Coming in late, but gah, enough with the closeups of glaring at the camera. They don't convey anything new or well, anything, at this point.
I didn't hate this episode because there were some rather interesting ideas at play but at the same time it's aggravating that some it felt sloppy and not entirely thought through. June started out this episode full of hubris, all but swaggering around the market because she somehow got her baby out and everyone knew it. She seemed pretty pleased with herself initially right up to the point she was asking Lawrence if "they" might hurt Luke, to which he responded "They?" as a stark reminder that he's a part of that "they" regardless of whatever else he might be dabbling in. I can't remember which review it was in or I'd link it, but one writer made the observation that this episode is a particularly apt allegory about how just because someone appears to share a common viewpoint or cause that doesn't necessarily make them your ally beyond that. You see people in political arguments forgetting that all that time and June was forgetting it here. She's been so convinced that Serena is as pissed off at the system as she is that she's completely on board with overthrowing the system and can use that to her advantage when Serena has never said any such thing.
O-T Fagbenle and Yvonne Strahovski were terrific in the airport confrontation even if the only possible way it makes sense is if there are plainclothes exiled American and Canadian authorities standing close by in case Gilead gets any ideas about a smash and grab while Gilead's minder also waits nearby in case Serena gets any ideas about doing a walkabout. I can halfway fanwank that's what American spy guy Mark was doing there. It was immensely satisfying to see Luke tell Serena to go fuck herself and remind her yet again that June and Holly didn't just happen in a vacuum, that it required destroying an intact family and real lives to get them their broodmare. While I do like the cassette tape nod to the book, part of me was stuck on how incredibly risky it was for June to commit all that to tape and trust Serena with it, while another part of me could see why she did. She's already acknowledged to Nick that she thinks she'll die in Gilead and it probably feels that much more important to her to make sure someone knows the truth about Holly's parentage and origins. I am a little sorry Luke didn't think to ask her what happened to her finger while she was waxing on about wanting the best for the baby. He absolutely should NOT have offered to let her hold the baby though, especially after Serena tossed out that threat of "you should know I've been protecting your wife" even if she did try to hastily pull it back when he caught it.
Serena is very definitely selfish and self-interested but I did get the sense that she came back to Gilead resigned that it really was a closed case until Fred planted the bug in her ear that it didn't have to be. That doesn't make her not guilty of going along with the ridiculous dog and pony show of demanding Canada return the baby, but I also don't think it was her idea. Last season it made all the sense that she rejected American spy guy Mark's offer of treason and coconuts because she was still counting on having her Gilead rape baby. Now that that's a no-go, her reasoning for rejecting it is a little harder to suss out. There's no baby, her marriage is in the shitter, and she's lost a finger over a fairly mild request. I can only guess that without some kind of amnesty and protection, she knows she'd be a target for Gilead to want to shut up and she didn't seem to care for western democracy anyway, so she likely figures the prison she knows is still better than the unknown.
Poor Ofmatthew is cracking around the seams. It's easier to resolutely stick to the party line to spin what's already been done than to convince yourself of it when you're staring down the barrel of it for the fourth time.