The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 Episode 7 Review: The Other Side

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Luke's fate was revealed earlier this season, and on The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 Episode 7 we're brought up to date on Luke's whereabouts for the past three years.

He's thriving in Little America, Toronto. He has a cell phone, an apartment, electricity and even went to what appeared to be the American Embassy for reasons unrelated to June without thinking twice.

He's living the life he could have had, should have had, with June and Hannah.

From Before - The Handmaid's Tale

They had the best of intentions when they originally went on the run, but they were woefully unprepared. Even once they got started, they were second guessing their decision not to things as Moira did, and we know where she wound up.

Luke had lined up a contact to help them cross the border, but simple things like how much they could take with them or what papers were needed to go across were left until the last minute.

As much as I love photos, who would take a photo album and not, at the very least, snap cell photos into their camera or onto a flash drive for a trip of that magnitude?

The Cabin - The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 Episode 7

The scariest part what not knowing who they could trust. The little family was trapped at one point on a frozen lake two miles from nowhere when a hunter and his dog came by. Luke's recollection of that event was cut short when he was being kicked like crazy because his soon-to-be friends thought he was a cop.

But the guy was either friend or foe and returned to the cabin for the family. He said their contact was dead, strung up by a street lamp in town. This new guy would help them get to their destination because things were so f*cked up out there.

Considering they did have an opportunity to run after that incident, I'd like to thing he was being honest. Even though June had a gun on him, dude's gun was bigger. 

I enjoyed the chance to get to know Hannah better because she was adorable. She's very spirited like her mother, so it's easy to imagine her getting into trouble after being separated from her family. It's hard to imagine knowing where your daughter ended up and trying to reconcile that.

New Friends - The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 Episode 7

All things considered, Luke's journey over the border wasn't nearly as harrowing as I would have expected. 

After being shot, he wasn't even handcuffed to the gurney in the ambulance, allowing him to easily escape after the accident. With an all out war afoot and being so close to the border where escape was expected, you'd think foot patrols would have been everywhere.

Nope. At least not from the brief recollections we say courtesy of Luke's hazy memories.

But his new friends did take the time to show him what happens to the people fight back.

Don't Fight Back - The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 Episode 7

It's nothing the Handmaid's aren't forced to walk past as part of their daily experience. 

I'd love to know what Luke is doing in Canada. What was he expecting to happen when he went into the Embassy? It sounded like he was looking for a group of people, but I sure hope that doesn't mean he gave up looking for his family in lieu of other unknown groups of people.

After the traumatic episode that preceded this one, it was such a relief to see Luke receive the note June wrote for him. 

That swell of music that rose up (beautiful song by Cigarettes After Sex) was so hopeful. The world may be dying, but if people are willing to lend a hand in that way, across divides even as great as country lines and through Handmaid slavery agreements, it's not over yet.

Little America, Toronto - The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 Episode 7

And you guys...I simply cannot believe my week got so out of hand that I was unable to watch and review "A Woman's Place." I caught up before watching this hour, and hope to one day backtrack, watch again, and capture what's necessary to really dig into it with salient points of discussion.

Oh what tangled webs we weave, right? Serena Joy is as wrapped up in Gilead as her husband and perhaps more responsible for women becoming an openly traded commodity like cattle.

It's hard to put her sad face now onto the same woman who was so eagerly embracing themes of God and selling out her sisterhood, seemingly because of a deep belief and that it never dawned on her she would find herself staring down the barrel of the gun.

Serena Joy's words are part of the fabric of Gilead. They are woven into the threads of the new society that keeps her in blue, forbids her writer's mind from reading her own work and engaging with others of a like intelligence. 

No wonder The Commander finds it so difficult to look at her. He was gung ho, but he marched forward with her plan of action, and now she's not a part of it. She's...nothing in the eyes of Gilead but a totem.

Of course, June was finally going to make an emotional connection with Nick outside of Offred just moments before Luke comes back into her life. What I wonder if if June and Luke could possibly have a future if he never experiences life in Gilead.

Honestly? I don't think so.

It's like a woman who was sent away in the 1950s to give birth so no one knew. She was at a spa or something, the neighbors thing. Meanwhile, she's suffering the loss of one of the most important things she's ever experienced and to her significant other it's nothing but an idea.

The two cannot connect and mourn, it's something that chafes and creates a chasm between them that sometimes can never be recovered no matter how much love is between them. Luke and June might be lost to each other forever after this disaster of a world ripped them apart.

What do you think? I'm so happy The Handmaid's Tale has been renewed for a second season, because I need this thought provoking entertainment at my disposal. With shows like The Leftovers taking their last bow, emotionally intelligent TV must live on!

The Other Side Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (3 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Hannah: We're outta syrup again.
Luke: What?
Hannah: We're outta syrup again.
Luke: That's because you eat pancakes every day.
Hannah: I'm trying to set a record!

Woman: You're going to bleed to death.
Luke: Fuck you!