To Binge or Not to Binge Episode 4: “The Handmaid’s Tale”

By Maraya Rashid

Welcome to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” where America is now referred to as the Republic of Gilead. Women are considered walking wombs and personal choice is a thing of the past. Unlike many dystopian stories, this wasn’t the result of an apocalypse, but the world’s plague of near infertility. The chances of conceiving are slim to none, and only one in five babies are able to live longer than a couple of days. This sends the world into a frenzy, and the United States falls victim to a totalitarian religious group known as the Sons of Jacob, who believe God is punishing humanity for its wickedness. The only way to make things right in the world is to live according to their rules.

Previous Season Recap:

The show follows protagonist June, a Handmaid that is not only trying to survive but also get back to her family who was separated from her during their attempt to flee to Canada. In Gilead, women are divided into the categories Wives, Aunts, Marthas, Handmaids and Jezebels depending on their fertility and moral standing. Aunts and Marthas can no longer conceive children, leaving the Wives and Handmaids as Gilead’s only hope for population growth. Handmaids are often from what the Sons of Jacob believe to be a “scandalous” past, which can be anything from a female professor to an adulteress.

The Sons of Jacob found this information in the Bible and often reference Genesis 30:1 to back their claim in an extremist interpretation:

“And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die… And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.” 

To Binge or Not to Binge:

The truly terrifying part of the series was watching how quickly everything went wrong. Throughout the show, the audience is given glimpses of America before the Sons of Jacob through a series of flashbacks. Through these memories, we are able to see how life goes from normal to women no longer being allowed to keep their jobs, money or be able to read and write. The show’s ability to transform Margaret Atwood’s famous — and once banned — story into a show that both baffles and leave the audiences wanting more is an art form worth binge watching. Personally, I highly anticipate the next season in April 2018.

Trigger Warnings: Abuse, violence, misogyny, sexual assault, language and graphic imagery.

Rating: 4/5 Stars
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
Available to Stream on Hulu.
10 episodes, Approximately 10 hours

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