The Handmaid’s Tale is here to scar us permanently with its latest episode ‘Witness’, which served as a casual reminder that in Gilead, nobody is really immune.
For once when we criticized June for possessing plenty of plot armor in Season 3, she was broken into smithereens by Waterford and co. For once, when we felt that Commander Lawrence’s household would be a safe place for June, in that she wouldn’t be assaulted by means of a ceremony or otherwise, that myth was shattered in this week’s episode too. Commander Waterford, the one who apparently was going down, wants to interfere in Lawrence’s household, to ensure that the poor old man is doing what he’s supposed to do- the ceremony and that that is being carried out properly.
Commander Winslow and the Waterfords decided to visit poor old Lawrence and make a display of their power. We get it, Commander Winslow is powerful as hell, given the fact that he lives in D.C. and roughed Waterford but wasn’t Lawrence the architect of Gilead’s economy, who called members to his home for meetings and not the other way round? At this point, The Handmaid’s Tale seems confusing in terms of the power structure, who handles what? (And where is Nick?) I think the writers need to keep us well informed on who stands where in the social hierarchy of Gilead, a couple of episodes ago, Waterford’s home was burnt down, he didn’t have a Handmaid of his own and he lost the only child he had. What makes the writers think that suddenly we’ll believe in Waterford and his oomph? And why’s Waterford talking on how homes in Gilead have to be decorated? What happened to Lawrence’s power here?
The Gilead plans to introduce modest clothing for women- i.e. the veil and rings to shut their mouths for whenever they want to speak. The rings do work for shock value, which apparently takes precedence over everything lately on TV, but what of the veils? Again, we are beginning to lose interest in the name of shock value.
Let’s talk about the center of power in Gilead, earlier we were shown that it was the Sons of Jacob, who violently overthrew the democratic government in the United States and assumed power, the same old man who recruited Nick into Sons of Jacob was the overall head of the state, but Nick turned out to be a crusader! So who is what, let us know before we give up on the show, please!
Once again, it’s Waterford in the limelight again, after this diplomatic pressure to try and demand Canada to return baby Nicole, he’s suddenly become a star, pairing with Winslow this time. The latter just wants political leverage at Nicole’s expense, and, Waterford wants to consolidate his position of power. But, what does Serena want? She does confront her husband at the end of the episode, showing him the phone that the American agent handed over to her and asking her husband to be a double agent himself.
How does the ceremony shit storm kick in? Waterford, who still is infatuated with June, appears at Lawrence’s house to inspect the Handmaid. In conversation with June, he realizes that all is not well in Lawrence’s household, despite 4 Handmaids, he’s not been able to breed children. So along with Lydia, Mrs. Waterford, a doctor, and Winslow, who mind you, is Lawrence’s old friend, all show up at his house for a ceremony.
Next, we see the rape of the Handmaid June and Commander Lawrence ashamed and drinking to what just happened. June’s resolve is strong as ever when she convinces Lawrence to leave with his wife and take as many children as he can, to which the latter says, he could be a hero.