Summary: Selena gets Offred's baby and sends her away but Aunt Lydia arranges for Offred to be brought back to the Waterford house for better lactation. Eden elopes with Isaac but is caught. She has the option to beg for mercy but she doesn't and she is executed with Isaac. Emily is assigned a new household where she meets Lawrence who created the colonies.
The Good: I was glad that Offred was back in the Waterford household. The story would have been stagnant if she left so I'm pleased that she wasn't gone. I do like how she enlisted Aunt Lydia to help bring her back to properly get her back where she belongs. It showed good desperation from Offred which fit the situation as she would do anything to get back to her baby. It was a good development early in the episode.
The scenes with Lawrence were really good. He came off as an interesting character with mysterious motivations as he seemingly specifically wanted to get Emily as his handmaid. It's an exciting development and gives us a new part of Gilead to explore as we get to see the world from the point of view of the man who created the colonies and his family. His wife was also very interesting as she is shaken and broken by Lawrence, making me wonder what he is capable of.
The Bad: This episode disappointed me heavily. First of all, I hate the direction they took here. The last two episodes promised change to the story as Offred began her own adventure, the Waterfords began imploding and Nick was captured. But now all that has gone away and it all led nowhere, making the last two episodes completely pointless, a familiar complaint for this season. This is especially anticlimactic because we seemed to be setting up for a big story change heading towards the finale, but instead the writers have taken the safest and least interesting route forward.
Additionally, I hate that we don't see how Offred came back. When we started this episode, I was confused because everything was different, but when I realized that there was a time skip I got frustrated that we went back in circles. Additionally, the fact that Nick's capture was a "misunderstanding" is confusing, vague and hard to buy into. It seems like the writers just wanted Offred to be alone when she gave birth so they sloppily removed Nick from the story. It's really bad writing and storytelling to do something like that.
I'm really sick of how so many storylines just lead nowhere though they had lots of potential. it's been a theme this entire season and it continues to frustrate me every episode. Serena wanted Offred gone after her baby is born, and that's a big deal. But it doesn't matter because Offred just comes back and Serena doesn't do much about it. A pointless story arc. Nick has a child wife now and is struggling to deal with that. But it's okay because she elopes and dies. Offred is all alone now and she has a baby. But that goes nowhere because they find her and bring her back without any consequence to the story. These three examples were this episode alone and it's insane that you can come up with just as many for pretty much every episode of the show.
Unfortunately that makes it hard for me to get invested in new storylines, since I have the sinking feeling in my stomach that it will all lead nowhere. That's what hurt the Lawrence storyline from me, and it's the reason why it isn't as exciting as it should be. Furthermore, it's the penultimate episode yet a new storyline is being introduced. This feels like it should have happened 5-6 episodes ago so it could be properly explored, but I sense that the story will just end anticlimactically in the next episode.
The resolution to the Eden story was terrible in a lot of ways. For one, the story wasn't earned at all because it relied on us caring about Eden and Isaac as characters and their relationship, which has hardly been mentioned, never mind explored. Since I don't care about them or buy into their relationship, I find it tough to believe that Eden would sacrifice her life for him, and on top of that, I get no emotional impact from them both dying. It felt like it was supposed to be a major scene but I felt totally indifferent to it, making it a spectacular failure.
To add on, the Eden storyline as a whole this season completely fails to capitalize on what makes secondary storylines so engaging. Since Eden ends up dying without getting much development, the storyline needs to be used to further our understanding of other characters. In this case I had hoped that we would get more focus on Nick from this storyline so we can learn more. And while Nick got some focus, what did we learn about him? He's unable to love Eden because he loves Offred instead. We already knew this, so why dedicate an entire story to accomplish this? Seeing that Eden had no impact to characters or the overall plot, I'm left wondering why she was even included to begin with. It's disappointing that this season has stalled so much with so many aimless storylines, so much so that it's really grinding my gears.
Another annoying moment was when Serena and Offred teamed up again. Honestly I'm tired of this storyline because it's so repetitive. How many times have the two of them gone from liking each other to hating each other? It's so repetitive and shows that this show is already running out of material to explore. I don't know what to feel about Serena anymore. Yvonne Strahovski is a terrific actress but it feels like her character just swings in whatever direction the plot demands her to. Because it has happened so many times, I can't say for sure what kind of person Serena actually is, and I don't know if the show even knows who she is. That's problematic for a central character and the show needs to sort out her storyline into something which makes more sense.
The Unknown: Is Lawrence a bad person? What was with his household? Will he be terrible like Fred or is he genuinely not that bad?
What does Lawrence need Emily for? Why did he pick her specifically?
How long until Serena and Offred turn on each other again?
Best Moment: Lawrence talking to Emily and slowly letting her know that he knows everything about her is scary and gripping. I'm excited to figure out more about Lawrence.
Character of the Episode: Lawrence.
Conclusion: This episode is the epitomy of every problem this season has faced. While some aspects were good, the majority of this was disappointing, anticlimactic, badly written and utterly pointless. This show needs to get back on track.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.