The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 episode 8: Lawrence’s endgame

The Handmaid's Tale season 5As we get ourselves prepared for The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 episode 8, it makes all the sense in the world to have questions. In particular, we mean this when it comes to Commander Lawrence. What is this character really up to? This is a guy who loves living within a world of questions and ambiguity; he doesn’t think that he owes anyone an explanation for what he’s up to, so he keeps pushing forward.

On Wednesday night’s new episode, we know that he is going to make June an offer: Come to New Bethlehem. This is his grand experiment, and it is also a place where she could be reunited with Hannah … in theory. What you have to wonder at this point is whether or not the character could be trusted and even if he can, what will life at New Bethlehem really be like?

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It is fair to say that Lawrence is willing to go against the grain of Gilead. He has no interest in remarrying, and nor does he advocate for all of their more gruesome practices. However, he also does not actively work to stop them. He claims that New Bethlehem will be devoid of handmaids, and he may be trying to present a more “evolved” version of Gilead to the world. But is this still just him putting a mask over a gruesome problem underneath?

Unless the entire structure and belief system of Gilead changes, New Bethlehem is just an outlier in the rest of the society. It could be a tool to generate false PR. There are so many motivations behind this place that could be far from benevolent in nature. This is why June, early on in episode 8, needs to ask plenty of questions. She also needs some backup plans. She knows already that she can’t trust anyone within this world, but she is still human. That could leave her vulnerable, especially when Hannah is involved.

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What do you think Commander Lawrence is up to on The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 episode 8?

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