Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale Episode 8 – Review
Mysterious! This is one adjective that I will use to define Gilead. Be it the Waterfords, the Commander, everyone is hiding their story. Come to think of it, we never learnt anything about Nick from June. Maybe because she herself is unaware and takes hesitant steps when opening up in front of him. Not anymore, quoting June, to emphasize the fact that people who are nice are forced to do things they don’t want to but are still willing to. Covered in a bed sheet, lying on Nick’s bed she says in the opening scene
“I wish this story were different. I wish it showed me in a better light. In a different story, maybe I wouldn’t be such a fucking weakling. So, I’ve gone back to Nick. Time after time, on my own. “
This time it is Nick whose past life we get to know. He is what he seems, a guy who minds his own business. Witnesses everything but says nothing even if it bothers him. You can’t even tell if it bothers him. Nick has a very clichéd story that he comes from a financially weak family and gets angry very easily which leads him to this counselor very important core member in Gilead in the present day.
The counsellor, now Commander Price offered hi
m a job then with a group of men who are trying to clean the country. He portrays to a needy man that they need his help. What better way to make someone part of their group than to show him it is his decision to be a part covering up the fact that he didn’t have a choice. Hence we see the good heart guy amongst the wicked people of Gilead. But I believe if you connect the dots, you might see Nick being the commander’s driver might some day help June escape this world when Luke comes to rescue her. Sacrificing his love for June to keep her safe, Nick will do this and we will have a soft corner for him by then. Am I watching too much of it or did that just totally fit!
Offred finds the Commander sitting on her bed. Acting sweet or sarcastically sweet, June is shocked and we can’t really tell his intentions behind this act.
He has a surprise for her that requires him to shave her legs which he does himself. This doesn’t sense right even at the start, the end of this conversation was not going to be very nice for June and it isn’t. Offred could make out that he’s done this before with the previous handmaid, probably. He also hands her a bag of makeup and a gorgeous dress. He tells her, they are going out. Out! at night, how is that even possible. The commander’s wife has gone to her mother’s hous
e for the night. So he planned all this.
In a flashback, we see our Commander was the one who suggested the ceremony be called what it is rather than an ‘act’. A not so wife loving kind of man that he is has dark secrets which are coming out one after the other. One such is shown in the present day where the Commander, Nick, and Offred reach a shady destination after crossing borders and hurdles and what not. Commander brought June to a place which was nothing less of a ‘pick a girl for the night’ kind of place. June was shocked and asked how were such places still existent to which the Commander replied, it does for certain people by which he meant men of course.
Of all the bad things that she could have imagined were going to go wrong, she never thought one could go right- she meets Moira here. Yes, she is in Gilead, actually far far away. Offred and Moira see each other make that eye signal to meet in the in the ladies room. Moira keeps on saying sorry for leaving June at the station but the meeting doesn’t last long and they decide to meet again later that night. Commander tells June that you can find a lawyer, a journalist etc if what you are looking for is having a good conversation. This is the truth of Gilead, even those who were at one point of time the CEOs of firms, are working as call girls here.
Nick is worried about Offred, since he knows what has already happened to the handmaid before her. We see that Nick spots Offred and the Commander going up to the room, and flashes back to Rita screaming bloody murder at the sight of the previous Handmaid’s hanging body. Nick cut her down. The commander’s wife, Serena Joy whispers to Fred: “What did you think was going to happen?”
June sneaks out of the room after Commander has slept and meets Moira. She tells June about what happened after she got on the train to Boston. She got caught and was given a choice, either to go back to the colonies or Jezebel’s. This place changed her, she is not the bold girl with Fuck all attitude. She is scared now and she tells Offred that this is Gilead, no one leaves from here.
As she steps into the car on the way home, June’s gaze lingers on Nick’s. Through a flashback, we learn that Nick has a history of informing on commanders for sleeping with handmaids outside of the monthly ceremony. Commander Price tells him that his primary duty will be reporting on Waterford. This might be bad news for Offred because Nick wants to end things with her now. He tells her ‘You could end up on the wall’. She replies, “At least someone will remember me,”. “At least someone will care when I’m gone. That’s something.”