shit. up.
Man 1: Did you forget your lunch today Mr. Waterford?
*all the men in the room high-five themselves to death*
Turns out the wives did all have opinions, and Serena is now here to start the wifevolution. And what is the radical idea that they are about to propose? Are you ready? Your head might explode with you hear it…
They want girls to read the Bible.
All the men: WOAH WOAH WOAH SLOW DOWN CRAZY LADY WHAT’S NEXT WE LET ‘EM WATCH VEGGIE TALES??!??
Mr. Waterford: We’ll discuss this issue seriously
Translation: We haven’t listened to a word you’ve said but we will talk about your boobs when you leave.
Then, Serena takes it to the next level, by actually reading the Bible herself. The men can barely contain their fury at hearing the word of the Lord from her whore-ish lady-mouth. Mr. Waterford’s brain nearly explodes. One of the other men’s dick tip falls off. Or at least, that’s how they reacted.
All the other wives get too freaked out by Serena’s reading skillz and leave. Presumably to ride out all this excitement at SoulCycle.
Everyone is suuuuper freaked out that SJ read the Bible. Their reactions are more appropriate for if she did something wayyyy crazier like, say, putting her boob in a hungry baby’s mouth even though she’s not really that baby’s mom or breastfeeding.
Serena to Mr. Waterford: I did this for Nichole. We already named her Nichole with a ‘ch’. We have to do something to help her live a normal life.
Then SERENA JOY GETS FUCKING ARRESTED!!! OH SHIT!!! AND MR. LIMPDICKERFORD IS JUST STANDING THERE! WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?!? THEY BETTER NOT CUT TO THE NEXT SCENE!
Em Vs. Lyd
Cut to: The next scene.
Aunt Lydia is out doing her daily vaginal rounds, making sure that every vag in the land has experienced its daily dose of trauma.
Aunt Lydia: I asked Commander Lawrence how your sexy times went last night and….
…He said you’ve got the most bomb pussy!!! Way to go Beyoncé you did it!
So Commander Lawrence lied about the ceremony. Once again I am forced to ask, is he enemy, or is zaddy? Only time will tell…
Then Aunt Lydia has to come in and ruin everything with her homophobia. Really Aunt L? Did Pride Month teach you nothing? TBH Emily should not stand for this shit. She should do something crazy like stab Aunt Lydia or – OH MY GOD SHE JUST STABBED AUNT LYDIA!!!
WTF?!? Where the hell did that come from? Between this and Serena Joy being arrested, this was the most explosive 5 minutes in Handmaid’s history. Like, it’s honestly irresponsible for Hulu to have put these scenes so close together. My heart cannot take it. This episode should have come with a medical warning.
Emily after going all Australian ax attacker on Lydia, also me watching the last 2 scenes:
Back At The Waterford House
Serena is returning to the Waterford House, which is crazy because I was 100% sure they killed her based on how violently they reacted to her Bible reading. Mr. Waterford is acting all aggrieved too, which doesn’t surprise me because he makes literally everything about himself.
June: Hey guys what’s up?
Fred: I’ve had a difficult day 🙁
SJ: *cries silently*
June knows nothing good can come of anything even tangentially related to Fred, so she waits until he fucks off to ask Serena what really happened.
Aaaaannd they cut off her pinky. Of course they cut off her pinky. TBH, she’s lucky she got out with her eyeball.
June and SJ share a sweet moment over the loss of her pinky. You know, nothing brings two besties back together like one of them getting their finger cut off by the government.
Downstairs, Mr. Waterford is storming around, wondering why everyone keeps doing such mean things to him like having their pinkies cut off or being drowned in a pool. All he does is sit in his dark office all day and rape people at night and this is the thanks he gets? So sad.
To further underscore how totally fucking useless Fred is, he asks Offred to help him make tea — a task that literally requires boiling water.
June: Hey Fred, couldn’t help but notice that you let your boys cut off your wife’s finger because she read a Bible verse. Care to explain?
Fred: Are you flirting with me?
It gets sexual immediately because, of course it does. Mr. Waterford literally just watched the only person on Earth who actually likes him get her finger chopped off, and that did not even put a damper on his raging boner for Offred. He is unstoppably horny. He’s every frat bro at welcome week rolled into one – the physical embodiment of every man who has ever put his hand on your lower back to “get by” you at a bar.
The flirtation isn’t working, so he goes back to his classic “I’ll let you see your daughter in exchange for sex,” move. This is truly his “U Up?” text.
Offred/Everyone On Planet Earth: Go fuck yourself, Fred.
Back To Emily
Zaddy: So what are we gonna do?
He does not appear to be very concerned about the fact that Emily murdered Aunt Lydia in his house. In fact, he keeps cracking little jokes and saying stuff like, “What an exciting day?” and “Do you like music?”
Emily, btw, is one of the only people on Earth who I could actually see not liking music.
Commander Lawrence then takes control of the getaway cars aux cord and starts BUMPING Annie Lenox’s “Walking on Broken Glass,” aka the most wildly inappropriate song for this scenario.
“Walking on Broken Glass” is blasting while Emily is sobbing in the back seat of the car and it truly the funniest scene in all of Handmaid’s Tale. I was actually dying watching this. I’m not sure if that was the reaction they wanted the audience to have but, whatever. That shit was hilarious.
The whole thing ends the same way any scenario in which a woman is trapped in a car with her man bumping music ends. Emily screams “CAN YOU PLEASE TURN THIS OFF!??” and then he gets offended. They’re just like any other couple.
The Great Escape
Cut to: a fire.
Rita busts in like the Koolaid man to tell Offred this is no ordinary fire. This fire is an escape fire. She can get June and the baby out, but they have to go now.
June: I’ll get my sweatshirt.
Nick is in on the whole thing, obviously, and is outside directing people away from the house and providing cover. Nick, btw, is the only good dad in Gilead.
Offred GTFOs and we see a scene where she’s once again running and hiding with her baby, mirroring her first escape scene. See commenters, I notice these things.
Funny how the baby coos with Offred even during a fire but it cries hysterically any time its anywhere near Serena Joy.
Mr Waterford realizes Offred is gone literally immediately and runs upstairs to find that she’s carved NOLITE BASTARDES CARBORADORUM into the wall. Nice touch Offred, but perhaps a bit on the nose?
Mr. Waterford runs to try and catch Offred, but who is there to stop him? Nick! Nick essentially shoves Mr. Waterford and is like “stay here” which is at least payment for the time Mr. Waterford made him hang that hideous family portrait, and is at best payback for Mr. Waterford stealing his only child and repeatedly sexually assaulting his girlfriend.
Nick (external): You stay inside sir.
Nick (internal): Who’s got the big dick now, bish?
Outside, everything was going fine until we realize that Serena Joy has literally been gardening the entire fire. Leave it to SJ to tend to the lilies while her neighbor’s house burns down.
Once again, Serena is faced with a choice: motherhood or pettiness. Luckily, Offred is like the Serena whisperer — she’s the only person who can speak to her SJ’s heart.
Was I the only person who wanted June to like…invite SJ along for the ride? Then all of season 3 could be like a fun Two And A Half Men thing with June, SJ, and the baby. SJ is Charlie Sheen in this scenario, btw.
SJ agrees to let the baby go, but not before launching into one of her 20 minute long prayers. Does this chick not realize we’re working on a deadline here? The fire will be out by the time she’s done reciting this rosary.
Finally, Serena stops praying and Offred and the baby begin their journey on what is basically the Underground Railroad for handmaids. She’s hopping fences. She’s running through mud. She’s doing parkour. By the time we get to the last helper I think they must be miles from where they started. Well away from Fred Waterford’s house.
Then we pan out and see she’s literally directly next to the fire.
She chills in the fire zone for a while, waiting for some kind of signal. The baby keeps almost crying and I’m like, can we give this baby a baby Ambien or something? Or just like put whiskey in a bottle? Might not be the best thing for an infant but neither is growing up in Gilead.
Tbh any amount of noise form the baby was making me very very worried
Unfortunately, Offred waits in the weeds just enough time to remember that she has another daughter that needs to escape Gilead. I hope she doesn’t get any wild ideas…
Narrator: She does get some pretty wild ideas.
Then, out of nowhere, a car pulls up directly beneath an industrial waterfall. Could the car have pulled over just slightly to the right and avoided getting pummeled with waste water? Probably. Would it have looked as cool? Definitely not.
And…OH MY GOD!!! IT’S EMILY AND COMMANDER LAWRENCE!!! HE WAS ZADDY AFTER ALL!!! YASSSS!
This is great. June and Emily are gonna get out together with the baby. She’s going to grow up named Holly. Next season will be about June and Luke raising Holly in a tasteful Canadian one bedroom. I love it.
Then June hesitates, and it all comes crashing down. As soon as she didn’t run right in the van alongside Emily I knew she was gonna pull some shit.
Me thoughts watching this scene:
June what the fuck are you doing?
What the fuck?
She’s just gonna hand over the baby isn’t she?
Well, at least her name will be Holly now.
June: Call her Nichole. Spell it the stupid way.
We end on June pulling up her hood and suddenly she is Lord Junedemort — She Who Must Not Be Named — The Dark Lord of Handmaids.
And now if you’ll excuse me I’ll be detoxing this season right up until the release of season 3.