Hulu Recap: The Handmaid’s Tale, Episode 7, “The Other Side”

Last episode ended with a bombshell about Luke, Offred’s husband, having survived his encounter with the Guardians. This episode, we learn what’s happened to Luke since.

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It kicks off with a flashback, showing us the same scene as in episode one – June (Offred), Luke, and Hannah attempting to flee the new regime by car. We see Luke panic and drive off the road, watch him tell June to take Hannah and run, and see him fumbling to load a handgun. The Guardians are quick to find him, and despite Luke’s best efforts – he fires off a few shots – he is shot in the side and seized by the Guardians.

That might spell a pretty gruesome end for Luke, but instead, the ambulance that he’s being hauled away in flips over (and over, and over) and lands upside-down on the bank of a river. Luke, doubled over from the gunshot wound, is quick to pillage everything that might be useful from the ambulance cab – including a new handgun and the coat off of a dead Guardian – and make a run limp for it. He gets a few feet before he finds another Guardian on the bank, one who seems to have been flung from the car, and this Guardian also dies before Luke can get an answer to his question: “Where are we?”

He’s not kept in the dark too long since a slow walk down the road brings him to the crash site where their blue car is sitting, all its doors flung open, completely abandoned. It’s bleak but it’s a landmark, and Luke is quick to take to the direction he’d sent his family in. Instead of finding them he finds Hannah’s rabbit, strewn pages from a scrapbook, and a single one of Hannah’s shoes. For a moment, Luke breaks down, clutching that single tiny shoe.

Interspersed with Luke’s trek to a nearby abandoned village are more flashbacks, these detailing how the escape attempt came to be. June, Luke, and Hannah were all ferried to a safe house by a family friend called Mr. Whitmore, though the journey is far from smooth. While en route they’re pulled over by a Guardian who opens the trunk only to find all three terrified characters tucked in like salmon; all of our sphincters collectively relax when he proclaims the trunk ’empty’ and sends Whitmore, the driver, on his way. We learn later that the Guardian owed Whitmore a ‘favor.’

The safe house is pleasant enough – a spacious cabin on a lake – but June and Luke are understandably unable to fully relax. They’re meant to wait in the safe house until Whitmore comes back with Canadian passports, since US Visas no longer hold value. While they’re waiting, their secret is compromised by a man called Joe who stumbles across them seemingly by accident during a mid-morning trip to the lake. June and Luke are spooked, and even though Joe’s gone, they decide to pack up and leave that night.

Before they can take off, Luke shows June how to load a gun at her behest, instructing her how to use it ‘just in case.’ In the middle of this lesson (so, arguably the worst time), Joe returns, though he’s holding his hands up and telling them how to safely get across the border – to Canada. He correctly guesses that they’re the missing family from Boston and says that they’re being hunted. He tells them that Whitmore is dead, had been hanged for his crimes, and that their only hope is taking the back roads and hoping for the best.

It’s grim, but they nod and take Joe’s advice. It’s on this last-ditch escape effort that the car crashes and the three are separated.

After finding Hannah’s stuffed rabbit and boot, Luke drags himself to the closest village, one that was meant to be their safe haven; it’s not. The village is a ghost town, ransacked and ruined, store windows riddled with holes and spidered from bullets. There are angry slurs graffiti’d across the sides of buildings – ‘Gender Traitor,’ ‘Fags Die,’ – and it’s evident that no one is coming to save Luke here. He needs to rest regardless and takes shelter in one of the trashed stores, falling asleep in the dark.

… Only to be awakened with a boot to the ribs.

He is quick to explain that he’s not a Guardian despite the insignia on the sleeve; he only stole the jacket from a Guardian to keep warm. The woman is skeptical but ultimately believes him, and he’s hauled onto a bus to join the band of rebels. Their stories are brief but they’re all united in their desire for freedom, and the leader seems hellbent on getting as many people out as she can.

Their road trip ends at a dock where a man is waiting to ferry them to Canada. Luke attempts to stay – he doesn’t want to go, he wants to stay and find Hannah and June. The leader of the group convinces him otherwise by bringing him into an abandoned church that has now become a gruesome tomb for the dozen or so hanged bodies strung up from the vaulted ceilings. “If you go back, you’re gonna die and leave them all alone.” This is enough to push Luke onto the ferry, though the dingy’s captain requires extra payment. Luke gives him the morphine from the ambulance… and his wedding band.

Before they can all get onto the boat, however, a truckful of Guardians blazes up and opens fire. Luke is already on the boat along with ‘TBD,’ a mute woman that was found locked in a high school basement. She is also a victim of the new society, having been separated from her child and hand-picked for her ‘fertility.’ Luke and TBD are the only ones to make it out alive.

Three years later, Luke is now roommates with TBD in the Little America part of Canada. He has a meeting with a woman who passes along the note that Offred wrote in the last episode, and their stories finally converge again. Luke is overwhelmed and overcome; “She’s alive?” he asks, and understandably breaks down.

The episode ends with the reveal of the note’s contents: I love you so much. Save Hannah.

And holy shit, I hope they do.

Your Mom, Your Boss and Your Landlord Walk Into a Bar…

They take one look at you and ask if you’re wearing fake eyelashes.

You say, “…yes. I got lash extensions. Do you li-”

“They look fake.”

“DAMMIT MOM THEY’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE MY REAL EYELASHES.”

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F
C

It’s been a long week, ya’ll. A LONG. ASS. WEEK.

I am tired.

I am cramping.

I put a sticky note on my office door that read “Do not disturb. On conference call.” and took a motha fuckin’ nap.

Disclaimer: I began writing this post a month ago, and my feelings expressed above have not changed. It’s been a long week, I am still tired, and I am also cramping. (Research has shown that the best time to write blog posts is when you’re on your period.) Sharlene is still giving me shit about my fake eyelashes.

The timing is PERFECT because I am literally in Tallahassee sharing a small hotel room and bed with my mother right this second.

I am in a weird, transitional phase of my life that I never thought I’d find myself in – I’m working for my mom and living under her roof at the same time. I’ll be 25 in September, and I haven’t lived with either of my parents since I was 17 and moved away to college. So, it’s been a little difficult for all of us. Because we’re constantly invading each other’s space, we both have each other under a microscope, which is hilarious and awful at the same time.

This post doesn’t serve any other purpose except to set the stage for (hopefully) many, many humorous, random moments that can get #shitsharlenesays trending on Twitter.

Stay tuned for next week when I’ll be live-tweeting from Vegas! #jessiegoestovegas #feelslikethefirsttime #ihatelosingmoney #BUTILOVESPENDINGIT

And yes, I’ll actually be live-tweeting. No, you won’t have to read another one of Grace’s weird porno posts, which, for the record, I couldn’t even get through without looking away from my phone at least 15 times out of shame for her.

LWYby

 

 

Hulu Recap: The Handmaid’s Tale, Episode 6, “A Woman’s Place”

Before you get all excited, no, Rory’s not back, and we don’t actually know what her punishment was for the casual, murderous joyride she took the other day.

What we do know now is some of Lady Beardface’s backstory, hooray! Our favorite character (gag) gets a little more fleshed out. Surprisingly, rounding her out does not make her any more sympathetic; if anything, it makes us like her less.

But I digress.

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We learn quickly that Offred had three orgasms with Nick, which, you go, you saucy little minx, claim back your body, but also be careful because that’s a huge no-no. We also learn that there are visiting dignitaries coming to crash this dismal misogynist party, so all of the handmaids are out scrubbing the blood off of the giant wall overlooking the river. You know, the one where they hang the gays and priests?

Anyway.

One-Eyed Batshit Janine is being her usual charming batshit self, smearing her hand through the freaking blood and remarking with a big grin that it’s ‘like painting!’ Offred returns her smile with all of the patience of someone who’s been dealing with crazies for a long while, and agrees when One-Eyed Batshit Janine says the wall looks ‘kinda weird without the dead bodies.’ I’d tell One-Eyed Batshit Janine to chill but she’s been through enough.

As for the dignitaries, it turns out they’re from Mexico and will be hanging out with the Beardfaces that evening working on a trade deal. Offred is feeling sassy that night, and after Lady Beardface looks her over and deems her ‘fine’ for the ambassador, Offred flippantly responds that ‘red is her color.’ Offred, it seems, is off the rails. Sensing this, Lady Beardface tells Offred not to disappoint her.

Determined to apparently do just that, Offred engages in some risky flirtation with Nick, telling him she wore her handmaid outfit ‘just for him’. His retort is that he doesn’t want her to wear anything for him, and they clandestinely graze knuckles. I guess Nick is gunning for death-by-handmaid-beatings, just like that guy from episode one.

Nick and Offred are pretty sly, though.

There’s even more fun than taboo flirting to be had inside the study, where the Mexican ambassador – a lady!!!! – asks Offred if she chose to be a handmaid, in the roomful of Offred’s captors/rapist/tormentors. Offred obviously says yes. Then the Mexican lady asks if Offred is happy which, I mean, c’mon. Just look at her hat. No one who wears that ridiculous hat can be happy. But Offred wisely says she’s “found happiness” which we can only assume is in those pruning-shears-to-Lady-Beardface’s-neck fantasies. Or Nick’s penis. I don’t know.

In other news, Lady Beardface apparently wrote a book before turning into turquoise-clad sycophant, and led a rally that started a riot. (That’s a pretty legit resume filler; all I have is this blog.) The Mexican ambassador asks her about this book and whether she envisioned a society where women can’t read it, or anything else. Lady Beardface gives some bland non-answer, and after the meeting, Commander Beardface unfairly blames her for it being tense. Maybe he’ll make it up to her with a magazine?

Flashbacks this episode tell us that Lady Beardface used to be a force in this ‘movement,’ one of the minds that helped bring ‘traditional family values’ back into the forefront of society. We also see her slowly get boxed out of the movement due to her possession of a vagina, and her gradual acceptance of this new lifestyle. I’d feel sorry for her if it wasn’t a big ole case of YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF.

Meanwhile, Nick comes to fetch Offred because that’s what people do with Offred, telling her that Cmdr. Beardface wants to see her in his study. Offred’s response to this is to make out with Nick in the hallway so yes, apparently they do both want Nick to get kicked to death in a circle of murderous handmaids.

After this illicit snogfest, Offred spends the next chunk of time in Beardface’s office listening to his small-phallus whining about how the Mexican ambassador ‘looked at them like they were freaks’. Apparently Offred is a crappy audience since Beardface kicks her out. She responds by saying she wants to stay, he tells her to kiss him like she means it, and she apparently does not convince him that she’s into him through the kiss. None of us can blame her. He kicks her out.

And then there’s a party.

It’s a swanky one and the handmaids are all there, jazzed to go, especially One-Eyed Batshit Janine who is a treasure. Of course, Lady Beardface is here to ruin everyone’s fun, and tells Auntie Thunderc*nt to ‘remove the damaged ones.’ Which means – you guessed it – One-Eyed Batshit Janine’s one-eyed status means she can’t go. She understandably has a small breakdown – “I want to go to the party, I didn’t do anything wrong!” – and all of our hearts collectively break, though Auntie Thunderc*nt softens the blow by offering her an entire tray of desserts. What a kind agent of Satan.

The handmaids get two long banquet halls at the front of the ballroom and Lady Beardface gives a speech thanking the handmaids and ‘honoring’ them blah blah blah she is gross. I get the feeling this speech was off-script, since Cmdr. Beardface looks all tight-mouthed and unhappy, but who knows. In the middle of this speech, one of the handmaids tell Offred that the ‘trade’ Cmdr. Beardface is working on with Mexico isn’t for oranges, but handmaids. Handmaids have now become a tradeable commodity. Offred looks sort of like she wants to puke, and this intensifies as Lady Beardface invites all of the handmaid-made babies in to parade around the room with their fake moms while their biological moms watch and pretend like they’re not dying inside.

The episode closes with Offred slowly coming unraveled, first barging into Nick’s quarters to say she regrets lying to the Mexican ambassador and saying everything’s fine, and telling him that her name is June, not Offred. She then runs into the Mexican ambassador back at the house and breaks, telling the woman that they’re all raped and beaten and basically held as sub-human breeding stock – and shock of shocks, the Mexican woman doesn’t give a crap. She’s a terrible example of #girlshelpinggirls.

Before Offred can walk off, however, the ambassador’s assistant stops her and tells her info that makes her understandably blanch: her husband, Luke, is alive. And he will bring a message to him from Offred. Offred, her mind reeling, stares blankly at the notebook and pen in her hands, and the credits roll.

 

 

 

 

 

My Sex Dream ft. Vin Diesel

If any of you follow us on Twitter (which you should, since how else will you know when we’ve posted?!), then you know that once again, Jessica promised she’d write a post. She likes to do that every now and then, presumably to remind me that she’s still capable of crushing my hopes without so much as lifting a finger.

This time, though, I was prepared. I threatened her with retribution; specifically, that if she once again totally didn’t write anything after promising that she would, I was going to write out the sordid, unasked for details of my Monday night sex dream, the one that was the sweaty product of binge watching the first five Fast and Furious movies.

Well, HTLYT, she didn’t deliver. So now let’s delve into the complex and disgusting world of my subconscious. When you start gagging halfway through, I want you to remember one thing: this is Jessica’s fault.


We were standing in an abandoned warehouse, the only light to break the gloom filtering in through high, grimy windows. The air was flecked with dust, and the heavy scent of motor oil filled my nostrils. I knew where I was without having to ask – I know who I was with without having to glance to my left.

It was the garage of the fastest and most furious. It was his garage, his own collapsed kingdom, my dark, fugitive prince. 

“Dammit, Toretto.”

I could feel his eyes on me at my soft exclamation. I could feel the power radiating from the bulky, lethal body beside me – I could feel the desire thrumming in the air around us, doubtlessly making the veins at his well-muscled forearms bulge. I remembered with a thrill the way he’d looked in his soiled wifebeater, haloed in smoke and billowing clouds of dust, as he somehow managed to take out like, 3 guys at once on a moving train car without any formal fight training.

No training but those mean, mean streets.

“Wait until you see the car,” he said in response, his voice slow and thick as always, like a recent stroke-victim, or Lenny from Of Mice and Men. My beautiful, brooding Lenny.

“The car?”

I didn’t need to ask. He was already striding away, powerful arms rippling with ropes of muscle, the dim light gleaming off of his utterly hairless head.

I followed, feeling faintly breathless, watching as he tore the tarp off of a gleaming, electric green car. I didn’t know the make or the model. Neither mattered, since it was only a sex dream. One thing I did know was that beneath the heinously tacky racing stripes and spiky, too-high spoiler, that car was loaded with sweet, sweet nitrous oxide. 

Nos. The ultimate aphrodisiac.

One moment his eyes were on the car, unimpressed but approving. The next, they were on me, raking down the contours of my body like an ex-con starved for the touch of – oh, shit sorry, that’s insensitive, forgot that he is, technically, an ex-con. Well, sort of. Does it count if you never make it to the prison? I don’t know, I’ve only seen up to the fifth movie, maybe he goes to jail later. The Rock did say he always gets his man.

Anyway, yeah, so he was eyeing me up, and it was revving my engine, and before I know it, he’s slamming me (gently) against the hood of that too-green car. For a moment, as ours eyes locked, his body caging mine in, I felt like I was in freefall – a huge freefall, sort of like when he and Brian O’Connor drove off a cliff like a billion feet over the water and somehow managed to jump out mid-fall and survive, which made no sense since they both definitely would have at least broken a few bones or something – anyway.

Freefall. Fast, furious, dangerous – 

And then his mouth was on mine, those plush, parrotbeak lips crushing in the intensity of the kiss. My back was flat on the metal of the hood, his powerful body flexing and rippling above me as he pressed closer. I was kissing him back, my head swimming, the sound of distant car engines revving in my ears and drowning out the world as I poured my need against the ministrations of his tongue. 

I was burning up, my arms clinging, limpet-like, to his neck, breaking the kiss only to gasp for air before pressing my mouth to his once again. His hands were everywhere, burning rough paths across my bare skin, pulling off articles of clothing in a dreamlike frenzy, the kiss somehow unbroken because it was only a dream and nothing makes sense.

It was only a moment before we were stripped bare, my back still pressed to the cool hood of the car, my arms circling his neck like a lifeline. He stared into my eyes, his breathing as labored as mine, and in that dark gaze I found so many things – love, loss, power, strength, courage, and a ten-movie franchise that would make everyone involved millions.

“Are you sure?” he growled, his voice croaked with strained desire.

I stared up into his eyes a moment longer, swimming in the depth of the emotion I found there, falling deeper in love with Dominic Toretto… And then I dug my heels into his lower back, pulling him into me, gasping only a moment before whispering into his ear:

“More NOS.”


If you don’t ever want to be subjected to the atrocities of my dreams again, please hound Jessica to maybe contribute sometime by tweeting her encouragement/death threats at @_jessfrancois.

In the meantime…

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Podcast Pushback: #BookSquadGoals and Beauty and the Beast

There are few things I love more than hilarious women, books, and stuff I can do without having to exert any physical effort, so when I found out about the fledgling podcast #BookSquadGoals, I was there.

At least until I listened to their first minisode (“Bonjour! BonJOUR! Bonjour (bonjour) BONJOUR!“) and heard Emily blaspheming about how the live-action Cinderella was superior to the live-action Beauty and the Beast.

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Alright, to be fair, she never actually outright said that either was superior. That’s my emotional attempt at paraphrasing while trying to recover from the actual quotation, which I’ve blocked below for those of you who have yet to listen to the podcast (though, what are you waiting for, go now).

“I liked [live-action Cinderella] better than this Beauty and the Beast movie and I think a lot of that was that it wasn’t trying to be an exact replica of the original Cinderella movie. I’m not gonna say it did something really crazy and original with the Cinderella story, but it was its own adaptation of the fairytale. Which is why it worked for me, I was just kind of disappointed that this adaptation of Beauty and the Beast was not new in any sort of way.”

If I knew how to spell out the record-scratch noise, I would put it here. Emily, you and I agree on so many things, but I will fite you on this. In fact, I am gonna lovingly fight you on this right here, right now.

Cinderella was a visual masterpiece from start to finish, with an awesome cast, breathtaking cinematography, and insane levels of gorgeous CGI. But, in my opinion, it was not a new adaptation.

Sure, they plucked out the musical numbers and added in a shallow backstory (kind of?) for the Prince, but otherwise it was the same bland story of femininity and grace trumping meanness against all odds.

I don’t know what else I expected, but I left Cinderella feeling a little cheated, since the story itself wasn’t reimagined or exciting in any way. It was essentially a totally flat remake, though more beautifully remade than any other remake has ever been, with no new depth added to characters or interesting motivations revealed. I would’ve probably been a bit sulkier about this after seeing it, but the combo of vivid visuals, Richard Madden in tight white pants, and Cate Blanchett blowing it out of the water reminded me that I should be sending Kenneth Branaugh a thank-you card.

On the other hand, you have the live-action adaption of Beauty and the Beast. This film, in my opinion, did flesh out backstory and characters. We get new dimension into LeFou, into Gaston, into Maurice, into the Beast and his whole entourage. Gaston has done a stint in the war, Maurice isn’t just a madman but a widower handicapped by grief (which the #BSG girls also pointed out), and the Beast has some quiet suffering of his own laced into his childhood.

Disney also breaks tradition in giving us a reason for a dead parent which almost never happens, since usually protagonists are just orphans without explanation. While the #BSG girls may have hated the Paris scene, I am a dirty dirty slut for any historical context or allusion, so seeing the plague mask and the flashback to plague doctors was freaking awesome. … I could have done without the weird magical book, though.

beauty_and_the_beast_1_-_dan_stevens_emma_watson_-_still_-_h_-_2016.jpg“The fuck is this?” – Belle, probably. Same, Belle.

Essentially, I think Beauty and the Beast was a better development of storyline and characters, whereas Cinderella was a visual triumph and a study in near-perfect acting. BatB had the better ideas, and Cinderella had the better execution. I wouldn’t say I liked one better than the other, but I will absolutely defend 2017’s Beauty and the Beast as being a solid, new adaptation of ‘a tale as old as time’ in its own right.

… But where I disagreed with you above, Emily, I for sure agree with you on one point: whoever cast Emma Watson must have been blackmailed by someone very important, because what the hell was that. Not to mention that, as the #BSG girls put it, “No one can fucking sing.”

Amen, #BookSquadGoals squad. Amen.


#BookSquadGoals is a new podcast discussing literature, lady stuff, and cats (god, so many cats). A new episode airs every Monday; make sure you’re there to hang out with your four new best friends who don’t know you exist.

Guest Spot: Kim Curates Your #FBF Youtube Playlist

 

Youtube hasn’t always been the colletion of high-production-value skits and aesthetically-pleasing intro montages set to pretty girl EDM it is today. Before the ring lights and the thousand dollar cameras, before #ads and PR packages, Youtube was just a bunch of weirdos talking into their webcams, messing around with Adobe Flash, and using copyrighted music. I love new Youtube, clearly, but something about old Youtube gets me nostalgic. It was more random then, less polished, content to just be…

I was a freshman in high school in 2007, still partially in my artsy/alternative/black clothes/wonderwall-by-Oasis-on-repeat phase. I make fun of my fourteen-year-old self a lot (and, really, for good reason) but I have to admit, there was something sincere about her. And she had great taste. I had a huge crush on Ryan Higa back then and, unlike other celebrity crushes, it seemed almost in the realm of attainable. After all, I lived on Oahu, he was still living on the Big Island, and he reminded me a lot of the guys I grew up with. This was before he got 17 million youtube subscribers, moved to the mainland, and became basically the prince of Youtube (I don’t watch the Vlogbrothers, but I don’t have to in order to recognize they’re the reigning kings).

Well, I missed my (nonexistent) chance with Ryan, but it’s still fun to look back on what he used to be. (There is a problematic joke in the original, but he kind of fixed it in his remake).

The great thing about walking down Youtube memory lane is that everything that was kind of cool back then is almost unbelievable now. In 2008, Miley Cyrus and her friend Mandy Jiroux had a youtube channel where they made weird webcam vlogs.

Do you think Miley ever does the Hoedown Throwdown for her own amusement when no ones watching? I would if I were her.

No. It gets better. The choreographer from Step Up 2 challenged them to an online dance battle that led to a star-studded back and forth, including appearances from Lindsay Lohan, Adam Sandler, David Blaine, and Channing Tatum.

Here’s the challenge and M&M’s first go but you can just skip to the final battles:

 

By 2009, FilmCow had already given us Charlie the Unicorn and I’d already spent a good part of my lunch breaks trying to convince my friends to buy me a unicorn hand puppet while doing the annoying voice of the organ-stealing unicorns. Then it provided us with the glory that is Llamas with Hats. Don’t bother with 1, I’ve skipped you right to 2.

(Yes, Youtube’s transformation from generally just ‘weird and random’ to ‘cutesy-weird and obsessed with aesthetics’ does make the perfect metaphor for my personal coming-of-age narrative.)

Every so often, I remember that this song exists and I immediately get it stuck in my head. This hails from the era where auto-tuning things meant instant success. The original turtle fence speech can be found here if you want to know how turtle fences actually related to health care (spoilers: very tangentially). I shared this with my roommate a few days ago. It still inspires instant joy in those who hear it. You’re welcome.

Old Youtube really was fantastic, but I haven’t spent the last month just dwelling in nostalgia. My newest favorite is a star in the making, and my recent trips down memory lane have helped me realize why.

Taylor Nicole Dean is astonishingly gorgeous. It would be easy to imagine her making a beauty/lifestyle vlog and living it up at Coachella with all the other beautiful youtubers (no shade, I love them too). Instead, she’s a full-time pet mom. She mixes in her EDM-y montages of fish tanks with detailed knowledge of how to set up a crested gecko enclosure or bathe your hedgehogs. She does collaborations with the reptile subculture of Youtube (including, very recently, SnakeBytesTV Brian from my last post and the guy who made a wheelchair for a goldfish). Also, she has a cowfish named Cheese who’s an instant classic.

There’s some old school Youtube in her. She rambles on unapologetically in her introductions, she wears Juicy Couture Lost Angeles Hoodies with decorative corsets instead of waist trainers, and she gives her animals text-to-speech voices. Her sense of humor is awkward and wonderful and she gives me hope for Youtube’s future.

And on that note, I hope your day is utterly unproductive as you explore the extra weirdness of old Youtube and the wonder that is Taylor Nicole Dean.

Bonus video: Never forget that Daniel Radcliffe can rap Blackalicious’ Alphabet Aerobics.


Kim is a law student with a very much intact childlike sense of wonder. She lives in D.C. and spends lots of time introducing her friends to weird hobbies and interests. It is only a matter of time before she is declared a national treasure. See what she’s up to on instagram @kimmism101

Hulu Recap: The Handmaid’s Tale, Episode 5, “Faithful”

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.

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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.”

C’mon, dude.

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.