The Handmaid's Tale again falls short in racial representation, despite how hard it works to make its (white) female gaze one that is both absolute and universally accepted as the reality.
WARNING – Spoilers ahead.
Watching The Handmaid's Tale
is a constant struggle between feeling amazed at the nuance that the show gives its female characters, and frustrated at the constant erasure of Blackness.
As the season nears its end, it becomes more and more apparent how much of this world is lifted and crafted from anti-Black racism, particularly the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. By continuing to shift these specific instances of violence to become representative of overall human tragedy, The Handmaid's Tale
continues the tradition of anti-Black racism for the small screen.
Take, for example, this week's episode. In one of the most bizarre twists in the show, Commander Waterford "surprises" Offred by taking her to Jezebel's, an underground club where sexual pleasure is abundant and the dangers of being someone's property are still very, very real. But to our surprise, Offred finds a familiar face within Jezebel's: Moira. After a tearful reunion, we find out that Moira was captured after trying to escape the country, and was given two options: Jezebel's or the Colonies. We find her less resolute and sure than when we last saw her as if the realities of trying to survive Gilead have broken even her spirit.