The recurring theme of this episode seems to be how desperate love can make us. Then again, I should probably check myself and not get too fakedeep. As always, this is a recap, so there will be all sorts of spoilers below.
First things first, friends: RORY’S BACK! Don’t get too excited, though, because after the madness of last night’s episode, I’m not sure how long that’ll last.
Offred’s hanging out in Beardface’s study again, playing scrabble and drinking whisky and doing some casual ‘please don’t send me to the colonies/my death’ flirting. She’s rewarded with a girly magazine – what a boon! Beardface sure understands what women really want.
Speaking of what women really want, Lady Beardface is legitimately so desperate for a baby that she suggests Offred bone their broody and mysterious driver, Nick, to make up for Commander Beardface’s possible impotence. I realize I haven’t mentioned Nick until just now but I legitimately kept forgetting about him because his face is super forgettable. He and Offred have had a saucy ‘will-they-won’t-they’ vibe going on that consists of him staring at her a lot and her looking deeply uneasy. Maybe because he looks like he’s 15.
Anyway, Offred agrees because what the eff else is she gonna do and Lady Beardface tells her that Nick already has agreed. Offred is understandably not stoked about everyone else, once again, making all reproductive and physical decisions for her. She frowns.
Later, Offred runs into our good friend One-Eyed Batshit Janine at the supermarket. She’s loudly talking about all of the cool stuff ‘her’ baby does and making everyone else wildly uncomfortable. Thankfully, our girl Rory is back!! and lingering by the produce. Offred manages to have a quick, stilted convo with Rory, long enough to find that her name is no longer Rory but Ofsteven, but we are still going to call her Rory.
In the meantime, fake Rory (aka Ofglen) is a real dickmunch and won’t let Offred and Rory hang. She pulls them apart but not before we learn that Rory is too ‘dangerous’ to be a part of Mayday, which – WHAT IS MAYDAY?!
It’s good that Offred left when she did since she has a busy day ahead of her comprised of more sex against her will. It’s somehow even more awkward than the Ceremony since Lady Beardface is standing sour-faced at the door while Nick and Offred make quietly terrified eye contact and pork. I know the word ‘pork’ is gross, but so is this whole scenario. Offred glances over mid-pork to see that Nick has a gun. Oh damn.
That night they have the Ceremony, and the Commander throws caution and propriety to the wind like a true mad lad when he decides to touch Offred while they’re mid-coitus. This is a BIG NO-NO because Lady Beardface could see and essentially have Offred killed. Offred’s pissed and storms into his study afterwards to be like ‘hey there you worthless scrotum, can you not fondle me in front of your wife? I’d like to continue existing.’ (Paraphrasing.) Beardface responds with the words of douchebags the world over: “I didn’t mind it, and I don’t think you did either.”
To make up for his incredibly dangerous grope, he gives Offred – you guessed it!! – another magazine!! He asks her of she misses these ‘lists of made up problems,’ and she counters that women at least had choices then. Beardface is unswayed; he says now ladies have ‘peace’ to ‘fulfill their biological destinies’. (As someone who has fulfilled my biological destiny two times over, I do not have any peace. I haven’t had peace since 2013. )
Offred is equally unimpressed and leaves the sickening conversation to run to the kitchen where she pukes into the sink. Turns out Nick is there, having a lil lurk, and she confronts him about being an Eye. He admits he’s an eye, and tacks on that he’s sorry for the weird forced sex. Offred goes to bed. It’s been a long day.
The next day, she’s at an open-air market with a cluster of other handmaids and gets about 14 seconds to talk to Rory. We learn Rory’s real name is Emily, but we’re gonna keep calling her Rory. Ofglen comes to pull Offred away from Rory because she’s sick of Offred’s shit, and that seems to be some sort of last straw for Rory.
Because she promptly steals a car.
Or, well, drives it, since she can’t actually steal it, there’s nowhere to go. But we watch her take a few victory laps while the other handmaids watch gleefully, One-Eyed Batshit Janine having a giggle because she’s batshit. I love her. This whole jaunt clearly isn’t gonna end well for Rory and she seems to know it; some male officers come to stop her with guns out, and she goes for broke and runs one of them over. It’s gross. His head or chest or some part of his body explodes, and the handmaids are all horrified and delighted. All of this is set to a beautiful backing soundtrack.
This entire incident has clearly awoken something in Offred, who returns home to defiantly smirk in Lady Beardface’s face. She also glances back and forth between a pair of shears and Lady Beardface’s neck, presumably imagining a reality in which she pulls a Rory and loses her damn mind. I don’t blame her.
Later that night, still apparently riding the high of Rory’s boldness, Offred sneaks into Nick’s little room and GETS NAKED! That’s ALSO A BIG NO-NO! She’s clearly about to sex him, but to what end?! Is she after a gun? An orgasm? Probably not the latter, because I doubt seeing a dude’s head explode would rev anyone’s engine, but hey.
Either way, they have sex, and this is rude but who knew Peggy had such a bangin’ body? I did not. Offred gets to be on top, just like she likes, which we learned through this episode’s series of flashbacks to the start of hers and Luke’s relationship. She had been the other woman in his extramarital affair, though Luke had been content to leave his wife for her because he was in love with her. The juxtaposition between Luke-sex and Nick-sex is sad and melancholy, but I guess getting to be on top for once – in control – is enough for now.