The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Ep 8 is the eighth instalment of the fifth season of a dystopian alternate reality drama TV series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name. In this alternate history, the USA has been taken over by hardcore fundamental religious fanatics and renamed as Gilead. In Gilead, women have become the property of men once more as the nation is ruled by theocratic patriarchy.
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Entitled “Motherland”, The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Ep 8 is yet another enthralling chapter in a very powerful season thus far. Our protagonist, June and her former antagonist Serena Joy, are both faced with what seem like impossible choices. Decisions that need to be made because they are both mothers. Hence the episode title.
For June, she has to decide whether to take up Commander Lawrence’s offer for her to move to New Bethlehem in Gilead, where the rules will be relaxed somewhat and June can be reunited with her daughter, Hannah. For Serena Joy, she has to choose whether to return to the Wheelers residence in order to be reunited with her son, Noah. In the latter case, what this means for Serena Joy, would be that she would in effect become a handmaid, which now puts her in the position where June was in her household!
However, the episode complicates June’s decision making as she has to contend with resistance from her husband Luke and of course, the American government in exile. In the case of the latter, New Bethlehem provides an existential threat and would signal the end of the USA. Thus, it is in their interest to give June what she wants – Hannah – in order to prevent her from returning to Gilead, What a complication!
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Ep 8 brilliantly advances the plot and characterisations into a new frontier and proves that the series is no longer simply running on the spot. Highly recommended!
Watch The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.
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