The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5: Episode 8 tests the limits of a mother’s love

Since June came to Canada last season, Handmaid’s Tale she shed a dazzling light on motherhood. Did June disappoint Hannah by running away to Toronto? How does he make up for that to his daughter from a thousand miles away?

As June tells Serena, who is rotting in immigration detention instead of yielding to Ms. Wheeler’s demands, “You can’t help your child if you’re not with them.”

This probably isn’t quite true, but it feels right either way. To defy their vows that they will do anything for their children, the series forces them to accept the worst terms to prove it. Serena (Yvonne Strahvoski) finally agrees to return to the Wheeler mansion, but in her capacity as Noah’s wet nurse because she is “unfit” to mother her one-month-old baby. Nurtured by the difficult years of sharing a house with a woman who wanted to steal her child, she also follows June’s advice: smile, wait your time, plan your revenge.

But June (Elisabeth Moss) is asked to make an even more complicated trade-off: intimacy with Hannah for half-life in “New Bethlehem,” an idea that Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) has teased before but never fully explained. . The biggest threat to Gilead right now is the persistent specter of a democratic America. But since the revolution, geopolitics has changed and American refugees in Canada have been welcomed. Nichole can’t even sleep through the night because of protesters shouting outside the nursery window.

What is New Bethlehem? Imagine a small liberated enclave within the borders of Gilead, where refugees can seek amnesty. To begin, Lawrence seeks the repatriation of about 100 families, starting with June and Luke. They can visit Hannah, who will live elsewhere under Gilead’s strict rules, including arranged marriage, but see their daughter with their own eyes. They could touch him. With Commander Nick Blaine in charge of the semi-independent colony, citizens of New Bethlehem will be allowed to read and write. There would be neither servants nor executions.

Knowing that regime change can be swift, would you risk placing yourself in the arms of your former slavers to be near your daughter? Would you bring Nichole to a country where he could become a wife, concubine, or worse?

Who is the maid now?

As episode eight’s highly salient title “Motherland” opens, Serena is in Canadian immigration detention and obsessively searches for June, Rita, and possibly Mark Tuello as well. Anyone he thinks can help him. But her only regular visitor, Mrs. Wheeler, would probably never have come if Serena hadn’t been breastfed for her young son.

Despite having shot Ezra, the Wheelers agree to take Serena back (she only had a kevlar vest!) because Noah just wasn’t sleeping. “I’m not a maid,” Serena said when Lawrence forced her to accept the offer. But there are only two types of mothers in Gilead, and Serena is nobody’s wife. At the end of the episode, accept their request and watch what happens next, which may be the most compelling story the show is running at the moment. There has always been tension between Serena and June, based on the idea that, despite their differences, they share a deep reserve of willpower. Will Serena face the Wheelers as June razes the Waterfords to the ground?

Could Serena take on the Wheelers?

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Can Serena beat Wheelers?


Trouble in Little America

So far, we haven’t seen much interaction between American refugees and the Canadian citizens who surround them. It seems that Americans fleeing north are increasingly the target of protests and vandalism. Luke suggests they move to Alaska or Hawaii, which are the pristine parts of America. But that’s a long way from Hannah. June measures her motherhood in the distance between them. She’s not going anywhere. It’s been almost a year and She still can’t forgive herself for going this far to freedom.

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Commander Lawrence’s great redemption

The new Bethlehem is not just a tool for improving Gilead’s relations with Canada by stopping the wave of refugees. It’s all part of Lawrence’s icy attrition plan to reclaim power over Gilead from the “religious freaks” he underestimated during the nation’s formation. Since Commander Putnam is suitably dead, he can run in reform. The new Bethlehem is offered to other Commanders as a breakout home for former expats, but secretly invites June to join him, saying he hopes it will become a model for a new version of Gilead without rape and suffering. This is his chance to start making things right.

June doesn’t care. All he hears is that he can see Hannah. He’ll grow old next to Hannah. One day she will meet her grandchildren. But Luke was not convinced. She doesn’t trust Lawrence. How can they think of bringing their freed daughter Nichole to a place where she can be enslaved like her mother?

Lawrence’s dubious offer constitutes an effective bargaining chip among Americans who haven’t been very interested in June since Fred’s death. The Americans, apparently represented by their only officer, Tuello, are desperate to prevent June from returning to Gilead. She is the poster girl of the resistance. It would be a PR nightmare not to mention a blow to morale, she.

Frankly, June doesn’t care about that either. All she hears is that Mark Tuello has no plans to help her see Hannah. But the Americans can locate the private wives’ school Hannah attends, using a video of Hannah that Lawrence sends to June as a gesture of goodwill. The Americans are planning some kind of raid. things on Handmaid’s Tale so bad for so long that a rescue mission seems too good to be true. Frankly? Even New Bethlehem, however terrifying, seems too good to be true.

But perhaps the right measure of a mother is her willingness to move on – her continued belief that she will save her child despite distance or threat. If so, June Osborne must be the best parent ever.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ airs weekly in the US and episodes follow in the UK a few weeks later.

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