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Handmaid’s Tale: The Bridge

The tension mounts has Handmaid’s Tale careens towards its season finale. All the pieces are falling into place without feeling as though they’re being set up and I’m already wishing there was more.

One character I really want to see more of both this and next season is Aunt Lydia, and that is entirely credited to Ann Dowd. I’m never really sure where Lydia stands, but there are times I think she (in her own twisted way) truly cares for and wants to protect the handmaids in her charge. It’s an interesting contrast, seeing the worry and pain on her face one moment, and then remembering the cattle prod the next.

The Bridge begins with Janine leaving the (awful) Putnam’s home sans baby and going to her new post, with quite a bit of to-do. She goes to her new post (She’s Ofdaniel now) but has some trouble adjusting to her new rapist and his accomplice…er wife.

Meanwhile, Offred, thinking she’s slick and getting a little too big for her britches, asks around about how to get in touch with May Day. She seems disappointed that she won’t get a super secret decoder ring, but momentarily feels better when she’s given an assignment. She’s to get a package from Rachel… at Jezebels. Offred gets her flirt on and convinces Fred to go later that night. Nick is none too pleased to be driving his boss and his “so eager” companion back to the brothel but hey he made his choice when he broke things off. Nick isn’t an idiot, though, and asks around about any shady dealing, since no way he actually believes that Offred wants this. After the rutting, Fred informs the bar hungry Offred that he’s not, in fact, stupid and knows that she wanted to come to Jezebel’s for more than some booze and fuckin’ and go gets Moira. He cleans himself while the two women fight. It’s hard to see such a fighter and vivacious Moira become hopeless and resigned to her enslavement, and Offred doesn’t let it slide. After all, they fucking pinky swore.

While Janine is freaking out at her new post and Fred is pretending whatever the hell he’s doing with Offred is anything other than gross, we have Serena Joy and her awful friend, Naomi Putnam. I don’t think I’ve seen this woman show any kind of caring towards this poor baby, ever. As if it’s not bad enough that her husband manipulated and raped this girl, then took her child from her, this bitch actually resents the kid. Serena Joy and I seem to feel the same in this, as we later see her tearfully placing a blanket in a trunk full of unused baby clothes. She and Rita share a drink “to soothe the soul” late at night and bond a little over Rita’s late son, who died in the war. I may not like or pity her, but my heart ached a little for Serena Joy when I saw the pain of wanting something so badly and seeing someone who has it waste it.

The next morning, after everyone was snug in their beds, Offred is shaken awake and rushed out of the house. Janine went back to the Putnam’s and took her baby to a bridge.Offred is sent to talk her down, and the two have a tearful moment of talking about getting a drink “when all this is over.” Eventually Offred convinces Janine to hand her baby over, and then, after making Offred promise to make sure her daughter knows how loved she is, Janine jumps. She isn’t lucky enough to die, though, and last we see her she’s in a hospital with Aunt Lydia at her bedside. Things aren’t so great at the Putnam’s, either. Warren is hauled off in a black van (it seems that there are rules to this ritual rape thing, and having your handmaid blow you isn’t in those rules).Serena Joy tries to comfort her human garbage friend, only to have it thrown back in her face with a “we all know what happened to your last handmaid, Serena….” This of course gets Serena Joy a tad suspicious and she invades Fred’s office on the downlow.

While Offred is at the store later, she goes to pick up some meat and winds up with the package she was supposed to (and failed to) get from Rachel the bartender. Attached is a note, and we see that it’s from Moira. She’s back in the fight, and driving off after killing her john and stealing his clothes.

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