TV Review: The Handmaid's Tale (Season 1, Episode 10)
Share This Article:
For weeks, The Handmaid's Tale has had us gripped with its grim, but thought-provoking insight into an America that treats its women like cattle, property and worse. This week, Bruce Miller's acclaimed dystopian series comes to an eventful close, in which the Republic of Gilead gets a long overdue taste of defiance. The episode opens with a flashback (what else?) of Offred's initial arrival into the Red Centre and her first fateful meeting with Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd). In a wistful voiceover, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) contemplates a look that she shared with the handmaids before her - a "look of terror" that has since subsided after years of abuse and repression. Aunt Lydia is a complex character, whose merciless wrath frequently collides with her seemingly motherly nature towards the girls. If there is one thing that this opening flashback does, it's that it serves as a reminder of her callous cruelty as she herds the "pack of sluts" into the red centre, zapping them with cattle prods, inflicting preachy terror and branding Offred with a cattle tag - making the allusion that the handmaids are animals kept for produce all the more real. In the present, Offred is suddenly attacked by a vengeful Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), who last week discovered that her husband's deceptive behaviour had continued beyond their former handmaid. After giving her a gnarly head wound, Serena forces Offred to take a pregnancy test - a forbidden item that Offred later deduces came from the black market. To Serena's joy - and Offred's dismay - the test reveals that Offred is infact pregnant. When Fred (Joseph Fiennes) returns home, he finds Serena sat in his office, looking resolvedly at the Scrabble set that formed the basis of his secret rendezvous' with Offred. What follows is an inevitable confrontation, in which Serena scathingly warns Fred to stay away from Offred. When Fred attempts to silence his wife - first by blaming her for his lustful betrayal and then reminding her of his possession of her - Serena blithely tells him of the pregnancy, before spitefully revealing that he is not the father; "You are weak and God would never let you pass on that weakness. You can't father a child because you are not worthy."
- Article continues below...
- More stories you may like...
- Game of Thrones: The 10 characters who deserved better
- It Is What It Is: Love Island Recap, Week 2
- The best rom-coms on Netflix right now
You might also like...
People who read this also read...
CONTRIBUTOR OF THE MONTH