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Tara Ariano

S01.E05: Faithful

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I have loved Alexis Bledel in this role in a way I have not loved her in any role prior. Godspeed, Emily. 

I wish there was a show of Luke and June: Before the Fall, with Moira in a featured role. This explains the adulterer comment from Aunt Lydia last ep, but how did she know? 

Max Minghella looked super, super young this episode. Also, the characterization of the Commander is a bit inconsistent so far and it bugs me. 

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This is supposed to be a show about June/Offred, but it's Emily/Ofglen 1.0/Ofsteven who's had the most powerful moments. I started crying as soon as she jumped into that black Mercedes. I knew it meant certain death, but that moment of joy as she got to drive a car again must have been priceless. I'm still emotional about that scene.

It was interesting to hear the perspective of Ofglen 2.0, because it's a more extreme version of what I've heard several times about former drug addicts who have become very religious - they feel like religion "saved" them. Did you guys notice right after that conversation, as June and Ofglen 2.0 were passing the Wall, there was a woman in a business suit hanging there? I wonder what the back story was for that, since all women in Gilead had lost their jobs years prior.

The Commander is somehow so much worse on the show than in the book. Seeing him dangle the magazine before June like a carrot before a horse, then talk about how much "better" things are now than in *those* days, made me sick. Of course "better never means better for everyone" is just fine when he gets to make all the rules (and break them at will without repercussions). He's a monster.

Serena coercing June to have sex with Nick, and staying in the room while they were doing it - I have no words. The Commander's comments, the forced encounter with Nick, watching Emily effectively commit suicide - we can see June unravel a little bit each time. In the first episode she firmly stated that she intended to survive, but now I'm not sure she does anymore.

10 minutes ago, Pachengala said:

I wish there was a show of Luke and June: Before the Fall, with Moira in a featured role. This explains the adulterer comment from Aunt Lydia last ep, but how did she know?

I think Aunt Lydia meant "adultery" in the biblical sense, as in divorce and remarriage. I'm sure Gilead pulled the public records of all married couples to see whose marriages they can deem unlawful.

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The actresses, and I mean all of them, are just killing this.  I am so impressed with each of them, and I love the no make up rawness of it all.

This one was just devastating.  Again.

I'm sure I'll post more about this episode later, but for now, I feel like they all deserve Emmy's, even the wife who was feeling the flu coming on.

Wow.

Moss and Bledel, or course, seriously blew me away.

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So Tinder existed in this universe?  Alrighty.    Luke didn't exactly win many brownie points with his all women are gay in college in assumption.  Getting the feeling dude isn't very evolved.

Serena standing there and watching just make sure June couldn't get any pleasure out of Nick having sex with her was creepy as hell.  I guess I should take this to the racism thread but Nick, or at least the actor is biracial, so it seems like that would be noticeable in a baby but I guess Serena just doesn't care or this is more of the series colorblindness.

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16 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

The whole Luke and June love story felt tawdry to me.  The cheating, the whole "I want you to leave your wife...." and the immediate "OK!" just felt all wrong in an otherwise stellar episode.

I thought it was tawdry too, but to me it seemed like a deliberate choice to show that June/Offred was/is a flawed human being who's made bad decisions in life. And that, while "tawdry" is merely frowned upon in modern society, in Gilead world "tawdry" got Offred enslaved and systematically raped, her child taken away from her, and her husband (most likely) killed.

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It was more than that to me, I just didn't find Luke at all interesting as a person, not with his stupid gay sex questions, not with his lying to his wife, not with his "I'll take care of you" crap.  I just don't understand why she loves him, or really, why he loves her.  Seemed a lot more like a brief affair than a marriage to me somehow.  I mean, at least show some conflicting emotions there, or a reason why his marriage isn't working.  Or why he "loves" June, that would be helpful.  That banter about sex was painfully awkward to me as they discussed how and where they would have an affair.  The grooming part was good, but that was Moss nailing a weak scene.  Well, weak if this was supposed to be tru luv that is.

With so much of this show in so much depth, that whole relationship rang pretty hollow.

Edited by Umbelina
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I had to wake up early to take a red eye and was pleasantly surprised to see the new episode up.

June/Offed lost points with me this episode. Is Nick being deliberately played as an unknown quantity? As if he'd turn on June if given the chance?

I was hoping Elizabeth Moss would dial it back a bit and Fiennes would dial it up a bit. Emily is much better role model. Serena continues to be menacing.

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9 hours ago, Shaynaa said:

I guess I should take this to the racism thread but Nick, or at least the actor is biracial, so it seems like that would be noticeable in a baby but I guess Serena just doesn't care or this is more of the series colorblindness.

Yes, that seemed strange to me. If I'm trying to have a baby to pass off as someone else's, I'm not going to pick a guy of a different race than the guy whose baby I'm pretending to have. I get that Nick is the only other male member of the household, but still. Nick's actor is biracial--well, multiracial (European, Indian, Chinese)--and looks it, but I guess we're going to ignore that for plot purposes, unless it's supposed to be a sign of Serena's desperation or something.

The music choice for Emily's driving spree--the last part of The Sun's Gone Dim by Johann Johannsson--was perfect. So haunting and beautiful, and a bit of a departure from their other music choices as well. Great performance from Alexis Bledel, holy shit.

Vice.com, I think, recapped this episode with the title "Every Man is Trash on The Handmaids' Tale." Hee.

Quote

 I just don't understand why she loves him, or really, why he loves her.  Seemed a lot more like a brief affair than a marriage to me somehow.  I mean, at least show some conflicting emotions there, or a reason why his marriage isn't working.  Or why he "loves" June, that would be helpful.  That banter about sex was painfully awkward to me as they discussed how and where they would have an affair.

Why does anyone love anyone? They seemed to enjoy each other's company a great deal (seeing each other for several lunches before sex was involved), they found each other charming (June wasn't put off by his dumb lesbian insinuations), they were attracted to each other, and they had hot sex. Not to mention that many guys aren't usually that verbally effusive with their feelings. Just because he's not writing her sonnets from the get-go doesn't mean Luke wasn't falling for her. Also, it may seem like just a brief affair to you, but affairs and other intended flings often turn into something more serious. I've lost count of the married couples I know whose "How we met" story is "We made out drunkenly in a bar."

As for Luke's character, Luke was trash for cheating on his wife, but June was trash for going along with it. She was smart enough to know what she was doing when she started meeting a married man for lunches, and she obviously didn't tell Moira because she knew what she was doing was wrong.

Edited by Eyes High
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Man that the commander is crazy....does this mean he doesn't love his wife?
I feel iffy on Nick...yes he is being nice...but he is also inadvertently taking advantage of someone that doesn't have the ability to say NO.
I like that we finally saw a nice wife that was decent to a handmaiden...
also I like how it turns out that the other handmaiden was looking out for her too but in a different way

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Oh I totally think the commander doesn't love his wife. I don't even think he likes her very much. The way he keeps shutting her out of the political discussions and events that she wants to know about seems a little petty/cruel to me. And they never seem to have any kind of affectionate behavior between them. Not even a hug or a hand on the shoulder. I bet he loved her once, it went sour, and now he has decided that love doesn't exist. 

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Latest Toronto sighting: the food truck where Moira and June met Luke was the Food Dudes food truck.

There was a bit of a continuity error when Moira and June were using Tinder before 2010, when it wasn't released until 2012. I know, I know, it's an alternate universe and all where the app could have been released earlier, but still.

55 minutes ago, legxleg said:

Oh I totally think the commander doesn't love his wife. I don't even think he likes her very much. The way he keeps shutting her out of the political discussions and events that she wants to know about seems a little petty/cruel to me. And they never seem to have any kind of affectionate behavior between them. Not even a hug or a hand on the shoulder. I bet he loved her once, it went sour, and now he has decided that love doesn't exist. 

Maybe he never loved her at all and just married her because she checked all the right boxes for his ambitions (beautiful, blonde, etc.).

On another note, I know part of the point of the costume design is to make everything look seductively beautiful, but damn, I loved the Wives' cold weather capes.

June musing about how there was some part of Emily that they couldn't take away reminded me of a bit from Valerie's letter from V for Vendetta, a dystopian movie based on a comic book written in the 1980s like The Handmaid's Tale (and, like Emily, Valerie was a lesbian persecuted because of her sexual orientation):

"Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free. (...) I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having."

Edited by Eyes High
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Just finished the episode.

Get it, June, heh heh HEH!!! Loved it! and the ending song? Perfection. Like Janine, I laughed out loud with glee.

That was some nice, realistic looking sex. In the comments on Hulu, someone claimed that it was pornographic and that they were going to quit watching. I didn't think it was porny or gratuitous at all, just very natural.

I hope that Emily's end is quick and relatively painless. I kind of wished that she has crashed into something and ended it herself.

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Offred's life couldn't get much more complicated.  Poor thing!  She's sleeping with an EYE, the Commander's wife and the Commander are breaking all the "rules" and any one of them could get her killed, maimed, shipped off to clean up nuclear waste, and she's just trying to stay alive.

Elizabeth Moss is killing this, she conveys so much so subtly, it's just an amazing performance.  That minute she went too far with the Commander was just chilling, watching her pull it back together.  Oh my.

It was lovely to see June again with the driver, see the real woman come out, if only for a while.  Hell, why not?  She's dangling by all of their threads now, in for a penny, in for a pound.  Why not sleep with an Eye too?  He already knows every single rule you have been breaking.  The danger was palpable and her bravery was as well, inspired by Emily and years of this crap.

I guess that's the last we will see of Emily, but I really hope not.  I've loved that performance as well. 

Showing how very trapped the wives are, highest on the ladder of women in this world, is wonderfully done. 

Yeah, Commander, it's never better for "everyone."  Or anyone in this case, except perhaps you.

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Since babies are so coveted in Giladean society, perhaps in the immediate period following the birth,no one will question the matter too deeply if June gives birth to a multiracial child. I'm sure when the situation has come up before, the Commanders and Wives would be all hush-hush about it. Since the Handmaids aren't allowed to raise their children past a period of breastfeeding and then are sent elsewhere, people will forget what they looked like--if they even noticed at all.

i think the real danger to June, if she does in fact become pregnant by Nick, would be during this immediate period after giving birth. Would the Commander play it down by saying that he or June had some multi-racial lineage? Or would he shame June by making her affair with Nick known, and set her up for horrific punishment? 

I wnder why Emily just drove around. It didn't seem like she was trying toescape. 

Am I the only one who finds the scenes with Luke boring?

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5 hours ago, legxleg said:

Oh I totally think the commander doesn't love his wife. I don't even think he likes her very much. The way he keeps shutting her out of the political discussions and events that she wants to know about seems a little petty/cruel to me. And they never seem to have any kind of affectionate behavior between them. Not even a hug or a hand on the shoulder. I bet he loved her once, it went sour, and now he has decided that love doesn't exist. 

I thought you were shutting her out of political discussions because in the New World they live in his wife isn't even allowed to be in his office.  I don't think they're able to discuss politics or work with women at all

2 hours ago, Mrs Shibbles said:

Elisabeth Moss nailed this episode.  Now, I have a strong hankering to watch The Suitcase.

The suitcase is the best episode of television ever

Edited by dmc
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1 hour ago, Tinfoil Hat said:

Am I the only one who finds the scenes with Luke boring?

Nope, you aren't the only one. My husband and I were falling asleep during their scenes. They seemed overlong and dry to me.

 

2 hours ago, rollacoaster said:

That was some nice, realistic looking sex. In the comments on Hulu, someone claimed that it was pornographic and that they were going to quit watching. I didn't think it was porny or gratuitous at all, just very natural.

I think the scene was lovely and sexy in a real way, but I'll admit, it was more, uh, handsy then what I'm used to seeing from tv/movie sex scenes. I rarely see actors touch each other in such intimate ways, no matter how over wise graphic or intimate the scene is. Still, it was a nice wake up after those dual scenes between June and Luke lol.

 

1 hour ago, AnswersWanted said:

Commander Fred, on the other hand, admitting he was the one responsible for Emily's terror and horrific punishment just...as if I didn't hate him enough already. Not to mention the way he was treating June, waving that magazine in her face as if she was a little puppy that he could ply with a sweet treat to keep her good and obedient. I felt like throwing up right alongside June afterwards.

They are doing a great job of making Freddy an all too real type of villain. I really hope that his arrogance and feelings of invincibility bite him in the ass, and soon. Considering the how paranoid the whole populace of Gilead seems to be, he is probably eyed with as much suspicion and jealousy as everyone else. I could see him going down Julius Caesar style.

Alexis Bledel is still nailing it. Part of me really hoped she'd floor it and somehow, someway, make it to safety in Canada. Wishful thinking, I know, but I'm somewhat hopeful since she wasn't killed at the scene that this isn't the last of her. I wouldn't mind following her story to exile in the Colonies, if they great Leaders of Gilead don't hang her outright.

Edited by HeySandyStrange
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1 hour ago, AnswersWanted said:

I thought it was a triumph and gorgeous. It amazes me that people can view sex as something so dirty when it's done to reflect a real coupling of two bodies. To me it's just so natural and beautiful and I don't have to cringe and look away in horror at the over top acting, the fact that she left her bra on or that he wasn't nuzzling her breast or holding her close. I loved the closeups of her hand roaming over his naked hip, everything was so heightened, so full of color and heat and passion. If I didn't know any better I would have thought I was watching two adult making love in private, no eyes on them, just open and free, and that is what the scene was supposed to be, and that is why it was so stunning.

That was beautifully put, and I agree; it felt real and true and powerful. One of the things I found most touching was how triumphant the sex scene was. From the moment June sets foot outside, she's in control: For the first time in a long time she's deciding for herself, she's taking pleasure for herself. Notice how Nick lets her undress him first? Whoever directed that scene did it absolutely perfect.

We've been praising the women in this series, and rightly so, but I have to commend Max Minghella. I've rewatched the show and he's been doing some marvellous subtle things with his facial expressions. Nick is mysterious to June, but not unknowable, if that makes sense? The revelation that he's an Eye plays into the theme of the episode, but it also makes his kindness that much more dangerous - to both him and June. I'm not so naive to believe that this will end well (or to hope for or ask for love, as June herself said), but it's a glimmer of hope in a desperately ugly world, and I am glad we for once ended the show on an uplifting (such as it is) note.

Edited to add: I looked up the director for this episode, and it's Mike Barker who also did some episodes of Outlander, a show that's famous for its female gaze when it comes to sex scenes. Because yeah, that scene was hot and intimate in a way I haven't seen on screen before - and I liked it. It wasn't two perfect people with perfect make-up having carefully choreographed sex (which would have ruined the point of the scene), but something more earthy and raw and fundamental.

Edited by feverfew
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17 minutes ago, dmc said:

I thought you were shutting her out of political discussions because in the New World they live in his wife isn't even allowed to be in his office.  I don't think they're able to discuss politics or work with women at all

 

He's not supposed to have fashion magazines either, much less let Offred read them, or play illicit Scrabble with her. I think it's pretty clear that Fred/the commander only obeys the rules when he wants to. I imagine that the men in Gilead talk about their days with their wives, the same as they do everywhere (well, the men who are close to their wives that is), whether they're supposed to or not. And we never see him saying that he can't talk to Serena Joy about something because he's not allowed, or it's classified. He just freezes her out altogether, or makes a pointed comment about good men handling it. I could be reading too much into things, but I think he's sticking it to her to sort of twist the knife. But I suppose we'll see more about the state of their marriage as the series progresses.

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57 minutes ago, dmc said:

I thought you were shutting her out of political discussions because in the New World they live in his wife isn't even allowed to be in his office.  I don't think they're able to discuss politics or work with women at all

Just like he's not supposed to have illicit meetings with his Handmaids, or have magazines.  I think he could discuss these things with his wife if he wanted to, if it felt it would benefit him. He chooses not.  I suspect that he enjoys the inequality of it all.  

44 minutes ago, HeySandyStrange said:

I think the scene was lovely and sexy in a real way, but I'll admit, it was more, uh, handsy then what I'm used to seeing from tv/movie sex scenes. I rarely see actors touch each other in such intimate ways, no matter how over wise graphic or intimate the scene is. Still, it was a nice wake up after those dual scenes between June and Luke lol.

I loved the handsy-ness of it! That is some commitment to a scene!

32 minutes ago, legxleg said:

He's not supposed to have fashion magazines either, much less let Offred read them, or play illicit Scrabble with her. I think it's pretty clear that Fred/the commander only obeys the rules when he wants to.

legxleg, you beat me to it!

Edited by rollacoaster
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Why on Earth didnt Emily try to make a legit run for the border? Going around the block would not by my first choice of escape.  I did love her short-lived smile.

I loved the last scene with Nick and June. After hearing her admit to Luke that she liked to be on top, I loved that she got to have her moment again. It was a beautiful scene, I was slightly uncomfortable at how real it was. I felt like I was spying on their moment.

On the shallow end, I absolutely love Serena Joy's blue knit sweater. Any knitters out there know of a pattern similar to it, I'd love to knit it.

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"We only wanted to make the world better.  Better never means better for everyone."  Yet good old Commander Fred doesn't seem all that happy with the world he and his cohorts have created either.  So who is it better for?   Sure, he has life and death power over women, but he's complaining about deeply impersonal and deeply unsexy sex with an unwilling partner that his ilk created.  He's apparently so bored or lonely for company that he's sneaking Scrabble games with that same unwilling partner in the same way that men used to sneak affairs before.  It's certainly not better for any of the women we've met save for the stray wife or two who gets a new baby to play with and maybe Ofglen 2.0 who's almost straight out of AA stock casting.   

We don't have to love Luke or love that he was a cheating married man and June chose to pursue him anyway to appreciate that that was her choice.  Not every choice is a noble one, but it was still hers to make and her body to make that choice for.   Was there anything more deeply unsettling than the look on Offred's face when Serena told her that she and Nick had already discussed and agreed that he would take a crack at impregnating her?  Another person was now in the mix deciding for her without any input on her part.  They might as well have been talking about inseminating cows.  Only slightly less awful was Serena standing by the door while Nick was pounding away at Offred.  I can only wonder if she staying to make sure that it was every bit the impersonal transaction that the "ceremony" is or if she felt the need to maintain the fiction even in that case that she had anything to do with the conception of any child that might result.  As dangerous and possibly foolhardy as going to Nick in the end may have been, it was important because it was June deciding something for herself and taking ownership, even if only temporarily, of her body again.

I didn't get any sense that Emily truly thought she was escaping.  It felt desperate and completely impulsive, born both out of the regular horror at her situation and the new horror of realizing that other people know what had been done to her.  That's why June's voice over that she looked invincible didn't quite work for me.  She was driving in circles and she looked scared to death.

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I think I should clarify.  I don't care about the whole "sin" or "bad" part of Luke being married.  I honestly just see very little chemistry between them, let alone love.  He bores me.  He's the weakest link in the cast for me, or maybe it's just the writing, it's hard to tell.  They didn't seem in love, or even particularly in lust to me.  They seem like a hook up, not a marriage, and frankly, not a particularly compelling hook up at that.  I just feel that relationship isn't really developed here in a way that makes me think either of them love each other. 

The immature comments about the lesbian sex with her friend, and then the whole "I'll take care of you" clueless and tone deaf reaction at the horror of what had just happened to June and Moira, their money, jobs, worlds gone, and that's the lame ass comment he makes, just made him look particularly stupid to me, and completely not someone to bother being in love with.  Why?  The insight, intellect, depth, caring humanity?  There is no there there.

Edited by Umbelina
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Just now, Umbelina said:

On the other hand, it's a world's colliding type thing here.  SURE, we are SO very far away from ideas like Gilead's, aren't we?

And that's exactly why those attitudes are so disgusting/disturbing. 

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18 minutes ago, DesertCyclist said:

How does Fred get away with seeing June alone at night? Where is Serena?

Those stairs are so loud.  Maybe Serena takes Ambien every night, we know they don't have sex, or probably even share a room.  Either way, what's more dangerous for Offred, sneaking down to constantly see Serena Joy's creepy husband or having sex with an Eye?

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Have to agree that Luke comes across as a bit of a wet noodle, and I've felt that way since his non-reaction when June and Moira lost their jobs. Maybe it's meant to illustrate how passivity/denial could lead to this ... I'm constantly wondering just how many everyday men gave up their wives/girlfriends to this regime. (I'd like to think the males in my life would fight for me, would fight for all of us, but who knows?)

But the problem with Luke representing a "passive" force is that it sucks chemistry from their relationship. 

(Disclaimer: I've skipped some of the flashback scenes, including most of the attempted escape to Canada. I may have missed more shading for the character.)

I'd hate to be a television critic/blogger right now. There is so damned much to unpack in this show. I really wish Sepinwall/Fienberg were still doing their podcast. (And off-topic, but on the subject of television media, I'm so freaking over Fargo and the worship of Noah Hawley.)

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9 hours ago, rollacoaster said:

 Is there no limit to the sacrifice of women on the altar of masculine ego?

Nope, no limits at all.  And this ego is literally destroying the world and everyone in it.  

This book horrified me the first time I read it, and has done so on every re-reading.  This series punches it all home, hard.

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3 hours ago, DesertCyclist said:

How does Fred get away with seeing June alone at night? Where is Serena?

I imagine Serena has gotten very good at not knowing things as a coping mechanism.

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This series is becoming more uninteresting with each new episode.  Now that Emily's out of the picture, all we have to look forward to is Elisabeth Moss' droning one-note performance.   June is not very likeable as a character either.

Keeping my fingers crossed she gets sent to the Colonies.

P.S. Those hats -- am I the only one who can't stop seeing the Flying Nun?

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 The show has done a great job with world building and atmosphere because ever since the commander asked to see June in his office, I have been wary of him. Now that he's giving her more freedom, like reading a magazine, I'm still afraid that this is all a trap and it's just a matter of time before he uses this to punish her. Sure, he's nice now but if he turns on her he could use all of the "privileges" he's been giving her to get her into trouble.

My paranoia extends to just about everyone on the show. Last week it was the doctor and this week it's Serena. Did she suggest Offred having sex with Nick because she genuinely is concerned that Offred will be sent to the colonies if she doesn't get pregnant soon? Or does she just want a child so badly that she's willing to pimp out Offred? And who's to say that she isn't going to report her for having unauthorized sex later?

It was easy to believe that the commander was an okay guy when he was just playing Scrabble and letting Offred read magazines, but once he started talking it was a stark reminder that he isn't a benevolent master. He is a bored man who has power over everyone in his house, and duh, he buys into the bull shit. He thinks that not killing Emily means that they have compassion. Yup, killing her girlfriend right in front of her and then subjecting her to female genital mutilation and more rape is compassionate.

The problem with the new regime is that they mistake lust for love (which is ironic given that in this episode, the commander accused Offred of the same thing). Removing Emily's clit doesn't mean she isn't a lesbian anymore. You love who you love because you can't help it. Removing part of her sexual organs doesn't mean she can't love anymore. It just means sex is even less pleasurable during the ceremony than it was before.

On the plus side, at least Offred now knows who she's really dealing with - a true believer who knows things suck for other people but doesn't care because he isn't one of those people and an eye. It was chilling how he readily admitted that better doesn't mean better for everyone. He can pretend to play Mr. Nice Guy with Offred, letting her read and drink, because he knows that (1) he can take those things away from her whenever he wants and (2) she will be punished, not him.

Seeing the contrast between Offred's first time with Luke versus her first time with Nick was so sad. No passion, no foreplay, no talking, no laughing. Just lie back, unzip the pants, done.

Yes, Luke and June went into their affair knowing that he was married, and that sucks. But if not for that, she wouldn't be a handmaiden. It reminded me of some of the complaints about Hannah as 13 Reasons Why went on because suddenly the main character wasn't just a put upon victim - she had flaws and she made mistakes. In both situations I say this: no one is perfect. We all fuck up. Making bad decisions doesn't mean we deserve to be bullied or made into human incubators who are raped every month. They weren't kicking puppies or eating babies, so whatever bad they did does not equal what happened to them.

At the beginning of the episode, Offred said that she and the commander had played Scrabble 34 times. Where does Serena think her husband is on all of these nights? I can hear when the characters are walking in the hallways or opening doors, so how can Serena not hear when Offred is walking down to his office and opening/closing the door?

Serena heard about Emily stealing a car and being taken away by the time that Offred got home. How did she find out? Do they still have phones?

Emily's death by joyride was both thrilling and horrifying to watch. Once she acted on her impulse to jump in the car, she knew she was fucked so she might as well do it.

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44 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Serena heard about Emily stealing a car and being taken away by the time that Offred got home. How did she find out? Do they still have phones?

Gossip travels fast. What else do they have?

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This episode was hard for me because I don't think Luke deserved to die (if that's what happened to him) and I don't think June deserved what happened to her. However, I still lost some sympathy for both of them. I think cheating is one of the worst things you can do. It is making a deliberate choice to engage in behavior that will result in someone being hurt. You can't control who you fall in love with, but you can refrain from doing anything until you get divorced. I've also never understood women who knowingly sleep with a married a man; why would you do that to another woman? That's what strikes me about this show and the book is that Gilead is taking advantage of the fact that women will turn on one another even under severe patriarchal oppression. 

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Okay, when you get ready to throw things, please remember I've been quite ill recently, and be kind. Throw only really rotten food. It'll splatter more, but hurt less.

I'm not a Moss fan. I get that she's supposed to look compliant and passive, but everytime I see her, I just think she looks like a bullfrog.

I don't like to see simulated sex on television, no matter who is doing the simulation. I'm an adult; I don't have to have a map drawn for me. Similarly, I don't like to see people throw up. Yet, tv feels I have a yearning need to see both of these activities.

I'm not having a problem with the show because I understand it is a thinly-disguised feminist screed. I have had a problem with the reviews on this site. This, actually, is the first one I've made it through. I'll leave it at that.

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I don't think Luke is supposed to be particularly special or unique in any way that would make June's love for him justified in our eyes.  He's just there, an embodiment of the Woody Allen adage that "the heart wants what it wants."  He doesn't really matter in the larger scheme of things other than being what June chose that makes her first the other woman and then guilty of adultery in Gilead's eyes as a second wife, thus deserving of her fate as a handmaid.

I've always read that and some of the objection to it that it makes her a less than ideal heroine as Atwood's own commentary on how our culture is quick to classify some victims of sexual violence as less deserving of our sympathy.  Well, look what she was wearing and she didn't do this and this and this right.  She wasn't a pristine virgin on the way from home from choir practice when the monster came out of the bushes.  So it matters less that it happened to her.  The reality is that we know precious little about who any of these women were before other than the few tidbits they've offered:  Emily was a lesbian with a wife and child.  Janine was gang raped and at some point became a single mother to a son.  Ofglen 2.0 was selling herself to feed an oxycontin habit.  We don't know what they were like as free people or what kind of good or bad choices they also might have made.  Yet they all ended up in the same place serving as would-be brood mares under threat of death or dismemberment.

While I've generally liked Elisabeth Moss in her various roles, I've never been terribly bowled over by her.  She's always been a fairly self-contained actress or maybe it's just the characters she's played.  This is the first time I've ever seen her as sensual at all.

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3 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

While I've generally liked Elisabeth Moss in her various roles, I've never been terribly bowled over by her.  She's always been a fairly self-contained actress or maybe it's just the characters she's played.  This is the first time I've ever seen her as sensual at all.

I thought her sex scene with Vincent Kartheiser in Season 1 of Mad Men was pretty hot in a weird, awkward way, but I agree that Moss does have a "self-contained" quality.

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My paranoia extends to just about everyone on the show. Last week it was the doctor and this week it's Serena. Did she suggest Offred having sex with Nick because she genuinely is concerned that Offred will be sent to the colonies if she doesn't get pregnant soon? Or does she just want a child so badly that she's willing to pimp out Offred? And who's to say that she isn't going to report her for having unauthorized sex later?

The latter, I think; I doubt Serena cares for Offred's wellbeing, she just wants a baby and she wants Offred gone, in that order. As for reporting her for unauthorized sex, I'm guessing Serena will treat Offred with kid gloves once she's pregnant, but after the hypothetical baby is weaned, all bets are off.

What's more interesting to me is that Nick could have used his Eye powers to sell Serena out for this illegal offer. What would have happened then? Would Serena's position as the Commander's Wife trumped Nick's powers as Eye, or the other way around? 

Why did Nick agree to go along with it? Because he wanted to rape Offred (because he's smart enough to know that Offred was coerced into agreeing to the arrangement by Serena)? Or because he thought that if he tattled on Serena Offred would wind up being the one blamed?

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That's a good point that thus far, we haven't really been given any indication what power the Eyes actually have or where they fit into the hierarchy as far as members of a household are concerned.  Would he have to answer to the commander if their baby making shenanigans are discovered or some other centralized agency?   Who would be considered more at fault, Serena for orchestrating it or Nick for actually doing the deed?  We've only seen people be snatched off the street or Offred's questioning where Aunt Lydia was the heavy in the situation.

I'll also agree with whoever it was upthread who marveled at how much sneaking around is going on that house at night with apparently no one hearing a thing.  Old houses like that tend to be rather creaky, especially when the house is quiet.  My kids can barely manage to make to the bathroom without waking everyone.

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1 hour ago, Eyes High said:

Why did Nick agree to go along with it? Because he wanted to rape Offred (because he's smart enough to know that Offred was coerced into agreeing to the arrangement by Serena)? Or because he thought that if he tattled on Serena Offred would wind up being the one blamed?

A little bit of column a, a little bit of column b, I think. We don't know how much power Waterford actually possesses, but if he's as high up as Emily thought, it makes sense that his woman's word - if women are an extension of men, a woman only matters as much (or as little) as her man - weighs heavier than a lowly Eye. Although that presupposes that the Waterfords actually know Nick is an Eye and that he wasn't put in the house to spy on them. If that's the case, all bets are off in terms of who holds the most power.

As for the latter the waters get even more murky. If Nick is basically as powerless as a Martha in that household, wanting had very little to do with what he did. Also, since we know both of them are attracted to each other (see June's "Why does this feels like I'm cheating on Luke?"), he might have justified it with "if not him, then someone else" and that he at least cared for her. I am perhaps romanticizing whatever's going on between them, but the fact that he appologized and told her the truth makes their dynamic even more complicated.

Edited by feverfew · Reason: Arrg gramma.
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