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S02.E03: Baggage

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5 hours ago, chocolatine said:

Even if Gilead had killed them openly and not pretended to let them emigrate - not "return" - to Israel, it wouldn't cause an international incident.

It's unlikely Gilead would have let the ships sink. A huge subset of belief in evangelical Christianity of the type that dominates Gilead is that one of the factors that must precede Christ's return to earth is a return of all Jews-in-exile to their holy land. Forcing all of the American Jewish population to go to Israel fits their own beliefs. Randomly sinking the ships doesn't. 

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4 hours ago, AllyB said:

It's unlikely Gilead would have let the ships sink. A huge subset of belief in evangelical Christianity of the type that dominates Gilead is that one of the factors that must precede Christ's return to earth is a return of all Jews-in-exile to their holy land. Forcing all of the American Jewish population to go to Israel fits their own beliefs. Randomly sinking the ships doesn't. 

According to the book, Gilead did sink the ships. Plus, we’ve seen Jews hung on the Wall last season. And the Gilead leadership is not truly driven by Christianity, evangelical or otherwise.

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On 5/3/2018 at 2:39 AM, Sbeetle said:

I get June’s not exactly a spy, but her lack of common sense was unbearable for me. When she was looking out the window and stomping around the apartment? I was so tense I had a hot flash. 

I know, so stupid! 

I wonder if the little boy (kids cannot keep secrets) blabbed to someone about a lady in their apartment?  Was the book June found under their bed a Quaran along with a prayer rug?  I'd hate to think about the father being tortured to give info about the plane and June etc...Hopefully the family is still intact.

Do men ever get sent to the Colonies? 

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8 hours ago, AllyB said:

It's unlikely Gilead would have let the ships sink. A huge subset of belief in evangelical Christianity of the type that dominates Gilead is that one of the factors that must precede Christ's return to earth is a return of all Jews-in-exile to their holy land. Forcing all of the American Jewish population to go to Israel fits their own beliefs. Randomly sinking the ships doesn't. 

 

4 hours ago, chocolatine said:

According to the book, Gilead did sink the ships. Plus, we’ve seen Jews hung on the Wall last season. And the Gilead leadership is not truly driven by Christianity, evangelical or otherwise.

The ships were run for-profit, so the ship owners sailed out a ways, then threw the Jewish immigrants to Israel overboard, and returned to pick up more.

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I don't think that Gilead knew that the econo-family was harboring June or they would have gone and got her right at the same time that they picked up the family since her running away and "stealing" a baby from Gilead  is such a big deal. My guess is that they picked up the family because either they had guessed that the father (Omar?) was a secret Muslim or because they knew he was generally in the resistance because they got it out of the family at the compromised safe house, but that they didn't know who it was they were smuggling. I could be wrong though - I wonder if we will ever find out. I'm also really curious when Omar became Muslim - June said that she would have been an econo-wife if she had been married in the right church, which implies to me that Omar and his wife were married in an Evangelical or at least Protestant church. So did he convert for appearances sake because he saw the way the wind was blowing, or was he a legit Evangelical who became disillusioned and turned to Islam? There was only one prayer mat, which indicates to me that only one of them is Muslim, and we've all been assuming it's Omar - I wonder how the econowife feels about this? This whole thing is kind of frustrating for me because there's so much about this family that I want to know more about, and I feel pretty sure that we will never find out more about them - maybe just a sad shot of Omar dead or imprisoned, and the econowife in the handmaid's outfit. 

Edited by legxleg
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On 04. 05. 2018. at 3:56 AM, Umbelina said:

 

No, Moira didn't have her clitoris removed, I think she's just suffering from PTSD from all of it, being a handmaid, and being in Jezebels, she was able to go THAT far, but no further yet, and she called herself by her Jezebel name too, Ruby.

Her using Ruby was pretty telling. She is stuck in experiencing sex through Ruby's point of view. And Ruby wasn't there to receive pleasure, but offer it. It's fucked up and depressing. 

But you reminded me of something else. Am I misremebering, or was Moira in a relationship when Gilead arose? What happened to her wife/girlfriend/parner? I'm drawing a blank. 

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I'm disappointed that June got captured so quickly.   I wanted this season to be her on the run.  I didn't want her storyline to go back to her being a handmaid so quickly.  

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22 hours ago, McKinley said:

What really surprised me about Omar taking June to his home was the fact that he had such a young child.  Young children are not good at keeping secrets, and his son could easily let something slip about the lady at their apartment.  I don't think we saw Omar or his wife even instruct the child not to say anything about June to anyone else.

Yes, that was strange. I was sure they were going to tell the boy to keep quiet about their lady houseguest, but they never did. And not only that, they didn't even come up with any story about who she was and why she was there. I mean, it's entirely possible it all did happen off-screen, but there's no reason not to show it to the viewers as well. Also, June's behaviour while she was there was a bit puzzling. Her "Yes, ma'am" when the woman told her not to touch anything sounded a little passive-aggressive to me, for no reason at all. And she was definitely way too reckless when left alone in the apartment, peeking through the window (I certainly understand the temptation to do it, but at that point after everything she's been through, she certainly should know better), moving around making noise and touching things. And don't get me started on going through the family's personal belongings. That was just awfully rude. 

There was more weird stuff. I'm also among those wondering where all those women were going. I had previously thought that the econo-people were somewhat akin to the proles of 1984, that is, mostly left alone by the government as long as they played by the rules and didn't cause trouble. That's obviously not the case, there are guards everywhere and everything seems tightly controlled. So, would women really be allowed to move around freely like that? Would they be able to get on the train without showing some kind of ID? There are no check points anywhere?

I'm really not looking forward to finding out what's next for June. It's not going to be anything we haven't already seen before, only worse. I'm going to keep watching, but I really wish the show had taken a different direction. 

Edited by Joana
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On 5/4/2018 at 4:43 PM, Lemons said:

I read that in a Maine accent.

Yes! (I grew up in Maine)

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6 hours ago, Umbelina said:

The ships were run for-profit, so the ship owners sailed out a ways, then threw the Jewish immigrants to Israel overboard, and returned to pick up more.

That makes sense. I only had a vague recollection of it from the book. And it certainly fits in with real life occurrences as even now there are those who take that kind of advantage of refugees attempting to flee by sea. (Incidentally I actually spent part of this afternoon visiting a naval ship that's part of the EU mission to rescue refugees in the Mediterranean.)

Edited by AllyB
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Gilead continues on, it would be kind of ridiculous to not have a handmaid there that we already care about.  Also, for the first time, we will watch a handmaid go through pregnancy, not just be there for the birth, and aftermath.

At the same time, June has changed, she's not the same woman anymore, so things will be different, she also knows about the resistance, and I feel sure there will be another escape.  There is also her daughter's side of things, and now that we've seen her, I feel like will will see more.

Will it be horrible?  I'm sure it will at times, Gilead IS horrible, but now we also get to see the larger world, through Moira and Luke's eyes, and probably more about the resistance, since June knows she can trust Nick now, and visa versa.

I don't think this will all be a repeat of season one, not at all. 

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13 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Also, for the first time, we will watch a handmaid go through pregnancy, not just be there for the birth, and aftermath.

That would have been interesting indeed. The problem is that we'll be following the pregnancy of a handmaid who has tried to escape, and we've already seen in the first episode of the season what happens to those. Sure, that woman tried to commit suicide instead of running away, but the end result would have been the same - no baby for Gilead, so it's hard to imagine the treatment June will get would be that much different. 

Realistically, all that can happen to her is to be locked up and under strict supervision 24/7. That doesn't make for an interesting story, IMHO. And if they do something else, it's just stupid. Of course, we'll have to see how it all plays out, but at this point, it's a bit hard not to think they've written themselves into a corner with her both escaping and getting caught this early in the season.

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I don't think they are in a corner at all.  June was always watched before, but as I said, we now have a brand new June, one who looked at all those newspaper clippings and pieced it all together about how they got where they are.  She's a new woman now, with eyes wide open, and she knows so much more than she did before in Gilead. 

We shall see, but I have hopes the stories they tell will be good, and, as I said, we will have the more hopeful stories about resistance, and about the outside world from Canada.

Will June be happy right away, or have an easy time, or a quick escape soon?  Probably not, it's not that kind of story.  Will she escape before giving birth?  Maybe, or maybe Nick will take the baby and run.  I do think we will get a lot more of the resistance stories this season, both from Nick and June, but probably also from the Canada side of things.  Hopefully that will relieve the hell that June and other handmaids must endure.  All we are doing is watching.  If it's that horrible to watch, knowing it's fiction, imagine how horrible it is to endure with now breaks, or switching to a happy movie.  :~)

ETA

Also, remember, Serena Joy really believes that baby is her own, and even if she didn't, she'd like to be able to pretend that, at least to her friends, possibly to her husband, and maybe even to herself.   June tried to escape, but she didn't swallow drain cleaner trying to off herself.  I doubt she'll be chained up for long, and they can't question her using too many terrible methods, because it might put stress on the fetus.

Another thought I just had, if Serena and her husband are both out, it's possible Nick would be her guard. 

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: K ?
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18 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

Was the book June found under their bed a Quaran along with a prayer rug? 

Yes. It was a Qur'an and prayer rug. I couldn't believe she pulled it out like that. I thought that might be why the family was detained, but then they'd still be raiding the apartment to find it. 

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Having had the extreme displeasure of watching a very disturbing anti-abortion procession march through my city yesterday, Blessed be the Fruitloops is now my catchphrase/mental health lifeline.

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2 hours ago, Sbeetle said:

Yes. It was a Qur'an and prayer rug. I couldn't believe she pulled it out like that. I thought that might be why the family was detained, but then they'd still be raiding the apartment to find it. 

I’m sure she did that in honor of the family who’ve already been grabbed and who-knows-what. 

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The purpose of the marbles was obviously to build that tension, the focus on the repetitive motion, knowing noise couldn’t be made, but what if...? Not an indicator of June’s intelligence. 

June was filled with nervous energy that entire time, leaving her restless and jumping out of her skin. Should she have peeked out the window? Of course not. Is she in an entirely unknown environment that she ended up needing to figure her way out of and observing anything on the streets helped her? Maybe so. 

June’s flaws and mistakes are always prominent and used for storytelling, but they’ve been there from the start. So has her intelligence and her will. They balance out for me and make her interesting to watch. 

And i can’t find the comment to quote, but I sincerely doubt the Econowife was concerned about anyone coming in and dusting for fingerprints. I’m doubting any kind of investigation like that goes on in this world, especially for an Econofamily already hiding quite a bit. She rightly just didn’t want this stranger touching her stuff, making noise, and compromising her family’s life. Unfortunately, that was already in danger. I doubt we’ll see the family again, but it’d be interesting if we did, especially the wife, considering how she looked at what happened to June as more of a choice. 

Edited by VagueDisclaimer
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And Cherry Jones?  Really?

I have to admit that I loathed the character Cherry Jones played on Transparent so much that when I saw her as June's mother, I had an immediate visceral negative reaction and basically shut down on that storyline.

Edited by Ashforth
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16 minutes ago, Ashforth said:

I have to admit that I loathed the character Cherry Jones played on Transparent so much that when I saw her as June's mother, I had an immediate visceral negative reaction and basically shut down on that storyline.

I loathed her Transparent character as well, but after watching this episode I have to say that she's spot-on as June's mother, probably the most true to the book character of the entire show.

22 hours ago, Joana said:

Of course, we'll have to see how it all plays out, but at this point, it's a bit hard not to think they've written themselves into a corner with her both escaping and getting caught this early in the season.

I think that depends whether the Waterfords or other Gilead brass have figured out that Nick was the one who helped her escape. If they don't suspect, and Nick continues to work for them, I think he'll try looking for a way to help her escape again.

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"Blessed be the frootloops"

Thanks. I needed that.

Yes. Life in Gilead sucks. We get that. Can we have our revolution now?

Edited by marinw
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I felt for the guy Moira was talking to near the beginning of the episode who witnessed a man he once dated get hanged for being a “Gender Traitor.” Some would call him complicit for “following orders,” but it is too easy to judge. Moira knows that.

Edited by marinw
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Ah, I made a mistake about where I know Cherry Jones from.  LOL.  Never mind.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay

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I have often questioned where whould I fall in a Gilead regime. I may have a viable uterus but I have also  a progressive neurological disease that I have  50 percent chance of passing on and cannot be detected in utero. So I always thought I would be a Martha.  Maybe not. Maybe being an Eco is worse

Edited by Pepper the Cat

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5 hours ago, Ashforth said:

I have to admit that I loathed the character Cherry Jones played on Transparent so much that when I saw her as June's mother, I had an immediate visceral negative reaction and basically shut down on that storyline.

 

It was essentially the same character.  Just as Moira/Ruby is more or less the same character she played on Orange Is the New Black.   No attempt to even slightly alter either woman's look or presentation.    But maybe that's the point, to say, hey, look, we've got Cherry Jones from Amazon's Transparent, and we've got Poussee from Netflix's Orange is the New Black, so this show must be relevant.

Edited by millennium
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On 5/4/2018 at 8:36 PM, GreekGeek said:

The matter of race in Gilead continues to bug. Omar and Heather are the second interracial marriage we've seen, and religious extremists are totally OK with it?

Did anyone think "Commander Wells' Driver" looked like Nick? For a moment I thought it was Nick running away with June.

Honestly, maybe it's too early to do so, but I have pretty much written off the idea that they are going to be able to wrangle the show's handling of race into anything that makes much sense at this point. The truth of the matter is that they removed the white supremacy element of the Gilead regime not for reasons within the story, but for external reasons. Now they are left with the backlash against their choices AND the fact that the deeper they get into this story, the less their choices make sense within the universe that they've built. I don't know what you do with a mess like that. I get why they did what they did - but that decision has been backing up on them narratively all along.

I definitely got a vibe of Nickness from 'Commander Wells' driver', and moreover, a frisson of foreshadowing for his fate. Ulp.

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I know this is the Handmaid's Tale, but I would have like to see a lot more of Luke and Moira in Canada and what life there was like. Also, why was their other roommate so unfriendly at first? Was she such a recent refugee that she was still traumatized, or was there something else I missed?

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She wasn't a recent refuge. She managed to escape with Luke. As far as I recall she was still mute when we last saw her last season. So this is huge. 

I've been thinking about the econofamily. What if this is actuallythe beginning of the racial storyline and they weren't detained because of either June or Omar's religion becoming known, but simply for being an interracial couple? Several posters have mentioned that they expect to seethe wifeas a handmaid, and there's nothing more Gilead-like than making people'sactions into crimes retroactively. And it fits the storytelling perfectly, ripping away what the wife imagined was protectiing her without a moment's notice. 

Also, I have to say I admire all those participating in smuggling people around and out of Gilead. They chose to do that instead of using their connections to get out themselves. Even if stupid, that's incredibly brave. 

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7 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Ah, I made a mistake about where I know Cherry Jones from.  LOL.  Never mind.

To me she will always be President Allison Taylor, one of my favorite TV presidents ever.

I read somewhere that on this show she was a doctor at the abortion clinic. Was this mae clear in the epsiode? In any case, that was a horrible way for June to find out what happened to her.

I consider myself an environmentalist, so I was squirming when Lydia was lecturing the Handmaids on how mankind had wrecked the environment, couching it in religious terms. The irony being that many religious conservatives are presently climate-change deniers.

I don’t understand presence of the econo people either.

Edited by marinw
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On 5/2/2018 at 1:17 PM, mishap said:

I can't imagine what we are in for next week.  

I'm predicting more more misery porn.

Edited by marinw
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1 hour ago, marinw said:

I read somewhere that on this show she was a doctor at the abortion clinic. Was this mae clear in the epsiode? In any case, that was a horrible way for June to find out what happened to her.

 

It was mentioned when June went to get the immersion blender and then again when she and Moira were talking in the Red Center.

I hate the fact that June got caught again. It will be harder for her to leave with a small baby/toddler and Hannah.  I would have liked it better if she made it out to keep the baby safe then went back to become a revolutionist and/or save other handmaids, unwomen, etc.  Taking up the mantle her mother had.  I just feel we are peddling backwards for the sake of stretching the storyline into more seasons.

One thing that struck me as odd, is what has happened to all the people that were incarcerated (men and women)?  Are they part of Gilead? Were they sent to the colonies?  I checked wiki and the last stat was that 213,000 women were in the prison system in 2013.  That is alot of women to become handmaids, marthas or work in the colonies.  And there are a few who would be unstable as well.  Also what about women and men in mental institutions?  

To answer a poster above, I think it was mentioned at the end of the book that when things got tough and there was a shortage of Handmaids, that they did go after on trump up charges for the econofamilies and then took those wives as handmaids. 

It is seriously one fucked up society. 

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What was up with the slide projector? I haven’t seen one of those things in about fifteen years. I think you can still buy transparency film but it is quite expensive. (Please correct me if I’m wrong)  I know they keep the Handmaids away from technology, but surely they could trust the Aunts with a power point presentation? Gilead in so f*cked up.

As much as I love Cherry Jones, I found June’s mother very self-righteous and judgmental. But she would have fought hard in the colonies.

Edited by marinw
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1 hour ago, marinw said:

What was up with the slide projector? I haven’t seen one of those things in about fifteen years. I think you can still buy transparency film but it is quite expensive. (Please correct me if I’m wrong)  I know they keep the Handmaids away from technology, but surely they could trust the Aunts with a power point presentation? Gilead in so f*cked up.

As much as I love Cherry Jones, I found June’s mother very self-righteous and judgmental. But she would have fought hard in the colonies.

Almost anything on a computer would probably involve reading. So I can buy into them using the slide projector, but then they're making slides from film that involves a chemical process that involves producing waste. You could use the slides for a lot of presentations, but that's a assuming the projector never breaks. Does anyone even know how to repair a projector in Gilead, let alone make a new one?

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Like any good horror movie, the characters must do stupid things in order to build suspense for the audience.  But having June play with marbles of all things and twitching at curtains and pulling apart hidden religious stuff that's none of her business, - plus when she was walking with the other econowives (or whatever).  The other women walked quickly, eyes down.  June is meandering along turning to look behind.  If I'd been a guard I'd have zeroed in on her - she stood out like a sore thumb.  But I guess it must all be done for suspense.

Surely an airfield would be guarded 24/7?  And electricity counts at an abandoned building?  No tracking of women on the train? - could be anyone in a knitted cap - tattoos for the varying levels of society would make more sense than coloured clothing,  but I guess that wasn't in the novel? And, like everyone else, I'm left wondering where these women were going in evening time - unless they were all heading home (from where, tho?)  

 I am enjoying the show.  It would add to my enjoyment if we were more privy as to how this oppression began - little by little apparently ? (I haven't read the book) but that part of the story is fascinating.  I live in Canada.  Refugees from the US seeking asylum are crossing the border to Canada in unprecedented numbers as we speak.

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As a Jew, I am a little surprised they wouldn’t go for the Jews are necessary to bring the second coming of thing. Isn’t this a world in which other countries are still normal? Israel is notoriously combative, I think that they would have something to say about Jews being murdered in ships…

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45 minutes ago, lucindabelle said:

As a Jew, I am a little surprised they wouldn’t go for the Jews are necessary to bring the second coming of thing

Gilead probably has a lot of closeted Jews, who hide their religous gear like Omar hid his Koran and prayer mat. 

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It took me the better part of the week to get around to watching this after I spoiled myself on the recapture.  That's how much I hate it.  In dawdling and doing everything but watch this episode, I realized how little interest I have in watching new round after round of torture and misery so Elisabeth Moss can stare into the camera doing her nonreacting reacting face some more.  Don't get me wrong, I think she's done extremely well with this role for the most part, but when I did finally break down and watch it fully half the episode seemed to be long voiceovers to her making the face.

That said, I do get it.  Like most of us, June has no real experience at this.  Her only real attempt at trying to run like a hunted animal and evade capture got her where she is.  But there was something genuinely painful about watching her act like a person who thinks they're being inconspicuous when they're not.  I get that too that she's struggling to orient herself to where she needs to be and trying entirely on the fly to figure out the behavior expected of her as an econowife vs. a handmaid.  The natural impulse has to be one of looking around and watching other people to see what they do and how it all works, but what they're doing is keeping their eyes down, walking briskly, and doing their own very best to draw as little attention to themselves as possible.  She spoke to one who clearly didn't want to exchange pleasantries, and that came after it looked like she might have made direct eye contact with a guardian.  It's the difference between the red dress as opposed to the gray.  

Could have used more Moira and more of the dynamics in that apartment between the two former handmaids each dealing with her own trauma and Luke, who even now I think probably had decent intentions but didn't get it until it was way too late.  How much has Moira told him about the specifics of June's situation as she knew them?

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8 hours ago, bijoux said:

She wasn't a recent refuge. She managed to escape with Luke. As far as I recall she was still mute when we last saw her last season.

Ah. I didn't recognize her at all. I barely remember that part of season 1 where we saw Luke escaping. You have a good memory.

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11 hours ago, Becks said:

Honestly, maybe it's too early to do so, but I have pretty much written off the idea that they are going to be able to wrangle the show's handling of race into anything that makes much sense at this point. The truth of the matter is that they removed the white supremacy element of the Gilead regime not for reasons within the story, but for external reasons. Now they are left with the backlash against their choices AND the fact that the deeper they get into this story, the less their choices make sense within the universe that they've built. I don't know what you do with a mess like that. I get why they did what they did - but that decision has been backing up on them narratively all along.

I definitely got a vibe of Nickness from 'Commander Wells' driver', and moreover, a frisson of foreshadowing for his fate. Ulp.

I quoted this one because I was pretty much going to say this:

10 hours ago, bijoux said:

 

I've been thinking about the econofamily. What if this is actuallythe beginning of the racial storyline and they weren't detained because of either June or Omar's religion becoming known, but simply for being an interracial couple? Several posters have mentioned that they expect to seethe wifeas a handmaid, and there's nothing more Gilead-like than making people'sactions into crimes retroactively. And it fits the storytelling perfectly, ripping away what the wife imagined was protectiing her without a moment's notice. 

Also, I have to say I admire all those participating in smuggling people around and out of Gilead. They chose to do that instead of using their connections to get out themselves. Even if stupid, that's incredibly brave. 

I was wondering that as well.  They may be finally introducing the racism, only as kind of a "phase two" of Gilead, send the black people off to the

Spoiler

Children of Ham colonies (raising food)

and the beginnings of grabbing up the Econowives to make more Handmaids, and of course, to redistribute their children to the wealthy power men who rule Gilead.

9 hours ago, marinw said:

To me she will always be President Allison Taylor, one of my favorite TV presidents ever.

I read somewhere that on this show she was a doctor at the abortion clinic. Was this mae clear in the epsiode? In any case, that was a horrible way for June to find out what happened to her.

I consider myself an environmentalist, so I was squirming when Lydia was lecturing the Handmaids on how mankind had wrecked the environment, couching it in religious terms. The irony being that many religious conservatives are presently climate-change deniers.

I don’t understand presence of the econo people either.

 

While I seriously doubt that all of the Commanders believe much of the religious bullshit they sold to gain power (Jezebel's existence tells us that) oddly, I DO believe they care about the Environmental destruction that came about, which is a combination of Power Plant meltdowns, and contaminated crops, water, air from industry and overuse of chemicals,  as well as the Global warming issues (yes, they knew about that when Atwood wrote her book.)  Also, on a practical day to day level, that means that women are back to doing everything by hand, making bread, washing dishes, washing clothes and hanging them to dry, walking everywhere...day to day life in this misogynist world.  I notice that in spite of the lack of cars?  The Commanders still have them.  More hypocrisy and disdain for women.  More reasons to take their jobs away as well, now they will go back to pioneer times as far as keeping a house running, endless hours of manual labor there.

7 hours ago, marinw said:

What was up with the slide projector? I haven’t seen one of those things in about fifteen years. I think you can still buy transparency film but it is quite expensive. (Please correct me if I’m wrong)  I know they keep the Handmaids away from technology, but surely they could trust the Aunts with a power point presentation? Gilead in so f*cked up.

As much as I love Cherry Jones, I found June’s mother very self-righteous and judgmental. But she would have fought hard in the colonies.

 

If more women and men had been like June's mother?  Gilead might have never happened.

4 hours ago, Pondlass1 said:

Like any good horror movie, the characters must do stupid things in order to build suspense for the audience.  But having June play with marbles of all things and twitching at curtains and pulling apart hidden religious stuff that's none of her business, - plus when she was walking with the other econowives (or whatever).  The other women walked quickly, eyes down.  June is meandering along turning to look behind.  If I'd been a guard I'd have zeroed in on her - she stood out like a sore thumb.  But I guess it must all be done for suspense.

Surely an airfield would be guarded 24/7?  And electricity counts at an abandoned building?  No tracking of women on the train? - could be anyone in a knitted cap - tattoos for the varying levels of society would make more sense than coloured clothing,  but I guess that wasn't in the novel? And, like everyone else, I'm left wondering where these women were going in evening time - unless they were all heading home (from where, tho?)  

 I am enjoying the show.  It would add to my enjoyment if we were more privy as to how this oppression began - little by little apparently ? (I haven't read the book) but that part of the story is fascinating.  I live in Canada.  Refugees from the US seeking asylum are crossing the border to Canada in unprecedented numbers as we speak.

We saw June being pretty careful there, waiting to look around until a guard looked elsewhere.  She was escaping, she HAD to look around.

There are a lot of small airfields, and most of Gilead's men are off fighting wars in some colonies, or doing manual labor (not much machinery or technology left to make that stuff faster.)  I can easily suspend disbelief there.  Also, that pilot mostly runs black market stuff, and we've already seen Commanders benefiting from that and looking the other way.  It's a small thing for me, but I do see your point.

Econowives would be pretty numerous, they guarded them in groups, but they were unlikely to attempt escapes, because they still had private homes, and their husbands and kids, other encumbrances.  Of all the women in Gilead?  They had the best lives.  Also I tend to think of them as more like Wives than any of the other women.  Wives traveled and congregated freely.  I think Econowives had some of that as well, guards every few yards, but no one really cared.  It was church day, they probably had gatherings or other duties at church, then took the train home.  MY biggest question was, where were the kids?  Econowives had no "Martha's" or anyone else around to watch the kids, since all Econowives had damn well better make it to Church or risk becoming Handmaids.  That was my most jarring thing in the episode.

Yes, little by little, just like June, we are still, in many places seeing this through June's eyes.  She didn't even really put it all together until she arranged and clipped all of those newspaper articles.  She was blind, like most people, to what was happening.

4 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

As a Jew, I am a little surprised they wouldn’t go for the Jews are necessary to bring the second coming of thing. Isn’t this a world in which other countries are still normal? Israel is notoriously combative, I think that they would have something to say about Jews being murdered in ships…

Gilead wrote it's own bible.  Israel did make a stink, which is why some Jews were allowed to immigrate back to Israel, vast majorities of them didn't make it though.  Would Israel attack the well fortified former USA?  Doubtful, but who knows?  Maybe they will be part of a coalition of forces that do someday.

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16 hours ago, Pepper the Cat said:

I have often questioned where whould I fall in a Gilead regime. I may have a viable uterus but I have also  a progressive neurological disease that I have  50 percent chance of passing on and cannot be detected in utero. So I always thought I would be a Martha.  Maybe not. Maybe being an Eco is worse

I am past childbearing years with previous cancer and current diabetes. I would go straight to the colonies.

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51 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

If more women and men had been like June's mother?  Gilead might have never happened.

I am also wondering if Gilead would have happened with a female POTUS. Or maybe this would hasten the process, as the Gilead founders would blame the POTUS for everything!

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27 minutes ago, marinw said:

I am also wondering if Gilead would have happened with a female POTUS. Or maybe this would hasten the process, as the Gilead founders would blame the POTUS for everything!

Either way, just like the male POTUS?  She would have been assassinated, it was necessary for the Coup.  Also, and this isn't from the book as I recall, but I've decided it's safe to assume that Sons of Jacob were already in positions of power in both the White House and the Congress, making the overthrow possible, both the shootings and the bomb.

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5 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

As a Jew, I am a little surprised they wouldn’t go for the Jews are necessary to bring the second coming of thing. Isn’t this a world in which other countries are still normal? Israel is notoriously combative, I think that they would have something to say about Jews being murdered in ships…

Unless the Jews were Israeli citizens, I don't think Israel would start a war with Gilead.

1 hour ago, Umbelina said:

It was church day, they probably had gatherings or other duties at church, then took the train home.  MY biggest question was, where were the kids?  Econowives had no "Martha's" or anyone else around to watch the kids, since all Econowives had damn well better make it to Church or risk becoming Handmaids.  That was my most jarring thing in the episode.

Assuming the fertility crisis affected everyone, perhaps most econo-familes were childless?

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4 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

Unless the Jews were Israeli citizens, I don't think Israel would start a war with Gilead.

Assuming the fertility crisis affected everyone, perhaps most econo-familes were childless?

Israel couldn't do it even if they wanted to, I seriously doubt the Sons of Jacob dismantled all of their nukes and other weapons of war, whatever else the USA now Gilead was?  I think it's safe to assume they were still the best armed country in the world.

I was thinking they all had children, but you are correct.  Some didn't, so that would make sense.  http://the-handmaids-tale.wikia.com/wiki/Econowife 

Those with children did take them to church, as we saw with the family June was with.  Thanks!  That helps.

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45 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

Assuming the fertility crisis affected everyone, perhaps most econo-familes were childless?

The line that really stuck out for me was when the Econowife tells June "That's how they threaten us ... if we're fruitful."  It makes me think that while the regime may shrug off occasional working-class children in that Soviet style complex where everybody watches everybody as long as the parents strictly toe the line, women who do manage to produce more than the stray random kid are going to have guardians banging down her door to force her into the handmaid ranks to breed for a higher class of men.  So whether these women are naturally childless too as part of the infertility crisis or whether they're being super damn careful even in a birth-control free world they're probably not having many kids either.  Other than the little boy Adam, I only noticed maybe two other kids in the outdoor scenes.

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13 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

The line that really stuck out for me was when the Econowife tells June "That's how they threaten us ... if we're fruitful."  It makes me think that while the regime may shrug off occasional working-class children in that Soviet style complex where everybody watches everybody as long as the parents strictly toe the line, women who do manage to produce more than the stray random kid are going to have guardians banging down her door to force her into the handmaid ranks to breed for a higher class of men.  So whether these women are naturally childless too as part of the infertility crisis or whether they're being super damn careful even in a birth-control free world they're probably not having many kids either.  Other than the little boy Adam, I only noticed maybe two other kids in the outdoor scenes.

Yes, I noticed that too, and it was chilling.

I really think we will see her as a handmaid soon, and I hope it's more than just in passing at the market.  June really has no handmaid friends left, let alone anyone she can be cautiously open with, they've either escaped or are in the colonies.  The wife was interesting, she'd make a great addition to the show, see how far the prideful fall, as well as how sad it is, even those towing the Gilead line are not spared.

For that reason, and the fact that storm troopers didn't bust down the door yet to arrest June?  I kind of doubt the family didn't return because he was caught as being part of the resistance.  It's much more likely they wanted his wife and child, or that

Spoiler

racism as shown in the book, and I think this will enter phase TWO of Gilead, (worse for the women) so that eventually phase THREE can come in (even worse for women,) but also nearing the end of Gilead itself,

will finally enter the story.  The latter to me is more likely, since that would show other colonies, such as the crop raising colonies, or perhaps even the warring colonies. 

I love that the story is expanding now, I'm far more interested in that part of things, to see how the world is reacting, how the resistance fighters, or crop raising areas work.  There is a lot of story the book didn't tell, a lot I've wondered and speculated on for decades now.  I'm hoping the show gives us some of the rest of the story, and I think they are moving in that direction.

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I can't remember, have we seen Ofglen 2.0 yet this season?  She was the first to refuse to stone Janine as much as Lydia tried to pin the ringleader role on June, so I'm sure she didn't escape punishment.  I have a sinking feeling we'll be seeing this wife again too for the same reason. 

It really does say a lot, doesn't it, about how the regime knows it's completely full of bullshit with all the blessings talk they try to sell to the handmaids that the first thing they threaten other women with is "the red dress and wings" if they step one foot out of line.  The Econowife may have been looking down her nose at handmaids who she believes so casually give away their babies, but she's clearly under no illusion that it's not a terrible sort of punishment she wants no part of.  You could see that that's where her mind went the moment she realized her husband had brought this woman home and placed them all in danger.

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I don't think they even have to "step out of line."

Justice of any kind no longer exists there. 

I feel like adding this little bit of a book spoiler for those who are disappointed in the Hulu show, that we are still going to be having handmaid stories in Gilead proper, and that June's escape didn't work.  If it's not OK mods, just delete it please.

For others, this is a general spoiler from the very end of the book.

Spoiler

Gilead goes through three "periods."  1, which we are in now, the take over and the establishment of handmaids, murder of intelligentsia and deportation or murder of resisters, except in some of the warring colonies west of Gilead proper.  2, and all that is really said is that things get much worse for women during the second phase of Gilead.  Jezebel's expansion and details are included a bit there.  3, where again things get still worse for women and where the fall of Gilead happens.  I have a feeling Gilead is entering the second Gilead period very soon on the show.

So yes, the show will continue to be bleak and horrifying.  BUT, we are seeing so much of the world that June never talks about or even knew about it the books, so hopefully, that will make it all no only worth it, but also answer questions that many have had since the book was published.  We will all finally know "the rest of the story" beyond the cryptic ending Atwood supplied, it will be fleshed out, and I'm SO looking forward to that.

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16 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I don't think they even have to "step out of line."

I don't think so either, but you can pretty effectively cow people to do what you want and quell any notions they might have of resisting if you can convince them that this terrible thing will happen to them if they don't stay inside that imaginary line, or that they'll be safe as long as they do.  The Econowives, by any of the relative measures we have to judge this society, are probably living the least awful lives it's possible for women to live under this regime and they're doing it in drab gray dresses marching quietly from Point A to B while never making eye contact.

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3 hours ago, stephinmn said:

I am past childbearing years with previous cancer and current diabetes. I would go straight to the colonies.

When the book was written, I'd probably have become a Handmaid, because I used birth control, and participated in protests, and certainly would have been out there with June's mom, but I did have viable ovaries.

Now? I could never be an Aunt, and I'd be too anti-Gilead to be a Martha.  I would probably have be killed in a protest or a round them up shooting or hanging.  I'm still pretty resourceful, so I may have escaped, seeing the signs on the wall when they took away all women's money, even if I fell for the whole Middle East attack thing in the beginning.  More than likely one of the above, equally likely?  Shipped off to the worst colonies, nuclear fall out.

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Playing devil's advocate - does anyone think that the econo couple just got cold feet and decided to stay away thinking that June would get scared and leave? 

They didn't look like they were too keen to help out.  I mean the guy wanted to leave her at that one place because the other one was compromised. He only took her cause she pushed him too. 

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