The Handmaid's Tale: Home
May 26, 2021 7:10 AM - Season 4, Episode 7 - Subscribe

June struggles with her new circumstances and meets a nemesis.
posted by roolya_boolya (16 comments total)
 
I'm pretty pleased with how things are going with Luke and June. Interesting that she told him the truth about (one of) her meeting(s) with Hannah, but concealed the facts about the most recent one. I wonder if the truth about that might come out in a conversation between Moira and Luke.

Curious to see what happens with Luke's and June's sex life, though. I'm sure there are many who will find that scene very problematic: if what June did was not rape (and I personally would not call it that), it certainly seemed like she was taking out her anger at the Gilead patriarchy on Luke. Possibly proving to herself that, now she is free, she can take control of
finding her own pleasure?

We were forewarned. One of the escaped women (in that lovely conversation among the four of them) commented that all of them had been fucked up by Gilead with regard to sex.
posted by torticat at 11:27 AM on May 26 [1 favorite]


I loved it. It was moody and brooding and problematic and foreboding. I am so happy they are showing us some of Canada and that they are showing the aftermath of life after Gilead. I also worry about the rape scene. It was uncomfortable and I would classify it as such.

I also feel like this season is already setting us up for The Testaments. I blew through that book in a matter of 3 days and it was deliciously satisfying.
posted by floweredfish at 7:10 PM on May 26


June has been through a lot.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:36 PM on May 26


That scene where June confronts Serena was fantastic. I need to go back and read a transcript because...just because.
posted by sundrop at 7:40 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


I think the show is presenting it as rape: when June is describing Serena in the last scene, immediately after she says "(she will) rape you", we see Luke's smile fade. The timing seems too specific to be accidental.
posted by dysh at 7:52 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


Yes, they were clearly using June's words about Serena to comment on June herself.
posted by litlnemo at 10:46 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


I thought this was a great episode, with a terrific performance from Elizabeth Moss. Her shell-shock at being in a free country was palpable, especially in the supermarket where June was overwhelmed by everything. The sight of the woman in the hijab through the shelf, when we saw June flashback to a glimpse of Alma at Loaves & Fishes, and then her terror that there might be handmaids in Canada, followed by her relief that almost knocked her for six, was really well done.

And yes, that was a rape, and I think the dynamic of June's relationship with Luke is likely to be affected, particularly as Nick still isn't out of the picture completely. I think Nick's storyline is more than likely to involve meeting June and Luke again.

Fred is a lamb to the slaughter with Serena, I don't think he has any idea how devious and self-serving she is.
posted by essexjan at 2:44 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


I think the show is presenting it as rape

Yes, I can see that. I guess (having reflected on it) that it is pretty clear.

Also agree with litlnemo that June's description of Serena applies to June as well. I hope June can escape all that darkness, though. As bleak as the entire show has been, it would be really crushing to see June ultimately defeated by Gilead, i.e. turned into another form of Gilead only fighting from a different POV.

June has always lacked self-awareness (voiceovers notwithstanding), but we've seen flashes when she has learned. I hope she pulls through.
posted by torticat at 7:39 AM on May 27


I meant to add, I was really touched at the scene where June watches Luke re-arranging the room service plates on the table, and he's nervous because he wants everything to be just right for June.
posted by essexjan at 10:28 AM on May 27


I'm not getting anything about Luke being a nice guy. He seems like a 'nice guy' in that he seems to not grasp what happened to June and expects them to be back to married as usual in Canada. I want them to divorce so bad because I cannot stand that dude. Ugh. Run away with Agent Coconuts. He's hot af.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:39 AM on May 27


He seems like a 'nice guy' in that he seems to not grasp what happened to June and expects them to be back to married as usual in Canada.

I don't think I agree. In this episode, Luke seems to be trying his best to give June the space to make her own decisions and adjust to Canada as she sees fit. I honestly expected less of him based on some of what we've seen of Luke in the past. Now Nick, on the other hand...I've seen a lot of love for him from the general Handmaids Tale fandom and I just don't get it at all. He has no personality (other than broody) and his only redeemable (?) quality seems to be that he'll protect June at all cost (aside from, you know, taking responsibility for his role in Gilead and doing anything to bring it down as a whole).
posted by dysh at 11:23 AM on May 27 [9 favorites]






I think Moss nails a good (and obvious) point about June. Gilead has changed her. Whoever she was before is gone. Even if she managed or manages to get Hannah back, she has been through a helluva lot.

Which is something that no one else quite seemed to get. Moira, Emily, and Rita also survived, but they haven't left a child behind, which is devastating. June did amazing things fighting back, she saved 83 children, but not her own, not her first born, not the one she had with her husband and that's going to eat away at her, understandably.


Interesting note: Her and Luke didn't hug at first and regarded each other warily. But June and Rita? There was real warmth there, due to them having survived that particular household. Luke and June have no recent history and the past seven years have been wildly painful and traumatic, but it vastly different ways. It would be a miracle if their relationship survives, but their marriage seems like a small concern after everything else.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:17 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Looking back through past episodes, Luke is an underdeveloped character. We don't see him reacting to much or get inside his head about why he's taken on raising Nicole, or if he had other relationships during all this. We just know that he's been volunteering/working to help out, take in Moira, then the others, and just keeps volunteering/working and raising Nicole. Where has his head been?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:48 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


This episode was the most emotionally intense thing I've seen on TV in a long while. I mean The Handmaid's Tale always delivers horror and pain and intensity, but this episode, phew.. I'd been waiting to show how they'd deal with June's attempt at reintegration and they delivered effectively. For me it was the grocery store scene that really hit home. First the awful banality of it, then June's flashbacks. What a horror.

Luke is definitely an underdeveloped character. This show is about women, not men, and so the male characters are written only to the point they're needed as anchor points for the stories of the women. But that makes this episode a little awkward because fuck, Luke's in a very hard place now. I tend to be sympathetic to him, I think he's doing his best and sincerely cares about June, but no matter what he does it's not going to help enough. June's been changed too much by Gilead, her focus now is on protecting her children and getting revenge. Anyway I'm sure Luke has feelings and challenges with that too but this show is not about him so that's all the depth about him we're going to get. Fine by me.

On the other hand maybe return to normalcy is possible. I really like Moira's story this season and her relationship with the New Zealand woman. The scene where they chat awkwardly outside the house was super cute and a little respite from all the intensity of June's story.
posted by Nelson at 8:36 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]


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