Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
ElectricBoogaloo

S04.E04: Milk

Recommended Posts

18 minutes ago, Kel Varnsen said:

Those charity events that Luke is running would be bringing in a ton of money. Especially since helping people who escaped from Gilead would probably be a world wide relief effort. Since she is basically the spokesperson for the people on the plane I could see them wanting to make sure she was set up comfortably. I would also imagine that the CIA guy would be helping out with some cash. I mean if she is living somewhere shitty and has to work long hours to survive the less time (and the less likely) she would speak out against the place she used to live.

Yes, the nice accommodations must be a result of the publicity from the Angel Flight. In seasons 2 and 3 Luke and Moira were sharing a small apartment with one of the escaped handmaids (the one who coined "blessed be the Froot Loops"). IIRC Luke didn't even have his own bedroom and slept on the living room couch, and there were shortages of basic resources like coffee.

Now it looks like not only does Rita have a nice home to herself (with a fully stocked kitchen), but Luke and Moira are raising Nicole in a house that has a nice yard (where Luke and Nicole buried the green persimmon a few episodes ago).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

2 hours ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Where June was wrong and where Janine or anyone really would have acted differently is that they wouldn't have wasted another night in grave danger for the satisfaction of killing a few commanders. I think the show has made it clear everyone knows it's June's fault Alma and the others are dead, and June knows they know. I still question how much she understands herself. Enough to feel remorse? Yes. Enough to learn not to give in to a bloodlusty killing wish? I'm not sure.

I have a different take on that night.  My understanding is that they were not going to leave until nighttime anyways, so June going back to the commanders' party house wasn't really wasting any time or making anyone wait for her.  Obviously, something happened and they left early*, as June was obviously expecting them to be there when she got back.  We don't know how long June was in the torture center, but it seemed like more than one day, at least.  I put it on Alma and the other handmaids for not immediately moving on, or at least hiding better.  They should have known June had been captured and their position compromised.  If Alma wanted to wait for June (which seems rather out of character for her), that's on her and the others, not June. 

Also, in the van, it seemed like everyone had the same idea.  June didn't seem to be leading that escape attempt.  Now, she wasted about 10 seconds on Lydia, and it was damn stupid of her to at least not knock her out (if not bust her head in) but she wasn't telling anyone to wait for her. 

As I commented up thread, to get to the end of this episode with just June and Janine running free, the writers had to build in some really stupid decision making for otherwise smart characters.  I personally think they could have gotten to the same point while still being true to the characters.

* My problem with this whole scenario is that they were planning on going on foot, I think they said it was 15 miles.  So probably a 3-4 hour trek in the night, uneven ground, etc.  Even if they got tipped off after June left and got out early, there's no way they would have made it far enough to not have been caught after the guards found they left the house.  So my handwave on that is to assume they were driven to the new safe house by one of Keyes' guards.

 

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, chocolatine said:

Yes, the nice accommodations must be a result of the publicity from the Angel Flight. In seasons 2 and 3 Luke and Moira were sharing a small apartment with one of the escaped handmaids (the one who coined "blessed be the Froot Loops"). IIRC Luke didn't even have his own bedroom and slept on the living room couch, and there were shortages of basic resources like coffee.

The more that I think about it, I imagine there would be a lot of people who would have in interest in making sure that Rita's message that Gilead sucks and the freedom she has in Canada is amazing is consistent. It might be harder for her to maintain that message if she has to work 12 hour shifts in a meat packing plant or if she has to work housekeeping in a crappy hotel just to scrape by. Especially since to a lot of outsiders being a Martha might not seem that bad, at least compared to being a handmaid. And based on Rita's beliefs she might have bought into the whole Gilead thing at the start. So it would be a good reason for people to make sure she has a comfortable life.

Edited by Kel Varnsen
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Pepper the Cat said:

How is Rita supporting herself? That is one beautiful apartment she us living in. A place like that on Toronto or anywhere is the GTA would be $$$

It’s still not nearly as swanky as Serena’s prison cell. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Trillian said:

It’s still not nearly as swanky as Serena’s prison cell. 

Her prison cell is twice the size of mine and my husband's first house. 

  • Like 1
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post

I don't mind anti-heroes. Protagonists who make stupid mistakes and aren't particularly nice. Complicated people with their own agendas. What bothers me about June is that I'm so turned off by her now (and Elisabeth Moss in general) I actually don't care what happens to her. In fact, I'd welcome an episode or two that ignored June altogether and showed us things strictly from another character's perspective. For me, June as a character is victim to the cardinal sin of storytelling: she's just not that interesting. The protagonist doesn't have to be someone you like, but they should be engaging.

She runs away, gets caught, smirks at the camera a little, and is then released with nary a scratch on her. Once she's been caught she essentially is returned to her former ranking. If that had been any other Handmaid they'd just be a stomach and a uterus by now. 

I hated every single person on MELROSE PLACE and, as someone else said, ALLY MCBEAL. It was entertaining as hell to watch them, though.  That's where Aunt Lydia and Serena Joy have a leg up. In their own uniquely fucked up ways they're both horrible people (and good Lord I hope there's no redemption arc planned) and I'd gladly sit back and watch them suffer. But that's just it-at least I'd watch.

I'm with those of you who turned your noses up at the milk. I hate it, too. Even pictures of people in milk baths turn my stomach. 

At some point did the train split off? Because when the rebels were shooting at it there only seemed to be one or two cars.

Also, at the risk of victim blaming, don't look at a strange man who's already a little skeevy and assure him that you'll do "anything" to stay. 

FWIW I also think Emily's character is way underutilized and that Nick has the personality of a paperclip. So there's that. 

TL/DR: June's a bore and I hate milk. 

Edited by mamadrama · Reason: Fuuuccckkk that post was long. Sorry about that.
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

3 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

FWIW I also think Emily's character is way underutilized and that Nick has the personality of a paperclip. So there's that. 

I agree on Emily completely and I feel like there's some good stories we're missing there.

I think the problem of Nick is that he's way too much of a mystery at this point and has a screwy background that doesn't make sense. I'm fine with him being an Eye and a driver - thats consistent with the book and it makes sense that a spy would be in a menial job (and makes an earlier point that a  Guardian in a low level position would have a lot of access to high level intelligence since the Sons of Jacob are sloppy as fuck). What doesn't make sense is Nick being an apparently well known war hero/war criminal during the takeover but who wasn't promoted etc simply because of you know, the tremendous things he did in the war. He tries to rescue June and his daughter and hands off the Handmaid letters in Canada to Luke because of love etc, but while he rebels, he also heads off to Chicago to be a Commander and a member of the oppressor group. Frankly Nick defecting would be a coup and he's had ample opportunity.

I also kinda question why "Ok, my wife had my driver bang my handmaid to make a baby" is somehow behavior winked at when its all totally outside the ceremony. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, EllaWycliffe said:

I agree on Emily completely and I feel like there's some good stories we're missing there.

I think the problem of Nick is that he's way too much of a mystery at this point and has a screwy background that doesn't make sense. I'm fine with him being an Eye and a driver - thats consistent with the book and it makes sense that a spy would be in a menial job (and makes an earlier point that a  Guardian in a low level position would have a lot of access to high level intelligence since the Sons of Jacob are sloppy as fuck). What doesn't make sense is Nick being an apparently well known war hero/war criminal during the takeover but who wasn't promoted etc simply because of you know, the tremendous things he did in the war. He tries to rescue June and his daughter and hands off the Handmaid letters in Canada to Luke because of love etc, but while he rebels, he also heads off to Chicago to be a Commander and a member of the oppressor group. Frankly Nick defecting would be a coup and he's had ample opportunity.

I also kinda question why "Ok, my wife had my driver bang my handmaid to make a baby" is somehow behavior winked at when its all totally outside the ceremony. 

Yeah, I feel like Nick hasn't really been pinned down yet. I don't have strong feelings either way. He's just...there?

Re: Emily

One of the first things my professor said to me at the Iowa Writers Workshop was "don't miss the story while you're trying to chase it down." I get that more now than I did then. Sometimes you have a specific plot in your head and come hell or high water you're going to make that happen. In the meantime, you're bypassing a lot of these other stories that may have been better. You have to have that flexibility and kind of follow the tale sometimes. I think a lot of shows paint themselves into corners like that. They're so intent on Character A and B being endgame that they're totally missing the chemistry between A and C. Or they're so sure that they want X to happen that they rush right through the beauty of T, U, V, and W. There have been a few times when I've watched this show and thought -"Wow, they were so CLOSE!" 

Honestly, story wise I think they jumped onto the Resistance too quickly. S1 where we're learning about the banality of Gilead evil was both terrifying and fucking amazing.  We don't always have to go straight for the waterboarding or spanking or fingerchopping stuff. Simply walking into a grocery store and staring at rows of food pictures on cans is pretty bad.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/6/2021 at 12:00 AM, EllaWycliffe said:

Most women don't have the upper body strength to pull themselves up the way June did. The whole time they were in the milk tank I was wondering why they didn't jump into the open boxcar. 

Whatever about June being able to get herself out, jumping into a "pull-up" is much easier and more doable than doing it properly from a dead-hang. Though as a woman who can do a proper pull-up, I'm not sure I'd be able to jump and pull myself up following many hours of being wet, cold, hungry and exhausted, following days of torture, following recently having been shot in the abdomen. But even if she somehow summoned the power to pull herself out, the idea that June could lean in, reach one arm down and pull Janine up was superhero level stuff right there.

I was actually wondering why they didn't at least get in one of the vehicles being transported. Those seemed like something they would have had an decent shot of getting out of easily when the train approached Chicago. And they were less likely to have been inspected along the way as the cargo carrying cars. June might even have been able to put her superhero skills to good use by lifting it off the train and driving off in it.

  • Like 1
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, mamadrama said:

She runs away, gets caught, smirks at the camera a little, and is then released with nary a scratch on her. Once she's been caught she essentially is returned to her former ranking. If that had been any other Handmaid they'd just be a stomach and a uterus by now. 

Well Emily killed a guy and got sent to the colonies and the was allowed to come back and still be a handmaid (not just a woman strapped to a table in a cell used for the ceremony).

One thing that I realized was kind of interesting was that the sleazy resistance guy said that Janine or June had to have sex with him since they had nothing else of value. I wonder if June had just hung onto that tazer she might have been able to trade that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/8/2021 at 12:34 PM, Pepper the Cat said:

How is Rita supporting herself? That is one beautiful apartment she us living in. A place like that on Toronto or anywhere is the GTA would be $$$

She is a refugee and some countries give refugees stipends until they can get on their feet. Canada does provide a lot of assistance to immigrants through their immigration programs. As for refugees, most rich countries should be providing assistance and compensation from damages. In most cases, they only become refugees because of those countries policies and wars that destroy people's livelihoods, and displace them.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, circumvent said:

She is a refugee and some countries give refugees stipends until they can get on their feet.

My family and I were refugees in the early 90s, albeit in Germany and not in Canada, and while we did receive a stipend for a short time, it was not enough to live on. My parents had to work several menial jobs while they learned the language and got their professional qualifications; without the income from those jobs we wouldn't have been able to afford an apartment and would have had to stay in the refugee hostel, where we had one room for the three of us and had to share a bathroom and kitchen with seven or eight other families.

The way Rita is being compensated is far from standard, and it's only because she was part of a high-profile international incident and is being used for PR. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

3 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

The way Rita is being compensated is far from standard, and it's only because she was part of a high-profile international incident and is being used for PR. 

Do we know how she is being compensated? I don't recall having seen that in the show (real question, I really don't remember)

Considering how things are far from consistent in the writing, and by your experience, it seems like they are stretching the reasonable. Judging form the accommodations Fred and Serena get...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, circumvent said:

Do we know how she is being compensated? I don't recall having seen that in the show (real question, I really don't remember)

It hasn't been mentioned, and I doubt that it will. I'm just going by the upscale home where she's staying, her nice clothes and accessories, and the sushi lunch. All of those things were out of reach for many years for my family and the other refugee families we knew.

She's either getting the cash to pay for these things, or Tuello and his team arrange everything for her so she never has a to see a bill.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Perhaps she had money salted away from her before life somehow - couldn't get herself across the border but transferred assets before they were seized. The other thing I wondered about is if there were US assets in Canadian or other international banks, etc, that those governments could freeze or seize, and use to fund refugee programs.   

Share this post


Link to post

I came out of this episode torn on how I felt about where June started the episode and where she ended.  On the one hand, I thought June was getting a little too "big for her britches" - to quote my mother - and positively hateful in some of her interactions with others. However I absolutely HATE that they used rape and oral sex as the mechanism to bring on that self-reflection - it was completely unnecessary and the end result could have been achieved in so many other ways.  I really liked Janine pointing out that she might not have made the same choices as June.  Okay, yes, we all know she would have if it were Charlotte in that glass box, but her point is that there are heroes all around them.  Janine has "saved" June plenty of times, as well.  In the hospital when June wanted to kill her walking partner.  When she was laying dead in the forest.  This episode with the Resistance Rapist.  Saving and heroics doesn't always come in the form of big grandiose moments.  For example, we had June snarling in Janine's face that she should have left her behind a long time ago, or something along those lines.  Well, had Janine left JUNE a long time ago, June would be dead in the forest - for example.  Does Janine turn to June and say "what do we do next??" plenty of times?  Yes.  And while June may not show that level of vulnerability or uncertainty in the same way, lord knows, it's clear that she'd be nowhere if not for the smarts, wit and courage of others.  I just hate that it took her being unable to blow job to get her to that realization.  That sucked.  Literally, for poor Janine.  

Where this episode came in so strong was the fact that it wasn't All June All The Time.  Janine held her own, we got more Rita, Serena and Fred (my god, Serena and Fred have a real talent for distortion).  We were introduced to an aspect of the Handmaid's Tale that I'm eager to explore.  And we even toughed on some other aspects of the book that go beyond June as well.  For example, at the very end they talk about how some women, once liberated from Gilead, had a real struggle assimilating back into "normal" life.  I like how we keep getting little glimpses of that along the way, most recently here with Rita.  Although I do wonder if her deference to Serena and Fred was intentional at first, out of "habit" and fear, Stockholm syndrome, or if she went in there knowing exactly what she was going to do and how she was going to act around them?  I mean, with the commander, she went in there with a clear plan.  But did she go in to meet with Serena being all "yes m'am" intentionally?

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post

They've not explicitly said this on the show, but I think the reason why the world has to be so touchy about riding the line between peace with Gilead and the remaining USA is because I suspect the USA-in-exile (Anchorage) still controls the huge overseas military presence. US Navy, nuclear subs, bases in Germany, Japan, Korea...

 

  • Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post

It really strikes me how everyone, despite everything they've been through, despite the things that have happened, regardless of which side they're on, still cling to their faith; particularly the peculiar strain of Christianity endemic to Gilead.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

3 hours ago, AmigaJoe said:

It really strikes me how everyone, despite everything they've been through, despite the things that have happened, regardless of which side they're on, still cling to their faith; particularly the peculiar strain of Christianity endemic to Gilead.

I have trouble wrapping my head around that, especially since Gilead as a place has only existed for such a short amount of time and not everyone grew up like that. What, 5 or 6 years? Hannah hasn't grown much.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, JasonCC said:

They've not explicitly said this on the show, but I think the reason why the world has to be so touchy about riding the line between peace with Gilead and the remaining USA is because I suspect the USA-in-exile (Anchorage) still controls the huge overseas military presence. US Navy, nuclear subs, bases in Germany, Japan, Korea...

 

If this is the case, why doesn’t the US bring some of that military home to fight Gilead?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

episode 4, about Janine...

Edited by Umbelina
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/10/2021 at 2:30 PM, BrindaWalsh said:

For example, at the very end they talk about how some women, once liberated from Gilead, had a real struggle assimilating back into "normal" life.  I like how we keep getting little glimpses of that along the way, most recently here with Rita

That would be something interesting to explore. There are a lot of people that hate Gilead obviously, but each one of them would have had a different breaking point for when they decided they hate it. For like June and Emily it was pretty early on, but for others they might have agreed with some of Gilead's early policies until they started seeing public executions. Rita is obviously a religious person so maybe she was ok with them, until she became someone's property. Like June witnessed the soldiers gun down a bunch of protestors, but I am sure a bunch of other people who weren't there, probably convinced themselves that the protesters had it coming.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm curious about where they will take Fred and Serena from here on out.

Fred seems to be genuinely baffled by the idea that Rita could have anything against him. I think that he wanted to think of himself as a respected, beloved head of the household, and made himself believe that he was. He thinks of not being cruel to Rita as something he should get credit for, and in Season Two, he probably thought that Rita cooked his favourite meals because she cared about him, not because getting on his bad side could lead to a one-way trip to the Colonies. He also tried to convince himself that June cared about him. I don't think that he will allow himself to believe that he has done anything wrong, even as he faces trial. I wonder if it will occur to him that, if he was able to impregnate Serena, he may be Nichole's father after all.

Serena fussing over needing to stay off her feet struck me as very typical of her. She will take every chance she can possibly get to draw attention to her pregnancy and to use it to claim special treatment. Maddeningly, but predictably, Gilead gets the credit for the pregnancy. I think that she sees her pregnancy as a Get Out of Jail Free card. Even if she knows that she is still to be put on trial, it wouldn't surprise me if she thinks that the baby is going to keep her from being sent to prison, as he will need his mother to take care of him. It may not occur to her that, if she is found guilty, she's going to prison and her baby could be taken from her and sent to foster care, as so many other women's children were taken from them in Gilead.

  • Like 2
  • Useful 2

Share this post


Link to post

When they first splashed into that milk tank the first thing I thought was, I sure wouldn't want to drink that milk when these two have been in there for at least a full day with no place to go!

They must have made some deliveries along the way, otherwise June and Janine consumed about a thousand gallons of milk on that trip.

When I saw the panoramic shot of Chicago I thought, that's Chicago today!

Share this post


Link to post

5 hours ago, Dobian said:

When they first splashed into that milk tank the first thing I thought was, I sure wouldn't want to drink that milk when these two have been in there for at least a full day with no place to go!

They must have made some deliveries along the way, otherwise June and Janine consumed about a thousand gallons of milk on that trip.

When I saw the panoramic shot of Chicago I thought, that's Chicago today!

 

5 hours ago, Dobian said:

When they first splashed into that milk tank the first thing I thought was, I sure wouldn't want to drink that milk when these two have been in there for at least a full day with no place to go!

They must have made some deliveries along the way, otherwise June and Janine consumed about a thousand gallons of milk on that trip.

When I saw the panoramic shot of Chicago I thought, that's Chicago today!

Yuck!  Milk!

I think June dove down and emptied the tank.  Although a valve inside seems odd.  TV!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/5/2021 at 3:12 PM, DiabLOL said:

I actually cried during Rita’s lunch scene. I  found it so shockingly powerful and the actress conveyed so much.

It was a well done scene. The score was fitting as well. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I hope that douchebag is a new redshirt.  

Share this post


Link to post

I thought this episode was a massive improvement on last week's "Torture Porn Hour".

There were so many good tense scenes in the episode.

I found the whole scene with Serena and Rita incredibly tense. I kept expecting Rita to go off or to at least mention she was a slave and Serena committed a crime against her but the conversation just kept going. Also if Rita is still partly thinking like a Gileadean so was Serena. She was superficially pleasant to her but then didn't even do her the courtesy of asking if she would testify on Serena's behalf, she just sent over the homework from the lawyer.

In other stellar scenes, I loved Janine calling out June for her choices. I thought it was telling that June wasn't able to either bring herself to defend herself more fully (by explaining that she did withstand several rounds of torture) or to be kinder to Janine. It was like she wasn't fully able to go there and reckon with the fact that her taking the opportunity to kill the Commanders cost the lives of most of their friends. (I enjoyed Janine's speech about how Alma loved June and how kind she was and how she refused to let them leave June behind). The show seems to consistently make this point, when the handmaid from a previous season triggered the suicide bomb, that also ending up costing more women's lives than they took.

Lastly I like seeing Janine in her old life so you get a sense that Gilead and the whole experience has infantilised her. She might have been manipulated into keeping Caleb and she clearly wasn't rich but she was able to support her son and herself and be planning how to try and improve her circumstances by going back to school. I was really glad that the show had her have the second experience of trying to have an abortion and we got a counteraction to the previous brainwashing masquerading as medical treatment.

I didn't love the whole thing with the rebel leader in Chicago but it at least felt narratively justified as a way to make the point that not every group who fights Gilead is necessarily going to be comprised of upstanding people who care about women's rights or human rights. The whole "I won't force you" thing was pretty vomit inducing given that they are fugitives in a war zone with no weapons and nowhere else obvious to go.

Edited by Beatriceblake
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size