Thank God for this week’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. I had honestly gotten worried that the show was bad now after those first three eps, which felt like a hodge-podge of fake inspirational moments set to weird music. But this week, dear readers, we are back and I, for one, am happy to feel the familiar terror of a good Handmaid’s ep again. We also get lots of Janine, which is never a bad thing.
We open on church bells, which are never a good sign in Gilead. All the women of Gilead appear to be on a power walk. Gotta get those steps in. Just because you’re living under an oppressive patriarchal theocracy doesn’t mean you can’t be fit!
Aunt Lydia has a new scooter, which is nice for her. OfRobert calls her “Hell on wheels,” but I prefer “Paulina Blart Handmaid Cop.” Turns out they’re all walking to a mass baptism, which is the Gilead version of Coachella. When they arrive, Janine, OfMatthew the narc, and June all get to sit in the VIP section because they’ve had children before. How nice for them. Maybe this is a good birthday party theme after all???
Flashback To Before Things Went To Sh*t
All of this reminds June of when Hannah was baptized, which was a significantly less depressing affair. I had forgotten about June’s badass feminist mom, who immediately calls the priests “holier than thou child molesters” and tells June that you “cannot let religon control your choices,” because “thats what they want.” Foreshadowing much, Mama June?
The biggest takeaway from these scenes is that June and Luke are extremely cute, and Moira’s discomfort during the ceremony made me feel seen.
Baptism Pool Party!!!
Fred is here. Why is Fred always here?
June: I ought to feel hatred for this man. I know I ought to feel it, but it isn’t what I feel…
Me: Don’t worry girl I’ve got you on the hating Fred front.
Gilead whenever they see babies:
After the baptism, there is a party at Janine’s old house, which the handmaids are invited to attend. Truly wild that Janine is invited to that party considering she once kidnapped the baby of the house and jumped off a bridge with it but, whatevs. All is forgiven, I guess.
OfMatthew: Handmaids shouldn’t be at the party. That’s not how it works.
OfMatthew was clearly the one who raised her hand to tell the teacher they forgot to assign homework back in the old days.
Serena Joy arrives fashionably late, and June pulls her aside to remind her that, despite the whole kidnapping and losing a finger thing, SJ is still the HBIC of the wives. She has the best eyebrows. She has all the cigs. She’s essentially the cool senior who smokes on the quad during lunch. And that, my friends, is power.
Can I just say the scenes of Emily trying to readjust to normal life are some of the best of this series and Alexis Bledel is a national goddamn treasure? Can I just say that?
Me as soon as Emily comes on screen knowing she is to be reunited with her wife:
Emily and her high cholesterol go to her wife, Sylvia’s, place to reintroduce her to their son, Oliver, and once again Handmaid’s Tale has me sobbing into my wine glass. Like, did they really need to cast an adorable little boy with an adorable little boy lisp for this scene? Couldn’t they have chosen one of those kids with the weirdly sweaty hands and a perpetual snot bubble or something? Give us a f*cking break.
Oliver: Emily will you read to me?
Emily: *Sobbing immediately*
Sylvia: *Sobbing immediately*
Me: *Sobbing immediately*
Oliver: Uh…okay…I guess I’ll just read it myself…
Back to the Party
We open on a casual Aunt Lydia sh*t talking session. OfMatthew interrupts immediately with an “Aunt Lydia is just doing her job,” and it’s like OKAY HERMIONE DON’T YOU HAVE SOME F*CKING STUDYING TO DO?!? Janine has resumed her role as the Spongebob of Gilead by acting like getting frisked by the police was just some light tickling, and by offering to bring Aunt Lydia some tea. Here’s a screenshot of that moment:
Aunt Lydia: I know why all the handmaids don’t like me. They blame me for Emily.
Janine: *stares in one eyeball*
Meanwhile in the kitchen, the sh*t talking sesh has been interrupted by Fred, who clears the entire room within 30 seconds.
“Have you girls tried the buffet? The deviled eggs are delicious.” – Fred flirting.
Once the other handmaids are gone, Fred turns to June for advice about his marriage, which he thinks is ruined because of Nichole, but is actually ruined because he let his friends cut his wife’s finger off. This is basically a recreation of every time your guy friend comes to you for dating advice, and you have to find a way to gently tell him that he’s a f*ckboi with bad style whose dating app profile needs serious work.
June: Maybe you should let Serena have thoughts and opinions again?
Janine and Angela
Cut to: Serena Joy enjoying a Virginia Slim by the pool.
June tells SJ that she told Fred to stop being such a f*ck and to give her more of a say in what goes on in Gilead. SJ repays this later by telling June where Hannah is most likely to go to school. Besties!!!
June: Wear the dress. Pull the strings.
Me: Brb I have a new tattoo to get.
Sadly, the party takes a dark turn when baby Angela (aka Janine’s baby) comes out to play.
Janine as soon as she sees Angela:
Things honestly go okay at first. Janine is allowed to hold Angela and she doesn’t try to murder-suicide her so it’s a definite improvement over the last time they hung out. Then, in typical Janine fashion, she loses her sh*t and starts begging to be their handmaid again so she can live in the house with Angela, which leads to Aunt Lydia LOSING HER F*CKING MIND AND BEATING JANINE IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. Clearly almost dying did *not* sit well with her and she’s basically the Hulk now. But like, a v religious Hulk that needs a scooter to get around. June eventually stops her but, damn, that’s one way to ruin a party. Like, of all the times I’ve been to a party and felt like I ruined it, at least I never lost my mind and beat the sh*t out of a mentally ill woman with one eyeball who also happens to be my only friend. At least I’ve never done that.
Aunt Lydia after she’s done going psycho on Janine:
Like most parties that go south this fast, the police arrive. June lingers around to see the cops showing Fred and SJ some YouTube videos on their iPad. Weird. The video turns out to be of Luke and baby Nichole at a protest. This makes June happy, and when the cops ask her if that’s Luke, she confirms his identity, but is anybody else worried Gilead is gonna use this to try and get baby Nichole back? Like, is this going to be an Elian Gonzalez situation? Because I feel like Luke’s legal argument for keeping Nichole is dubious at best. But maybe that’s just the conspiracy theorist in me.
Back In Canada
The episode ends with Moira and Luke trying to explain their relationship with Nichole to a priest so they can get her baptized, which only makes me believe more in my theory that a Nichole custody battle is forthcoming.
We end on a very sweet scene of Luke and Moira baptizing Nichole set to “Down by the River to Pray” from O Brother Where Art Thou? A family truly can look like anything!
Under his eye, fam. Until next week!
Images: Hulu; Giphy (7)
We’re now in season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale, and with each episode, the dystopian society of Gilead gets a little more terrifying. Actually, the show is disturbing, but what’s even scarier are the real-world similarities to what happens in the show. It’s not amazing right now. But apparently not everyone who watches the show gets the connections, or literally anything about the plot, and I am referring specifically to Kylie Jenner.
Kylie spent the whole weekend celebrating her best friend Stassie Karanikolaou’s birthday (including a party with Jordyn Woods), and on Saturday she had a Handmaid’s Tale-themed dinner party for Stassie. Thankfully, Kylie documented the party on her Instagram story, because I truly wouldn’t have believed half of this sh*t if I didn’t see it with my own eyes.
It’s 2019 and Kylie Jenner is hosting a “Handmaid’s Tale” themed birthday party…SIS… pic.twitter.com/hNUTDDyTp4
— cayley (@cayley_plotkin) June 9, 2019
This video is wild from start to finish, but let’s talk about some of the most important moments. First, Kylie says that The Handmaid’s Tale is her favorite show. Not like, “Oh yeah, I like it, Elisabeth Moss is cool.” Her favorite show. To be honest, I have a hard time believing this. I’m not calling her a liar, but I have no clue how someone could watch ~30 episodes of this show and still think Gilead is a fun party theme idea.
After walking through a red tunnel into the house, Kylie can be heard yelling “Welcome to Gilead! Get your outfits!!” She then walks up to a rack of red handmaid robes and white bonnets, because of course. Kylie then shows us that the drinks of the night are “Praise Be Vodka” and “Under His Eye Tequila.” I desperately need to know what is in these drinks, because I’m scared that Kylie is just serving cups of straight tequila and vodka. She and all of her friends are like, basically children, so this wouldn’t be completely surprising.
Kylie Jenner is having a party themed after the Handmaid’s Tale…..so…..who’s gonna tell her that her party is literally celebrating female enslavement for their biological reproduction??
WHO IS GOING TO TELL HER
— mirandaaithi (@mirandaaithi) June 9, 2019
We see the table set for the dinner party, and it’s as over the top as you would expect for any Kardashian/Jenner function. The center of the table is covered in red roses, and each place setting has a single long-stem red rose on the plate. The name cards are made to look like wrapped up letters, and the table might actually be the most tasteful part of this entire event.
Kylie then posted a video of Ariel Tejada, her makeup artist/BFF, and he’s wearing a suit so he looks exactly like a Commander. I’m pretty sure the sound of Kylie Jenner yelling “COMMANDER ARIELLLLL” will haunt my dreams tonight. Then we’re treated to a couple stories of Kylie and her friends prancing around in their handmaid robes, because obvi the most important part of being a handmaid is looking cute in your outfit.
The new season of The Handmaid’s Tale is just getting started, so I guess there’s still time for Kylie Jenner to figure out what the show is actually about, but at this point I’m doubtful that she actually really cares. Her main takeaway from watching the show is that Serena Joy is hot. Either way, she could definitely benefit from reading our predictions for season 3.
Images: kyliejenner / Instagram; caley_plotkin, mirandaaithi / Twitter
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