The Handmaid’s Tale drops its 4th episode of the new season and while much occurred, the more essential moments were between Offred, Commander Waterford, and Serena. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) understand that she’s going to need allies with influence if she’s going to “burn it all to the ground.” and she sees Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) as essential in her ultimate plan.
What I found striking about this episode was how visually appealing the episode was. One of my favorite shots was seeing The Handmaidens walking up the spiral staircase into the up reaches of the church. The red of their coats contrasting of the cold marble of the staircase to me is symbolic of this cold world women now live in as it spirals out of control and the blood they have shed. In season one and two, it seemed that most were not open to reason, now we are starting to see reality make it’s way into their minds (both men and woman). Do we strive to keep the peace or take the system down?
What’s really on the forefront of this episode is deeper dive into what makes a mother. Is a mother someone who gives birth or someone who provides? Government officials in Gilead would have their citizens believe that this question is a black and white one. The women are starting to see things slightly different. There’s a scene in the fourth episode that highlights this (you’ll know it when you see it) which emphasize both the compassion that is starting to swell and the brutality which women face. It’s hard to watch, but the part which stood out is the reaction in the room. Some of the commander’s wives accepted what transpired and others looked disgusted. That could be crucial. What could start with Serena may end up being others.
Overall, the episode’s narrative was written well and well acted. Eric Tuchman crafted some exciting moments for Offred, which will likely impact future moments during the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale.