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Tara Ariano

S01.E09: The Bridge

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Offred embarks on a dangerous mission for the resistance. Janine moves to a new posting.  Serena Joy suspects the Commander’s infidelity.

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You know, in any other world, June would be lauded a hero for getting the baby safely from Janine.

So Moira is a "degenerate" but Fred was totes cool with having a threesome with her.  As a way of saving her soul?  Speaking of Moira, that ending.  Is women driving going to be an ongoing theme?  I would like to think that with her connections she could get out but I'm not so sure Mayday would have that reach.  If I had to guess, I would assume her fate will remain unknown so they can bring her back in later seasons.

I still don't care about Nick's emo, man pain.  It was nice to see the chef again.  Who deserves a name.

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"Praise be, Bitch" So much love for that line.

Fiennes is stepping up the slimy, which is good.

One gripe overall is that Offred is becoming a Mary Sue-all powerful, able to seduce many men, do spy work, and be an intervention counselor all at once.

Edited by WaltersHair
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I loved seeing June channeling her inner Moira to get the real Moira to wake the hell up and realize that she had become the very thing she always hated above all else, and once would have died first before allowing anyone to get the better of her in such a way. The way her broken facade fell away and the bad-ass returned was really enjoyable to watch. I truly hope that bastard in the room with her got it where it hurts most and suffered the hellish death (hopefully) that he'd earned.

Whomever runs that place though are idiots to have not kept a better watch on Moira considering her history. But these lowlifes continually underestimate their precious "handmaids". They know for a fact that a good number of them are women of high intelligence, many self made, self taught, self reliant, ruthless and ambitious. But they actually have such ill-placed faith in their scare tactics that they refuse to see the truth.

Since June told Moira that Luke got out I am going to assume that, if she can somehow succeed with getting out herself, she is going to hunt his ass down and then they can work together to get June and Hannah out and I would be perfectly alright with that development.

The scene on the bridge with June and Janine was agonizing. I cheered watching Janine expose that sick pos, Warren, so publicly. She got her vengeance, and while it wouldn't spare her any pain or grief, at least she got to sink his battle ship right alongside her. Watching his ass being loaded into the "Eyes" van made my night. I hope he ended up on the very wall he and his buddies dreamed up.

June admitting that she could not "come with" because of Hannah was a punch in the gut. I was happy the baby was spared, such a cutie, but ffs they have got to get that kid away from that horrid wife, she cannot be trusted, especially since the baby is the product of Janine and her shit husband and to me she seems even more mentally fragile than Janine. I could see a murder/suicide happening in that house easily.

Fred is utterly nonredeemable. The way he was so rough with June in bed, my skin is still crawling. Then to top things off, he brings Moira in hoping for a little "girl on girl" action (thankfully he didn't order them to get it on), and finally when he sees June losing it at the door, falling to pieces, he can only snip at her about Moira's "depravity" and tell her that they're going home because (obviously) all of this drama has been a real buzzkill.

The way they showed Serena Joy breaking rank/rules and storming into his office on the hunt makes me think that they are hinting at certain specifics from the book, so this could prove interesting. She still irks me to death.

I am beginning to think the "Marthas" are the most interesting people in this place. There's Rita getting a tiny smidgen of interesting backstory, there's the really awesome nameless Martha from the club who has more charisma in her pinky than half of Gilead, and of course there was the amazing, fearless Martha, again nameless, that was Ofglen's lover.

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Where is Moira going? How is she supposed to get past the guards? It looked like she wiped blood off her hand.

Loved it when the butcher handed that package to June. As awful as that was, I was hoping that Janine would be free of it all. Was anyone, aside from June, actually concerned for her? And not the loss of a womb? :( 

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39 minutes ago, Anela said:

 As awful as that was, I was hoping that Janine would be free of it all. Was anyone, aside from June, actually concerned for her? And not the loss of a womb? :( 

Same. I had a feeling she was going to give the baby to June and then jump, and when she did it, I was so relieved for her. And then we see her in the hospital bed and I was so bummed. It was a weird feeling to have, to wish death on a character that I actually like and felt bad for because it would relieve her pain. But then what a gut punch that was when I saw her lying in that bed. 

Yeah none of them besides June really cared for her, they want those Handmaids for their womb and that is it. 

Honestly, I am surprised they actually believed her when she said those things about her Commander. She's always been a little "off" the whole time, that I felt they just dealt with her "crazy" since she is fertile. 

Edited by SiobhanJW
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12 minutes ago, SiobhanJW said:

Honestly, I am surprised they actually believed her when she said those things about her Commander. She's always been a little "off" the whole time, that I felt they just dealt with her "crazy" since she is fertile. 

Did they really believe her, or are they just taking him to investigate the charges? I think the Eyes are just there to interrogate & report on unlawful activities. I don't think they pronounce judgment -- we did see Martha and Ofglen#1 in a court.

Crazy Janine is one of my fave characters so I hope they don't kill her off too soon.

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YAAAAAAAS, Moira! Praise be for that ending.

A part of me was hoping that Serena would bust in and find the Commander and Offred playing Scrabble. IMO, Waterford agreed to going back to Jezebel's a little too quickly/easily, but I guess the message they're trying to send is that these guys are all total horndogs. For that reason, I'm sure the powers that be in Gilead do believe what Janine said about Warren. It sort of parallels Stalinist times--everyone informs on everyone, everyone is presumed guilty. 

Ann Dowd also deserves some kind of award for her work in this series. She is acting the hell out of her role.

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Well this episode explains something I wondered about...so the Commanders also can get in trouble for breaking the rules...so maybe not as much trouble as the handmaidens but still trouble...

I wish this show would stop showing us this fleeting Nick looks at Offred...please stop selling me on this romance...thanks...it's revolting

When I read the book...a couple of things that I never considered was how it would feel to give up your baby and that once you had a baby you moved on to the next household...I mean these things were evident but my focus was on the current household reading it...I am really surprised asking women to leave their children has gotten them adverse reactions before...I would think they would get them all the time...

I still despise Commander Waterford...what does it say about me that I could stand him more when I thought he was a true believer...now that I know that he doesn't believe this stuff and constantly breaks the rules as a means to his own satisfaction...I loathe him...it's one thing to believe something stupid but it's another to inflict beliefs on an entire society while you do what you want...

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1. I'm getting "Praise be, Bitch" on a t-shirt

2. Can't believe the XY chromosomes (refuse to refer to them as men) would outlaw blowjobs. Score one for feminism! [sarcasm] 

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I've been binge watching this show and just caught up. I hope Moira get all the way to Canada and finds Luke. Also loved the "Praise be, bitch"! That was perfect.

also wondered as someone said up thread that  the people believed what Janine said about Warren. He could have said she was crazy and lying. Still, it was karma to see him being led away in the black van. 

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1 hour ago, Boofish said:

1. I'm getting "Praise be, Bitch" on a t-shirt

2. Can't believe the XY chromosomes (refuse to refer to them as men) would outlaw blowjobs. Score one for feminism! [sarcasm] 

I don't think it's that blowjobs were outlawed. Janine says she did all the sex stuff Mrs. Putnam wouldn't do.

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Add me to those that are surprised they'd even consider investigating Janine's claims against her Commander.  

Also pretty surprised that Waterford agreed to go back to Jezebel's that same night, considering he was so careful to do it when his wife was out of town the first time.

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2 hours ago, Tara Ariano said:

I don't think it's that blowjobs were outlawed. Janine says she did all the sex stuff Mrs. Putnam wouldn't do.

My impression is that all non-procreative sex has been banned. Hence Waterford and Serena's "we shouldn't" when they have sex after the presentation of the children in the Mexico episode.

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One gripe overall is that Offred is becoming a Mary Sue-all powerful, able to seduce many men, do spy work, and be an intervention counselor all at once.

 

I could see that, but the commander likes getting it on his handmaids so it isn't as if she lured him into wanting her beyond the ceremony and being fertile, yada yada. And Nick, well, he's a player in his own right it seems, the chef/Martha at the club is someone he's been intimate with, he may have been intimate with the commander's first handmaid as well. He has such a limited number of women he's allowed to be around it makes sense to me that the one he sees the most and is the most accessible, a handmaid and in this case June, she would end up becoming an object of affection for him.

She is a pretty crappy spy honestly lol, but she isn't a real spy. If she hadn't clued Moira into her plan it would have been an epic failure. She can't even have a secret conversation in public without looking 50 shades of guilty as sin. But I think it's important they keep that up, June is no Wonder Woman. She's scared and desperate to try and do something meaningful to bring an end to this hell on earth, death is not as scary to her now as just standing around and doing nothing. But left to her own devices I have no doubt she'd be up on that wall in no time flat.

And she did manage to save the baby but she wasn't able to bring Janine down and I thought that worked. She was able to connect with Janine's love for her baby to save the baby, but Janine herself was too far gone to be saved, or to believe that living another second, willingly, in that world was worth what she'd have to go through. 

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9 hours ago, Tara Ariano said:

I don't think it's that blowjobs were outlawed. Janine says she did all the sex stuff Mrs. Putnam wouldn't do.

Yeah, recreational sex, from my impression in the book, was completely banned as something that brought God's wrath down to eliminate babies being born.  At least according to the rulers of Gilead.   It's right up there with birth control as a sin.

I don't see June as the Mary Sue.  If anything, it's Moira, all powerful spunky Moira, escaping again!  From a highly guarded place, and in a car no less!

Janine broke my heart.  It was wonderfully like an exhale to hear her speaking her mind and not parroting the only language permitted to handmaids.

The only thing shocking to me was the risk that June took with the new OfGlen.  She sure didn't seem open to Mayday during their other conversation.  That seems like the biggest risk she's taken frankly.

The bridge scenes were incredible.  I wouldn't change a thing, it was such a relief to see a handmaid speak honestly for a change.  I'm not at all shocked the Eye's believed Janine about sucking his cock.  His reaction was a dead giveaway.   Also the scene where she told her new "of" to get the fuck off her!  Loved that!

I was sad (as a person) to see Janine still alive, though happy as a viewer, since she is fast becoming another of my favorites.

Oh, and I'm completely over the lack of lighting in so many scenes.  It's not artistic, it's fucking annoying.

One last and very important scene!  That horrid wife with the baby when Fred's wife tried to help her calm Charlotte?  We may finally see what happens to wives who have lost their only protection in this world, those powerful husbands!  Personally, my bet is they give Charlotte to someone else, and she's shipped off to the nuclear clean up colonies.  I've always thought that would happen to left over "wives" and we may be about to see if I'm correct!  WOO!  I can't wait for that, and I hope we get to see the other wives react to the loss and banishment of one of their privileged "own."

Edited by Umbelina
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21 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Yeah, recreational sex, from my impression in the book, was completely banned as something that brought God's wrath down to eliminate babies being born.  At least according to the rulers of Gilead.   It's right up there with birth control as a sin.

I don't see June as the Mary Sue.  If anything, it's Moira, all powerful spunky Moira, escaping again!  From a highly guarded place, and in a car no less!

Janine broke my heart.  It was wonderfully an exhale to hear her speaking her mind and not parroting the only language permitted to handmaids.

The only thing shocking to me was the risk that June took with the new OfGlen.  She sure didn't seem open to Mayday during their other conversation.  That seems like the biggest risk she's taken frankly.

The bridge scenes were incredible.  I wouldn't change a thing, it was such a relief to see a handmaid speak honestly for a change.  I'm not at all shocked the Eye's believed Janine about sucking his cock.  His reaction was a dead giveaway.   Also the scene where she told her new "of" to get the fuck off her!  Loved that!

I was sad (as a person) to see Janine still alive, though happy as a viewer, since she is fast becoming another of my favorites.

Oh, and I'm completely over the lack of lighting in so many scenes.  It's not artistic, it's fucking annoying.

One last and very important scene!  That horrid wife with the baby when Fred's wife tried to help her calm Charlotte?  We may finally see what happens to wives who have lost their only protection in this world, those powerful husbands!  Personally, my bet is they give Charlotte to someone else, and she's shipped off to the nuclear clean up colonies.  I've always thought that would happen to left over "wives" and we may be about to see if I'm correct!  WOO!  I can't wait for that, and I hope we get to see the other wives react to the loss and banishment of one of their privileged "own."

That would make me so happy!  I'm not a mother but even I know you don't calm a baby like that. I have loathed her the entire show since her ridiculous fake birth and saying she was in pain...I just hated her. Her pinched face, she brings new meaning to the word "tight ass". I hope he ends up on the Wall and she ends up, oh think of it--maybe at Jezebel's? Wouldn't that be a kick? 

Seriously,  I love this show, it horrifies me and makes me think so hard that my brain hurts...

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15 hours ago, Shaynaa said:

Speaking of Moira, that ending.  Is women driving going to be an ongoing theme? 

I'd like to think that it would be, given that real life Gileads do not permit women to drive.

5 hours ago, Boofish said:

1. I'm getting "Praise be, Bitch" on a t-shirt

LOL! Awesome.

I SO wanted June to let it all out when given the job of getting Janine and Angelotte off the bridge, but I guess there's more plot that can be squeezed out of having Janine know about the effort to get away from and/or bring down Gilead. I just imagined June shouting "You should SEE the shit SJ puts me through! And that place Fred took me to, Jezebels? And they think their wives don't KNOW what they do to us there? Remember Moira?"

  BTW, June mentioned Moira, and Janine didn't flinch. I know she had other things on her mind, but didn't she think Moira was dead?

 

6 hours ago, dmc said:

When I read the book...a couple of things that I never considered was how it would feel to give up your baby and that once you had a baby you moved on to the next household...I mean these things were evident but my focus was on the current household reading it...I am really surprised asking women to leave their children has gotten them adverse reactions before...I would think they would get them all the time...

I wonder whether some handmaids would be relieved NOT to watch the couple raise their child; sort of how women feel who give children up for adoption voluntarily. As well as the wives not wanting the "competition" of having the bio-mother always there, especially as the child would not likely look anything like the wife. OTOH, if fertility WERE really the basis for Gilead, the wives would have to suck it up, as the pairing that resulted in a child is apparently one that works, and it is foolish to mess with a positive result by taking chances on procreation with a new pairing by transferring the handmaid. It's great dramatically, but not so much within the internal logic of what Gilead is supposed to be.

  I wouldn't mind if we followed Moira and see how/whether she got all the way out. I'd really love to know what happened to technology as well. Imagine how much worse things would be if they had modern tech, and could chip people, as well as video them? Fortunately, higher tech doesn't usually go hand-in-hand with medieval religious thinking.

   This episode had some beautiful scenes, BTW. I am always creeped out by how much the handmaids gathered remind me of the Madeline children's books, if they were horror stories.

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14 minutes ago, NorthstarATL said:

I'd like to think that it would be, given that real life Gileads do not permit women to drive.

Saudi Arabia is the only country that bans women from driving.

 

Quote

I wouldn't mind if we followed Moira and see how/whether she got all the way out. I'd really love to know what happened to technology as well. Imagine how much worse things would be if they had modern tech, and could chip people, as well as video them? Fortunately, higher tech doesn't usually go hand-in-hand with medieval religious thinking.

They do have modern technology.  We just don't see it since we mostly are coming from June's POV and that is forbidden to her.  All of the handmaids have red tags on their ears so they can be tracked by GPS.

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This was the second episode in a row where I could barely make heads or tails out of what was supposed to be happening because the scene was so dark.  Yet it was also probably the one that hit me the hardest since Late.

I too think we may be about to find out just what happens to a wife when her husband is punished and I can't imagine it's going to involve keeping that baby that you're tossing around like a damn doll.  I know this new society is all about expecting women to behave in ways completely unnatural to normal human beings, but how do they not anticipate that a woman who has birthed a child and then spent months nursing it may have a difficult time leaving it behind to be immediately reassigned?  As mother these scenes hit me so much harder than they did when I read the book as a teen.  I can't gauge if Commander Warren may have actually promised Janine anything and I don't even think it really matters. She built up a fantasy in her head and was clinging to for all it was worth to get her through rather than try to deal with the trauma of being forced to permanently leave her child behind and when it broke it all fell apart.

I pretty much wanted to smack every single commander and their drippy teal-clad wives.   I love how Ofglen 2.0 and everyone is enthusing about how nice Janine's new couple, the Monroes, were supposed to be when the reality is that all it meant was the wife was sing-songing to her like a pet to get up and on the bed and properly position herself for her raping.  The Putnams could barely be bothered to even try to lie to Janine or pretend to care she was on the bridge as long as she didn't take the baby with her.   Not one damn person on the bridge save June seemed the least bit concerned about the pain and despair that got her there because she's a womb, not a person to them.  It's interesting to me that original recipe Offred's suicide is considered a stain on the Waterfords as opposed to just one of those things that happen when you build a society like this.

 While I'll agree that June's talking Janine down was effective, I found myself wondering how she could ever bring herself to speak that freely in front of the commanders and wives and Aunt Lydia.  She's talking about how it will all end someday and go back to how it was.  Are we supposed to think they'll be so grateful to her for saving the baby that there won't be any repercussions for clearly wishing the world they created away instead of pretending and parroting the standard responses about how this is so much better and they're all so happy with their new roles?  Obviously their disconnect is so great that they can see a woman standing on a ledge screaming about her rapist's hypocrisy and not see that as indictment of the new order.

This episode really needed more Moira and some Moira flashbacks, even if they only filled in the particulars of her recapture.

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If Rita had a son why isn't she a Handmaid? Amanda Brugel is only in her 30s and looks it. I can't believe that Rita is supposed to be so old that the Commanders would write off her chances of conceiving, plenty of women have healthy babies right into their 40s.

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I think that Jezebel chef might be May Day. She keeps Nick the Eye entertained and/or distracted. I don't think she's being nice for the trades alone and I don't think she's in love with Nick.

The show hasn't addressed what happens to unhealthy babies. Congenital deformities or Down's syndrome which is the most prevalent.

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Moira could have maybe at least managed to take off her false eyelashes, mascara, and lipstick if she's pretending to be a guard.  If she had time to change, she had time to wash her face.  Super hero Moira is a bit much to take.

Also, this is the second time a man in June's life has suggested he wants to see her have sex with Moira.  I think that says more about these writers' peccadilloes than anything else.

Edited by Umbelina
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I'm over the pitch black scenes. Can someone take a memo to the director that the poor lighting is irritating, not moody? I could listen to the show from a different room and get as much out of it as I do in front of the TV. It's so annoying that I might phase out of the series all together.

I can't suspend my disbelief that Janine got from Daniel's house to Warren's, sneaked out with the baby, and made it to a bridge. I know I'm alone on this, but it was so unbelievable that I couldn't get into the scene at all. I just didn't care and the scene had no pathos because it was too unbelievable. A real shame, since it was the only scene where I could actually see what was happening.

 

And I prefer book Offred's

Spoiler

ambivalence toward Janine to 'show Offred's" super-caring attitude.

When Rita said she had a child "not from now" I assumed we were supposed to think she's menopausal or that she'd been sterilized before it was made illegal.

Edited by NoSpam
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I think Rita meant from before Gilead.  He was obviously old enough to fight and die in their endless wars since Gilead was created.

This was a mixed bag.  Some was excellent, some not even visible, some fairly believable, some pretty far fetched, some downright icky (the 2nd guy to want Moira and June fucking.)  WHY would the commander leave her alone with Moira?  Never happen.

In the far fetched category, Moira's record was known.  She would never be allowed inside a bathroom alone.  She killed that guy the same way she attacked the Aunt.  Please.  They also make plastic toilet fittings, which would have been another option.  There are also tank-less toilets.  The make up and false eyelashes while dressed as a man?  Oh please.  Our superhero must look hot after all!  Just add "Mighty Moira!" to the shirt and throw on some false eyelashes and lipstick, and eyeliner, blush, etc.

 

mighty_mouse_using_pop_art_style_by_duce

I have a feeling we've had a preview of another huge departure from the book.

I could believe Janine got to her former house much more easily than that, but the show is obviously determined to make Moira the superhero here.  She would know how to get in and where the baby was at least.

I like having the people involved in Mayday be regular people, I'd like to think that would be true.  Resistance would be hidden and underground, but it would be there.  The butcher was a nice touch.  However, the superhero Moira who had time to not only contact him, but write a chipper note and drop off whatever is in the package rather than driving like hell for the border?  Yeah.  Sure thing show.

ETA

I'm sure the show meant to convey that the others on the bridge couldn't hear June talking to Janine with her whole "you need to step back" thing, but I agree, it wasn't well conveyed.  Obviously she would never say any of those things though, unless she couldn't be heard.  Not well done.

Edited by Umbelina
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9 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

WHY would the commander leave her alone with Moira?  Never happen.

 

I could believe Janine got to her former house much more easily than that, but the show is obviously determined to make Moira the superhero here.  She would know how to get in and where the baby was at least.

 

I Commented on Fred leaving them alone in the Palimpset thread. Didn't work for me either.

We see so many black vans roaming the streets, and we know handmids can never travel alone. I just don't believe Janine would have made it.

 

I Do love the Aunt Lydia characterization. She's the only True Believer in the whole country.

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So I watch the show on an old monitor that has brightness issues.  I keep seeing pitch black scenes where I have no idea what's going on but I just figured I need to replace the thing.  So other people are having trouble seeing, too?

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3 minutes ago, Shaynaa said:

So I watch the show on an old monitor that has brightness issues.  I keep seeing pitch black scenes where I have no idea what's going on but I just figured I need to replace the thing.  So other people are having trouble seeing, too?

Im watching on a brand new 42" TV. Can't see a thing!

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I'm watching on my computer, the dark scenes are impossible to see, unnecessary, and annoying as fuck.

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I just want to see what happens to baby Angelotte. I would say she gets reassigned to another Commander's wife - maybe even SJ? 

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I rarely comment, just lurk...:)! But (and I may need to clarify on a rewatch) that last scene with Aunt Lydia calling Janine a "stupid girl"...it looked like Janine had her arms restrained...and it looked like her legs were spread under the sheet. I'm assuming those were restrained too. So it seems being in a coma doesn't exclude you from your handmaid "duties". That was one of the most horrifying moments in the series for me I think...

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I agree with the commenters about the light. Looking at Commander Warren's house I wondered if he was in a higher position than Fred.                                             Also I wouldn't be surprised if we were to find out that Rita's son was fighting against Gilead not for it when he died.                          I'm probably the only one but I wanted June's talk down to fail. I wanted Janine to jump and take the baby with her.  They didn't deserve either of them.  Like the poster above I was gutted when I realized she survived that she couldn't even get death.

Edited by Kuther2000 · Reason: Spelling error
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3 hours ago, AllyB said:

If Rita had a son why isn't she a Handmaid? Amanda Brugel is only in her 30s and looks it. I can't believe that Rita is supposed to be so old that the Commanders would write off her chances of conceiving, plenty of women have healthy babies right into their 40s.

She said "Not from now", and that her son was 19 I think when he died. So, if she's in her 40s she's likely too old in the new regime.  Just a guess on my part.

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11 minutes ago, whoknowswho said:

She said "Not from now", and that her son was 19 I think when he died. So, if she's in her 40s she's likely too old in the new regime.  Just a guess on my part.

 

Rita's supposed "fertility" could have become compromised after she had her son, 19+ years is a good stretch of time to have things go south biologically or other.

Personally I am not convinced that the women chosen to be Marthas' have any issues that differentiate them from Handmaids or the Wives even. I think the Regime wanted, as usual, an excuse to be served by a certain group of women that could still call upon their former life's work, professional cooks and chefs, housekeepers and maids, etc, but make it appear that they are merely "doing god's work" with their free servitude.

Keeping the Marthas' from bearing children allows them to serve at all times, they don't have to be treated especially well to increase the likelihood of having a healthy pregnancy/baby. Not that the Handmaids are treated as goddesses but when/if they do become pregnant they are treated with kid gloves at every second for fear something might go wrong. 

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I can't even with this episode.  I watched through tears from the moment that Janine was on the ledge on.  I let out a triumphant sob/laugh at the end with Moira driving away. 

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The most gut-wrenching scene of the episode for me was Janine's ceremony with her new Commander and his Wife. We've seen several rape scenes on this show already, but this was the first one where the woman clearly says "no" and "I don't want to". I can't put into words how disturbing it is that rape has become so commonplace that only a woman who is known as "crazy" would object to being raped.

The bridge scene, on the other hand, didn't work for me. Janine standing on the narrow ledge for what must have been the better part of an hour - long enough for the Waterfords and June to get to her - perfectly balanced with a fussy baby, then nimbly climbing down with the baby, and immediately back up and jumping? Way too choreographed. And as some have mentioned above, June was within earshot of an Aunt, two Commanders & Wives, and a bunch of Guardians (I could hear the Guardians' walkie-talkies in the background). There is no way she could have said all of that stuff about "when this is all over" without being charged with treason.

And while I'm on the "praise be, bitch" train that Moira managed to escape from Jezebels, she wasn't wrong that June needed to be more careful. If she keeps asking every Handmaid's if she's in Mayday and trying to play games with Fred so that she can run Mayday errands, she will get burned.

Edited by chocolatine
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52 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

And while I'm on the "praise be, bitch" train that Moira managed to escape from Jezebels, she wasn't wrong that June needed to be more careful. If she keeps asking every Handmaid's if she's in Mayday and trying to play games with Fred so that she can run Mayday errands, she will get burned.

I was really worried when she kept mentioning the bar at Jezebel's.  Dial it back a bit!

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1 hour ago, Kuther2000 said:

 Also I wouldn't be surprised if we were to find out that Rita's son was fighting against Gilead not for it when he died. 

I thought this too. I have been uncertain of Rita's loyalties but I'm hoping this scene is a setup for her turning on the Waterfords at some crucial moment in the next episode.

21 hours ago, Shaynaa said:

I still don't care about Nick's emo, man pain.  It was nice to see the chef again.  Who deserves a name.

12 hours ago, dmc said:

I wish this show would stop showing us this fleeting Nick looks at Offred...please stop selling me on this romance...thanks...it's revolting

9 hours ago, whoknowswho said:

I also do not care for Nick's angst. Not for one moment, noto one iota. I do not care for any male's perspective in this series, because no matter how bad it might be for some of them, it's 10000X worse to be a woman. Through this series, the book, even the old movie, I discovered that I am a feminist after all. 

I have no problem with getting Nick's perspective. I'm fine with being asked to sympathize with his shitty place in the old world and shittier place in the new world. I just didn't appreciate that I felt like I was also being asked to sympathize with his hurt reaction to Offred's latest rapes...the way I interpreted the looks he gave her (especially last week's episode), they belonged on some other show in some other universe where all three corners of the love triangle have equal agency.

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Janine's ceremony with her new family was so difficult to watch, especially when she started to freak out and they all just seemed confused by why she would do that. This is a woman who has been through major trauma in her life, from being gang raped, to being mutilated by having her eye cut out and whatever the hell else happened there, to having to comply with the regime and having her baby taken away, and they're suddenly shocked by her non-compliance? Pretty clear that Gilead didn't think this shit through too well. Especially when it's shown that the men are being watched too, to make sure they don't step out of line from this completely gross religious regime, and that Warren will be questioned (and probably only questioned and not with a cattle prod since he's a powerful man in this regime, unless someone wants him gone for some reason). Janine was almost the voice of reason in this, they can take away all weapons of murder or suicide from the handmaids, but there's no accounting for a nicely placed bridge. And even then poor Janine got no peace.

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55 minutes ago, trif said:

I thought this too. I have been uncertain of Rita's loyalties but I'm hoping this scene is a setup for her turning on the Waterfords at some crucial moment in the next episode.

I have no problem with getting Nick's perspective. I'm fine with being asked to sympathize with his shitty place in the old world and shittier place in the new world. I just didn't appreciate that I felt like I was also being asked to sympathize with his hurt reaction to Offred's latest rapes...the way I interpreted the looks he gave her (especially last week's episode), they belonged on some other show in some other universe where all three corners of the love triangle have equal agency.

I sense Rita may have loyalties that don't rest with Gilead either, it's just been a thought since she came into the story.  This series always leaves me with so many things to process and think about. 

Spot on what I bolded here, and that is what I meant, only not nearly as eloquently.  Nick didn't seem upset that WATERFORD was taking Offred out to the brothel--knowing she would be forced into sex yet again not of her volition--he acted like a petulant child-- all pouty lips and cow eyes that SHE had forsaken HIM for the Commander.  Just...no.  Memo to Nick-- if you are in love with her--punch Waterford in the mouth, Nick--man up and take your place on the Wall.  I'll respect you for that.  Either that, or do something else to help the poor woman--but don't act like she's cheating on you! 

Up till last week, I was sort of hoping for a fairy tale happy ever-after--for June/Offred and the man of her choosing, whoever he might be. But let's face it--Gilead could crumble tomorrow, but I'll bet most Handmaid's aren't going to be jumping back into the old heterosexual love stories of pre-Gilead days. Those women are ruined, and Janine's crying "No" during the ceremony, slammed home how horrible their lives are. All those days waiting and being consumed with dread for that upcoming Ceremony day--you may as a Handmaid (or any rape victim) try to detach your mind from your body during that part, but it's really, really hard to do so. 

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Poor Janine just can't catch a break. My fear is that they will decide to turn comatose Janine into a comatose baby incubator and just keep impregnating her while she's unconscious. I mean, it's not like they can get any less consent from her than they already did.

Watching that bull shit ceremony where she had to hand over her baby was terrible. Warren's bitch wife could barely bring herself to bow to the woman who was being forced to give up her own child. You'd think she would have a little more gratitude.

I was a little surprised that they took Warren away based solely on Janine yelling accusations at him on the bridge. I assumed everyone would say that she was a crazy liar and dismiss what she said as the rantings of a suicidal handmaid.

The commander continues to be creepy. His disgust when Offred was crying was further proof that he's in this for the ego trip. He loves being in power and dangling things in front of his handmaids. How dare Offred not be joyous that he arranged for Moira to come to their room? Also loved the typical hypocrisy - he calls Moira a degenerate about two seconds after he was ready to have a threesome with her. Also gross: the Commander telling Offred that she didn't have to be quiet because she's "free" at Jezebels. Sure, free to have more rapey sex.

Interesting that when Rita said her son died in the war, Serena just assumed he fought on the side of Gilead and the other women oppressors. Based on the look on Rita's face, I'd say it's a safe bet that he fought on the other side.

10 hours ago, AllyB said:

If Rita had a son why isn't she a Handmaid? Amanda Brugel is only in her 30s and looks it. I can't believe that Rita is supposed to be so old that the Commanders would write off her chances of conceiving, plenty of women have healthy babies right into their 40s.

Rita said her son died in the war when he was 19. Even if she had him as a teenager - let's say 18 just to have a specific number - that would mean she was 37 when he died plus however many years out we are since he died in the way. Although women can definitely have children after 40, she could have had a medical condition after her son was born (or had her tubes tied at some point).

7 hours ago, Binaanne said:

I rarely comment, just lurk...:)! But (and I may need to clarify on a rewatch) that last scene with Aunt Lydia calling Janine a "stupid girl"...it looked like Janine had her arms restrained...and it looked like her legs were spread under the sheet. I'm assuming those were restrained too. So it seems being in a coma doesn't exclude you from your handmaid "duties". That was one of the most horrifying moments in the series for me I think...

It's common to tie down the hands of patients who are violent or a suicide risk. Sometimes it's also done to patients who are intubated and unconscious because their first instinct when they wake up and feel something in their throat is to pull it out. Janine wasn't intubated but considering that she just ran away and jumped off a bridge, I'm not surprised that they put her in restraints.

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6 hours ago, trif said:

I have no problem with getting Nick's perspective. I'm fine with being asked to sympathize with his shitty place in the old world and shittier place in the new world. I just didn't appreciate that I felt like I was also being asked to sympathize with his hurt reaction to Offred's latest rapes...the way I interpreted the looks he gave her (especially last week's episode), they belonged on some other show in some other universe where all three corners of the love triangle have equal agency.

I'm fine with taking a little time to find out where the men are in all this too because as we're seeing, none of them appear to be particularly happy under the new regime that they created either.  If they were, they all wouldn't be sneaking around with their handmaids.  Jezebels and the black market that Nick's apparently trading in wouldn't exist.  Guys like the butcher or the one who helped June and Luke a couple of episodes back wouldn't be risking themselves even in small ways.   Sure, we can say too damn bad, your unhappiness is not even on the same scale as that of the women we're seeing and that's certainly true.  But in a world where the women have been so thoroughly hemmed in that a suicidal jump is your only realistic escape and even that is taken from you, it's going to be tough to the point of impossible for women to escape or overthrow on any meaningful scale without the help of men who get just how terrible this is.  

Where I really struggled in this episode was in the interplay between Nick, June, and Commander Fred with the latter two acting almost like a couple rubbing their relationship in an ex's face.  We know June is playing a part because she has no choice in it and she's trying to keep her eye on getting to that package at the bar, but if you didn't have all the context that's what it would have looked like.  There was something completely skeevy about it.  Nick as someone who watches as a profession realizing that something was clearly off about that whole trip and that June was doing something that might get her into trouble even if he didn't know what didn't bother me.

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As much as I am enjoying the series, I started to get the feeling with this episode that they are starting to set up a second season. What happens to Moira? Nick's backstory, Rita's backstory, where's Luke? Where's Hannah? 

The series has been so good and now they are starting to go beyond the book, which is ok with me, but with many TV series, with some exceptions, it gets worse and not better. This is why I prefer movies over serialized TV. I am worried they cannot continue the carry on the spirit of the book. Offred is not a superhero, please don't make her into one. Neither is Nick. I'm am worried next season is is going to devolve into cliches. I hope it doesn't. 

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I'm fine with taking a little time to find out where the men are in all this too because as we're seeing, none of them appear to be particularly happy under the new regime that they created either.  If they were, they all wouldn't be sneaking around with their handmaids.  Jezebels and the black market that Nick's apparently trading in wouldn't exist.  Guys like the butcher or the one who helped June and Luke a couple of episodes back wouldn't be risking themselves even in small ways.  

I think the men's perspectives are important precisely because they are not happy, either... point being, we are ALL better off when ALL are treated equally. Even the oppressors got more than they bargained for.

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20 hours ago, Binaanne said:

I rarely comment, just lurk...:)! But (and I may need to clarify on a rewatch) that last scene with Aunt Lydia calling Janine a "stupid girl"...it looked like Janine had her arms restrained...and it looked like her legs were spread under the sheet. I'm assuming those were restrained too. So it seems being in a coma doesn't exclude you from your handmaid "duties". That was one of the most horrifying moments in the series for me I think...

Me too. You do not want to wake up in a hospital in Gilead. Janine will be preggo and/or mutilated to help with the mental health issues that are clearly caused by her vagina. There's no way they're letting the one proven viable womb in the community go to waste. 

I think it's better for *them* to keep Janine as a comatose womb. Awake, she is a wildcard. Feral cat wasn't a bad description. This way she's quiet. Though, isn't there a significant risk to the baby if mom is unable to move? 

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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1 hour ago, RadiantAerynSun said:

I think the men's perspectives are important precisely because they are not happy, either... point being, we are ALL better off when ALL are treated equally. Even the oppressors got more than they bargained for.

I go back and forth on this. 

Handled well, the male perspective of all of this is useful in several ways, including showing a larger world than June could possibly know about.  That part is really fun, and makes the show more interesting, possibly especially for book readers who, at least in my case, have always wanted to know more.  Also, of course, and this is a very fine line to walk, seeing the consequences of Gilead on all people, and who resists, and how they do that, and at what risk?  At what point is the personal more important than the whole of that resistance?  Is it ever?

Handled poorly, it takes me out of the story and can be quite annoying.  I think the show has been kind of hit and miss with that so far.  Angst from male characters, while understandable, has to be handled very, very carefully.  As others have pointed out, although their worlds also suck in many cases, it can feel almost insulting and indulgent on their parts, since the women's lives are so very much worse.

I feel that the show is not quite handling that aspect well.  June's doubts and lack of trust, for very good reasons, should be more of the focus.  Nick's "pain/resentment/anger" or whatever he is trying to convey in the recent scenes?  Ditto with Luke, for different reasons of course.  Seems a bit self indulgent considering June's position in this society.  Actor or showrunners?  It's hard to say.

So few posts this episode, it makes me wonder if viewers are slipping away, or if this particular episode didn't grab people?

Edited by Umbelina
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I like the male perspective in that I don't think they realized they were trading way their own normal sexual desires for more authority. Blowjobs are normal. Non-ritualistic, unclothed sex is normal. These are not things that need to be done in the dark in illegal, underground brothels. They created sexual repression and guilt for themselves where it didn't exist. There are a lot of major US political figures I could see fitting in perfectly at a place like Jezebel's. 

They also know when to defer to women, like trusting Lydia, who trusted June, to talk Janine down. It's like they know on some level that their infinite wisdom is actually limited. 

I do feel, though, that in almost all of the male POVs (including Luke), they are kind of idiots standing with their dicks in their hands. To achieve a shift change requiring such a manipulative, complex takeover...they seem a little too oblivious for believability. Like, they don't understand why the handmaids literally would rather die than live this life. I don't buy it.

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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10 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

 

So few posts this episode, it makes me wonder if viewers are slipping away, or if this particular episode didn't grab people?

I wondered that as well.

This is an incredible series, dark and horrible, but  it's also beautifully done most of the time, darkness notwithstanding. It's odd, I feel I must watch this series, if only to be a witness. What is happening in Gilead, while fantastic--is possible. It does happen in places like the Middle East, where women as a species are about as important as goats, maybe less so.  I think that was Atwood's whole point--that it isn't all that impossible, it only requires zealots and good people who do nothing when the change is taking place. 

I couldn't make out what Serena Joy was making, or what she put in that box--were there baby booties there? I know it was supposed to be impactful, but I simply could not see it, not on the rewatch, either.

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