‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Sprouts Some Rebellious Seeds in “Witness”

/Film | 7/24/2019 | Caroline Cao
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Sprouts Some Rebellious Seeds in “Witness”

The Handmaid’s Tale has been teasing revolution. Ever since June had her epiphany that she can save other Gilead children even if she can’t save her own daughters, the narrative has been injected with a dose of intrigue, though not much else happens in “Witness” other than one disconcerting scene of sexual violation (we’ll get to that).

Commander - Fred - Waterford - Joseph - Fiennes

Unfortunately, the DC-ascended Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) is back on his bullshit. During an inspection, he offers June to re-serve the Waterfold household in DC. A promotion, he calls it (does getting your mouth sewn shut like other Handmaids in DC count as a promotion?). His hold on his district has increased, to the point where the custom-evasive Commander Joseph Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) acquiesces to Waterford’s orders to upgrade his wallpaper to “DC standard.”

Seeking to possess June once again, Commander Fred Waterford closes in on the Lawrences’ household. He cites that the Lawrence household hasn’t produced any children for Gilead yet (because Lawrence secretly isn’t a rapist). Fred stipulates to Commander Winslow (an amiable and unsettling Christopher Meloni) that they must ensure that Joseph proves his virility to Gilead and that he’s keeping his household in order.

Whitford - Scene - Julie - Dretzin - Eleanor

Whitford commands every scene he’s in, but Julie Dretzin as Eleanor Lawrence steals a few when she’s animatedly wandering in the foreground or background and musing about lost knick-knacks and lost in her own world. Eleanor leads June to files of Gilead’s stolen children in her household basement. June suggests that Eleanor and Joseph can ditch Gilead together so Eleanor can receive proper bipolar disorder medication and be done with a totalitarian society. Eleanor responds that Joseph would be tried as a war criminal if he were to ever cross the Canadian border. “He would be jailed...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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