The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 4: Dear Offred Recap

Episode 4 finds Serena setting up camp in the newly renovated Gilead Information Center, while June (Elisabeth Moss), Moira (Samira Wiley) and Luke (O-T Fagbengle) continue to deal with the fall out from Hannah’s appearance on TV. Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) opens a dialogue with Janine (Madeline Brewer) and Joseph (Bradley Whitford) about how she can improve working conditions for the handmaids. Neither is initially receptive to her change of heart.

Recap

June distractedly pushes Nichole in a toddler swing at a public playground while Nichole busies herself with being adorable. June’s reverie is interrupted by a woman (Imogen Haworth) standing in front of them who complements the baby and asks her age (14 months). She turns out to know exactly who she’s speaking with, calling both June and Nichole by name.

As June calmly retrieves Nichole from the swing, the stalker woman tells June about her own lost pregnancies, both boys. She thinks June was lucky to have been in Gilead, apparently giving them credit for Nichole’s healthy birth. She and the other pro-Gilead nuts must not know about Hannah (Jordana Blake)- probably for the best that it stays that way.

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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 3: Border Recap

In episode 6, “Borders”, Moira (Samira Wiley) and June (Elisabeth Moss) visit a rebel camp on the Canadian border with the hope of getting more information about Hannah (Jordana Blake). Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) works to secure her future in Gilead. Hannah’s adoptive parents, the MacKenzies, worry that June is a threat to their family. As Janine (Madeline Brewer) lingers in a coma, Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) stays by her bedside the way she once had June sit with Natalie/Ofmatthew (S3Ep9).

Recap

The episode picks up later in the evening after the end of the funeral in episode 2. June sits in her living room, going over the funeral broadcast in her mind and staring at a photo of Hannah from the before times. She asks Luke (OT Fagbenle) what Hannah was wearing, but he can’t remember. Moira, who’s been trying to get through to the refugee center on the phone, was watching at home and remembers the outfit. June asks if she noticed the color. Moira is upset that the broadcast revealed Tuello is in Gilead with Serena. But she recalls Hannah was wearing purple rather than pink, the color little girls wear.

They all look at each other with dread when this ominous sign that Hannah is growing up sinks in. June remembers seeing Nick (Max Minghella) there as well and decides to contact him. Luke reminds her that they have to use Tuello’s (Sam Jaeger) sat phone to do that. Moira tells them she knows of a group of rebels at the border who are able to get messages into Gilead.

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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 2: Ballet Recap

In episode 2, June (Elisabeth Moss) returns to normal life with her family in Toronto while Serena returns to Gilead for Fred’s (Joseph Fiennes) funeral. Both have some difficulty achieving what they want and clash with their allies in the process. At the Red Center, Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) prepares the latest crop of handmaids for placement, including Esther (Mckenna Grace) and Janine (Madeline Brewer).

This is a triggering episode for all of the women, whether they’re in Gilead or Canada, no matter their social station. The episode studies how each woman handles the crisis she faces, especially comparing June and Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), now that their positions have reversed. Serena is pregnant, alone and in danger of losing her child and her freedom, as June was at the beginning of S2, while June is married, in a safe place, with a home of her own and among friends, as Serena was for the first 2 seasons. But the threats that Gilead and the war pose to women and to the citizens of the US are always in the background for every character, whether they choose to acknowledge those threats or not.

Recap

As in episode 1, the Everly Brothers get the opening voiceover with All I Have to Do Is Dream, while June lies awake in bed running her reel of Serena memories on a loop. Among Serena’s greatest worst hits are the many times she violently manhandled Offred; the way, as the Wife, she (and Fred) took credit for June’s pregnancy (with Nick’s (Max Minghella) baby); and of course, her worst offenses- when she dangled her access to Hannah in front of June without letting June near her own daughter. Serena abused June/Offred just as much as Fred did, and in some ways the pain she caused was more insidious.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 6: Hide and Seek Recap

In episode 6, Graner and Cobel close in on the person who helped Petey with reintegration. Cobel punishes Ms Casey for letting Helly out of her sight the day before and warns Mark to keep MDR in their own office. Mark rebels against her orders and takes the team to O&D instead, where they meet the rest of the department. Outie Mark goes on another date with Alexa. While out on a walk, Devon runs into Gabby, the other expectant mother from the birthing center, but Gabby doesn’t remember her. Later, Devon learns that Gabby’s husband is a pro-severance state senator.

Recap

Dressed for bed in a homespun cotton nightgown and braids, Harmony (Patricia Arquette) finishes turning Petey’s (Yul Vazquez) implant into a pendant and clasps its chain around her neck. She’s made her bedroom in the basement, enclosed on two sides by the basement’s cinderblock walls, painted an institutional white, with only partially framed walls on the other sides, almost suggesting bars. Her bed has an old cast iron bed frame. The room is lit by a single fluorescent light, mounted on the wall over the head of bed, and candles the size and shape of Gemma’s candle, but Harmony’s are white.

It looks as though she’s recreated her childhood bedroom from a mid 20th century orphanage or school. Or she’s a survivalist who’s very worried about natural and manmade disasters, so she sleeps in her basement bunker.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 5: The Grim Barbarity of Optics and Design Recap

In episode 5, Helly continues to work through her issues with the help of Mark and Ms Casey. Irving and Dylan find a disturbing painting which shows O&D attacking MDR. When they confront Burt about the painting and his lie about the size of his department, he tells them that the rest of the O&D department believes false rumors about MDR. Ms Cobel asks Milchick to have Petey’s implant analyzed. In the outside world, Devon goes into labor and Outie Mark joins her support team at the nature retreat birthing center.

Trigger warning for self-harm. And more about goats than anyone wants to know. There are some things you can’t unsee. Metamaiden was traumatized by flying goats, so I promised her that I will finally analyze Petey’s map in episode 6. Somehow this one got long, even for me. I didn’t even talk about the kelp. ūüí¶

Recap

The episode begins moments after the end of episode 4, continuing Helly’s (Britt Lower) suicide attempt. The elevator reaches its destination and the doors open, revealing Outie Helly hanging from the ceiling and struggling to breathe. Judd (Mark Kenneth Smaltz) is missing from his desk once again. We’re briefly shown the view from one of the surveillance cameras, which is recording the scene. The elevator doors close again and Helly rides back down to the severed floor, still struggling.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 1: Good News About Hell Recap

This is a recap of the AppleTV+ series Severance, season 1 episode 1. My review of the season is HERE.

Severance is ostensibly a series about work-life balance, but while it’s a complex, layered show, there’s very little balance involved. A little juggling, maybe, by some of the characters who haven’t been through the severance procedure, which splits memories into a work life and a home life, with no meeting of the two minds. But there is no way for two halves who can’t communicate with one another to negotiate anything like balance between them. Instead, this is a show about choices, connection and self awareness, in a controlled environment that tests the characters as if they are lab animals.

This distinction between the work self and home self as two halves of the same whole who don’t and never will know or understand each other is introduced and explored in episode 1 when Adam Scott’s Mark finds that his best work friend Petey has left his job at Lumon Industries. Mark is promoted to Petey’s former position on the spot and told to acclimate his own replacement, Helly R (Britt Lower), who has just undergone the severance procedure. The corporate philosophy that humans are replaceable, programmable plug and play resources is illustrated within the show’s first few minutes. The flaws in this sort of thinking are also exposed.

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Severance Season 1 Review- Minimal Spoilers

This is a review of season 1. You can find detailed episode recaps at the tag HERE.

Severance is an AppleTV+ series created by Dan Erickson and executive produced and directed by Ben Stiller. Season 1 consists of 9 episodes. Production has already begun on season 2, which will be 10 episodes (if IMDB is correct). This review was written after viewing the first 5 episodes, but only includes minimal spoilers for the first episode.

Adam Scott stars as Mark Scout, a widower who takes a job on the “severed” floor of Lumon Industries, a giant corporation with a cult-like following. Yes, it’s on the streamer brought to you by the cult of Steve Jobs. Sometimes, Apple is shameless. I say this as the parent of one of their lifelong devotees, while typing on a Macbook. Full disclosure- my laptops have all been Macbooks. I am also a fringe member of a corporate cult or two.

Because Mark’s work involves corporate secrets, he agrees to go through the severance medical procedure, in which a chip will be implanted into his brain, bifurcating his memories into two separate personas: one that can only access his time at work and another that only surfaces outside of his job. In addition to benefitting the corporation, the procedure will supposedly improve Mark’s work-life balance.

This has unforeseen consequences.

Severance is a cerebral science fiction dark comedy that, like its main character, has two personas. Much of the show takes place at the Lumon offices, on the windowless “severed” floor, located deep in the basement. This side of the show is a surreal, retrofuturistic psychological horror-thriller filled with characters who only know the world of the Lumon offices, which they aren’t allowed to leave, because they are “severed” personas, the Winter Soldiers of office drones. The walls are bright white, the fluorescent lights are always on and the hallways seem to go on forever, with only a few doors. Other than white, the main colors are the artificial turf green of the carpets and the blue of the men’s suits.

It’s stunningly but subliminally oppressive, in the way the clinical feel of the dentists’ offices of my youth let me know there was no point in resisting what was about to happen there.

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Travelers Seasons 1-3: Every Recap in Order

Links to every Metawitches recap and post related to Netflix’s Travelers, in order, so y’all can take a break from the mess that is the Travelers tag. Enjoy!

Season 1

Travelers: New Sci Fi Series from Netflix: Pilot Recap/Review– With the hope of preventing their own dystopian future from occurring, agents from the future use technology to send their consciousnesses into the minds of people who are about to die in the present day. Created by Brad Wright, of Stargate fame, and starring Eric McCormack (Will and Grace).

Travelers Season 1 Episode 2: Protocol 6 RecapРMacLaren becomes a traveler and meets the team in their new bodies. As the travelers settle into their new lives, they cope with how the changes affect their previous relationships with each other and the way the people around them react to their new personalities. The team works to contain a dangerous antimatter delivery.

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Y: The Last Man Season 1 Episode 3- Neil Recap

Y The Last Man S1Ep3 Jennifer & Yorick

In episode 3, Jennifer and Yorick are reunited at the Pentagon, but they struggle to keep Yorick a secret from the other 5,000 people who live and work in the building. With the help of Agent 355 and Christine, they develop a plan for Yorick to work with a geneticist to determine how he survived the Event. Kim becomes more suspicious of Jennifer, while Marla’s mental state deteriorates. Nora and Mack return home.

Yorick’s blue sweater wins this episode. No matter how much he complains and tries to reject his Hero’s Journey, that gorgeous, huggable sweater makes us want to follow him anywhere and cuddle up next to a warm fire. It looks like everyone at the Pentagon got a practical yet stylish upgrade to their wardrobe this week.

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Y: The Last Man Season 1 Episode 2: Would the World Be Kind Recap

Y The Last Man S1Ep2 Jennifer

Episode 2 picks up immediately after the death of the men, then makes a couple of time jumps, settling a couple of months into the apocalypse. The country is in chaos and riots are breaking out. Jennifer Brown becomes president and holes up in the Pentagon with other surviving high ranking government and military officials and their families. Agent 355 reveals her identity to Jennifer. Yorick searches for his girlfriend, Beth. Hero watches Mike’s wife and tries to figure out what to say to her. She also makes plans to leave NYC with Sam and his friends.

The characters refer to the mass death of every mammal with a Y chromosome as The Event. I’m going to refer to it as either that or the man plague.

Recap

The episode picks up on Day 1, immediately following the death of the men, as General Peggy Reed and the secret Service herd surviving government officials toward safety in the bunkers under the Pentagon. Their conversations make clear that no one has a clue what just happened, this was a global event, Ted Campbell’s administration was almost exclusively male, and many women also died, due to accidents caused by dying men. Regina Oliver, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was in Israel and can’t be located. If she’s alive, she’s next in line for the presidency.

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