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Tara Ariano

S01.E03: Late

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Offred visits Janine’s baby with Serena Joy and remembers the early days of the revolution before Gilead. Ofglen faces a difficult challenge.

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Well, that was seriously disturbing.  I had forgotten FGM was mentioned in an article I read about the show until Ofglen woke up in the hospital.  This is going to sound awful but as tyrannical as this society is, it is a bit surprising that they don't do that to all the Handmaidens as a matter of course.  Nick is also really bad at the stealthy stuff.  I know book vs show stuff belongs in the other thread but in the book I don't recall him ever being in the house.  Here he seems to be inside constantly and no one finds it weird.

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This show is utter genius and I savor nearly every second of it, but this is the third episode of three with a jarring, aggressive music cue near the end of the episode and it is throwing me out of this world every single time. I'm sure cues like "Don't You Forget About Me" are used to remind us that our current world isn't so far away from this one, but I just find it too jarring to accept. It almost seems to be making light of what we're seeing. I really question that decision.

Can't tell whether I'm more scared for the "batshit-insane" Ofwarren or of her. I was pretty sure she was going to smother that poor baby (it's been a long time since I read the book, plus I don't know what they've changed) but now that they've shown her delusion about her Commander being in love with her, I don't see that happening. Thank goodness. Plenty of darkness in other directions, obvs.

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I totally agree on Alexis.  Her acting (non-verbal) was so honest and true and I knew exactly what she was thinking.  Trying to be brave but totally wrecked inside.  I never guessed that she would be able to pull this off.

A lot of what makes this show (dystopia) feel so real to me is that it's a first generation dystopia.  We are seeing exactly how everything happened as well as how everything has changed in just a few years.

This episode was much harder than the others because there are things that weren't in the book.  I hope the writing continues to be so strong.  I'm not sure how Alexis's character will continue to be in the series now.  She's already been replaced, there is a new offglen (although we're not seeing everything in order).

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I've read the book a few times and I still had massive knots in my stomach the last 3 hours. I still feel like vomit. It's crazy how premonitiant this book from 1985 feels. Fake a terrorist attack, take over, freeze women out. Done. And the terrible scenes in the book are even harder to watch for me. The ceremony? Vomit!! FGM too. Oh man. 

I think this  is a really good adaptation so far though. 

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Much appreciate anyone's aesthetic/thematic take on the closing music choices.  Definitely jarring, I'm assuming purposefully so.  But...?

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7 hours ago, Jael said:

This show is utter genius and I savor nearly every second of it, but this is the third episode of three with a jarring, aggressive music cue near the end of the episode and it is throwing me out of this world every single time. I'm sure cues like "Don't You Forget About Me" are used to remind us that our current world isn't so far away from this one, but I just find it too jarring to accept. It almost seems to be making light of what we're seeing. I really question that decision.

 

Yeah, the music choices and a couple of the slo-mo montages were over the top for me. I understand the intention but the filmmakers are trying too hard, like with Ann Dowd's mustache twirling. (Though that first hit from her zap-wand in a close-up made me jump.) The close-ups of protesters felt like a '90s music video. The protest incident in Guerrilla was more horrifying. I wish we could have seen Ofglen's journey before her arrest.

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12 hours ago, chocolatine said:

This episode was the biggest gut punch of the show so far. Ofglen having to watch her lover be hanged and being spared only because she's fertile. Because that's all that matters for a woman in the Republic of Gilead. Then waking up mutilated - "it will be so much easier for you now" - I almost threw up. Alexis Bledel is killing it in this role.

June and Moira being harassed by the barista - there are many men today who would love to treat women that way openly if they could get away with it. The internet troll come to life.

"I am awake now; I was asleep before" - chills!

 

7 hours ago, legxleg said:

Damn, Rory, I had no idea you could act like *this*. I always thought Alexis Bledel was a pretty bad actress. I take it back.

She really is. I didn't know she could act so well.

I shouldn't have watched this before going to sleep. Serena and the maid were even creepier when they were being so nice, at first. I knew that she was going to turn on her again, at the end, but it was nice seeing her treat June/Offred with kindness for once (once I got used to it). Even though it was expected, it was still a shock to see that aggression, and anger. 

Of course they kept Ofglen alive, so that she could continue to be property and a womb for her future rapists. 

I spent the second half of this episode with my hand over my mouth. The protests, and the way that June and Moira were treated, were too close to home. I was at the protest in Cleveland, and I remember hearing that everything was peaceful (all over the world). I was so happy, and proud that day. Seeing men out there, too, and entire families. It was the first time I felt good, since the election. Hopeful that things might not be so bad, after all. 

I know that Alexis Bledel said in an interview, that the most horrifying part for her, was that this sort of thing happens in other countries. Gay people being executed, genital mutilation. 

I should have been asleep by now, but I needed to talk about this a bit first. 

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18 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

 This is how you subjugate a group of people - you take away the right to own property and earn money, the opportunity for education, and the freedom to move freely, and then you rule with terror, punishing any who disagree with your doctrine. It's truly horrifying to watch.

Pretty much Afghanistan and ISIS controlled Syria/Iraq 2017.

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Seeing that woman hung, just for having a relationship with a woman, and also thinking about what I've heard about gay men being put into concentration camps, in one country. Yeah. All of it. 

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Here's why I don't think I can watch this show: I read this recap by Tara and then literally had a nightmare about being trapped in this story.

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I loved that Janine sings Bob Marley to the baby while nursing, little snippets of the old world of the past creeps in.

Part of me wants to read every single post before I finish the second episode...I am loving this series and I want it to last! 

Anyone else notice how slowly Offred moves and speaks? 

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This was such hard episode to watch. 

The wife seems so mercurial, imagine being at someone like that mercy to ask for basic favors.

It was so upsetting to see that woman hung while Alexis' character wails and then her mutilated. 

I read the book but it was awhile ago I am trying to remember the differences. 

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I keep flashing between the women being fired, and led out of the building, having no money, and then Ofglen at the end, in that totally white room, having just undergone unwanted surgery, another extreme punishment just for loving someone. Being reminded that she's nothing, in the new world. 

I mentioned that I was watching it, on facebook, and friends of mine said they didn't want to watch, but felt that they should. Because of our current political climate. One said she couldn't believe how relevant it seems now. 

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22 hours ago, Jael said:

This show is utter genius and I savor nearly every second of it, but this is the third episode of three with a jarring, aggressive music cue near the end of the episode and it is throwing me out of this world every single time. I'm sure cues like "Don't You Forget About Me" are used to remind us that our current world isn't so far away from this one, but I just find it too jarring to accept. It almost seems to be making light of what we're seeing. I really question that decision.

Can't tell whether I'm more scared for the "batshit-insane" Ofwarren or of her. I was pretty sure she was going to smother that poor baby (it's been a long time since I read the book, plus I don't know what they've changed) but now that they've shown her delusion about her Commander being in love with her, I don't see that happening. Thank goodness. Plenty of darkness in other directions, obvs.

I'm having a huge problem with the music at the end, too.   Same reaction--thrown out of the show every time.  Hearing "Heart of Glass" over the riot scene wasn't great, but wasn't as bad as the endings are.

BUT... the strings during the scene with Ofglenn and the Martha in the van and after worked like nobody's business.  

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The sequence with Ofglen and her lover in the van and the execution was so wrenching. Beautiful soundtrack, too: as Bad Example said, those groaning strings! 

Knowing the series was filmed in Toronto, I'm trying to identify the buildings in the exterior shots, and I'm not the only one. The "courthouse" exterior looked awfully familiar. The UofT campus, maybe? It's going to bug me.

The cafe where June and Moira stopped in is Toronto's Bonjour Brioche.

Edited by Eyes High
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2 hours ago, NorthstarATL said:

It's been forever since I read the book, so it might have been irritating to me then as well, but June has it all over SereneWhatever in how a woman's body functions, and could easily have landed a one-two-punch by announcing that she miscarried and blaming it on Lydia, and see how THAT might have gone over. Can't very well punish her for something YOUR fascists did, can you? (Not that there's any real logic to the system, but still, worth a shot.)

MTE.  That's got to go through Serene's mind:  that June could have been pregnant and miscarried after Aunt Lydia's interrogation. 

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5 minutes ago, Mrs Shibbles said:

MTE.  That's got to go through Serene's mind:  that June could have been pregnant and miscarried after Aunt Lydia's interrogation. 

I'm sure that Serena thought that, but she probably knows that it is not acceptable for her to question or blame "the state" for such a thing.  The way I saw her outburst towards Offred was that there was just so much anger in her and Offred got the brunt of it because she was there--and she was the acceptable scapegoat for the situation.  I think the show has made Serena more sympathetic than she appears in the book (at least to me) and I *almost* see her as yet another woman trapped in a horrible situation (albeit not as horrible as some).

As for what happened, if Offred was only a few days late, as it seemed in the show, it is very possible that she was pregnant and the interrogation caused a miscarriage.  That early on, a miscarriage would seem like only a slightly heavier (and more crampy) period.

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4 hours ago, Bad Example said:

I'm having a huge problem with the music at the end, too.   Same reaction--thrown out of the show every time.  Hearing "Heart of Glass" over the riot scene wasn't great, but wasn't as bad as the endings are.

This whole thing with the discordant use of popular music is lifted from premium cable shows. True Blood always used to end on a cliffhanger or scene of something horrible, and then a cut to some disorientingly upbeat music over the credits. I don't really love the technique as it's used here because it feels derivative, but also because this show is a different kind of emotional vibe. If the point is to send a message that "hey, this is a show but this sort of violence really does happen to women in the world today," the end credits could be a bit more subdued.

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I've just watched all three episodes. I'm so glad I cannot binge or I would be a mess in the morning. 

Alexis Bedel killed it, with no dialogue I felt every second of her pain. 

I do wonder in the tv version of Gilead, where are the seniors and elderly? The only post menopausal women we see are the "trainers" for the handmaidens. Surely they must need women over 50 to work. 

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19 hours ago, NorthstarATL said:

It's been forever since I read the book, so it might have been irritating to me then as well, but June has it all over SereneWhatever in how a woman's body functions, and could easily have landed a one-two-punch by announcing that she miscarried and blaming it on Lydia, and see how THAT might have gone over. Can't very well punish her for something YOUR fascists did, can you? (Not that there's any real logic to the system, but still, worth a shot.)

I am right there with you. Normally this would NEVER be something I would even suggest, but given their circumstances and environment I don't think I would have had a problem with her claiming miscarriage just to see a little comeuppance. 

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I wonder how likely it would have been for the Eye and Aunt Lydia to not have checked where Offred was in her cycle before quizzing her. It would seem like Human Propogation 101 to treat the Handmaids with kid gloves between the Ceremony and their periods.

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24 minutes ago, AllyB said:

I wonder how likely it would have been for the Eye and Aunt Lydia to not have checked where Offred was in her cycle before quizzing her. It would seem like Human Propogation 101 to treat the Handmaids with kid gloves between the Ceremony and their periods.

I don't think The Handmaiden program has had much success. I'm pretty sure they don't actually think there's a very good chance the handmaidens will actually get pregnant. The low birth rate is the excuse. This is subjugation pure and simple. Same as any war time rape. If babies come, great, but it's as much about dehumanizing women as much as anything else.

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The fertility crisis was obviously used as the gateway through which the Commanders were able to bring about the society they wished for. It was a frightening phenomenon that let them build enough support to put them in a position to take over. Obviously if making babies was the supreme goal of their society they wouldn't be breaking up fertile couples. Fertile women (and men) would be cherished and treated as essential saviours. They would be very heavily incentivised to have as many children as possible and to co-operate with scientists when necessary. If the fertility crisis is world wide, then considering the safety of Canada and the continued existence of a 2 state US (Alaska and presumably Hawaii) that is probably what other affected countries are doing.

However I think there is still a real desire to create babies (for the right parents) in Gilead. The Commanders might have seized control but if they can't make babies, they literally go extinct. And Aunt Lydia was genuinely horrified that she had beaten and electrocuted a pregnant woman.

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It just doesn't make sense to me how they treat the handmaids. If Gilead was so focused on babies, one would think that Handmaids, or anyone who could have a baby would be revered. They would be revered above all else, because they are the ones that can continue the species.  To treat them as badly as they do, with the name calling and the beating and the not reading and writing, it has to be something else. It seems to be the subjugation of women, to the point that these men are literally breeding themselves out of existence. Makes zero sense to me, but I guess that what you get when you don't see the forest for the trees.

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3 hours ago, Arynm said:

It just doesn't make sense to me how they treat the handmaids. If Gilead was so focused on babies, one would think that Handmaids, or anyone who could have a baby would be revered. They would be revered above all else, because they are the ones that can continue the species.  To treat them as badly as they do, with the name calling and the beating and the not reading and writing, it has to be something else. It seems to be the subjugation of women, to the point that these men are literally breeding themselves out of existence. Makes zero sense to me, but I guess that what you get when you don't see the forest for the trees.

Exactly, they can't see the forest for the trees.  Even though these women are forced into being handmaidens because of their fertility, they're still looked down upon.  It's like the virgin/whore dichotomy or like how women are supposed to go through with a pregnancy, but are treated like crap afterwards if they're a single mother.  I think also too, there's a certain amount of jealousy.  My mom dealt with infertility issues for years and she's told me that every friend of hers that got pregnant during that time was like a knife her gut. She would just hope they got ridiculously fat.  I honestly think if my mom hadn't eventually gotten pregnant, she would have been in a maternity ward stealing babies, she was that obsessed with having a baby.  So her having these negative horrible thoughts about people that could have babies when she was struggling to have one, it came out of a place of pain.  She didn't necessarily want to hate them for having a baby, but at the same time, she hated them for having something she wanted and was having a hard time obtaining.  I think the wives had a lot of these same thoughts about the handmaidens, the, "how dare she be able to have a baby when I can't. It must be because she's a whore!". The wives need to put them down because it was a coping mechanism.  It was keeping them sane in the batshit crazy world they found themselves in.  Not excusing the wives here because they're assholes, but just a perspective.  

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The halting of the credit cards is why I really hate that everything now is going to cards and the phone.  Ever since I read the book in the 80's, I've worried about how easy it would be to pull the same stunt.  I know that Offred got banished to her room in the book, but I don't remember the interrogation.  I too was wondering why she didn't claim Aunt Lydia caused it.  Nick seems very blase about talking to Offred.

To answer the above question - I believe Gilead does keep couples together who are "married" in their eyes.  June and Luke were trying to escape Gilead - get Hannah and June to safety. 

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On ‎4‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 4:33 PM, legxleg said:

Damn, Rory, I had no idea you could act like *this*. I always thought Alexis Bledel was a pretty bad actress. I take it back.

Fuckin'-A! The promise she had in the beginning of GG is finally showing itself again, and then some. I'm thinking Alexis's forte must be non-verbal acting, because she was top notch with that in this episode.

But fuck, all her scenes were brutal. From trying to come on the guard, the pointless trial (seriously even having a judicial system in Gilead is laughable), too her last few moments with her lover/wife (was the Martha her wife?), to the hanging...I just barely held back tears.

My husband made a comment as we watched the first 3 episodes how there must be a lot of people out there that would watch and think that Gilead would be a paradise society to them. I think that is the most horrifying aspect of the show for me, how these attitudes are becoming more and more widespread in the real world.

Edited by HeySandyStrange
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(was the Martha her wife?)

No, she was just her lover that she met after being forced into becoming a handmaid. Her wife and son both managed to escape to Canada because they had passports before the more severe crackdowns began, but she didn't have one and was caught and then brought to the center once they found out she was fertile.

 Most handmaids are women like June that end up labeled as law breakers, trouble makers, basically women they despise but can still use as a means to an end.  

Many of these women may have attempted to escape and flee, as Offred tried, they might be resistance members, they might be "gender traitors" like Moira and Ofglen, so they end up marked by the Regine as women who they deem to be worthless aside from being able to have a baby.

More than likely they would love to just kill them all off, work them to death at least, but I think they figured out that since many of the commanders' wives were barren it made more sense to take these useless females and at least put their functioning wombs to good use instead.

Of course the fact that many commanders probably see having a handmaid as an opportunity to do far more than mere procreation didn't hurt either.

The handmaids are purposefully treated with disdain and hatred because they came from the time "before", when women murdered their babies (abortion), freely spread their legs for any man outside of marriage (used birth control), wore slutty clothes and deliberately tried to seduce men (perhaps they wore a sports bra while jogging or dared to have on a bikini at the beach), and so they were sullied women.

But since "god" gave them the gift of fertility that is how they can now redeem themselves in Gilead, for blessed are the meek as that evil shrew Aunt Lydia keeps repeating.

Edited by AnswersWanted · Reason: Word swapping.
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On 4/26/2017 at 4:33 PM, legxleg said:

Damn, Rory, I had no idea you could act like *this*. I always thought Alexis Bledel was a pretty bad actress. I take it back.

Fuck, she gave me chills this episode. CHILLS! I guess that's what happens when they take away the caffeine and rapid-fire monologue. Never read the book but I really hope we see more of her and the other peripheral characters. 

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I've rarely, if ever, seen a TV show with an impact so profound both intellectually and emotionally. The choice to include the flashbacks of before much more than in the book was a good choice, that also makes this so much scarier. It's just a revolution away, if that. As a gay woman this episode was especially gruesome to watch.

The acting, writing and the cinematography is superb. I'm glad they didn't release it all at once though, I think this show deserves reflection between the episodes. I really hope it reaches it's audience because it's fantastic and important.

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This episode is nightmare fuel.  It also revealed some more backstory that helped with plausibility of this occurring. 

I was rather expecting how the commander's wife would turn on June (I want to use her name, not the name that has been assigned to her) when it turns out she's not pregnant. I think the point to remember is how diminished and dehumanized women are in this system.  June is no more than something to bear a child, she's not fully human, fully feeling. She can be mistreated up to any point that doesn't damage the chances that she might bear a child. 

I wish I knew Ofglen's real name :( and not have to use that assigned name. Her scenes tore my heart apart and I find the worst in myself in how I hope Aunt Lydia has some horrible and painful ending in the future.

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11 hours ago, AllyB said:

Ofglen (did Aunt Lydia call her Emily in the final scene)

Yes! I remember now hearing that, but then I lost it thinking about the horrors of the episode. So her name is Emily. I won't think of her as Ofglen any more, but her true name of Emily. 

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20 minutes ago, Izabela said:

Yes! I remember now hearing that, but then I lost it thinking about the horrors of the episode. So her name is Emily. I won't think of her as Ofglen any more, but her true name of Emily. 

Did she use her real name, because she was no longer with her rapist? I hadn't realized that they were taking the names of the men involved, like Of Fred, and Of Glen, until someone mentioned it here. Again, leaving them solely as property to those men, not even leaving them the names their own mothers gave them. Ugh! 

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Just now, Anela said:

Did she use her real name, because she was no longer with her rapist? I hadn't realized that they were taking the names of the men involved, like Of Fred, and Of Glen, until someone mentioned it here. Again, leaving them solely as property to those men, not even leaving them the names their own mothers gave them. Ugh! 

I'm not sure why Aunt Lydia said Emily, except maybe to unnerve Emily some that she fully knew her past. Yeah, it's really horrible about the names, stripping them of their identity, which is always a huge issue in works of literature. I really have to read this book sometime because while tv and film can sometimes do very good, even great, renditions of literature, the books often have subtleties which can't be put on a screen. Still, this is definitely better than any movie could be. So much has already happened in 3 episodes, can you imagine trying to condense it down to a 2 to 2.5 hour movie?

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