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The Handmaid’s Story season 2 episode 13 overview: The Phrase

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This overview comprises spoilers.

2.13 The Phrase

Conjuring the phantasm {that a} character’s choices are being made within the second and earlier than our eyes as a substitute of getting been plotted out months in the past is the central trick of a TV drama. For viewers to really feel stress, we are able to’t be afforded certainty about which manner a personality will flip. However when a personality does flip, it additionally must really feel as if that call was inevitable.

It’s a tall order, however The Handmaid’s Story season two finale made it look simple. The Phrase dodged predicability whereas bringing its characters to monumental choices that made absolute sense for them. Rita arranging the breakout. Emily attacking Aunt Lydia. Serena giving up her child. June deciding to remain and combat… I didn’t foresee any of these strikes, but once they occurred, each felt destined.

Higher than that, you can flatter your self that it was doable to know the exact second every character resolved to behave as she did. Rita determined to assist whereas watching June, Nick and Holly’s transient scene as a brand new household by means of the hole in that door. Emily acted on impulse at listening to Aunt Lydia’s foul, merciless phrases. A damaged Serena realised she knew that June was proper about not letting Nicole develop up in that place, and so did the primary good factor we’ve seen her do. 

June? She determined to not go when she had that reminiscence of Hannah, whom she’d requested to forgive her months earlier for boarding that airplane and selecting to go away her behind. When June put up her hood and delivered that closing look to digital camera, the display echoed with Rita’s earlier phrases to Nick. “Your girlfriend is a badass.” She’s definitely that.

None of it might have occurred although—the escape, the sacrifice, the stand—with out the affect of a personality who, till the penultimate episode of the season, appeared hardly greater than set dressing.

For many of season two, Eden Blaine was little greater than a possible entice. The presence of a real Gilead believer (arguably, the one one) within the Waterford family was an extra risk to Nick and June’s security. In a world already drenched in danger, candy Eden simply signified extra hazard.

After her loss of life, Eden reworked from a entice right into a turning level. She grew to become a logo of how shamefully Gilead treats even its most dutiful daughters, and impressed the opposite girls within the Waterford home to behave. Due to that, this incidental creature turned out to be season two’s most essential character.

Rita’s guilt over her coldness and inaction in direction of the kid bride pushed her to rally that heartening community of “Marthas. Mates” to June and Nicole’s support. Serena’s love for Nicole made her look fifteen years into the long run, see her personal child being pushed into the water with a diving bell strapped to her ankle, and realise that she needed to attempt to result in change.

Serena tried. Like Rita, she referred to as upon her feminine associates, and like Eden, she was courageous. She led a military and staged a revolt. The rebel although, failed. After all it did. The Sons of Jacob didn’t fastidiously bake misogyny into each brick of Gilead simply to begin treating girls as folks once more. What are they, idiots?

Fred is, clearly, in addition to being a woman-beating brute. He anticipated Serena’s newest chastening—dropping a finger—would deliver an finish to all this nonsense. Properly, she misplaced a finger and he misplaced a baby. Seeing how carefully entwined fatherhood and standing are within the ranks of Gilead, will he now lose that fancy new workplace too? Right here’s hoping.

Commander Lawrence, whose alignment as both good or evil was additionally saved cleverly below wraps till the final doable second (although it now feels foolish to have ever believed he might have been something aside from an ally), must face the results of the “deep shit” he’s in. 

Emily’s time within the Lawrence home was gripping due to her, and our, uncertainty about what she was dealing with. The assault on Aunt Lydia (who has to outlive—she’s too wealthy an antagonist to lose with an entire different season on its manner) was stunning and exhilarating, and Emily’s escape tying up with June’s was neatly completed.

This episode although, belonged to 2 girls: Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski. June and Serena shared two wonderful scenes within the finale, capping off what has been season two’s most compelling relationship. Within the first, June dropped the self-preserving armour of subservience and bitterly fought Eden’s nook (“She was attempting to know God”). Within the second, she pleaded mom to mom, and Serena acquiesced. 

What subsequent? After a season of virtually unremitting ache and struggling, let’s hope for just a little extra victory. Judging by the colour-coded maps on Commander Waterford’s desk, the Sons of Jacob’s grip on energy seems to be something however safe. If Gilead’s regime is poised to crumble, let’s pull up a chair and watch it fall.

Learn Louisa’s overview of the earlier episode, Postpartum, right here. 

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