No matter where June goes, she ends up back at the Waterfords’ every time. It has begun to feel as though June will never make it out of the Waterfords’ house for longer than a few days at a time. Wherever she goes, she just keeps ending up back at that house.
And if this doesn’t feel repetitive, mostly thanks to June and Serena’s intriguingly shifting relationship, it is starting to feel like the June, Serena, and Fred are locked in a cycle the show doesn’t know how to get them out of.
The Waterfords’ violent rape of June two episodes ago felt like a point of no return, an event that would permanently shatter whatever uneasy bond had existed between June and Serena. But judging by this week’s episode, “Postpartum,” nothing much has really changed, except that Holly’s birth gives June a concrete reason for wanting to go back to the Waterford household.
There are definitely moments in which it’s hard not to sympathize with Serena in the episode. There are times when she is trying in vain to breastfeed Holly is so sad and raw. But she’s truly cruel in her efforts to obliterate June’s role in the child’s life, exempting her from having any contact at all with the baby, and it’s only the pain of what happens to Eden that makes her reconsider.
It’s a little frustrating to me that this external event is what makes June and Serena to come back together—it makes sense on Serena’s side, but not on June’s. Serena clearly felt somewhat maternal towards Eden, and seeing her killed so viciously makes her afraid for her baby, which in turns softens her towards June, who’s able to care for the baby in a way that Serena can’t.
But when June comes to Serena, the woman who, once again, held her down as she was raped weeks ago and asked, “Are you all right?” felt weird. June forming some sort of Stockholm Syndrome with Serena in particular did make sense, but I’d want to see her motivations explored a little more in next week’s season finale.