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Tara Ariano

S01.E09: The Bridge

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16 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...

I don't think she was restrained to be raped, but for her own safety.  

11 minutes ago, whoknowswho said:

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.

I think it was just supposed to be some little baby blanket or something, and put in the chest with the booties to show she's been longing for and preparing for a baby for a long, long time.  

The part of this ep that rang untrue to me was Moira throwing a fit over the suggestion that she simply go to the bar, ask Rachel for the package, then bring it to June in the room.  It just seemed like a set-up for the surprise later, to make her look more heroic.  She's supposed to be strong, brave and heroic enough to attack all these oppressors but she can't deliver a small package from one Mayday-friendly person to another, within the same building, the one she lives and works in?  For her old buddy?  Who just got raped (again) solely for the opportunity to get the package?  

I'm getting a little tired of the rape scenes.  Even when integral to the story, they can be used gratuitously.  

They're going to drag this out to multiple seasons?  That's too bad.  

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42 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 can only speak for myself but I need to steel myself just to watch. Yesterday, I got home from work but waited until late in the evening before I watched it. Not that I didn't want to see it, I just need to be mentally prepared for it, so I don't watch it right away. Maybe people are just trying to digest it before posting. I think the ratings are still good. 

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I really did feel sorry for Serena Joy when she was with Mrs. Putnam as the Commander was being taken away, the way Mrs. P was jostling that baby and Mrs. W wanted so badly to take the baby and gently rock her.  It was a fleeting moment of pity but still, all she wants is a baby and knows the problem is not with her but with the Commander. 

What happens to Mrs. Putnam with no Commander, does she get to keep the baby?  I imagine that single motherhood is not what the Gilead powers that be would be wanting.  How do they punish a Commander for sexing it up with a Handmaid without the ceremony? Somehow I would think they would punish the one who has no choice about being raped and enslaved.

The hypocrisy about diddling the handmaid in the house and the fact that all of the higher ups go to Jezebel's on the regular is nuts.

I got the impression that Nick and the chef at Jezebel's knew each other from before or had a sexual relationship when he started taking the Commander to J's.  They seem very comfortable with each other.

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I wonder if the chef at Jezebel's is mostly there to show that Nick has other options for sex, which he is turning down now.

I hope she's there for more than that though.

What happens with Mrs. Putnum is perhaps the thing that interests me most of all.  I've always thought that the "wives" would simply be shipped off to the colonies once their husbands were gone.  What use are they in this world?  Even if another commander was single or a widow, why would he choose a dried up old wife when he could have his pick?  She can't be a Martha, perhaps she could be an Aunt, she's mean enough but the ego of a "wife" doesn't really fit in there, and obviously she would be useless as a handmaid. 

She really has no role left to play in Gilead.  Off to the colonies and give that baby to some other family that is still powerful, at least that's my guess, and I hope to hell we see it, and the colonies.  That would be sweet! 

Also, I think Serena Joy realizes that, and it's why she puts up with her asshole husband and his sexual rule breaking.  She has no options, and I'd love to see all the "wives" realize that.

Edited by Umbelina
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I have many things to comment on, but one of the first things that struck me was Warren's wife trying to be gracious and normalize the Ceremony with Janine. This was downright creepy. "I'm nervous too, dear." 

It made me gag. And was an incredibly effective and even subtle choice showing the gradations of power among an oppressed class. There are always those given a bit more power to keep the others in line. 

I thought that a lot of the scenes with Aunt Lydia also showed this power differential and dynamic too, particularly when Aunt Lydia was trying to get Janine to hold her shit together. These scenes were effective, powerful writing. 

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1 minute ago, poeticlicensed said:

No more insane than super right wing moral majority politicians who publicly call out the LGBTQ community for not being moral, yet pay male prostitutes for hookups in hotel rooms.

YES!!! For all we know the Gilead Commanders have that sort of thing too!  What do you think the punishment for the Commanders would be for that vs just hetero sex with a HM?  I know, the male prostitute and HM would be killed in some gruesome way and the Commander would get a hand slap.

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1 hour ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

ETA: hysterectomy comes from the bad old days when they'd remove the uterus believing it caused HYSTERia. Guess they can't do that in Gilead.

Hystera was the Greek word for uterus, so the word 'hysterectomy' isn't really denigrating.  Though 'hysteria' is, at least in how it was coined.

I feel a little like Serena, with all the rapes I've sat and quietly watched now.  

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22 hours ago, Umbelina said:

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.

I felt like I missed something important. Was Ofglen always with Mayday, and trying to throw June off the scent with their previous conversation, or did she join up sometime in the interim?

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15 hours ago, chocolatine said:

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.

I would think that whatever June said to get her down wouldn't be read into much. Everyone's priority was saving the baby, and Warren and his wife were obviously lying about letting her move back in and help with the baby in order to convince her to come down. Whatever was said to Janine by June or anyone else wouldn't be given much thought after she handed over the baby.

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6 minutes ago, waterytart said:

I felt like I missed something important. Was Ofglen always with Mayday, and trying to throw June off the scent with their previous conversation, or did she join up sometime in the interim?

Ofglen 2.0 is not in Mayday - she is a true believer and thinks her life as a Handmaid is better than her earlier life as a drug addict and prostitute. The Handmaid who told June to get the package was Alma; she was at the Red Center in the same "class" with June, Moira, and Janine, and she was also the one who told June that Gilead would be trading Handmaids with Mexico.

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Just now, chocolatine said:

Ofglen 2.0 is not in Mayday - she is a true believer and thinks her life as a Handmaid is better than her earlier life as a drug addict and prostitute. The Handmaid who told June to get the package was Alma; she was at the Red Center in the same "class" with June, Moira, and Janine, and she was also the one who told June that Gilead would be trading Handmaids with Mexico.

No wonder. I thought that they were the same person - thanks for the clarification.

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3 hours ago, Winston9-DT3 said:

Hystera was the Greek word for uterus, so the word 'hysterectomy' isn't really denigrating.  Though 'hysteria' is, at least in how it was coined.

I feel a little like Serena, with all the rapes I've sat and quietly watched now.  

Thanks. My women's studies class from 1998 led me wrong, apparently (but at least it was legal for me to take it). 

Does Serena understand she is witnessing a rape? She was one of the people who spearheaded the idea of childbearing as a moral imperative. Then again, she seemed to regret her actions when the Mexican diplomat pointed out she was a writer who is now banned from reading. Then again, she seems to have the Wife attitude that the HM's should be grateful for the three square meals a day and free room and board they are given in exchange for sexual servitude and not hard unpaid labor cleaning up nuclear waste.

IMO another show could be made from perspective of the Wives and Martha's. SJ and Rita had an entire conversation *over shots* about douchbag of the world Commander Waterford's oblivious, hypocritical cheating bastard ways, and the giant bitch that is Mrs. Putnam, and how Rita wasn't always an indentured servant...without ever deviating from religious codespeake.

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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That scene of Moira staring in the mirror and recovering herself was electric.  "Hold on, sugah, I'll be right there." And, she's coming with something for your ass. 

When Moira and June were talking in the room, I kept wondering if the room might be bugged, or fred might overhear. Same thing with Nick and the Chef Martha.  People always act like they can't be overheard. 

So, Rita had a son who died in the war.  I wonder if she wanted to smash that glass into Serena's face when she offered that platitude about they that mourned being comforted. 

I like Rita.  The actress has done a lot with a small role. I often think about that scene from an earlier episode when June is in the tub.  Rita has been sent to fetch her for Serena.  June makes some snarky comment with a big, bright, fake smile, and Rita, just outside the door, has to stifle laughter.  I thought that was a nice moment of solidarity. 

Ms. Putnam seemed sooooooo nice.  She went out of her way to comfort and reassure Janine before the ceremony.  That made it worse somehow. And her creepy, encouraging smile at her husband as Janine sobs................

Fuck you, Daniel.  And Ms. Daniel too.  And, most of all, FUCK YOU, fred.  "Did you like that? You don't have to be quiet here.  You can be free."

FUCK YOU, fred.

Edited by rollacoaster
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Were we ever told what's in the package, or is that going to be a Big Reveal later?

It seems that Serena Joy is a secret tippler. She knew exactly where to find that bottle, and Rita knew she knew, when she suggested something tastier than chamomile tea. How much does Serena know about her husband's activities? Her "What did you expect?" after the suicide of the first Offred certainly shows she suspects something. If she does find his stash of forbidden goodies in the study, will she rat him out or keep his secret, knowing that a woman without a husband doesn't have much future?

Will Janine's baby go to the Waterfords now? It would be ironic if they got their hoped-for baby that way. If they did adopt her, would they have any further use for June? 

So many questions!

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28 minutes ago, GreekGeek said:

Were we ever told what's in the package, or is that going to be a Big Reveal later?

The handmaid who gave June instructions for the package specifically told her not to look inside it - so we know as much as June at this point.

I'm very curious, though.

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On 6/7/2017 at 6:03 PM, 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.

Her son had been 19 when he died in the war, so he would be in his 20's had he lived.  Maybe they only take women who had been fertile in the last 10 years or less.  

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I'm guessing Rita's son was on the Gilead side. The leaders would never use a Martha who had an alliance to the old government.

BUT of course, the show runner seems committed to a plot that makes no sense, so it could be otherwise.

Done Waterford know Nick's an Eye?

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On 06/07/2017 at 2:37 PM, NorthstarATL said:

  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?

It was Janine who mentioned Moira. I took it as a sign that Janine knew it was all a fantasy, they were never going drinking... Gilead would never end, not in Janine's lifetime.

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3 hours ago, NoSpam said:

I'm guessing Rita's son was on the Gilead side. The leaders would never use a Martha who had an alliance to the old government.

BUT of course, the show runner seems committed to a plot that makes no sense, so it could be otherwise.

Done Waterford know Nick's an Eye?

I don't think Waterford knows.  Nick spied on the other bigwig as well, remember? 

Nick's got a lot on Waterford already, but he may be so high up that his boss needs iron clad proof of more than sex romps?

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5 hours ago, secnarf said:

The handmaid who gave June instructions for the package specifically told her not to look inside it - so we know as much as June at this point.

I'm very curious, though.

I wonder if maybe the package was just a test, to see how resourceful and successful June could be at doing something covert. After all, just because someone wants to help Mayday with tricky operative type stuff doesn't mean that they'd actually be good at it, or more help than hindrance. Hmmm.

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48 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Nick's got a lot on Waterford already, but he may be so high up that his boss needs iron clad proof of more than sex romps?

If Putnam was arrested based on "crazy" Janine's accusations, I'm sure the stuff Nick already has on Waterford would be more than enough. I think Nick is hesitant to report him because he's worried about the repercussions that would have for June.

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56 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

If Putnam was arrested based on "crazy" Janine's accusations, I'm sure the stuff Nick already has on Waterford would be more than enough. I think Nick is hesitant to report him because he's worried about the repercussions that would have for June.

I think Waterford is higher than Putnam, but you could be correct.

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24 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I think Waterford is higher than Putnam, but you could be correct.

Putman is definitely richer. That house is spectacular. Waterford's house is small in comparison.

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16 hours 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?

They started losing me with episode 4. The first three were great. Hung together plot-wise, weren't filmed in the dark, and we had June's voice overs letting us know what her internal landscape was. Her smart-ass internal dialog lightened up the rapey gloom. With Episode 4, we started losing her as a heroine. Less voice over in episode 4, and I don't think there's been any voice over since. We lost a connection to our heroine, the person episodes 1-3 taught us to root for, and now random stuff is happening to her that is supposed to be dramatic -- hear the dramatic music and see the oh-so-dramatic dark lighting? -- but I don't buy the drama. The plot has stopped making sense (Mexico wants handmaids and Gilead is willing to trade them? Give me a break.)

Now it's just devolved into one of many depressing, darkly lit, "sexy if you like the male-gaze" dramas on cable. I'll keep watching when I have time, but it's not a Must See anymore.

11 hours ago, GreekGeek said:

It seems that Serena Joy is a secret tippler. She knew exactly where to find that bottle, and Rita knew she knew, when she suggested something tastier than chamomile tea.

She's also a smoker, which they aren't making a big deal out of in the series, but she never does it outside so I gotta think it's banned.

Edited by NoSpam
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1 hour ago, NoSpam said:

 

She's also a smoker, which they aren't making a big deal out of in the series, but she never does it outside so I gotta think it's banned.

(Editing mine)- YUP, which shows us that Waterford too is willing to allow his wife break the rules when it suits her. I'm sure he keeps her in cigarettes anf booze. 

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2 hours ago, NoSpam said:

They started losing me with episode 4. The first three were great. Hung together plot-wise, weren't filmed in the dark, and we had June's voice overs letting us know what her internal landscape was. Her smart-ass internal dialog lightened up the rapey gloom. With Episode 4, we started losing her as a heroine. Less voice over in episode 4, and I don't think there's been any voice over since. We lost a connection to our heroine, the person episodes 1-3 taught us to root for, and now random stuff is happening to her that is supposed to be dramatic -- hear the dramatic music and see the oh-so-dramatic dark lighting? -- but I don't buy the drama. The plot has stopped making sense (Mexico wants handmaids and Gilead is willing to trade them? Give me a break.)

I agree with that. And I hated the last scene of episode 4 where she walked triumphantly outside and the other Handmaids gathered behind her while her the music soared and the vo gave a cheery 'we are Handmaids' speech. It was way, way, way too upbeat for the situation. A suicidal Handmaid had left a message to her successor and June had been able to use it (and her predecessors fate) to get out of her room. She actually, literally was able to use a woman's despair and death to return to herself a tiny scrap of freedom. That's not triumphant, that's not Handmaids working together to get one up on their oppressors. At best, when intercut with the scenes of the Handmaids in training bringing her pieces of fruit after her torture, it was bittersweet. Slivers of comfort and solidarity in an over all horror show. But the cheery end, the 'yay - we're Handmaids and we stand up for each other' threw me right out out of the series. I wasn't feeling anything like what those last few moments suggested I was supposed to be feeling. 

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That was the ending that didn't quite work for me either.  I got what they were going for after so much unrelenting darkness and despair.  They were wanting to end on a slightly more hopeful note, focusing on the fact that this regime that has divided and subdivided women and pitted them against each other to fight for scraps hadn't completely broken these women and that there was still some small solidarity to be found.  Initially, I could sort of buy it.  But the final line of "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, bitches" felt more like it was going more for a rah rah yay girl power catch phrase than anything that reflected their reality.   Original recipe Offred is still dead by her own hand because the bastards did break her and none of these women are any closer to freedom from their reproductive slavery.

"Praise be, bitch" in this episode hit same false note.  It's a catch phrase to make us root for spunky Moira all the more.  We're not supposed to think about how implausible this latest escape is or that she's already been recaptured once or how dire her punishment is likely to be if or when she is likely recaptured.

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I relieved to see others are becoming disillusioned with this show. I feel like I'm being lectured. Hard. When was the last time anyone was persuaded to change their minds by someone lecturing at them?

It's also the kind of show Hollywood loves to stroke at awards time. I personally think Elizabeth Moss is chewing the scenery every single episode, but she'll probably be nominated for several awards and likely will win.

I'm going to hang in there because there are many things to like about the show, but if the second season is this solemn, I'm out.

Edited by WaltersHair
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On 6/7/2017 at 0:33 PM, Straycat80 said:

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. 

I think the look on Warren's face was enough to give him away. His guilt was written all over it. Besides, those sanctimonious other commanders will have to investigate because the rules must be followed (all the while probably doing worse). Like when Newt Gingrich was calling for impeachment when he was involved in his own affair.  

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1 hour ago, watch2much said:

I think the look on Warren's face was enough to give him away. His guilt was written all over it. Besides, those sanctimonious other commanders will have to investigate because the rules must be followed (all the while probably doing worse). Like when Newt Gingrich was calling for impeachment when he was involved in his own affair.  

Yes. And It's not that they believed Janine, it's that everyone is always under investigation... Everyone is constantly scrutinized for law breaking so they can root out evil influences that might lead to God's wrath.

 

LIke Stalin with religious zealots.

6 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

But the final line of "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, bitches" felt more like it was going more for a rah rah yay girl power catch phrase than anything that reflected their reality.   Original recipe Offred is still dead by her own hand because the bastards did break her and none of these women are any closer to freedom from their reproductive slavery.

"Praise be, bitch" in this episode hit same false note.  It's a catch phrase to make us root for spunky Moira all the more.  We're not supposed to think about how implausible this latest escape is or that she's already been recaptured once or how dire her punishment is likely to be if or when she is likely recaptured.

Yes, I also hate the trite slogans.

It's like the producers DESPERATELY want a "nevertheless, she persisted" quote that women all want to be tattooed with. And they're going to keep shoving them at us in the hope one sticks.

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Yeah, there were too many witnesses that heard that whole exchange.  Meanwhile, he probably parties with several of the guys in power at Jezebel's regularly.

The Moira stuff is so OTT, it's a very false note to me.  Also, handmaids lose hands because they read something, an eye because they merely sassed an Aunt, but Moira, who ATTACKED an Aunt with a weapon, and stole her clothing, and made an escape arrives completely unblemished at Jezebels?  A place where obviously maimed women still have a place *because male fantasies you guys! 

Sigh. 

It's a solemn show and a solemn book, I don't mind that part, it's the superhero crap that takes me out of the story.  I seriously miss the voice overs too, and that's something I never thought I would type.  In this show though, they worked so well.  Instead of so much focus on Nick at Jezebels, I would much rather we heard June's voice overs about her fear, and care, while she was smiling and apparently flirting with the Commander. 

I don't think any of the women have been over acting though.  That's been the most impressive part of the show to me.

Edited by Umbelina
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A few thoughts:

Agreed with those here that the rapes hit me the hardest this episode. Yes, I know all the ceremonies are rapes. But Janine's situation was especially harrowing. Janine's new Commander's wife was creepy as fuck with her encouragement. At least Serena Joy looks away and views it as a dutiful chore.  This new wife was perverse.

I think Putman was being taken away for questioning and then probably a small punishment.  And it's probably because Janine/Ofwarren announced it in front of a crowd that included Aunt Lydia--for all her ruthlessness she is also a stickler for the rules that "protect" the handmaids.  The main violation is that he was having sex with her (whether vaginal, oral, or anal) without the wife there.  In fact, I think the rules are the Commander is not even supposed to infringe on the handmaid's privacy by going into her room, etc. The wife and the aunts are supposed to be the buffer with almost everything.

Before that moment I thought Janine's misguided babbling about she and Warren and the baby running away together was all in her head because, well, she is pretty disturbed. But at the bridge I realized this sick fuck Putman was actually telling her these things so he could rape her even more frequently (without his wife there). Manipulating her like a predator does a child.

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On June 8, 2017 at 1:46 PM, Winston9-DT3 said:

I'm getting a little tired of the rape scenes.  Even when integral to the story, they can be used gratuitously.  

They're going to drag this out to multiple seasons?  That's too bad.  

Agreed on both counts. The book was powerful in part because of what it left unsaid. 

On June 8, 2017 at 1:57 PM, Baltimore Betty said:

I really did feel sorry for Serena Joy when she was with Mrs. Putnam as the Commander was being taken away, the way Mrs. P was jostling that baby and What happens to Mrs. Putnam with no Commander, does she get to keep the baby?  I imagine that single motherhood is not what the Gilead powers that be would be wanting. 

If they're true to the book 

Spoiler

then Janine's baby would not survive much longer. I'm not sure they'll go that route though, since the've left Janine alive and are setting up a second season. There would be no justification for artificially keeping Janine alive if it turned out she couldn't bear a living/surviving child.

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1 hour ago, LaChavalina said:

If they're true to the book 

  Hide contents

then Janine's baby would not survive much longer. I'm not sure they'll go that route though, since the've left Janine alive and are setting up a second season. There would be no justification for artificially keeping Janine alive if it turned out she couldn't bear a living/surviving child.

In the book

Spoiler

Janine's baby was already dead by the time she was reassigned to a new Commander, so I think/hope that if the show has kept the baby alive for this long, they'll let her live. There needs to be *something* positive on a dark show like this.

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11 hours ago, AllyB said:

I agree with that. And I hated the last scene of episode 4 where she walked triumphantly outside and the other Handmaids gathered behind her while her the music soared and the vo gave a cheery 'we are Handmaids' speech. It was way, way, way too upbeat for the situation. A suicidal Handmaid had left a message to her successor and June had been able to use it (and her predecessors fate) to get out of her room. She actually, literally was able to use a woman's despair and death to return to herself a tiny scrap of freedom. That's not triumphant, that's not Handmaids working together to get one up on their oppressors. At best, when intercut with the scenes of the Handmaids in training bringing her pieces of fruit after her torture, it was bittersweet. Slivers of comfort and solidarity in an over all horror show. But the cheery end, the 'yay - we're Handmaids and we stand up for each other' threw me right out out of the series. I wasn't feeling anything like what those last few moments suggested I was supposed to be feeling. 

Yes, you said that better than I did. The fourth episode ended like June was happy and empowered to be out of her room -- back in the miserable existence she had just the week before. Seriously, we're supposed to find that a "You go, girl" moment? 

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That music box confuses me. 

Her last handmaid killed herself, so they removed the light fixture, yet she gives the new handmaid a mirror, glass shards are quite effective if you want to kill yourself.

At first I took it as semi sweet from Serena, but then we got June's POV about how much she resented a child's toy, and that she wouldn't be the girl in the box dancing for them.   Music boxes aren't just children's toys, many adults collect them as well, or have a few of their own.

So what gives? 

I mean we know from the book that June

Spoiler

doesn't kill herself but is Serena hoping she will?

  Why give her a weapon that could be used against herself or others?

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55 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

That music box confuses me. 

Her last handmaid killed herself, so they removed the light fixture, yet she gives the new handmaid a mirror, glass shards are quite effective if you want to kill yourself.

At first I took it as semi sweet from Serena, but then we got June's POV about how much she resented a child's toy, and that she wouldn't be the girl in the box dancing for them.   Music boxes aren't just children's toys, many adults collect them as well, or have a few of their own.

So what gives? 

I mean we know from the book that June

  Hide contents

doesn't kill herself but is Serena hoping she will?

  Why give her a weapon that could be used against herself or others?

I thought the same thing about the music box being a possible way for Offred to kill herself. Was SJ just trying to butter up Offred? 

I chalked it up to the same nonsensical changes from the book we've seen in other episodes. Why change and add plot items if it's not going to make sense? 

We haven't seen the music box since that episode, have we? It's like it was dropped in and left hanging. I wonder if it will really have a purpose. 

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Finally got to sit and watch (gotta plan the uninterrupted time to take it in)... and wow. Another really gripping episode. Random thoughts in no particular order. 

Like others SJ hit a sympathy nerve for me. Full disclosure I tend to sympathize with her a bit more than I think others do - we have similar feelings about being childless.... so to that end that longing and envy and pain when she watched that poor infant be manhandled resonated. Aside of that I just felt bad for that poor kid. That's gotta be uncomfortable being tossed around like that. 

I feel like we've been watching the agonizingly slow unraveling of a woman's mind with Janine. In a way her story has been far more painful for me to watch. (as an aside, brilliant article this week on this episode. Love the insights on Janine). 

I found the escape of Moira to be far more plausible than however she managed to get that package from the bartender to the butcher. At least there was a line of events to get us from Moira being in the bathroom to the van. Implausible, but from point A to point C made sense. How in the hell did she manage to get that package out of Jezebel's, out of the city, into the hands of the right All Flesh (assuming there are multiple)? 

Putnam's wife was far more chilling than her husband. Her friendliness and warmth was just honey on the trap. "Just lie quietly dear while I smile adoringly at my husband as he rapes you." I kind of wanted to hit her. As another poster points out it's so much worse than SJ who is at least repulsed and looks away.

If Moira didn't have time to wash her hands of the blood, I'm ok with her not having time to wash the make up off her face. But what an amazing actress. That scene of her taking inventory in front of the mirror... that wonderfully delivered "Just a minute sugar..." hit the perfect note. 

Anyone notice that not only did they heavily edit the bible, but have added extensively? That bullshit ceremony to hand over her child, the forced curtsey to "Ofwarren"... somehow that felt worse than the rapes. Handing over your own child to the couple that took part in months of rape and abuse.... June is right - how the hell are they sane?

Speaking of June and Janine on the bridge - just my own feeling, but I got a strong "you do you" vibe from June. I don't think she had any intention of stopping Janine from jumping. If anything it was 1) save Charolette and 2) say goodbye. 

Oh yeah, Rita's son fought for her and not Gilead. He'd be broken hearted to see his mother where she is. But proud I think. The woman isn't stupid. I think her coldness towards June was based on not getting attached like she did with the first Offred. She seemed so distraught when they found her dead... and she seems to have been slowly warming up to her... yet another fascinating Martha I would love to learn more about. 

I get that with an actress like Madeline Brewer and a character like Janine - it's hard to let them go. To let that story be done. Still, I think it was a misstep keeping her around. 

 

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It would take me two seconds, and I mean that literally, to pull off my false eyelashes and wipe my mouth clean of lipstick.  She took the time to change into his uniform, supposedly trying to escape as a man.  Sorry, that was just stupid, and totally a glamor shot for the actress.

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11 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

It would take me two seconds, and I mean that literally, to pull off my false eyelashes and wipe my mouth clean of lipstick.  She took the time to change into his uniform, supposedly trying to escape as a man.  Sorry, that was just stupid, and totally a glamor shot for the actress.

I agree with this. She changed into the uniform and put on the hat. Getting rid of the fake lashes and makeup would make her fit the costume.

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Total fanwank here, but this really seems like the only plausible explanation. 

The teachers follow the students. One Aunt per graduating class. And so Aunt Lydia went through the Red Center with her class - and now she manages them, much like an agent, or an okā-san or a pimp. Mostly the latter. 

This is literally the only way she can perform as many functions as she does. There is no chance she is also at the Red Center still teaching and mutilating. Plus it's the only way to get the character screen time without flashabacks (which I kind of think we may be done with as far as the Red Center is concerned). 

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As other posters have observed, I fear that Janine is going to be made an incubator while comatose.  The sicko powers that be will make that happen.  At worst, there'll be no baby or no viable baby, but at least you're taking another shot at that potentially fertile womb.

I wonder a lot about the non-privileged citizens of Gilead, the ones who aren't in the government.  Is Gilead really enforcing its non-procreative sex ban on everybody in the country?  Are they patrolling every apartment and house for illicit female reading?  Are all non-Handmaid women now expected to be Wives, Marthas or Jezebels since they can't have normal paying jobs?  How does that work in practice?  If girls are no longer being taught to read, then how can they grow up to operate a washing machine or cook a recipe?  Do the lower classes have to wear color-coded clothing?  I have so many questions!

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53 minutes ago, EyesGlazed said:

 Is Gilead really enforcing its non-procreative sex ban on everybody in the country?  

No, but it's citizens are. 

Take North Korea as a real-life example of the people policing each other. Neighbors look to make sure the other family is wearing their "dear leader" pin, that the pictures of the triad is prominently displayed in the main living area, that they are spies and being spied upon. 
 

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1 hour ago, EyesGlazed said:

As other posters have observed, I fear that Janine is going to be made an incubator while comatose.  The sicko powers that be will make that happen.  At worst, there'll be no baby or no viable baby, but at least you're taking another shot at that potentially fertile womb.

I wonder a lot about the non-privileged citizens of Gilead, the ones who aren't in the government.  Is Gilead really enforcing its non-procreative sex ban on everybody in the country?  Are they patrolling every apartment and house for illicit female reading?  Are all non-Handmaid women now expected to be Wives, Marthas or Jezebels since they can't have normal paying jobs?  How does that work in practice?  If girls are no longer being taught to read, then how can they grow up to operate a washing machine or cook a recipe?  Do the lower classes have to wear color-coded clothing?  I have so many questions!

You can ask that in the Book Questions thread and you will get more answers.  As far as the show Gilead, probably.  Penalties for violated rules mean a painful death.  Answers are spoiler tagged, so you only read the ones you want to, they aren't tagged if the show already covered something.  There is one huge difference between the show and the books that is significant to your question.  Since they got a season two, perhaps they will cover it eventually.  Mini answer: 

Spoiler

There are 'econowives' who wear striped dresses of red, blue, and the Martha green (which is mostly grey looking on the show.)  They do all three jobs.  Had a baby, married Gilead-legally, no previously divorced stuff, husband with a worthy approved job of some sort, no history of birth control use or abortion, or other God Offending things. These econowives are looked down on by almost everyone.

So show canon?  Who knows?  Book canon offers more, and even more is implied, but remember this is a first person story from Offred's very limited knowledge.  I seriously doubt anyone is having flings.

As for as the later half of your questions, you've seen that they are converting everything to symbols on the show.  A drawing of a fish means fish, etc. for shopping.  The signs in the train station were being removed and some kind of pictures were going to go up.  They (the men who did all of this) deplore modern tech, which is why Martha's have to spend long hours doing everything the old way, including making bread via hand kneading.  They probably all hand wash dishes as well, possibly even clothing.  Any work that has to be done by women?  It doesn't matter how hard it is, or how much longer it takes, that's they way they must do it.

Edited by Umbelina
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I found the escape of Moira to be far more plausible than however she managed to get that package from the bartender to the butcher. At least there was a line of events to get us from Moira being in the bathroom to the van. Implausible, but from point A to point C made sense. How in the hell did she manage to get that package out of Jezebel's, out of the city, into the hands of the right All Flesh (assuming there are multiple)? 

The only possible scenario in which this makes any sense is that Moira escaped, met up with Mayday (or the Underground Femaleroad) or another quasi military rescue organization.  She heads to the border or stays in Boston to help the revolution, and the package is sent by the resistance  to June.  She talked about meeting up with Quakers and the resistance on her first escape attempt, and hopefully that happened again.

Quote

 Is Gilead really enforcing its non-procreative sex ban on everybody in the country?  

In the book, soldiers were punished if they were caught masturbating but obviously a lot of this isn't going to get caught.

I have absolutely no problem with the show deviating from the book (especially since Margaret Atwood is involved) but I wish they wouldn't change things so that now they don't make any sense - last week giving the Handmaid's razors (totally banned, along with anything else they could use to kill themselves) and this week having a Wife complain about being up all night with the baby (in the book the Martha's mostly took care of the children, which logically fits in with Gilead society).  

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8 hours ago, Umbelina said:

That music box confuses me. 

Her last handmaid killed herself, so they removed the light fixture, yet she gives the new handmaid a mirror, glass shards are quite effective if you want to kill yourself.

At first I took it as semi sweet from Serena, but then we got June's POV about how much she resented a child's toy, and that she wouldn't be the girl in the box dancing for them.   Music boxes aren't just children's toys, many adults collect them as well, or have a few of their own.

So what gives? 

I mean we know from the book that June

  Reveal hidden contents

doesn't kill herself but is Serena hoping she will?

  Why give her a weapon that could be used against herself or others?

Maybe Serena Joy is hoping she'll kill herself with the mirror, maybe she's part of Mayday( wouldn't that be a twist?) and she's hoping Offred will kill Commander Waterford. Of course that would not work because without her husband, she  has no security...but I can hope. I know how the book plays it, and how the movie plays it, but I doubt the series will do the same. 

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7 hours ago, EC Amber said:

Anyone notice that not only did they heavily edit the bible, but have added extensively? That bullshit ceremony to hand over her child, the forced curtsey to "Ofwarren"... somehow that felt worse than the rapes. Handing over your own child to the couple that took part in months of rape and abuse.... June is right - how the hell are they sane?

I did notice that.  That's one of the perks when you ban fully half the population from reading for themselves.  Unless you know the Bible very very well, it probably sounds like an extension of the verses that are there that so much of this system is supposedly based upon.  It's not like Janine can look it up for herself to say "um, no it doesn't say that at all so not doing it."  It's not just reading for the sake of reading that's being denied to women, it's knowledge.

 

4 hours ago, kitkat343 said:

I have absolutely no problem with the show deviating from the book (especially since Margaret Atwood is involved) but I wish they wouldn't change things so that now they don't make any sense - last week giving the Handmaid's razors (totally banned, along with anything else they could use to kill themselves) and this week having a Wife complain about being up all night with the baby (in the book the Martha's mostly took care of the children, which logically fits in with Gilead society).  

Mrs. Putnam definitely isn't coming across as someone who was longing to be a mother, but the new order doesn't allow her to aspire to be anything else.  I actually do appreciate that they're including that particular facet in this telling.  Not every woman wants to raise a child or is naturally good at it.  Baby Charlotte in this case becomes a status symbol to lord over the other wives and parade around for everyone else to envy.  I doubt she's really doing much of the work of caring for the baby herself either but complaining about how hard it is for her gives her the opportunity to continually bring conversation around to herself to remind everyone that she has a baby even when Charlotte isn't in the room.  These women have so little else to occupy them.

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22 hours ago, NoSpam said:

They started losing me with episode 4. The first three were great. Hung together plot-wise, weren't filmed in the dark, and we had June's voice overs letting us know what her internal landscape was. Her smart-ass internal dialog lightened up the rapey gloom. With Episode 4, we started losing her as a heroine. Less voice over in episode 4, and I don't think there's been any voice over since. We lost a connection to our heroine, the person episodes 1-3 taught us to root for, and now random stuff is happening to her that is supposed to be dramatic -- hear the dramatic music and see the oh-so-dramatic dark lighting? -- but I don't buy the drama. The plot has stopped making sense (Mexico wants handmaids and Gilead is willing to trade them? Give me a break.)

Now it's just devolved into one of many depressing, darkly lit, "sexy if you like the male-gaze" dramas on cable. I'll keep watching when I have time, but it's not a Must See anymore.

I've been trying to take a wait-and-see approach, but now that we're just one episode away from the end of the season, I feel free to posit that the writing in the second half of the season has declined from the first, and much of the problem lies with the added/invented material. For every hit (the expansion of Ofglen, for example), there have been a lot of clunkers and outright WTF moments. Too many times when they've tried to expand on the novel, they've just made things more confusing or nonsensical. The whole Mexico trade deal thing took an intriguing premise and then whiffed it by having the deal involve trading for Handmaids (WHUT?). There's a clumsiness going on with the plotting/writing that I don't understand.

I am still interested in the show and the characters, and for now the good is still outweighing the bad for me. My expectations for the second season have lowered, though. We've gotten several tastes of the flavor to come through off-book stuff like episode 7, and it seems like it could very well become Just Another Dystopian Show, like so many of the dystopian/apocalyptic shows and films of the last few years. The days of those searing, riveting first three episodes are over, I'm afraid, and we won't see their like again.

20 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

But the final line of "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, bitches" felt more like it was going more for a rah rah yay girl power catch phrase than anything that reflected their reality.   Original recipe Offred is still dead by her own hand because the bastards did break her and none of these women are any closer to freedom from their reproductive slavery.

"Praise be, bitch" in this episode hit same false note.  It's a catch phrase to make us root for spunky Moira all the more.  We're not supposed to think about how implausible this latest escape is or that she's already been recaptured once or how dire her punishment is likely to be if or when she is likely recaptured.

"Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, bitches" made me cringe. I was just - REALLY, show? I too get they were trying for, but the moment was so unearned and so out of sync with the reality of the women's lives on the show that it just came across as an incredibly cheap and transparent move. Who is letting crap like that out of the writers' room?

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