Let’s all slow-clap the crazy talented Alexis Bledel, shall we? For someone who’s known for playing a fast-talking smarty-pants on Gilmore Girls, she certainly blew us out of the water on Sunday night’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale (Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo), “Late.” And she did it without uttering a single word.
The latest episode of the series, revealed what happened to Ofglen – real name Emily – after she was taken by The Eyes. And to say it wasn’t pretty would be an understatement. In one of the show’s biggest departures from the Margaret Atwood book to date, we followed Emily as she and her Martha lover were captured and “tried” for being ‘gender-traitors.’
They were immediately both found guilty, and never given the opportunity to defend themselves. While a horrified Emily watched, her lover was hanged right in front of her. The handmaid was then transported to a medical facility where Aunt Lydia and the rest of the awful people in charge “rehabilitated” the fertile woman by cutting off her clitoris so that she wouldn’t have any further sexual temptation, but could still be useful in their grand birthing plans.
Awful, right? Yeah, we thought so too.
According to the writers, what made the scene even more shocking is that we don’t usually see a woman who looks like Alexis Bledel go through a harrowing experience like that. But genital mutilation exists all over the world, and in keeping with Atwood’s original theme of only writing about things that actually happen or have happened, the writers wanted to showcase the idea that something like this, under the right circumstances, can happen at home, too.
The really crazy thing is that this episode comes on the heels of the news that a couple of doctors have supposedly been performing genital mutilations in Detroit, and they are now being charged for the crime. So it is happening at home, and that kind of makes this show even more relevant. (As though it weren’t crazy relevant already.)
We’ll have a hard time sleeping after watching those scenes, of course, but those weren’t the only moments that churned our stomachs on Sunday. Can we talk about how insane Serena Joy and her “clean plate club” are proving to be? At first we had a little giggle over the fact that she and Rita were pampering Offred, believing she was pregnant. And we let our guards down thinking we were finally going to get some pleasant moments… like, how hilarious it is that Offred finds people actually being nice to her the weirdest thing in her present world. But as we all know, Serena has a lot of power in the Waterford household (and in the world of Gilead), and getting on her bad side is a move you don’t want to make. The second she learned Offred wasn’t actually pregnant, her dark side came out, and we’re scared to see where it goes in the coming weeks.
And speaking of dark sides, we also need to talk about Janine, or Ofwarren; we prefer Janine. We’re seriously scared for her mental stability, now that she’s being forced to bond with the baby she can’t ever claim as hers. Do we believe her that her Commander “loves” her and wants to run away with her? No, not really. Although somehow in this messed up world we could see a Commander taking advantage of a person like Janine, and using her to his own advantage. Whether it’s true or not though, this is a woman who has been through so much in life already; having this child taken away from her is going to be heartbreaking… and we’re not sure we can handle watching it.
Of course we will, because this show is so damned good. Let’s just give Bledel, Elisabeth Moss and everyone else all the Emmys now, shall we? Now excuse us while we go and brace ourselves for whatever craziness is about to come down the pike next week.