HomeTelevisionThe Handmaid's Tale, 'Seeds': A Glimmer of Hope Shines Through

The Handmaid’s Tale, ‘Seeds’: A Glimmer of Hope Shines Through

Elisabeth Moss in Handmaid's Tale
Photo Credit: Hulu

‘Seeds’ Plot Summary:

After the trauma she suffered doing last week’s episode, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) seems to have spiraled into a state of mind numbing submission. However, things will only get worse as she begins to bleed from her womb. Meanwhile the Waterfords (Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski) conspire about Nick (Max Minghella) — which leads to a new ceremony in Gilead. Meanwhile in the colonies Janine (Madeline Brewer) attempts to find the positive in life, which infuriates Emily (Alexis Bledel).

On the surface, it’d be easy to summarize the fifth episode of The Handmaid’s Tale’s second season by paraphrasing Brad Pitt from Inglorious Basterds

“Misery is our business, and cousin business is-a boomin’!”

However, for the first time, possibly ever this season, we’re given small seeds of hope.

Because let’s be honest with ourselves for a second — did we really think June/Offred was going to escape to Canada earlier this season? You know in your hear there was no way that was going to happen. You knew that plan was going to backfire horrifically for all involved (and as we saw last week, it most certainly did).

This week, after nearly an hour of blunt force misery, we’re given two moments to feel positive about. The first being Offred/June’s speech to her unborn child, and the second being Emily’s acceptance of Janine’s positivity in the colonies. These small moments could be the ‘seeds’ that the episodes title is referring too. Whether they are seeds for hope, positivity, change, revolution, or what have you — they are welcome seeds amongst a season nearly strangled with utter devastation at every turn.

Let’s talk about that devastation for a moment. This is no way a condemnation of the series. So far, the season has been terrific. The performances have been outstanding as the “Core Four” performers — Moss, Strahovski, Bledel, and Ann Dowd (Aunt Lyia) — continue to crush every scene they’re in. They’re hitting all the notes that we’ve become accustomed to with their character, and they’ve been showing us new shades of what these people are capable of. The message being put forth by the series remains as salient, and important as ever.

However, too much devastation can be staggering for an audience. This series does not want to lose its fanbase because every single week is an exercise in devastation without hope. Hope is necessary not just for the characters, but for the audience as well. They need to believe that even in the darkest hour, there is a logical sense of hope. This is basically what separates The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones (besides you know the obvious) — one show has a sense of hope, while the other is about embracing the doom that’s coming and just trying to deal with it.

By offering the audience hope, even at the 11th and a half hour — it means something. In this episode alone we saw Nick take a teen bride (which was creepy as all hell), Offred/June nearly bleed to death, and the horrors of the colonies. While those moments will stick with the audience, it’s the moments of hope that will have us tuning into next week’s episode.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.

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