Offred smugs but then the fractious ungrateful Commander returns home like a dark visitation and Serena Joy hates having to withdraw into domesticity. The Commander adds to his list of male depravities. He is a profoundly wrong man devoted to Gilead’s social order which is entirely the product of deliberate lies. Serena Joy faces his furious criticism.
The Commander does a menacing patronising lecture. Offred thinks she is an untameable spirit but she isn’t. Serena Joy’s unrealised dreams are broken by her husband’s cool calculation. The Commander is an absolutely objectionable sour faced tool whose personality flaws have been enhanced by the fundamental moral shift in society.
The Commander has no loyal devotion or real concern for his wife in the hostile environment of the theocratic dictatorship. Eden incites anger in Nick. The Commander is a full-blown curmudgeon full of bitterness, hate and a lack of charm. The Commander beats his wife in front of Offred creating an impossibly creepy, ever-present sense of dread. It’s an amazingly disturbing, utterly devastating, extremely disturbing, extremely unsavoury scene.
Baby Angela gets sick, possibly from emotional neglect. She recovers and isn’t an unbaby shredder like in the book. Serena Joy is emotionally devastated and has escalating anguish and dread and unbearable uncertainty. She’s disenchanted by her outrageously smug husband and his hateful turn. Emily rants unwisely. Where did the kneeling ritual for a sick baby come from? Serena Joy has gone from stultifying boredom to facing unfathomable cruelty.
The toxicity of Gilead grows. Janine is unnecessarily attention seeking. A top doctor is now a Martha. The dark subject matter and unpleasantness that sees Serena Joy disproportionately sanctioned for violating accepted Gilead wisdom is no real surprise. The Commander is apparently indifferent to how he negatively affected his wife with strident criticism.
The Commander thinks he has intensity and purity. Has he beaten his wife before? Aunt Lydia lurks. The Commander’s theatrical shenanigans are supposed to make him the prescient voice of reason. He’s never been that receptive to sense. There are negative conversations. The Commander who lost a hand lurks looking seedy. Is TV no longer a thing in Gilead? Can Eden read? Did she read the Handmaids letters in Nick’s possession? Nick saved the letters. Offred feels pity for Serena Joy. This was an astonishingly successful ep.
“An offence to god.”
“That is his decision.”
“That horrid girl.”
“We should have known better.”
The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
This is the origin story of Clare 2. She lost her parents to the pandemic in Dimension 2. She was brought to The School aka Indigo. This was okay if portentous. My interest in this show is finally piqued after a lot of farcical eps. At The School, the children are made to replicate their Dimension 1 counterparts aka shadows in every way.
Is Dimension 1 the scapegoat for the social ills of Dimension 2? Howard 2 and Peter Quayle know Clare is a mole. Tobacco is illegal in Dimension 2 also the flu came from pigs and pork is not eaten anymore. This ep is depressingly eerie and Clare 2’s teachers were less than altruistic.
Peter Quayle’s inattention to Clare was such that he didn’t notice she was replaced by Clare 2 before they were married. Who is Peter Quayle the cheater and liar to moralise? Clare named her baby after her childhood friend. Peter Quayle is driven by pretension and never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Poor sweet Clare 1 was murdered by Clare 2. Clare 2 does a sob story to Peter Quayle - is she lying?
“In their world, pigs still roam free.”
“Didn’t want his daughter to marry down.”
“Teeth and fingers.”
“It will hurt. Badly.”
“I need you to hurt me. Badly.”
“I never had anything of my own.”