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Tara Ariano

S01.E07: The Other Side

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12 hours ago, Umbelina said:

One other point mentioned on the show was that they might be relocated to other European areas, so presumably Canada was getting help, and other countries offered, Canada may have simply been the first stop for many.

Access to Europe would be easy enough for quite a lot of US refugees. Italy, Ireland, Poland, Lithuania, Spain and Hungary all offer full citizenship to anyone with a certain level of national ancestry. Italy is particularly easy as to get citizenship from as pretty much any ancestry at all will get you accepted. Irish citizenship through descent can be maintained indefinitely as long as each generation is registered on the Foreign Births Register before the next is born and many millions of Americans do keep up entitlement to Irish and therefore European citizenship in this way. I can imagine that very early on in Gilead's rise, a lot of Irish and Italian Americans got to Canada due to religious repression of Catholics signalling danger to them very early on, while their huge numbers would have made them hard to round up. While their geography, so many being concentrated in NY and Mass, made driving to Canada feel like a feasible undertaking. And, at least until Gilead was able to replace the police with it's own Guardians, a lot of police on the route would be of Irish descent and more likely to help rather than hinder escapees. Once in Canada they would have applied for the passport they were entitled to and moved. An easy decision in particular for Irish Americans as they wouldn't need to learn a language to live in their new home. (Though a probably an awful problem for Ireland which has a very low population density meaning there could easily be a lot more American refugees claiming citizenship than there are Irish people in Ireland.)

Edited by AllyB
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9 hours ago, AllyB said:

Access to Europe would be easy enough for quite a lot of US refugees. Italy, Ireland, Poland, Lithuania, Spain and Hungary all offer full citizenship to anyone with a certain level of national ancestry. Italy is particularly easy as to get citizenship from as pretty much any ancestry at all will get you accepted. Irish citizenship through descent can be maintained indefinitely as long as each generation is registered on the Foreign Births Register before the next is born and many millions of Americans do keep up entitlement to Irish and therefore European citizenship in this way. I can imagine that very early on in Gilead's rise, a lot of Irish and Italian Americans got to Canada due to religious repression of Catholics signalling danger to them very early on, while their huge numbers would have made them hard to round up. While their geography, so many being concentrated in NY and Mass, made driving to Canada feel like a feasible undertaking. And, at least until Gilead was able to replace the police with it's own Guardians, a lot of police on the route would be of Irish descent and more likely to help rather than hinder escapees. Once in Canada they would have applied for the passport they were entitled to and moved. An easy decision in particular for Irish Americans as they wouldn't need to learn a language to live in their new home. (Though a probably an awful problem for Ireland which has a very low population density meaning there could easily be a lot more American refugees claiming citizenship than there are Irish people in Ireland.)

Minor aside - Italy is not as easy as it seems! My mother was born in Italy, but because she came to Canada as a young child and gained Canadian citizenship before I was born, the line is considered "interrupted" - since before 1992, gaining another citizenship meant forfeiting Italian citizenship. I can't go further up to my grandparents or great grandparents because the line of citizenship has been interrupted with my mother having forfeited Italian citizenship before my birth.

My father, on the other hand, was born in Canada and his mother was an Italian citizen at the time, so I could claim citizenship through him. If he had been born a few years later when his mother became a Canadian citizen, I'd be SOL.

Although it probably wouldn't stop people from trying! But the necessary documents can be hard to find.

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On 6/27/2017 at 8:24 PM, Umbelina said:

Those are good points.  With Climate Change being mentioned though, I wonder what impact that had on Canada, lose some shorelines, but possibly much more growing season weather?

And maybe more growing (and living) territory. Right now, the vast majority of our population lives within a fairly narrow band close to the border, largely due for climate reasons. If things were warmer, it might make it easier to expand a little, which might be helpful if we were being inundated with American refugees.

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OK, this episode suffered from the worst sin of any TV episode: it was boring. The only reveal was that, yes, Luke had made it out alive and it really was the Resistance making contact with June (via the Mexican Delegation). Not only was it a flashback (so we knew how it would work out) but it didn't even reveal what caused them to ultimately run (new Marriage Laws? Raids on houses for having contraception? Dynamiting of churches? Forcible separation of children from "undesirable" parents? New dress codes?) - the gradual eroding of liberties would be exactly what you would expect following a fascist takeover and you wouldn't even need anything other than dialogue to establish that it had happened.

I have to say I'm surprised at the hate Luke gets - a flawed individual, to be sure, but I could easily see myself being a Luke in that scenario. He's well meaning if rather passive - but in that, he's probably representative of most people in a similar situation. We all like to believe that in the event of a dictatorship we'd all join the resistance, but most people just keep their head down and hope somebody else will "do something".

On ‎24‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 8:26 AM, AnswersWanted said:

I did sympathize some with Luke though, the high idiot, because he wasn't thinking rationally, he was thinking about heading back to where he figured his girls would be taken; he just didn't want to give up on them.

Exactly. Acting emotionally in that situation was almost certainly going to get him (and possibly others) killed, but it's hard to say that in the event of my (theoretical) wife or daughter being captured, I wouldn't want to chase after them immediately. Maybe that's because TV encourages the belief that "It's personal!" is a justification for just about anything, or that testosterone prevents men from thinking clearly - but I can't say I would act in any less short sighted manner.

On ‎25‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 3:22 PM, kieyra said:

I was curious to see the reaction of typical 30-something men. Across the board, the reaction was 'Honestly, this seems like the least likely possible dystopia ...' No one offered to let me hide in their attic. 

Although it's been a few years since I was a 30-something, I don't find it plausible either... but mostly because I don't believe Gilead could be established via a coup. A Fundamentalist Party arising and managing to claim the Presidency on a minority vote (imagine Ross Perot winning in 1992 - unlikely but not impossible) would seem more likely, or an insurgency within (presumably) the Republican Party managing to nab the Nomination would seem more likely. With the Presidency in Gilead's hands, they could follow Hitler's example and dismantle the State from within.

(You'd be welcome to hide in my attic, but by the time you'd made it to the UK, the issue would be moot. Either that, or if Gilead has conquered the UK, we're all screwed). 

On ‎26‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 2:58 PM, Eureka said:

Do you think the little kids are sent to any kind of school? What about the people who are teens in present-day Gilead?

Yes, but they'd be what we'd consider indoctrination centres ("Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man" to quote the Jesuits - and while Catholicism may be banned, I'm sure Gilead agrees with the sentiment).

[OK, Mansplain over!]
 

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Although it's been a few years since I was a 30-something, I don't find it plausible either... but mostly because I don't believe Gilead could be established via a coup. A Fundamentalist Party arising and managing to claim the Presidency on a minority vote (imagine Ross Perot winning in 1992 - unlikely but not impossible) would seem more likely, or an insurgency within (presumably) the Republican Party managing to nab the Nomination would seem more likely. With the Presidency in Gilead's hands, they could follow Hitler's example and dismantle the State from within.

(You'd be welcome to hide in my attic, but by the time you'd made it to the UK, the issue would be moot. Either that, or if Gilead has conquered the UK, we're all screwed). 

 

I was admittedly in a pretty paranoid place when I wrote the section you quoted me on, a few months back. Still, it's a very weird time to be female in the U.S., and the running joke has kind of been '... men think a zombie apocalypse is more realistic'. (That may have actually popped up earlier in this same thread.)  And of course the show explores that--the idea that it could happen because no one believes it could, and because of the passive segment of the populace, symbolized by Luke. 

I do get what you're saying, though, and I have a faintly lesser sense of encroaching doom than I did when this show was actually airing. And thanks for the attic invite. Gonna need a TV up there because, like many Americans of a certain demographic, I'm completely addicted to UK 'seaside town with dark secrets' crime-dramas.

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This episode not being really focused on the Handmaids itself made it more boring to me as well, but the story had to be told for the whereabouts of Offred's husbands and to show he was still alive. Sometimes shows have to give background information to keep the story flowing for the future of the story and Offred's husband and his whereabouts will be a very important part to seasons ahead. So even though it was the most boring show of the season it was also an intergral part of it as well.

Edited by Cherry Bomb
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Though it's a different episode and yeah, focused on Luke (and therefore a dude) but I also think this one was the most rooted in things that are currently happening right now. Not that there aren't aspects of all the other things portrayed happening in the world or in our society.

I thought of my bestie from university was from Sarajevo and she told me how her family got out during the war in the Balkans. There was a lot of craziness and near misses and driving and checkpoints. There were bombs and violence. People running from Latin America across the border experience this, as do the various refugees travelling on boats from Syria and trying to land in Europe. 

People don't know what they are doing once society collapses and I think this portrays that pretty accurately. 

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I apologize if this was noted upthread, but when Luke was in the Embassy - there were two US flags, one where only two stars were complete (that I saw).  I am presuming that was Alaska and Hawaii?  I wonder if they pick up some of the refugees and revamp an armed forces of some sort?  I gotta look for some hope in this dystopic storyline :-).

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On 9/19/2017 at 11:23 AM, burghgal said:

I apologize if this was noted upthread, but when Luke was in the Embassy - there were two US flags, one where only two stars were complete (that I saw).  I am presuming that was Alaska and Hawaii?  I wonder if they pick up some of the refugees and revamp an armed forces of some sort?  I gotta look for some hope in this dystopic storyline :-).

Yes that’s right. Alaska and Hawaii are still USA. 

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On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 9:12 PM, chocolatine said:

I wondered that too, but if the woman is still too traumatized to speak after three years, I don't know that she would able/willing to have sex again. 

I agree with that part. I'm sure he's had casual hookups if not more serious relationships.

I subscribe to once a cheater, always a cheater, so I'm SURE Luke has had hookups if not more. If actual vows to an actual wife didn't stop him, the presence of a maybe-dead, definitely disappeared wife will not have stopped him, either.

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7 minutes ago, goodbyeglittergirl said:

I subscribe to once a cheater, always a cheater, so I'm SURE Luke has had hookups if not more. If actual vows to an actual wife didn't stop him, the presence of a maybe-dead, definitely disappeared wife will not have stopped him, either.

I agree with "once a cheater, always a cheater" under normal circumstances, but the monogamy concept is not the same in wartime as it is in peacetime.  As long as Luke doesn't give up looking for June and keeps contributing what he can to the resistance efforts from Canada, I'm not mad at him if he sought sexual companionship at some point in the three years since June was captured.

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