The Handmaid's Tale: Ballet
September 15, 2022 8:30 AM - Season 5, Episode 2 - Subscribe

“June struggles to redefine her purpose and identity, facing consequences for killing Commander Waterford; the now-widowed Serena Waterford tries to raise her profile in Toronto.”

Serena’s going to need a bigger church. A wake at the Putnam household is…a lot going on. June and Luke go on a date they’ll never forget.
posted by blue suede stockings (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That ending tho. Wasn't expecting that, for sure. Game on!
posted by sundrop at 12:27 PM on September 15, 2022 [5 favorites]

Luke spends so much time working on getting June to take the first steps towards letting go of her consuming rage towards Serena, and now I’m wondering where his own head is going to be after that final scene.

What I wasn’t expecting: glimmers of the possibility of a redemption arc of sorts in the cards later on for Mrs. Putnam?
posted by blue suede stockings at 4:59 PM on September 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don't see this ending well for June, honestly. There's not a happy ending for her here and I hope that's the story they're telling. Yes, her experiences have been awful and her actions are justified. But she's at the point where she's not coming back from any of this.

I want this series to end with June and Serena battling to the death and killing each other and then nothing is solved. No, that's not a happy ending, but there are no happy endings in this story.

The last couple of episodes did sort of redeem my feelings about this show but I'll see if this turns back into a hate-watch.

But if my poor sweet Janine is dead ... I don't know how I feel about this show anymore. Madeline Brewer brought such honesty and complexity to that role and I only wanted good things for Janine. But it's maybe that kind of show.

(I know Alexis Bledel opted out of this season but I did sort of appreciate how they wrote out Emily. Emily would go back to fight, absolutely.)
posted by edencosmic at 5:55 PM on September 15, 2022 [4 favorites]

I enjoyed the episode but I'm not sure that having Serena go home to make sure Fred got "the memorial he deserved" made sense. I think both those governments would have told her that if she wanted to go back to Gilead for whatever reason, she'd be welcome to do so, but she'd be staying there. I also thought it didn't make sense that she was greeted at the airport by all the commanders, rather than by a group of the most senior aunts. That seemed inconsistent with the way Gilead is structured, and divided.
posted by rpfields at 10:31 AM on September 18, 2022

Regarding the permission on the Canadian side to attend, it seemed like an unprecedented opportunity for her (obvious CIA) handler to enter spaces and observe and gather personal intel that would have been otherwise completely off limits in such a closed, pariah nation. (He also gets a chance to approach/assess Nick again and possibly plant the seeds for further collaboration.) A great deal of weight was placed during the coldest of the Cold War years on the “Kremlinology” of trying to assess how otherwise secretive internal Soviet leadership dynamics may have shifted by who was sitting where in the stands during military parades, etc, and the very public pageantry that Serena broadcasted worldwide would have had analysts scrambling to identify and interpret the relative significance of all the players. Canada wants her back because she’s still a valued asset; we have yet to find out if Gilead will try to compel Serena to stay (at least long enough to claim custody of her child?).

The presence of the commanders at the airport was most likely the honor extended to Fred’s corpse—even in death, as a traitor, he was still due more respect than Serena.
posted by blue suede stockings at 7:08 AM on September 20, 2022

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