10 times The Handmaid’s Tale got way too real

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The Handmaid’s Tale — “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum” Episode 104 — Punished by Serena Joy, Offred begins to unravel and reflects on her time with Moira at the Red Center. A complication during the Ceremony threatens Offred’s survival with the Commander and Serena Joy. Offred (Elisabeth Moss), shown. (Photo by: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

June’s boss gives in

During a flashback in episode 3, June’s boss fires her (and all of the other women working with her). Granted, it’s at gunpoint, essentially, but it shows how fragile society all is. Put a gun to the head of my boss, and no matter how much he likes me, I don’t expect him to trade his life for my job.

Put a gun to the head of enough bosses, and women (or whatever group you want to oppress) don’t have jobs anymore. You can imagine the two had a good relationship before. She was a writer, and the climate she lived in suggests that he (and those in the office) were likely open-minded, politically engaged people. If you rewatch the episode, you can pick up on that just from the office environment itself — it’s open, without cubicles.

But we are so easily undone at the threat of losing everything we have, and if anyone can amass enough of a force with a common cause, that threat becomes a very real one.