The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 2, ‘Mary and Martha’ Recap

The voice over bits are often my favorite.  June waits for a walking partner. We learn that Gilead is about to “take back Chicago”.  June’s partner is awfully weasily and pious. Gross. Food seems to be a bit limited at the grocery store lately.  June has a conversation with another HM through a gap in some can goods. They exchange information. June goes home and meets ohhh shit…. Its Aunt Lydia.  She is checking up on June. She wants to know if the ceremonial rape went as planned. Commander Lawrence lies for everyone and said it was “aces”. Lydia wants to see June’s room.  She falls down and June tries to help only to get the business side of Lydia’s cattle prod. She informs June she thinks she should get the wall “build that wall”. Luke clearly is not bonding with the new family.  Moira is raising the baby. They have a brief conversation about Emily. Emily is being checked out by a Doctor. They have a symbolic conversation about her scarring. Me thinks her ear lobe scar is perhaps the least impactful scar she has, physical or non-physical.  Back at Commander Lawrence’s. The gray robed folks are plotting another Martha’s escape. Commander Lawrence is not having it and wants the runaway to go back home. June comes to this stranger’s defense and asks for his help. He doesn’t exactly say yes, and he doesn’t exactly say no.  June is certainly making herself known. There is a breaking bad joke that doesn’t land as June and the Marthas plan the escape. A quick cut to June in a Martha’s gray uniform now. We see her walking down the street amongst a bunch of other Marthas and a bunch of dead bodies hanging.  We finally get a look at the blue collar area of Gilead. It looks like Pittsburgh. They drop off the runaway and head back the way they came. On the way back June discovers the runaway was actually part of the resistance and that she was a bomb maker. Yikes. Freedom Fighters/Terrorists. Emily is eating dinner with everyone who lives with Luke.  There is some banal conversation about food. The conversation turns to Emily’s family. Luke obvi has some issues with Emily…I am not sure why but Moira tries her best to defuse the situation. Emily is scared of a reunion. Moira gets it. Time for some after dinner pie. June is doing some dishes with our resistance Marthas when an injured Martha stumbles into the kitchen.  Bradley does not like this drama. He is pissed. Also, some knocking on the door and guardians seem to have followed the injured Martha. Lawrence’s wife defuses the situation but finds June cleaning up some blood. Mrs Lawrence seems to be on the girls side and June goes back down stairs to help with the injured Martha. The guardians are looking for her outside the window and in the house.  The resistance Martha is convinced to leave and the guards leave as well. The injured Martha dies and June and Bradley Whitford are left to clean up a dead body. Clearly June’s decision killed her. Yoinks. June asks about his wife and he FREAKS OUT. That clearly is his Rubicon, so we know June will be taking a swim across that river some time soon. She cleans and trusses the body and with the help of the head Martha they move the body outside.  Lawrence sees the two and yells at the Martha. June has to dig the grave and bury the women in the backyard. I think she digs it. She finishes and says a prayer on top of the unknown Marthas grave. She takes a bath afterwords. The bathtub has been an important symbol in past seasons. The main Martha delivers some ointment as a means of reconciliation. In Canada, Luke is tasked with taking care of Nichole. Moira comes out to help as Luke gets a bottle.  Luke is not dealing well with all of this change and Moira says suck it up we are all fucked up and no one really has their shit together so buck up emo kid. Luke FINALLY is showing some affection for the baby. After the night of the wounded Martha Mrs Lawrence is planting flowers on the grave to mostly cover stuff up. She is the most interesting character so far this season. At the optometrist Emily is being put through the paces. You know, what’s better 1 or 2, 3 or 4, etc. She clearly has some pretty severe PTSD.  I mean who wouldn’t. She has had some trauma. After the optometrist we get a great scene that could be a flashback but is really a modern day scene where Emily calls her wife. Lovely way to end this week’s episode.

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