The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 2 Recap & Review

The Bomb Maker

Given the many TV shows I watch every single week, there are some I like to savour, take my time with and think about before writing my recap. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of them. The show itself is so artistically striking, full of interesting iconology and great use of colour that it’s sometimes easy to forget this as the episode races into its third act. I say third act, because the long-awaited revolution is upon us in which, I’d assume, we’ll see Gilead fall and our girls rise up to fight back.

We begin with a brief monologue again, this time using a tree as a metaphor as June plays her part as an obedient Handmaid. At least on the surface. In the local supermarket we see her talking to the trustworthy Handmaids about news and it’s here we learn that Chicago has fallen. As June returns home with the groceries, she sees that Aunt Lydia is back, having survived her ordeal with Emily. While June tries to keep her composure, Commander Lawrence plays his part before seeing Mrs Lawrence out and back upstairs. As June helps Lydia back to her wheelchair she snaps, electrocuting June and telling her she should be on the wall.

In Canada, Emily heads to the doctors who recommend a psychologist, clitoral reconstruction and an optometrist. While grappling with her PTSD, she has trouble adjusting to her new life in Canada and throughout the episode we see her struggling to adapt back to normality after her ordeal.

Back at Lawrence’s, June overhears the Martha’s plotting in a bid to help another escape and she decides to tell the Commander what’s happening. From here, the episode descends into thriller territory, as June manages to get in on the action and become part of the operation. It turns out the girl they’re smuggling out was a bomb maker and they were actually taking her deeper into the rings of the resistance.

Unfortunately, things go awry and the woman shows up at the door shot several hours later. Stumbling down to the basement, June and the Martha’s try to save the woman but fail, despite trying their best to keep her quiet while the guards search for her. Lawrence then has second thoughts about taking June on in the house, snapping when she asks questions about his wife. As punishment, he makes June dispose of the body all alone. Silently, and working through the night, June drags the body into the woods nearby, digging up the ground and burying her after saying a prayer.

The episode then ends with Emily plucking up the courage to phone her wife. Upon hearing her incredulously say “Emily”¬†for the first time after all these years, she breaks down into tears and the episode finishes with the teasing tinges of hope on the horizon.

Once again Handmaid’s Tale delivers a solid episode and although some of the action midway through feels a little haphazard and sloppily handled, it does the job to showcase how tricky this revolution is going to be. Seeing Aunt Lydia return is certainly a welcome sight too and her unpredictable behaviour make her one of my personal favourite characters in the show. You can never quite figure her out and her new mental state this week makes this all the more apparent.

Quite where Handmaid’s Tale goes from here is still up for debate but given the emphasis on fighting back, and the tiny glimmers of the revolution we’ve seen thus far, the journey looks set to kick into high gear sooner rather than later. Hopefully we don’t lose the consistent pacing and plotting seen up until this point but as we’ve seen from other big shows this year, many have dropped the ball and never really recovered. Time will tell whether Hulu’s dystopian nightmare follows suit.


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