Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Not for the faint of heart, "June" starts off the sophomore season of The Handmaid's Tale with a poignant gut-punch of shock while flaunting a masterful lead performance.
This episode reads a solid 10 on the grimness scale, with one being a bit of shouting and 10 being all-out mental and physical brutality.
Fingers were crossed a good minute into the second series until, from within the van ferrying Offred perhaps to liberty, the telltale sound of barking dogs announced a darker destination.
"June" is a shock to the system for the viewers and the characters alike.
It's got to be said here, that with her first, silent minutes of season two - Offred still hasn't said a word - that Elisabeth Moss fully confirms that her wide-ranging mastery of the role is about to be repeated, and perhaps bested.
The show didn't pull any punches.
As always, the acute feelings of both hope and misery hinge on the incredible talents of Elisabeth Moss.
I cannot explain to you how my skin crawled when it hit me wtf was going down. Dozens of nooses, fam.
Rebellious, petulant June is more in line with the go-girl feminism that this show is so fond of, and already feels less tonally dissonant than the first season.
This show could also be called June Looks Powerfully Into The Camera. Elisabeth Moss manages to convey so much in her piercing looks.
Even more of the action seems to happen within Moss' expressive face, but the producers do a good job keeping the all-too-conceivable horror going in this well-wrought cautionary tale.
It transits from a bit much to strangely poignant to making you want to curl up in a ball and sob as the close shots move from panicked face to face and always back to Offred's, eyes lifted in -- what? Prayer? Resignation? Terror? Remorse? Relief?
It's shocking stuff, and just one of many scenes that you will watch through your hands.