Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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June's newly found confidence keeps the wheels churning in this slow-burn episode, as lines of empathy are blurred between Gilead's enslavers and the enslaved.
Although the violence is kept to a minimum, this week's episode is harrowing for a different reason as June loses the fight to keep her identity and appears to surrender to Offred.
Aunt Lydia, the engine behind so much of their pain, is in her element this episode as June's self-appointed keeper.
The Handmaid's Tale is rarely so content, to just push through the necessary plot points without any added artistry or complexity. Indeed, this week provides some vital character work.
In this moment, it's impossible to imagine another hour of The Handmaid's Tale doing more to show how ruthlessly our most human instincts can be turned against us.
Emotionally, 'Other Women' brings June's (Elisabeth Moss) escape from Gilead full circle in a shocking and jaw-dropping conclusion.
It's a testament to the show that they can make melodramatic affair confrontations land with as much of a wallop as someone cutting their own ear off.
June is gone. The other woman, Offred is here to stay.
That separation between June and Offred is no longer a defense mechanism for June to hide her true feelings as a means of survival, it's full-on disassociation.
The Handmaid's Tale could never be called upbeat, but it goes to a truly dark place in the episode "Other Women."
It's so agitating that being back in the world of Commanders and the overwhelming number of Praise Bes dribbling out of the lips of Gileadeans that it was enough to drive this sane woman halfway crazy herself.
"Other Women" is a very, very complicated episode, though its beginning is straightforward. Here is where we get into the very heart of Margaret Atwood's sweet spot: power dynamics between women.
The tone this episode hits makes me think that the show has found a sustainable aesthetic mode in which to figure out the rest of its issues. As long as it keeps landing the horror, I'll stick around for the ride.