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Tara Ariano

S01.E03: Late

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The name thing makes more sense. The new Ofglen is the new handmaid of Glen. It  wasn't just some creepy mind game that she was claiming to be Ofglen. She is Oflglen now.

Offred had a previous placement so is this her second assigned name? 

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9 hours ago, Izabela said:

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?

Using her name only in this instance was horrifying to me. "Yes, Emily you have been cut. We have removed a part of you. You will never get it back. Emily is now a subhuman freak. And you aren't even Ofglen anymore. We gave that identity to someone else. But, if you are very good and meek and silent we'll give you another, like giving stickers to a child when they make their bed in the morning. Tiresome, but we do this for inferior little pets we love and pat on the head. Be good and you can be Ofjohn or Ofdavid. Of course right now, you're Emily. That's a shame because Emily is broken and mutilated and damaged and in constant pain. Be good dear and we will take away the burden of being Emily. You will never have to be Emily again." Just horrifying physical and psychological warfare. Excuse me, I have to go throw up and cry now.

PS I want to make it clear I do not think that victims of FGM shoukd be ashamed in any way, only that people use this as a weapon.

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8 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

I've never heard or read Margaret Atwood explain her process for writing this book, but personally, it makes me think that the development of this story was an exercise in examining how the Taliban (for example) used extremist interpretations of the Qur'an to seize power and enslave women in Afghanistan (for example), and speculating how the religious right in America might use extremist interpretations of the Bible to achieve the same ends.

I haven't read a lot of interviews with Margaret Atwood but the PBS interview I posted in the media thread, she said, "I made sure that every horrific detail in the book had happened at some time somewhere."

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5 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I haven't read a lot of interviews with Margaret Atwood but the PBS interview I posted in the media thread, she said, "I made sure that every horrific detail in the book had happened at some time somewhere."

Margaret Atwood has said that she was influenced by the Puritans, whom she studied, what she sees as the strains of Puritan thought lingering in American political ideology, and by what was going on behind the Iron Curtain. She was also influenced by the Iranian revolution, which took place six years before the novel's publication, and by Kabul, which she visited in 1978.

Post-revolution Iran and Gilead have a lot in common, right up to the series of laws swiftly stripping away women's rights. Iran also had squads of older women empowered to go around arresting women showing hair, wearing makeup, or defying the dress code in any way. Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, about her experiences as a child before and after the Iranian Revolution, has a bit where Marjane gets into trouble with some of these women, who call her a "whore" for wearing a denim jacket and Nikes. Satrapi has a bit in Persepolis where she explains that the government knows that if a woman is worrying whether her trousers are long enough, whether her makeup is visible, and whether she'll be whipped, she won't be thinking about what happened to her freedom of speech, to her freedom of thought, and to her rights.

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So much has already been written about the Emily/Ofglen horror show that there's nothing really new for me to add.

I was really struck by all the little details in the pregnancy that wasn't storyline, starting with Serena and Rita standing over Offred at the lunch table like she was some clueless child who didn't know how things worked asking questions like were her breasts tender and informing her what they had deduced merely from her being a few days late.  Assuming her life wasn't that terribly different than ours before, that would have to be such a mindfuck after a lifetime of being admonished not to talk about her period or the associated details except with her closest friends or sisters and usually in hushed tones so as not to offend.  And here are these two women who she only knows as part of the system forcing this on her talking about her body like it's communal property and projecting all their baby fantasies on her with "wouldn't it be wonderful" murmurings as if she won't immediately become disposable to them again the minute her body is no longer needed to sustain any child it produces.  The other commander's wife sneering about how she can't wait to get rid of "that girl" upstairs as soon as baby Angela is weaned as if "that girl" had nothing at all to do with that child's existence was proof of that.

We got what was probably the closest we'll get to Serena admitting what a demeaning shit show this entire setup is but she was able to shrug it away as being worth it if she gets a baby at the end of it.  Because again, it's not her body being exploited.  It was fascinating to see her building an entire fantasy life with that fantasy child on what sounds like couldn't have been more than a handful of calendar days to the point of starting a nursery for it.  I can only chalk that up to the power of wishful to the point of delusional thinking because as a woman she surely has to know how many variables go into making a fertilized egg take if it even exists in the first place, and that's before you factor in the precipitous drop in fertility that the entire story is built upon.  

It's probably also that sort of thinking that immediately dismisses any thoughts that perhaps being shocked with a cattle prod and knocked to the floor might not be particularly healthy to any beginning pregnancy that might exist and instead focuses all of her rage and disappointment on Offred's "failure."  Because while she's in a better position than many women in this new state, she's not really in a position to question it either.  

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Initially, I had decided not to watch because I didn't think I could handle seeing the trauma of the book played out over 13 episodes (or...5-7 seasons, which, I too "have concerns.") But, in the end, I felt it was such an important show that I had a duty to watch. So far, I think they are doing a masterful job of expanding the world beyond the book and making all the characters 3 dimensional. This episode left me feeling nauseous and terrified, esp with how closely the protests reflect ones in recent years, and our county's obsession with guns that kill the maximum number of people as quickly as possible. Alexis Bledel is finally living up to her potential with this role and that last shot of her screaming as it pushes her either over the edge or further into the Resistance was chilling. So glad I have to wait a few days for the next episode.

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I remember a Handmaids mini series with Natasha Richardson from a few years ago, it was good but this rendition is bone chilling and compelling, I downloaded the book on my kindle last night so I could learn more about it...I sort of look at black SUV's so differently now. 

If the handmaids names are an extension of the commander they are "working" for, do they change their names with each new assignment?  I have not gotten that info if any about that from the book yet.

If children are the ultimate goal to achieve where are they? 

We have yet to see Offred eat, do they feed her? 

 

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6 hours ago, ruby24 said:

I know they didn't want to include the white supremacy angle from the book, but it is kind of hard to believe that a zealous, sexist, homophobic patriarchal society like this wouldn't also be racist.

I sort of get it but I don't, if that makes sense.  I know they wanted a more diverse cast, which gives us the wonderful Samira Wiley, and there were concerns that bundling the racial purity angle in would further dilute what the show is saying about misogyny and authoritarianism and I can understand that.  But there's no shortage of evidence that the same people who would eagerly embrace a Gilead type regime also tend to have some very ugly racial ideals, with the end result is the show at times feeling like it's ignoring that reality because it would be "too hard" the same way a third-grade play might.  It doesn't help when all the wives we've seen are mostly still the ideal whiter than white blondes.

Hit edit too soon.  Yes, the Handmaids are given a new name with each new assignment.  You notice in the show trial scene that Emily/Ofglen is only referred to as Handmaid number whatever because she has no official identity beyond that.   The handmaids are fed reasonably well if only given blandly healthy food to keep them healthy enough to breed.  It sort of came up in the Birth Day scene where the wives made much over offering Offred a single cookie because "sugar is bad for them."  The book spells out that the handmaids are constantly told how lucky they are because they're prioritized to be provided a healthy diet with a war going on.

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If the handmaids names are an extension of the commander they are "working" for, do they change their names with each new assignment?  I have not gotten that info if any about that from the book yet.

 

Yes they do, that's why Offred is greeted by a new Ofglen once they have taken away her friend. The handmaids are not allowed a separate identity as long as they are "working" for the commanders and their wives, they are property and treated as such. They are forced to take on these names because it's a reminder of their purpose and their ultimate goal: give life to a commander's baby and be blessed by god and all that bs.

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If children are the ultimate goal to achieve where are they? 

 

Very few are being born, whether by handmaids or by the other women. The fertility rate is at an all time low in this world, and thanks to the Regime being a bunch of backwards morons they have decided to remove many of the medical advancements and technologies that would assist and help with the problem.

Forget about testing for low sperm count or using hormonal treatment to increase egg production, this group could care less about actually addressing the real issues. They prove it in so many ways, including how they now keep their bibles on lock down as they have rewritten and altered them and they don't want those knowledgeable of the time before to make valid arguments against it and teach those yet to come not to believe or trust in their rhetoric.

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In other words, you don't have to be religious to be a racist, but you DO have to be religious to be a Missionary. Assimilation is just as racist as segregation, and it has a firmer footing in religion, so I can see why they may have taken this tack.

ETA: Decided it's best to move this to the overall Gilead book/show thread rather than here since it's only tangentially related to Episode 3. Thanks for being gentle with the reminder, moderator.

Edited by JasonCC
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I think it's significant, too, that so far all of the racial diversity seems to be among the Handmaids, the Marthas, and lower level soldiers. All of the Commanders and wives we've seen at this point have been white. The ruling class of Gilead is apparently not integrated at all, though they're fine with using people of color as servants or reproductive slaves. That seems perfectly plausible to me: there have been plenty of white supremacists throughout American history who have happily impregnated black women, while publicly calling them inferior. Like this guy. Or this one.

Basically I don't think racism and making use of the bodies of women of color are contradictory at all - they often go together. So does contempt for a culture and a desire to "save" children of that culture by taking them away from their families and destroying the ties those children have to their heritage, as Slovenly Muse points out. I wish, if that's the point the show is making, they'd be more explicit about it, but we'll see.

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There was beat in the scene after June and Moira lost their jobs, and they were having that awkward 'joke' argument with June's husband, where Samira Wiley seemed to me to be telegraphing: "Well, if she's fucked, them I'm doubly fucked". 

But it was non-verbal, and my read on it is subjective, of course. 

I don't think they're not going to address race. 

Edited by kieyra
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3 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

I remember a Handmaids mini series with Natasha Richardson from a few years ago, it was good but this rendition is bone chilling and compelling, I downloaded the book on my kindle last night so I could learn more about it...I sort of look at black SUV's so differently now. 

If the handmaids names are an extension of the commander they are "working" for, do they change their names with each new assignment?  I have not gotten that info if any about that from the book yet.

If children are the ultimate goal to achieve where are they? 

We have yet to see Offred eat, do they feed her? 

 

The Natasha Richardson movie was good, but had nowhere near the level of detail and production as this series. However, I do think Faye Dunaway as Serena Joy and Robert Duvall as Fred were perfectly cast.

The book made note of the food Offred (she wasn't "June" in the book) was given to eat - thin sandwiches on white bread, cups of fruit salad, an apple, etc. "A child's lunch" was how Offred described it.

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On 4/30/2017 at 7:48 AM, nodorothyparker said:

So much has already been written about the Emily/Ofglen horror show that there's nothing really new for me to add.

I was really struck by all the little details in the pregnancy that wasn't storyline, starting with Serena and Rita standing over Offred at the lunch table like she was some clueless child who didn't know how things worked asking questions like were her breasts tender and informing her what they had deduced merely from her being a few days late.  Assuming her life wasn't that terribly different than ours before, that would have to be such a mindfuck after a lifetime of being admonished not to talk about her period or the associated details except with her closest friends or sisters and usually in hushed tones so as not to offend.  And here are these two women who she only knows as part of the system forcing this on her talking about her body like it's communal property and projecting all their baby fantasies on her with "wouldn't it be wonderful" murmurings as if she won't immediately become disposable to them again the minute her body is no longer needed to sustain any child it produces.  The other commander's wife sneering about how she can't wait to get rid of "that girl" upstairs as soon as baby Angela is weaned as if "that girl" had nothing at all to do with that child's existence was proof of that.

We got what was probably the closest we'll get to Serena admitting what a demeaning shit show this entire setup is but she was able to shrug it away as being worth it if she gets a baby at the end of it.  Because again, it's not her body being exploited.  It was fascinating to see her building an entire fantasy life with that fantasy child on what sounds like couldn't have been more than a handful of calendar days to the point of starting a nursery for it.  I can only chalk that up to the power of wishful to the point of delusional thinking because as a woman she surely has to know how many variables go into making a fertilized egg take if it even exists in the first place, and that's before you factor in the precipitous drop in fertility that the entire story is built upon.  

It's probably also that sort of thinking that immediately dismisses any thoughts that perhaps being shocked with a cattle prod and knocked to the floor might not be particularly healthy to any beginning pregnancy that might exist and instead focuses all of her rage and disappointment on Offred's "failure."  Because while she's in a better position than many women in this new state, she's not really in a position to question it either.  

I also think it's that she literally has nothing else to do with her time but obsess about Offred's mentral cycle. The book actually does get into the stifling, crushing boredom of living in Gilead. It seems like a small thing compared to all the other injustices, but the women in this society from top to bottom have absolutely nothing to entertain themselves or occupy their thoughts except the minutia of the small spaces they're allowed and it makes all of them, from Serena Joy to Aunt Lydia to Offred, crazy. Edith Wharton makes the same point about institutional sexism in her books. Humans are not empty vessels and when you try to force them to be that you drive them mad. Serena Joy can't even read a book or go for a run so she obsesses about a magic baby all day, every day.  

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I was surprised June didn't immediately assume offered has miscarried and that it was the fault of the interrogation. 

 

She seems crazy though. 

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1 hour ago, lucindabelle said:

I was surprised June didn't immediately assume offered has miscarried and that it was the fault of the interrogation.

She seems crazy though. 

Yes, but, remember, by Gileadian logic, if Offred was being interrogated, it was because she had done something to attract the attention of the authorities. So, no matter what, it was still all her fault. (Actually, that could have explained Serena Joy's rage even more, if she believed Offred was pregnant, but that her own "impious" or "rebellious" choices cost Serena Joy "her" baby. The fault in that case ACTUALLY BEING with June the person, rather than Offred, the womb with legs.)

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On 5/1/2017 at 8:43 AM, nodorothyparker said:

I sort of get it but I don't, if that makes sense.  I know they wanted a more diverse cast, which gives us the wonderful Samira Wiley, and there were concerns that bundling the racial purity angle in would further dilute what the show is saying about misogyny and authoritarianism and I can understand that.  But there's no shortage of evidence that the same people who would eagerly embrace a Gilead type regime also tend to have some very ugly racial ideals, with the end result is the show at times feeling like it's ignoring that reality because it would be "too hard" the same way a third-grade play might.  It doesn't help when all the wives we've seen are mostly still the ideal whiter than white blondes.

 

I will take my answer over to book vs show. 

10 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

I was surprised June didn't immediately assume offered has miscarried and that it was the fault of the interrogation. 

 

She seems crazy though. 

I would think even if Serena believed the interrogation caused the miscarriage, it was still June's "fault" for being friends with a gender traitor and giving answers which lead to her beating and getting shocked.

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Every second of this episode was bone chilling. From denying them acces to their money, losing their jobs en masse, the protest turning deadly, the hanging, the fgm. There literally was no breather here and I am still disturbed 2 days later. How real this is and how it could be OUR reality is just terrifying. 

The actresses are hitting this out of the park. Moss is relaying that fine line between terror and just below the surface rebellion. Bledel (I'm a huge GG fan) who never had much depth as an actress is simply mesmerizing. I can't take my eyes off her when she is I. A scene. Holy cow! Can't wait for Ep 4!

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Oof.  Something about watching Alexis Bledel as Ofglen, having to try and prostitute herself simply to try and save her own life before the trial, then having to know her lover was about to die and figure out some way to say goodbye without speaking, and then waking to her own mutilation after having to watch her love hang just slaughtered me specifically because Alexis Bledel isn't usually seen as a strong actor.  I thought she was great during her brief stint in Mad Men but all of this was made all the more powerful because she's robbed of everything, even her voice.  Since it's new material it was crushing and terrifying in ways I was never expecting. . 

I actually really love the strange music cues, forever reminding us: this is supposed to be our world. This is supposed to be what remains of the United States.  The discordant Heart of Glass was perfect, I thought when June and Moira are showered by jagged glass as they attempt to hide in order to save their own lives.  


I never cared for the Natasha Richardson/Faye Dunaway/Robert Duvall movie.   They made stylistic choices to try and soften some of the blows.  For instance, the handmaid's dresses were shortened and a couple of other things that didn't fit with the source material.  Dunaway and Duvall were both old enough that they wouldn't have been able to produce children naturally at that age anyway, so it took away one of the more subtle things from the book:  The commander's wife is also a victim of this merciless, misogynistic society.    

Props to the actor playing Serena Joy who took out all of her rage at everything -- being forced to share her husband, as she's reminded that her body has betrayed her and she is viewed as lesser, having to be present (one of the most horrifying aspects of the book for me) while this woman is repeatedly and systematically raped on her marital bed -- Serena Joy is a villain but she's also a victim.  It's just that she has the one tiny bit of power that she can then use to abuse the only people she can to act out her rage.  She's not in the least sympathetic but she is believably human to me because of that, her rage made all the more horrible because she's risked being emotionally vulnerable with June or Offred, who must serve as a constant reminder to her that she is considered broken in the way she would most like to be functional.   Serena Joy can't own property, or have money of her own either.  Her cage is nicer, she's allowed food and flowers, status, the pretense of respect from those around her:  all in a world where she has no rights either.  

I love that  Elisabeth Moss is playing it all as if she has an inkling and understanding of what it all means in Serena's mind.  Casting younger for both the Commander and his wife was really a brilliant thing to do, I thought.  

The Handmaid's Tale is one of my favorite books of all time because it always seemed so possible.  Now more so than ever.  On the only upside I can think of for that, Hulu must be doing a nonstop dance of joy for landing the most topical dystopian fiction of the time.  I never really believed the dead can walk, or that we'd all turn into cannibals a la The Road but just looking around the globe and around the country, this feels prescient.  

There used to be an old word game of sorts  "think of a white room, entirely white, no color, no windows, everything in it is white, how do you feel?"  and people would then describe their feelings:  "I feel peaceful"  "I feel trapped"  "I'm happy" "I'm cold" whatever....and it was all supposed to be how you viewed death.  No clue as to the validity of it but the second they cut to Emily waking up, all in white, groaning.  I knew what they'd done, they killed her in the only way they could without actually taking her life.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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The barista man sure was quick to jump in with the name calling. I can't imagine being in the situation where all of my money and my job was gone in the same day. It was bad enough for June, but I imagine Moira was even more upset. She obviously didn't have a husband, so I wonder where her money went to? They said male next of kin, but who knows if it was her father, brother, cousin, whatever and she may not have contact info. At any rate, I appreciated June and Moira sticking up for women's rights even against Luke, who is one of the good guys. I felt so incredibly bad for the women in June's workplace as well. The confusion, sadness, and fear shown on  their faces said everything. I was glad it seemed some of the male coworkers tried to help them, but they couldn't do much in the situation.

I always have difficulty with violent protest scenes. I still cry over the ones in The Hunger Games and it's been years. But showing the Gilead army shoot down citizens and march down the street was awful. The sense of hopelessness when things like that happen, where you're in a desperate situation and there's literally no way out. I just can't handle it. But I think it needs to be seen. People live like that every day right now and I'm sure many of them didn't anticipate it happening. I know a lot of people who have read the book and said this kind of situation can't happen, not "here". But then you see a show like this where it's too real and you can imagine exactly how you would feel, what it would be like. And that's why the story-telling makes this show.

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On 4/28/2017 at 6:03 PM, 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.

It's the same logic of claiming to be all about life, but applying that philosophy only to fetuses. To be an activist to work toward all conceptions becoming births, and, after that point, loudly complaining, "Ehhh, not my problem -- feed, clothe, and take care of it yourself!" 

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On 4/26/2017 at 9:47 PM, Margo Leadbetter said:

I was chilled to the bone when they were talking about how, after Congress was assassinated, the constitution was suspended and martial law declared to protect everyone from "the terrorists." I'm not sure if I'm watching a fictional TV show or a playbook for the current administration.

It doesn't seem all that farfetched, does it?

I find Emily (Ofglen) to be ten times more interesting than Offred.   The actress really outshines Elisabeth Moss, who seems capable of only a few variations of the same constipated expression.  Then, maybe it's just me.  I found her underwhelming in Mad Men too, and greatly overrated in the reviews she got for that show.

I haven't read the book so forgive me if I don't understand this, but one element that seems to be missing is any organized uprising by the good men of the country in the face of the initial curtailment of women's rights.   Are we to believe that all the fathers, brothers and husbands reacted the same as their female relations were turned overnight into property?  "Aw shucks, don't worry, honey, let the menfolk look after you from now on?"   We saw just one man get shot in the protest but where were all the rest?   It begs credibility that all the men would just shrug and say "whatever."

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1 hour ago, millennium said:

It doesn't seem all that farfetched, does it?

I find Emily (Ofglen) to be ten times more interesting than Offred.   The actress really outshines Elisabeth Moss, who seems capable of only a few variations of the same constipated expression.  Then, maybe it's just me.  I found her underwhelming in Mad Men too, and greatly overrated in the reviews she got for that show.

I haven't read the book so forgive me if I don't understand this, but one element that seems to be missing is any organized uprising by the good men of the country in the face of the initial curtailment of women's rights.   Are we to believe that all the fathers, brothers and husbands reacted the same as their female relations were turned overnight into property?  "Aw shucks, don't worry, honey, let the menfolk look after you from now on?"   We saw just one man get shot in the protest but where were all the rest?   It begs credibility that all the men would just shrug and say "whatever."

I will respond to the later portion of your post here:

Edited by AnswersWanted

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On 4/27/2017 at 5:52 PM, 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.)

That's what I thought. I wanted her to tell Serena, "I lost your baby. It must have been the cattle prod."

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On 4/26/2017 at 2:59 PM, chocolatine said:

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.

Amen.  I am on Twitter, and this is true.  100% true.

As a baseball fan it is typical for Yankees fans to tweet at me calling me a "dumb whore" etc. and women who have thousands of followers get harassed like this all day every day.  Anyone can look up what happened to Leslie Jones in the wake of the 2016 Ghostbusters movie to see how it is.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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Wow, I am loving this show so far.

I think what was so shocking for me in this episode is that all the stuff that is happening currently occurs to some extent in other countries.  What is shocking to us is that it is happening in a familiar environment, i.e. our own countries, and we're not used to seeing that.  Coupled with what's happening in the US right now... it's kinda scary.

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2 hours ago, greekmom said:

A many number of things bothered me in this episode.

1.       How the barrista guy switched like a light switch. First his “Claire who?”  Then calling June and Moira “sluts”.  I just do not believe general society would switch like that unless he was part of the political party who supported the ultra conservatives in Gilead.  I mean look at the boss at June’s office.  He looked confused himself and very uncomfortable of what was going on and what he had to do.

There are plenty of guys today who are not part of a conservative/fundamental group but don't hesitate to refer to women as sluts, whores, and worse for no reason except that they are assholes. Unfortunately this happens all the time, so although the barista could be a Gilead supporter, it's also possible that he's just one of those guys who thinks it's okay to insult women for being women.

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On 2017-04-27 at 5:28 PM, Eyes High said:

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.

The scenes on the bridge and by the river were shot in Cambridge, ON. I had no idea that the show was shot in ON, so I had a "Wait. What?! I know that place!" reaction while I was watching. I went to grad school in Cambridge, MA, too, so in addition to the dystopian aspect of the show, I'm having some general cognitive dissonance with place names and geography.

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I haven't had time to read everyone's comments about each episode.  I read the book in 1986 but I forget and just wondered a couple of things:

1.How did one become a "commander's wife"?  Seems they would want the fertile women as wives.  Also, are the Martha's not fertile?

2. They have mentioned a few places in the series so far, but does anyone know where this is supposed to be?

Thank you...

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28 minutes ago, MV713 said:

I haven't had time to read everyone's comments about each episode.  I read the book in 1986 but I forget and just wondered a couple of things:

1.How did one become a "commander's wife"?  Seems they would want the fertile women as wives.  Also, are the Martha's not fertile?

2. They have mentioned a few places in the series so far, but does anyone know where this is supposed to be?

Thank you...

I'll answer you in the book questions thread. 

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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.

Except who would want a society like that? Who would want a bitchy wife and a sad angry "mistress"? Wanting power is one thing, but men nowadays have money and power and still have wives (and mistresses, if that's their thing) who actually are happy and they enjoy being with. These Commanders may have power, but to what end? What a sad terrible world they're in power over. Good job.

As for the men who were around when the women were first fired and their money cut off? If they didn't fight and protest, then they're guilty too. If you're not part of the solution....

Yes, I realize they may have been killed in the effort, but it appears they were killed (or enslaved in the Colonies) anyway. At least go down fighting for the rights of the women you care about.

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48 minutes ago, maystone said:

I can't say that I like SJ, but I have sympathy for her, and I love how Yvonne Strahovsky is playing her. She's obviously so bright, and she's entombed in that deadly patriarchal theocracy. I wonder if there's a Wives resistance movement?

Love your entire post! Have to disagree with this part though, since

Spoiler

Serena Joy was a fierce advocate for the "values" of Gilead, and it wasn't until she was taken at her own word that she realized she didn't want those things for herself.

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1 hour ago, chocolatine said:

Love your entire post! Have to disagree with this part though, since

  Reveal hidden contents

Serena Joy was a fierce advocate for the "values" of Gilead, and it wasn't until she was taken at her own word that she realized she didn't want those things for herself.

Ah! Thanks for that info. I read the book when it first came out, and there is a lot that I've forgotten.

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Serena Joy was a fierce advocate for the "values" of Gilead, and it wasn't until she was taken at her own word that she realized she didn't want those things for herself.

Serena Joy's ultimate goal was a baby. If she only just tested the waters with IVF or had another man before advocating the values of Gilead she might have had what she wished for and not backed Gilead. Sad case of could've, would've, should've. 

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5 minutes ago, greekmom said:

Serena Joy's ultimate goal was a baby. If she only just tested the waters with IVF or had another man before advocating the values of Gilead she might have had what she wished for and not backed Gilead. Sad case of could've, would've, should've. 

That was only one of her goals.  She used to be a powerful woman,  (not terribly spoilerish below, but use your judgement.)

Spoiler

but I'm not sure how much the show will go into that.  She helped set all of this in motion.  She, I think, didn't expect to have to abide by the same bullshit she was preaching for all of the OTHER women.

Edited by Umbelina
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Gah. Show. Words. Can’t

FGM. They went there.

I didn’t think there could be a bleaker show than American Crime. Congratulations, Handmaid’s Tale, you did it.. I need to save Brooklyn 99 to watch after this.

On 4/26/2017 at 1:12 PM, cuppasun said:

But it was this ep that finally brought me tears, in the place I least expected it: during the scene of the protest, when June and Moira are fleeing and hiding from the soldiers who open fire. Maybe it felt just too too close to home and recent reality: protests that look so much like that have been such a part of life lately, for reasons just a few (tiny) steps removed from this fictional one

I had exactly the same reaction. It was really real.

Edited by marinw
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@marinw I do that too, I have to 'cleanse my palate' with other shows.  I have been watching King of Queens.  King of Queens and The Handmaids Tale, going together like some sick castle dream/nightmare world!  

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1 hour ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

@marinw I do that too, I have to 'cleanse my palate' with other shows.  I have been watching King of Queens.  King of Queens and The Handmaids Tale, going together like some sick castle dream/nightmare world!  

I should try that. Last week I watched The Handmaid's Tale (it's available at 9pm on Tuesdays on the West Coast) immediately followed by The Americans, which was a double whammy of misery.

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6 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

@marinw I do that too, I have to 'cleanse my palate' with other shows.  I have been watching King of Queens.  King of Queens and The Handmaids Tale, going together like some sick castle dream/nightmare world!  

After watching the first epiosde i had to watch some Archer.

Also although the women getting fired scene was super fucked up, it reminded me how the last time we saw Elizabeth Moss walking down a hallway with a bankers box, it looked a lot different.

 

style-blogs-the-gq-eye-peggy-olson-entrance-mad-men.jpg

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Kel Varnsen - Perfect! OK, so in my new alt-reality the militia came to expel all of the women from Sterling Cooper, ran into Peggy and then started showing up armed to the teeth.

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I keep comparing the Mean Aunt to the Shame Nun from Game of Thrones.  It would be spectacular if the Aunts could be turned towards the Resistance/Revolution. They seem to have the most power of the Gilaid women.

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On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 1:41 PM, Umbelina said:

I'll answer you in the book questions thread. 

Didn't see your answer.

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13 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

@marinw I do that too, I have to 'cleanse my palate' with other shows.  I have been watching King of Queens.  King of Queens and The Handmaids Tale, going together like some sick castle dream/nightmare world!  

 

12 hours ago, chocolatine said:

I should try that. Last week I watched The Handmaid's Tale (it's available at 9pm on Tuesdays on the West Coast) immediately followed by The Americans, which was a double whammy of misery.

It's Sense8 for me. A show about people being connected instead of driven apart. (Still has a fair amount of tension and action, though.)

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