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Smile Like You Mean It
This was not a foundational text for the dark knight. Why does Bruce command such devotion from Alfred? Bruce is in stare mode. One has no anticipatory eagerness for this. Lee is not scarily taciturn. There are hidden motivations and violent ideations. Why does Jerome command the respect he does? Barbara has fevered discourse. Nobody has critical judgement. Selina’s mother takes a suspicious interest in her. Jerome and co aren’t menacing elements.

Tabitha plots. There are no reasonably minded people. This was beyond beyond beyond irritating. Penguin is ill-fated. Gordon has a coercive note and is deemed to have over-reached. Lee is ungrateful for what Gordon has bestowed on her, namely her life. Jerome comes back to life and ‘Face/Off’ is ripped off. Selina is disappointed by her mother. Jerome staples his face back on.

Best Lines:
“Collecting psychopaths.”

“Sucking air.”

“Thanks for helping the bad guys.”

“That need of chatter.”

“Raving lunatics and idiots.”

“The night of the awakening.”

“Do that disco vampire thing with your hair.”

A Woman’s Place
The Handmaids have to clean the Wall. WTF? A Mexican trade delegation visits. There are lots of water shots, cos symbolism. Gilead has a cause for shame. Serena Joy’s clothes are only blue/green. Who picked that colour? Serena Joy recalls her past with Fred. She saw the creation of Gilead as rapturous and ennobling.

Nick broods. The labyrinthine structure of Gilead baffles. Offred has pathological anxiety. The Mexican ambassador is a woman but she has no empathy for Offred. Serena Joy finds Gilead’s certainty suffocating now. Offred is questioned and tries to be humorously disdainful. Serena Joy is disillusioned. Gilead is comically dysfunctional. The Ambassador doesn’t care about Offred’s reluctance. Offred and the other handmaids are obviously not acting voluntarily.

Gilead has shifted to an organic agricultural model. Mexico and the rest of the world struggle with climate change. In the past Serena Joy wrote a book about domestic feminism. Now she can’t read or write by law. The Commander worries that in 6 months, Gilead’s economy could fall off a cliff. The Commander ignores his wife, once they were happy.

The Commander is a pathetic petty man. He loves his forcible conquest of Offred and America. The Handmaids aren’t sanctified. Serena Joy has distain for Aunt Lydia. As for Aunt Lydia, she can be amenable when she chooses. Girl excluder Serena Joy helps with the conscious fabrication that is Gilead. The Commanders of Gilead won’t listen to Serena Joy. The children of Gilead are displayed, the Handmaids are sad and one wonders how long has Gilead been in existence given the ages of those children. Offred learns that Gilead will trade Handmaids to Mexico.

What happened to all the reasonably good people? Did Serena Joy really think Gilead would be a collaborative venture between men and women? After the Gilead takeover clothes and books were left out in the trash. Clothes that weren’t black (for men), blue/green (for wives) and shoes and books (including Serena Joy’s) were binned. Whose house did Serena Joy and the Commander take over? Nick and the Marthas showed up pretty quickly. Nick was there from the start.

So much for self-abnegation as the Commander is ensconced as king turd of sh*t hill. Serena Joy misses the life unlived. This was very good. Offred rages and is irate. No-one listens. She learns Luke is alive from the Mexican ambassador’s assistant (Christian Barillas). Also New York State has been renamed. We will bear no more, indeed.

Best Lines:
“Curious about our lives here.”

“Speak wisely.”

“They issued the orders.”

“Congress is first. Than the White House. Then the Court.”

“We’re saving them. We’re doing God’s work.”

“A symbol of their sacred position.”

“God has blessed our new nation.”

“The quiet half of the room.”

“A society in which women can no longer read your book. Or anything else.”

“Reproduction as a moral imperative.”

“Please remove the damaged ones.”

“Let them forget their real purpose.”

“Restoring a healthy and moral way of life.”

“What are you going to trade us for?”

“My country is dying.”


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