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S04.E04: Milk

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Who knew there were milk trains?  In this day and age they transport milk without putting it in containers first?

But a milk train car in a military convoy?

If they were outside in one of those military vehicles, they might not have survived the fire fight when that gang took down the military convoy train.

I thought the way Rita was deferential to Serena and then Fred showed that she was still mentally a Martha.  Turns out they're all religious and still speak like they're in Gilead and how God has brought them good fortune.

Not sure what Janine's little back story has to do with her willingness to do what it takes to be allowed to stay with this gang.  She's plucky and persistent so she's tougher than she looks?  Well we kind of knew that already, the way she was abused and still knew to escape.  Maybe that crisis pregnancy center is a thinly-veiled comment about such places in real life.

It appears they were near Chicago, saw the skyline in the distance and a lot of helicopter and jets overhead.  Guess this gang flies under the radar.  Whatever is left of the US resistance fighting Gilead in Chicago is keeping Gilead occupied enough and this gang could do hit and runs.

But if the US resistance doesn't have any air power, it wouldn't be much of a fight.  And the skyscrapers look like they took on some damage so you'd have to think the US forces and Gilead both have significant military assets, both personnel and equipment.  That sad little train convoy had a couple of humvees maybe, not tanks or anything with big guns.

They obviously were teasing all these war possibilities with the damaged buildings, the aircraft noise and so on.  Watch them drop it and ignore it for awhile.

I wouldn't mind seeing June and Janine become proficient with weapons, like presumably the women in that gang, since they took down the Guardians.  For a little while, I don't need this show to become a full-fledged copycat of Terminator 2 or something like that.

But it might explain what's happening to Gilead at the borders, whether they're locked into an existential war while inside, to the Handmaids, it was this feudal yet totalitarian place, with bodies hanging on the wall to scare the populace into submitting and ratting out anyone who was disloyal.

OTOH, maybe Gilead isn't that threatened or else we'd see it referenced in the Canadian scenes.

Then again, if losing 86 children or a couple of handfuls of commanders -- however many June poisoned -- is a significant hit to Gilead, it can't be doing that great either.  In fact Nick told Lawrence that they needed all the commanders they could get, which is why Lawrence might not be executed but rather recruited to help win the war.

 

 

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I think what bugs me most about this show (apart from the unending torture and general bleakness) is that I really don't get why Serena is treated like visiting royalty. She's a CRIMINAL and supposedly a PRISONER, and there she is in her nice outfit and high-heeled shoes, living in a lovely suite, being given an ultrasound picture of her devil spawn. She even gets to summon visitors. I also don't understand why Rita called her "ma'am" and was so ingratiating. I wanted her to kick the bitch repeatedly in the stomach.

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14 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I love Janine so I liked seeing some more of her backstory, it was so sad seeing how cute little Caleb was and how good Janine was with him, knowing how little time they have together and that Caleb wont live to see ten. As much as June says how Janine needs her or she wont survive and treats her like a child, Janine has survived a whole hell of a lot thanks to her can do attitude and ability to see the beauty in even the worst things, while most everyone June supposedly "helps" tend to die pretty soon after. Especially if this show had the teeth it tries to have and wasn't afraid of killing major characters, in which case no way would Rita, Nick, Emily, or Mr. Lawrence still be alive after they helped her in her oh so clever plans. 

The best parts of the show are the June-free parts. Remind me about Caleb? Do we know what happened to him? 

I think the writers decided that June needs to be hated because all the other back stories are so full of trauma, and June is this sociopath that thinks she is the only one who had everything taken from her. There was a moment in the milk fridge that she said something like "trust me" to Janine and in my mind Janine paused and in a split second she saw all the people who trusted June and are now dead. Poor Janine, they will kill her too.

I also loved the little moment of pleasure Rita experienced by having Sushi. It is like she made decisions on her own, thinking only about her self, following her own moral compass, and rewarded herself for that. That scene was perfect.

Shallow point: why are Serena and Fred detained in a luxury hotel, with special lighting? I didn't expect them to be in federal jail but seriously, show? and Serena is a fashion icon now? I guess they needed to get wardrobe and cinematography to go overboard and "innovate", maybe get in the Emmy's list? 

My ideal outcome for Serena and her baby is that she remains in jail, then prison, and her baby is giving to a loving family he will love back. Normally I would be against the separation of parents and children but Serena is a war criminal and a rapist-adjacent, so yeah. Let her rot.

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One thing that bothered me is that Janine said Alma said 'we wait for June'.  June must have been gone for at least a few days to a week being tortured. They should have figured out either June was dead or captured after day 2 and made arrangements with the Murrows to move onto the next location.  Not that I am a fan of June but.

Another thing I thought of is that I wonder if Mayday is a myth made up by a Handmaid for some hope. I know people want to help women and provided some effort to the Underground Female road but I don't think there is an actual organization that calls themselves Mayday.

June and Janine should just make their way to Detroit and cross the boarder there into Windsor.  

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10 hours ago, chaifan said:

Yeah, I'm not so sure about the milk tank...  if someone has actual knowledge, please fill us in, but wouldn't there be baffles in any type of liquid carrying train car, to prevent all that sloshing around?  I'd think that much weight going side to side could easily cause a train to derail.

I don’t work in transportation or anything similar. I work in finance but I’ve worked in project finance of industrial, infrastructure and transportation before. My group had hired representatives for risk mitigation and the someway somehow that question was asked before with regard to a project that we had abroad, and IIRC, the answer to that question was ‘no’, train cars do not have baffles like a tank on a highway carrying gasoline would.

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5 hours ago, Lily H said:

I think what bugs me most about this show (apart from the unending torture and general bleakness) is that I really don't get why Serena is treated like visiting royalty. She's a CRIMINAL and supposedly a PRISONER, and there she is in her nice outfit and high-heeled shoes, living in a lovely suite, being given an ultrasound picture of her devil spawn. She even gets to summon visitors. I also don't understand why Rita called her "ma'am" and was so ingratiating. I wanted her to kick the bitch repeatedly in the stomach.

I think there's still some question of how to treat Serena. She did bring them Waterford, they would not have a high ranking commander to convict without her and frankly, the charges against her are all based off of Fred's words. (Yes, Serena is complicit in rape, etc, but its all coming from Fred, accused rapist and war criminal who they have a lot more evidence for). Odds are, Serena will be offered a deal where she turns on Gilead and tells all, so it pays to treat her well.

Rita is suffering from some PTSD and reverted to how she would normally defer to Serena. Also, its a little Stockholm Syndrome, but Rita does seem to like Serena and try to help her in prior episodes. It didn't strike me as odd that Rita wasn't all "you fucking bitch" right away.

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2 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

Rita is suffering from some PTSD and reverted to how she would normally defer to Serena. Also, its a little Stockholm Syndrome, but Rita does seem to like Serena and try to help her in prior episodes. It didn't strike me as odd that Rita wasn't all "you fucking bitch" right away.

I agree with this but Rita is snapping out of that. She just needs time to adjust readapt to life not being someone else’s “property.”

She’s on the path to “fuck you bitch” with how she handled Fred and that powerful strut when she walked out of the room.

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The entire time in the Milk truck, I couldn't hear what either actor was saying.  I had to use closed captioning.  That pissed me off.  Not everyone has the ability to turn on CC so how could anyone make out the dialogue?

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11 hours ago, SourK said:

One thing I didn't like about this episode is that June was super mean for no real reason. I have zero read on her character anymore. It just doesn't track for me, and I don't understand what they're trying to portray with her.

If they wanted to get everyone to really hate June after this episode (I know many including myself hated her much earlier or at some point including me), they're doing an incredible job. I just watched a video with Ann Dowd (she's so super sweet IRL I have to remind myself that she's not this monstrous woman), and she was saying that Janine gets annoyed with June and "just get over yourself, will ya?" I really hope they wise up to the fact that not all of the audience is on June's side at this point. My favorite scenes are in Canada with Moira, Luke, Emily, and Rita. Not with Serena and Fred, although I do like seeing Sam Jaeger. 

13 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

The entire time in the Milk truck, I couldn't hear what either actor was saying.  I had to use closed captioning.  That pissed me off.  Not everyone has the ability to turn on CC so how could anyone make out the dialogue?

I didn't have a problem.

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1 hour ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

The entire time in the Milk truck, I couldn't hear what either actor was saying.  I had to use closed captioning.  That pissed me off.  Not everyone has the ability to turn on CC so how could anyone make out the dialogue?

Lately a lot of actors (directors) seem to use 'whisper-talking' in scenes in order to convey, I guess, tension or emotion or seriousness. It makes me crazy. This show does it a lot. When there is no reason to whisper there they are whisper-talking and I can't hear the dialogue any more. So yeah, I have to turn on closed captioning a lot more than I used to. It's super annoying.

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On 5/5/2021 at 1:30 AM, mamadrama said:

I don't find June likable at all. And that's okay, not all heroines have to be likable, but I don't find her interesting either. 

I feel ya.

Back in the day I used to watch Ally McBeal and I was over the title character by the second episode.  Yet I still watched for the rest of the cast

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12 hours ago, Lily H said:

I think what bugs me most about this show (apart from the unending torture and general bleakness) is that I really don't get why Serena is treated like visiting royalty. She's a CRIMINAL and supposedly a PRISONER, and there she is in her nice outfit and high-heeled shoes, living in a lovely suite, being given an ultrasound picture of her devil spawn. She even gets to summon visitors. I also don't understand why Rita called her "ma'am" and was so ingratiating. I wanted her to kick the bitch repeatedly in the stomach.

I think Fred and Serena are in some kind of political limbo. They're in Canada, but they're not really under arrest by Canada, they're under arrest by the United States, and they haven't been extradited yet, so they're sort of being held in custody pending whatever happens next, but they're not in jail. Also, I think the show wants to prolong their stay in Canada to keep them close to the other characters, so the limbo will go on for a while. That is my un-knowledgeable interpretation of why they're being held in a nice-ish conference centre.

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I loved Rita enjoying the hell out of her sushi, and struggling with her chopsticks. I also like how they show her struggling with re-integrating back into society, and dealing with her former employers/owners (the line about the Nissan Altima made me crack a smile). It was the same with Emily. You don't just arrive in Canada and magically go back to normal.

IMO, this is the best episode so far of the season. 

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1 hour ago, SourK said:

I think Fred and Serena are in some kind of political limbo. They're in Canada, but they're not really under arrest by Canada, they're under arrest by the United States, and they haven't been extradited yet, so they're sort of being held in custody pending whatever happens next, but they're not in jail. Also, I think the show wants to prolong their stay in Canada to keep them close to the other characters, so the limbo will go on for a while. That is my un-knowledgeable interpretation of why they're being held in a nice-ish conference centre.

Yes, and they want information from them, especially Fred, about "the black box" that is Gilead.  Canada and the rest of the world know almost nothing about Gilead's leaders, weapons, supplies, hierarchy, nothing.  That's why they offered Serena freedom is she brought them Fred.  Then Fred made charges of crimes against Serena as well.

In addition, Gilead has threatened war to have baby Nicole returned.  Then Canada got Fred and Serena, and that made Gilead even angrier and they are also demanding them back.  THEN a flight full of several woman and 70 or so children, and Gilead really stepped up the pressure, now also demanding ALL of them back as well.

Canada is in a tricky, and dangerous position.  They don't know what Gilead might do, they don't even know who makes the decisions in Gilead, or if those leaders are considering nukes or other weapons against the country right over the border.

What Canada will do with all of this pressure is yet to be seen (unless you've read the sequel novel) but it's obvious to anyone paying attention to the show that they are in no position to throw two prominent Gilead people in a normal jail cell.  In addition, they made a deal with Serena for luring Fred there.  Now they have all these women and kids from the plane, as well as hundreds or thousands of escapees on their hands.  While an unpredictable and unknown country is threatening Canada.

Canada's in a bad spot right now, and being very cautious.  I'd love to listen into the back room arguments Canadian leaders must be having right now.  (not from book, just from logic of what we've already seen on the show, including how Fred and Serena are being treated.)  Canada has been pretty wonderful to the refugees for years, but the whole Nicole issue blew up.  Then the Serena/Fred thing, originally thought to be quite a coup, and arranged by the USA guy, made Canada an even bigger target of Gilead.  THEN a flight full of kids and women arrived, and Gilead blew up at them again.

Things are tense there, understandably.  An extremely well armed and angry country that shares a long border with Canada, a country they know almost nothing about except they are nuts and murderers is now focused on Canada as an enemy.  Gilead wanted Nicole back, then later, Fred and Serena back, then again later, everyone on that plane back. 

Do they risk their own citizens for those poor refugees, or do they cave in for safety?

Now we, as show watchers, know that Gilead actually abhors nuclear power (colonies, accidents, refusal to use them for power, hence the low lighting etc) so I don't think they would drop a nuke so close to the USA, but Canada doesn't know that, they know nothing.  "black box"  We also have seen how the commanders are losing lots of soldiers to the endless wars in various areas by USA loyalists/Mayday.  Personally from what I've seen, I don't think Gilead has enough manpower left to do a boots on the ground war in Canada, but, again, Canada has none of that knowledge (unless Fred spills.)

ETA

This is all show talk, and show stories, and show information, not book talk.

ETA again, Canada must know, from all the refugees they have, about Mayday/USA loyalists wars.  So, it just occurred to me, it gets even trickier for Canada, because who knows which side will win in the end?  Piss off Gilead, or piss off the USA if they do win? 

Canada also has allies in Europe and they might have a few things to say about all of this as well.  I wouldn't want to be that prime minister!  He even has protesters in his own country demanding things, including considering the massive human rights situation.  We've seen the demonstrations on the show.

Edited by Umbelina
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1 hour ago, Umbelina said:

Then the Serena/Fred thing, originally thought to be quite a coup, and arranged by the USA guy, made Canada an even bigger target of Gilead.

Its certainly a coup, but Canada and the US can very easily paint this for exactly what it was - Serena betrayed her husband and *Gilead* by tricking Fred to drive into Canada. No matter who gets Fred in the end, Gilead or the US/Canada - this ends badly for Fred. He is a war criminal to one side, and he's a stupid ass fuck who followed the whims of a *wife* instead of being a man, and will easily end up on the wall if returned to Gilead. Fred's best option is to offer up what he can. 

That all said - Gilead can't invade over some dumbass following his woman's orders into leaving the country. They've got no leg to stand on, Fred willingly trotted himself across the border. Was he lied to by his wife? Yes. Did the US assist Serena? But Fred freely went along with Serena's plan and always had the opportunity to stop it. If Fred learns to read the room and realizes spilling could mean a quiet anonymous life on a nice northern estate in witness protection/custody, there's nothing Gilead could do. 

The 86 children are a bigger issue but considering the reality that a lot of the children were snatched from their biological parents, some of whom are in Canada as refugees and can attest to not giving up their child (the dude hugging his kid for example), world opinion - especially if the infertility is world wide - just might not swing in Gilead's favor. (frankly, a small problem I have with this whole verse is the gaping hole in world politics the internal destruction of the US would cause). The bigger reason I think Gilead can't force Canada into much is that the children were snatched/rescued by members of Gilead's population. This wasn't the US or Canada arranging a mission, going in, grabbing the kids and leaving. This was people living in Gilead choosing to defy their government. Frankly, the situation with Nicole falls under that as well - no one in Canada or the US helped Emily get to the border and cross, that was all due to residents of Gilead, one of them a high up Gilead citizen and official. 

Edited by EllaWycliffe
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34 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

Its certainly a coup, but Canada and the US can very easily paint this for exactly what it was - Serena betrayed her husband and *Gilead* by tricking Fred to drive into Canada. No matter who gets Fred in the end, Gilead or the US/Canada - this ends badly for Fred. He is a war criminal to one side, and he's a stupid ass fuck who followed the whims of a *wife* instead of being a man, and will easily end up on the wall if returned to Gilead. Fred's best option is to offer up what he can. 

That all said - Gilead can't invade over some dumbass following his woman's orders into leaving the country. They've got no leg to stand on, Fred willingly trotted himself across the border. Was he lied to by his wife? Yes. Did the US assist Serena? But Fred freely went along with Serena's plan and always had the opportunity to stop it. If Fred learns to read the room and realizes spilling could mean a quiet anonymous life on a nice northern estate in witness protection/custody, there's nothing Gilead could do. 

The 86 children are a bigger issue but considering the reality that a lot of the children were snatched from their biological parents, some of whom are in Canada as refugees and can attest to not giving up their child (the dude hugging his kid for example), world opinion - especially if the infertility is world wide - just might not swing in Gilead's favor. (frankly, a small problem I have with this whole verse is the gaping hole in world politics the internal destruction of the US would cause). The bigger reason I think Gilead can't force Canada into much is that the children were snatched/rescued by members of Gilead's population. This wasn't the US or Canada arranging a mission, going in, grabbing the kids and leaving. This was people living in Gilead choosing to defy their government. Frankly, the situation with Nicole falls under that as well - no one in Canada or the US helped Emily get to the border and cross, that was all due to residents of Gilead, one of them a high up Gilead citizen and official. 

Yes, all part of the negotiating I suspect is going on behind the scenes as they consider options.  I will be pleasantly surprised if we see any of it on the show.  ETA, we've seen a bit of it, and much more on the Gilead side.

Except the US was involved, both the CIA guy, and also members of Mayday who, though some are living in Gilead, still consider themselves US citizens.  Rebels and Mayday are deeply intertwined.

Emily is being accused of kidnapping baby Nicole as well, which, in normal times would certainly mean Canada would quickly return her to the USA for trial and punishment.  

It's just not all that clear cut, especially when Canada and the world know almost nothing about how or who runs Gilead, what they have, and what they might do.  Also, I'm pretty sure the CIA guy who is always hanging around, doesn't want the one commander that is helping people escape caught and killed by Gilead.

Layers upon layers of this problem and so many ways to look at it.  Certainly we haven't seen anyone from Europe step in to help after the USA was overturned. 

Also, just thinking aloud, if I were a woman in Canada and all this was happening, would I really want to risk Gilead invading and taking over, making me a handmaid, or killing me for whatever reason they chose?  I think, as a citizen I would be torn as well, about whether to just send the kids back.  Nah, I wouldn't, I know me, but I'm sure other women are justifiable horrified at what happened next door happening to them.  When "next door" starts talking about war though, the options I would see for myself are pretty bleak.

That's the thing about this show, there is so much subtext and "what ifs" to consider and imagine with the clues we are getting.  Serena having that luxe "cell" is just one huge clue, WHY?  Because they just don't know what they will do yet, and she's a pretty famous prisoner.  With Fred, they are trying to coax as much information out of his as possible, because he's the first chance they've had to get a peek inside how Gilead runs and who runs it. 

Them being in nice clothes and held in nice areas is meaningful.

 

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: clarified
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On 5/5/2021 at 6:16 AM, EllaWycliffe said:

More later, but I did want to note that neither Fred or Serena seem to view their baby as an automatic death sentence in Gilead, and have no fear or concern in agreeing that they were having sex despite Serena "being barren". So far, this doesn't seem a big deal that they were having sex.

If Serena and/or Fred go back to Gilead, all they have to do is say that they were told by God that they could conceive if they had sex, and they have their baby as proof and Gilead will consider God to have blessed them. I'm sure they will both keep their mouths shut about having sex with each other for pleasure. I guess it must have been that time when Serena organized stuff for an international delegation and Fred was so impressed he couldn't resist, because I don't remember any other instances.

In the first season it was revealed that whatever Gilead claimed about it being the Wives' fault, it was known that it was generally the men who were infertile, hence the "arrangements" that would be made with male doctors, men like Nick, and so on.  I don't remember, has there ever been a paternity test done on Nichole? Or has it just continued to be assumed that Nick is the father because Fred wasn't supposed to be able to get women pregnant?

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I feel like they're setting up Aunt Lydia for some kind of redemption arc, or at least that she's playing both sides. I hope not. She and Serena both need to be punished.

@greekmom gave me some food for thought. What if Mayday isn't real? 

 

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1 minute ago, mamadrama said:

I feel like they're setting up Aunt Lydia for some kind of redemption arc, or at least that she's playing both sides. I hope not. She and Serena both need to be punished.

@greekmom gave me some food for thought. What if Mayday isn't real? 

 

I think we've seen that Mayday is real, ever since Emily first muttered the name.  (It was her right?)  They got Emily out.  They helped June during her first escape every step of the way, and multiple people in multiple areas were involved.  They set up the safe houses, most recently a Esters.  They were sending bomb makers to the front.  On and on...

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17 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Except the US was involved, both the CIA guy, and also members of Mayday who, though some are living in Gilead, still consider themselves US citizens.  Rebels and Mayday are deeply intertwined.

The CIA guy was only involved with the Fred situation and that was soundly assisted by Serena. As for Mayday, Gilead can't have it both ways. Gilead considers Marthas to be property after all - if the Gilead property misbehaves, Gilead can't be all "these are US Citizens violating our country!" - likewise rebellious Handmaids. Rebels on the borders are different but we still have yet to see much there.

17 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Emily is being accused of kidnapping baby Nicole as well, which, in normal times would certainly mean Canada would her to the USA for trial and punishment.  

Unlikely - an empty threat in my opinion when it was raised designed to shut Emily up. When interviewed by the Swiss, June told them she wanted the baby to be taken to Canada. That Emily is roaming free in Canada means no one is planning to put her on trial.  Time passes - its been about what, six months since Nicole was brought to Canada. Emily isn't going down for it.

 

17 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

It's just not all that clear cut, especially when Canada and the world know almost nothing about how or who runs Gilead, what they have, and what they might do.  Also, I'm pretty sure the CIA guy who is always hanging around, doesn't want the one commander that is helping people escape caught and killed by Gilead.

Yeah, this is oft stated but we know Canada has huge files of pictures of dead women and missing children (Moira was in that filing area last season) There's also thousands of refugees and the Handmaid letters that June and Nick got publicized. Gilead's methods and lifestyle isn't a mystery. Its also next to impossible for Canada and the world to not know *anything* about Gilead's power structure. Mexico has sent envoys, the Swiss have sent envoys, they have some idea of who to contact.

Commander Lawrence is back in the Gilead fold at last check so the CIA guy might not care if he goes up on the wall for aiding Emily's escape - it does stop him from assisting Gilead's economy after all.

24 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Them being in nice clothes and held in nice areas is meaningful.

Sure it is. Ever hear of Operation Paperclip?

That said - honestly I think it's been a reach for Canada/The US to have Serena under arrest to begin with and I think her light handling reflects that. Fred is being enticed to turn, and threatened as well, but you have to have both the carrot and stick.

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7 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

Yeah, this is oft stated but we know Canada has huge files of pictures of dead women and missing children (Moira was in that filing area last season) There's also thousands of refugees and the Handmaid letters that June and Nick got publicized. Gilead's methods and lifestyle isn't a mystery. Its also next to impossible for Canada and the world to not know *anything* about Gilead's power structure. Mexico has sent envoys, the Swiss have sent envoys, they have some idea of who to contact.

Commander Lawrence is back in the Gilead fold at last check so the CIA guy might not care if he goes up on the wall for aiding Emily's escape - it does stop him from assisting Gilead's economy after all.

The women in Gilead (even Serena) are kept from ALL important information.  How many troops available? Will they use nukes, and if so, which ones and where?  Is there a plan for invading Canada now, was there one before?  How many killed in action with the rebels?  How much food, weapon storage is there?  Who commands various armies?  What is the state of the budget, and who is in charge of that in Gilead?  What about spies, are any in Canada or elsewhere?  On and on and on, and no, no woman, handmaid, or Martha, knows shit about any of the stuff Canada and the rest of the world wants to know.

10 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

Unlikely - an empty threat in my opinion when it was raised designed to shut Emily up. When interviewed by the Swiss, June told them she wanted the baby to be taken to Canada. That Emily is roaming free in Canada means no one is planning to put her on trial.  Time passes - its been about what, six months since Nicole was brought to Canada. Emily isn't going down for it.

 

War has become a more serious threat now.  What is Canada willing to risk?

10 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

The CIA guy was only involved with the Fred situation and that was soundly assisted by Serena. As for Mayday, Gilead can't have it both ways. Gilead considers Marthas to be property after all - if the Gilead property misbehaves, Gilead can't be all "these are US Citizens violating our country!" - likewise rebellious Handmaids. Rebels on the borders are different but we still have yet to see much there.

The CIA guy is sure in Canada a lot though, obviously Canada is working with the USA (Hawaii and Alaska.)  

The rest?  I'm not sure what you are saying there.  

Gilead in no way considers the refugees "US citizens."  All are considered to be their property.

We haven't seen the rebels, but we've been hearing about them since season one, and in every season since.

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32 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

How many troops available? Will they use nukes, and if so, which ones and where?  Is there a plan for invading Canada now, was there one before?  How many killed in action with the rebels?  How much food, weapon storage is there?  Who commands various armies?  What is the state of the budget, and who is in charge of that in Gilead?  What about spies, are any in Canada or elsewhere? 

To be perfectly honest - how do you think governments get this info in real life? There are spies, and envoys and computer hacking and all sorts of dirty tricks that intelligence agents use. How did we find Bin Laden? We weren't told where to find them. You're implying that the US/Canada/rest of the world have no idea who is in charge and since the Swiss know where to send envoys, and the Mexicans, Gilead is obviously communicating information on their power structure. Certainly not all of it but the rest of the world has some idea who is running the show. Fred will absolutely be useful in providing info. As for the women, again, yes, Canada and the rest of the world know thousands of women are being executed for no reason. That women are being sent to forced labor camps for example, is a pretty big indicator to the rest of the world that Gilead isn't charming and the world, by dint of the many refugees knows what Gilead is peddling. There's not an Iron Curtain here - Gilead is pretty actively trying to establish diplomatic ties. And even under the Iron Curtain, there were spies and envoys and intelligence agents gathering info. Gilead from an intelligence standpoint is not impenetrable.

 

32 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

The rest?  I'm not sure what you are saying there.  

Gilead can't claim that the various Martha and June incidents are the US and Canada agents agitating when it's all happening internally and caused by "property of Gilead".  All of the major incidents depicted in the show with the exception of Serena Waterford getting Fred across the border are incidents caused by residents of Gilead, not Canadians or US Citizens. Now would they try to claim it? Sure, but if they want to have diplomatic ties anywhere, they would have to submit actual evidence. 

The Angel Flight is in particular embarrassing for Gilead because it was an entirely internal issue. No one from the US or Canada was involved. Likewise Emily and Nicole escaping - that was all on Gilead's watch with no assistance from outside forces.

eta - there's also been plenty of male refugees to provide info who do get some access to information. 

Edited by EllaWycliffe
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19 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

You're implying that the US/Canada/rest of the world have no idea who is in charge and since the Swiss know where to send envoys, and the Mexicans, Gilead is obviously communicating information on their power structure. Certainly not all of it but the rest of the world has some idea who is running the show. Fred will absolutely be useful in providing info. As for the women, again, yes, Canada and the rest of the world know thousands of women are being executed for no reason.

I'm not implying it.  The show had characters SAY it, the Swiss said it to June, and the CIA guy said to to Serena in Canada.

The USA knows who runs each country out there, and they know who runs ours.  Gilead is a completely different story, possibly because they murdered all the leaders of the USA, and are still not quite comfortable having their names out there.  Perhaps it's something in their charter.  Who knows?

22 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

Canada and the rest of the world know thousands of women are being executed for no reason. That women are being sent to forced labor camps for example, is a pretty big indicator to the rest of the world that Gilead isn't charming and the world, by dint of the many refugees knows what Gilead is peddling. There's not an Iron Curtain here - Gilead is pretty actively trying to establish diplomatic ties. And even under the Iron Curtain, there were spies and envoys and intelligence agents gathering info.

Another thing Gilead wants to know and could know from Fred.  Who runs Intelligence, do you have spies here, etc.  

Yes, Canada knows Gilead sucks, that's why they've allowed and even helped refugees.  What they don't have is enough weapons or soldiers to secure a gigantic border with Gilead should Gilead decide there pissed, and invade them.

So they need to know if that is a plan, what Gilead has, will they use nukes, are they out of food, gas, etc?  Handmaids won't know those answers, Fred will.

25 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

All of the major incidents depicted in the show with the exception of Serena Waterford getting Fred across the border are incidents caused by residents of Gilead, not Canadians or US Citizens. Now would they try to claim it? Sure, but if they want to have diplomatic ties anywhere, they would have to submit actual evidence. 

No.  Gilead is claiming Canada is harboring them, and should return them.  It began with Nicole, now they want them all back.  They are threatening war over it.  Gilead's story is still that Fred and Serena were kidnapped by Canada.  

Also remember, Gilead controls all news in Gilead.

27 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

The Angel Flight is in particular embarrassing for Gilead because it was an entirely internal issue. No one from the US or Canada was involved. Likewise Emily and Nicole escaping - that was all on Gilead's watch with no assistance from outside forces.

eta - there's also been plenty of male refugees to provide info who do get some access to information. 

No male commanders though.  I haven't seen that many men refugees on the show, and those I have seemed to escape before Gilead completely took over, like Luke.

Yes, Gilead isn't accusing Canada of kidnapping the children and Martha's, they are accusing them of harboring them, stolen property and children they consider theirs not being returned.

Although in Gilead "there is no escaping" so who knows what they are telling their own citizens.  Probably the kidnap story, but I seriously doubt they would say mere women did it, handmaids and Martha's no less, so probably blaming Canada.

I like being out of Gilead proper, but who knows, we may find out through Lydia or Lawrence scenes.

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23 hours ago, chaifan said:

Oh, and if anyone was wondering, the "pregnancy crisis center" scenario was 100% spot on.  That's pretty much the script they use today, and the tactics - posing as an actual abortion clinic - is also accurate.  (One used to be around the corner from my house, and how I wanted to just throw rocks through their windows!  Don't worry, I didn't.)  As is the "abortion is oh so dangerous" speech that the doctor had to give - that's very close to what actual states have mandated in the last 10 years or so, with the additional mandate that they are not allowed to qualify it with "and that was total BS" type comments.  

 

The crazy thing is that the fictional bullshit crisis centre while aweful didn't seem quite as bad as the real bullshit crisis centre from the Borat movie that came out last year.

19 hours ago, aghst said:

But if the US resistance doesn't have any air power, it wouldn't be much of a fight.  And the skyscrapers look like they took on some damage so you'd have to think the US forces and Gilead both have significant military assets, both personnel and equipment.  

The US is Alaska and Hawaii at this point right? Not sure about Alaska but Hawaii does have a bunch of military stuff (probably more than a lot of countries). Not to mention I am not really sure if Gilead or the US controls all those US bases in other countries.

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1 minute ago, Kel Varnsen said:

The crazy thing is that the fictional bullshit crisis centre while aweful didn't seem quite as bad as the real bullshit crisis centre from the Borat movie that came out last year.

The US is Alaska and Hawaii at this point right? Not sure about Alaska but Hawaii does have a bunch of military stuff (probably more than a lot of countries). Not to mention I am not really sure if Gilead or the US controls all those US bases in other countries.

Interesting question!  

Did the people in those bases defect?  Decide to stay with the USA in Alaska and Hawaii?

Also, I think rebel held areas of the former USA are also calling themselves USA, as were those guys that robbed the train.  

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Hawaii has a big naval base but I think depends on the mainland to supply it, personnel, munitions, food, etc.

Of course I dispute the premise of Gilead in the first place.  It's one thing to conquer say the 20 largest cities in the country.  Hell make it the 120 largest cities.

The problem is occupying it.  Atwood wrote the book before the Iraq wars and the Afghanistan war.  The mighty US military can't hold the territory in those countries which combined are probably about half the size of the continental US in area and probably way less in population.

US couldn't secure parts of Baghdad!

So how do Gilead control big cities like NY, Washington, Chicago, LA, etc.?

First of all the series references Battle of NY and so on.  Again it's one thing to take over a large modern city, a very difficult task.  But they have to have people guarding every street corner, every floor of those skyscrapers, etc.

The occupying army can't be that big, as the US found out in Iraq and Afghanistan the past two decades.  They could only play whack a mole because the insurgents kept blending in and out of the crowd.

Gilead could kill civilians with impunity but even killing say a million here and there would be impossible logistically without WMDs.  They'd run out of men and bullets.  And then look at how difficult it is to bury or incinerate all those bodies.  Look at all the funeral pyres in India right now and they're reporting a few thousand deaths (though undercounted) a day.

The only way Gilead could guard all those Handmaids, Marthas and those other civilians would be if we're talking about a few million at most.  Then maybe they have a military of a couple hundred thousand men.

It can't be too small or else they couldn't impose these back ass laws the way it's depicted.  There would be thousands of Junes, who rebel and hide out, free people, unless there were enough Guardians and Eyes.  Also if military force was too small, US, Canada, Mexico and EU would liberate Gilead.

The premise of course is some environmental disaster leaves US in a weakened state.  But the way it's been depicted on this show, I don't think they suggested millions died.  It's that millions of women couldn't have children.  It would take generations though for that to drastically reduce the population.  We're still in the same generation, June lived in America before and after Gilead.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, aghst said:

The problem is occupying it.  Atwood wrote the book before the Iraq wars and the Afghanistan war.  The mighty US military can't hold the territory in those countries which combined are probably about half the size of the continental US in area and probably way less in population.

US couldn't secure parts of Baghdad!

So how do Gilead control big cities like NY, Washington, Chicago, LA, etc.?

First of all the series references Battle of NY and so on.  Again it's one thing to take over a large modern city, a very difficult task.  But they have to have people guarding every street corner, every floor of those skyscrapers, etc.

I find it is best not to think to hard about the military stuff. The occupying a country would be a huge thing. Like you mentioned the US had a problem occupying Iraq. Now try occupying say New York or Philly where the occupying force looks and speaks the same and has pretty much the same cultural knowledge as anyone fighting back.

Ok I guess you could put soldiers on every street corner. But where do they come from? Gilead would have kicked all the women, all the Catholics and all the LGBTQ service people out of the military. Plus all the people who are against Gilead would have left. Plus Gilead seems to be anti-education, so you lose a lot of people who do things like run nuclear subs or maintain radar systems. And then on top of having a huge security force at home you have an active front that is Chicago?  Unless you conscript every able bodied male who does the fighting. But that doesn't work either since women aren't allowed to work so you can't have some WWII situation where the women who aren't fighting go to work in other industries.

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37 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I'm not implying it.  The show had characters SAY it, the Swiss said it to June, and the CIA guy said to to Serena in Canada.

This assumes that Swiss diplomats have no reason to lie to someone who is essentially a prisoner of an enemy regime. And that the CIA never lies to assets that they don't fully trust. Neither of these occasions were the time for total honesty. The Swiss don't know whether June will be immediately tortured for info after they leave, therefore the best answer is "we have no info". That way June can't give away what she doesn't know. And Serena is the last person a CIA agent is going to drop secret intel to. 

 

44 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

No.  Gilead is claiming Canada is harboring them, and should return them.  It began with Nicole, now they want them all back.  They are threatening war over it.  Gilead's story is still that Fred and Serena were kidnapped by Canada.  

Also remember, Gilead controls all news in Gilead.

Gilead's story to Gilead doesn't matter - its world opinion in play. They can claim whatever they like but there's living witnesses to how the children got out. Also remember that no matter how much Gilead controls everything, we routinely see and hear the Handmaids exchanging tidbits of news from outside of Gilead. 

49 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

No male commanders though.  I haven't seen that many men refugees on the show, and those I have seemed to escape before Gilead completely took over, like Luke.

We saw Moira helping a man who was a Guardian who escaped after she did, so yes, men are getting out after Luke. And seriously, commanders certainly would have more info but battles and wars have been won from information obtained from low level soldiers who happen to witness their leaders doing or saying specific things, Frankly Gilead Commanders seem to treat security of info like a joke. They discuss things in front of drivers, and Marthas, and guardians as tho no one can hear them. Lawrence literally has secret breeding files where anyone in the house can get them, and has a red classified phone that was totally not secured. They have sanctioned whorehouses where their leaders actually murdered

 

3 minutes ago, aghst said:

The premise of course is some environmental disaster leaves US in a weakened state.  But the way it's been depicted on this show, I don't think they suggested millions died.  It's that millions of women couldn't have children.  It would take generations though for that to drastically reduce the population.  We're still in the same generation, June lived in America before and after Gilead.

Actually right about now - ten years after fertility rates dropped - is when the world would start to feel the pinch.  They aren't breeding fast enough to replace retiring or deceased workers.

6 minutes ago, aghst said:

Of course I dispute the premise of Gilead in the first place.  It's one thing to conquer say the 20 largest cities in the country.  Hell make it the 120 largest cities.

The problem is occupying it.  Atwood wrote the book before the Iraq wars and the Afghanistan war.  The mighty US military can't hold the territory in those countries which combined are probably about half the size of the continental US in area and probably way less in population.

US couldn't secure parts of Baghdad!

So how do Gilead control big cities like NY, Washington, Chicago, LA, etc.?

First of all the series references Battle of NY and so on.  Again it's one thing to take over a large modern city, a very difficult task.  But they have to have people guarding every street corner, every floor of those skyscrapers, etc.

I can buy that destroying the Capitol a la Designated Survivor would be incredibly destabilizing. A flaw that I tend to handwave at since it makes the story not work is that almost everyone we meet doesn't seem to particularly like the situation yet there doesn't appear to be any male resistance at all. Yet men are constantly being executed/helping June against the regime

Maybe I am hopelessly naïve but not every man is a closet misogynist yearning to rape and oppress.

3 minutes ago, Kel Varnsen said:

Gilead would have kicked all the women, all the Catholics and all the LGBTQ service people out of the military. Plus all the people who are against Gilead would have left. Plus Gilead seems to be anti-education, so you lose a lot of people who do things like run nuclear subs or maintain radar systems. And then on top of having a huge security force at home you have an active front that is Chicago?  Unless you conscript every able bodied male who does the fighting. But that doesn't work either since women aren't allowed to work so you can't have some WWII situation where the women who aren't fighting go to work in other industries.

In theory you *could* have econowives working... maybe. But yes, Gilead should be having some severe labor crisis problems simply because they are killing everyone who doesn't fit their specific guidelines, they're dramatically reverting to lower tech and they aren't breeding fast enough to replace all the ones they killed. Who is working in the ammunition factories, for example?

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11 minutes ago, aghst said:

Gilead could kill civilians with impunity but even killing say a million here and there would be impossible logistically without WMDs.  They'd run out of men and bullets.  And then look at how difficult it is to bury or incinerate all those bodies.  Look at all the funeral pyres in India right now and they're reporting a few thousand deaths (though undercounted) a day.

They could use the bodies as animal feed.

 

12 minutes ago, aghst said:

So how do Gilead control big cities like NY, Washington, Chicago, LA, etc.?

We don't know how much they actually control, although there were maps released from the show, and those they were going to use on the show, but didn't in the spoiler thread here.  Safe to say from the show, Gilead in no way controls Chicago.  There's also been talk on the show (oranges etc) about California, Florida, and Texas not being firmly in Gilead hands.  That's why the soldiers are always off fighting.

16 minutes ago, aghst said:

Hawaii has a big naval base but I think depends on the mainland to supply it, personnel, munitions, food, etc.

Of course I dispute the premise of Gilead in the first place.   It's one thing to conquer say the 20 largest cities in the country.

They didn't "conquer" them though.  Go back to season one and two.  The Gilead people SAID that congress and the president and supreme court were killed by a foreign power.  

So, everyone was behind their country and the men who stepped up to lead it.  It was rah rah USA time, as newspapers were shut down, and civil rights removed.  Remember the protesters (what few there were) mowed down by machine guns?  Remember banks automatically transferring all woman's money to men?  Remember Serena's fabulously popular books about God and healthy eating, and women submitting to men?  Those people were already on board with a God Based tradition male/female role country.

And yes, they did shoot millions, tried to avoid shooting women capable of bearing children.

The books are slightly more informative about the killings, and everyone that was purged, but we watched this on screen.  Bosses didn't want to fire their female employees (as we watched) but had no choice.  Little by little the coup people eliminated all choice for citizens.

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5 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Yes, and they want information from them, especially Fred, about "the black box" that is Gilead.  Canada and the rest of the world know almost nothing about Gilead's leaders, weapons, supplies, hierarchy, nothing.  That's why they offered Serena freedom is she brought them Fred.  Then Fred made charges of crimes against Serena as well.

In addition, Gilead has threatened war to have baby Nicole returned.  Then Canada got Fred and Serena, and that made Gilead even angrier and they are also demanding them back.  THEN a flight full of several woman and 70 or so children, and Gilead really stepped up the pressure, now also demanding ALL of them back as well.

Canada is in a tricky, and dangerous position.  They don't know what Gilead might do, they don't even know who makes the decisions in Gilead, or if those leaders are considering nukes or other weapons against the country right over the border.

What Canada will do with all of this pressure is yet to be seen (unless you've read the sequel novel) but it's obvious to anyone paying attention to the show that they are in no position to throw two prominent Gilead people in a normal jail cell.  In addition, they made a deal with Serena for luring Fred there.  Now they have all these women and kids from the plane, as well as hundreds or thousands of escapees on their hands.  While an unpredictable and unknown country is threatening Canada.

Canada's in a bad spot right now, and being very cautious.  I'd love to listen into the back room arguments Canadian leaders must be having right now.  (not from book, just from logic of what we've already seen on the show, including how Fred and Serena are being treated.)  Canada has been pretty wonderful to the refugees for years, but the whole Nicole issue blew up.  Then the Serena/Fred thing, originally thought to be quite a coup, and arranged by the USA guy, made Canada an even bigger target of Gilead.  THEN a flight full of kids and women arrived, and Gilead blew up at them again.

Things are tense there, understandably.  An extremely well armed and angry country that shares a long border with Canada, a country they know almost nothing about except they are nuts and murderers is now focused on Canada as an enemy.  Gilead wanted Nicole back, then later, Fred and Serena back, then again later, everyone on that plane back. 

Do they risk their own citizens for those poor refugees, or do they cave in for safety?

Now we, as show watchers, know that Gilead actually abhors nuclear power (colonies, accidents, refusal to use them for power, hence the low lighting etc) so I don't think they would drop a nuke so close to the USA, but Canada doesn't know that, they know nothing.  "black box"  We also have seen how the commanders are losing lots of soldiers to the endless wars in various areas by USA loyalists/Mayday.  Personally from what I've seen, I don't think Gilead has enough manpower left to do a boots on the ground war in Canada, but, again, Canada has none of that knowledge (unless Fred spills.)

ETA

This is all show talk, and show stories, and show information, not book talk.

ETA again, Canada must know, from all the refugees they have, about Mayday/USA loyalists wars.  So, it just occurred to me, it gets even trickier for Canada, because who knows which side will win in the end?  Piss off Gilead, or piss off the USA if they do win? 

Canada also has allies in Europe and they might have a few things to say about all of this as well.  I wouldn't want to be that prime minister!  He even has protesters in his own country demanding things, including considering the massive human rights situation.  We've seen the demonstrations on the show.

Interesting that no country has come to the US’s defense. None. If this happened in another country, the US would likely have intervened. Just food for thought. 

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Yet they specifically referred to conquering big cities.

And obviously there is some kind of USA resistance going on now, with the world pretty much lined up against Gilead.

I think Gilead is about as sustainable as ISIS proved to be.  They can't hold these moderate-sized cities in the desert for more than a few months but the ISIS ideology may persist, even if they couldn't physically sustain a country.

The commanders got plenty of food but wasn't there talk about everyone else not getting enough?  That kind of situation definitely can't last.

Which do we think is the greater number, the people who lead Gilead, believe in it or decided to stay (econowives) or were captured (Handmaids, Marthas) vs. the people who fled to Canada or were killed by Gilead, the US resistance and the roving gangs like the ones June and Janine seems to have run into?

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The 86 kids is symbolic at best to Gilead.  They control the media so their people don't have to know.

If 86 kids is the difference between Gilead raising a next generation of leaders vs. dying out because they don't have enough children to replace them, then the situation is more grim than we would have imagined.

86 American kids being captured or defecting would be a huge news story in the US.  But they're not the difference between whether the population grows or shrinks because it's a very small number compared to the total population of the US.

If 86 kids matter more than symbolism or ideology, then Gilead is hanging on by a thread.

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1 hour ago, aghst said:

with the world pretty much lined up against Gilead.

Where?

1 hour ago, Cinnabon said:

Interesting that no country has come to the US’s defense. None. If this happened in another country, the US would likely have intervened. Just food for thought. 

Again, weapons stockpiles in the USA are pretty huge.  The countries that could match them for nukes, for just one example, are China and Russia, and I'm pretty sure they would be enjoying watching the USA die.

Who would attack Gilead?  France?  The UK?  Canada?  Australia?  Spain?  Ask yourself the same question in reverse, who would risk attack by the insane people running Gilead?

1 hour ago, aghst said:

Which do we think is the greater number, the people who lead Gilead, believe in it or decided to stay (econowives) or were captured (Handmaids, Marthas) vs. the people who fled to Canada or were killed by Gilead, the US resistance and the roving gangs like the ones June and Janine seems to have run into?

Interesting question.

Except for the revolutionaries, Gilead has all the heavy weapons, after are Generals, and Admirals of the services were in on the Coup.  

The nuclear accidents obviously destroyed millions of acres and probably killed millions of people as well (the colonies.)

On the show, we don't really know.

1 hour ago, aghst said:

The 86 kids is symbolic at best to Gilead.  They control the media so their people don't have to know.

If 86 kids is the difference between Gilead raising a next generation of leaders vs. dying out because they don't have enough children to replace them, then the situation is more grim than we would have imagined.

86 kids and nine Martha's.  (edited because I was wrong!)

It's pretty grim.  

1 hour ago, aghst said:

86 American kids being captured or defecting would be a huge news story in the US.  But they're not the difference between whether the population grows or shrinks because it's a very small number compared to the total population of the US.

If 86 kids matter more than symbolism or ideology, then Gilead is hanging on by a thread.

Remember, in Gilead, children are very very rare, so indeed, they are dying out.  The whole handmaid's thing is an attempt to not having that happen.  70 kids is huge to them.  It's of course bigger if this allows to continue and isn't met with a strong response.

(It's a little frustrating because the show did change one huge thing from the book that would explain so much, if you want to know, go ask in that "Questions for book readers" thread.)

 

Edited by Umbelina

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Sure America has nukes but so do the Europeans.  Have they ever mentioned China or Russia?  Or Islamic terrorists?

I would assume some kind of MAD still exists as deterrent in the use of nukes.

It wouldn't be smart to use nukes for first-strike or offensive weapons.  If Gilead nuked Canada, in order to conquer it and crush what's left of US resistance, presumably there would be more action than a blockade, because if Gilead gets away with it, what's to stop it from doing the same to other countries.

OTOH, if Gilead was cornered and on the verge of losing, they might pull a suicidal move, destroy not only the conquerors but what's left of Gilead.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, aghst said:

Sure America has nukes but so do the Europeans.  Have they ever mentioned China or Russia?  Or Islamic terrorists?

Apparently Texas is its own little country - so all the military bases and nukes are in the Republic of Texas's hands. Also what about naval ships and soldiers and equipment on overseas bases?

 

9 minutes ago, aghst said:

It wouldn't be smart to use nukes for first-strike or offensive weapons.  If Gilead nuked Canada, in order to conquer it and crush what's left of US resistance, presumably there would be more action than a blockade, because if Gilead gets away with it, what's to stop it from doing the same to other countries.

Nuking Canada would not work. All significant population centers of Canada are within 100 miles of the border. Nuking anything meaningful in Canada would rain down radiation across Gilead's population centers as well. There's also the problem of EMP pulses destroying electronics and computers.

Plus - Canada does have allies. Its part of the British Commonwealth. Great Britain has nukes.  And soldiers etc.

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I don't think the writers are too interested in the realpolitik or extrapolating how America's traditional allies would react to Gilead.

But Gilead can't exist in a vacuum.  What Gilead does affects other countries and vice versa.

Unless they've killed all the US leadership, there would be some national politicians living in exile, probably be a part of the exile govt.  Some of those politicians would have a lot of sway with allies, who would recognize the govt. in exile.  I think it's been said that Gilead has not been formally recognized by most nations or establish formal diplomatic relations with them.

Then again, they don't really say who the leader of Gilead is or who's the Prime Minister of Canada.  So they probably don't want to tackle who would be leading the govt. in exile.

I get it, they want to focus on June and those around her living through this nightmare.  However, the fact is, leaders move people, either making them fanatically loyal as we're seeing now, or strongly opposed, which we're also seeing.

June may inspire Handmaids and Marthas and her friends in Canada.  But Gilead would need a leader whom people would rally around and the same thing for the US resistance.  That Guardian who shot indiscriminately at the back of the fleeing Handmaids or others who've committed brutality in the service of Gilead, those people would do that if there was a leader they believed in, not just that Gilead is some perfect version of God's will.

 

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52 minutes ago, Cinnabon said:

Interesting that no country has come to the US’s defense. None. If this happened in another country, the US would likely have intervened. Just food for thought. 

The US took a "wait and see" approach during both world wars and didn't intervene until years later. The other countries might be doing the same.

40 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

70 kids and 16 women.

Tuello said it was nine Marthas and 86 children.

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6 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

The US took a "wait and see" approach during both world wars and didn't intervene until years later. The other countries might be doing the same.

Tuello said it was nine Marthas and 86 children.

Thanks!  I got that wrong!

Yikes.  

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On 5/6/2021 at 12:21 AM, AntFTW said:

...and great healthcare.

 

On 5/6/2021 at 12:21 AM, AntFTW said:

...and great healthcare.

It’s Canada.

Edited by FrankOFoley · Reason: Double cited.
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I was so afraid Rita was softening when she learned that Serena is pregnant.  So glad she didn't fall for Serena's manipulation.  (I think she was starting to until Serena called her a friend.  That brought Rita back to reality instantly.)

Jumping into a tank car filled with an unidentified liquid that should have been pitch black once the hatch was closed and that maybe should not have had an inside hatch (unless that's an OSHA safety precaution?) was an incredibly stupid thing to do.  Especially when there were tons of box cars where they could hide.

 

 

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11 hours ago, mamadrama said:

I feel like they're setting up Aunt Lydia for some kind of redemption arc, or at least that she's playing both sides. I hope not. She and Serena both need to be punished.

@greekmom gave me some food for thought. What if Mayday isn't real? 

 

@mamadrama  It just struck me very odd that the leader of a major group (there was a lot of people there) in Chicago wouldn't have even heard of Mayday.  He knew of "sex slaves".  He knew about the train to steal from Gilead. But has not even heard of Mayday? I am not saying there isn't a group of resistance fighters and others who help women get out of Gilead but not as organized as June and company may hope for. 

The redemption of Lydia sucks. Sorry I don't accept it. Like I don't accept that June still cares (or even loves) Nick.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, greekmom said:

@mamadrama  It just struck me very odd that the leader of a major group (there was a lot of people there) in Chicago wouldn't have even heard of Mayday.  He knew of "sex slaves".  He knew about the train to steal from Gilead. But has not even heard of Mayday? I am not saying there isn't a group of resistance fighters and others who help women get out of Gilead but not as organized as June and company may hope for. 

The redemption of Lydia sucks. Sorry I don't accept it. Like I don't accept that June still cares (or even loves) Nick.

 

 

Yeah, that was weird. And if we think about, it's never felt like an actual organized group was behind most of this. A "sympathetic guardian" got them to Mrs. Keyes-a woman who was willing to help because she'd been brutalized. The Marthas got Emily and Nicole out...

I don't think June loves nick, either. Emily had more chemistry with the poor Martha who got hung.

Then again, it's hard for me to read Nick since IMO he has less personality than a bowl of (blessed be) Froot Loops. 

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7 hours ago, chocolatine said:

The US took a "wait and see" approach during both world wars and didn't intervene until years later. The other countries might be doing the same.

Same with the war in the Balkans. By the time the US got involved Bosnia had almost burned to the ground. (Quite literally in some places. I spent a lot of time there post war.)

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8 hours ago, Umbelina said:

 

Again, weapons stockpiles in the USA are pretty huge.  The countries that could match them for nukes, for just one example, are China and Russia, and I'm pretty sure they would be enjoying watching the USA die.

Do we know that the stockpiles are "huge"? Show World weapons may differ from Real World weapons. We know rebels are still fighting in various parts of the country. If the US has enough to take on the European Union or Russia then why haven't they been able to knock out the rebel fighting? 

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8 hours ago, Umbelina said:

  

Remember, in Gilead, children are very very rare, so indeed, they are dying out.  The whole handmaid's thing is an attempt to not having that happen.  70 kids is huge to them.  It's of course bigger if this allows to continue and isn't met with a strong response.

The Handmaid thing is theoretically about kids, but in reality is about power and control. 

If it were truly about infertility and population increase then there are at least a dozen things that they could be doing differently to ensure live births. There are better ways than sexual servitude. 

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11 hours ago, Umbelina said:

I think we've seen that Mayday is real, ever since Emily first muttered the name.  (It was her right?)  They got Emily out.  They helped June during her first escape every step of the way, and multiple people in multiple areas were involved.  They set up the safe houses, most recently a Esters.  They were sending bomb makers to the front.  On and on...

Mayday didn't get Emily out, the Martha network and Commander Lawrence did. 

We don't know that an actual organization helped June-all we saw were Nick and a few helpers who may well have just been sympathizers. 

We don't know who organized the safe house that the Handmaids were in. We only know that they got there by way of a good Guardian. Mrs. Keyes did not seem to be long to any organization. The Murrows farm was arranged by a Jezebel. 

All of these things depend upon inference. We assume that they're Mayday, but that doesn't mean they are. None of these situations HAVE to be connected. Each one can be looked at and separately explained. 

It is not uncommon to create and talk about a mythical organization or group that's going to "save" people. It offers morale boosters and hope. Over time it can take on a life of its own and become an urban legend. In Sarajevo such a group was invented, and that group was said to be smuggling supplies in and people out via a secret chamber. The group was on a grand scale and people thought the group was their salvation. In reality it was a handful of unorganized people and the secret chamber was a dirt tunnel dug under a farm house and beneath the airport. 

@greekmom made an excellent theory that's never been discussed on this board before. Sure it might not be true, but at least it opens up a conversation. June has made the point several times already about how THEY are the ones they've been waiting on. That they have to save themselves. 

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1 hour ago, mamadrama said:

If it were truly about infertility and population increase then there are at least a dozen things that they could be doing differently to ensure live births. There are better ways than sexual servitude. 

Exactly. If this was genuinely about fertility, handmaids wouldn't be wasted on men shooting blanks. Even if religion demanded the insemination be "live" as opposed to artificial, if the point was genuinely to produce children, then fertile male donors would be recruited, and the children would be spread around. We already know that high up families in Gilead are raising children they have no biological connection to so its clearly expected that you take the child you get.

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I cant believe how many of you are shitting on June. Without her none of this handmaids wouldve built up the courage to espace. They would have been stuck in that life until they died. And to say its june fault handmaids keep drying, ITS GILEADS FAULT. June is making the best out if what shes got and it GILEAD THE REAL ENEMY who keeps killing them. They all follow her and trust her for a damn reason knowing that in doing this they may die. They are full grown adults, if they wanted to stay back and not rebel with june they couldve done that. June is human too as well as shes a slave to gilead just like the rest of them. She's escaping for her daughter we knew that from the beginning so why is it a surprise that she the Other handmaids arent first on her list to save. Shes not god yall its not her responsibility to save them shes on a mission to save her daughter.

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On a side note one somewhat shallow thing about the Janine flashback is I never noticed how attractive Madeline Brewer is before. I have only seen her in this and Orange is the New Black, and it really showed how bad the handmaid uniforms make women look.

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1 hour ago, Kel Varnsen said:

On a side note one somewhat shallow thing about the Janine flashback is I never noticed how attractive Madeline Brewer is before. I have only seen her in this and Orange is the New Black, and it really showed how bad the handmaid uniforms make women look.

I watched an indie film (low key fantasy) called STILL and I was halfway through it before I realized Madeline was the main actress. Good film and, yeah, she really is pretty. 

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