Summary: Everybody except Nick ignores Offred through her pregnancy. Offred begins to bleed, hinting at her perhaps having a miscarriage. She is taken to the doctor after being found unconscious and her baby is saved. Fred rewards Nick for his service by getting him a child bride. Janine holds a wedding in the colonies for a dying woman to raise spirits despite Emily's protests. Emily eventually apologizes and says it was a beautiful wedding.
The Good: Offred's (yeah I'm calling her Offred again for now) character arc was very good in this episode. Her reclusive silence is tough to watch and allows us to once more sympathize with her and root for her to attempt to get out of Gilead once more. There is also a very uncomfortable feeling stemming from Offred's constant bleeding which she doesn't tell anyone about. The execution of a lot of the scenes portrays Offred's loneliness with some beautiful camera work, including the uncomfortable scene of Offred sitting alone in a tub full of blood without a single other soul knowing what she has gone through.
Nick surprisingly got more depth here which I am all for. I would like or him to keep getting focus like this so that I can invest in him a little more. This is a great first step towards that as Nick has seemingly been given a proper story arc to take him through this season. The writers also allow us to start sympathizing with him (finally) by placing him in a difficult situation which forces him to do something he doesn't want to do, which is get into a relationship with his new bride which he had no choice in getting.
Fred and Serena's relationship is fascinating, and like Fred in general, I want to see more of it so that I can understand exactly how it works.
The other half of the episode was even better though. Outside of Offred's story, the episode gave some time back to the colonies so we can explore what Emily and Janine have been up to. Their scenes were outstanding and told a great story as Emily introduced Janine to the bleak new reality of her life. But Janine refuses to be such an animal and brings some positive love and feeling to the colonies, hosting a very sweet wedding for somebody on their deathbed to Emily's disdain. It's a relatable decision for Janine which brings a welcome change to the dreariness of the colonies, and also allows us to relate more with Emily who is resigned to her new life by now.
Speaking of Emily, I'm very happy that her storyline with Janine didn't lead to meaningless melodrama and that we instead got to see her make up with Janine and ultimately accept what she is doing. It was a fitting and powerful conclusion which makes us appreciate the characters of Emily and Janine much more.
The Bad: The baby surviving is a bit perplexing. There was a whole lot of blood lost throughout the episode and I don't think there is any way that the baby could realistically have survived the ordeal. It's confusing and I would have liked more information at the end of the episode about the baby.
Serena was flawed once more. She was the only one checking to make sure Offred was okay, which is odd considering how she is supposed to hate Offred. I guess it could be chalked up as a change to her character, but it hasn't been hinted at in any way, so I find it tough to buy into this character change.
This episode didn't have a whole lot to it ultimately, as evidenced by the short length of this review. I thought it was fine, but it didn't have very many talking points.
The Unknown: So what are the details regarding Nick's marriage? How are the brides created for the men and who are eligible to get a bride? What is the bride's situation in the Waterford household and what will her relationship with Offred be?
Will Janine have to face consequences for all the positive things she is doing in the colonies? I feel that this is setting up for a tragic catharsis.
Best Moment: The death scene of the woman who had just got married was genuinely emotional. I thought the scene was shot superbly to get the most emotion out of the characters, and in turn getting an emotional reaction out of me. I also loved the music, which felt "The Leftovers"-esque in its sound which is always a great thing.
Character of the Episode: Janine.
Conclusion: This was a good episode which had some welcome developments, even if it didn't really feel like there was a whole lot of depth to this, unlike the previous episodes. Thankfully I felt that the writing was more consistent, making this one of the season's better episodes.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.