After last week’s truly insane ending, I honestly went into this episode with no predictions for what was going to happen, and thank God for that. Right off the bat, the episode changes it up by starting with decades-old pop music and a closeup on June’s face. Quelle suprise! A true subversion! What once was old has been made new again!
Okay, I’m being a bitch. I’ll stop. We start the episode with June attending to OfMatthew in the hospital. OfMatthew is alive, but barely. Her mind isn’t there, but her body is being forced to carry the pregnancy to term. The 11th grader who got a 5 on her AP Lit exam would recognize this as a metaphor for what is is like for all women in Gilead. June is forced to stay and pray for OfMatthew’s baby throughout the pregnancy which—fun twist!—has made her fully insane now.
Side note: Can you imagine waking up from a coma and your bully is just like, standing there singing “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”?
During the day, OfMatthew’s hospital bed is poppin’. It’s the place to be. The wives are there. The other handmaids are there. She’s got an assload of doctors. And these creepy little girls in pink keep walking by. Finally, after all this time, she’s popular!
June is totally f*cked up now and can barely walk from having to kneel all the time. In another time, this condition would be known as “blowjob knees.” She tries to kill OfMatthew by holding onto her breathing tube, but a little alarm goes off and the doctors come back in. Drats!
The Next Day
The next day, all the handmaids gather for their number one handmaid activity, aside from bearing children: a prayer circle. June is so crazy now she can barely pray, and Janine is all f*cked up from the time OfMatthew beat the shit out of her with a can of chowder. Fun times.
Turns out OfMatthew really did Janine dirty and f*cked up her eyeball hole. Not that her eyeball hole was doing great to begin with. Nobody has given her an eyepatch for some reason, so Janine attempts to cover her infected eyeball hole with a chic side bang. Unfortunately, chic side bangs are banned in Gilead, so Lydia makes Janine tuck her hair behind her ear. I think it’s safe to say Janine’s hair does not look sexy pushed back.
The handmaids all leave, but Aunt Lydia hangs back to check in on OfMatthew’s progress. OfMatthew starts having a seizure, probably because she is a half-dead body being forced to carry a pregnancy to term. Idk tho. I’m not a doctor.
June When OfMatthew Has A Seizure/Me When I find Out My Guy Friend’s Wife Has Gone Into Labor: If you’re lucky, you may get to see her sh*t herself.
As we all know, Lydia hates cursing, so she does not appreciate this comment. June then asks Lydia if she can leave the hospital (not very strategic thinking) and Lydia predictably says no.
Aunt Lydia: God never gives us more than we can handle.
Me: What about the time you tried to give your coworker a handjob and he rejected you and it made you go apesh*t and get your friend’s son taken away? Remember that?
In the background, we see a doctor dispose of a dirty knife he used to cut OfMatthew’s leg open, and June smiles. Don’t these people realize that if you leave June in a room with a knife she’s 100% going to steal that knife? That’s like, the Handmaid’s Tale version of Checkov’s gun.
June waits until night time to go check out the whole dirty knife situation. She’s changed into her nightgown/slip, which is actually a pretty cute peasant-cut white dress. Pop a flower crown on and it’s honestly a perfect festival lewk (and/or a costume from the movie Midsommar).
June wastes no time sticking her hand in a medical waste deposit box, and gets her finger pricked with a needle. Whatever. She’s not not trying to die. Her medical dumpster diving is interrupted by Janine, who is in the hospital due to an infected eyeball hole. And this, dear readers, is why we wear the eye patch.
Janine, pure as f*ck, comes over to OfMatthew’s bed and forgives her for repeatedly hitting her in the eyeball hole with a can of soup. June, Squidward as f*ck, immediately sh*ts all over Janine’s parade. June is quickly becoming the type of person who tells little kids Santa isn’t real.
Janine: I want you to get better.
June: She’s not going to get better.
Me: CHRIST CAN WE NOT LET JANINE PRAY?
June uses Janine’s prayer as an in to suggest she and Janine just go ahead and kill OfMatthew with the extremely tiny knife she’s acquired. Predictably, Janine is not into this idea, like at all.
Janine: You’re selfish! You’ve changed!
Me: Go OFF queen!!!!
June then immediately tells Janine to get the f*ck out. Looks like somebody can’t handle a little constructive criticism.
The Next Day
June doesn’t kill OfMatthew after all, but that doesn’t mean she’s done f*cking around with her tiny little knife. Luckily for June, Serena Joy shows up out of nowhere looking extremely knife-able. Unluckily for her, it’s actually hard to kill someone with a tiny knife, especially if you can barely walk because your knees are all f*cked up from praying, so SJ subdues her pretty easily. She doesn’t even freak out that much, because honestly the whole murder attempt was pretty sad, and June ends up injuring herself more in the process. Is June the Bagel Boss guy?
A nice-seeming doctor comes by to sew up June’s hand. Nobody is concerned that she acquired a knife and was going to use it to kill herself and others. Casual reminder that in season one, handmaids got murdered for blinking too sluttily.
June: My mother was a doctor. She treated pregnant women, and she always put her patients—the women—first.
Personally, I love how June is batsh*t crazy for the entire first half of the episode, but then as soon as she has the opportunity to lecture a man about feminism, she is 100% lucid and on top of her sh*t. I feel seen.
Turns out Chill Doctor actually knows June’s mom from back in the day, and they bond over that.
June: You know, last night I was going to kill everybody in here and myself, but now that we’ve chatted I’m feeling a lot better.
Chill Doctor: Oh ya I totally knew that would happen. Don’t worry about it.
That night, June is given a new hospital bed, so I guess stealing a knife and threatening to kill everyone worked. Unfortunately she doesn’t really get to enjoy it, because OfMatthew’s vital signs start going crazy. Is she going into labor? Is she having a miscarriage? It’s hard to tell.
The doctors run in and do a C-section, and pull out OfMatthew’s premature looking baby. So now Handmaid’s Tale has shown us a premature baby C-section and a still birth in two back-to-back episodes. Thank you Handmaid’s Tale!
The Death Of OfMatthew
The next day, June packs up her sh*t and gets ready to go. OfMatthew is still alive, but barely, and everyone says she’s going to die soon. As June is leaving, one of the creepy little girls in pink offers to help her carry her bag. We find out that the little girl is at the hospital because she just found out she can have babies. Turns out all the little girls June has been seeing coming in and out of the hospital are being inspected to see if they can have babies. Bleak. As. F*ck.
June leaves the hospital with Aunt Lydia, but then last minute decides she wants to go back and stay with OfMatthew until the end. Classic June. Always almost leaving places and then deciding at the last minute to go back and be tortured again. I guess it is the least she can do for bullying OfMatthew so badly she lost her mind and committed suicide by cop (it’s a thing, look it up).
Meanwhile, in the next room, Janine’s eye is back to normal. Or at least, it’s back to the status quo. As a nice gesture, Aunt Lydia brings Janine a little red eye patch to wear. Between this and Serena Joy’s leather finger, Gilead has really cornered the market on high-end accessories for female torture victims. A booming industry!
The episode ends with June in OfMatthew’s hospital bed, showering her with compliments, like ya do when you realize you’ve been kind of a bitch to someone. She then promises to free all children, including OfMatthew’s new baby boy, from Gilead. Sure, June. But you’re always saying that.
OfMatthew dies while June sings “Heaven is A Place on Earth.” Not sure if that’s the song I’d personally like to go out to, but okay. In another subversion of the art form, this episode does not end with June looking directly to camera while they play The Jackson Five or some sh*t, but instead ends with only the sounds of OfMatthew’s heart monitor indicating her death. Now I’m kind of wishing we had the old endings back.
Images: Hulu; Giphy (4)
Alright fam, this episode of The Handmaid’s Tale was a rollercoaster. It swung wildly from amazing (Aunt Lydia flashbacks!!!!!) to absolutely terrible (stillborn baby close-up), and I’m just going to go ahead and say right now that yes, it does end with June looking directly to camera while kitschy music plays. How many times are the writers going to do this? At this point, every time it happens I can’t help but think of this video and start laughing uncontrollably:
Elisabeth Moss at the end of every episode of Handmaids Tale. Needle drops included. pic.twitter.com/WtgBaPget2
— Chrissy Shackelford (@ChrissySh) June 29, 2019
Can someone show the writers of The Handmaid’s Tale this video so they realize this trope is over and they can move on to something else? Please?
Back In Gilead
We open on a handmaid named OfAndy giving birth. It is truly hard to keep all these handmaids straight. I had no idea OfAndy was even a thing. Since OfMatthew revealed that she narc-ed on Frances the Martha and got her killed, OfMatthew must now face the snitch’s fate of getting stiches. What did she expect?
In this case, the stitches are emotional, as Gilead has been transformed into North Shore High School, with June acting as Regina George.
June: That was a really good prayer, OfMatthew. You’re so religious.
June: …so you agree? You think you’re really religious?
The other handmaids are literally bullying OfMatthew while OfAndy gives birth. And when I say literally bullying, I mean literally. They’re shoving her. They’re snickering behind her back. At one point someone breaks something and blames it on her. It’s a whole-ass mess. And June is just standing there like:
The only person who is not into the bullying is poor, sweet Janine. She’s that one popular girl who always sticks up for the nerds because she’s low-key in all the AP classes with them and would probably be a nerd herself if she weren’t so hot. It’s not her fault she’s so popular.
This scene is difficult because, on the one hand, it’s tough to watch someone get bullied, especially when that person is pregnant and scared in Gilead. On the other hand, she totally snitched and got someone killed.
June sums this up best when she says “She got someone executed. She doesn’t feel sorry about it. She should have kept her f*cking mouth shut. Also that’s the ugliest effing skirt I’ve ever seen.”
Even Aunt Lydia takes notice of the bullying and tells June to “tell your friends to cool it.” Between Aunt Lydia saying “pumped” in the DC episode and her saying “cool it” in this episode, I think it is safe to say she’s been perusing Urban Dictionary.
At The Red Center
As with all cases of girl-on-girl bullying, the handmaids have now been assembled in the gym for trust falls. June is in the middle of the shame circle, but just like the kid who gets detention every day, it has lost its effect.
That is, until Aunt Lydia pulls out the Hannah card and makes June admit that her actions led to Hannah (who she calls “Agnes” because that’s her new name, unfortunately) losing her Martha and having to move. This clearly f*cks June up for a second, but just like Regina, June has a few pages of her burn book yet to reveal, and she’s not going to go down without a fight.
June: Yeah, well OfMatthew told me she doesn’t want her baby.
Clearly, June has taken it too far. Keep OfMatthew’s baby out your mouth. Like, I know she’s kind of tragic, but she’s Janine’s friend, so be nice to her, okay??? Also, harming a child and/or endangering a child in any way is a big f*cking deal in Gilead (except that one time Janine did it) so saying this puts OfMatthew’s life in genuine danger. Very uncool.
Speaking of Janine, she’s watching all of this go down like:
The group then turns on OfMatthew, who is already on the brink of a mental breakdown after all the bullying she endured at OfAndy’s birth. Hats off to actress Ashleigh LaThrop for conveying OfMatthew’s genuine terror here, and hats off to the cinematography for really putting us in this scene. I felt like I was the one getting bullied here, and frankly, I did not appreciate it.
At this point I start to realize that this episode has gone from Mean Girls to Heathers real fast (esp. with the red outfits) and that can only mean one thing: a lot of people are going to die.
Aunt Lydia Flashback
The best thing I can say about this episode is that it blesses us with the one thing we’ve all been wanting since season one: an Aunt Lydia flashback, complete with a sex scene. Didn’t actually know we needed that second part until it happened, but thank God it did. We’ll get to it later.
The first thing we learn about OG Aunt Lydia is that she was a teacher at a school. Makes sense. Her hair is down, she has a blow out, she’s rocking sensible flats and a flowy top, presumably from Chico’s.
Lyds has stayed late because one of the children in her class has yet to be picked up by his mother, whom Aunt Lydia clearly does not like. The principal of the school stops by and she immediately quotes the Bible at him, so clearly she hasn’t changed too much since the old days. The principal clearly digs this Bible reading, and the two of them have distinct sexual chemistry.
Can Aunt Lydia spit game?, I wonder.
Unfortunately, the flirting sesh is interrupted by the boy’s mother, who is clearly a struggling single mom. Aunt Lydia invites the two of the over for chili, but only so she can keep judging them and making shady comments. I have also done this many times to my dinner guests, so I get it.
At the chili cookout, Single Mom curses in front of Aunt Lydia, which would get you tased to death in today’s world. Since it’s not today’s world, Lydia’s only weapon is a vicious side-eye, which she uses often.
We end this scene with a couple more pieces of Lydia info:
1. Her full name is Lydia Clements.
2. She used to be married but he “was a mistake.”
We cut back to the Red Center, where Aunt Lydia is fulfilling her dream of making struggling women pay. She releases all the girls from the auditorium and thanks June for “telling what you know about OfMatthew,” but we know what she really means is “I’m on to you, bitch.”
Back at Commander Zaddy’s, June is trying to figure out where the f*ck Hannah moved to. I guess she should have thought about the fact that moving exists before she tried to break into her home and school. Hindsight is 20/20.
June: I need to know if you’ve learned anything about Hannah and the Mc—
Like most bullies, June’s home life is extremely f*cked up right now. Her Commander is mad at her. She doesn’t know where Hannah is. She’s struggling and lashing out at her peers. You hate to see it.
They get called to help with OfAndy’s birth again. I guess I didn’t realize that she never actually gave birth the first time. Shows where my priorities are at. The handmaids are all hands on deck for this baby, except for June, who is just chilling in the doorway. Maybe her parents wrote a note saying she could sit out?
Ultimately, the baby is stillborn and has the cord wrapped around its neck, which the director chooses to show us in vivid detail. Not something I necessarily needed to see on a Wednesday, but okay.
June sits out of the post-stillbirth group hug and instead pops over to go stare at the dead baby, which is some pretty extreme antisocial behavior from our girl June Osbourne. What’s her issue? Other than like, everything that has ever happened to her.
Finally, June returns to the Lawrence home, where the Commander inexplicably wants her to start hanging out with his wife again. Pretty sure that didn’t go great last time, but whatever.
June, who is clearly having some sort of mental break, responds to this attempt at friendship by laying into Commander Lawrence about the world he built, and how it affects his wife. Is she wrong? No. Was this the best moment to convey this sentiment? Probably not.
At The Aunt Office
And now for another glimpse into the daily life of Aunt Lydia, who apparently is in charge of deciding which handmaid goes where along with two other Aunts. They do this using a giant lazy susan and not like, computers, for some reason.
Do computers still exist in Gilead? They have to, right? I feel like a shared Google Doc could be helpful here.
At one point, Aunt Lydia refers to a family that “doesn’t want a handmaid of color”, which is significant in that it is the first time Handmaid’s Tale has addressed racism at all. Prior to this, you kind of got the impression that all racism was magically cured in whatever war happened. In my mind I rationalized this by saying that perhaps the fertility crisis has made people so desperate for babies it overrode hundreds of years of racial bias, but if that’s the case, this show should probably like, say that at some point. Just a thought.
Once the Aunts are done excusing racism, they go onto their favorite activity: sh*t talking June. Clearly, Aunt Lydia is not impressed with her mean girl turn, and the Aunts can’t help but notice that her walking partners keep going insane. Maybe it’s time to send her to military school?
Aunt Lydia Flasback #2
Wow. This next scene was a wild f*cking ride, so strap in because we’re about to cover a lot of ground. We start with Aunt Lydia at Single Mom’s house. Clearly they have become close, even though Lyd is still making condescending comments about her roughly every 30 seconds. Single Mom is unfazed by this (she’s got a lot of other sh*t on her plate) and decides that what Aunt Lydia really needs is a makeover. And starts sensually applying makeup to Lydia’s face. For a second I’m like…are they going to hook up? But they don’t. This is just a standard makeover. Lame.
Beat for the gods, Aunt Lydia goes out for a night on the town. Yes, you read that right. Aunt Lydia goes clubbing in this episode and yes, she is wearing a sequined top.
And who is she at the clurb to meet? Oh, just the hot principal from one flashback ago, of course! Not only are they hitting it off and looking amazing, it is also New Year’s Eve. Bold choice for a first date, but Aunt Lydia is a bold woman. She enjoys a single glass of champagne and then we cut straight to them doing drunk karaoke. Who among us hasn’t had the exact same night? One minute you’re enjoying a glass of champagne, the next you’re screaming “No Scrubs” to a room full of strangers. Life comes at you fast.
Speaking of fast, Aunt Lydia and Hot Principal go home together ON THE FIRST DATE. Now of course, there’s nothing wrong with going home with someone on the first date, but given Lyd’s entire personality, this is pretty surprising. The two start making out and it’s like…what’s gonna happen here? Is he gonna try to go too far and get pepper sprayed? Will this be Aunt Lydia’s first taste of blood?
Quite the opposite! Aunt Lydia goes to give Hot Principal a casual first date hand job and HE TELLS HER THEY ARE MOVING TOO FAST!!! He slut-shames Aunt Lydia!
In his defense, he does say that he wants to see her again, but Lydia is already heartbroken. And what does a heartbroken Aunt Lydia do?
And by “sh*t” I mean the lives of two innocent people by reporting Single Mom to whatever the Gilead version of CPS is for “moral weakness.” Hot Principal watches all this go down with a sad look in his eye.
Where is the woman who tugged his dick just a few months ago? Or do hand jobs not count as moral weakness, just like they don’t count as cheating?
Back in Gilead, June is standing in the snow to meet up with OfMatthew who is not. doing. great. Like, she’s crying before they even get to the bus stop. They’re really layering this bullied child motif on thick.
They make it to the grocery store, and within five seconds we see OfMatthew losing her sh*t in the seafood aisle over a can of lobster bisque. The combination of the bullying, the pregnancy, and her natural narc-iness are too much to bear. Like many bullied youths before her, she is about to lose her f*cking sh*t in a public place.
Then, OfMatthew does the one thing you’re never supposed to do: she physically attacks Janine! Like, really beats the sh*t out of her! This is why you can’t be nice to people. Within 30 seconds, OfMatthew has gone full Carrie on everybody at Loaves and Fishes.
To make matters worse, she attacks a guard and steals his gun. So now she has a gun. Basically, OfMatthew was bullied so badly it drove her to buy a gun and open fire at a grocery store. I see no parallels to our current world there! None at all!
Just as we think she is going to shoot June (who is so crazy at this point, she just kind of stands there smiling), she turns her gun on Aunt Lydia. I know Aunt Lydia survived being stabbed seven times and falling down the stairs, but can she survive being shot at close range in the grocery store?
Sadly, we do not find out because the guards kill OfMatthew (who we learn is really named “Natalie”) right there next to the frozen shrimp. Damn. RIP OfMatthew. You mostly sucked, but I did feel bad for you at the end there.
As I mentioned before, the episode ends with June looking to camera while Nancy Sinatra’s version of “Que Será Será “plays in the background. Yawn.
Images: Hulu; ChrissySh / Twitter; Giphy (7)
Back to Gilead! Let’s dive into the horrors Hulu has brought to us this week, shall we? We open on a Canadian protest, which I imagine is a very polite affair. Baby Nichole, a hardened member of antifa at this point, is on the front lines with Luke, her new pseudo-dad. Based on the epic fatness of her widdle cheeks, it seems like Nichole is thriving. Good for her.
You know who is not thriving? June, who is still sadly being forced to hang out with OfMatthew the Narc at the grocery store. June is tuning out OfMatthews’s narc-ery by dreaming about having sex with Luke at the clurb. This is also how I get through talking to annoying people.
June: Nobody dies from lack of sex.
Me: Speak for your damn self.
OfMatthew takes this opportunity to make a dig at June about Luke (could she tell June was just thinking about it? Does OfMatthew have a radar for horniness?), to which June responds “bite me.” Good for June.
It turns out that all of Gilead is looking for Luke, echoing my sentiments last recap that this thing with Baby Nichole is going to turn into an Elian Gonzalez situation, except instead of being saved by dolphins she was saved by Emily. (If you don’t know wtf I’m talking about www.google.com can help.)
Cut to: Fred and SJ at a meeting to talk sh*t about Luke. Gilead has apparently hacked Nichole’s medical records, which gives Serena what the kids call “all the feels.” Clearly being separated from her daughter has caused Serena significant mental distress, even though she knows her child is going to a better place. It’s almost as though separating children from their families is extremely traumatizing for everyone involved and should be reserved for the most extreme circumstances?! Food for thought.
Fred: Help me understand what it is that you want.
SJ: Well two weeks ago I had ten fingers and a baby and now I don’t have either so maybe let’s start there?
At Commander Zaddy’s Place
Cut to: June at the door, lurking and listening, aka doing what she does best. Turns out the Waterfords have stopped by for a casual chat. Who would have guessed in season one that these guys would form a mini friend group? They’re going to parties together, they’re hanging out after hours. I bet their group chat is littttt.
Turns out they’re not just there to shoot the sh*t, though. They want to arrange a meeting with Baby Nichole. Damn, Baby Nichole! She’s going to meetings! She’s out here protesting! She has a more active life than I do and I’m 29 years old. Wow.
SJ: Call your husband.
June: Oh yeah I’ll grab my cell phone and do that.
June tries to convince SJ this is a bad idea, to no avail. She’s like, “girl, listen, I know how this goes and it absolutely ends with you and her new mom talking about hypoallergenic dogs while you get arrested. Trust me.” Serena won’t hear it, so June decides the best course of action is to just go along with this extremely bad idea in hopes that SJ will owe her one later. Solid choice.
Cut to: June sitting at Commander Zaddy’s desk like a goddamn boss. She attempts to call Luke once but he ignores it, just as any respectable individual who receives a call from a blocked number would do. He picks up on the second attempt, probably assuming she’s one of those Chinese telemarking services that calls from a number that looks like yours.
Luke: Hey can you take me off the li—
June: Heyyyyy it’s me!
Can you imagine picking up a call that you 100% thought was your student loan company and having it be your long-lost wife? TG he didn’t let it go to voicemail. That’s where phone calls go to die.
June: I need you to go to the Toronto airport to meet the Waterfords. Bring Nichole.
Luke and Everyone Else on the Planet: Uh that sounds like a really bad idea?
Ultimately Luke agrees because like, if your kidnapped wife calls you for the first time in years to ask you for one favor you kind of have to do it. You can’t really be like, “ahhh the next two weeks are kind of crazy for me but maybe check back in a month?” Also, like any respectable person, Luke refuses to meet with Fred, meaning SJ has to go alone. Cue Serena Joy’s Eat, Pray Love: Canada Edition! It takes place entirely in the Toronto airport and she doesn’t eat anything but there is a lot of praying.
Commander Zaddy tries to offer June a handkerchief for her tears when she’s done with the call, but she slaps his hand away like a boss. She’s a stone cold bitch who cries for no man. Also she has PTSD and has to shut down to deal with trauma. Relatable!
The Mix Tapes
Next thing we know we’re with June and Crazy Madame Zaddy, who may not be so crazy after all. She tells June that Commander Z used to “curate cassette tapes for in college,” which is the least romantic way of saying your boyfriend made you mix CDs that I’ve ever heard.
This revelation comes as no surprise. Of course Commander Zaddy is one of those mix tape-making Seth Cohen motherf*ckers. Of course he is an indie boy. It’s always the f*cking indie boys. They start out all nice and cute and sensitive, and then the next thing you know they’re yelling about being friend-zoned and inventing the colonies. Typical sadboi behavior. Given my dating history, I can’t believe I didn’t spot it sooner.
Cut to: June hauling ass to the attic to find the mix tapes and see if they’re embarrassing. Surprisingly, they are not—though one of the tapes is called “A MIXTAPE MIASMA,” another typical indie boy move. TBH based on the first song alone this mix tape slaps. Pass Commander Zaddy the aux any day of the week.
Serena In Canada
Next, we see Serena getting ready for her big vacation to the Toronto airport. She is going to bring Nichole a giant hideous necklace to remember her by. Sure, Serena. Sure. Before SJ leaves, Rita gives her a grubby little package that SJ is supposed to pass on to Luke.
Okay, can I just pause and say, how the f*ck is this happening without any government intervention? Once again, the rules of Gilead are all over the place. Two episodes ago, June was getting in trouble for “gossiping” at the grocery store, but now Mr. Waterford is chartering a plane and negotiating with the Canaian government and the government has no f*cking clue?? Tell me how.
SJ arrives in Canada and changes into some sensible flats and a cowl neck sweater, courtesy of the hot Canadian government official she met on her last trip. He’s apparently there to make sure everything goes okay and SJ doesn’t pull a Janine and try to jump off the airbridge with her baby. Good call.
Luke is absolutely stone cold, and like, I get it. He doesn’t know that Serena Joy lost her finger and had a change of heart. All he knows is that she held his wife prisoner in her home while her husband assaulted her regularly. Pretty good reason to hold a grudge, imho.
The meeting goes…not great. Luke isn’t very interested in giving Nichole the hideous necklace, which causes the old Serena to go claws out and basically low-key threaten June. It works in that Luke agrees to take the necklace, but it doesn’t work in that I doubt Luke will be inviting her to Nichole’s first birthday party or anything.
He does let her hold Nichole a little bit before heading back to Gilead with her sh*t husband and her leather finger. That was nice of him. He is repaid for his kindness by listening to a mix tape from June (this is what June wanted SJ to pass along) that is actually a cleverly disguised recording of her telling him Nichole isn’t a baby born of assault, but actually a baby born of love with her hot new military boyfriend.
I leave this scene thinking about Luke realizing that he’s been free as a bird in Canada for years getting absolutely no ass while June is getting dicked down by a hot ROTC guy on the daily while also living in a patriarchal religious slave state. That probably hurts more than the cheating, if you ask me.
Back In Gilead
Cut to: a single shot of the Zaddy family creepily listening to “Cruel to be Kind” in their living room and not talking to each other. How very Seth and Summer of them.
Serena returns to Mr. Waterford, who was not allowed in Canada because he (say it louder for the people in the back) absolutely sucks ass. He tells Serena that her relationship with Nichole “doesn’t have to be over,” and it’s like…see, Luke? This is why you have to be at least semi-nice to the crazy rich lady from Gilead who is obsessed with your baby. Have you seen her eyebrows? You don’t mess with women whose eyebrows are that good. You just don’t.
Meanwhile, June is back at the grocery story with OfNarcthew, who is actually being semi-cool for once. She apologizes for being such a bitch earlier and reveals it is because she is pregnant again. She is very sad and clearly just generally not jazzed about carrying her rapist’s baby to term. If only she had access to a safe, legal medical procedure that would help her end her pregnancy so she would not have to endure that trauma. If only.
Moments later June is arrested and I’m like, “this is why you shouldn’t be gossiping at the grocery store, bitch! You’ve been warned!” It’s honestly hard to tell what June is being arrested for at this moment. For kidnapping her baby? For attempting to kidnap her other baby? For setting up a meeting between the first kidnapped baby and her half-mom? There are so many options.
Turns out this isn’t an arrest. It’s a forced television appearance for which they make June change into a whole new handmaid outfit, complete with shawl. Just as I predicted, the Waterfords are now making an international appeal to get Nichole back, and June has to be present because…? I feel like it doesn’t help your cause to remind the entire world that this baby actually belongs to the sex slave behind you, but whatever. The entire broadcast is the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen, with the scary-ass Waterfords crying to the camera in front of their own demonic portrait.
Any reasonable human who watched this psychotic press conference would absolutely never give these freaks their baby back, and would probably start donating to a “save the babies of Gilead” fund immediately out of sheer horror. But I guess we’ll have to wait until next episode to see how the world reacts.
Images: Giphy (2); Tenor; Hulu
For this jumbo-sized Handmaid’s Tale recap, we’ll be tackling episodes two and three of season three of The Handmaid’s Tale because Hulu knows if you want to hook an audience you have to let them binge at least three episodes. Are we surprised that the people who brought Gilead to life are this devious?
Speaking of Gilead, does anyone feel like they don’t understand this country’s rules anymore? Sometimes they’re cutting off women’s fingers for reading the Bible too sexily, and other times they’re sending June home from a kidnapping attempt with a slap on the wrist. IDGI.
For example, here are some things that had absolutely no consequences last episode:
-June kidnapping Nichole and sending her to Canada.
-June attempting to kidnap Hannah and getting caught.
-Serena Joy burning her own house down.
I’d be pretty pissed if I were one of the thousands of women season one Gilead executed for looking at milk too long.
Episode two opens on June getting started at her new job. We get a two second glimpse of Janine, which is about a thousand less seconds then we deserved. Where’s that crazy bitch been? I miss her.
June has a new walking partner (OfMatthew) who tells June (and by extension, us) that Gilead is about to “take back Chicago.” Kanye must be devastated. OfMatthew tells June she’s been “praying for the Waterfords” and attempts to talk sh*t about Emily, who has been blamed for kidnapping the Waterfords’ baby. Sadly it seems that OfMatthew is something of a narc.
OfMatthew: I don’t know why OfJoseph would do such a thing!
June: Back up bitch, that’s my best f*cking friend.
OfMatthew f*cks off once June gets to the grocery store, giving her time to chat with OfRobert about the news of the day like the fact that Chicago is lost and all the Marthas are hanging out without them.
OfRobert: The Marthas know everything but they don’t f*ck with handmaids.
June: Oh really…
At Commander Zaddy’s
Holy sh*t, Aunt Lydia is alive! I distinctly remember her being stabbed multiple times and falling down a flight of stairs, but apparently she has risen from the dead. Once again I ask myself, am I watching Game of Thrones?
Aunt Lydia wants to know wtf is up with Commander Zaddy’s wife, Madame Zaddy, and I agree. Is this a Jane Eyre situation? It’s hard to tell. Either way, Aunt Lydia is not into Commander Zaddy at all and wastes no time asking June to tell her if she also gets bad vibes. Then, out of nowhere, Lydia just loses her sh*t and TASES OFFRED. Like, one minute they’re chatting about Emily, the weather, etc…The next minute, Aunt Lydia is all psycho about to light a bitch up. I guess that whole getting stabbed and falling down the stairs thing did have some effect.
Aunt Lydia on her way out: BTW I saw you gossiping at the grocery store.
Emily In Canada
In this scene, Emily goes to the doctor and tbh I blacked out at the words “clitoral reconstruction.” But apparently Emily has high cholesterol.
Back At Commander Zaddy’s
Oh hell yeah, it’s Martha time. June finds the Marthas plotting to get somebody out and she sees now as the perfect time to infiltrate her new friend group. One of the Marthas has no eye which makes me miss Janine. Where the f*ck is Janine?
June: Owwwkayyyy ladies now let’s get in formation!!! How do we do, fellow Marthas?
June walking into the forbidden parts of the city:
Martha One: God bless our laborers.
Martha Two: Through we are cleansed.
The plan works great until it doesn’t, and a shot Martha shows up at their house, screaming and making a f*ckton of noise. June, who once had to silently give birth alone, isn’t having any of it and tells her to STFU immediately.
Commander Zaddy: What was that?
One Eyed Martha: We…saw…a…rat?
After a very close call with the police, the shot Martha dies and June is forced to bury her body in the backyard alone because Commander Zaddy is “mad” they brought a “fugitive” into his house to let her “die there” or whatever.
In this scene Commander Z also screams “DO NOT PRESUME TO SPEAK TO ME ABOUT MY WIFE!!!” which is def the new “don’t talk to me or my son ever again.”
Back To Canada
Cut to: Luke drunkenly ruining dinner because he can’t get his sh*t together, like he’s me at Thanksgiving or something. He’s asking Emily questions about her family even though Emily hasn’t decided if she’s going to slide into her ex wife’s DMs just yet.
Moira: Hey Luke, why don’t you go get the f*cking potatoes and STFU?
Turns out Luke is just sad because Nichole reminds him of June. Blah blah blah the Canada scenes are boring.
Cut to: Emily getting an eye exam.
Emily’s post-Gilead to-do list so far:
1. Go to the eye doctor.
2. Clitoral reconstruction.
3. Find out if family remembers me.
It is under these—and only these—circumstances that any human would ever actually get their eye doctor’s appointment done first. Under any other circumstances you just procrastinate that sh*t until you’re no longer legally allowed to operate a vehicle. Once the eye exam is done, Emily jumps right to #3 on the list, reconnecting with family. Because the clitoral thing is probs gonna take some time.
Emily’s Wife: Em?
Serena’s Mom Has Got It Goin’ On: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Episode Three
In between my watching episodes two and three, Kylie Jenner threw her friend a Handmaid’s Tale themed birthday party. Because we all watch Gilead and think, “I want to go to there!” Let’s see how well this episode matches up with Kylie’s fun bday theme!
We open on hanging bodies. Or as Kylie would call them, piñatas. Janine is back, thank God, but we still only get like two seconds of J-time. Bring back Janine! We want our girl! Apparently the rules of Gilead aren’t totally over because the government has been hanging a f*ckton of Marthas for their involvement in May Day.
“If I’m going to survive this, I’m going to need allies. Allies with power.” – June/Me At A Party
At Commander Zaddy’s
Turns out that Commander Z is so important that he never has to go to meetings. Nope. He has the meetings come to him. And that, my friends, is a career goal. All the Commanders are over to meet with Z, which unfortunately means that Fred and baby’s penis are also in attendance. Any party Fred is invited to is one I do not want to know anything about.
Fred: Oh, hey June
June: Okay cut the sh*t and tell me everything you know about Commander Lawrence.
June presses Fred for tea on Commander Zaddy and Fred willingly spills it because he is a weak-willed little snot. His big revelations? “We’ve found him hard to read,” and “he doesn’t like to be bored.”
Thanks Fred, you useless f*ck.
Serena And Her Mom
So this is Serena Joy’s mom. Mama Joy. Turns out Serena’s been staying at her mom’s place while she figures out whether or not she wants to stay married to a guy who let his friends cut her finger off. Decisions, decisions. Luckily, Rita has made Serena a very chic blue leather finger to wear around. I’m not kidding when I say this leather finger is gorgeous, and I could honestly see it being the accessory of the season. Kylie really missed out by not giving these out as favors at her party.
Serena’s mother is hosting a casual prayer group at her house, which is the Gilead version of throwing one of those MLM sex toy parties. Just when you think the prayer circle is done, the priest calls in Serena and says he wants to pray for “her marriage.” Even in Gilead, you gotta worry about your mom spilling all your business to her friend group.
Serena: I don’t want to go back to Fred because he let his friends cut my finger off.
The Men’s All-Male Misogyny Meeting
And now for a glimpse into Commander Zaddy’s patriarchy book club. What fun! June is on pouring duty so she gets to hear pieces of the meeting, and whaddya know, NICK is there! This means that Nick has gotten promoted to Commander, and might I just say that he looks great in those Commander clothes? Praise be, indeed.
Commander Z calls June to pour sh*t and commences playing some f*ckboy games with her. He makes her go get a sexist book off the bookshelf and all the men creepily watch her because they are all gross, horny bastards who get turned on by even the most basic librarian duties.
Commanders: *All laugh at June*
After the meeting, June checks in with Commander Zaddy to be like “Uh…what the f*ck was that?” and they get in a big fight about good and evil and morality and whatnot. My eyes rolled all the way back into my f*cking skull when Commander Z makes an offhanded remark about “binders full of women” here, which is a reference to a 2012 Mitt Romney quote. What’s next? June looks to the camera and says, “I’m a Nasty Woman!” Maybe Janine will drop a “nevertheless she persisted”? Corny. As. F*ck.
To prove to June he’s right (or just to f*ck with her, I’m not sure) Commander Zaddy brings June to a military facility where they’re holding a bunch of women meant for the colonies.
June: Wtf is this?
Commander: They were supposed to all be killed but I’m sending them to the colonies!
June: That’s still basically killing them tho…
Commander: But I got five of them jobs as Marthas!
June: There are like five hundred people here?
Commander: There were only five jobs!
June: Is this supposed to impress me?
In the end, the Commander tells June she has to decide which five get to be Marthas. Because like a typical f*ckboy, he’s gotta drag her down into all his own bullsh*t.
June + Serena
Next up on the reunion train: Serena Joy! Serena stops by June’s place to trade traumas. This is the Gilead version of when your friend texts you and is like, “Come downstairs, I’m outside and have wine!”
We end with an inspirational montage. Part of it is Serena Joy just like, running into the ocean. She leaves her chic leather finger behind which is good because like, leather def cannot go in the ocean.
June surprises Commander Zaddy by presenting him with the five women she’s chosen, who, unbeknownst to him (or maybe beknownst to him? I can’t figure out what Commander Zaddy beknows), are all going to be able to aid in the #resistance.
And that, is what you do not f*ck with June, my friends. I still miss Janine tho.
Images: Hulu, Giphy (7),
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
Blessed be the fruit! The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 is upon us and I, for one, am very excited to get back to traumatizing myself for an hour every Wednesday. In typical Handmaid’s Tale fashion, the newly released trailer features some cryptic voiceover by our girl Offred (June if you’re nasty), and some very tantalizing clues as to what may happen next season. After watching approximately 10,000 times, here are some predictions…
1. Offred Moves In With Commander Lawrence
I mean…she can’t go back to the Waterfords, and his handmaid just escaped, so it’s kind of perfect, no? The trailer shows multiple shots of June in with Commander Lawrence (aka Zaddy) in his house, and we know as of the season two finale that he’s a good guy (despite the fact that he created the colonies) so this just makes logical sense. What doesn’t make logical sense is that Offred appears to be chilling in public in both Handmaid and Martha attire with no disguise, even though she must be the most wanted woman in the whole country? Like, what is this shot of her just standing in the middle of a government building like it’s NBD? Do these people not realize they are in the presence of OFFRED, the Beyoncé of Gilead? I am confused.
2. Serena Goes Full Good-Guy
What Serena Joy has lost in fingers she will make up for in good deeds this season. SJ began this transformation at the end of season two by giving June the baby, but does one measly baby-handing-over make up for the fact that to get said baby she masterminded the assault of a pregnant woman? I think not. In the trailer, we see a flash of Serena when June talks about “powerful allies,” so I think it’s safe to say Serena will be working for the #Resistance and trying to create some much better Karma for herself next season. The trailer ends with a shot of her and June enjoying a cig by the pool, so it looks like they’re going to collab on a big project very soon (see item #5 for my guess as to what that may be…).
3. Aunt Lydia Is Alive
The biggest spoiler from the trailer is that Aunt Lydia is, apparently, alive. Unless that shot of her is from a flashback, which I think is unlikely. She seemed pretty f*cking dead last we saw her, considering Emily stabbed her, pushed her over a bannister, and kicked her down the stairs, but I’ve watched TV long enough to know that no character that dies in one season’s finale isn’t actually dead until it is confirmed in next season’s premier. I predict Aunt Lydia’s brush with death will end up being the thing that turns her good, and will give us more insight into how she became the Dark Doula of Gilead.
4. The Waterfords Get A Lamp
May the Lord open a goddamn window in this bitch!!!!! This is less of a prediction and more of a sincere hope, but now that the Waterfords have to rebuild their house I hope they use that opportunity to buy a goddamn lamp. People complained about the Battle of Winterfell on Game of Thrones episode being hard to see, but every scene at Chez Waterford is like a sensory deprivation tank. I’m just praying that the well-lit pool room at the end of the trailer is in the Waterfords’ new house so that Serena Joy can get some much needed vitamin D on that finger nub. Please, Hulu. I want to be able to see everything when she and June finally kill Mr. Waterford.
Which brings me to my final prediction…
5. Mr. Waterford Dies
I’m sorry, but this motherf*cker has got to go. It may be wishful thinking, but I am predicting that Serena and June tag-team killing Mr. Waterford this season and resume their old job of pretending to be him in letters. Between the multiple assaults, domestic violence, letting the government cut off his wife’s finger, and the fact that he revealed last season he does not know how to make tea, this character is done. I know he’s a main character but if Game of Thrones could kill off Ned Stark, Handmaid’s Tale can kill this gangly-ass Bible-thumping Harvey Weinstein. End of rant.
Images: Giphy (5)