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S04.E07: Home

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June contends with joy, pain, and rage as she acclimates herself to vastly changed circumstances.

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Original air date: 5/26/21

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Both trailers have me super-excited.

This may sound weird, but the scene between June and the women (where June asks about Serena) looks like it happens after June cuts her hair short.  But when June goes to visit Serena (presumably later), she has her hair back in this rigid, strangely formal bun.  Am I not seeing things right?

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7 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

Both trailers have me super-excited.

This may sound weird, but the scene between June and the women (where June asks about Serena) looks like it happens after June cuts her hair short.  But when June goes to visit Serena (presumably later), she has her hair back in this rigid, strangely formal bun.  Am I not seeing things right?

June's face is still beat up. I thought (and correct me if I am wrong) That June's hair was always just above the shoulders. She was still able to pull it back in a tight ponytail.  

I am a bit disappointed at the Israeli trailer (usually we get a bit more).  SJ is of course going to spin it to June that it was all Fred and she had to obey as a wife. Serena's goal now is to get out with the baby.  

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1 hour ago, greekmom said:

I am a bit disappointed at the Israeli trailer (usually we get a bit more).  SJ is of course going to spin it to June that it was all Fred and she had to obey as a wife. Serena's goal now is to get out with the baby.  

June can potentially shoot some pretty significant holes in Serena's claim that it was all Fred's fault.

Fred didn't force Serena to get June and Nick to produce a baby for them to claim.

Fred didn't force Serena to use Hannah to blackmail June.

Fred didn't force Serena to imprison June for not being pregnant.

It would help Serena's cause if she could get June to support her story about it all being Fred's fault, and June advocating leniency could carry quite a bit of weight. If June decides to testify against her, it could do Serena's cause quite a bit of harm.

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So far the only rape they have Serena on is the forced copulation with Nick. She can claim "coercion" on the "ceremonies." However, with June there they could possibly add the violent rape that SJ and Fred committed to speed up labor. That was NOT a Gilead-sanctioned ritual and Serena was definitely a co-conspirator (to put it mildly). 

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8 hours ago, mamadrama said:

So far the only rape they have Serena on is the forced copulation with Nick. She can claim "coercion" on the "ceremonies." However, with June there they could possibly add the violent rape that SJ and Fred committed to speed up labor. That was NOT a Gilead-sanctioned ritual and Serena was definitely a co-conspirator (to put it mildly). 

June was also in earshot when Fred yelled at Serena about it being her idea, wasn't she?

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On 5/22/2021 at 3:42 AM, mamadrama said:

So far the only rape they have Serena on is the forced copulation with Nick. She can claim "coercion" on the "ceremonies." However, with June there they could possibly add the violent rape that SJ and Fred committed to speed up labor. That was NOT a Gilead-sanctioned ritual and Serena was definitely a co-conspirator (to put it mildly). 

Couldn't that also be spun as her trying to save June's life? June would be sent to the colonies if she didn't have a baby in a certain amount of time. And nobody was with them for the labor rape. That's her word against theirs.

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18 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

Couldn't that also be spun as her trying to save June's life? June would be sent to the colonies if she didn't have a baby in a certain amount of time. And nobody was with them for the labor rape. That's her word against theirs.

That, and from an evidence standpoint its basically June's word against Fred and Serena's that it even happened. If Rita didn't witness it then maybe June is making it up. And if Rita did witness it... a good lawyer would argue that Rita, as a slave laborer who resented Serena, just might be lying. 

Honestly the whole rape case from a legal standpoint is pretty tenuous. June actually was under threat to produce a baby, it can be argued Serena was helping save her life by getting her to have sex with Nick to make the baby that would keep her from being sent to the colonies. And June *could* have turned Serena in. I don't know how effective that would really have been... but it can be argued she had recourse.

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Serena Joy actively took part in the enslavement of Rita and June, going so far as to beat both of them, and that happened prior to Serena getting her finger amputated, which makes it much harder for her to argue that trauma had rendered her unable to comprehend the wrongness of her actions. Really hope the writers don't try to make it credible that Serena might be acquitted of any serious crimes.

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To me, the more interesting question is whether June's understandable desire to hurt Fred and Serena, and Gilead generally, will interfere with her ability to act strategically. Now, maximally hurting Fred, Serena&Gilead may well be optimal strategy at this time. On the other hand, it may be the case that going easy on Serena, allowing her freedom and custody of her baby, in order to induce her to fully testify against Fred and other Commanders, is more strategically sound. That's quite  a bitter pill for June and other escaped Handmaid's and Martha's to swallow, but war is one bitter pill after another.

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I’m curious to see how Serena’s pregnancy will affect her dedication to pursuing a custody claim for Nicole, since that’s the entire reason she’s in Canada. Will it make a difference? Will she double down on her dream come true and exalt pregnancy and childbirth as a more virtuous (and higher status) type of motherhood in the eyes of the Gilead God? I can see her smugly rejoicing in the biological bonds of motherhood now that she is pregnant.

Serena has already demonstrated willingness to circumvent Gilead rules when she arranged for Baby Angela to be seen by the obstetrician-turned-Martha, so she seems likely to pursue Gilead-prohibited prenatal, birth and post-natal medical care for herself and her son. She must be considered a high-risk pregnancy. It’s all well and good to pray for a healthy baby, but I’ll bet she has a top notch OB-GYN on speed-dial to make prison penthouse calls on a regular basis.
 

 

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10 hours ago, greekmom said:

I can't wait for this.

 

People have pointed out that this is a parallel of this scene from Season 1:

 

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8 hours ago, RandomX said:

I’m curious to see how Serena’s pregnancy will affect her dedication to pursuing a custody claim for Nicole, since that’s the entire reason she’s in Canada. Will it make a difference? Will she double down on her dream come true and exalt pregnancy and childbirth as a more virtuous (and higher status) type of motherhood in the eyes of the Gilead God? I can see her smugly rejoicing in the biological bonds of motherhood now that she is pregnant.

Has Serena even mentioned Nichole since she learned that she was pregnant?

Gilead seems to be getting credit for the pregnancy - the clean water, etc. Perhaps, if the pregnancy is successful, Serena will want to somehow get the word back to Gilead that maybe some of the Wives are no longer "barren". It seems that, if a Handmaid is assigned to a household, the Commander and Wife don't have sex so Serena could reason that, for all anybody knows, some Wives are unknowingly missing out on an opportunity to conceive.

I would say that, while Handmaids are viewed as a necessity and some families choose to adopt, biological motherhood would be the ideal for the high status families. The man promoted to the rank of Commander upon his wife's pregnancy definitely seemed to consider himself to be blessed compared to other Commanders. Even going back to the Biblical precedent used to justify the Handmaid system, it is Rachel's biological son, Joseph, who is Jacob's favourite and who is able to interpret dreams, not the two sons Bilhah bore on Rachel's behalf.

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Just a breath taking, breath holding, and slowly exhaling episode.

Perfection, everything I've wanted from this show for so long.  So many times I was near tears, and it's been a long long time since I felt that way.

Rita.  Emily.  Moira.  Serena.  June. Even Luke.  

I hope they all get nominations for this one.   This was SO GOOD!  Please show, keep it up!

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It was slower than I expected, but very poignant. 

When June mentioned her first encounter with Hannah to Luke but not the second, I got the feels.  I wonder if he'll learn about their more recent encounter.

Oh come on, Moira, you're trying to hold on to your relationship with Oona when Emily is right there.

What did Serena expect?  Was she hoping June would forgive her and not give damning testimony?  I'm surprised they didn't keep a witness in the room to prevent one of them from outright killing the other.

Edited by Brn2bwild
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11 minutes ago, Brn2bwild said:

Oh come on, Moira, you're trying to hold on to your relationship with Oona when Emily is right there.

Seriously. I don't like Moira in this desperate, clingy, needy role. I doubt we're going to get too much Sylvia so I'd be okay with her and Emily together.

12 minutes ago, Brn2bwild said:

What did Serena expect?  Was she hoping June would forgive her and not give damning testimony?  I'm surprised they didn't keep a witness in the room to prevent one of them from outright killing the other.

I can't tell if Serena is batshit crazy or just playing everyone. 

2 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

Was it just me, or did she rape Luke?

It was a very fine line. It made me extremely uncomfortable too. 

I do like the PTSD she's having. Very realistic and needed. When she first got to the hotel room, I felt so bad for her just because she seemed so lost. The grocery store scene was appropriately disturbing. I was waiting for her to lose it.

 

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10 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

The scene between June and Serena was everything I've been waiting for! And I'm glad June is not holding back any information from Tuello.

The episode was going from strength to strength until June came back from seeing Serena. Was it just me, or did she rape Luke? I know he'd kissed her earlier in the kitchen, but I don't think he was ready to have sex that quickly. He was trying to tell her to stop but she held down his wrist and put a hand over his mouth. It made me very uncomfortable.

Pretty much.

I think he wanted her, but just as we've seen with refugees before, their friends and family are told to take it super slow.

I'm not sure why she mini-raped him, there are so many possibilities, that used to be the way they had sex, her on top is one.  I feel like it was more her reclaiming her own sexuality, under no one's thumb, just for her.

It worked for me.

ETA Calling it rape makes me uncomfortable though.  I don't Luke was unwilling, it just didn't go exactly the way he thought it might, and he's scared for her.  He's been counselling refugees for a while now, I think he felt it was too soon.

Edited by Umbelina
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I read it as the first sexual encounter in 7/8 years where she was the one in power.

This was season one level good.  Loved seeing our four ladies drinking wine in the Lydia Free zone. Only wish Janine was there.

All of June's flashes were done well too.  And of course DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME!!!  I've been waiting for that damn scene for so long and the dreaded Serena Joy attempted redemption is put to pasture and no more.

Samira and Elisabeth have been on their A games these past few episodes.  I smell some Emmys here.

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40 minutes ago, kittykat said:

I read it as the first sexual encounter in 7/8 years where she was the one in power.

She already did that with Nick at the beginning of Season 2. When she first escaped Gilead and went into hiding in the newspaper offices. She caught him by the hair and made him submit to her. He totally went along with it though and fully understood why she was acting as she was. (I haven't seen this episode, so don't know how Luke is portrayed here.)

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Luke’s awkwardness felt too real to me.  He was doing a lot of the right things a partner should do in that situation, but the trauma and years apart created a tension that made me as embarrassed for him as I was sympathetic.  Walking the line of being there for someone, AND giving them space is difficult, and not many people can do it without making some mistakes.  Luke made a bunch, but I’m just not able to be mad at him.

As for June: allow me to say that the Gilead damage she visited upon Luke during their lovemaking (ew, I typed that) was troubling.  Years of abuse would warp anyone’s boundaries, and she’s at risk of becoming an abuser to treat her own wounds (and that does not work).  Also, let me say that I loved how Moss showed discomfort around Luke.  The locking of the bathroom door said a lot.

Amazing episode.

Edited by revbfc
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On 5/24/2021 at 6:21 PM, RandomX said:

I’m curious to see how Serena’s pregnancy will affect her dedication to pursuing a custody claim for Nicole, since that’s the entire reason she’s in Canada. Will it make a difference? Will she double down on her dream come true and exalt pregnancy and childbirth as a more virtuous (and higher status) type of motherhood in the eyes of the Gilead God? I can see her smugly rejoicing in the biological bonds of motherhood now that she is pregnant.

Serena has already demonstrated willingness to circumvent Gilead rules when she arranged for Baby Angela to be seen by the obstetrician-turned-Martha, so she seems likely to pursue Gilead-prohibited prenatal, birth and post-natal medical care for herself and her son. She must be considered a high-risk pregnancy. It’s all well and good to pray for a healthy baby, but I’ll bet she has a top notch OB-GYN on speed-dial to make prison penthouse calls on a regular basis.
 

 

How would Serena have a custody claim for Nichole?

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Fantastic episode!

Oona was my only "Oh Just go away."

Rita and June's reunion made me cry. 

Lovely knowing that Emily has come so far with her son.

Elizabeth Moss killed in this episode, and she was surrounded by great actors and an amazing script.

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1 minute ago, Hathaway said:

Oona was my only "Oh Just go away."

I agree, she is too smug, Moira can do better.

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I didn't really feel the confrontation.  Guess it's meant to be cathartic for her.  She calls Tuello over late at night so she could visit and tell Serena off.  Then comes home and wants a release.

I'm also not sure what trial they're going to have.  American govt. in exile is going to try the case or Canada will?  It's more a war crime.  Who knows if the International Criminal Court still exists in this world.

Fred and Serena do have to be punished but the govt. in exile have bigger fish to fry.  When the women said they can't reach us now, I wonder if that was true.  I thought Gilead still posed a big threat to Canada.  Instead the Canadians seem blithely unaware of this threat, life seems pretty much pre-Gilead up there, even though they must have taken in millions of American refugees?

I'd be curious to see how much of the govt. in exile they still have up there, what kind of resources.  All you ever see is Tuello.

Did any of the US military or the intel community survive and is resisting?  IF they didn't get killed -- and the way Gilead struggles to put down the rebellions and they have Nick a driver running the military -- I'd think they'd easily be able to reconquer Gilead or at least out-strategize them.

Yeah the PTSD scene was good but will they have more scenes of traumatic flashbacks?  Probably and it would be realistic but I don't know if it would make for good television.  Plus if you make June prey to a prolonged period of traumatic memories, it takes away her agency.

Unless the plan is to make at least this season about the fight to win the narrative vs. Fred and Serena about what happened in Gilead.

Maybe June will never get a chance to engage in guerrilla warfare vs. Gilead.  Realistically, she has no military training, certainly not able to lead some kind of insurgency.  She may never give up on the idea of getting Hannah back but she's essentially a civilian and it doesn't look like the govt in exile is going to mount some campaign to defeat Gilead any time soon.

So realistically, her story should end here, now she's got a villain life ahead of her.  Sure she will be crucial in the trial -- again, I really wonder if there would be a trial with some Perry Mason drama in a court room.  More than likely they could take her recounting all the things she suffered at the hands of the Waterfords but this being TV, they will have that court room scene.

June is obviously going to lobby the Canadians and the exile govt to find a way to get Hannah back.  But it seems unlikely she's going to grab a gun and try to be part of some rescue expedition.

It's hard to see where the show would go now.  That is in a plausible direction.  

 

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2 minutes ago, Armchair Critic said:

I agree, she is too smug, Moira can do better.

Oona was playing an obviously  passive-aggressive game by bringing over that gift for June.  You don’t personally bring something over to your ex’s place if you don’t want to talk to them.

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In what world does Tuello get a call in the dead of night from his intelligence asset, asking to meet with his political prisoner ASAP, and think this is a simply dandy idea, never mind their history? She’s clearly got her head on straight and there’s no way this could go wrong. He’ll be next door if you need him, ladies, have fun!

IDK why, of all the things we’ve been asked to suspend disbelief over, this got me so much, but it did. I think the show is exploring some sophisticated ideas well, and I’ve wanted to see this side of things for a while. But this scene just didn’t need the contrived circumstances to give it some oomph, great overhead shot aside. It took me out of things when I should have been in that conversation. Anyway, I do hope June hasn’t made more trouble for herself with that catharsis.

Edited by 853fisher
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It felt to me as if the episode was written by 2 different people. The first few minutes, until June's 17 hour sleep was over, was just clunky to me. I mean, an obviously battered and bruised escapee from a war torn totalitarian regime, with immense propagada value, arrives on your shores, and her 1st stop isn't a medical facility, for complete documentation of her physical condition, and to receive any needed treatment. Really? Moira's "You got this!" after June was asked her last question at the end of the gangplank was an unfortunate bit of cliched dialogue.

After that 1st segment, the writing improved immensely. The portrayal of PTSD, and the difficulty of trying to live productively, without regret, after suffering immense damage, was really poignant. I do still fear the writers are going to try to credibly suggest that Serena could somehow be acquitted at trial of serious crimes, despite June and Rita, two people she directly  helped keep enslaved, being available to testify. It's far more interesting to think about how Serena might be so valuable if she were to turn on her husband and Gilead, and what might have to be offered to convince her to do it.

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13 minutes ago, 853fisher said:

In what world does Tuello get a call in the dead of night from his intelligence asset, asking to meet with his political prisoner ASAP, and think this is a simply dandy idea, never mind their history? She’s clearly got her head on straight and there’s no way this could go wrong. He’ll be next door if you need him, ladies, have fun!

IDK why, of all the things we’ve been asked to suspend disbelief over, this got me so much, but it did. I think the show is exploring some sophisticated ideas well, and I’ve wanted to see this side of things for a while. But this scene just didn’t need the contrived circumstances to give it some oomph, great overhead shot aside. It took me out of things when I should have been in that conversation. Anyway, I do hope June hasn’t made more trouble for herself with that catharsis.

Yes, the trip to the prison in the middle of the night was silly, but I was able to hand wave that away easier, for some reason, than bringing batteted and bruised June, world's most prominent political prisoner, to a luxury hotel, instead of a great suite in Toronto's best hospital.

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What was the deal with Fred telling Serena that the pregnancy belonged to him as much as June's did to Serena? That was weird. The baby's paternity isn't in question, whereas there is no question of Nichole having any biological tie to Serena.

Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but I can't buy that Fred is sincere about wanting to help Serena. If their strategy ends with her going free or getting a lenient sentence, it will be a side effect. His ultimate goal is going to be to keep himself out of prison. Realistically, Fred has more information about the inner workings of Gilead that he can use as a bargaining chip. Serena would have been kept very much out of the loop.

In terms of Serena's pregnancy, I keep coming back to what June said in Birth Day about the chances of a healthy birth being one in five. And, assuming that she's referring to term pregnancies rather than including miscarriages earlier in the pregnancy, the odds of a successful pregnancy are likely to be a lot lower than 20%.

I don't think that Serena could cope with miscarrying this child.

If the whiteboard at the end is any indication, the United States in exile is working to bring them both down, so Tuello may have intentionally played Serena against Fred.

(Have to take a point from the prop person for the bit about Nichole being taken with Angel Flight, though. 😀)

219378590_whiteboard-Copy.thumb.jpg.8207e460305841e98e33e9952f66d512.jpg

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4 hours ago, aghst said:

I didn't really feel the confrontation.  Guess it's meant to be cathartic for her.  She calls Tuello over late at night so she could visit and tell Serena off.  Then comes home and wants a release.

I'm also not sure what trial they're going to have.  American govt. in exile is going to try the case or Canada will?  It's more a war crime.  Who knows if the International Criminal Court still exists in this world.

Fred and Serena do have to be punished but the govt. in exile have bigger fish to fry.  When the women said they can't reach us now, I wonder if that was true.  I thought Gilead still posed a big threat to Canada.  Instead the Canadians seem blithely unaware of this threat, life seems pretty much pre-Gilead up there, even though they must have taken in millions of American refugees?

I'd be curious to see how much of the govt. in exile they still have up there, what kind of resources.  All you ever see is Tuello.

Did any of the US military or the intel community survive and is resisting?  IF they didn't get killed -- and the way Gilead struggles to put down the rebellions and they have Nick a driver running the military -- I'd think they'd easily be able to reconquer Gilead or at least out-strategize them.

Yeah the PTSD scene was good but will they have more scenes of traumatic flashbacks?  Probably and it would be realistic but I don't know if it would make for good television.  Plus if you make June prey to a prolonged period of traumatic memories, it takes away her agency.

Unless the plan is to make at least this season about the fight to win the narrative vs. Fred and Serena about what happened in Gilead.

Maybe June will never get a chance to engage in guerrilla warfare vs. Gilead.  Realistically, she has no military training, certainly not able to lead some kind of insurgency.  She may never give up on the idea of getting Hannah back but she's essentially a civilian and it doesn't look like the govt in exile is going to mount some campaign to defeat Gilead any time soon.

So realistically, her story should end here, now she's got a villain life ahead of her.  Sure she will be crucial in the trial -- again, I really wonder if there would be a trial with some Perry Mason drama in a court room.  More than likely they could take her recounting all the things she suffered at the hands of the Waterfords but this being TV, they will have that court room scene.

June is obviously going to lobby the Canadians and the exile govt to find a way to get Hannah back.  But it seems unlikely she's going to grab a gun and try to be part of some rescue expedition.

It's hard to see where the show would go now.  That is in a plausible direction.  

 

Yeah, I just don't know. It seems to me that the bigger fish for the American Government to fry is getting maximal exposure of Gilead's true nature. One of the key elements to the (somewhat unexpected) collapse of the Soviet government was how it's true nature was fully exposed via testimony, such as Solzhenitsyn's literature. The ideological rationale of the regime was revealed to be a complete lie, and with that realization, the regime's legitimacy/authority vanished. Nobody was willing to sacrifice anything any longer to further the regime, and without such sacrifice, collapse was inevitable, since the staggering inefficiency of how society was organized could only be overcome via ideological devotion by large numbers of people. Of course, that was a 2-3 decade process, and this is a t.v. show which is supposed to be wrapping up.

Still, I could see the American Govt. obtaining great value in not only public testimony from the regime's victims, but also in confessions the regime's oppressors. Right now, we have Serena and Fred proposing a truce and re-alliance, but it's in the American Govt.'s interest for them to be in conflict (it's kind of silly writing that Serena and Fred are allowed private meetings, where they can plot together), so as to get more willing testimony from them. It really does make sense for Serena to be offered a much better outcome than Fred, simply to get an oppressor like Serena to fully testify to the regime's rotten core. Think of Sammy Gravano walking free, despite admitting to 18 murders, just so he would fully testify to John Gotti's reign over the Gambino Family. Think of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which allowed people who did horrible things to go free, simply because there was value in getting a full accounting of Apartheid. IIRC, there was a similar process with regard to the Cambodian genocide.

In any case, there may be future conflict between Serena getting what she deserves, and getting from Serena that which would damage Gilead most. There's a war to be won, and when there's a war to be won, obtaining justice becomes a very minor consideration.

Edited by Bannon
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Serena's pregnancy...I keep wondering when she and Fred have sex because they had been in separate quarters since they had been taken in to custody, right? I just don't remember them being together in custody.

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38 minutes ago, Baltimore Betty said:

Serena's pregnancy...I keep wondering when she and Fred have sex because they had been in separate quarters since they had been taken in to custody, right? I just don't remember them being together in custody.

This happened before they were in custody. They were at some farmhouse or something in S3 and ended up being together. It wasn't a planned thing.

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41 minutes ago, Baltimore Betty said:

Serena's pregnancy...I keep wondering when she and Fred have sex because they had been in separate quarters since they had been taken in to custody, right? I just don't remember them being together in custody.

The deed happened on their road trip up to the Canadian border before they were captured. 

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6 minutes ago, greekmom said:

The deed happened on their road trip up to the Canadian border before they were captured. 

It does seem like more time has lapsed since then, than where Serena is in her pregnancy, but I'm likely just misremembering.

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Sometimes I get antsy when episodes have long scenes without dialogue but I liked that we really got to see what it was like for June to arrive at the hotel and adjust the realization that she'd made it out of Gilead. Just seeing her look at all the women in the hotel lobby who were wearing normal clothes, talking, touching, etc. was something she hadn't seen in years.

I really felt for her in the first few scenes (staying in the bathroom, silently freaking out at the grocery store, putting on her happy face when she heard Emily and Oliver arrive at the house). She is clearly still traumatized but trying not to let anyone see it.

I loved the scene with June, Moira, Emily, and Rita in their We Got the Fuck Out of Gilead support group. I'm glad that they have each other to lean on and commiserate with.

As uncomfortable as the sex scene with Luke was, it felt like June finally had her say with Serena which was the first step in taking back her power and she wanted to seal the deal by having sex with her husband for the first time since they'd been separated. Even though she eventually developed feelings for Nick, Luke is the person who she chose to be with rather than some random guy who she ended up being with due to truly bizarre circumstances. I just hope this doesn't end up being her MO moving forward, especially in light of her dual accusation/confession about Serena/herself.

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8 hours ago, Hathaway said:

Fantastic episode!

Oona was my only "Oh Just go away."

Rita and June's reunion made me cry. 

Lovely knowing that Emily has come so far with her son.

Elizabeth Moss killed in this episode, and she was surrounded by great actors and an amazing script.

Oona's a pain in the ass, who's too self-involved to fully grasp that defeating Gilead is a far higher priority than her organization's performance in aiding Gilead's victims. Like having the performance of The American Red Cross aiding Belgian refugees in Bastogne,  in December, 1944, take precedence over destroying the German Army.

Edited by Bannon
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Also, the sex between June and Luke was very uncomfortable to watch, because there was so much emotional pain and suffering inherent in these two people being intimate. Gave me the most gross feeling of voyeurism I've had in a very long time, and that's a tribute to the writing, direction, and acting.

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I was worried that June was going to try to do something to Serena to make her miscarry. I kept yelling at the screen "Why are you letting her get so close to you?!"

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Echoing everyone here that felt this episode was fantastic. 
 

I’ll only add that in the final scene where June and Luke are in the yard with Nicole is being juxtaposed with June describing Serena to Tuello, I think we’re clearly meant to compare Serena to June - although they both embody similar characteristics for very different reasons. June used words like hate and rage and misery, and described Serena as “doing anything to feel ok” and “doing anything to get what she wants.” The camera intentionally focuses in on Luke when June says “rape.”

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I could watch an entire episode of Moira, Rita, Emily, and June sitting around talking smack about Serena. 

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The lack of any conversation, except via flashback, regarding Janine makes me suspect she's coming back, recaptured by Gilead. The propaganda war is every bit as important to it as it is to the US Govt., and manipulating Janine into denouncing June could have huge value. Could she be so manipulated? Well a sense of being abandoned by June, no matter how unfair that is, would help. Most critically, there msy be consequences for June lying about the fate of Janine's 1st child. Janine could feel a huge sebse of betrayal if she learned the truth. If the writers do this, they have courage in being so anti fan service.

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12 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

What did Serena expect?  Was she hoping June would forgive her and not give damning testimony?  I'm surprised they didn't keep a witness in the room to prevent one of them from outright killing the other.

I honestly think Serena is not living in the same reality as everyone else it as this point.  She's convinced herself that the pregnancy is God's plan, and that everything that has happened was his will to get her to this point. 

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20 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I honestly think Serena is not living in the same reality as everyone else it as this point.  She's convinced herself that the pregnancy is God's plan, and that everything that has happened was his will to get her to this point. 

I really think it doubtful she's even a Believer at this point, not that she'd admit it. I think the Gilead survivors have her pegged correctly; she really is a sociopath (and I hardly ever attribute that quality to fictional characters) who is whatever she needs to be at any moment to get what she wants, and is incapable of feeling guilt or remorse. It's kind of a shame, because sociopaths can be interesting to observe for a while, but at their core they are pretty tedious, because they are incapable of experiencing inner moral conflict. Lydia is a far more interesting villain than Serena.

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The opening song seemed like the show being "yes, after teasing June escaping to Canada about a thousand times, we are really for real having her make it this time, at last" to get people to stop complaining about how often the plot has stalled to keep up the status quo. 

Honestly though, June losing it on Serena and telling her that she doesn't deserve redemption or a child was the most I have ever liked June, I was about to start a slow clap, it was that satisfying. Its everything I have been screaming at this show every time they show Serena tearing up and we're supposed to feel bad for her, Serena is an awful person who only feels bad about the awful things she's done when it affects her, and I am thrilled that this could be the end of the Serena Joy Pity Party. With June around, the exiled American government can burry her for all kinds of war crimes, going back to her treasonous actions in helping to murder congress and create Gilead in the first place, or at least they can start building a stronger case. As much as Serena is trying to play sad abused wife, she has been in on this since day one, and she deserves being read for filth by the woman she enslaved and raped. I cant tell if Serena is play acting, going on about June being sent to her by God and expecting her to forgive her trespasses to try and look good, or if she has totally gone off the deep end. Possibly both. Either way, I am thrilled to see her finally get told what a shit she is, must have felt amazing for June. 

There were some things that seemed sloppy in the start of the episode, like the American and Canadian governments just letting this hugely valuable intelligence asset go on her way without a bigger debriefing and that this isn't being treated as a bigger deal by the governments, considering what a major figure June has become, but the rest of the episode was great so I cant complain. I can assume that the rest of the fallout from June escaping and working with the American government will happen later, because everything with June dealing with finally being free and reunited with Luke, Nicole, and everyone was really well done. Her freak out at the supermarket, her nervousness around people and clear PTSD while also trying to pick up again with her family, it was all very effective. It was so poignant watching June see all of these people walking around in normal clothes living normal happy lives in shock and flashing back to her worst moments, and I really liked everything between her and Luke, it felt very real. He is really trying to be supportive, but is awkward and unsure of what he should be doing to help June, while they are both guilty and hurting over being unable to save Hannah. Their sex scene was really uncomfortable, I read it as June being deeply messed up by years of rape and abuse, and her attempting to take back some sexual power after hers being taken so often, and that this was her PTSD minds best attempt at asserting power, even if she really didn't mean any harm the way the Commanders and company did. 

The four surviving ladies all drinking in a Lydia free zone was amazing, more of that please. Then wet blanket Oona showed up to rain on everyone's parades. Keeping June and taking her to Canada is a much bigger get then being able to do some humanitarian work that it seems like they were hardly doing anyway. Helping people is great, but June could help bring down Gilead, and that is a way bigger deal than her project. 

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