THE HANDMAID’S TALE, 1.7 – “The Other Side” (TV Review)

Channel 4 – 9pm – Sunday 9th July 2017

Teleplay by: Lynn Renee Maxcy

Series created by: Bruce Miller – Based on the novel by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Floria Sigismondi


 

COLLECTING STRAYS

Last week we deviated from June/Offred’s (Elisabeth Moss) tale by flashing back to her new mistress’s life pre-Gilead. In episode 7 of this ten-part Hulu/MGM adaptation, our eponymous handmaid is even more of a bit-part player as the fate of her estranged husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle), is presented to us.

Aside from a final scene where Luke is presented with his wife’s hurried communication, smuggled to him via the Mexican trade delegate from “A Woman’s Place” (reviewed HERE), “The Other Side” is otherwise told entirely in flashbacks, tracking Luke’s progress from what Offred believed was his fatal shooting by the Guardians as they tried to flee the Gilead border in 1.1 (reviewed HERE), through survival, hiding, making friends with a group of rebels to the Republic and boarding a boat to the “magical land to the North.”

“Welcome to your little slice of heaven.”

At points, we even flashback further still to Luke and June’s visa issues and the formulation of their escape plan, which involves drugging their young daughter, Hannah (Jordana Blake), in order to get them into Canada as quickly and quietly as possible. These scenes aid in exemplifying Luke’s distress upon finding a smattering of June and Hannah’s possessions discarded in the Boston snow. Like Offred, he too believes them both dead. His breakdown upon reading June’s note at the episode close is truly upsetting, yet as informative as the episode is, “The Other Side” does leave one worryingly major question tantalisingly unanswered: what has happened to Hannah?

CR@B’s Claw Score: 4-stars

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