The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 4 ‘God Bless the Child’ Recap
The bell tolls and we open on a group of Handmaids walking across a bridge. It’s a procession. June informs us the city comes out to celebrate the birth of a child. Also, she is deep in the recruitment business now. A head hunter if you will. Oh noooo Aunt Lydia has a rascal. She isn’t even at Walmart, come on! Handmaids who have children get seats of honor at this celebration. June flashes back to her daughter’s baptism. All of June’s important people are there. June’s mom is very demanding in the role that religion will or won’t have in the life of the baby. Its a Catholic service and they aren’t super thrilled about her circle of friends. Back in real time June sits in the balcony and awaits the service. She sees Fred and through VO acknowledges her opinions about him are very complicated. Now we see a procession of babies. Lots of babies. The minister opens the service by asking the baptismal questions. It echoes the same vows that June took. Hannah’s baptism seems pretty routine. A child of Gilead was stolen and the congregation acknowledges her absence. Emily is adjusting to life in Canada by riding the subway again. She meets up with her wife and they share a tender if not an awkward moment. Meanwhile, on the way home from the service June asks Aunt Lydia how she feeling and Aunt Lydia ain’t playing. Tells her to mind her own business. They are going to one of the commanders’ houses. The house of Janine’s baby. The wife of the household thanks June for rescuing the baby again. June’s new Handmaid partner tells her that handmaids shouldn’t be there. June tells her to lighten up and go eat. Food makes everything better. Well, almost everything I guess. Serena arrives late and asks June what she missed. June tries to get Serena to lead the women again. Serena is a bit gun shy. I mean her right index finger is gun shy. There is some chit chat about Nichole and Fred takes notice of the two girls and wonders over. Woof, there is some space between him and Serena. To say things are cool would be an understatement.
Emily now has to come to terms with the fact she has missed so much of her child’s life. A tough nut but man it sure beats the colonies. Her wife seems nervous as well. They both admit things are awkward. Emily is excited but trepidatious about meeting her son. Oliver goes to school and he plays soccer. So pretty much your typically waspy boy. Of course, he also plays hockey. After all, they are Canadian. There is a picture he drew of Emily. Oh, man al the feels. He says “I am not supposed to hug you until I am ready.” Ok, little dude, I am ready because that’s a tear jerker. He really is at the best age. Meanwhile, at the dinner party Aunt Lydia is hobbling around and sits down by the door. Janine brings her a cup of tea. Janine says she prayed along with the other handmaids for her to get better. Aunt Lydia and Janine are bonding. June’s new handmaid partner (I really should learn her name) is the absolute worst. Most of the handmaids really dislike Aunt Lydia but not June’s partner who defends her. Fred comes in and clears the room by telling everyone to eat at the buffet. He keeps June in the kitchen and voices his concerns about Serena. He says that Serena needs to move on with her life. They have been having marital issues and apparently, June is playing marriage counselor. Gross. He is aware of Serena’s greater ambition. June says it would take a power-sharing move between her and Fred to mend fences. He seems open to the idea. Serena is smoking Virginia Slims by the pool. What the hell is she 20 years old and at Liberal Arts College. What is going on here? June is the negotiator. She tells Serena what Fred offered. More freedom in the marriage. This is starting to feel like the next season of Homeland. June says she could use her influence as Mrs. Waterford to “pull some strings”. Serena offers her a smoke. This seems symbolic. However, June does not seem a Virginia Slim type to me. She also looks directly into the camera. Now it feels like House of Cards.
Emily is back with Oliver and they are going through the nighttime routine. He requests Emily reads his dinosaur book. He leans on her should and Jesus its dusty in here tonight. She can’t finish because she is crying and Oliver takes over. Man, this show shines when it’s subtle. The dinner party is STILL GOING ON. I friggin hate parties. The baby is up and is being put on display. Oh shit here comes Janine. The baby is offered to Serena and outcomes Janine headed straight to the baby. She asks if she can hold the baby. After acknowledging their god is forgiving she is given a turn to hold the baby. Aunt Lydia and June share a look and Janine gives the baby back. Janine offers to sire another baby and the crowd gasps. Lydia almost beats her to death. June throws herself over Janine and demands Lydia stops. She does and shit gets really awkward. After all its a dinner party. You can’t go killing handmaids at a dinner party after all. Lydia apologizes and goes into the other rooms to sob. What exactly for we don’t know.
Emily steps out of the house and talks to her wife. She says she is going to go to a hotel to check in. I don’t quite get the weirdness here. Yes, they have been a part while but man that kind of bond just doesn’t disappear. Finally, the party is leaving and the handmaid’s are checking on Janine. June’s partner (we will refer to here as PB for Pious Bitch) whispers that’s what she gets. Serena gives her information about where Hannah is during the day. She then disappears like Batman. June and Luke talk after the baptism and they both are happy for the baptism because of the need to give thanks. Some stuff is afoot. Another Commander wants to see Fred. Luke has Nicole and has been caught on film at a protest. The secret service wants to confirm its Luke. June does and Serena is just excited that the baby is ok. She seems to be the only one happy about the video though. Now Luke and Moira are getting Nicole baptized and we get the song Down to the River to Pray by Allison Kraus best known from the Oh Brother Where Art Tho soundtrack and its the conclusion of a really tight and emotional episode.