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S02.E04: Other Women

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1 hour ago, millennium said:

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? 

I like this analogy. I am curious, and not in a snarky way at all, what you think YOU might do in this situation? I'm honestly just curious because I've been trying to put myself in that situation and think about what I would do but I can't come up with anything. I can come up with lots of things that I wouldn't do, but am having trouble with a line of action which makes me think that there may not be one. It's passive, but waiting things out for a bit and getting everyone around me into a false sense of security until I could do something might be the best bet. Where I feel frustration on June's behalf is that it really does seem like she has to wait on someone to "rescue" her. Without a good sense of the new infrastructure, without knowing anyone in Gilead who could provide safe housing, without having a way to store provisions she's kind of stuck just hoping someone will "rescue" her. That sucks. 

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I know someone who loves to assign blame in any kind of situation-- fictional, personal, in the news, if there's blame to be had, she'll figure out where it goes and nail it to the person's forehead. Whenever anything happens, the most important thing to her is to figure out whose fault it is, even if it's herself. It's rare when it's herself, but occasionally it's her. Now this isn't because she's interested in the truth. It's because occasionally blaming herself gives her credibility, so that when she dishes out the blame on others for the big stuff, people will believe her.

That's because assigning blame, or fault, or whatever you want to call it, isn't about getting people to take responsibility. With people like that person I know, it's about covering her own ass. In the case of Lydia and Gilead, it's all about protecting the status quo, or Gilead. Once blame is assigned, people feel guilty, and you can get them to do what you want, or if you've assigned it to deflect blame from yourself, you will not be under attack. Other than that, blame is mostly useless for immediate survival unless you're deciding who gets rations, or if you're trying to figure out who is trustworthy, something like that.

We're talking about people who are being held prisoner by other people who are "looking for a reason." Whether June runs away or runs her mouth, the aunts and the goons with guns every 20 feet are going to find a reason to justify their existence. Whether it's because a handmaid runs over people in a car, or someone comes home with Miracle Whip instead of real mayonnaise, everyone in Gilead is going to suffer because torturing, maiming and killing is simply what this regime does-- no matter what.

Whatever happened in the past doesn't matter. Which handmaid said what to whom doesn't matter. As long as people blame themselves and each other for what the regime does, Gilead will continue to do it.

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4 hours ago, rubinia said:

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.

 

 I agree with you, she sounded incredibly territorial and basically she spent that scene marking her territory, at least verbally.  Could the downfall of the relationship have been in part due to her controlling nature? Wouldn’t be the first time in a doomed marriage. 

 

There was no doubt in her mind that if June would just go away she could get, lure, snatch, Luke back, which to me sounded a bit delusional because when someone doesn’t want you it usually is not because of someone else but because they just don’t want you. It may be hard to handle and hard to accept but it doesn’t mean it’s not true. 

 

 As sad as it can be just because you marry someone that does not mean that you will stay married to them, people grow apart for all number of reasons, she did mention that he made vows to her, and at the time when he made then he could very well have meant to keep them, but human beings make all sorts of promises they actually can’t keep or won’t.  

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30 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

 

Torture porn would be watching them cut out her tongue and lots of close ups of the bloody mess, probably while someone jacked off in ecstasy or raped her or others forced to watch.  Many people had their tongues cut out in Panem, routinely, and I never heard Hunger Games referred to as torture porn.

I'm watching to see how Gilead eventually ends, and all that goes into that, as well as the very personal stories of those trapped in that horrible web, and outside of it. 

I do however agree, that there needs to be light at the end of the tunnel.  Maybe we will soon see some of that through the eyes of our other escapees in Canada.  I'd love some outside world information about opinions and action plans about Gilead.  I'd prefer they wrap this up in four seasons at the most.  There is an epilogue at the end of the book, and following and exploring that would be wonderful for the final season. 

As a hardcore horror enthusiast, agreed. Torture porn shows actual torture for the sake of entertainment. If this were torture porn, we'd have seen them holding down Ofglen 2.0 and there would've been an extreme closeup of the knife going into the tissue. With the burning of the arm, the camera would've been up close and personal and not only would we've seen the burning flesh bubble, they'd have cut that arm off and played a little volleyball with it. 

This is hard to watch but it's fairly mild and most of what happens has been left to our imagination. Even Emily's "surgery" was only hinted at. 

There does need to be some kind of light. We're going to need a reason to breathe sooner or later. People get worn out with bad thing after bad thing after bad thing happening. That's one of the reasons why I, as a devoted Walking Dead fan, stopped watching the show two seasons ago. I love zombies and apocalyptic shows but I need to see folks enjoying themselves from time to time. 

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37 minutes ago, CaliCheeseSucks said:

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.

I was going crazy just listening to the noise June was making as she waited. Let’s play with marbles when no one is supposed to be home... great idea! 

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18 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

I know someone who loves to assign blame in any kind of situation-- fictional, personal, in the news, if there's blame to be had, she'll figure out where it goes and nail it to the person's forehead. Whenever anything happens, the most important thing to her is to figure out whose fault it is, even if it's herself. It's rare when it's herself, but occasionally it's her. Now this isn't because she's interested in the truth. It's because occasionally blaming herself gives her credibility, so that when she dishes out the blame on others for the big stuff, people will believe her.

That's because assigning blame, or fault, or whatever you want to call it, isn't about getting people to take responsibility. With people like that person I know, it's about covering her own ass. In the case of Lydia and Gilead, it's all about protecting the status quo, or Gilead. Once blame is assigned, people feel guilty, and you can get them to do what you want, or if you've assigned it to deflect blame from yourself, you will not be under attack. Other than that, blame is mostly useless for immediate survival unless you're deciding who gets rations, or if you're trying to figure out who is trustworthy, something like that.

We're talking about people who are being held prisoner by other people who are "looking for a reason." Whether June runs away or runs her mouth, the aunts and the goons with guns every 20 feet are going to find a reason to justify their existence. Whether it's because a handmaid runs over people in a car, or someone comes home with Miracle Whip instead of real mayonnaise, everyone in Gilead is going to suffer because torturing, maiming and killing is simply what this regime does-- no matter what.

Whatever happened in the past doesn't matter. Which handmaid said what to whom doesn't matter. As long as people blame themselves and each other for what the regime does, Gilead will continue to do it.

Why would she be covering her own ass if it's a fictional character, or something in the news? I've been on the receiving end of that, from someone I mentioned earlier, and I'm still baffled that it worked for her - although people are seeing what happened *now*. Shame they didn't listen until this year. 

I agree with you that the people running Gilead, assign blame for everything, but we never see them take any responsibility (unless I'm forgetting something). They think they're doing the right thing, and that's that. 

Edited by Anela
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A few other thoughts...

My gut feeling says that Annie has some part in Luke & June getting caught trying to escape. 

I agree with other posts that speculate we'll be seeing the Commander heading up to Canada sometime soon - that discussion happened for a reason.

I also want to see Aunt Lydia's backstory.  I sort of want her to be a rather normal person, but given a little power and then goes crazy with it.

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I have a hard time trusting Nick. I don’t know why exactly. Maybe it’s the actor but something about their whole escape plan being compromised at the last minute really didn’t sit well with me AT ALL. There had to be a mole somewhere.

9 minutes ago, chaifan said:

My gut feeling says that Annie has some part in Luke & June getting caught trying to escape. 

 

That’s interesting, because under Gilead Luke would have to return to Annie right? Because technically she would still be considered his wife. They would probably be Econopeople and I bet Hannah would get to stay with them, which is probably something Annie would want, her husband back and his baby. She was staring  at the happy family scene in the diner with lots of resentment.

Edited by GraceK
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2 minutes ago, GraceK said:

I have a hard time trusting Nick. I don’t know why exactly. Maybe it’s the actor but something about their whole escape plan being compromised at the last minute really didn’t sit well with me AT ALL. There had to be a mole somewhere.

He also risked being caught trying to free her. I doubt he had anything to do with her being caught. He also looked very stunned when he saw her in the kitchen.

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2 minutes ago, howivesforever said:

He also risked being caught trying to free her. I doubt he had anything to do with her being caught. He also looked very stunned when he saw her in the kitchen.

That’s true. Honestly I think the actor is just bad at emoting. His expression never changes. I still think someone ratted them out though. And something about Nick just seems off to me I don’t know WHY!! Lol

Edited by GraceK
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Just now, GraceK said:

That’s true. Honestly I think the actor is just bad at emoting. His expression never changes. I still think someone ratted them out though. 

Someone definitely ratted them out.

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3 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

I like this analogy. I am curious, and not in a snarky way at all, what you think YOU might do in this situation? I'm honestly just curious because I've been trying to put myself in that situation and think about what I would do but I can't come up with anything. I can come up with lots of things that I wouldn't do, but am having trouble with a line of action which makes me think that there may not be one. It's passive, but waiting things out for a bit and getting everyone around me into a false sense of security until I could do something might be the best bet. Where I feel frustration on June's behalf is that it really does seem like she has to wait on someone to "rescue" her. Without a good sense of the new infrastructure, without knowing anyone in Gilead who could provide safe housing, without having a way to store provisions she's kind of stuck just hoping someone will "rescue" her. That sucks. 

I don't think any of us can know what we're capable of until we find ourselves having to decide what we literally can and cannot live with.

That said, sometimes there is no escape.   Sometimes the very best you can do is to survive.   I think as Americans we're raised to believe in heroism, overcoming the odds, happy endings, etc.   We're so steeped in it that we feel inadequate if we don't have  a good answer to that question, "What would you do?"  But I think folks in other parts of the world would tell us that imagining you can do anything is a first-world fantasy, a luxury enjoyed by those who have never known true oppression.    

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18 minutes ago, Anela said:

Why would she be covering her own ass if it's a fictional character, or something in the news? I've been on the receiving end of that, from someone I mentioned earlier, and I'm still baffled that it worked for her - although people are seeing what happened *now*. Shame they didn't listen until this year. 

I agree with you that the people running Gilead, assign blame for everything, but we never see them take any responsibility (unless I'm forgetting something). They think they're doing the right thing, and that's that. 

Because it all funnels into people believing her ability to identify blame. It shows how she's an accurate blamer-- she's also "right all the time." Then when any doubts come up about her, she has that extra credibility. It took me years to figure out what she was doing.

Not everyone in Gilead believes in the religious dogma, so at least some of them are just engaged in oppression tactics.

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1 minute ago, LordOfLotion said:

Because it all funnels into people believing her ability to identify blame. It shows how she's an accurate blamer-- she's also "right all the time." Then when any doubts come up about her, she has that extra credibility. It took me years to figure out what she was doing.

Not everyone in Gilead believes in the religious dogma, so at least some of them are just engaged in oppression tactics.

But assigning blame to every little thing, is silly. 

They may not believe in the religious aspects - all of those men, visiting prostitutes, for example - but they do believe they're doing the right thing. Have we seen any of them admit guilt? I don't want to watch anything again, to find out. 

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I wondered, in the scene where Omar was sent to pick up June and found out the safehouse was compromised and June was in front of the truck pleading with him - why didn't he back up and turn a different direction?  There was room to back up and turn and if you were quick, June wouldn't have been in the way.

 

OR - why didn't he take her back to the Boston Globe offices?

 

It wasn't June's fault he chose to take her to his apartment.  It could have been an innocent comment by the child that outed him and the family for "housing" a handmaid.

 

They really got into June's head this episode and I hope she recovers soon.

 

I also hope that this series has a finite number of seasons so the writers can address the questions and issues in a logical and timely manner.  I would hate to have this be going on and on without a definite conclusion.  Nor would I want them to dig themselves into a hole and find out the series is canceled and they wrap everything up rushed and illogically.

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Someone may have ratted out whomever it was that was supposed to provide the safe house too.

Or someone inside the resistance was caught, tortured, and gave up information.

Or someone informed on that family, the wife said that she didn't trust any of her neighbors and there were informers. 

Or someone saw him arrive with his bread truck accompanied by June.  I don't think the last two are likely or the storm troopers would have simply broken down the door and captured June then and there, unless of course, the expected her to find her way to another link in the Gilead underground railroad, which turned out to be the pilot and plane.

Or, they were going to take the wife and kid anyway, and the husband offered up resistance information to try to save them.

SO very many possibilities. 

Edited by Umbelina
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Aunt Lydia is definitely an enigma. I really hope we get some back story on her cause I would love to get into that woman’s head. I honestly feel one minute that she genuinely does care for the  handmaids, then in the next second I feel she would mercilessly murder them all. She’s fascinating to me. What drives her really? And the acting is amazing!!!’ She conveys so much sympathy and threatening malevolence at the same time I don’t want to think!!

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1 minute ago, deSchenke said:

I wondered, in the scene where Omar was sent to pick up June and found out the safehouse was compromised and June was in front of the truck pleading with him - why didn't he back up and turn a different direction?  There was room to back up and turn and if you were quick, June wouldn't have been in the way.

 

OR - why didn't he take her back to the Boston Globe offices?

 

It wasn't June's fault he chose to take her to his apartment.  It could have been an innocent comment by the child that outed him and the family for "housing" a handmaid.

 

They really got into June's head this episode and I hope she recovers soon.

 

I also hope that this series has a finite number of seasons so the writers can address the questions and issues in a logical and timely manner.  I would hate to have this be going on and on without a definite conclusion.  Nor would I want them to dig themselves into a hole and find out the series is canceled and they wrap everything up rushed and illogically.

He didn't even know about the Boston Globe safe house.  They keep information VERY compartmentalized, in case someone is caught, they can't implicate too many others.

None of it was June's fault, or Omar's fault, or the "After awhile crocodile" guy's fault.  It's Gilead's fault.

As for why he didn't leave her, I suggest you watch the inside the episode thing for that.  June would still be in that shack, no food, water, nothing.  He wasn't coming back, I think that's why he took her.  He's a decent man, he couldn't leave someone to die, he couldn't leave a pregnant woman to die.  If he could have thought of another place to take her, instead of his own home, he would have.  He's just a stop in the underground railroad of Gilead though, and he didn't know any other places to take her after the safe house people were obviously murdered or hauled away.

It doesn't have a finite number, and I agree that will be a problem. 

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30 minutes ago, GraceK said:
35 minutes ago, chaifan said:

My gut feeling says that Annie has some part in Luke & June getting caught trying to escape.

That’s interesting, because under Gilead Luke would have to return to Annie right? Because technically she would still be considered his wife. They would probably be Econopeople and I bet Hannah would get to stay with them, which is probably something Annie would want, her husband back and his baby. She was staring  at the happy family scene in the diner with lots of resentment.

Oh, that's a good point, GraceK!  But he's still an adulterer, so would he have gotten off without punishment?  Also, what if Annie moved on after the divorce and had a new boyfriend or husband.  Then she'd be an adulterer, too.  I just think there's more to her story, and I would like to know what happens with/to her.

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I'm still wondering why the handmaid told her that "that part" wasn't her/June's fault. What did she blame her for? Did she know about Omar and his family? 

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23 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

 

Someone may have ratted out whomever it was that was supposed to provide the safe house too

 

This has actually made something occur to me that I think makes the most sense.

Omar picks June up to bring her to the safe house. He tells her the plan is bring her to the safe house, and from there someone will take her to the air strip to bring her to Canada.

He gets a call saying the safe house is compromised and no longer safe.

From this point on, I think June and Omar are already screwed. If the safehouse is compromised, chances are they are also aware of the plane.

June basically coerces Omar to take her with him anyway, he brings her to his apartment, yada yada, he never comes back from church, she goes to airstrip herself.

They are ambushed on takeoff.

 

So now I wonder, was Omar already in trouble before he even took June in? Once that Safehouse was compromised, then Gilead must have found out that Omar was the one who was supposed to drive June there. They probably arrested him  as soon as he left Church. Omar was doomed the moment he got the phone call that the safe house was compromised. The jig was up. They were expecting June to get on that plane so they had a chance to not only grab her, but to kill the  “terrorists” that “kidnapped “her. 

 

Aunt Lydia manipulated this horrible situation beautifully to make June more pliable and make her feel guilty.

Edited by GraceK
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16 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I don't think the last two are likely or the storm troopers would have simply broken down the door and captured June then and there, unless of course, the expected her to find her way to another link in the Gilead underground railroad, which turned out to be the pilot and plane.

I think this may actually be a real possibility. They knew she was there and wanted to see if she'll try to make a run by herself and help them catch a bigger fish, i.e. those who smuggle people out of the country. Her escape did seem too easy to me and I thought it was strange that she wasn't approached by guards at any point - but perhaps that was the plan all along.

9 minutes ago, Anela said:

I'm still wondering why the handmaid told her that "that part" wasn't her/June's fault. What did she blame her for? Did she know about Omar and his family? 

I think she was referring to their collective punishment, having their hands burned, as she was the leader of their little rebellion. But like I previously said, June cannot be blamed for that because even though she was the first to drop the stone, she never asked the other handmaids to follow her and didn't/couldn't know what they were going to do.

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June may be broken in this moment, but she is clever enough to figure out that she didn’t directly sentence Omar and family to their “punishment.” My theory is that Omar’s fate was sealed when this Mayday Unit was compromised. 

 

I’ve been thinking about Omar and family not returning home since last week, and my theory of why has everything to do with the compromised safe house in Episode 3. If the safe house was compromised, it’s a safe bet that someone in that house rolled over when promised protection, and started name-dropping. That’s why Omar and family never arrived home, they were already implicated and sentenced before anyone even knew June’s was in their home. (If they knew she was there, they would have knocked the door down.) I think the neighbor knocking on the door was a warning from Mayday, too little too late.

 

The plane was intercepted, thanks to the safe house intel. June was captured and sent to the Aunts. Three days have elapsed, and here’s what I theorize happened: 

1) the apartment had been searched, and June’s fingerprints are found on everything. Way to go not touching anything, especially in a society where every intimate detail of your physiology is documented. 

2) a dress is noted as missing from the econowife’s wardrobe, which is coincidentally on June. I would think that the totalitarian government would make sure that every econo-household item, like clothing, is inventoried at initial issue, just like an army supply. Probably even document items repurchased for the lower class too.

3) They were already well aware that June was somewhere out there. The safe house had known she was due for arrival, so she was already given up when it was compromised. 

 

All of this brings us to “now.” Mayday is silent due to the breach. It’s very convenient that June was captured, so they can use her as a scapegoat for their silence. If the resistance network knew that there was a compromised unit, distrust would be rampant, and no one would be willing to make a moves to fight the system. They’re not helping Handmaids escape anymore, but I’m willing to bet that they will use Handmaids as an liberation army in the future. 

 

Aunt Lydia changed the narriative on June’s capture to break her. She knows what really happened, that there is a real threat to order (Mayday), and it scares her. Lydia knows darn well that June is strong, and knows that she has to break her to keep her and the oppressive system in line, since June is a real threat to order. I hate that June is forcing herself to be this obidient Offred, but like a cult, she’s programming herself to survive (using chanting in an attempt to drown out thoughts, repetition of tenants, following protocols of desired behavior, all to keep herself in line).

 

TL:DR- A snitch from safe house lead to Omar and family being torn apart, not June. Lydia is afraid of the strength in June, so she’s being a lying suckity-suck to break June. June is programming herself to survive.

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48 minutes ago, millennium said:

I don't think any of us can know what we're capable of until we find ourselves having to decide what we literally can and cannot live with.

That said, sometimes there is no escape.   Sometimes the very best you can do is to survive.   I think as Americans we're raised to believe in heroism, overcoming the odds, happy endings, etc.   We're so steeped in it that we feel inadequate if we don't have  a good answer to that question, "What would you do?"  But I think folks in other parts of the world would tell us that imagining you can do anything is a first-world fantasy, a luxury enjoyed by those who have never known true oppression.    

Yes, I get that we don't know what we are capable of until we're in that situation. Before my little boy died I used to say things like, "Well if I lost a child then I'd..." But, of course, it's a lot different when you're in that situation. I was a travel writer based in Bosnia after the war. I've rented rooms from many people who found themselves under siege during those years, met with folks whose children were killed by snipers, stayed in buildings that were pockmarked by so much shrapnel that you couldn't tell the original color. It's realistic to know that you can't know how you'd react if you were in that situation yourself. However, as a fiction writer now, I like to think about hypotheticals and I enjoy hearing other people's ideas, realistic or not. 

Edited by mamadrama
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52 minutes ago, GraceK said:

I have a hard time trusting Nick. I don’t know why exactly. Maybe it’s the actor but something about their whole escape plan being compromised at the last minute really didn’t sit well with me AT ALL. There had to be a mole somewhere.

The show’s choice to never show how Nick was part of this resistance and how he was able to visit her and what suspicions he might’ve been under has made Nick too much of an unknown factor. Yes, he’s risking his life, no doubt, but when we only see a glimpses of him and with the actor (or maybe it’s scripted that way?) being kinda...limited in his performance, it creates mystery around a character where i’m not sure it’s actually intended. Personally, i think I mostly trust Nick, but I wish i had a better handle on his character by now. 

There was definitely a mole. Something went down that compromised this whole mission (which doomed Omar and his family, imo, not June—i keep thinking about that neighbor that knocked on their door when the wife mentioned how she didn’t trust anyone)and for Mayday to be silent. That i’m sure will be a focus for the season. 

When the show was already renewed for S3, I wasn’t as excited about it as I wanted to be. While I always knew June would be captured, it happened too quickly and it felt very wasteful, plot-wise. I feel like that’s an indicator of there not being enough forethought in the storytelling and storyplanning. This is not the kind of show that can go on and on. As others have mentioned, there needs to be a finite number of episodes so it doesn’t feel like dragging or filler or too many questions and not enough answers or satisfaction for the audience.  

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13 minutes ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

When the show was already renewed for S3, I wasn’t as excited about it as I wanted to be. While I always knew June would be captured, it happened too quickly and it felt very wasteful, plot-wise.

I agree wholeheartedly. It was so upsetting because I knew when she was on that plane that she was never actually leaving, and I found myself annoyed and ANGRY at the writers for trying to pretend that she was by making the plane actually get “ close” to taking off. It was insulting actually.    And you can overdo the misery, you absolutely can if there’s not enough good story to back it up. There has to be at least some wins for the good guys, some actual hope spots,  otherwise why bother coming back ? 

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1 hour ago, millennium said:

I don't think any of us can know what we're capable of until we find ourselves having to decide what we literally can and cannot live with.

That said, sometimes there is no escape.   Sometimes the very best you can do is to survive.   I think as Americans we're raised to believe in heroism, overcoming the odds, happy endings, etc.   We're so steeped in it that we feel inadequate if we don't have  a good answer to that question, "What would you do?"  But I think folks in other parts of the world would tell us that imagining you can do anything is a first-world fantasy, a luxury enjoyed by those who have never known true oppression.    

I don't know, human beings have an incredible capacity for hopeful survival, not just basic survival. I don't think it's just an American thing, either; there are plenty of stories of people raising above extremely fucking horrible situations, like in Concentration Camps, and coming out of it because of some kind of hope or belief in something better. I can't blame June, or Emily, Moira, or Janine, for not just shutting up and minding there p's and q's. I mean, why the hell should they? Their really is no "survival" for a Handmaid, because one way or the other, death is the endgame, either because a Wife is out to get them, a husband wants to use them as a plaything, they get involved with the Resistance, they can't produce any babies, or they go through menopause and are no longer useful. It is no surprise to me that a Handmaid would crack under that shitty, no-win weight of their situation and stop really giving a damn about playing "nice" and hoping to buy a few more crappy years as a broodmare and sex slave. Hell, if your going to die anyway, might as well steal a car and run over a guy or try to make a run for the boarder.

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11 minutes ago, GraceK said:

I agree wholeheartedly. It was so upsetting because I knew when she was on that plane that she was never actually leaving, and I found myself annoyed and ANGRY at the writers for trying to pretend that she was by making the plane actually get “ close” to taking off. It was insulting actually.    And you can overdo the misery, you absolutely can if there’s not enough good story to back it up. There has to be at least some wins for the good guys, some actual hope spots,  otherwise why bother coming back ? 

Same. I mentioned last week, that I groaned when I heard that it was renewed for a third season. I need to see Gilead overthrown, and the commanders getting punished for what they've done. I'm picturing Emily as an older professor, teaching about the horrors, if she hasn't completely lost her mind at that point. 

A FB friend of mine, who is an author, and Iranian-American, made a comment about America helping to turn Iran into the Islamic Republic of Iran. Someone else mentioned some of the women of Iran voting against themselves/their livelihoods, and not realizing what they'd done until it was too late. This article last week, was about the incels who apparently published their own horrifying manifesto: https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/05/03/the-harpy-someone-please-tell-the-times-that-incels-are-terrorists/ It sounds like they've been watching this show, to get tips. 

I've thought too much about this today and tonight. I didn't mean to spend hours here! 

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But if she'd been awful during their marriage, and that was what we saw when she blew up at June, then it would have continued when we saw her later on, surely. The fact that June felt guilt, shows something good about her, to me. Luke, on the other hand... 

I hope we do see more of her. Someone mentioned she's a great actress, so I can't see her being wasted on a few minutes of screen time. I guess we'll find out. 

 

 

Or she finally came to accept reality. 

 

When we saw them later on quite a bit of time had passed, long enough for June to give birth and Hannah to reach toddler age, far more than a few months after the divorce had been filed. I never thought Annie was truly unhinged or nuts, just crazy mad.

 

Time can and does heal, that’s all I saw, a woman who had come to terms with what had happened, at least enough to just walk away instead of making a huge scene, since that never worked in her favor anyway. 

 

Maybe Luke felt a lot more guilty or at least sorry for her and the pain he was causing until she went after June, we don’t know. 

 

He left her, yes that hurt her but sometimes that cannot be avoided, that’s life, but that doesn’t make Luke a smug asshole who never showed any ounce of remorse or regret over his actions, at least not to me. That phone call was about a very specific moment, not their whole marriage or relationship.

 

But I agree about the actress, I wish they had given her another character in fact if only because I’d like to see her have a much bigger role.

 

She would have been perfect, imho, as Moira’s significant other. 

Edited by AnswersWanted · Reason: Brought over from the Media thread.
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48 minutes ago, GraceK said:

I agree wholeheartedly. It was so upsetting because I knew when she was on that plane that she was never actually leaving, and I found myself annoyed and ANGRY at the writers for trying to pretend that she was by making the plane actually get “ close” to taking off. It was insulting actually.    And you can overdo the misery, you absolutely can if there’s not enough good story to back it up. There has to be at least some wins for the good guys, some actual hope spots,  otherwise why bother coming back ? 

Hence the reason i quit The Walking Dead. 

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I think this show is less torture porn and more *misery* or *misfortune* porn. It’s not that it’s gory—it’s that the bad guys are always winning and there’s really not much respite. We see the main character(s) wanting to escape and fight back time and again only to be stopped. It reminds me of the Ramsay Bolton storyline on GoT. It gets old.

As to the “that part wasn’t your fault” line, she may have been saying that it wasn’t June’s fault that another Handmaid was punished for speaking out, but it WAS June’s fault (in her mind) that they all got punished for dropping the stones.

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As a viewer, I felt strangely happy to be back in the Waterford home. Not because I wanted June back there- but because there are so many unanswered questions about Serena. The actress is so masterful in her portrayal, I crave more screen time with her. She admitted in S1 she never imagined a world where women would not be allowed to read... and she is clearly frustrated with her limitations in this new life... She is a puzzle to me and I’m fascinated with her.

There is so much more to comment on in this episode, but I’ll stick with Serena in this posting — she was reprimanded for smoking by Aunt Lydia. It’s not good for the baby. Seeing her afterward smoking a cigarette in the nursery, I think is foreshadowing that June may lose the baby- or maybe even have an Unbaby. Serena will have to live with that, believing it was her fault for being so careless during pregnancy.

Edited by Snewtsie
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I have a slight fear that the posters here are giving far more thought to the sequence of events around Omar's compromise and capture than the writers have done. I have a suspicion that these episodes are written showing "what" happens on screen with less thought given to the off-screen "how" and "why" that leads to what we see. In fact, it struck me at the start of the episode that in the time between June's recapture and the opening scenes, she would have been interrogated repeatedly about where she has been and who helped her. Gilead wouldn't have messed about and accepted some badly thought out, inconsistent story. The odds are June would have compromised the Guardian who helped her in the hospital, the man who drove her to the Boston Globe and those offices themselves as her safe house. If she somehow managed to come up with a clever story about where she has been that didn't compromise her helpers, and managed to stick with it, we needed to be told that. Because that would be an amazing achievement. 

But I don't think the writers are thinking each logical step through. I lost a lot of faith in them when they had the Mexican ambassador tell us that Gilead, with it's wilful ignorance of best baby making practices, is somehow a world baby making leader. It showed that they are prioritising drama over thought out storytelling. There hasn't been anything quite so egregious since then, though there are little signs like Moira escaping to Ontario rather than Quebec. And now a complete side-step of the fact that Gilead would be desperate to know absolutely every detail of June's escape. This show is mostly very well acted, the cinematography is mostly beautiful, the direction is mostly great, it is based on an excellent novel, and has numerous very well written scenes. All of which go to cover up for the fact that most of the story arc that is coming as an addition to the novel is really, really bad. I'll keep watching for the excellent acting and the fact that there are elements of the novel's plot that I am quite looking forward to seeing, but I'm wary and have very little faith in the writers' ability to plot.

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The Mexican plot annoyed me for many reasons, but this didn't.

They would not torture a pregnant woman.  At all.  They wouldn't even scare her by doing something like show her her daughter and threaten to hurt the kid.  It's much too hard to have babies there, and Aunt Lydia wouldn't have permitted it, even if anyone else would have.

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37 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

and Aunt Lydia wouldn't have permitted it, even if anyone else would have.

Aunt Lydia wouldn't have been allowed near her until the Commanders were satisfied they had gotten all the information they had from her. Babies are about optics in Gilead, not the true purpose of the society, the true purpose is control. Mayday presents a real threat to that control, so a chance to destroy a working arm of it is far, far more important than a single baby. If Gilead could interrogate her in a way that minimises risk to the baby, they will do that. But if she miscarries, that's just collateral damage in the far more important task of capturing everyone who helped her and hurting Mayday. She would have been held by the Eyes until she had satisfied them that she knew nothing of value (unlikely) or had given them (at least some of) the information they wanted. After that, if she was still pregnant, she would have gone to the Aunts for Aunt Lydia to start her own form of psychological torture on her.

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10 hours ago, oldCJ said:

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.  

I’m not really sure stories shouldn’t be told because they are horrible to watch, read or listen to.  By no means should you keep watching if you want to stop.  But I am so sick of hearing the “torture porn” argument.  It’s supposed to hard to watch and uncomfortable, that’s the point.   

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29 minutes ago, dmc said:

I’m not really sure stories shouldn’t be told because they are horrible to watch, read or listen to.  By no means should you keep watching if you want to stop.  But I am so sick of hearing the “torture porn” argument.  It’s supposed to hard to watch and uncomfortable, that’s the point.   

I agree. At this point the audience in general is becoming so desensitized that anything less than showing some of the things that are actually going on in the world, or have in the past, just won't cut it. It makes me uncomfortable and I certainly don't "like" it, but really DO see a need for it. Shit happens, people should know about it. (But also, in the meantime, can we also have a few lighthearted moments as well? Or at least see Serena Joy get put in her place again, because that was fun.)

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1 hour ago, AllyB said:

In fact, it struck me at the start of the episode that in the time between June's recapture and the opening scenes, she would have been interrogated repeatedly about where she has been and who helped her. 

I've thought about this too, and the one logical explanation I can come up with is that at some point they discovered where she was and kept her under suerveillance, and the reason they didn't act sooner is that they wanted to catch as many Mayday members as possible. It would also explain how Nick was able to spend so much time with her and how Fred and Serena didn't think of him as a possible suspect. Of course, it would also mean that his role has been compromised and that his days are numbered - or that he's had an entirely different role in it since the beginning. It could also help to explain how Omar was caught.

It's completely possible I'm overthinking this and looking for things that just aren't there, but there are now too many holes in the story and I wish there was something that could fill them, and this would be it.

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56 minutes ago, AllyB said:

Aunt Lydia wouldn't have been allowed near her until the Commanders were satisfied they had gotten all the information they had from her. Babies are about optics in Gilead, not the true purpose of the society, the true purpose is control. Mayday presents a real threat to that control, so a chance to destroy a working arm of it is far, far more important than a single baby. If Gilead could interrogate her in a way that minimises risk to the baby, they will do that. But if she miscarries, that's just collateral damage in the far more important task of capturing everyone who helped her and hurting Mayday. She would have been held by the Eyes until she had satisfied them that she knew nothing of value (unlikely) or had given them (at least some of) the information they wanted. After that, if she was still pregnant, she would have gone to the Aunts for Aunt Lydia to start her own form of psychological torture on her.

 

 What really hurts the ol’ brain cells, at least for me, is that June is the handmaid for one of their top guys.

 

Someone fairly close to those at the top of the regime had to help her get out, there’s no way she was just shuttled out of that medical center without someone knowing the inner workings of the system and getting it done without a hint of detection until it was too late to recapture her.  

 

MayDay may have its spies, but someone had to know that June was even pregnant to know where she would be at that exact time, and not still being tormented by Aunt Lydia alongside her fellow sisters,and frankly outside of the Red Center the only ones who knew about the baby, or potentially could’ve known, were those in the Commander‘s house, at least that is a very logical assumption they could/would quickly jump to. 

 

Whatever she knows and more importantly “who” would be forefront in their minds, I would assume, and that info would be particularly valuable and they would realize that, as you said, the end very well would justify the means; if the unborn child did not survive for some reason then it’d be labeled as “god’s will” And then immediately after they were finished with her June’s life would be absolutely worthless and she’d be killed. 

 

 And that to me is the real reason why none of that happened, because without that baby June in the eyes of the regime is a traitor and a rebel and they would kill her.

 

She would die and her story would end right then and right there without any sort of real closure.

 

The show did write themselves into a corner with this, because they showed so often how far the regime is willing and ready to go to win the war, but they stuck their head handmaid into the role of escapee this time around and she is not going to pay the ultimate price as any other character might.  It is purely a plot point that they need to keep going and it does show lack of planning to me as well. 

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13 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

 As sad as it can be just because you marry someone that does not mean that you will stay married to them, people grow apart for all number of reasons, she did mention that he made vows to her, and at the time when he made then he could very well have meant to keep them, but human beings make all sorts of promises they actually can’t keep or won’t.  

People who feel that way should not get married. There's no point in a vow if it's predicated on "you know, if I continue to feel like it, and things don't change, and I don't meet someone else, and etc."

I had a hard time with this episode b/c A) it was hard to see June get tamped back down, and B) as someone whose marriage fairly recently imploded due to infidelity it's just hard to watch June's backstory and not get a stomachache. I enjoyed Annie confronting her and thought Luke showed his true colors once again by being such an asshole on the phone to her. I wish we hadn't seen Annie again at the end of the episode slinking away with her pain. 

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19 minutes ago, goodbyeglittergirl said:

People who feel that way should not get married. There's no point in a vow if it's predicated on "you know, if I continue to feel like it, and things don't change, and I don't meet someone else, and etc."

To be fair, I don't think most people go into marriage thinking it's going to implode. Most people marry when they are still in the last stage of the relationship and aren't thinking about any cold, hard facts about a committed relationship. It probably happened to Luke and Annie, along with possibly marrying young and without having had any other variety of experience in relationships, two big killers in relationships. 

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15 minutes ago, goodbyeglittergirl said:

People who feel that way should not get married. There's no point in a vow if it's predicated on "you know, if I continue to feel like it, and things don't change, and I don't meet someone else, and etc."

I had a hard time with this episode b/c A) it was hard to see June get tamped back down, and B) as someone whose marriage fairly recently imploded due to infidelity it's just hard to watch June's backstory and not get a stomachache. I enjoyed Annie confronting her and thought Luke showed his true colors once again by being such an asshole on the phone to her. I wish we hadn't seen Annie again at the end of the episode slinking away with her pain. 

 

 I  admit, I’m not sure what sort of person you’re meaning when you say people feeling that way should not get married.

 

People who can think that sometimes a happy marriage is not in the cards? Or that having a sense of reality that the marriage should end is something they should ignore and pretend all is well while living miserably?

 

As I said Luke very well made his vows with every intent to keep them, And the show has not implied in any way that isn’t the case,but he also had no way of knowing the future and neither did Annie, being married did not magically make them perfectly suited for each other or suited to remain married.  

 

My point was, as I said, that people can grow apart and things may not work out despite a person’s best intentions and efforts, and that some promises can be kept and some can’t.

 

I don’t think marriage is such a sacred and holy venture that it can and should always manage to overcome the general human condition.

 

A marriage Is just a way to legally make yourself connected to someone else, it does not mean that you can or should or will stay with one specific person forever, IMO. 

 

People do change, circumstances change, feelings change, and depending on what the future may hold some couples will stay together and some won’t. I’m not gonna fault a person for leaving a relationship that they feel has reached its’ end.  

 

To me it is far more cruel  and unkind to stay with someone if you truly don’t love them and that you are inclined to want to find companionship with someone else. Just leave them and let them get on with their lives eventually and you can do the same.

 

 Luke should not have cheated on Annie, he should’ve been adult enough to have severed all ties to her before moving on, but he did not seemingly lead her on either or give her false hope of a reconciliation later on.

 

He made it very clear that regardless of how she felt about their marriage and how much she still loved him, he was not reciprocating those feelings anymore and trying to ignore that was not going to do them any favors. Then he would be just like the Commander, a man who cheats on his wife like a dirty rat in secret and yet still praises her as his beloved spouse sent by god in public, all the while she knows the truth and she has to bear her shame privately and swallow her pride and her anger.  

 

There’s no doubt that Luke was selfish but there’s also no doubt, to me, that so was Annie, that is why she went after June and kept perusing a retreating Luke, and so was June, that is why she stayed with a married man.

 

But they aren’t unique in being self centered and self absorbed in their own ways, so are most people who enter into relationships with other people, because no one dates or marries freely because they’re being a selfless martyr that is going to stay with someone out of the goodness of their heart regardless of how bad things get most of the time.

 

If someone is not getting something out of the other person they feel is worth sticking around for then they are often inclined to leave.

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2 hours ago, HeySandyStrange said:

To be fair, I don't think most people go into marriage thinking it's going to implode. Most people marry when they are still in the last stage of the relationship and aren't thinking about any cold, hard facts about a committed relationship. It probably happened to Luke and Annie, along with possibly marrying young and without having had any other variety of experience in relationships, two big killers in relationships. 

No, I totally agree with you - but IMO that's why the vows are what they are. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. We have no guarantee that the person we are marrying might not get cancer 2 years in, bankrupting us and leaving us widowed. But that's why they are VOWS. They are serious. They are a promise. Or they were supposed to be. They mean nothing nowadays b/c people think it's okay to leave if they are not happy, if they are not getting enough sex, if someone else makes them feel wanted, fill-in-the-blank-here whatever. 

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19 hours 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 wholeheartedly agree.

I would much rather learn more about how Gilead came to power, how they managed to pull off a huge coup of the US government, the resistance network, more of a global picture of what is happening

But I don't expect that to occur.  At least anytime soon.  The book and the show seem to focus on the microcosm of the handmaids and their relationships, hence the name of the show and book, of course, and seems to be emphasizing how the smaller things little by little that we allow to happen, each freedom taken away and removed, slowly, one by one, adds up over time to more power given to your oppressors until you just can't fight back anymore in a reasonable way. 

As the show gets more away from the book, though, I am hoping we learn more about other characters and stories involved rather than just torturing handmaids.  I expect most of this season will continue to be though how June/Offred makes if through the pregnancy and if she lives after that. 

The parallel to another show would be Orange is the New Black, which started off based on a book but over time has drifted, thankfully, more to stories of the other women and bigger issues in the prison system rather than just a focus on the original main character. 

The thing I found most interesting in this episode, and has been pointed out by others, is the power Aunt Lydia seems to have.  Not just over the Handmaids, but the wives.  Her scene with putting out the cigarette was very telling.  She has more power in some ways than any other female, and she knows it.  And uses it seemingly to control everyone she can. 

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2 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

But they aren’t unique in being self centered and self absorbed in their own ways, so are most people who enter into relationships with other people, because no one dates or marries freely because they’re being a selfless martyr that is going to stay with someone out of the goodness of their heart regardless of how bad things get most of the time.

 

If someone is not getting something out of the other person they feel is worth sticking around for then they are often inclined to leave.

When I married my husband, I did so with the knowledge that I was taking a risk. That he could get sick, that we could live in poverty, that any number of things could happen to change our lives from what they were when we married to something else. But that's why they are marriage vows - you are promising the other person something, that you will stick together no matter what and that you are joining your lives together. Your description of what marriage is is EXACTLY what most people see it as today, but it's not what it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be a vow, a promise, a sacred commitment.  (And now, before the mods step in, I will extract myself b/c I know we're getting off topic. Sorry!)

1 hour ago, DrSpaceman said:

The thing I found most interesting in this episode, and has been pointed out by others, is the power Aunt Lydia seems to have.  Not just over the Handmaids, but the wives.  Her scene with putting out the cigarette was very telling.  She has more power in some ways than any other female, and she knows it.  And uses it seemingly to control everyone she can. 

I would LOVE to see a really well developed Aunt Lydia backstory. I find her fascinating and would love to know how she landed in this position, etc. 

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What if the Commander is part of Mayday?  What if he was the one who orchestrated June's initial escape?  Maybe that's why he's eager to go "up north" (I wasn't sure if that was a reference to actually being in Canada or just near the border).  Maybe that's why he convinced Serena to keep June at the house.

 

I'll admit, the thought is a little far fetched, but it is possible for the story line to go in that direction with the bread crumbs they've been leaving.

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