Ugh. The show's doubling down on everything I didn't like last season, and this episode is the perfect example of it. Deliberately slow and ponderous; long, long closeups of people's faces doing nothing; June's Christianity being a shorthand way of telling us she's a good person; everybody having a dramatic crying scene for Emmy reasons.
The thing that annoyed me most was Lydia's outburst toward Janine. The better scene, IMO, was the one where Janine was hovering around her talking about how she prayed for Aunt Lydia to get well -- it's creepy and wrong in a subtler way, because we remember that the only reason Janine acts like this is because Aunt Lydia tortured her into being the perfect pupil. Having Aunt Lydia flip out for no reason is more dramatic, but it's overkill.
The thing that used to be scary about this world was the insidious way it corrupted small interactions -- not random acts of violence.
For the first thing, it's confusing, but in this case, I think, on paper, the characters were shocked by the breach in decorum (Aunt Lydia should have led Janine away and beat her somewhere else instead of interrupting the party), but the actors' faces showed a reaction more appropriate to being shocked by the fact that something violent had happened at all.
For the second thing, I forget if June knows this, but Fred has met Luke before, so there would be no point in lying if Fred's standing right there.
Same. This isn't just me being picky -- I honestly don't understand why June assumes that making Serena powerful again will do anything but restore Serena's power to hurt her. Everything we've seen from her so far has shown that she has no real problem with what's happening until it affects her. So, if June somehow convinces Fred to give Serena what she always wanted/expected and make her personally immune from subjugation, why wouldn't Serena just become even more effective in subjugating others?
Maybe it goes back to what that other dude said last week -- that June wants to believe that everybody has some kind of humanizing narrative where they secretly want to do the right thing.
June's religiosity is creeping me out, and here's why: the whole principle of Gilead is that Christianity is law, and by making June a super Christian hero, the show's kind of side-stepping the issue of whether it's okay to live in a theocracy at all and instead focusing on whether the people running Gilead are the "right" kind of Christians.
I get it -- "real" Christians believe in love and wouldn't build a world full of punishment -- but also maybe it doesn't matter what kind of Christian you are when there are appropriate boundaries between laws and religion.
To me, the freaky thing about Gilead isn't that the wrong kind of Christians took over -- it's that secular government was overthrown by a religious order of any sort. So it worries me that the show is so focused on what the right way of being religious is.