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ElectricBoogaloo

S02.E04: Other Women

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I love that the show, even though it's in post-book territory, is still weaving elements from the book into most episodes, it makes the new developments feel more organic. Last episode it was June's mother, this episode it was Luke's first wife, and June counting the flowers on the bedspread.

This episode shows that the emotional torture and gaslighting done by Gilead can be even more horrific than the physical torture. Aunt Lydia taking June to the Wall and telling her in every minute detail how she ruined Omar's and his family's lives has killed every last trace of defiance in June that no amount of physical abuse could.

Things are looking very bleak now with Mayday having gone silent and June seemingly accepting her fate, but I have a feeling the scene with the commanders shooting and talking about Canada was shown for a reason. If Fred goes there, I can see the Canadian branch of the resistance kidnapping him and demanding his handmaid as ransom.

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How many twisted ways of mind fuckery are there?  Gilead excels at one thing...that.

I loved the "new" June back in Gilead, and the open hostility between Serena Joy and June.  "If my baby is safe, then so is yours."  Serena Joy, hoisted by her own petard.  I had a feeling Serena Joy would want that baby in her house, so she can be the focus of attention of all of her friends, I didn't suspect the "she was kidnapped" lie to save face, but it works quite well.

Holy crap, does Aunt Lydia just move in?  That's kind of fun too, seeing Aunt Lydia keeping up the act while June refuses to play in more than a cursory way.  She's even bossing Serena Joy around!  Taking her cigarette away, "No more of this, it's bad for the baby."  Is it wrong that for once I'm enjoying Aunt Lydia's power against a woman?  As long as that woman is Serena Joy?

Aw, at least Rita kept the letters safe, that alone was a pretty big risk on her part.  She's careful, but at least June knows Rita isn't drinking the Gilead Koolaid.

So, Nick made it, which is not shocking, but all those leaves on the stairs were ominous, and now June will have her connection for a possible new escape.  Hope lives.

June trumping Serena, by saying she felt the baby kick for the first time last night, while all of her friends coo around the "mother to be."  I can almost hear June's silent words to her "No, bitch, YOU aren't having a baby, and by the way, we both know it's not your husband's either."  I really loved the new relationships June was having, no longer, except marginally, towing the company line.  It was lovely to not have this be back to status quo season one June.  More of that please!

Another creepy ceremony, although I did love the touch of the teal and red chords entwined.  All of Serena Joy's shower gifts, and taking out her fury at June on Rita, because she can't risk hurting June's baby.  Come on Serena, let's have a complete melt down, rage yourself into insanity, that would be fun.  "I want her out of my house!"  Then caressing June's stomach and speaking to Serena Joy's baby.  Holy shit.

That scene with the Commander shooting seemed ominous, is he in more trouble with the powers that be?  That would be amazing, I'd love to see him go down by the very oppressive hypocritical regime he championed, and take Serena Joy with him.

Mayday is done helping handmaids? 

The Annie and June confrontation was raw and powerful.  Who is that actress?  She was wonderful.  It was a perfect build from polite to "YOU FUCKING WHORE" in waves of emotions.  and...Luke is back to being an asshole for me, and June flaws are all too apparent as well, as Luke's adultery aid, the homewrecker.  I wish he'd at least show concern for Annie's feelings, or a bit of remorse for her pain here.  Instead, he screams at his wife on a message machine, protecting his mistress.  I'm...just not OK with that.  I get that it's realistic, but I was finally starting to like Luke a bit.

It was going so well, and then Aunt Lydia shows her the body of the nice Muslim man who said he was no hero, and as many of us suspected, his son is reassigned, his wife is a handmaid, and June breaks, accepting Aunt Lydia's guilt trip under the horror of his hanging body.  "Who did this?"  "I did."  Then the last mind fuck.  June did it all, not Offred. 

Then June, her guilt and sorrow at that family's fate, brings her to her knees, begging to be allowed to stay, to be good.  The guilt from everything, Annie, Luke.  The endless mind fucks of Gilead. 

"We've been sent good weather."

 

SNAP OUT OF IT JUNE!

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: typos, and there are probably more I haven't found yet...
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4 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

The Annie and June confrontation was raw and powerful.  Who is that actress?  She was wonderful.  It was a perfect build from polite to "YOU FUCKING WHORE" in waves of emotions.  and...Luke is back to being an asshole for me, and June flaws are all to apparent as well, as Luke's adultery aid, the homewrecker.  I wish he'd at least show concern for Annie's feelings, or a bit of remorse for her pain here.  Instead, he screams at his wife on a message machine, protecting his mistress.  I'm...just not OK with that.  I get that it's realistic, but I was finally starting to like Luke a bit.

 

The actresses name is Kelly Jenrette and she is quite spectacular, I agree. If she were playing anyone else but the ex I would actually want to see her as a regular.

 

 I think this episode exposed more of the old Luke and June and again they are shown to be incredibly flawed, selfish, even cruel people. So, humans,  heh.

 

I like to compare Luke to who he used to be to who he is now, in the same way that I do with June because I think it’s a good way to show the growth of the characters that we see when they had their freedom and they had their ability to choose “freedom to” what were the freedoms they chose to do. And now that we see what happened when they were given only the option to have “freedom from” how that morphed them into better people, more decent and giving people, less likely to just think about themselves, Which Luke displayed in saving and taking care of the one escaped handmaid when fleeing to Canada and June has shown the same when she refused to murder Janine regardless of consequences.

 

I think that was a big theme in this episode for this week, June being forced to confront, yet again, her inner demons and her selfishness and her inability to sometimes see the bigger picture for what it is, when she’s all about herself and in her own head, living only for what benefits her, she is often her own worst enemy.

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I'd say "Well that was depressing," but that would be redundant.

Though June was tortured mentally this episode, I still see her wearing a shield as the main character (as does Emily, to some extent).  If she were any other character, she would have had one of her eyes gouged out (maybe both) or some other physical torture visited upon her by now.  Emily would have definitely had another body part taken away before being shipped off to the colonies.  But because the showrunners know that we need their expressive faces, they don't have Aunt Lydia or anyone else go there. 

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22 minutes ago, Brn2bwild said:

I'd say "Well that was depressing," but that would be redundant.

Though June was tortured mentally this episode, I still see her wearing a shield as the main character (as does Emily, to some extent).  If she were any other character, she would have had one of her eyes gouged out (maybe both) or some other physical torture visited upon her by now.  Emily would have definitely had another body part taken away before being shipped off to the colonies.  But because the showrunners know that we need their expressive faces, they don't have Aunt Lydia or anyone else go there. 

 

 I think there’s no doubt that June would’ve faced some sort of horrible punishment by now, losing a limb or her eyesight or having some sort of surgical procedure performed on her, but they know she’s pregnant and so her physical form is currently off limits. 

 

Obviously Gilead seems to be lacking in a lot of what used to be medical advancements, so to me it makes sense that they’re not going to attempt to physically harm a pregnant handmaid at the moment because there’s too great a risk she could potentially lose the baby.

 

However, I have no doubt that all bets are off once June gives birth; they can certainly safely, or not so, mar and physically scar her in any way that they so wish before then doing away with her or having her try again for another family if they think she’s physically fit enough for that. 

 

 Janine was hurt when she was first being trained to become a handmaid, Emily was not pregnant when she had that disgusting surgery forced upon her, and the other handmaids all turned out not to be pregnant after their revolt at the same time they were tested or checked for such right along with June which is why they all sadly were so brutally tortured while June was fed soup. 

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June was also already told she's going to be executed as soon as she gives birth, by the ever charming and supportive Aunt Lydia.

I hope she snaps out of this crushing guilt and repentance, but I do understand how absolutely guilty she must be about her part of ruining that econofamily's lives, and about Annie's life.

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What a snore.   The formula, apparently, is lather-rinse-repeat (although actually shampooing is more entertaining and rewarding than the hour I wasted on this episode).

Elizabeth Moss cannot act.   She can muster a few glares that make her appear constipated, but everything else seems above her pay grade.   Yvonne Strahovski is running laps around her despite having half as much screen time.  

I'm not sure I'd call June's visit to the wall gaslighting or brainwashing.  More of a reality check.   June did impose herself on Omar.   Gilead killed him, but June's exploitation of Omar's compassion set the dominoes in motion.     Is it brainwashing to show her the consequences of her actions?    She placed her needs ahead of his and ahead of his family's despite knowing the risk they faced.  Gilead is a bad place, to be sure.  But when is it ever okay to endanger others to save yourself?   With each new episode June is seeming more and more selfish.   In this episode we witness that June was a homewrecker long before she put the Omars in jeopardy.   I have a strong feeling there are many better candidates for our sympathy in Gilead than June Osborne.

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1 hour ago, mamadrama said:

More and more I am finding myself wanting to see more, and know more, of Serena Joy and Aunt Lydia. To me, those women are the complicated and interesting characters. I swear I could watch an entire season of the downfall (or uprising, depending on how you look at it) of both, but especially of Serena Joy. The fact that she was a "regular" woman with a "normal" wardrobe, sexual desires, a JOB, and political activities and is now basically relegated to a prison of sorts-and one that SHE helped create-fascinates me. And though Aunt Lydia pisses me off to no end and scares the beejesus out of me, I LOVE how complex her character is. I don't see her necessarily as "evil." She reminds me a lot of someone of the women around where I live. Their religion, or how they interpret their religion, dictates that they act in a certain way and yet their humanity comes through from time to time and tries to overshadow that. I think that Aunt Lydia truly believes in what Gilead is doing and honestly thinks that she's doing the best by "her" girls. And yet, she's smart enough, and human enough, to know that she's also basically just fucking with them. I think a part of her likes June, and I think she'd throw Serena Joy under a bus (or have someone else do it) before she let her hurt June. Yet, at the same time, she relishes her controlling position and believes in the doctrine enough to go along with whatever fucked-up things that the society does to the Handmaids. 

I would really like to see some of the background of Aunt Lydia.  IRL i am curious about some powerful women who use their position to push and keep other women down thinking that the agenda they are following wont  turn around and bring them down as well no matter how many womens necks they are standing on.  What was lydia like before Giliad? Was it power or faith or self preservation that created this monster. 

I thought the wives had more power than the Aunts, but seeing Lydia with Serena Joy, now i am not so sure. i also want a flashback because Ann Dowd is just fabulous.

One last thing (memory refresher please), what had been written on the closet wall? Also was it painted over or ripped out.

Edited by Poohbear617
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1 minute ago, Poohbear617 said:

 

One last thing (memory refresher please), what had been written on the closet wall? Also was it painted over or ripped out.

The previous handmaid had scratched the equivalent of "don't let the bastards get you down" in Latin into the wall. It appeared to me that it had been sanded over. I wondered if Offred felt like that was her fault, too. Another instance of her betraying the "other woman."

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During the baby shower I was thinking, damn, baby showers are often boring, but going to a baby shower when you aren't even the guest of honor even though you're the pregnant one is a special kind of terrible.

3 hours ago, Poohbear617 said:

I would really like to see some of the background of Aunt Lydia.  IRL i am curious about some powerful women who use their position to push and keep other women down thinking that the agenda they are following wont  turn around and bring them down as well no matter how many womens necks they are standing on.  What was lydia like before Giliad? Was it power or faith or self preservation that created this monster. 

I thought the wives had more power than the Aunts, but seeing Lydia with Serena Joy, now i am not so sure. i also want a flashback because Ann Dowd is just fabulous.

One last thing (memory refresher please), what had been written on the closet wall? Also was it painted over or ripped out.

There was an episode last season that revealed that Serena Joy had played herself by taking part in all this, which she seemed to recognize on some level. Aunt Lydia is all the way fucking in, so I wonder about her background too - I feel like she had to have been some kind of religious figure before. Was she a nun?

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Oh and I’m not saying what June did is anywhere near what Serena has done to her. I’m just saying, I think June is seeing similarities between them.

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How you get him is how you lose him, June. Just sayin'. *sigh* This ep felt redundant, and the brainwash scenario seems a bit rushed. I think the show needs to up its game by exploring the resistance network. Why isn't Nick suspected as a collaborator? How did his visits to June and overnight stays go unnoticed? I know the show is mostly from the handmaids' pov but if we can see scenes of the commander and his cronies, the narrative can branch out to show the resistance characters.

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24 minutes ago, numbnut said:

I think the show needs to up its game by exploring the resistance network. Why isn't Nick suspected as a collaborator? How did his visits to June and overnight stays go unnoticed? I know the show is mostly from the handmaids' pov but if we can see scenes of the commander and his cronies, the narrative can branch out to show the resistance characters.

Yeah ... I just really don't want to see 14 episodes of women being tortured. Like, I get it. There needs to be something else to move things along. What's going on in Canada?

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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Let me preface this next part by saying that yes, June and Luke were having an affair and that is a shitty thing to do. But Annie? Girl. Asking your husband's girlfriend to back off so you can work on your marriage? If your husband isn't going to stop fucking his sidepiece because you asked him to, what makes you think that he wants to work on your marriage? Do you really want to be his second choice who he came back to just because his mistress walked away? And do you really want to stay married to someone who calls just to yell at you?

Yeah, while I dislike cheating and think Luke was an ass to treat Annie like that, Annie's ultra clingy behavior was a bit off putting. I noticed she mentioned Luke being her "first", which makes me wonder if she feel into the Gilead ideology at some point. Maybe she became an Aunt? I could see it.

As for whether June has any fault for what happened to Omar and his family: he was a part of the resistance, a secret Muslim, and had a fertile wife. If it hadn't been June that was one of the dominoes in his downfall, it would likely have been something else. So while yes, taking her in sped up his tragedy, it was probably always coming. It isn't all June's fault.

While it is probably too much to hope for to have him get assassinated or stomped to death, I hope Waterford gets sent to Canada and gets a huge wake up call. The Commanders are living awful nice in their little Gilead cocoons, they can hand wave away the rest of the world. I would love Waterford to be treated like the shit he is by the both foreign government officials and ,of course, protesting citizens. Maybe Luke can redeem himself a little and punch Waterford in his face. I'm sure Moira will let Luke know who Waterford is.

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"It's not your fault. Not that part."

June didn't expect anyone else to do what she did. Ofglen, I guess the successor to Emily, chose to speak up, right? I haven't re-watched the first season. 

I'm still watching, just finished that part of it.

I don't think it was crazy of the ex-wife to approach June. 

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I do think that June absolutely is to blame for what happened to Omars family. She literally stood in front of his truck and refused to move. He would have to literally run down a pregnant woman to drive away. She really didn’t give him much of an option but to take her with him. Yes, he agreed to take her to a safe house, that was it. We don’t know just what his role in the resistance was or anything else. When the safe house  was compromised and no longer safe, he wanted to leave her there and she forced his hand. He was nice enough to bring her to his house and his wife was clearly terrified. She really gave no Thought  about what danger she was putting that family in. There was even a moment in the last episode when she’s looking out the window!!! She’s supposed to not touch anything  or make a movement and she’s going through his things and looking out windows. 

Same with the Janine situation. I hate to agree with Aunt Lydia but she has a point. June gets to make this great “stand” and not stone Janine and all the handmaids stand together, but she’s absolved from any punishment because she’s pregnant. Hand maids are being burned and having tongues ripped out And her boyfriend is helping her escape. I get annoyed with June constantly because she doesn’t seem to think long term. She knows how this society works and instead of biding her time  and trying to be smart she’s just lashing out and getting people in trouble. She comes across as extremely selfish and self serving. She’s not the only woman suffering under this regime and she keeps wanting help from everyone else but who is she helping? 

That flashback did her no favors either. Real nice June and Luke.

I liked this episode a lot actually because it was a serious wake up call for June to be honest. 

I also agree with a lot of other posters that Serena and Lydia are much more interesting. I’m also not a fan of Elizabeth Moss and I struggle to rally behind June. 

Emily/ofglen was a thousand times more interesting 

Edited by GraceK
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56 minutes ago, Empress1 said:

Yeah ... I just really don't want to see 14 episodes of women being tortured. Like, I get it. There needs to be something else to move things along. What's going on in Canada?

I think if we can go through a whole episode in the colonies, we can spend one in Canada. I bet they have lights there-- maybe not in the apartment where Luke & company live in Little America, but in Canada at large, maybe at the American Embassy too. I can think of a whole lot of things to do on this show other than wasting time sitting in dark rooms doing nothing, and dragging out torment and sex scenes.

38 minutes ago, HeySandyStrange said:

Yeah, while I dislike cheating and think Luke was an ass to treat Annie like that, Annie's ultra clingy behavior was a bit off putting. I noticed she mentioned Luke being her "first", which makes me wonder if she feel into the Gilead ideology at some point. Maybe she became an Aunt? I could see it.

I thought she said she was Luke's first-- it struck me as odd, so I may have it wrong. I can't sit through that again to confirm. Does anyone else remember?

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I have nothing to say that has not been said except Luke's ex-wife has a GLORIOUS head of hair

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Yep, the guilt for those deaths and where the wife and child ended up, lies with those who rule Gilead. 

It was creepy watching her turn into Stepford Offred. 

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36 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

None of that was June's fault.

The fault lies squarely on the men and women who slaughtered the elected leaders, got rid of the US Constitution, enslaved or murdered the intelligentsia, and anyone else who could stand up to them, anyone else that dared to have a different religion than the new state religion, and have made women not much more than slaves.

It was NOT wrong for June to try to escape.  She didn't murder that man, GILEAD did.

Luke and June are flawed people, this isn't some fairy tale where the the leads have never done anything wrong in their lives.  This is a story about average people, people who get divorced and remarry, people who cheat, people who are not perfect paragons of humanity.  Just like the people I know really.  Life isn't perfect, and neither are they.  I honestly don't know a single "perfect" person in real life, or one who hasn't made mistakes.  That's the story Atwood told.

As for June, and Moss?  They keep me riveted to the screen, much like all the other amazing actors and roles on this show.  For me, I still struggle a bit with the casting of Nick, but he isn't terrible, and I can suspend that. 

As for Annie?  I sympathized with her as well.  It sounded like she was drinking the koolaid a bit, but that could have just been someone deeply religious, who took her vows before God seriously, and the only man she'd ever had sex with was Luke.  Another powerful actress, who covered so many different emotions in such a short scene.  

I don't blame June for feeling guilt over that, but I still say the biggest fault/sin/nastiness  was Luke's.  HE took the vows, HE treated his wife like shit and didn't seem to, even one time, consider her feelings or her pain.  Are many men like that?  Oh of course, but even an apology to her would have gone a long way with me.  Again though?  Atwood didn't write any perfect people.  Each had good and bad in them.

I was riveted to the screen on this episode too.  I love how they are not jumping all over the place, and they are letting the various worlds play out.  There was a lot to cover in this one, and I'm glad our time with June chained to the bed was brief, it was just enough to show us where June had been, but it was not dragged out to torture porn.  At all.

The woman with her tongue cut out spoke up, defied Aunt Lydia first.  When June dropped her rock, she was willing to die, she in no way expected the other handmaids to join her in doing so, nor did she prompt them in any way to do so.  They ALL KNEW they would be punished for doing that, and they knew the kinds of punishments Gilead prefers.  They knew as much as June, and refusing to stone Janeen was their choice anyway. 

This was watching many of the mind fucks Gilead uses, and they worked this time, on June, because her guilt was overwhelming, she cared about that family she'd been with for a few hours, she cared about Annie, she deeply cares about her own daughter.  She feels the guilt Gilead wants her to feel, and for now, it's crushed her into clinging to her the only solution she has in that place...towing their line.

Hopefully she will snap out of it or think and feel her way out of it soon, and I'm looking forward to watching that happen, in Moss's extremely capable hands.

The blame though?  The responsibly and guilt and horror?

Belongs to Gilead.

 

All of this is correct and I agree. 

It doesn’t absolve her though from any responsibility. Actions have consequences. That’s all I’m saying. Her actions were directly responsible for this family being destroyed. Of course the ultimate blame ultimately lies with the oppressors, and the society itself. But as long as June continues to live in a society that murders dissenters and “ nonbelievers” and “rebels” and “rule breakers”, and they have the power to utterly control human beings, then she should think more how about her actions affect other people. That’s my issue with June. She acts like she’s this defiant bad ass and we are supposed to admire her and I don’t. I think she’s short sighted and she suffers for it, and other women suffer for it.

Also, what irked me was that she didn’t really give them a choice . She literally put herself in front of Omar’s truck and forced him to take her or he would have to run her down. The wife wasn’t onboard with June being there and because of his kindness he’s dead and she’s a hand maid and the son lost his family. It pisses me off that her life was more important to her.

Edited by GraceK
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9 minutes ago, GraceK said:

All of this is correct and I agree. 

It doesn’t absolve her though from any responsibility. Actions have consequences. That’s all I’m saying. Her actions were directly responsible for this family being destroyed. Of course the ultimate blame ultimately lies with the oppressors, and the society itself. But as long as June continues to live in a society that murders dissenters and “ nonbelievers” and “rebels” and “rule breakers”, and they have the power to utterly control human beings, then she should think more how about her actions affect other people. That’s my issue with June. She acts like she’s this defiant bad ass and we are supposed to admire her and I don’t. I think she’s short sighted and she suffers for it, and other women suffer for it.

Also, what irked me was that she didn’t really give them a choice . She literally put herself in front of Omar’s truck and forced him to take her or he would have to run her down. The wife wasn’t onboard with June being there and because of his kindness he’s dead and she’s a hand maid and the son lost his family. It pisses me off that her life was more important to her.

I do see your point, but you could also blame the man for getting involved with the resistance in the first place, and endangering his family. 

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12 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Or, she should think about escaping from it.

Which, she did.

In no way do I think she should simply "accept her fate and tow the line" simply because she or someone else may suffer, that's not how escaping from oppressive regimes works, that's not how the underground railroad worked either, or any other time people tried to escape from terror.  There are never any safe methods, not for them, not for those who help them, and not for those they leave behind.

That doesn't make them wrong for trying to escape.  Never.

I never said she shouldn’t try to escape. When did I say she should just try to toe the line? I said she was short sighted. That she should think long term. Instead of just cursing people out and having defiant fits and getting herself hurt and people in trouble. People are literally dying and being maimed all around her, some for trying to help her. What has she done to help other women? She expects everyone to help her get to safety , to her get her daughter, to help her escape. That’s the major issue with Omar and his family. They were collateral damage in her effort to save herself.

 

thats my basic problem with June. 

Edited by GraceK
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1 hour ago, LordOfLotion said:

I thought she said she was Luke's first-- it struck me as odd, so I may have it wrong. I can't sit through that again to confirm. Does anyone else remember?

That's what I heard too. My interpretation is that Annie was implying that Luke is only with June because of the sexual novelty and not because he has deep feelings for her.

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7 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Man, that "June did the bad stuff but Offred doesn't have to carry her guilt" was as crazy as the First Audrina/Second Audrina stuff in My Sweet Audrina. Aunt Lydia blaming June for causing Omar's death sounded like an abusive husband saying, "Why do you make me beat you? You know how I get!"

 

Luke's gonna be sticking her in a rocking chair up in Canada to bring forth "June's" gifts once she gets up there. 

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1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

When did June "expect" people to help her?  That escape was sprung on her, she wasn't expecting it, she knew NO details at all.  She was given a chance and took that chance.

What do you think powerless June is supposed to do, suggest that all the handmaids escape together? 

People who escaped from the USSR knew their families would be punished when they did, and punished severely.  So they should have just stayed put?

Slaves that escaped on the underground railroad knew that other slaves they knew would be beaten and restricted even more when they did, so they just should have STAYED THERE?

People escaping from concentration camps KNEW other prisoners would be punished for their escape.  So again, instead of trying to get out they should have just stayed there?

I honestly don't understand what you are saying, and it certainly does sound like blaming the victims here.  It's all the woman's fault for trying to save herself, for refusing to stone to death a kind and helpless women.

Wow.

If your immediately going to accuse me of victim blaming women in The Handmaids Tale just because I’m not crazy about June and I happen to disagree with you on the issue of Omar, then there is no rational conversation to be had here. 

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1 hour ago, LordOfLotion said:

 

I thought she said she was Luke's first-- it struck me as odd, so I may have it wrong. I can't sit through that again to confirm. Does anyone else remember?

Yes, she said she was Luke’s first. It was probably a kind of territorial thing—like, June, I had him first and now you’re enjoying everything I taught him in bed.

Edited by rubinia
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@GraceK

I honestly don't know what you are saying, if it's other than blaming the victim, please enlighten me.  Also, though I quoted you in that post, you are not the only one saying things like that.  I'm trying to understand what else you, and several others could possibly mean.

I'm not being sarcastic or judgemental, I really mean exactly what I said.  Nothing more, and nothing less.

I honestly don't understand what you are saying, and it certainly does sound like blaming the victims here.  It's all the woman's fault for trying to save herself, for refusing to stone to death a kind and helpless women.

Wow.

Edited by Umbelina
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I agree that June should be a little more aware about how her desires (desires to leave, desires to rebel, etc.) affect others. I also agree that she is a little short-sighted and should be thinking long-term. Where I give her a pass is that I don't think she truly knew how awful the world out there was until her failed escape escapades. They were holed up in that cabin for a long time-even Luke didn't seem to know about the small towns that had been wiped out. Her reaction at the Boston Globe showed that she didn't know that had happened. In the Red Center, they were fed info as needed, and most of it was propaganda. Then, as a Handmaid, she's gotten relatively little news. I am sure that she knew that things were "bad", because even sequestered folks should receive some kind of news at this point, but it all may have been a hypothetical until she saw Omar's body. Going forward she might make other choices. 

I also agree that the people in the resistance chose to help out so those decisions are on THEM as well. Omar's wife and child are definitely victims in all of this because it doesn't seem like they were given choices at all (she may not have known about her husband's activities). June did throw herself at the truck and demand that Omar take her somewhere but, in that moment, he was her only connection to the people who were helping her and she panicked. Omar took a risk by taking her to his house, just as he took a risk by being in the resistance to start with. One of the good things that I think this show does is offer up imperfect characters in a horrible world. They don't always react the way we want them to, they're not even always likable, but they're totally human. 

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1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

I honestly don't know what you are saying, if it's other than blaming the victim, please enlighten me.  Also, though I quoted you in that post, you are not the only one saying things like that.  I'm trying to understand what else you could possibly mean.

I'm not being sarcastic or judgemental, I really mean exactly what I said.  Nothing more, and nothing less.

I honestly don't understand what you are saying, and it certainly does sound like blaming the victims here.  It's all the woman's fault for trying to save herself, for refusing to stone to death a kind and helpless women.

Wow.

If I am coming across that way, that is most definitely not my intention at all. One of my favorite moments of last season was when they refused to stone Janine. The thought of these women still having that basic human decency in themselves despite all the beat downs they have suffered was awesome and it brought me to tears. And I love those moments in this series because this series as a whole is pretty freaking bleak and horrible. It just keeps piling on the horrible after horrible. Last week I was literally sick to my stomach cause I knew that freaking plane was gonna never leave the airstrip. I knew doom was coming and I was so sick of June getting SO CLOSE and never making it. I cheered for Emily in the colonies when she gave that Wife those pills and I cried for her in her flashback. So no, I’m definitely not a victim blamer ok? I love these characters and I suffer through this series even though it makes me sad.

What I was trying to say in regards to June and Omar is that in my opinion, I feel that June was selfish in her actions. I don’t blame her, she is trying to escape a hellish experience and she’s doing what she can to survive and get the hell out of dodge. Fine. That doesn’t mean she’s a saint. That doesn’t she’s above reproach. She made a choice with Nick to try to get to Canada. Omar made a choice to get her to a safe house. When that was compromised, She took that choice out of Omar’s hand and forced him to keep helping her. She stood in front of his truck and basically said , help me or kill me. Now, your free to think that that’s cool, that’s the price to pay for freedom for whatever, that people get hurt to get rid of oppressive regimes. Fine. That’s your opinion. I don’t agree with that, because his wife didn’t have that choice, and his son didn’t. He took her into his house, told her not to touch anything and stay quiet. She preceded to go through his things and look out windows. Who knows who saw what? The end result of her making that choice for this family ended up with him dead, the mother a hand maid and the son adopted. Did she mean for that to happen? No. But it did happen. I’m not saying June is a bad person, ok?  We have seen things mostly from her point of view, and we are obviously supposed to root for her. Me personally, I root her yes, but I don’t find her very likable. 

And I absolutely want to this society crumble and destroyed. I want to see her escape. I think we see things a little different when it comes to June so maybe we should just agree to disagree?

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Yeah I get that people aren't perfect but this episode left me unsure of how to feel about June. I never thought of her as a superhero genius just the average person suddenly finding herself in this horrifying situation but there was too much unlikeable piled on in this episode and I don't know why they did that. I mean I never cared much about Luke as he always seemed like the standard issue douchey bro. Annie definitely said that she was HIS first. I cringed at her behavior but it would be interesting if she turned up as an Aunt or something.

I too want to know Aunt Lidia's backstory. I really have no idea what she's actually thinking. Is she really a true believer or just in it to survive. 
I have a question who sanded off that carved in message in the closet?

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While I vehemently disagree that June is in any way responsible for Gilead hurting the people who tried to help her, I do agree that she's not thinking long-term. She made the right decision to go back to the Waterfords, since staying chained to the bed at the Red Center until she gives birth gave her zero chance of escape. But then she needlessly jeopardized her situation by telling Serena about the baby kicking and her first baby shower, to the point where Serena asked Fred to have June sent back to the Red Center. I'm sure it felt good to say those things in the moment and get a rise out of Serena, but once June is no longer pregnant, she will be punished all the more. Her best strategy is to play nice with the Waterfords and Aunt Lydia and draw as little attention to herself as possible while secretly trying to arrange another escape with Nick.

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Ofglen 2 has no tongue 

 

Also Luke yelling at his wife to leave his mistress alone-YIKES 

 

The bread delivery guy :(

Edited by dmc
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There's something I'm confused about. Is Boston now the capital of Gilead? What does Gilead out of Boston look like anyway, are there any other urban centers left or it's just wasteland and colonies? Are those Commanders we're seeing running the entire country or just the local branch? Because they're definitely acting like they're running both domestic and foreign affairs of their nation. Speaking of foreign affairs, for some reason I have a feeling that Fred is being set up by some of his fellows and is going to meet his end on his Canadian mission.

Man, Aunt Lydia's perkiness was scary AF, and then of course she goes on to pull that psycho manipulative trick on June. She continues to be the most fascinating character on the show. The way she simultaneously seems to truly believe what she preaches and live by it AND enjoys being in the position of power and having the ability to mess with these women's minds is really something else. All credit must go to Ann Dowd. 

Serena is also fascinating in a way. Not that I feel even remotely sorry for her, but she's also living in a hell that she helped create with her own hands, and she knows it. She's fully aware of just how utterly ridiculous all those rituals are, but she has no other option but to play along because having a baby is the only thing that can give her at least a semblance of a meaning and a purpose in her life. It's not even about whether she genuinely wants to have a baby or not as she's literally deprived of all other options - which is something she was once happy to impose onto other women without thinking she could end up in their shoes some day. And again, she knows it. That scene with her climbing into June's bed was extremely disturbing. It seems that just like June, she's also willing slipping into madness in a way in order to preserve her bare life. 

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13 minutes ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

it’s interesting to see how easily viewers are swaying to what put so many of these women in the situation they are in. No one has a mind or will of their own, fault only lies with these nefarious women who forced those in their path to do their bidding.

I feel like i just said this last episode discussion, but June is not without flaw or a saint and I don’t think anyone defending June is saying that. But i’m confused with this weekly trend of chastising her for this every flaw or the insistence that she’s not handling sexual enslavement or escaping said enslavement in the correct manner, because THIS is the correct manner: ”...”.  

Just like June is responsible for her actions, so is everyone else, including the other handmaids who spoke up. Luke is responsible for fucking around on his wife. Omar is responsible for working with the resistance and putting his family in danger, etc. The point of these actions isn’t to blame one person. The point of this is how Gilead responds to such actions. Just because June is blaming herself for everything just as Aunt Lydia wants her to doesn’t mean that should be the message we’re supposed to take away. in fact, i’d think it’d be clear we shouldn’t side with one of the cogs of Gilead working to destroy women and their agency and punishing them for being flawed. 

We see this happen just about every day, with "IRL" issues, too. Just after the Golden State Killer was captured, I saw a Daily Fail headline blaming the woman he was engaged to as a young man, for leaving him - they made it sound like she left, so he started raping and murdering people. In my own life, I've been punished for years after my BIL kept hitting on me, and causing trouble between my sister and I. She would veer from "it's ridiculous" (that he might have hit on me), to "he lived on a kibbutz for a couple of years, so he thought that was normal" or "he apologized, let it go". She married him years after he started this, and we have no relationship now. All because I don't want to be around him. I watched my mum deal with that with an uncle - he once promised that things would be okay with my aunt, if mum stopped visiting, so we were thrown out. A woman is raped by her fiance, but it wasn't considered rape thirty years ago, because they were already sleeping together. I was treated like shit by family, because I, the single woman, was seen to be trying to break up my sister and her husband, when that wasn't the case at all. Never had been, I just didn't want to be around him- and this happened in the last six years. 

So I'm not always surprised when men aren't blamed for anything. It left me even more of a feminist, and is one of the reasons this show freaks me out. All of the toxic BS in my life, thanks to one man, and people thinking someone should sweep things under the rug, and not hold onto those boundaries, for a woman about to get married.

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3 hours ago, Umbelina said:

None of that was June's fault.

The fault lies squarely on the men and women who slaughtered the elected leaders, got rid of the US Constitution, enslaved or murdered the intelligentsia, and anyone else who could stand up to them, anyone else that dared to have a different religion than the new state religion, and have made women not much more than slaves.

It was NOT wrong for June to try to escape.  She didn't murder that man, GILEAD did.

 

Say your cruise ship just sank in shark-infested waters.   You and a small group of survivors are clinging to floating debris, praying for help to arrive soon.   Everybody's telling each other, "stay calm, don't thrash around, don't do anything to attract sharks."  Then, one guy shouts that he sees a boat on the horizon.   Nobody else sees it, just him.    He starts to wave his arms, starts yelling, splashing.   Everybody warns him to stop, there's no boat, and even if there is it's too far away, they'll never see you anyway, but the sharks just might.  "Screw you all!  I gotta save myself!" he says and makes a bigger commotion.    Sharks appear and devour several members of the group, ironically the ones who had asked him to stop.    Whose fault is it? 

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53 minutes ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

Just like June is responsible for her actions, so is everyone else, including the other handmaids who spoke up. Luke is responsible for fucking around on his wife. Omar is responsible for working with the resistance and putting his family in danger, etc. The point of these actions isn’t to blame one person. The point of this is how Gilead responds to such actions. Just because June is blaming herself for everything just as Aunt Lydia wants her to doesn’t mean that should be the message we’re supposed to take away. in fact, i’d think it’d be clear we shouldn’t side with one of the cogs of Gilead working to destroy women and their agency and punishing them for being flawed. 

 

I think there are various degrees of responsibility and blame. For starters, I don't think June should be held responsible in any way for the punishment of other handmaids. She did not ask them to do anything and if they followed her example it's only because they chose it themselves. 

As for her affair with Luke or rather Luke's affair with her, I kinda hated how heavily it was featured in this episode where blame and shame were running themes. As much as it sucks to have the person you love and who supposedly loves you too fall for someone else (and believe me, I've been there), what June and Luke did was nowhere near the level of horror Gilead is putting people through, no matter what Aunt Lydia has to say about that.

Now, when it comes to Omar and his family, it does get a bit complicated, IMO. Obviously he never intended to take her home and only did it because she insisted. And I totally understand why she did it and why she felt like she had no other options at that particular moment, just like I understand why he, as an essentially good man, couldn't just leave her to her fate right there in the middle of nowhere. In the end, he made the choice for himself, but this time June had an active role in it and it's only natural she'd feel some guilt overt on the consequences of that choice instead of just waving her hand and being all like "Oh well, too bad for him". And of course Aunt Lydia would then go on to use it to her advantage.

Edited by Joana
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When June was brought back to the Waterford house, I thought well, one small consolation is that at least she won’t be subjected to the monthly rape ceremonies. 

Then near the end of the episode, I thought yo, Serena, I don’t think your handmaid/baby incubator agreed to being groped in the middle of the night. 

Not only do they expect June to just give up her rape baby, but she is supposed to be cool with Serena’s late night creeping. It may seem minor compared to the other indignities imposed upon June, but it’s just as gross and inappropriate.

Part of me imagined Serena’s snuggling belly rubs would be what snapped Offred back into June: “Lady, do you mind? I’m trying to sleep here! The baby needs rest. Aunt Lydia said so. Being kidnapped was awfully tiring so GET OUT OF MY BED!”

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo · Reason: Typo
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4 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

When June was brought back to the Waterford house, I thought well, one small consolation is that at least she won’t be subjected to the monthly rape ceremonies. 

Then near the end of the episode, I thought yo, Serena, I don’t think your handmaid/baby incubator agreed to being groped in the middle of the night. 

Not only do they expect June to just give up her rape baby, but she is supposed to be cool with Serena’s late night creeping. It may seem minor compared to the other indignaties imposed upon June, but it’s just as gross and inappropriate.

Part of me imagined Serena’s snuggling belly rubs would be what snapped Offred back into June: “Lady, do you mind? I’m trying to sleep here! The baby needs rest. Aunt Lydia said so. Being kidnapped was awfully tiring so GET OUT OF MY BED!”

That creeped me out, too. I was thinking about that a little while ago. 

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I can’t deal with this show any longer. It’s just torture porn at this point. Cutting out tongues, eyes, arms. Female genital mutilation. Fingernails ripping out from radiation. If I wanted to see that I’d watch Hostel or Saw.

Are we watching in hopes that June makes it out? That Gilead falls soon?

There is no part of watching the men and women of Gilead subject these women to horrors that is enjoyable to watch. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, especially if they want the show to last more than another season. It’s grim and bleak and physically uncomfortable to watch. While that it fine for a movie, it doesn’t make me want to tune in next week to see what disgusting and shocking thing they can think of doing to these poor rape victims.  

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4 hours ago, GraceK said:

If your immediately going to accuse me of victim blaming women in The Handmaids Tale just because I’m not crazy about June and I happen to disagree with you on the issue of Omar, then there is no rational conversation to be had here. 

For what it's worth, I agree with you. June has behaved recklessly in ways that unnecessarily endangered others assisting her during a dangerous time. Yes, it's not the fault of the victims; at the same time, why do something that shines a big bright light on someone who is on your side? Last week, I was literally screaming, "STOP LOOKING OUT THE DAMN WINDOW" as she watched Omar and his family going to church. 

It's not rocket science. Everyone is in danger. Don't do things that put others in more/unnecessary danger. Especially when they're risking everything to help you as it is.

As for this episode, as others have said: It's time to focus on Lydia or another character/aspect of Gilead.

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