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S04.E09: Progress

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Nick is in charge #1 guy of all the Gilead forces around Chicago.  He doesn't have to explain anything to anyone there.  Just get in a van and drive.  The only real question is how the CIA gave him the heads up to come.  Again, not difficult, I am sure the CIA has agents embedded.

Lawrence is the question mark.  I don't know what is up be with him.

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I am re watching this episode, Commander Lawrence told June that Hannah was doing well in Gilead, that she had loving parents and Aunt Lydia to tuck her in at night but when Nick and June met he said Hannah was living in Colorado, something is not right with that.

If Esther cannot conceive then why the Handmaid training, why not train her as a Martha?

The Last Supper style dinner for the Aunts was an interesting visual, are we thinking Aunt Lydia is Judas?

I was not surprised that Gilead is letting Fred and Serena fend for themselves, the Wife offering to take the baby back to Gilead and raise it if Serena is unable makes me think that TPTB in Gilead think the Waterfords will be serving long jail terms.  

I remember in flashbacks when Fred had to take a backseat to Serena's fame, he felt less than and hated that Serena was the star, that may have spurned on his wanting a Gilead world where the he had power just for being a man and now that he is willing to give up information on Gilead to Canada he will be back in a society where the sexes are equal, right back where he started. Gilead thinks of Fred as dead weight, I wonder if they will officially strip him of his Commander title?

Anyone think Gilead would tap Commander Lawrence's phone since he had given them reason to doubt his commitment to Gilead? 

Because of the constant bad weather I have a theory on the rain and snow we see in the Waterford's detention room windows, I am convinced that it is manufactured, like fake rain and snow, they don't really get to see the real outside, (like the Truman Show), lol.  

 

 

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On 6/9/2021 at 7:17 AM, EllaWycliffe said:

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. 

Yes, that was an epic mistake made by Gilead. They basically gave Fred a reason to help the Americans.

I don't get why they did it.

Or was it made because the show writers need an excuse so Fred could walk.

 

 

Edited by Stephanie23
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9 hours ago, SourK said:

I thought those were interesting scenes, and I'm wondering if Janine's going to end up as an Aunt -- which would dovetail with the story line we already got about everyone being unwilling to forgive that other Aunt.

Janine won't ever become an Aunt. She was a single mom (strike) who got an abortion (double strike). At best they may make her a Martha or just keep her as a servant in the Red Centre. (which could prove interesting if she decides to take up June's position as Handmaid resistance. She might just get sent to the colonies to clean up toxic waste again.

2 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

I am re watching this episode, Commander Lawrence told June that Hannah was doing well in Gilead, that she had loving parents and Aunt Lydia to tuck her in at night but when Nick and June met he said Hannah was living in Colorado, something is not right with that.

If Esther cannot conceive then why the Handmaid training, why not train her as a Martha?

Along with the lines of "hello Canada", "maple syrup going to your brain", I think the line about Aunt Lydia tucking her in was said in sarcasm. If Aunt L. was tucking in Hannah she would be at the Red Centre - not in Colorado or with the MacKenzies. 

I am shocked they don't have some sort of screening process for Handmaids. Like can she conceive or not conceive??  I am betting that they are counting on her age 14/15 to assist with her fruitfulness. Otherwise, Esther would be shipped to the colonies like that other wife that Emily killed. 

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2 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

I am re watching this episode, Commander Lawrence told June that Hannah was doing well in Gilead, that she had loving parents and Aunt Lydia to tuck her in at night but when Nick and June met he said Hannah was living in Colorado, something is not right with that.

 

He said Janine was being tucked in by Aunt Lydia not Hannah. 

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55 minutes ago, bluphoenix451 said:

He said Janine was being tucked in by Aunt Lydia not Hannah. 

That makes sense.  

I noticed that Janine, when out from June's shadow can be very impressive in getting small things done like being able to speak frankly (but carefully) to Aunt Lydia and assisting in getting Esther to eat, I see her being able to work some angles on Lydia to get things she wants, like June but not so much in your face.

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14 hours ago, Hathaway said:

I need June to stop wearing so much red.  WTF?  Try green or black or yellow polka dots!  Isn't she sick of red by now?

Why is costume design doing this?  We aren't likely to forget she was a Handmaid's.

Her red coat really stood out to me. If I was a handmaid the sight of any red clothing would create flashbacks and anxiety at the very least. What was the point? The symbolism? Yeah, not buying that she would wear red. She has nothing to prove to Nick

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4 hours ago, Hathaway said:

Nick is in charge #1 guy of all the Gilead forces around Chicago.  He doesn't have to explain anything to anyone there.  Just get in a van and drive.  The only real question is how the CIA gave him the heads up to come.  Again, not difficult, I am sure the CIA has agents embedded.

Lawrence is the question mark.  I don't know what is up be with him.

I disagree - Nick still reports to higher ups, whatever they call that panel.  First, driving from Chicago to Toronto is 8+ hours.  Round trip means he'd be gone for a full day.  I think his absence would be noted.  It also means he'd have to go through the border at Detroit.  Assuming Gilead controls that border point, Nick isn't in charge there, so again, it is likely that it would be flagged that he's crossing into Canada.  I just don't see how he does this without having to explain himself to someone.

Also, I was under the impression that there are no longer open borders between Canada and Gilead.  So there would have to be some intervention at the Canada side to allow him through a normal border crossing.

The closest analogy I can come up with is if an officer in the North Korean army decided to go down to South Korea for a day, without any authorization from his superiors.  Highly unlikely the border guards for NK would let him through without question/alerts.

I was also waiting for June to ask Nick to stay in Canada.  Clearly, he's not 100% pro-Gilead, so I'm not sure why he would want to stay there if he can get into Canada so easily.

But I do agree on Lawrence.  They're doing a good job with keeping his loyalties very questionable. 

 

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6 hours ago, Haleth said:

I was terrified that Nick was going to snatch Nicole and run, with help from Gilead.  Go glad that didn't happen, but I can't completely buy that Nick is a good guy who wants the best for June or that they are star crossed lovers.  Despite the romantic music cues.  I just do not trust him.  (I was waiting for a bombshell reveal that he is now married to Hannah and that he lied to June.)

Is Lawrence playing a long, looooong game?  On the one hand he seems to have re-embraced the culture drank the KoolAid, but when he hung up the phone he appeared to have regrets.  Is he still a decent guy who is trying to help do what he can or is he a selfish bastard who is only trying to save his own skin?  Maybe Hannah will end up with him?  (Surely she won't stay in CO, if she is even really there at all.)

Is Aunt Lydia getting soft?  Is she deliberately delaying Janine's assignment because of guilt?  Did she allow Janine to talk to Esther out of compassion?  (Why is Esther being trained as a handmaid if it's pretty clear she cannot conceive?)

Fred and Serena are pretty stupid, all things considered.  Now there is no place they can live safely.  Not that I sympathize with them.

"Thoughts and prayers."  That was perfect.

I wonder more about Lawerences true motives then Nicks. They both appear to be playing both sides but I wonder what side of the line will they fall when it’s crunch time. 

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On 6/9/2021 at 8:09 PM, dmc said:
On 6/9/2021 at 8:05 PM, 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.

Expand  

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 think that wouldn't work here because by the time the Nuremberg trials came about WWII was over. There were clear winners and losers and the losers had no power. In the show, they are not even at war yet. Gilead still has power, and the rest of the world suspects that power is high enough to cause major trouble, so they need the Intel.

It is also worth mentioning that a lot of Gilead's victims will feel they were screwed over when Gilead finally falls. If we use the aftermath of WWII for comparison again, only high profile Nazis were convicted at Nuremberg. There was an agreement to "forgive" (for lack of a better word) many of the low level officers and troops involved in all the Nazi atrocities in the name of peace and, to an extent, to avoid WWIII, as one of the reasons Hitler had enough support from the German people to rise up in the first place, was the very detrimental arrangements imposed on Germany after WWI

Edited by WearyTraveler
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54 minutes ago, Angry Moldovan said:

Her red coat really stood out to me. If I was a handmaid the sight of any red clothing would create flashbacks and anxiety at the very least. What was the point? The symbolism? Yeah, not buying that she would wear red. She has nothing to prove to Nick

I have a friend who worked for an airline for 15 years, to this day she refuses to wear navy blue.

If June had a small anxiety attack in the grocery store when she saw wings that were a product logo why isn't red of any shade make her react, I mean that was a color she was forced to wear for like 6 years!

Also, I noticed her tag was still on her ear, when she ran away the first time she cut off that tag, (ick) so her ear would not be the same, Aunt Lydia put another tag on her, wouldn't she want the second one off too? This time it could be done in a hospital setting.

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23 hours 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

Because when you hold all the cards, you don't propose any deals. You wait until the person in the weakest position tries to cut a deal and then you play some more and put even more pressure on them to get them to roll over even more. (Years of Law and Order Original recipe taught me that 🤣)

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My thoughts, which will probably prove wrong, but here they are anyway.  I think Nick told June that Hannah was in Colorado and unreachable/unsavable because he didn't want her to try something stupid and launch some sort of mission to get to Hannah. I don't think Hannah is anywhere other than where she was in the first place. He produced those documents, he could easily manipulate them. 

For those who like to think that Nick married Hannah I have another theory along those lines that might work given her age and Nick possibly being a good guy (by Gilead standards anyway) who wants to help June sincerely. This Gileadean society seems like one that would totally embrace child betrothal. I mean they marry the girls off at fourteen as it is.  If Nick wanted to help June re Hannah he could convince Hannah's parents to betroth her to him, which would be as binding as a marriage, and prevent Hannah from being sent off to marry some other dickwad before they can get her out or destroy Gilead. She is getting up there in years but still too young to be an actual wife. If Nick chose her, her parents would probably think he's a terrific match being young and of high position. Good for their status as well. Hannah could be promised to him, with a ring and everything, but still with her 'parents' until she is old enough (in their eyes) to make the final step to actual marriage. It would protect her. Once she is old enough, if Gilead still stands, she would be protected by Nick and in his control and he could possibly deliver her to June at an appropriate time.

Or else I'm just whistling in the dark and ignore me. 

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10 hours ago, circumvent said:

I am not sure what to make of this episode. I don't understand who Nick really is. He is a commander but doesn't seem to follow Gilead's misogyny. On the other hand, he shows little warmth toward his daughter, which i would expect from a commander who only cares about numbers of babies, but not the babies themselves. Or maybe the actor cannot show nuance. I can see the conflict inside Lawrence but Nick, to me, is empty.

Why did Serena change into Wife's clothes to talk to Fred? Why is June still walking around with her tag/chip? 

I thought that the characters were all over the place this episode but not in a way that made much sense. 

I find myself wondering why Nick didn’t take that chance to escape to Canada? Why does he want to stay in Gilead?

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8 minutes ago, Cinnabon said:

I find myself wondering why Nick didn’t take that chance to escape to Canada? Why does he want to stay in Gilead?

Yeah, that's my confusion. It is a badly written character, just filling in whatever void the writers need him to fill. He has power now, but he doesn't seem to care about it, he doesn't seem to be a follower of the cult. He seemed to care about Nichole for a minute, but then it was like he needs to be loyal to Gilead. The thing is, we don't know what forces keep him in Gilead, since he just just show up "as needed" to make some plot move forward. 

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51 minutes ago, Baltimore Betty said:

I have a friend who worked for an airline for 15 years, to this day she refuses to wear navy blue.

If June had a small anxiety attack in the grocery store when she saw wings that were a product logo why isn't red of any shade make her react, I mean that was a color she was forced to wear for like 6 years!

Also, I noticed her tag was still on her ear, when she ran away the first time she cut off that tag, (ick) so her ear would not be the same, Aunt Lydia put another tag on her, wouldn't she want the second one off too? This time it could be done in a hospital setting.

Panic attacks aren't necessarily logical things. The smells, sights and situations that trigger one aren't necessarily what you think they'll be. Maybe it won't be colors. Maybe it'll be a small group prayer led by a man. Maybe it'll be having her peripheral vision obstructed. Maybe it'll be a sharp dressed man in a long black trenchcoat, or a woman in a teal dress. Maybe it'll be a busy grocery store, or something else mundane. And a lot of times you won't know until it happens to you.

As for that tag, I'm wondering if she's left it in because she's going to sneak back into Gilead. Dumb, but it's something June would do.

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24 minutes ago, Cinnabon said:

I find myself wondering why Nick didn’t take that chance to escape to Canada? Why does he want to stay in Gilead?

I think it's been stated that Nick played an instrumental role  in the D.C. mass assassinations which were integral to the Gileadian coup. If that's true, Nick knows he's either doomed to Gilead surviving, despite what he now knows to be an idiotically cruel, totalitarian, ideology, or he's doomed to Gilead falling, and he going on trial as a war criminal. 

Edited by Bannon
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10 minutes ago, Bannon said:

I think it's been stated that Nick played an instrumental role  in the D.C. mass assassinations which were integral to the Gileadian coup. If that's true, Nick knows he's either doomed to Gilead surviving, despite what he now knows to be an idiotically cruel, totalitarian, ideology, or he's doomed to Gilead falling, and he going on trial as a war criminal. 

Wouldn’t he be possibly even more useful to the USA than Waterford if he told them everything though? Leading to some kind of deal?

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34 minutes ago, Andyourlittledog2 said:

My thoughts, which will probably prove wrong, but here they are anyway.  I think Nick told June that Hannah was in Colorado and unreachable/unsavable because he didn't want her to try something stupid and launch some sort of mission to get to Hannah. I don't think Hannah is anywhere other than where she was in the first place. He produced those documents, he could easily manipulate them. 

For those who like to think that Nick married Hannah I have another theory along those lines that might work given her age and Nick possibly being a good guy (by Gilead standards anyway) who wants to help June sincerely. This Gileadean society seems like one that would totally embrace child betrothal. I mean they marry the girls off at fourteen as it is.  If Nick wanted to help June re Hannah he could convince Hannah's parents to betroth her to him, which would be as binding as a marriage, and prevent Hannah from being sent off to marry some other dickwad before they can get her out or destroy Gilead. She is getting up there in years but still too young to be an actual wife. If Nick chose her, her parents would probably think he's a terrific match being young and of high position. Good for their status as well. Hannah could be promised to him, with a ring and everything, but still with her 'parents' until she is old enough (in their eyes) to make the final step to actual marriage. It would protect her. Once she is old enough, if Gilead still stands, she would be protected by Nick and in his control and he could possibly deliver her to June at an appropriate time.

Or else I'm just whistling in the dark and ignore me. 

I think this is an interesting theory, and certainly gets around the ick factor of Hannah's age.  But the one big snag is that everyone knows Hannah is June's child, and Nick's superiors all know he was assigned to the Waterford's when June was there.  Gilead is no brain trust, but Nick seeking out Hannah for this type of arrangement would send up so many red flags Nick wouldn't be able to blow his nose without the Eyes reporting on it. 

Also, I know the race issue is being treated differently in the show than it was in the book (Gilead was an all-white society in the book), but I don't think we've seen any interracial couplings on screen.  If I remember correctly, the few black commanders we've seen had black wives. 

OK, how's this for a counter-theory...  Unbeknownst to viewers, Nick has had Mr. (Commander?) McKenzie killed off, and has married widow McKenzie.  So he is now Hannah's father!  hmmm...  think about that for a moment...   😉

 

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20 minutes ago, Cinnabon said:

Wouldn’t he be possibly even more useful to the USA than Waterford if he told them everything though? Leading to some kind of deal?

Maybe, but if he was the actual triggerman for many of the assassinations, that might be a wee bit problematic.

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14 minutes ago, chaifan said:

I think this is an interesting theory, and certainly gets around the ick factor of Hannah's age.  But the one big snag is that everyone knows Hannah is June's child, and Nick's superiors all know he was assigned to the Waterford's when June was there.  Gilead is no brain trust, but Nick seeking out Hannah for this type of arrangement would send up so many red flags Nick wouldn't be able to blow his nose without the Eyes reporting on it. 

Also, I know the race issue is being treated differently in the show than it was in the book (Gilead was an all-white society in the book), but I don't think we've seen any interracial couplings on screen.  If I remember correctly, the few black commanders we've seen had black wives. 

OK, how's this for a counter-theory...  Unbeknownst to viewers, Nick has had Mr. (Commander?) McKenzie killed off, and has married widow McKenzie.  So he is now Hannah's father!  hmmm...  think about that for a moment...   😉

 

Yeah - I think that the reveal of who Nick's wife is could be very interesting. I think it would be pushing it if it were Hannah, though. I believe Hannah at the present time of the show is a preteen, just a little younger than Esther. However, I do think Hannah will figure more prominently into the plot in future seasons - from a plot standpoint, it would become interesting if Hannah were to become a Wife, not a Handmaid. 

If everyone knows that Hannah is June's child, then I wonder if there is any significance to her being out in Colorado. That is quite a ways away from Boston! Then again, we only have Nick's word that she is in Colorado. 

I hope Esther is back next season. It's also interesting to see other Aunts besides Lydia. I wonder how one becomes an Aunt anyway?

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On 6/9/2021 at 1:17 AM, 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.

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?

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. 

Lawrence always seems to just be puttering around his house alone so he probably jumps at the chance to talk to someone.  

Was Putnam's visit allowed by Canada to show Fred that he was completely abandoned by Gilead?   His only hope was to turn on them. 

How is Nick always wondering around alone being wherever he wants to be.  You'd think he was a KBG Agent from back in the day.  

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On 6/9/2021 at 1:38 PM, dmc said:

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

It's a bit hypocritical of June to be in love with a commander.  With a new wife he must have a handmaiden by now.  And there's no way he's gotten this far without doing some shitty stuff.  

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1 hour ago, LordOfLotion said:

Panic attacks aren't necessarily logical things. The smells, sights and situations that trigger one aren't necessarily what you think they'll be. Maybe it won't be colors. Maybe it'll be a small group prayer led by a man. Maybe it'll be having her peripheral vision obstructed. Maybe it'll be a sharp dressed man in a long black trenchcoat, or a woman in a teal dress. Maybe it'll be a busy grocery store, or something else mundane. And a lot of times you won't know until it happens to you.

As for that tag, I'm wondering if she's left it in because she's going to sneak back into Gilead. Dumb, but it's something June would do.

It was no accident that she wore that red coat. Maybe she wore it for herself or to let Nick know that Gilead hadn’t broken her. Coming from a place where your social value as a woman was determined by colour I find it hard to imagine her seeking out a red coat/cloak instead of her black puffer coat

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7 minutes ago, Lemons said:

It's a bit hypocritical of June to be in love with a commander.  With a new wife he must have a handmaiden by now.  And there's no way he's gotten this far without doing some shitty stuff.  

If only love was rational. 🤷‍♀️

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19 minutes ago, Angry Moldovan said:

It was no accident that she wore that red coat. Maybe she wore it for herself or to let Nick know that Gilead hadn’t broken her. Coming from a place where your social value as a woman was determined by colour I find it hard to imagine her seeking out a red coat/cloak instead of her black puffer coat

Maybe it was the only one left in the goodwill bin.

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12 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

Luke confuses me, sometimes he is all about June and her healing and other times he seems like he wants to take her down a notch or two, when she was going to meet with Nick (I have no idea why, nothing was attempted to be accomplished other than a few photos of Hannah and cooing over Nicole), Luke was all "yes, let's do this and find out where Hannah is" but then was a little pyscho about June meeting up with Nick, messing with her head about it. 

Luke knows that if it was not for Nick June would be digging up radioactive dirt or working at Jezebel's, right?

 

I think it's a lot to ask Luke to be stoked that his wife, who doesn't totally seem to love him anymore, is going to go see her boyfriend. Then, add on top of that that he's spent the last seven years trying to find his daughter with no luck, but maybe Nick can do it.

I thought the scene where they first talked about the idea of June going to see Nick was acted oddly. If I want to read a bunch of layers into it (which, I don't know that I trust this show enough to think the layers are actually there), then it read kind of like Luke was seriously proposing that June go see Nick, but also testing her, to see if she seemed excited or happy about it. The expression he had on his face was kind of like, "I think you should do something that's insanely hurtful to me -- oh, your eyes lit up at that idea. Cool. Cool."

10 hours ago, chaifan said:

Did anyone else notice that while Truello told June of the deal with Fred, he said nothing about Serena?  Will Fred leave her hanging, take the baby and let them put her in jail?  If Fred is talking, they don't need Serena and her deal (if there ever really was one) is off the table (again).  I can totally see Fred bargaining away Serena for the baby.

I'm worried about that. I'm undecided about how much I think Serena should be in prison, but I personally believe she's less culpable than Fred, so, if Fred gets to walk away and she goes to jail, that's BS. But I'm afraid it's where this is headed.

Serena still hasn't learned that he's only ever nice when he feels powerless. Now that she talked him into cooperating with the Americans, I 100% believe he'll throw her under the bus in retaliation for what she did to him.

9 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

I am re watching this episode, Commander Lawrence told June that Hannah was doing well in Gilead, that she had loving parents and Aunt Lydia to tuck her in at night but when Nick and June met he said Hannah was living in Colorado, something is not right with that.

He was talking about Janine, but I think that part of the convo was interesting. Because, if we read Lawrence as a bad guy, then he's taunting her by telling her about Janine. If we read him as a good guy, then he's letting her know what happened to her friend in a way that's safe for him if someone's listening in.

This is already more interesting to me than the "Is Nick an eye??" plot thread.

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17 minutes ago, SourK said:

The expression he had on his face was kind of like, "I think you should do something that's insanely hurtful to me -- oh, your eyes lit up at that idea. Cool. Cool."

This. I thought this was nicely played actually, to indicate that Luke maybe isn't ok with having a brother husband. 

 

18 minutes ago, SourK said:

I'm worried about that. I'm undecided about how much I think Serena should be in prison, but I personally believe she's less culpable than Fred, so, if Fred gets to walk away and she goes to jail, that's BS. But I'm afraid it's where this is headed.

Serena can't be as culpable or more culpable than Fred because she simply can't accomplish the things Fred can due to her sex. She can advise and pull his strings but Fred has to own his decisions. Yes, I do see Fred cheerfully leaving her out of the deal and maybe arranging that he gets the baby, a nice extra stab in the back since he ended up in Canada because Serena needed a baby so badly.

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2 hours ago, Lemons said:

It's a bit hypocritical of June to be in love with a commander.  With a new wife he must have a handmaiden by now.  And there's no way he's gotten this far without doing some shitty stuff.  

You don't get a handmaid when you get a wife.

A handmaid only comes into your house if your wife has been proven barren over many years.

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2 hours ago, Lemons said:

It's a bit hypocritical of June to be in love with a commander.  With a new wife he must have a handmaiden by now.  And there's no way he's gotten this far without doing some shitty stuff.  

Unless he's just not doing like he did with his old wife

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3 hours ago, madpsych78 said:

I wonder how one becomes an Aunt anyway?

I think you have to have documented proof that you enjoy the torture of small animals and birds, think a hairbun is a turnon, and he able to spontaneously come up with phrases like "Dawdling is an offense to the Lord" - (Yea, Aunt Lydia!).

I'm waiting for an Aunt Dance-off and a rap competition.

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3 hours ago, madpsych78 said:

I wonder how one becomes an Aunt anyway?

If you'd like tons of details about that?  You would probably enjoy Margaret Atwoods sequel book, The Testaments.

20 minutes ago, dmc said:

Unless he's just not doing like he did with his old wife

I really doubt he'll make that mistake again.  He was devastated about Eden.  

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4 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

If you'd like tons of details about that?  You would probably enjoy Margaret Atwoods sequel book, The Testaments.

I really doubt he'll make that mistake again.  He was devastated about Eden.  

I don’t know.  Commander Lawrence wasn’t doing anything. It’s not like they check.  It’s basically up to the household to comply with the law.  Nick is basically kissing June in front of security.  He’s clearly not law abiding 

Edited by dmc
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6 hours ago, chaifan said:

I disagree - Nick still reports to higher ups, whatever they call that panel.  First, driving from Chicago to Toronto is 8+ hours.  Round trip means he'd be gone for a full day.  I think his absence would be noted.  It also means he'd have to go through the border at Detroit.  Assuming Gilead controls that border point, Nick isn't in charge there, so again, it is likely that it would be flagged that he's crossing into Canada.  I just don't see how he does this without having to explain himself to someone.

Also, I was under the impression that there are no longer open borders between Canada and Gilead.  So there would have to be some intervention at the Canada side to allow him through a normal border crossing.

The closest analogy I can come up with is if an officer in the North Korean army decided to go down to South Korea for a day, without any authorization from his superiors.  Highly unlikely the border guards for NK would let him through without question/alerts.

I was also waiting for June to ask Nick to stay in Canada.  Clearly, he's not 100% pro-Gilead, so I'm not sure why he would want to stay there if he can get into Canada so easily.

But I do agree on Lawrence.  They're doing a good job with keeping his loyalties very questionable. 

 

Nick reports to "higher ups" but they are far away.  He's in an active war zone.  His rank there is like a 2 star general.  He runs the entire show.

I'm trying to imagine a border guard asking for Patton's papers, or questioning why or where he was going.

Either way, he's an Eye as well, so he probably has more leeway and skills than anyone in that area, along with his power.

Should the show have gone into all of that?  Maybe.  I would have enjoyed it, but others may have been bored.  I kind of like the fast pace we are hitting now though.

2 minutes ago, dmc said:

I don’t know.  Commander Lawrence wasn’t doing anything. It’s not like they check.  It’s basically up to the household to comply with the law.  Nick is basically kissing June in front of security.  He’s clearly not law abiding 

As we've seen with Janine giving blow jobs to Warren and the crowded Jezebels facilities around the country?  Not many of the commanders are law abiding.

I think Nick's "be happy" to June was about him.  He's doing the same.  Trying to "be happy."  It's also not about them checking as much as it would be about his 14 year old wife not having a breakdown, as Eden had.

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22 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Nick reports to "higher ups" but they are far away.  He's in an active war zone.  His rank there is like a 2 star general.  He runs the entire show.

I'm trying to imagine a border guard asking for Patton's papers, or questioning why or where he was going.

Either way, he's an Eye as well, so he probably has more leeway and skills than anyone in that area, along with his power.

Should the show have gone into all of that?  Maybe.  I would have enjoyed it, but others may have been bored.  I kind of like the fast pace we are hitting now though.

As we've seen with Janine giving blow jobs to Warren and the crowded Jezebels facilities around the country?  Not many of the commanders are law abiding.

I think Nick's "be happy" to June was about him.  He's doing the same.  Trying to "be happy."  It's also not about them checking as much as it would be about his 14 year old wife not having a breakdown, as Eden had.

The better comparison is asking to see an S.S., Wehrmacht, Soviet Red Army, or Chinese People's Liberation Army general's papers, and those people were/are sometimes examined closely by their regime's secret police, sometimes found wanting, and sometimes stripped of rank, arrested, or even executed. In a totalitarian regime, political subservience to whomever is above you is always the number 1 requirement, and organs of state security are always on the lookout for any wavering. Frankly, the only way to handwave away Nick's behavior is to simply assume he has a cadre of Guardians around him who are with him with regard to disloyalty to Gilead, and absolutely loyal to him, who manage to keep away any prying Eyes from observing him. Even with that, the border crossing really stretches credulity. It's one of the reasons I disliked the scene.

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42 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Nick reports to "higher ups" but they are far away.  He's in an active war zone.  His rank there is like a 2 star general.  He runs the entire show.

I'm trying to imagine a border guard asking for Patton's papers, or questioning why or where he was going.

Either way, he's an Eye as well, so he probably has more leeway and skills than anyone in that area, along with his power.

Should the show have gone into all of that?  Maybe.  I would have enjoyed it, but others may have been bored.  I kind of like the fast pace we are hitting now though.

As we've seen with Janine giving blow jobs to Warren and the crowded Jezebels facilities around the country?  Not many of the commanders are law abiding.

I think Nick's "be happy" to June was about him.  He's doing the same.  Trying to "be happy."  It's also not about them checking as much as it would be about his 14 year old wife not having a breakdown, as Eden had.

I don’t think Nick’s happy under a fascist regime. I think he’s just looking out for June. Nick is the person worrying about her daughter Hannah in her absence and he cares that’s she’s happy in Canada.  No one is happy is Gilead.  I don’t think they legit showed one happy person.

Maybe that one handmade that was happy until they cut her tongue out

Do we know who Nick’s wife is yet?  

Edited by dmc
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Does anyone else have an issue with sound when watching THMT? I have to put the volume up to 45 to hear it, then put it back down to 22 (my normal volume) for the ads. 

As for the show....why is June in a red coat when she meets Nick? The robe wasn't her choice but why pick handmaid red voluntarily? Another fuck you or just a style choice? I also loved the look on Fred's face when Mr. Putnam thoughts and prayered his pompous ass. Reminds me of Bender from Futurama:

"Is there anything we can do?"

"We can join hands in prayer."

"Is there anything useful we could do?"

"No."

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

Does anyone else have an issue with sound when watching THMT? I have to put the volume up to 45 to hear it, then put it back down to 22 (my normal volume) for the ads. 

I watch my streaming shows on my playstation and set the sound at about 20-21. But when I watch Handmaid's Tale I have to set the sound at about 70. It doesn't help that the director seems to love having people whisper their dialogue for dramatic effect (I presume) rather than for any real reason like trying to hide or something. I call it 'whisper-acting' and I loathe it. But the sound is definitely a problem for me. I'm not sure if it's just HULU (this is the only thing I've been watching on HULU) or the Handmaid's Tale alone. Nothing else I stream has this issue.

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17 minutes ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Does anyone else have an issue with sound when watching THMT? I have to put the volume up to 45 to hear it, then put it back down to 22 (my normal volume) for the ads. 

 

Nick mumbles a lot.  My Roku has a rewind function that automatically includes subtitles.  It goes back about 15 seconds.  I used that 3 times with the Nick/June conversation.  I think I used it once during the phone call with Commander Lawrence. 

For me, it's not the volume, it's the lack of enunciation.  Or maybe I'm going deaf.  Tomato Tomato.

 

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21 minutes ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Does anyone else have an issue with sound when watching THMT? I have to put the volume up to 45 to hear it, then put it back down to 22 (my normal volume) for the ads. 

Yes. I have this problem as well. 

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53 minutes ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

As for the show....why is June in a red coat when she meets Nick? The robe wasn't her choice but why pick handmaid red voluntarily? Another fuck you or just a style choice? 

I knowwwww!!! I couldn’t believe she’d ever wear red again!

I think she mainly sees loss and weakness when she sees Luke and when she sees Nick she sees a person who helped her many times during her Gilead horrors. 
 

ETA I think with Luke she shares sorrow, weakness,  helplessness and loss of control but with Nick she thinks of times when she was able to access courage, strength, resilience and hope. 

 

 

Edited by DiabLOL
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2 hours ago, Bannon said:

The better comparison is asking to see an S.S., Wehrmacht, Soviet Red Army, or Chinese People's Liberation Army general's papers, and those people were/are sometimes examined closely by their regime's secret police, sometimes found wanting, and sometimes stripped of rank, arrested, or even executed. In a totalitarian regime, political subservience to whomever is above you is always the number 1 requirement, and organs of state security are always on the lookout for any wavering. Frankly, the only way to handwave away Nick's behavior is to simply assume he has a cadre of Guardians around him who are with him with regard to disloyalty to Gilead, and absolutely loyal to him, who manage to keep away any prying Eyes from observing him. Even with that, the border crossing really stretches credulity. It's one of the reasons I disliked the scene.

I don't think so. This is an active war zone, and Nick's in charge, probably of who is at the border stations as well.  He answers to people, but I seriously doubt he's required to account for every minute of every day.  They just want good war numbers back in Gilead proper.  They don't want to know where he had lunch, or have him clock hours in and out.

We don't know that this was near Toronto either, June drove a long way, had a short meeting, and returned to Luke after dark.

Off the top of my head?  Nick just took a day off.  Or Nick said he was meeting with relief organizations to "calm things down" so off for a short trip to Canada.  Or he wanted to inspect the front, but then crossed it, out of sight of anyone but Canadian or CIA people.  There are just so many ways to do this, some could have been interesting, but most probably boring.  Boring is usually more effective with spy crap.

Maybe they met around Chatham-Kent, 3 hours for her, under 6 for him.  Then again, I doubt his personal headquarters is directly in Chicago anyway, a safe distance perhaps?  Then again, he might have been out inspecting border patrols, and a few minutes later, he'd be in Canada.

Anyway, all possibilities.

I would like to know how the stuff with Lawrence happened.  Also, what side is that dude really on?

Edited by Umbelina
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11 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

This is an active war zone, and Nick's in charge, probably of who is at the border stations as well.  He answers to people, but I seriously doubt he's required to account for every minute of every day.

I disagree with a few things here. Chicago may have been an active war zone when June exited - and frankly I think "area of guerilla attacks" is more accurate since there's never been any concern that Chicago could be liberated - but a)Gilead over all isn't at war and b) its been months in show time so we have no real idea if there's any active resistance left in Chicago. We just don't know. 

But lets assume for a moment that it is. If Nick is in charge, then he absolutely has to account for every minute of his day and people absolutely need to know where he is because you can't just flounce about on a day off if you're a brigadier general or whatever Nick's rank is supposed to be

21 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

  They don't want to know where he had lunch, or have him clock hours in and out.

The military does actually care about where he is and what he's doing because he has to be accessible for new orders and changes in directives. Nick would also be under huge scrutiny because he's an Eye, a hero, and associated with the giant mess that is the Angel Flight/SuperJune Escaping/The Waterford Defection. In a society where everyone is watching everyone, and where crossing the border has previously been depicted as near impossible, it causes the audience to disconnect when Nick who is supposedly running the war just takes a day off to wander across the border and hand out secret info to one of Gilead's greatest enemies. 

To me its less boring and more "poorly written", especially coupled with phone calling Lawrence because that also makes no sense. The showrunners seem to be saying "Gilead is totally shut off from the rest of the world, nothing goes in or out... and also Nick can wander across the border with no problem for a pleasant afternoon of hanging with June and his kid and can also hand off top secret Gilead stuff". I mean, fuck, why not have Nick simply bring Hannah with him since its no biggy?

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28 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I don't think so. This is an active war zone, and Nick's in charge, probably of who is at the border stations as well.  He answers to people, but I seriously doubt he's required to account for every minute of every day.  They just want good war numbers back in Gilead proper.  They don't want to know where he had lunch, or have him clock hours in and out.

We don't know that this was near Toronto either, June drove a long way, had a short meeting, and returned to Luke after dark.

Off the top of my head?  Nick just took a day off.  Or Nick said he was meeting with relief organizations to "calm things down" so off for a short trip to Canada.  Or he wanted to inspect the front, but then crossed it, out of sight of anyone but Canadian or CIA people.  There are just so many ways to do this, some could have been interesting, but most probably boring.  Boring is usually more effective with spy crap.

Maybe they met around Chatham-Kent, 3 hours for her, under 6 for him.  Then again, I doubt his personal headquarters is directly in Chicago anyway, a safe distance perhaps?  Then again, he might have been out inspecting border patrols, and a few minutes later, he'd be in Canada.

Anyway, all possibilities.

I would like to know how the stuff with Lawrence happened.  Also, what side is that dude really on?

12 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I don't think so. This is an active war zone, and Nick's in charge, probably of who is at the border stations as well.  He answers to people, but I seriously doubt he's required to account for every minute of every day.  They just want good war numbers back in Gilead proper.  They don't want to know where he had lunch, or have him clock hours in and out.

We don't know that this was near Toronto either, June drove a long way, had a short meeting, and returned to Luke after dark.

Off the top of my head?  Nick just took a day off.  Or Nick said he was meeting with relief organizations to "calm things down" so off for a short trip to Canada.  Or he wanted to inspect the front, but then crossed it, out of sight of anyone but Canadian or CIA people.  There are just so many ways to do this, some could have been interesting, but most probably boring.  Boring is usually more effective with spy crap.

Maybe they met around Chatham-Kent, 3 hours for her, under 6 for him.  Then again, I doubt his personal headquarters is directly in Chicago anyway, a safe distance perhaps?  Then again, he might have been out inspecting border patrols, and a few minutes later, he'd be in Canada.

Anyway, all possibilities.

I would like to know how the stuff with Lawrence happened.  Also, what side is that dude really You

The NKVD executed about 100 Soviet Red Army generals during WWII, in active war zones, after accusing them of political unreliability. One of the central features of totalitarian regimes is that no person, except maybev the person in the big chair himself, is immune to death by denunciation. A high level military commander may not be explicitly asked to account for all his time, but everybody is watched all the time. One of the things I've liked best about the show is how often it's captured the paranoia that permeates such regimes, so this is an instance where they've backed off from that a bit. It's not the biggest deal in the world, and I understand how episode constraints promotes moving things along, sometimes at the expense of narrative logic. I'd prefer a slower burn that allows things to play out more realistically, but last I checked, nobody was entrusting me with a multimillon $ budget to tell a story that grabs and retains an audience. Drat!

 

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2 minutes ago, Bannon said:

I'd prefer a slower burn that allows things to play out more realistically, but last I checked, nobody was entrusting me with a multimillon $ budget to tell a story that grabs and retains an audience. Drat!

 

Maybe they should hire us, Bannon. 

 

3 minutes ago, Bannon said:

A high level military commander may not be explicitly asked to account for all his time, but everybody is watched all the time.

This. Especially if you're known for being associated with huge political scandals. 

I don't mind handwaving a little bit, but the writing used to be better than this and most of the crummier plots revolve around Nick. 

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Again, not "a high level" but THE highest level in that area.

Anyway, obviously he wasn't in Toronto, and I was just trying to fan wank a few of several ways/reasons he was there.

As I said, the satphone and Lawrence is more interesting to me.

ETA Chicago area has been continuously at war since the first season, mentioned throughout the show.  Florida is "in and out" of control, etc.  

I seriously doubt one bombing raid eliminated the Chicago area revolution.

ETA again

This show loves it's flashbacks, we may find out Nick got in trouble, or see the whole thing later anyway.

Edited by Umbelina
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On 6/9/2021 at 10:23 AM, 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.

 

Exactly.  The way I see it is that they're both right.  Fred is a FOUNDER of Gilead and knows all the ins and outs which will be huge for whatever American intelligence service is left.

On the other hand, how do you tell two women subjected to his treachery "sorry but he's walking"?  We sadly live in a world where, especially in high profile rape cases, the attacker commonly ends up with more protection than the victims and in June and Moira's cases that was a terrible affirmation of that.

June's biggest weakness is that she can't play the long game.  She needs to learn to build a network and figure out what people want the way Nick and Lawrence have. 

Excellent episode overall probably second best this season.  As said unthread, good quiet plotting but stuff moved.  Progress was aptly named.

So is Lydia going to make Janine a Handmaid whisperer?  Maybe even a future supplicant.

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7 hours ago, kittykat said:

On the other hand, how do you tell two women subjected to his treachery "sorry but he's walking"? 

Apparently you do it just like that. :D

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10 hours ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Does anyone else have an issue with sound when watching THMT? I have to put the volume up to 45 to hear it, then put it back down to 22 (my normal volume) for the ads. 

 

 

I have to watch it with my closed captioning on.

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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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