Aaaand we’re back. Hulu released three new episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale yesterday, but today I’m only tackling the first one because between this and the Ava DuVernay Central Park Five series, I need an extra session or two with my therapist.
Let’s start our recap with a recap: when we last left June, she had made arguably the dumbest decision of her life and remained in Gilead to save Hannah, while Alexis Bledel and the new baby f*cked off to Canada with the help of Commander Zaddy (the guy from The West Wing). The baby, of course, will suffer a far worse fate (being named Nichole).
We open on June frantically texting Emily to be like, “JK sorry actually I think I wanna get in the van after all!!!” (Not really, but this is what I would do).
Commander Zaddy finds June just walking around on the street like its nbd and plays the role of the audience by being like, “Uh…wtf is wrong with you?”
June: I had to come back for Hannah. I couldn’t leave without her.
Me: You totally could tho…
Commander Zaddy agrees to help June because…well, we don’t really know yet. It’s hard to get a read on Commander Zaddy.
Back At The Waterfords’
Oh god, it’s Fred. We begin with Fred losing his sh*t and being very annoying like the sad beta male that he is. He’s all pissed off because June stole their baby and carved sh*t in the wall and lit a bunch of sh*t on fire. Fair, but for some reason, coming from him it seems annoying.
Fred: She burned down half the city and kidnapped our baby!
Me: Ugh, Christ, can we get this man a Xanax? He’s hysterical…
Then Serena Joy drops a bomb by admitting she helped June and the baby escape, and leaves Mr. Waterford and his micro penis to figure out what to do next. I halfway expected Nick (who has been sexily lurking in the back of this scene saying nothing) to come out of the shadows at this point and be like, “Well while we’re all sharing things, I’ve been boning Offred this whole time and that baby is actually mine because you’re impotent,” but he didn’t. Shame.
Cut to: Serena Joy smoking a cig. I guess they don’t have Juuls in Gilead.
At Hannah’s House
Oh, so June is gonna try to get Hannah…right now? I figured she’d like, take a minute to formulate a plan or something but nah, she just has Commander Zaddy drop her off at Hannah’s place for a little improvised kidnapping.
Getting into the house is surprisingly easy, and she also has no issue sneaking up on that Martha she met the last time she broke into Hannah’s house. The Martha doesn’t scream or anything, she’s just like, “The Commander isn’t here,” and lets June go upstairs to take Hannah. Truly no questions asked.
June goes up to Hannah’s room and the cops show up immediately because of course they do. It’s honestly impressive how fast they arrive. June once again succumbs to her fatal flaw: having absolutely no idea when to GTFO. She just like, chills in Hannah’s room for a bit, ties a little piece of yarn around her arm, packs a bowl, smokes it, updates her LinkedIn, etc…etc…
Eventually she’s captured, because she made no real effort to not be captured. At this point I’m very confused, because I obviously know that Offred isn’t going to die, but like, just based on what I know the rules of Gilead to be, she is probably facing death. Like, they cut off Serena Joy’s finger for reading the Bible.
Random Woman from the Shadows Just as June is Being Taken Away: Jonathan, please bring her inside.
Me: Uh who the f is this and who the f is Jonathan?
Okay, so we find out immediately that this woman is Hannah’s new fake mom and she seems…honestly chill? Just like when any two moms get together, they start talking about their children (though in this case it is the same person).
Mrs. Mckenzie: She wants a dog!
June: She’s allergic!
Mrs. Mckenzie: We’ll get a goldendoodle!
Mrs. Mckenzie: I know!
June: Okay I have to go be arrested now! Bye!
Mrs. Mckenzie: TTFN! Please stop breaking into my house!
I leave this scene having no idea which one of them is right.
Back At The Waterfords’
Horrible energy at the Waterford house, per usual. Mr. Waterford—who I literally just realized is the Jared Kushner of Gilead—is still all freaked out because his baby has been kidnapped by his rape victim in an act of triumphant revenge, and his wife helped. Yawn.
Turns out the cops just brought June back to the Waterfords, which seems to go against all the rules of Gilead (last season they drowned Eden in a pool in front of the entire town for dating), but okay. Whatever. This is what’s happening.
Serena Joy is pissed that June came back and left Nichole with Emily. Serena Joy thinks Emily is a “murderer” because she “once drove a car into a crowd full of people.” Ugh. Doesn’t Serena realize that Emily had like, reasons?
Nick, Speaking for All of Us: What the f*ck is wrong with you? Don’t you know you’re going to die here?!?
June: I know 😉
Emily & Nichole
Oh right! Yes! These two! Emily is on the final leg of her journey, where she has to just casually run across a river. NBD. Personally, if I were Emily I would be very annoyed with June. I was on my way out and then you show up and give me a BABY? I wasn’t mentally prepared to care for a baby! Now I gotta do water parkour with a damn baby? I thought we were friends…
Anwyay, Emily attempts to get across the river with the baby and she just gets washed right back up on shore. The police come and we’re all like welp, this is it, there goes Emily and Nichole. Pack it up and go home guys, there’s no way they’re getting out of this one.
But wait…what’s this? The cop is being all friendly and respecting her rights as a woman? OH MY GOD, HE’S CANADIAN!!!! YESSSS BITCH YOU MADE IT!!!
Back At The Waterfords’
Mr. Waterford has calmed down, and surprisingly came up with a pretty good lie to keep the cops from all getting hanged by the government. This might be the first time he has ever been useful in his life.
Mr. Waterford leaves SJ alone in the bedroom after telling her the plan and we see SJ just like…go dark before our very eyes. You can tell she has finally made the crucial transformation from 95% that bitch to 100% that bitch.
What will she do? Will she kill herself? Will she kill Fred? Ohhh F*CK SERENA JOY JUST BURNED THIS BITCH DOWN.
NO MORE DARK ASS HOUSE.
NO MORE HORRIBLE RAPE BED.
IT’S ALL ON FIRE! ALL OF IT! SO MUCH FIRE!
AND HER AND OFFRED ARE JUST…STANDING THERE?
WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE’S LITERALLY A GIANT FIRE??!?
Once again, June has no idea how to GTFO. She just hangs around in the on-fire house, laughing to herself as the walls literally start collapsing around her.
June: Burn motherf*cker, burn.
Me: OKAY BUT CAN WE HAVE THIS MOMENT OUTSIDE ON THE SIDEWALK THIS SH*T IS ABOUT TO BLOW.
Cut to: a truly insane fire sequence set to anachronistic music because that’s The Handmaid’s Tale’s favorite thing to do.
Me during this whole sequence: Is this Game of Thrones? Is Gilead where Drogon was flying to in the finale? I’m confused…
Emily arrives in Canada and gets the welcome every person hopes for anytime they walk into a new room: a full standing ovation. Imagine if every time refugees arrived in our country we gave them a standing ovation? That’d be nice…
Cut to: Luke and Moira picking up the mail. Turns out, Offred sent Luke a polaroid of Hannah. Cute.
Then out of nowhere, Emily shows up and is like, “Are you Luke?”
How she found them or knows what Luke looks like is a mystery to me.
Emily: Your wife saved my life.
Luke: Uh…who are you again?
Cut to: the red center, where June is doing her chores. A random handmaid rolls up and whispers to tell her Emily and baby Nichole made it to Canada.
Honestly, there were very good acting moments from both Elizabeth Moss and Actor-Who-Plays-Luke* here. Very good.
*his name is O.T. Fagbenle.
Offred’s New Home
We end on June getting her new assignment, which is obviously going to be at Commander Zaddy’s place. It is, and he asks her if she’s going to cause him any trouble.
June: Of course not 😉
Conclusion: This episode had so much fire and winking at the camera that I honestly mistook it for a GOT-Fleabag crossover. (HBO and Amazon, you owe me if you use that idea).
Images: Hulu; Giphy (2); @handmaidsonhulu (2) / Instagram