Wednesday, August 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Handmaid's Tale' - June Won't Let Anyone Disrupt Her Mission Despite the Lethal Consequences in 'Sacrifice'

Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - Episode 3.12 "Sacrifice"

A major change rocks the entire Lawrence household. Luke and Moira adjust to new arrivals in Canada.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale.

"Sacrifice" was written by Eric Tuchman and directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven

June allows Eleanor to die. That's a startling statement. It may prove Commander Waterford's point about Gilead having changed June so that Luke may no longer recognize the woman he married. That should probably be apparent to the audience long before Commander Waterford says it. The world of Gilead broke women down so that they felt like they could only aspire for a few basic responsibilities. It was shattering for anyone who came from the prior world. June has had enough of it. She is lashing out at anyone who stands in her way at the moment. She operates with the confidence that no one can disrupt her plans. In fact, she is validated by the fact that even more Marthas want to help her get as many children out as possible. She trusts that the network will protect everyone involved. Commander Lawrence may be worried about it taking too long for the plane to arrive to carry these children to safety. But June also knows that she can just force him to keep doing his job to avoid rising any suspicions. Of course, Eleanor's death could bring a lot of attention to this household. Or that may be a minor inconvenience since there are more pressing diplomatic concerns elsewhere. The negotiations over baby Nichole have been completely destroyed because the Waterfords have been arrested in Canada. However, Serena and Fred have very different reactions from the Canadian government. In fact, this facility where they are being detained is very nice. It shows the luxury of having morality in this world. This is how this government wants to treat even the people they are trying for war crimes and injustices against humanity. It never quite feels like all of this was premeditated on Serena's part. She just adjusted to the situation as it happened to her family to ensure that she could still have a future with her daughter. Sure, the government may push back at any notion that she has a claim to his child. They give her time with her but don't want anything she does to confuse or hurt Nichole. That too shows that the government has compassion while still being very concerned. Moira and Luke may not always understand it. They have so much anger for the leaders of this country who continue to do harm to their friends. Gilead destroyed their home. They have had to rebuild elsewhere. Moira and Luke want June back. They don't want to share custody with Serena. That's not an option at the moment though. Serena only gets one hour of visitation. That may be enough. It's enough to fuel her drive for more time with Nichole. That's more powerful than her love for her husband even when they felt closer than ever before during this trip. The desire to be a mother is all that Serena really cares about at the moment. Meanwhile, the leaders of Gilead are quick to threaten serious action in response to this arrest. They don't want the Waterfords to have a second to possibly turn against their country. They know how much information Fred has to give. Of course, they don't treat Serena as a serious threat even though they should. Lawrence is the only one approaching this with a level head. Sure, it's hard to argue that a totalitarian and oppressive regime has the dignity of being diplomatic at a time like this. Gilead is a country founded on extremism that demands immediate action to save the world. Its leaders truly believe they are doing something good despite the glaring hypocrisy. The same applies to June as well. She believes that she is saving 52 children from a horrifying world. And yes, she does aspire for that. But she is also more than willing to let Eleanor die simply because she could compromise this mission. She does so knowing that it may not deter Lawrence at all. That's the most chilling aspect of all of this. He may have suspicions about what truly happened to his wife. But he is now trapped at the mercy of June because there is simply nothing else in this world for him. Eleanor was his everything. She is now gone because they had hope of escaping to something better. Gilead broke them too. The damage has been done. There may be no path forward towards redemption. He may save children but that may not be enough to save his soul. That's what he'll have to live with. And again, the same goes to June who won't let this be her final act of rebellion in Gilead. She operates with confidence despite the inevitable consequences that are likely once Lawrence escapes with 52 children. She would lose an ally but will probably still operate with confidence knowing that she can just kill to survive now. That's cold and shows just how far she has fallen in this world.