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S04.E01: Pigs

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On the run, an injured June and the fugitive Handmaids find refuge at a farm, where the 14-year-old Wife nurses June back to health. June restores her role as the women’s leader. In Gilead, an imprisoned Lawrence tries to avoid a death sentence, and Aunt Lydia reels from the loss of 86 children on Angels’ Flight. The combative Waterfords, in custody in Toronto, learn of June’s feat.

original airdate 4/28/2021

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This was a good season opener, although some details didn't make sense to me. After June was shot, did the other handmaids somehow bring her to a defunct Sephora? There was a lipstick display and they used a curling iron to cauterize her gunshot wound. I thought it was a tiny airport, not an international one with a duty free zone. And then someone drove the Handmaids all the way to the Midwest in a commercial vehicle? I don't remember anyone other than the Marthas helping last season, so who drove that vehicle?

I didn't immediately understand Kiernan Shipka's character's role, but apparently her much older husband has advanced dementia so she's running a handmaid rescue operation right under his nose as a revenge for him having multiple men rape her? Her scenes with Elizabeth Moss, it was hard not to think of them as Sally Draper and Peggy Olsen. I wanted Don to show up and make everything right again.

I loved how much Joel from Parenthood enjoyed telling Fred and Serena about the 86 rescued children.

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5 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

This was a good season opener, although some details didn't make sense to me. After June was shot, did the other handmaids somehow bring her to a defunct Sephora? There was a lipstick display and they used a curling iron to cauterize her gunshot wound. I thought it was a tiny airport, not an international one with a duty free zone. And then someone drove the Handmaids all the way to the Midwest in a commercial vehicle? I don't remember anyone other than the Marthas helping last season, so who drove that vehicle?

I didn't immediately understand Kiernan Shipka's character's role, but apparently her much older husband has advanced dementia so she's running a handmaid rescue operation right under his nose as a revenge for him having multiple men rape her? Her scenes with Elizabeth Moss, it was hard not to think of them as Sally Draper and Peggy Olsen. I wanted Don to show up and make everything right again.

I loved how much Joel from Parenthood enjoyed telling Fred and Serena about the 86 rescued children.

Mrs. Keyes was played by 14yo Mckenna Grace. She does look like Kiernan, though. 

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39 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

Mrs. Keyes was played by 14yo Mckenna Grace. She does look like Kiernan, though. 

Thanks.  She was outstanding.

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53 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

Mrs. Keyes was played by 14yo Mckenna Grace. She does look like Kiernan, though. 

You mean Paige from Young Sheldon??? Mind, blown.

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34 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

You mean Paige from Young Sheldon??? Mind, blown.

And young Theo from THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE! 

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Aunt Lydia, will you never learn that these men don't care how righteous you think you are? Their contempt for all women was pretty clear. The handmaids who are subjected to monthly rape are considered "whores who are more trouble than they're worth" (despite the fact that without their sex slaves, Gilead would have NO children). Aunt Lydia seems to think she's free from their misogyny but she couldn't be more wrong about that.

It was absolutely DELICIOUS to watch the Waterfords' faces when Joel told them that (1) 86 children escaped and (2) June was the one who made it happen.

They did a great job casting an actress who clearly still looked very young but was fierce and full of pent up rage. It was bad enough thinking that her old ass husband had been having sex with his child bride but then learning that he'd essentially been pimping her out to anyone with a penis for miles made me sick. I was kind of glad that June resisted the urge to gut him because his senile presence is what's allowing all of them to stay there safely. On top of that, if he dies, his poor wife will just get married off to someone who could be even worse.

Part of me liked that instead of June killing the rapist guardian, she gave the wife the opportunity to get revenge. The other part of me was afraid that she could be unleashing a killer.

7 hours ago, mamadrama said:

Mrs. Keyes was played by 14yo Mckenna Grace. She does look like Kiernan, though. 

 

6 hours ago, chocolatine said:

You mean Paige from Young Sheldon??? Mind, blown.

 

5 hours ago, mamadrama said:

And young Theo from THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE! 

She will always be young Emma from Once Upon a Time to me!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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8 hours ago, mamadrama said:

Mrs. Keyes was played by 14yo Mckenna Grace. She does look like Kiernan, though. 

She's a great actress!

I do wonder if her parents are informed of the subject matter though before shooting. Especially on this show. They may need to have some tough conversations with their daughter ahead of time.

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7 minutes ago, anna0852 said:

She's a great actress!

I do wonder if her parents are informed of the subject matter though before shooting. Especially on this show. They may need to have some tough conversations with their daughter ahead of time.

I would like to imagine that her parents are. I won’t pretend to know this actress’s personal life but I don’t think she’s emancipated and still needs a guardian to execute on her behalf.

It always blows my mind when child actors are “all of a sudden” grown up. Sometimes it’s a complete mind fuck when you haven’t seen a (former) child actor in a while appear in a mature role. She’s a teenager but she’s older in this role than I remember in the last role I saw of hers, which was Troop Zero on Amazon a couple years ago.

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When Aunt Lydia told the leaders of Gilead to find June, that was... I dunno, the most televisiony-television moment I've seen in a while. This series doesn't really have scenes like that and it seemed out of place.

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9 hours ago, mamadrama said:

Mrs. Keyes was played by 14yo Mckenna Grace. She does look like Kiernan, though. 

And she played a younger version of Kiernan on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

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4 hours ago, Hava said:

I'm tired of the June show. I have never been one to subscribe to the belief that the title of the show--The Handmaid's Tale--necessarily means that it is solely June's story, so my wish is for the show is to branch out and focus on other characters. I hate that she is suddenly the leader of Mayday and everyone is taking direction from her when we know that Mayday was established before June's involvement and likely spearheaded by other badass women. It really feels like peak white feminism and I absolutely abhor it.

The entire book was about June, and one woman's story.

If anything, the show has branched out to allow other people MUCH more of significant roles in the story.

ETA

It's kind of like the Hunger Games adaptation to film.  The books are all first person Katniss Evergreen, just as Atwood's first book is all first person June.  The shows widen the world, but letting us see conversations the lead character would never see.  (In Hunger Games, for example, Snow at his palace or behind the scenes at the "games."  In Handmaid's Tale, all of the scenes in Canada, and Nick and Lawrence, etc.)

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: )
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39 minutes ago, IndyMischa said:

I'm ten minutes in, and already hate myself for continuing to watch this show. Wow, closeups of June's suffering face - we've never seen THAT before. Sigh. 

They like close ups, lots of them on Nick, Lawrence, Lydia, Janine, Hannah, Rita, Alma...all of them really.  

I did appreciate fewer zooming in and holding on June's eyes though, that was getting old.

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5 hours ago, paulvdb said:

And she played a younger version of Kiernan on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Glad I'm not the only one that saw the resemblance. I thought the actors were one and the same until I looked it up.

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I can't.  I can't with this show anymore.  I just can't.  I tried watching about 10 minutes of the show when "the eight dreaded words"  went through my head.  Well, it was actually nine - I. Don't.  Care.  What.  Happens.  To.  These.  People.  Anymore.

Good bye, Handmaid's Tale.  Good bye.  Fare well to thee.  I can't take the Waterfords or lady torture anymore.  Good bye.

Edited by bmoore4026
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If they really wanted to punish the Waterfords, they would lock them in a cell alone forever, to live their miserable lives together making each other equally miserable, No Exit style. I am glad that the guy from the American government is totally done with Serena, him  gleefully telling them about the kids escaping and how June did it was delicious. 

"Their poor families." 

"They were reunited with their families." 

Not a bad start to the new season, we were at least spared a bunch of melodramatic speeches Gilead picking being evil over being practical (although their invasion of Canada to get the kids seems to be in that direction) and those annoying super close ups of June starring at the camera like she wants to eat it. I hope that this season will feature some real actual plot movement and maybe find its teeth again. 

The girl playing Mrs. Keys is excellent, she really does look uncannily like Kiernan Shipka, it took me awhile to realize she was young Emma from Once Upon a Time.

Edited by tennisgurl
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9 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

If they really wanted to punish the Waterfords, they would lock them in a cell alone forever, to live their miserable lives together making each other equally miserable, No Exit style. I am glad that the guy from the American government is totally done with Serena, him  gleefully telling them about the kids escaping and how June did it was delicious. 

"Their poor families." 

"They were reunited with their families." 

Not a bad start to the new season, we were at least spared a bunch of melodramatic speeches Gilead picking being evil over being practical (although their invasion of Canada to get the kids seems to be in that direction) and those annoying super close ups of June starring at the camera like she wants to eat it. I hope that this season will feature some real actual plot movement and maybe find its teeth again. 

The girl playing Mrs. Keys is excellent, she really does look uncannily like Kiernan Shipka, it took me awhile to realize she was young Emma from Once Upon a Time.

I think Canada is trying to avoid a war with vastly greater-armed Gilead, so, since Fred and Serena could be useful/problems either way, treating them fairly well has it's uses there.

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The opening previouslies just about did me in. The whisper-talk acting, the extreme closeups, the June as superhero, the June as Christ-figure, suffering June, smug June, asshole June.... I will try to watch but I don't know if I can take any more of this crap. It should be such a good show, but Elizabeth Moss just ruins it for me. If only they had chosen someone else to play the lead and Moss wasn't 'guiding' the direction of the scripts.  So much wasted.

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Janine, S1: Crazytown

Janine, S2: Crazytown

Janine, S3: Crazytown 

Janine, S4E1: “I’ve got this!!!” [Ten minutes later] “Oh, hey, this is my friend, Mr. Darcy.  He’s a pig.”

 

Edited by revbfc
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7 hours ago, Umbelina said:

The entire book was about June, and one woman's story.

If anything, the show has branched out to allow other people MUCH more of significant roles in the story.

ETA

It's kind of like the Hunger Games adaptation to film.  The books are all first person Katniss Evergreen, just as Atwood's first book is all first person June.  The shows widen the world, but letting us see conversations the lead character would never see.  (In Hunger Games, for example, Snow at his palace or behind the scenes at the "games."  In Handmaid's Tale, all of the scenes in Canada, and Nick and Lawrence, etc.)

It's possible to understand this and still not agree with it or like it. 

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Aunt Lydia continues to be a few donuts short of a full dozen. Actually I am kind of glad she got tortured.  I was hoping in her speech to the commanders she said something along the lines of "find her before she finds you."
I always thought June should have escaped in S2 and continued her in Canada fighting Gilead. I mean if it works for flash backs of Jack in This is Us ...  At this point her donut count is getting fewer.
It's nice that the costume designers make a new patch for Janine for every costume change.

Poor Ester. She just needs a mom and she's picked June.

These men need to just die for the way they treated their fellow human beings (women, children and other men who are not within their class).
 

Edited by greekmom
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I really don't understand how that farm/Handmaid Halfway House got set up. So the husband is senile, but Eyes, Guardians and other Commanders have been repeatedly coming around to rape Little Emma (McKenna Grace gets a ton of work -- she was also the daughter on "Designated Survivor") -- so how did it become this safe resistance spot? How did she get this cadre of resistance-friendly guards? The wife is so young, the husband couldn't have been senile enough not to notice the goings-on for that long. I couldn't wrap my head around its existence. Surely Gilead loyalists would periodically come around looking for another rape visit with Esther.

June, if you're going to encourage this girl to murder one of her abusers, the least you can do is stick around to watch. Don't instigate and then bail on what you unleashed! Bad form. It didn't sit right with me for many reasons. The girl has been through enough, don't add murder to her list of effed-up things in her psyche. Like, I get revenge can be satisfying, but I doubt it was a helpful thing for her mental health in the long run.

Am I the only one who thought that Aunt Lydia may have been acting there for a reason of her own when she was bad-mouthing June to the commanders? They'd just mentioned her "frailties," which seemed to piss her off majorly. Is there a particular reason she urged them to bring June to her if they capture her, rather than spite or wanting her own shot at June? It made me wonder.

Edited by Souris
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7 hours ago, Andyourlittledog2 said:

 If only they had chosen someone else to play the lead and Moss wasn't 'guiding' the direction of the scripts.  So much wasted.

Is that true?  That really explains it all, doesn't it?

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I can buy that June would not leave without her daughter.  I can also buy that she’d lead an armed resistance, whatever it took to defeat Gilead.

But that demonic grin or smirk when she was about to butcher the old man or as she hands the knife to Esther to kill her rapist seems like more than justice.

Would have been better if she made sure he was executed quickly, rather than indulging in the same barbarism of Lydia or other Gilead psychopaths because is this resistance about justice or vengeance?

I don’t know what Esther is going to turn into but feeding her blood lust may be regrettable.

Seems like the writers are men or at least the two who was on Inside the Episode are men.  Could the violence depicted be men’s idea of how women who been victims of unspeakable acts would act when given the chance to punish the men who raped them?

Or will there be a lot of gunfights and other action scenes because they think those will draw in the viewers?

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19 minutes ago, aghst said:

I can buy that June would not leave without her daughter.  I can also buy that she’d lead an armed resistance, whatever it took to defeat Gilead.

But that demonic grin or smirk when she was about to butcher the old man or as she hands the knife to Esther to kill her rapist seems like more than justice.

Would have been better if she made sure he was executed quickly, rather than indulging in the same barbarism of Lydia or other Gilead psychopaths because is this resistance about justice or vengeance?

I don’t know what Esther is going to turn into but feeding her blood lust may be regrettable.

Seems like the writers are men or at least the two who was on Inside the Episode are men.  Could the violence depicted be men’s idea of how women who been victims of unspeakable acts would act when given the chance to punish the men who raped them?

Or will there be a lot of gunfights and other action scenes because they think those will draw in the viewers?

I think there will be a lot of violence and gun battles because the show has been talking about it "in Chicago" and in other places since the first season.  

With Nick heading to Chicago, I think we will start seeing the war, not just hearing about it.  Actually, we've been seeing Mayday's war from the beginning, but I think the "armed resistance" and soldiers defecting from Gilead to join them leads me to believe some heavy weapons will soon be involved.

June did the whole "guilty of rape" etc. thing, which IS against the laws of Gilead and punishable by death.  That young girl wanted to fight, and Gilead needs fighters.  Vengeance or justice?  Eye of the beholder I guess.

Letting the rape victim kill her rapist, treating her as a person with agency and strength, and as the adult she's been forced to become?  Seemed right to me. 

Aside from that, had she said "I'm not ready" I'm sure June would have done it for her.  She was participating in beating him to death before June stopped that (which I found weird frankly) and did the whole judge/sentence thing.  I think she did that to remove any guilt the young victim may have felt.

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: added the Mayday war to armed battle thing
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There's a bit too much book talk going on here.  Please take your book talk to the appropriate thread. 

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I don’t know where this season is going yet, but I’d be OK with June becoming a regional warlord with an army of child soldiers.  I approve of none of that in real life, but this show could benefit from it.

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8 hours ago, aghst said:

I can buy that June would not leave without her daughter.  I can also buy that she’d lead an armed resistance, whatever it took to defeat Gilead.

But that demonic grin or smirk when she was about to butcher the old man or as she hands the knife to Esther to kill her rapist seems like more than justice.

I can buy it in that it happens in real life in war zones. Different show, but "World on Fire" on PBS shows a similar descent In Kesia, the sweet young Polish waitress who goes from innocent to merrily plotting seducing and then killing SS officers. War makes you hard. 

Remember too, the prior child wife we've seen on this show was executed for much much less, so it seems a much harder place all around.

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That poor child. What a horrible existence.

I enjoyed the first episode but the writing is more than a bit self important. 

Edited by Haleth
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I can buy into the whole rape justice.  I do however have a problem waving away June's recovering a major gunshot wound with a curling wand and moldy fruit.  I automatically get angry when I see Mrs. Waterford.  I think Aunt Lydia has something up her sleeve.

Edited by mytmo
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9 hours ago, Souris said:

I really don't understand how that farm/Handmaid Halfway House got set up. So the husband is senile, but Eyes, Guardians and other Commanders have been repeatedly coming around to rape Little Emma (McKenna Grace gets a ton of work -- she was also the daughter on "Designated Survivor") -- so how did it become this safe resistance spot? How did she get this cadre of resistance-friendly guards? The wife is so young, the husband couldn't have been senile enough not to notice the goings-on for that long. I couldn't wrap my head around its existence. Surely Gilead loyalists would periodically come around looking for another rape visit with Esther.

This is exactly what I was thinking!  It makes no sense to have an entire household of Mayday fighters (or Mayday friendly, at the least) in the first place.  Seriously, how does that happen in Gilead?  Let alone having all those people there who are with the resistance, but still allow Esther to get repeatedly raped.  Yes, I know, they still have an obligation to obey the Commander (at least to put up a good front), but he's obviously senile and could easily be redirected.  And how they suddenly get 8 (?) new Marthas to help on the farm without anyone noticing/questioning is also a mystery.  The whole farm set up doesn't make sense. 

Also, how does the Gilead council, and Aunt Lydia, know June is alive and still in Gilead?  All they would know is that she's no longer around.  They wouldn't know if she got on the plane or not.  None of the guards the handmaids were fighting were close enough to identify anyone, except for any handmaids that were killed or captured.  Canada knows June didn't get on the plane, and they only way they would know she's alive is through the guard who drove them all in the truck.  So assuming he says, hey, one of the surviving handmaids is June, why would anyone publicize that?  Why did Canada guy tell the Waterfords that?  She's safer if people think she's dead or in Canada.  Her picture has to be plastered everywhere in Gilead by now.

McKenna Grace is amazing in this role.  To me, she looks like a miniature Anna Kendrick.  I like that she is "styled" as an adult - the hair & makeup (even though they're on a farm in the middle of nowhere), smoking, etc.  I mean, it's creepy, but I think it just points out even more the crazy of the whole situation, and her personal level of crazy, too. 

I'm so glad they brought back Commander Lawrence.  Did his wife get out with the Marthas and the kids?  I can't remember.  If so, does Gilead know this?  If so, I can't see how he wouldn't be killed immediately.  No way would they keep him around as a "consultant" if his wife is in Canada now.

I'd really like it if they get June and the gang to Chicago to join an actual resistance group.  But, I doubt that will happen, and instead we will see another series of June captured, tortured, escape, lather, rinse, repeat.  (Just my guess here, I have read no spoilers for this season.)  If that's the case, they're going to have to offer a lot more plot beside that to keep me in. 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, chaifan said:

This is exactly what I was thinking!  It makes no sense to have an entire household of Mayday fighters (or Mayday friendly, at the least) in the first place.  Seriously, how does that happen in Gilead?  Let alone having all those people there who are with the resistance, but still allow Esther to get repeatedly raped.  Yes, I know, they still have an obligation to obey the Commander (at least to put up a good front), but he's obviously senile and could easily be redirected.  And how they suddenly get 8 (?) new Marthas to help on the farm without anyone noticing/questioning is also a mystery.  The whole farm set up doesn't make sense. 

Also, how does the Gilead council, and Aunt Lydia, know June is alive and still in Gilead?  All they would know is that she's no longer around.  They wouldn't know if she got on the plane or not.  None of the guards the handmaids were fighting were close enough to identify anyone, except for any handmaids that were killed or captured.  Canada knows June didn't get on the plane, and they only way they would know she's alive is through the guard who drove them all in the truck.  So assuming he says, hey, one of the surviving handmaids is June, why would anyone publicize that?  Why did Canada guy tell the Waterfords that?  She's safer if people think she's dead or in Canada.  Her picture has to be plastered everywhere in Gilead by now.

McKenna Grace is amazing in this role.  To me, she looks like a miniature Anna Kendrick.  I like that she is "styled" as an adult - the hair & makeup (even though they're on a farm in the middle of nowhere), smoking, etc.  I mean, it's creepy, but I think it just points out even more the crazy of the whole situation, and her personal level of crazy, too. 

I'm so glad they brought back Commander Lawrence.  Did his wife get out with the Marthas and the kids?  I can't remember.  If so, does Gilead know this?  If so, I can't see how he wouldn't be killed immediately.  No way would they keep him around as a "consultant" if his wife is in Canada now.

I'd really like it if they get June and the gang to Chicago to join an actual resistance group.  But, I doubt that will happen, and instead we will see another series of June captured, tortured, escape, lather, rinse, repeat.  (Just my guess here, I have read no spoilers for this season.)  If that's the case, they're going to have to offer a lot more plot beside that to keep me in. 

 

 

I think because they are using June as the poster child for hope for Americans and freedom from Gilead. Though if I was in Gilead's shoes, I would ship her out of there myself.  Killing her at this point makes her a martyr.

Lawrence's wife died in the last season. I don't remember if June caused it but I do remember she did nothing to stop it.

How long has this war between Gilead and the States have been going on and why is Texas its own republic?

 

 

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21 minutes ago, greekmom said:

How long has this war between Gilead and the States have been going on and why is Texas its own republic?

Ever since Gilead killed nearly all of the elected leaders and took over the country, you can kind of judge how long by June's story and Hannah's age.  10 years maybe?  

Americans, after realizing it was not a terrorist attack after all, began to fight back, show showed protesters being machine gunned.  The show keeps referencing places like Chicago, California, Florida, and Texas as hot spots, or subdued spots "hey we got oranges" in various ways showing they are in rebellion.  There is a cool map in the spoilers thread somewhere.

21 minutes ago, greekmom said:

Lawrence's wife died in the last season. I don't remember if June caused it but I do remember she did nothing to stop it.

I think she took pills (again) to kill herself, so she wouldn't further jeopardize the mission to save all those children.  Yes, June walked in, saw, began to go for help, kissed her forehead and left.  

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1 hour ago, mytmo said:
1 hour ago, mytmo said:

I can buy into the whole rape justice.  I do however have a problem waving away June's recovering a major gunshot wound with a curling wand and moldy fruit.  I automatically get angry when I see Mrs. Waterford.  I think Aunt Lydia has something up her sleeve.

 

Oh Aunt Lydia definitely had Sandor Clegane level I'm going to kill every fucking man in that room after that tribunal.

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So, now this is Dexter season five, with an adult psychopath raising someone who is spiritually their psychopath child. Okay.

As others have said, I still don't love the thing where June's a folk hero. I also didn't love that someone went way far out of their way to tell Serena and Fred about June's brave deeds just so we could watch them be shocked. It seems weird that everyone would be so focused on June, personally, rather than the larger situation.

14 hours ago, Souris said:

I really don't understand how that farm/Handmaid Halfway House got set up. So the husband is senile, but Eyes, Guardians and other Commanders have been repeatedly coming around to rape Little Emma (McKenna Grace gets a ton of work -- she was also the daughter on "Designated Survivor") -- so how did it become this safe resistance spot? How did she get this cadre of resistance-friendly guards? The wife is so young, the husband couldn't have been senile enough not to notice the goings-on for that long. I couldn't wrap my head around its existence. Surely Gilead loyalists would periodically come around looking for another rape visit with Esther.

I generally believe you should default to believing people who say they were sexually assaulted and, no matter what else happened, obviously Esther was forced to marry some old dude when she shouldn't have been, so the whole situation is wrong. However, I'm taking a wait-and-see approach on the details of what the child psychopath says.

14 hours ago, Souris said:

June, if you're going to encourage this girl to murder one of her abusers, the least you can do is stick around to watch. Don't instigate and then bail on what you unleashed! Bad form. It didn't sit right with me for many reasons. The girl has been through enough, don't add murder to her list of effed-up things in her psyche. Like, I get revenge can be satisfying, but I doubt it was a helpful thing for her mental health in the long run.

Same. That was hilariously messed-up. If you believe this is a traumatized child, don't encourage her to murder someone and then carry the memory of that for the rest of her life. And then, if you do encourage her to do that, don't be like, "Make me proud!" and saunter off to have a cool drink or whatever. At least stick around to be supportive.

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I don't know what to make of this episode.  I kept watching it and thinking "huh."  And now I'm at today and still thinking "huh."

The location of the farm confuses me.  Why were they taken from the Boston area all the way to the midwest.  And in the aftermath of the season 2 finale, I find it hard to believe that the truck wouldn't have been searched more completely when it was stopped.  So I don't believe for one moment they would have gotten that far.  Perhaps they headed in that direction because heading towards the border would have been to obvious and too difficult, but geez.  They get away with transferring 8 handmaids 12 hours west?  Kind of seems like getting out of Gilead shouldn't be that tough if they pulled that off.  

Kudos to McKenna Grace.  I was impressed.  I was NOT, however, impressed by June egging her on to murder her rapist because no matter what, she encouraged a child to murder and that is just one more trauma to add to that poor girls long list of horror.  And above all that, the girl desperately wants a mother, she chose June.  Would June have encouraged Hannah in the same way, even IF Hannah said, "I'm ready to fight, I want to fight"?  I don't believe it, not for one second.  I could 100%  get behind the handmaid's exacting "justice" according to the laws of Gilead, we've seen them do it before.  But having the child commit murder?  I know June isn't supposed to be innocent in this story.  She's a deeply flawed character.  But that one just doesn't work that way and I'm legitimately pissed off the show went that way.  

Which brings me to June.  At this point we are supposed to believe that she is full-blown vigilante rebel.  I suppose we are also supposed to believe that she has been so deeply wounded by Gilead that she will stop at nothing - including prompting a young girl to murder - to get revenge and do what else?  (legit question:  is she still focused on finding Hannah and getting her out, or is she now just focused on being a rebel).  And she has established herself as the leader of this pocket of the resistance, and so I suppose it's not surprising that the other handmaids, particularly Janine, follow her. 

But why does she show up on this farm, a place that is giving her shelter and is a safe-house in Gilead, and suddenly take over as HBIC?  Am I wrong to assume that a safe house has protocols in place to protect the property and operations of the safe house, and that would include requiring that those in residence who actually require that safety to either remain hidden or blend in beyond just putting on a gray dress?   Has she learned nothing from her past carelessness in past situations like these?  June's storyline is being driven by plot, not by character.  And the others are driven by character just fine so I can't figure out why that philosophy doesn't apply to June.  I have never had so much trouble rooting for "the good guy" before. I legitimately hated her in this episode.  

And did anybody else find the party in the barn scene to be really disturbing, or was that just mean?  

Quote

As others have said, I still don't love the thing where June's a folk hero. I also didn't love that someone went way far out of their way to tell Serena and Fred about June's brave deeds just so we could watch them be shocked. It seems weird that everyone would be so focused on June, personally, rather than the larger situation.

I got the impression that they did that to lay the groundwork to convince the Waterford's to see the positives in cooperating and also limit their options to anything but that choice.  Their former Martha escaped on the plane with the children.  Their former handmaid led the effort.  They can't ever go back to Gilead now, no matter what deals they try to strike.   They'd be executed. Where does that leave them?  Stuck in Canada.  So what do they do then?

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16 minutes ago, SourK said:

I generally believe you should default to believing people who say they were sexually assaulted and, no matter what else happened, obviously Esther was forced to marry some old dude when she shouldn't have been, so the whole situation is wrong. However, I'm taking a wait-and-see approach on the details of what the child psychopath says.

I have to admit, in the initial scene with Esther and June, where Esther said she was raped by the Commanders, guards, etc., I wondered if this was true or not.  Partly because what another poster and I both mentioned earlier - how is a house full of Mayday-friendly guards allowing a 14 year old to get repeatedly raped?  So I thought maybe Esther was making this up to get sympathy from her idol, June, who had just yelled at her for not being compassionate with Jeanine.*  And then had to double down on fingering the guard they caught (and how did that happen???) as one of her rapists.  And then triple down when June handed her the knife.  Which would then result in June and the gang realizing down the road they helped kill an innocent man. 

Of course, maybe I'm just watching waaayyyy too much tv, and am looking for future plot twists where they don't belong. 

* Which I don't really blame her for, because Esther is seriously one troubled child any way you look at it, even if "all" that happened to her was being raised/brainwashed in Gilead and sold off as a child bride to an old, senile man. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, chaifan said:

I have to admit, in the initial scene with Esther and June, where Esther said she was raped by the Commanders, guards, etc., I wondered if this was true or not.  Partly because what another poster and I both mentioned earlier - how is a house full of Mayday-friendly guards allowing a 14 year old to get repeatedly raped?  So I thought maybe Esther was making this up to get sympathy from her idol, June, who had just yelled at her for not being compassionate with Jeanine.*  And then had to double down on fingering the guard they caught (and how did that happen???) as one of her rapists.  And then triple down when June handed her the knife.  Which would then result in June and the gang realizing down the road they helped kill an innocent man. 

Of course, maybe I'm just watching waaayyyy too much tv, and am looking for future plot twists where they don't belong. 

* Which I don't really blame her for, because Esther is seriously one troubled child any way you look at it, even if "all" that happened to her was being raised/brainwashed in Gilead and sold off as a child bride to an old, senile man. 

 

 

I kind of figured Ester got in with Mayday precisely because one of them noticed what was happening to her, and didn't like it.  So, when husband was passing her around, word got out, and they came to see if she needed help/was trustworthy/could be a safe house, etc.  After that, it probably didn't happen, or at least eased up.

 

2 hours ago, BrindaWalsh said:

At this point we are supposed to believe that she is full-blown vigilante rebel.  I suppose we are also supposed to believe that she has been so deeply wounded by Gilead that she will stop at nothing - including prompting a young girl to murder - to get revenge and do what else?  (legit question:  is she still focused on finding Hannah and getting her out, or is she now just focused on being a rebel).

She's fighting for "all of them" and trying, along with others, to get her country back from the pigs that slaughtered congress, their president, and threw the USA into this God awful nightmare.

She has no idea where Hannah is now, but if she overturns the country, Hannah will be better off.  Everyone except the Commanders will be better off.  It's flat out war (as the show has pointed out several times talking about the "rebels" those who want the USA back and those thugs calling the USA Gilead out.) 

Some might call it "vigilante" others warrior, soldier, freedom fighter, or patriot.  It depends on how much you like the regime they are trying to overthrow I suppose.  

 

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So Gilead is going to war with Canada or drawing plans because of the children that June got out.

Yet what happened to the global sanctions they were dealing with?

Mexico wasn't a friendly country to them either while Europe wasn't trading with them.

Where are their resources to wage a costly war?  Or are they going to pretend they didn't drop these details in previous seasons.

I suppose a full scale war would keep Gilead occupied and maybe June would have a better chance of causing trouble within Gilead to help the US prospects in the war.  Not to mention, she might be able to operate more freely as resources are diverted.

So maybe we will see fewer Guardians and Eyes around to deter June and her merry band of rebels.

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1 hour ago, aghst said:

So Gilead is going to war with Canada or drawing plans because of the children that June got out.

Yet what happened to the global sanctions they were dealing with?

Mexico wasn't a friendly country to them either while Europe wasn't trading with them.

Where are their resources to wage a costly war?  Or are they going to pretend they didn't drop these details in previous seasons.

The bigger question is why isn't the entire world at war at this point? The fertility issue is not an American problem, we know Mexico is dealing with it as well. Yet there's never any concern or mention of other countries dealing with this problem. How is Canada handling the drop in fertility? Or Switzerland? There was a reference back when Serena was talking with the USA agent where he mentioned they were making advancements in figuring it out but did that go anywhere? Because if Canadians and Europeans and South Americans and Africans and Asians are cranking out babies with science, eventually Gilead will fall due to the drop in population. I mean, they kill citizens at the drop of a hat and their breeding program isn't THAT successful. This is a bigger issue that has been ignored for a while.

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On 4/28/2021 at 2:39 AM, mamadrama said:

And young Theo from THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE! 

And Young Caroline from The Vampire Diaries.

There's definitely a torch being passed down for talented blonde child actors. It went from Dakota Fanning to Kiernan Shipka to McKenna Grace. Possibly with a stop at Elle Fanning. 

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I am a little confused by the whole young wife thing. Why would a commander need a young wife when I thought you weren't supposed to fuck your wife. That is what Handmaids were for. Wasn't there even a scene last season where the Waterfords had sex and said they weren't supposed to do that. If the guy who helped come up with the idea for handmaids isn't allowed to do it with his wife why is this guy. Then again Gilead is always all about hypocrisy.

On 4/28/2021 at 5:33 PM, Umbelina said:

I think Canada is trying to avoid a war with vastly greater-armed Gilead, so, since Fred and Serena could be useful/problems either way, treating them fairly well has it's uses there.

It makes sense that Canada would try to avoid any kind of war, buy I do wonder how well an invasion would go. Canada has allies, and Gilead is already fighting a war with the remains of the US. Plus the amount of security they have within their country is insane. Plus they would have kicked all the women and all the LGBT service people out of the military. So who would be left to take part in an invasion?

6 hours ago, BrindaWalsh said:

Kudos to McKenna Grace.  I was impressed.  I was NOT, however, impressed by June egging her on to murder her rapist because no matter what, she encouraged a child to murder and that is just one more trauma to add to that poor girls long list of horror.  

I get the sense that June does not give a shit about that girl. If she has another person to join the fight against Gilead that seems to be all she needs. Especially if it is someone with some power. And I think I might like this version of June who has kind of lost it.

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8 hours ago, SourK said:

I generally believe you should default to believing people who say they were sexually assaulted and, no matter what else happened, obviously Esther was forced to marry some old dude when she shouldn't have been, so the whole situation is wrong. However, I'm taking a wait-and-see approach on the details of what the child psychopath says.

I was less thinking that Esther was lying and more thinking that the writers didn’t put enough thought into explaining how the safe house came to be, or enough energy into conveying it to viewers. I like the ideas others have had, about a sympathetic Martha and guard, that makes sense, but viewers shouldn’t have to devise our own explanations. 

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2 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

I am a little confused by the whole young wife thing. Why would a commander need a young wife when I thought you weren't supposed to fuck your wife. That is what Handmaids were for. Wasn't there even a scene last season where the Waterfords had sex and said they weren't supposed to do that. If the guy who helped come up with the idea for handmaids isn't allowed to do it with his wife why is this guy. Then again Gilead is always all about hypocrisy.

It makes sense that Canada would try to avoid any kind of war, buy I do wonder how well an invasion would go. Canada has allies, and Gilead is already fighting a war with the remains of the US. Plus the amount of security they have within their country is insane. Plus they would have kicked all the women and all the LGBT service people out of the military. So who would be left to take part in an invasion?

I get the sense that June does not give a shit about that girl. If she has another person to join the fight against Gilead that seems to be all she needs. Especially if it is someone with some power. And I think I might like this version of June who has kind of lost it.

Husbands get to have sex when she's fertile, legally.

Gilead doesn't have enough people to fight the US guys revolting against the overthrow of the government.  They aren't invading Canada (at least it would be idiotic to do so.)  What Gilead does have is plenty of bombs/drones/missiles that could do damage, but I don't even think they would do that.

I think June cared about her, but she's full on war mode now, and she's just lost people that mean a lot more to her than Ester.  That said, I think she let Ester kill him because she thought that's what Ester needed.  Having been raped many times herself, she would probably know.

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McKenna Grace starred in her own movie, Gifted, along with Chris Evans.  It was the battle of dueling eyelashes! I enjoyed it very much and recommended it to my daughter’s family. Chris plays her uncle who has custody after the death of her mother. But the grandmother, Chris’ mother, doesn’t believe he is handling her giftedness appropriately. Drama ensues. 
 

On topic, she is a gifted actor as is evidenced in this episode. 

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Well that wasn't very smart. A missing guardian will draw attention, especially in this highly charged situation, where 86 kids were just shipped to Canada and the women responsible are still somewhere in Gillead.

So taking him to the river, making it seem like he drowned, maybe got smacked against some rocks in the process, actually a good idea by one of the guardians. Especially since the guy was already drunk. Probably nobody would have thought twice about it.

But no, June has to go for the big symbolism and make a child (her words) into a killer. Good job. You go girl...

On 4/28/2021 at 7:09 AM, mamadrama said:

Mrs. Keyes was played by 14yo Mckenna Grace. She does look like Kiernan, though. 

Just wanted to say, I did not think for a second that this was Kiernan Shipka and was really confused.

I don't think they look alike at all, but I do see faces differently than most, I think. I see resemblances where others don't and the other way around.

On 4/28/2021 at 2:26 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Aunt Lydia, will you never learn that these men don't care how righteous you think you are?

She doesn't care. She is a true believer. Not in the men, but in the cause. She thinks the end justifies the means.

17 hours ago, chaifan said:

I have to admit, in the initial scene with Esther and June, where Esther said she was raped by the Commanders, guards, etc., I wondered if this was true or not.  Partly because what another poster and I both mentioned earlier - how is a house full of Mayday-friendly guards allowing a 14 year old to get repeatedly raped?  So I thought maybe Esther was making this up to get sympathy from her idol, June, who had just yelled at her for not being compassionate with Jeanine.*  And then had to double down on fingering the guard they caught (and how did that happen???) as one of her rapists.  And then triple down when June handed her the knife.  Which would then result in June and the gang realizing down the road they helped kill an innocent man. 

Of course, maybe I'm just watching waaayyyy too much tv, and am looking for future plot twists where they don't belong. 

Also these writers are not that clever. That actually would have been an interesting twist.

13 hours ago, EllaWycliffe said:

The bigger question is why isn't the entire world at war at this point? The fertility issue is not an American problem, we know Mexico is dealing with it as well. Yet there's never any concern or mention of other countries dealing with this problem. How is Canada handling the drop in fertility? Or Switzerland? There was a reference back when Serena was talking with the USA agent where he mentioned they were making advancements in figuring it out but did that go anywhere? Because if Canadians and Europeans and South Americans and Africans and Asians are cranking out babies with science, eventually Gilead will fall due to the drop in population. I mean, they kill citizens at the drop of a hat and their breeding program isn't THAT successful. This is a bigger issue that has been ignored for a while.

I'm still not sure if the entire world does have that problem. We know that there is a huge zone that is contaminated with radioactivity in the western US. That probably would have effected most of the US, Mexico and Canada to some extend and maybe it is the cause of the infertility.

Of course that I'm still not sure what the cause is by season freaking 4 is a massive failure in world building. Maybe you can keep that vague for one season to build suspense but in season 2 you got to reveal it and open up the world. Even Atwood revealed the causes at the end of her book, even though her story was over and she technically didn't need to.

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8 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Husbands get to have sex when she's fertile, legally.

I guess that makes sense in a dumb weird Gilead kind of way. I was just thinking if the rules were made by guys like Fred I would think they would allow commanders to have sex with their infertile wives whenever they want ,you know just in case for decides to cure their infertility (but really so they can maintain power over more women and have sex whenever they want).

48 minutes ago, Zonk said:

I'm still not sure if the entire world does have that problem. We know that there is a huge zone that is contaminated with radioactivity in the western US. That probably would have effected most of the US, Mexico and Canada to some extend and maybe it is the cause of the infertility.

Even if Canada did have a reduced birth rate problem, Canada would also have a massive influx of US immigrants which would probably keep the population from dropping at least in the short term.

52 minutes ago, Zonk said:

She doesn't care. She is a true believer. Not in the men, but in the cause. She thinks the end justifies the means.

Yea she knows that in the end she doesn't really answer to those jerks. And with how closely connected she is to the handmaids she probably knows all their secrets and how corrupt they are.

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Whimsy

Several posts were removed because they reference things that happened in a future episode. I know that it's hard when multiple episodes are dropped all at once, but you can only talk about what happens in THIS episode in this thread.  Thanks!

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