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S04.E07: Home

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2 hours ago, SHD said:

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?!"

And Serena would have deserved that, imo.

40 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. 

All of her religious language in this episode made me want to smack her. Just keep that nonsense to yourself, already.

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13 minutes ago, Cinnabon said:

And Serena would have deserved that, imo.

All of her religious language in this episode made me want to smack her. Just keep that nonsense to yourself, already.

Her and Fred both. At one point I hollered, "Just talk like a normal human fucking being!"

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On 5/24/2021 at 1:36 PM, Bannon said:

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.

Exactly this. I completely understand why June unloaded on Serena. If anything, she showed restraint. In the long-term, though, it was a terrible decision. Whatever Serena was going to spill about Fred, whatever intelligence she was going to offer, whatever dirt she has as a wife and even as a co-creator of Gilead--which could be significant--is down the drain. What if she knows where the McKenzies went? Or knows someone who might? Serena has her own baby now, she doesn't give a fuck about the "poor families" of Gilead if it gives her means to live a new life with a child of her own. She doesn't even seem to care about Nichole anymore now that she has a replacement. I always have to remind myself...I love and am sympathetic to YS, but Serena Joy is rotten to the core. If June could have held back for long enough to remember that Serena's greatest motivation is Serena, some good may have come of it.

I am thinking about going back and re-watching when SJ and Fred did the labor-induction rape. I have a (very) vague recollection of Rita either being witness to June being drug upstairs and/or recovering after the fact. Obviously she wasn't in the same room and it would still be a matter of her word against the Waterfords, but it would certainly help June's case. Also I have a notoriously awful memory and I could be making this up. I imagine she will testify in support of June, though, since as a Martha she was witness to the ceremonies, beatings, Fred going back and forth to Jezebel's, and the arrangement with Nick. 

Totally different subject, I wish Luke would have had it in him to say no to sex. He knows June isn't ready. Hell, June knows she isn't ready. I think that encounter was a direct response to Moira saying Gilead left them all fucked in the head about sex. June didn't want to give Gilead the satisfaction of taking her sexuality away from her, but as a survivor of much less than someone who has experienced sexual slavery, intimacy is not a switch that can be turned on and off. June needs to realize it will take YEARS AND YEARS of intense therapy to help her live with the trauma she has gone through, not just the sex stuff but also having spent the last several years under daily threat of being murdered or having to participate in a murder (salvagings), not a couple days of relative normality. And with that I will go flog myself for forgetting this is a tv show again. 

I lied, one more thing...in the previews

Spoiler

when Nick tells June that freedom agrees with her, how is he allowed to roam freely in Canada? Isn't he a Gilead solider who has participated in torture? Wouldn't he be arrested? Last time he was there he had whatever protection was given under the Waterfords diplomatic immunity, but that's over and done with.

 

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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20 minutes ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Exactly this. I completely understand why June unloaded on Serena. If anything, she showed restraint. In the long-term, though, it was a terrible decision. Whatever Serena was going to spill about Fred, whatever intelligence she was going to offer, whatever dirt she has as a wife and even as a co-creator of Gilead--which could be significant--is down the drain. What if she knows where the McKenzies went? Or knows someone who might? Serena has her own baby now, she doesn't give a fuck about the "poor families" of Gilead if it gives her means to live a new life with a child of her own. She doesn't even seem to care about Nichole anymore now that she has a replacement. I always have to remind myself...I love and am sympathetic to YS, but Serena Joy is rotten to the core. If June could have held back for long enough to remember that Serena's greatest motivation is Serena, some good may have come of it.

I am thinking about going back and re-watching when SJ and Fred did the labor-induction rape. I have a (very) vague recollection of Rita either being witness to June being drug upstairs and/or recovering after the fact. Obviously she wasn't in the same room and it would still be a matter of her word against the Waterfords, but it would certainly help June's case. Also I have a notoriously awful memory and I could be making this up. I imagine she will testify in support of June, though, since as a Martha she was witness to the ceremonies, beatings, Fred going back and forth to Jezebel's, and the arrangement with Nick. 

Totally different subject, I wish Luke would have had it in him to say no to sex. He knows June isn't ready. Hell, June knows she isn't ready. I think that encounter was a direct response to Moira saying Gilead left them all fucked in the head about sex. June didn't want to give Gilead the satisfaction of taking her sexuality away from her, but as a survivor of much less than someone who has experienced sexual slavery, intimacy is not a switch that can be turned on and off. June needs to realize it will take YEARS AND YEARS of intense therapy to help her live with the trauma she has gone through, not just the sex stuff but also having spent the last several years under daily threat of being murdered or having to participate in a murder (salvagings), not a couple days of relatively normality. And with that I will go flog myself for forgetting this is a tv show again. 

I lied, one more thing...in the previews

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when Nick tells June that freedom agrees with her, how is he allowed to roam freely in Canada? Isn't he a Gilead solider who has participated in torture? Wouldn't he be arrested? Last time he was there he had whatever protection was given under the Waterfords diplomatic immunity, but that's over and done with.

 

Spoiler

I suspect there is going to be diplomatic negotiations at some point, where all participants meet under a truce. I could see June and Nick as participants.

 

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57 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

Her and Fred both. At one point I hollered, "Just talk like a normal human fucking being!"

Yes! And why was Fred whispering? Drove me crazy.

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I thought this episode was better than most but not great. The sex scene was well done, it seemed that June went a little too far for what Luke was expecting, and he seemed uncomfortable. But then, the next day, he seemed fine. I don't know the intentions of the writers, but if they are going to make that scene a rape, or assault, they already failed. Or maybe they can try to remedy Luke's lack of discomfort the day after by showing flashbacks. I think it wasn't supposed to be assault, just something awkward that Luke can be understanding about.

Serena is all that June said. I hope she loses the baby after she makes whatever deal she thinks she can make with Fred,, and go fuck herself into the sun. And I can't stand Tuello either. What is his role? Why does it seem he is always ready to let Serena walk all over him. Ugh!

The cinematography crew in this show is really letting their imagination fly. Fred and Serena are living in this boutique jail, with special lighting, and it is really boring to watch because it is too over the top.

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12 minutes ago, Cinnabon said:

Yes! And why was Fred whispering? Drove me crazy.

Fred Waterford has disappointingly made me lose my lady boner for Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare.  

After making fun of Serena's hair it was interesting that, near the end, June was wearing a tight bun and Commander Wife blue. 

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There was one little scene that just said so much, and I've only seen in mentioned in obscure ways.

The CIA guy, or USA rep, whatever we want to call him?  He's insisting, or pushing about continuing the debriefing of June "while you're still fresh" as if June will ever be able to forget all the things she's been through in Gilead.  June is exhausted, but apparently just going to do as she's told, but then Luke steps in.  

The moment Luke tells the guy "no" seemed like such a tiny thing, but it was so huge.  You could see it on June's face and her reactions as well.  She can say "NO" now, Luke can say "NO" to a government big wig now, or to anyone else.  That was the moment her freedom really hit her.  Huge props to all three actors for that scene, and to the writers.

I've watched this episode 3 more times (that's rare) and I love it more each time.

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: typo
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22 minutes ago, Cinnabon said:

Yes! And why was Fred whispering? Drove me crazy.

Probably because he's trying to avoid the cameras and sound that undoubtedly is everywhere in their living quarters.  He's stupid, it wouldn't work anyway.  

 

1 hour ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Exactly this. I completely understand why June unloaded on Serena. If anything, she showed restraint. In the long-term, though, it was a terrible decision. Whatever Serena was going to spill about Fred, whatever intelligence she was going to offer, whatever dirt she has as a wife and even as a co-creator of Gilead--which could be significant--is down the drain. What if she knows where the McKenzies went? Or knows someone who might?

Whatever Serena knows, she's already spilled.  Even Lawrence doesn't know where the McKensies are, so Fred, who has been out of Gilead for months now, certainly has no clue.  What Fred has is details, supplies/weapons/leaders/mood of each of those, dirt on any of those that could be used against them/numbers of people, their roles, who is desperate, who could be bribed or blackmailed, etc.

The USA/CIA want to know specifics that only Fred knows.  Fred and Serena's "reunion" is exactly what Tuello asked Serena to do.  June pushed that into happening.  

Serena isn't back with Fred to protect him.  The only way she can protect herself is by convincing Fred to spill more to Tuello.  I expect that's what we'll see of them in the future, basically Serena playing triple agent, to trade the information she gets out of Fred, or gets Fred to give up to the cameras/mics or even officially under questioning?  Is the only possible bargaining chip she has to save her own ass.

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8 hours ago, Bannon said:

(it's kind of silly writing that Serena and Fred are allowed private meetings, where they can plot together)

If I recall, there were cameras in the room they were in. If I'm remembering that correctly, then anything they say will be viewed/heard.

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15 hours 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.

It wasn't a comfortable sex scene to watch but I wouldn't call it rape. Before I say anything else, I want to clarify that "no" is not a debate, that marital rape and female-on-male rape are absolutely real, and that someone who freezes rather than fights is still a victim of rape. I sincerely hope this post doesn't come across as victim blaming or shaming; I simply think June and Luke are operating under abnormal and complicated circumstances and that all things considered this particular encounter does not fall into the category of rape.

These are two deeply damaged people fumbling through the minefield that is sexuality after trauma. Luke was perfectly capable of sitting up, taking June's hand off of his mouth, and firmly saying "This is not the time." There is a lot of room between being dominant with your husband whose boundaries you are familiar with, with whom you share a child and a history, and actually physically overpowering a partner against their will. An example of the latter would be when Commander Winslow attempted to rape June. This was not that. If Luke had resisted more June would not have punched him in the face and kept going. We all know that.

I think what happened was June basically giving Gilead the finger, taking control of her sexuality, of finally NOT emotionally removing herself from the act, physically reaffirming her bond with Luke, and Luke knowing it was way too early but also not wanting to upset June and frankly probably happy to be getting laid for the first time in years. I said in another post and I still feel pretty strongly that June did NOT like when Moira said Gilead had made them all fucked up about sex and that this was an act of rebellion. Meanwhile, Luke is winging it the best that he can. How can they go back to having dinner and watching Netflix a day after your wife gets back from being sexually enslaved and impregnated under threat of death? There's all this unsaid shit about the ceremonies (Fred AND Lawrence, albeit in different ways) and the one million pound elephant in the room of Nichole's "first daddy" and the contents of the cassette tape. Luke doesn't know wtf to do. He knew sex probably wasn't a good idea but I can't really blame him for letting it happen, and I do think that was the case--that he allowed it and while he exhibited some duress he was not forced.

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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14 hours 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!

He seems to be CIA.  He probably knew that might happen, and late night rendezvous are part of the job description.

Basically, he NEEDED June to push Serena back to Fred, because the information Fred has is what the USA (and the rest of the world) needs, if there is any chance to destroy or stop Gilead.  

He primed Serena as well, "get Fred to spill and you're good." basically.

In addition, he and others were undoubtedly watching, listening, and recording every single moment of anything that happens in Fred or Serena's confinement areas.

14 hours ago, revbfc said:

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.

THAT'S why I can't stand her!  Thank you!  That whole passive-aggressive shit is one of my triggers (along with bullying.)

She wanted June dead, but hey, here's some bath salts for you, sooorrrrrrrrrreeeee.

Instead she made Moira dance for her.  

Run away Moira!

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1 hour ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

It wasn't a comfortable sex scene to watch but I wouldn't call it rape. Before I say anything else, I want to clarify that "no" is not a debate, that marital rape and female-on-male rape are absolutely real, and that someone who freezes rather than fights is still a victim of rape. I sincerely hope this post doesn't come across as victim blaming or shaming; I simply think June and Luke are operating under abnormal and complicated circumstances and that all things considered this particular encounter does not fall into the category of rape.

These are two deeply damaged people fumbling through the minefield that is sexuality after trauma. Luke was perfectly capable of sitting up, taking June's hand off of his mouth, and firmly saying "This is not the time." There is a lot of room between being dominant with your husband whose boundaries you are familiar with, with whom you share a child and a history, and actually physically overpowering a partner against their will. An example of the latter would be when Commander Winslow attempted to rape June. This was not that. If Luke had resisted more June would not have punched him in the face and kept going. We all know that.

I think what happened was June basically giving Gilead the finger, taking control of her sexuality, of finally NOT emotionally removing herself from the act, physically reaffirming her bond with Luke, and Luke knowing it was way too early but also not wanting to upset June and frankly probably happy to be getting laid for the first time in years. I said in another post and I still feel pretty strongly that June did NOT like when Moira said Gilead had made them all fucked up about sex and that this was an act of rebellion. Meanwhile, Luke is winging it the best that he can. How can they go back to having dinner and watching Netflix a day after your wife gets back from being sexually enslaved and impregnated under threat of death? There's all this unsaid shit about the ceremonies (Fred AND Lawrence, albeit in different ways) and the one million pound elephant in the room of Nichole's "first daddy" and the contents of the cassette tape. Luke doesn't know wtf to do. He knew sex probably wasn't a good idea but I can't really blame him for letting it happen, and I do think that was the case--that he allowed it and while he exhibited some duress he was not forced.

I just felt so bad about people trying to get back to a normal life after enduring such trauma, I nearly had to avert my eyes. There are real human beings all over this world for whom this is a daily reality. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

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While I loved some individual scenes in this episode, something about it seemed... disjointed and off.

I loved the scene in the grocery store even though I absolutely knew June was going to PTSD out as soon as "lets get groceries" occured. It was just well done. I know people love to rag on Moss's acting but her shell shock in numerous scenes was just perfect. I liked the hotel scenes too, that she was so ragged, locking the bathroom door, sleeping forever.

I really wanted more of a scene with Rita, and here's why. Rita in season one really seemed like a Gilead convert. Its not until season two, at the end, that Rita does the sudden reveal of being in the Martha resistance, that she's helped arrange to get June and the baby out, and they've never ever been able to talk about this or about how Rita showed up for the Angel Flight and this honestly seems big. I did love the circle of ex Gilead folks converging on June, I just wish it had included this piece instead of Moira and her girlfriend rehashing how they broke up (this was clunky and out of place, barring some future plot with Oona, pointless).

I was genuinely surprised that no one even mentioned the reality that June should see a medical doctor. She's covered in big bruises and was incoherent in the last 48 hours from a head injury. I loved the going thru the hotel bit because I totally get the differences being mind boggling, I just feel like things were a little rushed and unrealistic. 

I don't care how great an intelligence find June is, no way does she get allowed into Serena's cell without guards to hold her off and be witnesses. I also don't feel we needed to see Fred at all in this episode. 

Serena also comes off a wee bit too crazypants for my taste. Yes we all know she's an awful person, but props to both actresses, when June was going off on her like a ragebeast, I admit to feeling a little sorry for Serena even though I absolutely shouldn't because she is a sociopathic narcissist. 

My take on the sex was that June really wanted sex where she dominated, and Luke was a little put off because she's been really hands off, and he was pretty much awakened by finding her on top of him, riding him like a pony. I think if he had reacted badly, it would have easily stopped her, so I fall on the side of "not rape but June needs to remember boundaries".

I'm a bit iffy over all on this episode.

 

Edited by EllaWycliffe
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30 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

While I loved some individual scenes in this episode, something about it seemed... disjointed and off.

I loved the scene in the grocery store even though I absolutely knew June was going to PTSD out as soon as "lets get groceries" occured. It was just well done. I know people love to rag on Moss's acting but her shell shock in numerous scenes was just perfect. I liked the hotel scenes too, that she was so ragged, locking the bathroom door, sleeping forever.

I really wanted more of a scene with Rita, and here's why. Rita in season one really seemed like a Gilead convert. Its not until season two, at the end, that Rita does the sudden reveal of being in the Martha resistance, that she's helped arrange to get June and the baby out, and they've never ever been able to talk about this or about how Rita showed up for the Angel Flight and this honestly seems big. I did love the circle of ex Gilead folks converging on June, I just wish it had included this piece instead of Moira and her girlfriend rehashing how they broke up (this was clunky and out of place, barring some future plot with Oona, pointless).

I was genuinely surprised that no one even mentioned the reality that June should see a medical doctor. She's covered in big bruises and was incoherent in the last 48 hours from a head injury. I loved the going thru the hotel bit because I totally get the differences being mind boggling, I just feel like things were a little rushed and unrealistic. 

I don't care how great an intelligence find June is, no way does she get allowed into Serena's cell without guards to hold her off and be witnesses. I also don't feel we needed to see Fred at all in this episode. 

Serena also comes off a wee bit too crazypants for my taste. Yes we all know she's an awful person, but props to both actresses, when June was going off on her like a ragebeast, I admit to feeling a little sorry for Serena even though I absolutely shouldn't because she is a sociopathic narcissist. 

I'm a bit iffy over all on this episode.

 

Oh, I commented early in the thread that June should be checking into a hospital, not a hotel. Just as a matter of maintaining diplomatic leverage over Gilead, the U.S. Govt. ought to be, along with interviewing June about her abuse in detail, documenting the injuries she has now, and has suffered in the past. She's in need of medical care, and the Ritz-Carlton, nice as it is, is not the place to get it.

I agree, especially early in the episode, there were clunky moment, the scene at the bottom of the gangway on the dock in particular. Thought it improved immensely after the 17 hour sleep. The best part of this show is when it really nails the emotional toll of totalitarianism, far bettter than most dystopian fiction. No, it's not Orwell, but that's hardly harsh criticism.

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7 minutes ago, Bannon said:

Oh, I commented early in the thread that June should be checking into a hospital, not a hotel. Just as a matter of maintaining diplomatic leverage over Gilead, the U.S. Govt. ought to be, along with interviewing June about her abuse in detail, documenting the injuries she has now, and has suffered in the past. She's in need of medical care, and the Ritz-Carlton, nice as it is, is not the place to get it.

I meant people on the show - I saw your comment and agree with it. I was just surprised that Moira in particular wasn't more insistent as she had seen the concussion like behavior. 

 

9 minutes ago, Bannon said:

I agree, especially early in the episode, there were clunky moment, the scene at the bottom of the gangway on the dock in particular. Thought it improved immensely after the 17 hour sleep. The best part of this show is when it really nails the emotional toll of totalitarianism, far bettter than most dystopian fiction. No, it's not Orwell, but that's hardly harsh criticism.

Yeah. And there were some lovely, heart breaking moments like in the grocery store. I was like "oh so we're giving Moss the Emmy again" because I had chills watching her.  And unless I missed it -this episode did not have any lengthy June staring directly into the camera shots.

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They offered June and Luke the hospital.  They can't force her to go.  Ahh freedom.

Should she have gone?  Probably.

Apparently sleep was enough, and they did say they would set up appointments for her "tomorrow."  

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59 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

I loved the scene in the grocery store even though I absolutely knew June was going to PTSD out as soon as "lets get groceries" occured. It was just well done. I know people love to rag on Moss's acting but her shell shock in numerous scenes was just perfect. I liked the hotel scenes too, that she was so ragged, locking the bathroom door, sleeping forever.

I've probably been one of the head raggers, so let me say how much I agree that her acting was stellar in this episode. 

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4 hours ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Exactly this. I completely understand why June unloaded on Serena. If anything, she showed restraint. In the long-term, though, it was a terrible decision. Whatever Serena was going to spill about Fred, whatever intelligence she was going to offer, whatever dirt she has as a wife and even as a co-creator of Gilead--which could be significant--is down the drain. What if she knows where the McKenzies went? Or knows someone who might? Serena has her own baby now, she doesn't give a fuck about the "poor families" of Gilead if it gives her means to live a new life with a child of her own. She doesn't even seem to care about Nichole anymore now that she has a replacement. I always have to remind myself...I love and am sympathetic to YS, but Serena Joy is rotten to the core. If June could have held back for long enough to remember that Serena's greatest motivation is Serena, some good may have come of it.

I am thinking about going back and re-watching when SJ and Fred did the labor-induction rape. I have a (very) vague recollection of Rita either being witness to June being drug upstairs and/or recovering after the fact. Obviously she wasn't in the same room and it would still be a matter of her word against the Waterfords, but it would certainly help June's case. Also I have a notoriously awful memory and I could be making this up. I imagine she will testify in support of June, though, since as a Martha she was witness to the ceremonies, beatings, Fred going back and forth to Jezebel's, and the arrangement with Nick. 

Totally different subject, I wish Luke would have had it in him to say no to sex. He knows June isn't ready. Hell, June knows she isn't ready. I think that encounter was a direct response to Moira saying Gilead left them all fucked in the head about sex. June didn't want to give Gilead the satisfaction of taking her sexuality away from her, but as a survivor of much less than someone who has experienced sexual slavery, intimacy is not a switch that can be turned on and off. June needs to realize it will take YEARS AND YEARS of intense therapy to help her live with the trauma she has gone through, not just the sex stuff but also having spent the last several years under daily threat of being murdered or having to participate in a murder (salvagings), not a couple days of relative normality. And with that I will go flog myself for forgetting this is a tv show again. 

I lied, one more thing...in the previews

  Hide contents

when Nick tells June that freedom agrees with her, how is he allowed to roam freely in Canada? Isn't he a Gilead solider who has participated in torture? Wouldn't he be arrested? Last time he was there he had whatever protection was given under the Waterfords diplomatic immunity, but that's over and done with.

 

Let's not forget the most important crime that the Waterfords have performed - treason and domestic terrorism. They were instrumental as part of the coup of the US.  I cannot see how the US or Canadian government will not punish the Waterfords on a clear cut case of either or both with the penalty of life in prison or death.  So put aside the rape of June, put aside the treatment of Rita, Moira, etc. These two alone on terrorism and treason would be found guilty. 

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5 hours ago, Cinnabon said:

And Serena would have deserved that, imo.

She would have. When June grabbed Serena’s face I was thinking “cold-cock that bitch.” She deserves that, and worse. June is right - no one is less deserving of redemption than Serena.

3 minutes ago, greekmom said:

Let's not forget the most important crime that the Waterfords have performed - treason and domestic terrorism. They were instrumental as part of the coup of the US.  I cannot see how the US or Canadian government will not punish the Waterfords on a clear cut case of either or both with the penalty of life in prison or death.  So put aside the rape of June, put aside the treatment of Rita, Moira, etc. These two alone on terrorism and treason would be found guilty. 

Right - didn’t they slaughter Congress? The Sons of Jacob, of which Fred was a part??

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3 hours ago, circumvent said:

 

The cinematography crew in this show is really letting their imagination fly. Fred and Serena are living in this boutique jail, with special lighting, and it is really boring to watch because it is too over the top.

Most of the  the Canadian scenes are dim.  I know it's more gray up there but this seems a deliberate production design choice.

Dark cinematography is trendy on a lot of shows and movies.

In contrast I recall some of the  Gilead scenes with harsh sunlight, crisp visibility.

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7 minutes ago, greekmom said:

Let's not forget the most important crime that the Waterfords have performed - treason and domestic terrorism. They were instrumental as part of the coup of the US.  I cannot see how the US or Canadian government will not punish the Waterfords on a clear cut case of either or both with the penalty of life in prison or death.  So put aside the rape of June, put aside the treatment of Rita, Moira, etc. These two alone on terrorism and treason would be found guilty. 

But it's not clear what the govt. in exile could do at the moment.

Can they incarcerate them for a few years until they hopefully plan to regain the continental US?

Or if Gilead isn't in danger of being conquered any time soon, I don't know what trying them for treason will do at this point.

For one thing, if there are other members of the Gilead leadership considering defecting, prosecuting the Waterfords would discourage that.

 

It would make more sense to cut deals with them, in exchange for intelligence, like the hierarchy, the weaknesses of some of the Commanders, etc.

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8 minutes ago, aghst said:

But it's not clear what the govt. in exile could do at the moment.

Can they incarcerate them for a few years until they hopefully plan to regain the continental US?

Or if Gilead isn't in danger of being conquered any time soon, I don't know what trying them for treason will do at this point.

For one thing, if there are other members of the Gilead leadership considering defecting, prosecuting the Waterfords would discourage that.

 

It would make more sense to cut deals with them, in exchange for intelligence, like the hierarchy, the weaknesses of some of the Commanders, etc.

Exactly.  I picture everyone involved constantly weighing the odds of this or that option.

What they've decided is that they need more information, they need to know everything Fred knows.  They are trying every way possible to get him to talk.  Including allowing June in to force Serena into running back to him, and hopefully betraying him by doing what the CIA guy wants her to do.  Get him to talk, and you are free.

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2 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

What they've decided is that they need more information, they need to know everything Fred knows. 

My disagreement is that if this was a real world situation, and Gilead actually cared about security, everything Fred knew and had access to would have been changed the second he was discovered to have fallen into enemy hands. The longer Fred sits silent, the less useful his info is. 

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23 minutes ago, aghst said:

Most of the  the Canadian scenes are dim.  I know it's more gray up there but this seems a deliberate production design choice.

Huh? Has all that socialized medicine has made us a country of shades of black and white? Or is it that we spell colour properly with a “u”?

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2 minutes ago, Trillian said:

Huh? Has all that socialized medicine has made us a country of shades of black and white? Or is it that we spell colour properly with a “u”?

Less sun.

As for the look of the rooms where Fred and Serena are, that dim look is probably something the designers of the show's look chose.

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33 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

My disagreement is that if this was a real world situation, and Gilead actually cared about security, everything Fred knew and had access to would have been changed the second he was discovered to have fallen into enemy hands. The longer Fred sits silent, the less useful his info is. 

They probably changed what they could.  However, not the commanders, troop strength and locations, their names, their views, habits, opinions.  Also they could change the location of food/weapons storage, but not the amounts they have, or whether or not they would consider using nukes.  

There is still a lot Fred knows, and from the show, a few times, "Gilead is a black box" to the rest of the world.

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I didn’t notice any difference in colour or light between Canada and Gilead. Considering they are shot in the same cities in Southern Ontario, it would be surprising if there were.  If there’s sun in a Gilead scene, that’s sun shining on a Canadian filming location. 
I’ll grant you the dim lighting of Fred and Serena’s luxury hotel  prison cells, but that’s clearly some weird production choice. No need to label the entire country as dim.

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There was too much cognitive dissonance, too many inconsistencies and irrational actions in this episode for me to enjoy it.   Not in any specific order:

  1. Why is June taken to a hotel instead of a hospital?  Remember Emily's experience?  That seemed far more realistic to me, especially when one of the questions she is asked is "Have you been or are you in fear of being tortured in Gilead?"  We saw a whole map of torture on June's body, it needs to be documented. 
  2. June is a high profile Gilead escapee and a high value intelligence asset.  Why doesn't she have a security detail on her 24/7?  Why is Luke allowed to just take her home? (I feel the same thing about baby Nichole.  How long before Gilead agents just swipe her from her stroller?)
  3. Speaking of Luke, when did he get a nice, regular house in the suburbs?  Last I remember, he and Moira had an public housing-type apartment in America-ville (America-town?).  Obviously he and Moira have moved on to more settled lives with decent jobs, and that's to be expected, but it was just a jarring image to me. (I will add the caveat that I haven't had Hulu consistently, I only watched the S3 episodes once and that was a year ago, so there may be things I missed or don't remember.)

Does anyone else think that June's plan to get revenge on Serena is to take her baby away from her after it's born?  

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Where the hotel scenes filmed at the Royal York?  Looked like it. Maybe I might have to take a drive there when lockdown is over.
June has major PTSD and survivors guilt. That's going to take a long time to get over. But please show. Take her red clip off.
I can see why she didn't tell Luke about the second meeting with Hannah. She wanted to spare him the hurt she felt when Hannah forgot about her.
SJ is another story.  She is the type who uses religion on her whim. She is also the type to make "deals" with God. She thinks that if she gets down on her knees infront of June (who she cannot EVEN call by name) and beg forgiveness that God will see to it that she will get what she wants. Fred on the other hand, has no qualms of calling June by her fake Gilead name. And no one knows the reason why all of a sudden SJ got pregnant. 
June, the Lay's were there and the Vickie's chips. You were covered.
Moira deserves more than Oona. Oona is a jealous bitch who doesn't understand what is going on in Gilead. 

The June/Serena scene was very good. But I thought June would tell her that when they take the baby instead of kill the baby.
The sex scene between June and Luke didn't seem rapey but a very desperate attempt of a woman who has been cut off at the knees and wants to regain her old life and her power. It was actually quite sad to watch.

In regards to the light, lack of light and grey skies, please remember that most of these scenes were filmed in March. While we are hit with some nice weather it is still a hit or miss and there are "grey" days.

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10 hours ago, Bannon said:

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.

It looked to me that he wanted her to slow down because he wanted it to last longer or ask about birth control or something.   And it looked to me that her only goal in this encounter was to get pregnant.  

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2 hours ago, Penman61 said:

I've probably been one of the head raggers, so let me say how much I agree that her acting was stellar in this episode. 

This episode was a reminder why she won the Emmy in 2017.  Gone is the smug June face of Gilead and we had Scared face, Angry face, shock face so many emotions and they were wonderfully done.  Taking her out of Gilead was the right choice.  I hope Fred and Serena are convicted but with war looming (and the writers having a hard on for the actors) I'm guessing an extradition is in the future.

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I like the exploration of trauma, but the dialogue in this one seemed... not great. Especially in the story lines that the writers clearly aren't interested in, like Fred and Serena plotting together. Also, I fully understand that your impression of a person can change over time and that you can retroactively realize that they were taking advantage of you or manipulating you -- or, once a power imbalance is gone, you can realize that you always really disliked them but were prevented from admitting it -- but I found June and Serena's relationship more interesting when it was complicated. Now that they just hate each other, it's kind of boring, IMO.

21 hours ago, chocolatine said:

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.

No, it wasn't just you. It's really bad to start having sex with someone when they're asleep and then put your hand over their mouth when they ask you to stop. I think it was intentionally uncomfortable -- as someone else said, the show makes a point right after of showing Luke looking at June when she's calling Serena a rapist during The Speech That Is Really About Them Both.

15 hours ago, ReganX said:

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

Oooo. I didn't notice that Nick was on the board before. I wonder what they think about him? And what June's telling them? He helped, but only kind of? He might be against Gilead or he might be super into it? I wonder how he's going to get roped into this, later.

5 hours ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

It wasn't a comfortable sex scene to watch but I wouldn't call it rape. Before I say anything else, I want to clarify that "no" is not a debate, that marital rape and female-on-male rape are absolutely real, and that someone who freezes rather than fights is still a victim of rape. I sincerely hope this post doesn't come across as victim blaming or shaming; I simply think June and Luke are operating under abnormal and complicated circumstances and that all things considered this particular encounter does not fall into the category of rape.

These are two deeply damaged people fumbling through the minefield that is sexuality after trauma. Luke was perfectly capable of sitting up, taking June's hand off of his mouth, and firmly saying "This is not the time." There is a lot of room between being dominant with your husband whose boundaries you are familiar with, with whom you share a child and a history, and actually physically overpowering a partner against their will.

 

The fact that Luke could theoretically physically stop this from happening and didn't doesn't mean he consented to it, though. Part of the reason there's such a push for affirmative consent is that lots of sexual situations are complicated and involve weird dynamics that can make someone freeze and not know how to react in the moment. The fact that it was awkward and Luke probably felt conflicted is even more reason not to just ignore his feelings.

I absolutely agree that people who've been in a relationship for a long time and know each other really well can choose to set different boundaries about how they want to interact, but these two haven't seen each other in seven years, which means they should be even more cautious about the boundaries rather than less.

37 minutes ago, Quilt Fairy said:
  1. Speaking of Luke, when did he get a nice, regular house in the suburbs?  Last I remember, he and Moira had an public housing-type apartment in America-ville (America-town?).  Obviously he and Moira have moved on to more settled lives with decent jobs, and that's to be expected, but it was just a jarring image to me. (I will add the caveat that I haven't had Hulu consistently, I only watched the S3 episodes once and that was a year ago, so there may be things I missed or don't remember.)

I'm from Toronto, and the only way you can afford to buy a house here is if you're literally a millionaire, so I call shenanigans.

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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.
 

 

As many others have already said, how could Serena hold a claim to Nichole. In Canada she wouldn’t have any grounds for access which is particularly relevant now that June is with her once again. June never legally revoked her parental rights. 

 

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2 hours ago, Trillian said:

Huh? Has all that socialized medicine has made us a country of shades of black and white? Or is it that we spell colour properly with a “u”?

More gray up here.  LOL!!!!!!  That's too funny.  I've never heard that one before.

It'll be hard for another actor to have an Emmy reel like Elisabeth's this year.

It was so cool to see my neighbourhood on the show!

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I really liked this episode.  I think they did a great job showing June in absolute wonder at all the "normal" stuff that she's missed.  I loved the bit about what happened to the potato chips. 

I think the scene with June and Serena was perfectly done.  Serena getting down on her knees was totally unexpected for me.  It truly shows her desperation.  As for whether Serena believes all this "redemption" stuff...  part of me says yes, because of the scene in the chapel where she was alone.  OK, it's possible she assumes (or knows) the chapel is bugged, so she's putting on an act there as well.  But I assumed she wasn't.  But... that final scene with Fred makes me wonder.  She's obviously playing him.  And if she's playing Fred, is she playing everyone???

I also really liked the end scene with Truello and June, and her telling him how Serena can suck you in and to run away.  Again, I'm not sure whether Truello is truly getting sucked in by Serena and/or falling for her, or if he's simply playing it that way to get what he needs against both her and Fred.  But I did love June saying it out loud - she's a sociopath, a psycho, a manipulator, and don't fall for her. 

I was confused by the final scene with Luke & June.  Was there a time jump?  Did it snow overnight?  How'd we go from seemingly late fall weather to enough snow for a snowman?  Yeah, it's Toronto, but did I miss something here?

Did anyone else expect June to crack a line about the hotel bathrobe being red?  Seriously, when she came out in the robe I was thinking, oh dear god, will this woman ever be able to wear anything but red??? 

And for what it's worth, I did not see the Luke & June sex scene as rape or anything involving less than full consent by Luke.  I think his initial hesitation was for June's sake, not his, that he wasn't sure if she was ready for this.  (She probably wasn't.)  But when she put her hand over his mouth (in my mind the non verbal "dude, just shut up and fuck me") he was like, ok, this is what she wants so ok then.  I like @The Mighty Peanut's analysis of this, above.  YMMV, I'm not going to argue this with anyone, this is just my viewpoint. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Umbelina said:

There was one little scene that just said so much, and I've only seen in mentioned in obscure ways.

The CIA guy, or USA rep, whatever we want to call him?  He's insisting, or pushing about continuing the debriefing of June "while you're still fresh" as if June will ever be able to forget all the things she's been through in Gilead.  June is exhausted, but apparently just going to do as she's told, but then Luke steps in.  

The moment Luke tells the guy "no" seemed like such a tiny thing, but it was so huge.  You could see it on June's face and her reactions as well.  She can say "NO" now, Luke can say "NO" to a government big wig now, or to anyone else.  That was the moment her freedom really hit her.  Huge props to all three actors for that scene, and to the writers.

I've watched this episode 3 more times (that's rare) and I love it more each time.

That was my second favorite scene. My daughter was like, "I bet she finds him hot now!" While the observation may be lacking in substance and understanding, she's not wrong. The Luke June last saw was just a random, regular dude who had a bit of a flippant attitude about everything that was going on. THIS Luke took charge. So in addition to June realizing she could say no it was like she also realized that her husband had also changed-possibly for the better.

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1 hour ago, greekmom said:

Where the hotel scenes filmed at the Royal York?  Looked like it. Maybe I might have to take a drive there when lockdown is over.

I call it Fairmont Royal York, but I see here that it's commonly referred to as that, yes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairmont_Royal_York

The shiny gold building across the street is Royal Bank Plaza.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Bank_Plaza

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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4 minutes ago, chaifan said:

And for what it's worth, I did not see the Luke & June sex scene as rape or anything involving less than full consent by Luke.  I think his initial hesitation was for June's sake, not his, that he wasn't sure if she was ready for this.  (She probably wasn't.)  But when she put her hand over his mouth (in my mind the non verbal "dude, just shut up and fuck me") he was like, ok, this is what she wants so ok then.  I like @The Mighty Peanut's analysis of this, above.  YMMV, I'm not going to argue this with anyone, this is just my viewpoint. 

Im with you on this. For me it was similar to her jumping Nick at the Boston Glove's office. 

For the past, what, 5 years or so her sexuality and her person has belonged to anyone BUT her. No wonder she wanted it back. 

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This is the only episode of the season so far that I don't have really have anything to say. I just watched and said "ok..."

I like that they're digging into how the different ways the Gilead experience affect the characters and the different ways the characters cope with it throughout the season.

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1 hour ago, Bluesky said:

It looked to me that he wanted her to slow down because he wanted it to last longer or ask about birth control or something.   And it looked to me that her only goal in this encounter was to get pregnant.  

I honestly didn't get that at all. I took his hesitancy as a "uh, after being repeatedly raped for the past few years are you SURE you're up to this" and her response as a "I've been repeatedly raped over the past few years and I really need sex to be on my terms right now." 

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Interesting debate on rape or not.

Food for thought - exact same circumstances, except reverse the roles.  If it had been Luke in the June role, June in the Luke role. 

Rape or not?

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1 hour ago, BrindaWalsh said:

Interesting debate on rape or not.

Food for thought - exact same circumstances, except reverse the roles.  If it had been Luke in the June role, June in the Luke role. 

Rape or not?

Pretty much impossible to reverse this one.  I can't imagine Luke as a raped baby maker.  

So let's say he was a 5 year POW or something.  I don't think June would think of it as rape.  

Still one involves sex as torture and the other doesn't.  Both parties wanted sex, but one too damaged to care about anything but their own needs at that moment.  

Still doesn't really work though.

If Luke described it?  I do not think he would call it a rape.

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So. June raped Luke. 

I get that she was reclaiming her agency, her power, her sexuality, herself.
 

But the fact is, June raped Luke. 
 

How is he to cope with that?

And how will she be able to face herself or him? Or will it simply not be addressed?

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9 hours ago, aghst said:

Most of the  the Canadian scenes are dim.  I know it's more gray up there but this seems a deliberate production design choice.

That's my point. The choice they made to create this weird jail place as if they are thinking about the Emmy's. the show has been "grey" but is not because it is filmed in Canada. The sun still shines after snow storms. I think that characteristic was to match the mood of Gilead. For the jail scenes though, I think they are way over their heads. 

 

4 hours ago, BrindaWalsh said:

Interesting debate on rape or not.

Food for thought - exact same circumstances, except reverse the roles.  If it had been Luke in the June role, June in the Luke role. 

Rape or not?

I mentioned that but will repeat here: the intercourse scene did look like an assault, rape if you will. But unless they address how Luke really feels, he doesn't seem to realize it, not even subconsciously, so not rape. 

I think it was an assault, with a badly written following scene. I think the intentions of the writers was to have a release valve for June. Did it happen after the grocery store? I can't remember but if so, she was reacting to the images haunting her and assering herself as is - I will do whatever I want the way I want.

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8 hours ago, SourK said:

I'm from Toronto, and the only way you can afford to buy a house here is if you're literally a millionaire, so I call shenanigans.

Did he say he bought it though? He could just be renting. And the economy could be very different now due to all the Gilead craziness.

I get your complaint though because I live in the Bay Area and it's ridiculously expensive to live here, yet people on tv shows and movies are often shown living in places around here that they could clearly never afford.

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2 hours ago, circumvent said:

That's my point. The choice they made to create this weird jail place as if they are thinking about the Emmy's. the show has been "grey" but is not because it is filmed in Canada. The sun still shines after snow storms. I think that characteristic was to match the mood of Gilead. For the jail scenes though, I think they are way over their heads. 

 

I mentioned that but will repeat here: the intercourse scene did look like an assault, rape if you will. But unless they address how Luke really feels, he doesn't seem to realize it, not even subconsciously, so not rape. 

I think it was an assault, with a badly written following scene. I think the intentions of the writers was to have a release valve for June. Did it happen after the grocery store? I can't remember but if so, she was reacting to the images haunting her and assering herself as is - I will do whatever I want the way I want.

It happened when she returned from her confrontation with Serena, in reaction to the trauma of seeing one of her torturers. It was an incredibly disturbing scene to me, and I suspect it was intended to be; to show the long term ripple effects of torture. I could barely watch it.

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8 hours ago, BrindaWalsh said:

Interesting debate on rape or not.

Food for thought - exact same circumstances, except reverse the roles.  If it had been Luke in the June role, June in the Luke role. 

Rape or not?

If this was an episode of Law and Order SVU - the cops and DA would try to make a case IF the victim was willing to testify but they'd probably lose. If we're defining rape as every situation that  isn't a perfect consent situation of "I would like intercourse, would you?" and "Yes, I agree, lets have intercourse." then yes, its rape.

But the bigger question I suppose is whether Luke considers it rape. If he doesn't, then there will be no complaint filed. My vibe on watching the scene was that he was surprised that she wanted to have sex, but wasn't actually against having sex. He seemed to be on the "you're damaged so I will be the good guy and go at your pace rather than assume you're ready to resume our marriage" train, so June initiating sex surprised him but I doubt he considers himself a rape victim. 

At least now. I strongly suspect this will get thrown in her face six months from now when he's tired of hearing about Nick ;)

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On 5/26/2021 at 12:55 AM, Bannon said:

Sorry, broken quote — How would Serena have a custody claim for Nichole?
 

There is plenty of in-show evidence about Serena believing she has a custody claim and that motivating her to turn against Fred. Tuello convinced her that he would arrange for access to Nichole (at the very least) in exchange for her luring Fred over the border and into US/Canadian custody. She tells Fred following her arrest she needed to turn on him to see “her” baby again. We’ve seen several scenes of her having visitation with Nichole over the objections of Luke and Moira — including the scene in which she’s arrested due to Fred’s counter accusations of Serena coercing / facilitating June’s rape by Nick (coercion) and by Fred (to hasten labor).

The claim would clearly be under Gilead law and the circumstances of Nichole’s conception, birth and abduction by the Waterfords would preclude Serena pursuing a custody claim under Canadian or US laws. That said, Tuello seems to have had the latitude to dangle Baby Nichole as a carrot before Serena. In the show world, Nichole’s “kidnapping” was shown to be used to stir up political unrest against Canada, and the threat of a Gilead attack was insinuated before the Angel Flight happened. The DC Commander (Christopher Meloni) told Fred that the agitation stirred up over the “kidnapping” of Baby Nichole was more useful than the value of Baby Nichole herself, and Serena’s suspicion that Fred and other commanders weren’t seriously pursuing Baby Nichole’s return was insinuated to be Serena’s turning point in her decision to cooperate with Tuello.

The show strongly pinned Serena’s defection to her desire for Baby Nichole, about whom Serena, now that she’s pregnant, hasn’t been shown to give a hoot. 

I find it interesting not so much from a legalistic perspective but because

  • It supports Serena’s sociopathic tendencies — she wants to be Nichole’s mother until a better baby comes along (and one whom wouldn’t be forced into a problematic subservient role in the Gilead she helped to create).
  • The show has put forth varying perspectives of what it means to be a mother by nature (biology) and nurture — Moira willingly giving her baby up for adoption pre-Gilead; Gilead’s forced abduction / adoption of children through sexual slavery and by declaring mothers as unfit under various religious pretenses (lesbianism, divorce, occupation); June giving Baby Nichole to Emily in a desperate attempt to secure freedom for Nichole (and Serena agreeing to surrender Nichole at the time with the same motivation) (and Emily accepting that responsibility); Luke and Moira raising Nichole in a loving household in June’s absence with neither having a bio connection; June repeatedly staying in Gilead to rescue Hannah; June’s suggested maternal bond with Mrs. Keyes; the entire Janine-and-Baby-Angela saga; success in the Gilead male hierarchy being accompanied (and perhaps advanced) by successful pregnancies of wives or handmaids; the conspicuous parental “consumption” of children by the highest ranking commanders (following DC Commander’s disappearance, his wife laments that she’ll lose all of their children, since their custody is apparently tied to his rank); June’s complicated relationship with her own mother; and on-and-on. All of this played out in a scenario of rapidly declining childbirth and increasing infertility. So when Serena suddenly forgets about Baby Nichole, I notice.
  • Baby Nichole will continue to play a key role in the story. She is the embodiment of the relationship between Nick and June, which has had and will likely continue to affect Luke, not to mention have international diplomatic ramifications. She is a powerful symbol for Gilead, Canada and the US. Baby Nichole has a high public profile in Gilead — and June participated in highly publicized staged events in DC that were calling for Baby Nichole’s return. In the show, Hannah clearly knows that June is her mother, so knowing that Baby Nichole was smuggled out of Gilead combined with June’s now-famous role as the Angel Flight instigator should influence her already-complicated feelings about her mother, especially since Hannah remains in Gilead. And the fact that Gilead still has Hannah will continue to motivate June’s actions.

/end novelette 

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Sometimes writers plot in a fashion that seems silly, for purposes of getting to the next scene. When it is done purely for purposes of plot advancement, I hate it, and if it's done often, I stop reading or watching the story. In contrast, when it's done so we can get to a scene which reveals the psychology of characters in a profound way, well, that's a useful suspension of disbelief.

Thinking about it some more, the middle of the night confrontation with Serena, with Tuello picking up June in an empty parking lot, was obviously written so we could see June's psychological state revealed, and Luke's reaction to it, when they had sex. Given that's at the core of this story, how oppression of the worst kind inflicts a horrible cost, it was worth having that kind of silly middle of the night phone call to Tuello.

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