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S04.E09: Progress

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Serena and Fred greet unexpected visitors from Gilead. Aunt Lydia deals with a hunger strike at the Red Center.

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Original air date: 6/9/21

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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32 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Promo:

Original air date: 6/9/21

I think this episode's title is "PROGRESS."  

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Nick’s “Try to be happy,” sounded an awful like a “Can I get a smile, baby?”

I guess what I’m trying to ask is: who thought that was a good line to leave in?

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8 minutes ago, revbfc said:

Nick’s “Try to be happy,” sounded an awful like a “Can I get a smile, baby?”

I guess what I’m trying to ask is: who thought that was a good line to leave in?

Right after that he put back on his wedding ring.  Pretty sure that was related.  He was telling her he understands the situation with Luke, and its OK.

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Gotta be honest, this is another where I liked individual things, I am mostly struck by how things don't really make any sense.

Is it really likely that Lawrence could or would take a phone call from June?  I mean, there's a giant war and all but June can get him on speeddial? Their conversation was fun and well done but did anyone think Lawrence would like "Yeah, let me ship her up with Nick on his next visit"?

I really can't buy the baby gifts getting thru. I did like the awkwardness between Naomi and Serena as they both said a whole lotta things without actually saying them. The meeting between Putnam and Fred was less fun, simply because I just don't understand what the point was. Remember, last time someone went to Canada from Gilead, it was a massive broohaha but Putnam shows up with cigars and a "Yeah, we've washed our hands of you but thoughts and prayers, buddy".

Which leads us to Nick's oh so casual, yet awkward, yet oddly hot visit with June. How is that just being arranged? How is Nick not worried that he'll get the same "now you're under arrest" treatment Fred got?

1 minute ago, chocolatine said:

I understood June's rage in the moment, but attacking Tuello was a bad move since there's no way she can get Hannah back without his help. It would be smarter to play the long game, have Fred help the US destroy Gilead, and *then* work with the refugee network to have him killed.

I think this might be where this is heading. Tuello had to know there would be an explosion. 

My surprise is that Fred will be off scot free. To heck with June for a moment, aren't there a lot of ex Gilead victims in Canada? Or maybe the plan is to get Fred's info and then let him roam free and see how long he lasts. Regardless, Gilead just makes boneheaded move after bone headed move. Sending the Putnams to basically say "fuck you, we're not doing shit" pretty much guarantees Fred turns. 

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Yes, I think June felt completely betrayed by her country at that moment.  All of the self control wss gone, and her hurt and fear burst out.  No thinking.  Just finally feeling.

I liked this one.  I loved all of the Fred and Serena scenes and p!ot movement there!  Adored that bitch and bastard from Gilead opening their eyes!  

The world won't have a black box anymore!  They said Gilead doesn't want war, did I hear that correctly?  They will know lots of secrets.  They don't want Fred either, but do want his son.  The sheer audacity of those nuts!  I loved that the wife saw that Serena was writing again, imagine the gossip back in Gilead!

So, Fred and Serena are free now?  Better watch their backs!  A lot of people will want them dead, especially once Fred has spilled all.

There was a quiet softness about this episode that I liked.  It felt completely character centered, yet in writing this I realize now that there were major plot advances as well.

 

Edited by Hathaway · Reason: Auto correct
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5 hours ago, chocolatine said:

I was convinced that the rendezvous with Nick was a setup and the place would be teeming with guardians to snatch June and Nicole back to Gilead. The two "secret service" guys following her in the Dodge wouldn't have been able to do jack shit about a couple dozen guardians with machine guns. But then that turned out to be a misdirect and the real disaster was Fred making a deal. Tuello used the Putnams' visit to turn him, but they were too stupid to suspect anything and played right into Tuello's hands.

I understood June's rage in the moment, but attacking Tuello was a bad move since there's no way she can get Hannah back without his help. It would be smarter to play the long game, have Fred help the US destroy Gilead, and *then* work with the refugee network to have him killed.

 

5 hours ago, EllaWycliffe said:

Gotta be honest, this is another where I liked individual things, I am mostly struck by how things don't really make any sense.

I kept waiting for something ELSE to happen during that meetup, especially after Nick put the wedding band on. But the whole tone of the meeting was odd and seemed almost pointless. June arranges to meet with a commander to try to get Hannah back but immediately settles for a 'sorry, can't help ya'? And drives home all dewy-eyed with love? I get there's supposed to be some ambiguity to June's feelings but I think the show doesn't know where it's going so it keeps throwing stuff at us hoping something will stick.

Then there's June's assumption that her testimony was the driver behind Waterford's deal. She doesn't seem to understand what she's dealing with; she doesn't have any real power. But that contrasts with how the show portrays her character, if that makes sense? 

Anyway, welcome back Mrs. Keyes! I mean Ester!

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So Nick has the Bogart part, June is Bergman, and poor ol' Luke is Muni? The writers may still be trying to shoehorn Commander Lawrence as Peter Lorre; I'm half surprised they haven't yet had Nick say to him, "I think this Is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

I think we need more Janine, Esther, and Aunt Lydia at The Red Center, and less Toronto, if they aren't going to write Toronto any better than that.

 

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Once again, the most interesting parts of the show are all the non-June parts.  I DID appreciate her going batshit angry at Tuello at the end, but other than that, didn't really care much about her making lovey-dovey faces at Nick during their blah visit.  I feel bad for Luke.  She seems to have much more of an infatuation with Nick. 

Janine and Esther were interesting.  That poor girl... Well, those poor girls, I should say.  They deserve better!

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I really thought Luke was suggesting a baby/child swap…..give Nick Nichole, get Hannah back. They better hurry up, Hannah will be breeding age soon. I always thought June and Nick had a really nice on screen chemistry. Certainly more than Luke.

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I wonder if Nick's new wife is 14?  I thought there was a lot in those short scenes between Nick and June, and him having that entire file on Hannah ready was a lovely touch.  When he told her to be happy, and then put his wedding ring back on when she left?  For me?  It worked.

I thought of Eden and her horrible outcome when Nick tried to be somewhat faithful to June during his first marriage.  I don't think he'd risk something like that again, so however he feels about his wife, I'd bet he's at least trying to put on a show of happy.  Some of it is probably sticking.

The Red Center scenes with Lydia, Janine, and Esther were heartbreaking.  Janine's gentle style is saving that little girl some pain at least.  Esther's tears when she was alone broke my heart.  Lydia trying to chose a "placement" for Janine was haunting. 

I don't think men without wives get handmaids, but she must know Lawrence would be the safest place for Janine, at least she wouldn't be raped.  Speaking of Lawrence, unmarried commanders aren't really a thing in Gilead.  How long will they allow "grief for his wife" to go on before he's assigned a recent graduate of "Domestic Skills" as Hannah is current studying?

By far my favorite scenes were with Serena and Fred, especially those pretty scary visits from "friends" back home.  I think their situation is more precarious now, Fred's talking, and telling things the world has wanted to know for a long time.  Who is in charge of what in Gilead, what's the generally feeling on nuclear war, just how well are sanctions actually working, what kind of shape is the military really in there?  I don't think Fred has a single choice there, and it was so great to see him powerless, and uncared about.  Ditto with Serena "I could be sent to the colonies, I could be made a handmaid..."  

I don't understand why June would want to kill Tuello.  I didn't think she was that stupid or naïve, to not realize she was being used.  Maybe she was though, too trusting, that feeling of safety and justice being back with an American official?  Maybe she let her guard down just enough to be crushed by the reality that, in the end, one woman's rapes do not matter to powerful men who have national security objectives?  

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I know this show loves its close ups (especially when directed by Elizabeth Moss) of June's face, but there was a whole lot of that with this episode. Especially at the end with the super dramatic sound effects as June moved her head around before she confronted Tuello's and her dewy eyed drive home from meeting Nick. This is yet another of those episodes where I think individual scenes are good, but it never really came together as a whole. Which is really how the season in general is shaping out, there are a lot of bits that I like but they really aren't working completely as a full story. I really like June in Canada but I feel like other aspects of the show are still spinning their wheels. I knew that Fred would get off after flipping on Gilead, both because Fred will do anything to save his own skin and because the show just refuses to get rid of any of its characters. If Fred was in jail he wouldn't have much to do anymore so we get the show doing narrative backflips to keep him around and active. 

June losing it on Tuello is pretty understandable, but its a bad idea in the long term to piss of the American government. Of course that's June for you, she has never been great at long term planning. It is really frustrating how the show tries so hard to be gritty and real but then has weird stuff like the Waterfords getting all of these presents from admirers and from Gilead, being allowed a ridiculous amount of freedom, even for people the government wants something from, June can just give Lawrence a call to chat and she and Nick can have a meet up, its all just really weird and takes me out of the story. Sometimes its improbable situations, like Nick and June getting to meet up and cuddle for some Hannah pictures despite the massive security issues that should create, or people just being stupid, like Gilead just showing up to tell Fred that he sucks and they're cutting their losses with him, basically begging him to turn against them, but its always annoying. 

I hate that Jeanine is back with Aunt Lydia, and that poor Mrs. Keys is stuck in Handmaiden life. I expected that nothing good would happen to her, but that poor girl has been through so much. 

I kept waiting for something bigger to happen, like Nick grabbing Nicole and June to take back to Gilead, but nothing happened except for June losing it at Tuello. Although Fred turning against Gilead could mean that we are moving closer and closer to Gilead bringing brought down, its like Moira's girlfriend getting all upset at Moira for taking June to Canada at the possible expense of her refuge assistance program. It sucks in the short term but its part of a much longer game with a much bigger prize at the end. Plus, this means that June can finally kill Fred in the series finale when he thinks he's gotten away with everything or something. 

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I call my review Luke Who?

Yeah I have never been a Luke fan, I try hard to be but my view of him is basically Moira's view of him. I want to like him for June but nahhh.

But Luke Who, because June's ride of die is here.

Nick, who despite being without June is only considering June's interest. I fully admit that I that Nick and June was problematic for me at first because there was no consent. But June is clearly consenting now. Notice, Nick didn't say...now that you are free, you can move on...he knows she can't move on until she has Hannah...so he's looking out for her. A woman without her child cannot move on.

The way she looks at him, the way he looks at her.

The lighting and the music

Look at the lighting when Luke and June are together, June and Nick get all the good lighting.

I may or may not have watched this scene 10 times

 

Serena is still manipulating Fred...her sinister what can you do for me in here?

If you don't think that provoked Fred copping a deal then you haven't been paying attention to Serena's shit.

 

Tuello is the same turncoat I expected him to be. Like attracts like, I am right. He's just as manipulative as Serena. He heard all the info and then deliberately did what he thought was in the best interest for his cause and fuck everyone else who suffered.

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23 minutes ago, dmc said:

I call my review Luke Who?

Yeah I have never been a Luke fan, I try hard to be but my view of him is basically Moira's view of him. I want to like him for June but nahhh.

But Luke Who, because June's ride of die is here.

Nick, who despite being without June is only considering June's interest. I fully admit that I that Nick and June was problematic for me at first because there was no consent. But June is clearly consenting now. Notice, Nick didn't say...now that you are free, you can move on...he knows she can't move on until she has Hannah...so he's looking out for her. A woman without her child cannot move on.

The way she looks at him, the way he looks at her.

The lighting and the music

Look at the lighting when Luke and June are together, June and Nick get all the good lighting.

I may or may not have watched this scene 10 times

 

Serena is still manipulating Fred...her sinister what can you do for me in here?

If you don't think that provoked Fred copping a deal then you haven't been paying attention to Serena's shit.

 

Tuello is the same turncoat I expected him to be. Like attracts like, I am right. He's just as manipulative as Serena. He heard all the info and then deliberately did what he thought was in the best interest for his cause and fuck everyone else who suffered.

I also noticed that June really kisses Nick back but not Luke. I wish she’d just drop Luke. 
 

I thought the music was weird and ominous when Luke asked June to meet with Nick. Like he was being threatening. It was so strange to me. I get it was a big ask for Luke to ask June to meet with the person that she had told Luke she loved (her note to Luke said Nicole was born from love, paraphrased). But, the music should’ve been sad or something to show it was hard for Luke. Instead, he looked all evil amd mean. It was weird to me. 
 

I get that June was pissed that Waterford wasn’t being prosecuted, but I really thought she would be able to see the big picture. That she was going to realize that they were closer to bringing Gilead down. 
 

Like others, I like some scenes but not the episodes as a whole. 

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2 minutes ago, Whimsy said:

I also noticed that June really kisses Nick back but not Luke. I wish she’d just drop Luke. 
 

I thought the music was weird and ominous when Luke asked June to meet with Nick. Like he was being threatening. It was so strange to me. I get it was a big ask for Luke to ask June to meet with the person that she had told Luke she loved (her not to Luke said Nicole was born from love, paraphrased). But, the music should’ve been sad or something to show it was hard for Luke. Instead, he looked all evil amd mean. It was weird to me. 
 

I get that June was pissed that Waterford wasn’t being prosecuted, but I really thought she would be able to see the big picture. That she was going to realize that they were closer to bringing Gilead down. 
 

Like others, I like some scenes but not the episodes as a whole. 

agreed Luke needs to be dropped.  

6 minutes ago, anna0852 said:

I think Tuello is a realist. His job is not to seek Justice for June Osborne being kidnapped and raped and tortured. He is here to deal with the fact that an entire country was subverted and millions of women like June are being kidnapped and raped and tortured. And the unfortunate reality is that if making a deal with Fred brings down Gilead, then that's what will have to happen.  It's terrible for June personally but Tuello has to look at the big picture.

 

I am legit cut and pasting my response from another forum

 

"This is essentially why victims hate deals like this, they are almost never a last resort option. I think most people would be understanding with we have tried everything and our only option is to rescue the people left there or to get this person on a smaller offense. That's a reasonable line of thinking. What's not reasonable is Tuello has bypassed every refugee that made it to Canada because he automatically assumes Fred knows more. He automatically assumes his best interest lie with Fred.

 

Then he tells her in probably the worst way possible.

 

And honestly I never trusted Tuello to begin with...

I think he's being given a lot of trust and leeway on this forum that he hasn't earned.

What are the feather's in this man's cap?

He give a Serena a number in case shit got bad for her but in a land where you can't read, they assault females on the regular and certain people are property of the state. It was a safe assumption shit would get bad.

She agrees to bring Fred under false pretenses, but honestly this is a credit to Serena's cunning not Tuello. And Serena while awful is smart.

Then he makes a deal with Serena without any intelligence about her whatsoever.

Then he agrees to let a woman visit a child that has no ties to that child whatsoever.

Then he has to revoke the deal because she's almost as bad as Fred.

Then he tries to get her to have Fred recant his testimony which I still don't know happened...

He lets two potential material witnesses visit Serena and one see Fred

Then he makes a deal with Fred. And really Serena convinced Fred not him.

If he was so smart why not make convince Serena to bring Fred to Canada and offer him a deal for immunity while detaining her?

He has a whole arsenal of information among the handmaids and aunts he's not using."

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I have to admit, I kind of like how the show is presenting this "love triangle." It's not trite, and all three are being adults about it, damaged adults, but adults.

It was killing Luke to send June to Nick, but he did it, for his daughter, and for his wife really, and even in a way for Nicole.  

It feels like it's killing Nick to be married again, but that "be happy" was his way of letting us know he's also trying his best to at least make his new wife happy, to avoid a repeat of poor Eden.  I wonder if that's rubbing off on him as well, and part of him is, at least sometimes, happy with his wife?  Then again, who knows if his wife even lives with him, since he's commanding forces in Chicago now.  Obviously, his heart is still with June, he spent time and effort finding out about Hannah, and was ready with that file if June contacted him.

June's trying hard to be with Luke, but you could see her inner joy, even simply driving to see Nick.  She loved Luke once, and it's possible she could again, but she's a completely different woman now.  Too much has happened, and Nick understands her more than Luke ever can now.

Adults adulting, nice change.

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1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

I have to admit, I kind of like how the show is presenting this "love triangle." It's not trite, and all three are being adults about it, damaged adults, but adults.

It was killing Luke to send June to Nick, but he did it, for his daughter, and for his wife really, and even in a way for Nicole.  

It feels like it's killing Nick to be married again, but that "be happy" was his way of letting us know he's also trying his best to at least make his new wife happy, to avoid a repeat of poor Eden.  I wonder if that's rubbing off on him as well, and part of him is, at least sometimes, happy with his wife?  Then again, who knows if his wife even lives with him, since he's commanding forces in Chicago now.  Obviously, his heart is still with June, he spent time and effort finding out about Hannah, and was ready with that file if June contacted him.

June's trying hard to be with Luke, but you could see her inner joy, even simply driving to see Nick.  She loved Luke once, and it's possible she could again, but she's a completely different woman now.  Too much has happened, and Nick understands her more than Luke ever can now.

Adults adulting, nice change.

Yeah that smile when she saw him.  Honestly I don't think she smiled like that with Luke in the flashbacks.  

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Sure, it's credible that June would be angry that a deal was cut with Waterford, but do they have to write her as a kind of out of control dummy? She knows better than most that there is a total war being fought, and in that sort on conflict, all matters are subservient to defeating the enemy. She should have realized as soon as she arrived in Canada that flipping Fred was a primary objective, and letting him skate was likely going to be the price of doing so.

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1 minute ago, Bannon said:

Sure, it's credible that June would be angry that a deal was cut with Waterford, but do they have to write her as a kind of out of control dummy? She knows better than most that there is a total war being fought, and in that sort on conflict, all matters are subservient to defeating the enemy. She should have realized as soon as she arrived in Canada that flipping Fred was a primary objective, and letting him skate was likely going to be the price of doing so.

I thought she did too.

BUT (ha) I've been thinking about that reaction, and trying to put myself in those shoes.  It's pretty difficult to do, having not been used, beaten, terrified, and tortured for 5-7 years in the remains of "my country."

What kinda sorta makes sense to be is that June could have idealized what the USA was/is, in missing it so much, in living in the hell of Gilead, the USA must have seemed like nearly a paradise of justice and opportunity and fairness and just all the good shit.

She just got smacked in the face with the unreality of that sentimentality.  Her hopes were dashed in such a huge way, reality was just too much in that moment.  She allowed herself to trust.  I doubt she ever trusts again.

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22 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I thought she did too.

BUT (ha) I've been thinking about that reaction, and trying to put myself in those shoes.  It's pretty difficult to do, having not been used, beaten, terrified, and tortured for 5-7 years in the remains of "my country."

What kinda sorta makes sense to be is that June could have idealized what the USA was/is, in missing it so much, in living in the hell of Gilead, the USA must have seemed like nearly a paradise of justice and opportunity and fairness and just all the good shit.

She just got smacked in the face with the unreality of that sentimentality.  Her hopes were dashed in such a huge way, reality was just too much in that moment.  She allowed herself to trust.  I doubt she ever trusts again.

The reason I didn't buy it is that she's already had the responsibility of command, in addition to killing people herself. She's ordered people to be executed, and has knowingly  sent subordinates to their likely death. The latter act in particular will squeeze out any last remaining molecule of sentimentality that a person may still have. It just doesn't ring true to me.

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3 minutes ago, Bannon said:

The reason I didn't buy it is that she's already had the responsibility of command, in addition to killing people herself. She's ordered people to be executed, and has knowingly  sent subordinates to their likely death. The latter act in particular will squeeze out any last remaining molecule of sentimentality that a person may still have. It just doesn't ring true to me.

I understand.

She's in shell shock still though, there is no way she's recovered completely.  Still PTSS.

I really think that felt like the biggest betrayal of all, she's idealized the USA and justice for so long.

If anything?  It was the first completely REAL sign of her damage we've seen.

SHOULD she have "got it?"  Of course, if she was mentally healthy, she'd realize the USA is not perfect.  I think she needed it to be though, needed that safety, needed to feel "justice" again.  She's kept it all together holding on to that naïve ideal.

When it shattered?  So did she. 

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I get how Nick could be contacted and get to Canada from Chicago, he's close, he's a commander now, he's apparently still Mayday as well with his "we have assets/safe people near Hannah" stuff.  He's probably working with Tuello or his associates as well, on some level.  (ETA) It doesn't seem Tuello has the same prejudice about working with Nick as the Swiss had.

I don't really care about the details of Tuello contacting Nick or Lawrence.  There WAS a clue in the Lawrence call though.  Why was Tuello using what looks like a Sat Phone to call Lawrence?  After all, he could have just picked up a regular old Canadian phone to do that, but obviously he didn't want Canada in on it.  He knows Lawrence assisted with the rescue of those kids and Martha's though, has he been in contact with him before?

I'm not sure, but honestly?  It seemed like he has.  Tuello could become important, or more important, to this story.

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38 minutes ago, Bannon said:

Sure, it's credible that June would be angry that a deal was cut with Waterford, but do they have to write her as a kind of out of control dummy? 

In this particular situation - a long day of finding out there was really no hope of saving her daughter from a terrible life and likely to never see Nick again - I can see her freak out. If she's still frothing at the mouth calling for Fred's head and trying to gouge Tuello's eyes out days later, then I will say out of control dummy. (unfortunately the show could go in this direction)

 

41 minutes ago, Bannon said:

She should have realized as soon as she arrived in Canada that flipping Fred was a primary objective, and letting him skate was likely going to be the price of doing so.

She really should have and maybe Tuello should have broached that possibility a little sooner.

 

1 hour ago, anna0852 said:

I think Tuello is a realist. His job is not to seek Justice for June Osborne being kidnapped and raped and tortured. He is here to deal with the fact that an entire country was subverted and millions of women like June are being kidnapped and raped and tortured. And the unfortunate reality is that if making a deal with Fred brings down Gilead, then that's what will have to happen.  It's terrible for June personally but Tuello has to look at the big picture.

Tuello is the classic trope of the US agent "doing it for the greater good of the US of A, no matter how despicable it might seem".

I agree with dmc's lengthy list of questionable decisions made by Tuello but its pretty classic CIA  (fictional CIA) to  make really odd decisions and deals in hopes of spurring new info. Personally I dont see why Fred and Serena havent been carted off to Anchorage. (I'm not an idiot, I know tv show rules are in play, it just really makes no sense that prisoners captured by US agents would be held in a Canadian facility).

1 hour ago, dmc said:

agreed Luke needs to be dropped.  

He's turning into a character that lingers because the actor is well liked but keeping the character around doesn't add much. I hope they give him more to do, I'd like to be wrong.

Re: Luke's wedding ring and all his info on Hannah... What if he's married to her?

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1 minute ago, EllaWycliffe said:

Re: Luke's wedding ring and all his info on Hannah... What if he's married to her?

She's still a year or two too young for that, thank God.

OMG, ICK!

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1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

I don't really care about the details of Tuello contacting Nick or Lawrence.  There WAS a clue in the Lawrence call though.  Why was Tuello using what looks like a Sat Phone to call Lawrence?  After all, he could have just picked up a regular old Canadian phone to do that, but obviously he didn't want Canada in on it.  He knows Lawrence assisted with the rescue of those kids and Martha's though, has he been in contact with him before?

Phone lines don't remain open in times of war. Gilead clearly restricts what goes in and out of the country. If people could just call friends across the border, they would be. They can't just pick up a Canadian phone, call Gilead, ask for Commander Lawrence, and get put thru. Its more that even with a satellite phone, Lawrence would still need to know to expect  a call from the US (as would Nick) which means there is indeed communication on both sides. 

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True, but Canada isn't at war with Gilead.  The Commander has a phone, unlike people like handmaids and Marthas.

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41 minutes ago, Bannon said:

The reason I didn't buy it is that she's already had the responsibility of command, in addition to killing people herself. She's ordered people to be executed, and has knowingly  sent subordinates to their likely death. The latter act in particular will squeeze out any last remaining molecule of sentimentality that a person may still have. It just doesn't ring true to me.

When did June "send subordinates to their likely death?"  

It rang really true to me, but it took some though.  Everyone has their breaking point.  June's not a trained spy, or even a trained soldier.  She broke.  She broke when her great white hope, the USA, showed it's real colors.

If that had happened pre-Gilead?  She would have probably been jaded and think not much of it.  I just think she's built the USA up so much in her mind, and probably Canada as well, any democracy/republic in the world that pretends to be a nation of laws, for that matter.  Being in Gilead for so long, it was something to hold on to, that somewhere in the world fairness and justice still existed, that she could trust Tuello.

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1 hour ago, dmc said:

agreed Luke needs to be dropped.  

I am legit cut and pasting my response from another forum

 

"This is essentially why victims hate deals like this, they are almost never a last resort option. I think most people would be understanding with we have tried everything and our only option is to rescue the people left there or to get this person on a smaller offense. That's a reasonable line of thinking. What's not reasonable is Tuello has bypassed every refugee that made it to Canada because he automatically assumes Fred knows more. He automatically assumes his best interest lie with Fred.

 

Then he tells her in probably the worst way possible.

 

And honestly I never trusted Tuello to begin with...

I think he's being given a lot of trust and leeway on this forum that he hasn't earned.

What are the feather's in this man's cap?

He give a Serena a number in case shit got bad for her but in a land where you can't read, they assault females on the regular and certain people are property of the state. It was a safe assumption shit would get bad.

She agrees to bring Fred under false pretenses, but honestly this is a credit to Serena's cunning not Tuello. And Serena while awful is smart.

Then he makes a deal with Serena without any intelligence about her whatsoever.

Then he agrees to let a woman visit a child that has no ties to that child whatsoever.

Then he has to revoke the deal because she's almost as bad as Fred.

Then he tries to get her to have Fred recant his testimony which I still don't know happened...

He lets two potential material witnesses visit Serena and one see Fred

Then he makes a deal with Fred. And really Serena convinced Fred not him.

If he was so smart why not make convince Serena to bring Fred to Canada and offer him a deal for immunity while detaining her?

He has a whole arsenal of information among the handmaids and aunts he's not using."

I'm not going to defend the plot mechanics of the show, because so much of it is borderline ridiculous, but this much rings true. The value of getting a full debriefing from a Commander who has had close contact with High Commanders, along with Gilead's logistical expert, Lawrence, cannot be overstated, and would dwarf the value of any data to be gained from someone further down the food chain. There is pratically no deal that wouldn't be cut to get a full debriefing, and full cooperation on propaganda efforts from such a person. By the logic of Total War, this isn't even a close call.

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2 minutes ago, Bannon said:

I'm not going to defend the plot mechanics of the show, because so much of it is borderline ridiculous, but this much rings true. The value of getting a full debriefing from a Commander who has had close contact with High Commanders, along with Gilead's logistical expert, Lawrence, cannot be overstated, and would dwarf the value of any data to be gained from someone further down the food chain. There is pratically no deal that wouldn't be cut to get a full debriefing, and full cooperation on propaganda efforts from such a person. By the logic of Total War, this isn't even a close call.

I mean the closest I can compare this would to would be the Nuremberg trials and they seemed to do all right with the testimony of the concentration victims.  They were absolutely the people testifying to the atrocities committed.  

So why wouldn't that work here?

 

I mean the answer is definitely plot related not intel related.  

And I also know Serena was involved in the inception, does he have that intel?

Edited by dmc

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Just now, Umbelina said:

When did June "send subordinates to their likely death?"  

It rang really true to me, but it took some though.  Everyone has their breaking point.  June's not a trained spy, or even a trained soldier.  She broke.  She broke when her great white hope, the USA, showed it's real colors.

If that had happened pre-Gilead?  She would have probably been jaded and think not much of it.  I just think she's built the USA up so much in her mind, and probably Canada as well, any democracy/republic in the world that pretends to be a nation of laws, for that matter.  Being in Gilead for so long, it was something to hold on to, that somewhere in the world fairness and justice still existed, that she could trust Tuello.

She had to know that convincing the prisoners at one of the Jezebels to poison the Commanders carried with it the high likelihood that the women would die. June just decided (tactically and strategically correctly), that the value of killing the Commanders was worth more than the Jezebel prisoners paying with their lives. You make decisions like that, you don't have any sentimentality left. That's not a criticism.

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6 minutes ago, dmc said:

I mean the closest I can compare this would to would be the Nuremberg trials and they seemed to do all right with the testimony of the concentration victims.  They were absolutely the people testifying to the atrocities committed.  

So why wouldn't that work here?

 

I mean the answer is definitely plot related not intel related.  

And I also know Serena was involved in the inception, does he have that intel?

Nuremberg Trials didn't happen util the Nazi regime was reduced to smoldering ashes. If the Allies had somehow captured Himmler's Chief of Staff in 1943? They would have cut any deal in return for a full debriefing, no matter that person's complicity in The Holocaust.

Edited by Bannon
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6 minutes ago, dmc said:

I mean the closest I can compare this would to would be the Nuremberg trials and they seemed to do all right with the testimony of the concentration victims.  They were absolutely the people testifying to the atrocities committed.  

So why wouldn't that work here?

That war was over, and they prosecuted the defeated.  This war hasn't even begun, and they are trying to stop it from happening, or be better prepared if it does.

@Bannon, we were posting at the same time!  Agree.

One other little thing.

Serena was in pants.  To have that Wife come in, see her pants, see her writing?  That alone must have been horrifying.

 

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5 minutes ago, Bannon said:

Nuremberg Trials didn't happen util the Nazi regime was reduced to smoldering ashes. If the Allies had somehow captured Himmler's Chief of Staff in 1943? They would have cut any deal in return for a full debriefing, no matter that person's complicity in The Holocaust.

Then why did he cut a deal with Serena? 

The deal he originally offered was to Serena not to Fred.  He fully planned on prosecuting Fred.  This plan doesn't make any sense.  

He could have tricked Serena into bringing Fred to Canada and offered Fred a deal last season.  He always knew what Fred's position was. 

It wasn't like he offered Fred a deal back then and he said no. 

 

Edited by dmc
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1 minute ago, dmc said:

Then why did he need Serena to cut a deal? 

The deal he originally offered was to Serena not to Fred.  He fully planned on prosecuting Fred.  This plan doesn't make any sense.  

He could have tricked Serena into bringing Fred to Canada and offered Fred a deal last season.  He always knew what Fred's position was. 

The plan was ALWAYS to get Serena to turn over Fred.

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Just now, Umbelina said:

The plan was ALWAYS to get Serena to turn over Fred.

That I understand and she did.  At that point why didn't he offer Fred a deal for immunity?

He offered Serena the deal and was planning to prosecute Fred.  

He could have done that when Fred got there

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17 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

True, but Canada isn't at war with Gilead.  The Commander has a phone, unlike people like handmaids and Marthas.

I mean, do you really think Gilead is this shut down supersekrit society and also anyone with a phone can call and ask questions? Phone access between nations can indeed be shut down. Canada and Gilead clearly do not have good relations and Gilead doesn't allow communication. 

That means there has to be some spy access for both Lawrence and Nick to make these contacts.

6 minutes ago, Bannon said:

Nuremberg Trials didn't happen util the Nazi regime was reduced to smoldering ashes. If the Allies had somehow captured Himmler's Chief of Staff in 1943? They would have cut any deal in return for a full debriefing, no matter that person's complicity in The Holocaust.

Or after for that matter - Operation Paperclip happened, after all.

 

Just now, Umbelina said:

The plan was ALWAYS to get Serena to turn over Fred.

I think the issue was "why not just offer Fred a deal last season?" - and honestly I think Fred wasn't ready to accept a deal. 

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1 minute ago, dmc said:

Then why did he need Serena to cut a deal? 

The deal he originally offered was to Serena not to Fred.  He fully planned on prosecuting Fred.  This plan doesn't make any sense.  

He could have tricked Serena into bringing Fred to Canada and offered Fred a deal last season.  He always knew what Fred's position was. 

If you are talking about when Tuello first contacted Serena, he didn't have Fred in custody then, and had no resson to think that he ever would. Serena just looked like someone who might be flipped, mostly for the propaganda value. If you are talking about how Tuello has engaged with the Waterford's since their capture, he's been trying to flip both all along, sometimes pitting them against each other. The most unrealistic part of the process shown is how stupidly Gilead, via the Putnam's alienated the Waterfords.

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Just now, EllaWycliffe said:

I mean, do you really think Gilead is this shut down supersekrit society and also anyone with a phone can call and ask questions? Phone access between nations can indeed be shut down. Canada and Gilead clearly do not have good relations and Gilead doesn't allow communication. 

That means there has to be some spy access for both Lawrence and Nick to make these contacts.

Or after for that matter - Operation Paperclip happened, after all.

 

I think the issue was "why not just offer Fred a deal last season?" - and honestly I think Fred wasn't ready to accept a deal. 

Maybe.  He would have said no at first and still flipped now or maybe not.  But I don't think that was even part of the plan.  I think his plan to was to offer Serena a deal and prosecute Fred.  

If there was a plan back then somehow its changed

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, dmc said:

That I understand and she did.  At that point why didn't he offer Fred a deal for immunity?

He offered Serena the deal and was planning to prosecute Fred.  

He could have done that when Fred got there

They did.  Fred refused to cooperate, and has ever since.

Until that little visit from Gilead.

ETA, as soon as Serena tricked Fred into being in US custody, they offered Fred a deal.

 

Edited by Umbelina
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Just now, Bannon said:

If you are talking about when Tuello first contacted Serena, he didn't have Fred in custody then, and had no resson to think that he ever would. Serena just looked like someone who might be flipped, mostly for the propaganda value. If you are talking about how Tuello has engaged with the Waterford's since their capture, he's been trying to flip both all along, sometimes pitting them against each other. The most unrealistic part of the process shown is how stupidly Gilead, via the Putnam's alienated the Waterfords.

No I am talking about at the point he arrested Fred in Canada. 

Nothing was signed with Serena, he just told her he would make her a deal.

At that point, Fred still had more intel than Serena.  

Tuello fully planned to go through with the deal with Serena, it was only revoked when he found out about the rape of June.

Why not pursue Fred then, why make a deal with Serena

At the point where Serena arrived in Canada she's a criminal

 

1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

They did.  Fred refused to cooperate, and has ever since.

Until that little visit from Gilead.

ETA, as soon as Serena tricked Fred into being in US custody, they offered Fred a deal.

 

I absolutely do not remember them doing this.  I may need to go back but the only deal went to Serena

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1 minute ago, dmc said:

No I am talking about at the point he arrested Fred in Canada. 

Nothing was signed with Serena, he just told her he would make her a deal.

At that point, Fred still had more intel than Serena.  

Tuello fully planned to go through with the deal with Serena, it was only revoked when he found out about the rape of June.

Why not pursue Fred then, why make a deal with Serena

At the point where Serena arrived in Canada she's a criminal

 

I absolutely do not remember them doing this.  I may need to go back but the only deal went to Serena

That's why the Gilead guy complimented Fred for keeping his mouth shut.

We've seen several scenes of Tuello trying to get Fred to talk.

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4 minutes ago, EllaWycliffe said:

I mean, do you really think Gilead is this shut down supersekrit society and also anyone with a phone can call and ask questions? Phone access between nations can indeed be shut down. Canada and Gilead clearly do not have good relations and Gilead doesn't allow communication. 

That means there has to be some spy access for both Lawrence and Nick to make these contacts.

Or after for that matter - Operation Paperclip happened, after all.

 

I think the issue was "why not just offer Fred a deal last season?" - and honestly I think Fred wasn't ready to accept a deal. 

Ya' have to do some real handwaving for the US Govt. to be able to make satphone relays to Gilead land lines, in order to make covert contact with Gilead Commanders, all confident that The Eyes don't have the Commanders' lines tapped. The writers obviously don't want to take up screen time showing a more credible method of covert communication.

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Just now, Umbelina said:

That's why the Gilead guy complimented Fred for keeping his mouth shut.

We've seen several scenes of Tuello trying to get Fred to talk.

Talk as in confess yes.  But he never offered him full immunity which is what he offered Serena to bring Fred

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Just now, dmc said:

Talk as in confess yes.  But he never offered him full immunity which is what he offered Serena to bring Fred

He threw out a line to Serena, and eventually she bit.  Flirting was involved.

Then he upped the ante.  THEN he found out Serena committed crimes too.

Fred wouldn't have bit, Fred was full of himself in Canada, and any fool, let alone a spy, would know he wouldn't bite.

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4 minutes ago, dmc said:

No I am talking about at the point he arrested Fred in Canada. 

Nothing was signed with Serena, he just told her he would make her a deal.

At that point, Fred still had more intel than Serena.  

Tuello fully planned to go through with the deal with Serena, it was only revoked when he found out about the rape of June.

Why not pursue Fred then, why make a deal with Serena

At the point where Serena arrived in Canada she's a criminal

 

I absolutely do not remember them doing this.  I may need to go back but the only deal went to Serena

Getting Serena to testify against Fred would have maximized the pressure on Fred to flip. Once Tuello had testimony from Fred that implicated Serena, too, it allowed Tuello to pit them against each other. 

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Just now, Umbelina said:

He threw out a line to Serena, and eventually she bit.  Flirting was involved.

Then he upped the ante.  THEN he found out Serena committed crimes too.

Fred wouldn't have bit, Fred was full of himself in Canada, and any fool, let alone a spy, would know he wouldn't bite.

This was his tactic, where's Fred deal?

 

"Consider this an opportunity

the whole world is eager to hear from man of your stature explain to us about Gilead. "

 

I refuse to believe this guy has a plan or is smart.

A lot doesn't make sense

It does make sense to me that bringing deal Gilead would prevail or one person but there seems to be no plan

 

Just now, Bannon said:

Getting Serena to testify against Fred would have maximized the pressure on Fred to flip. Once Tuello had testimony from Fred that implicated Serena, too, it allowed Tuello to pit them against each other. 

Ok this makes more sense to me

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3 minutes ago, dmc said:

This was his tactic, where's Fred deal?

 

"Consider this an opportunity

the whole world is eager to hear from man of your stature explain to us about Gilead. "

 

I refuse to believe this guy has a plan or is smart.

A lot doesn't make sense

It does make sense to me that bringing deal Gilead would prevail or one person but there seems to be no plan

 

Ok this makes more sense to me

Fred got his deal.

He's free now.

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Whimsy

As a reminder, this thread is to talk about the latest episode only. Too much politics, personal antidotes, past history discussion is going on. Thanks 

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