Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
ElectricBoogaloo

S02.E10: The Last Ceremony

Recommended Posts

Just now, GraceK said:

I’m glad someone else said it. This is how I have been feeling lately, that this show is starting to spiral into soap opera territory. This rape scene just about did me in. Rape for drama sake. All we needed was Serena and Fred to tie June to the train tracks with a stick of dynamite and the cartoon villainy would have been complete.

Rape scenes lose their impact when it's... the exact same scene we've seen before and it goes on as long as it does. Making us watch longer doesn't make the horror grow. People have short attention spans - as a whole - so yeah, I will totally admit that I was not only unaffected but I got up to get a drink and let it play in the background. And it still wasn't done by the time I came back from the kitchen. You can slow-mo it and muffle the sound all you want but it doesn't change it. 

It's no different from the "Fuck 'em/her/her/it" that comes at the end of most episodes. It loses its impact and you run the risk of the viewers becoming bored. Like I did. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, Callaphera said:

So I feel like this show has changed from smart commentary to a bloody soap opera. The melodrama and over the top ridiculousness of the last half of the episode was eye-rolling. From the moment June spat at the Commander that he would never know what it was like to have his own child, it took a sharp turn into Days of our Lives territory. The melodrama of a slam! bang! Eden cheating on Nick while he... doesn't care and she sobs like the fourteen year old she is. June getting to see Hannah (in what fucking world where Gilead is a thing would that happen? It wouldn't, that's the problem). The three fucking times June retied Hannah's cape while crying and hugging her. The ending with Nick getting dragged off and June left in the wilderness. Hey, who wants to bet she's going to go into labour there? Anyone? No? Yeah, thought it was a sucker bet.

I know that episodes before season finales are there to set up the pieces for the big bang finish to the season. But this was... stupid and not in the realm of possibility and because of that, this show has lost all of its impact. But hey, lots of close-ups of June's face and pointless long shots where people are just breathing so yay?

Yes yes yes! I thought I was alone in this.

I'm over and done with melodrama on this show. And none of it makes sense from a story perspective, it just seems put in to wring emotions out of the viewer in the most blatant way.

as I posted elsewhere, the subtlety of June's oppression was brilliant in the book. The "child's lunch", being forbidden from reading, being forced to speak in platitudes... That's oppression. I don't need to see her screaming on the bed to know that The Ceremony is rape and every time it's  every bit as rapey as having another woman hold her down. But no, that's not rapey enough for the men watching/producing the show... They need a "hold her down screaming"rape to make the point that the sex is against June's will.

The problem, IMO, is men are producing this show.

Plus all the plot lines that go nowhere, get undone, or make no sense. It's just like a soap opera, because after two seasons and a lot of melodrama nothing has really changed.

  • Like 23

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Callaphera said:

I mean, Eden has been a character for how many episodes? And people have been questioning her motives all along? But hey, let's just clean up the whole Nick and Eden deal in ten minutes. They had episodes to lay groundwork for Eden and whatever the dude's name is, Isaac? And instead we get a couple of flirty glances last week and Makeout Central this week. Done right, it could have been an interesting plot and an interesting character study. But nope, let's get it out of the way so that we can have another 20 minutes of June breathing while the camera zooms up her left nostril and the sun filters through the lace curtains behind her in just the perfect way to give her a golden halo. 

K. Thanks, Show. 

And Eden will be just as easily tossed into the pool, because hey, we need Nick living alone again, just like he was three episodes ago before the wife popped up out of thin air.

and the devout Eden making googly eyes at Isaac is completely unbelievable.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, GraceK said:

That alone is just proof that they are more interested in the soap opera aspects of creating melodrama than sticking to what would actually make sense character wise and world wise for this society.

HA! This train left the Station of Believable when June was not questioned, punished, locked up, or just straight up killed after her escape attempt.   

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, Joana said:

And I really don't think we needed to see the birthing ceremony again. Without the novelty factor it had the first time around it didn't just seem bizarre like it did back then, it was simply revolting. 

All i wanted to do was smack that gleeful smile off Serena’s face with a shovel. 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

The only reason I don't think the Commander set up the whole Nick kidnapping was because the guard said the moment she walked in the door that she had 10 minutes, however when he said "we have to go.  NOW," they didn't go.  They took another 3 or 4 minutes.  The lesson of season 2:  Listen when somebody tells you to move or stay or get out of the way, you listen to them and you don't look out the window. 

That's not me blaming June, just an observation. 

I wondered if there was some type of surveillance going on that tipped off nearby guards.  Last season there was reference to Gilead patrolling its border and neighborhoods by using drones.  That said, that doesn't make much sense either because if they saw a random eye at a deserted house, they should have searched the house.

Hannah was 5 when she was taken from her mom.  June said last season that she would be 8.  The girl looked to be about 6 or 7.  I don't think it's crazy to think that an 8 year old would talk the way she did.  My 7 year old will still call me mama, still gets teary and cries for me.  Hell, she did it today when I was running late to her last day of school party and thought I was going to miss it.  And let's remember, Hannah is a terrorized 8 year old.  They've beat her.  She was violently ripped away from her mother.  Everything good and light and fun about her former world is gone.  If she seems a little younger than 8, I think from a psychological standpoint it's probably perfectly justifiable.  And poor Hannah keeps losing her stuffed animals.

I can't bring myself to comment on the rape scene because there are absolutely no words in the English language to express how I feel about the Waterfords.  And I don't know which one is worse.  

The wives ceremony during labor makes me laugh.  It's like some warped "nymph" scene.  It is just so fucking bizarre.  Yvonne looked pretty though.  I've never thought she was very pretty, mainly because the show makes her look so harsh, and she's such an unlikeable character.  

Quote

Plus all the plot lines that go nowhere, get undone, or make no sense. It's just like a soap opera, because after two seasons and a lot of melodrama nothing has really changed.

Well, Gilead existed for 200 years.  We can't move too quickly.  

Edited by Shangrilala
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
26 minutes ago, LaChavalina said:

I'll say yes to both of you as well. I've experienced rape, so I can't say from the perspective of other survivors, but I really chafe at movies/TV that use rape in a gratuitous way. This show skirts the border of that routinely and, for me, this episode crossed a line. That first scene with Emily wasn't really necessary to the plot. I guess it was there to contrast a "normal" Gilead rape with an "evil" Gilead rape later on... but we've seen enough "normal" rapes by now to know what that looks like. There's also a dissertation to be written (and I'm sure someone's already writing it) on how these scenes are filmed. The long shots of the scene take us out of the perspective of the victim. The lingered focus on the Waterfords takes away from June's perspective and experience. Having to watch the men thrust and orgasm arguably places their experience at the center of the scene. I know the ceremony is meant to be male-focused, but where is the line between making this a mere artistic choice and making scenes that rob us of the understanding of the horror of rape?

I did think it was realistic and powerful to see June shut down after the sexual assault happened... but that lasts what, five minutes? Then she's with her daughter and is on to another plot point. I will be incredibly disappointed if the show behaves as if she moves on from the after-effects of this incident so quickly.

Overall, this episode made me struggle with what this show's aim really is. Its goal should be to lead us toward empathy, understanding, and action on behalf of women who suffer in real life. I think that's what Atwood intended with her book. But there have been a couple of times this season where I think they've just sold out.

Yes, I want to agree with all of you about this. I felt this episode crossed the line in terms of gratuitous use of rape as well, and I am bothered (but not surprised) that it was written and directed by men. I was also really bothered in the "inside the episode" bit posted above that  almost the entire segment was the male producers telling us their perspective on it. The entire series, of course, has shown us many horrors against women, including the horror of rape, but this one in particular, perhaps because it was outside even the rules that have been set up in the society and because of June's actively begging for it to stop, felt different and, to me, should have been handled with more care.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Shangrilala said:

The wives ceremony during labor makes me laugh.  It's like some warped "nymph" scene.  It is just so fucking bizarre.  Yvonne looked pretty though.  I've never thought she was very pretty, mainly because the show makes her look so harsh, and she's such an unlikeable character.  

I have the opposite problem. I think she’s beautiful, and it’s startling for me to reconcile how someone who looks so ethereal can do such horrible things. Plus her face sells it, her acting is amazing.

Omg the wives ceremony of “ labor “ is so bizarre I don’t know how they can go through it with straight faces. 

  • Like 20

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, GraceK said:

That should be a spin off for Emily where she just goes off vigilante style , taking down Gilead one commander at a time  like a superhero . This is her origin story?

 

OT: There’s this movie called “Teeth”, that’s kinda this story. Dark humor and a little bit terrible, but equally enjoyable. I think it’s streaming on Netflix

Edited by VagueDisclaimer
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

OT: There’s this movie called “Teeth”, that’s kinda this story. Dark humor and a little bit terrible, but equally enjoyable. I think it’s streaming on Netflix

Cool thanks! ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Annnnd I’m out. This show was Good while it was good. Thanks for all of your terrific insights and sharing-this thread has often made my day. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Helena Dax said:

Emily kicking that pig in his nuts was clearly a thing of beauty, but I also enjoyed Aunt Lydia shaking her head in disappointment when June was basically laughing at Serena's face.

This was my favourite part of the episode. I genuinely laughed. Ann Dowd is a gem.

Also I am clearly completely heartless because I was more or less unaffected by the major scenes in this episode - both June's rape and her reunion with Hannah. I did feel a little bit bad for Eden when she was sobbing - the actress did a really good job there - and when Nick told her not to cry so she tried to stifle her tears, still trying to please him. It frustrates me that Nick is being so difficult/taciturn.

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, secnarf said:

This was my favourite part of the episode. I genuinely laughed. Ann Dowd is a gem.

Also I am clearly completely heartless because I was more or less unaffected by the major scenes in this episode - both June's rape and her reunion with Hannah. I did feel a little bit bad for Eden when she was sobbing - the actress did a really good job there - and when Nick told her not to cry so she tried to stifle her tears, still trying to please him. It frustrates me that Nick is being so difficult/taciturn.

Compare that with how "tender" Nick is with June when she cries later in the episode. But Eden, a child bride who has been forced on him, he can't even muster any sympathy for. Just a "Stop crying". Jerk.

  • Like 24

Share this post


Link to post

Good Lord, just when I thought it couldn't get any worse. Where the fuck is the Resistance?

Edited by numbnut
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

I went back to watch the Hannah scenes again.  Hannah's guard says "we have to go, right now."  From that moment it takes more than 3 minutes to get out of there.  They lead Hannah out.  June stops them.  They finally get Hannah away and June loses her shit and she and Luke are in the yard for another minute.  Then you hear a car in the distance and by the time it pulls up it has been 5 minutes.  5 minutes from when the guard says we have to go right now.  A full 5 minutes for everybody go get out of dodge and onto a main road somewhere.  

Nick tells the guards that he's checking on the Commander's house and they say you're lying, nobody is supposed to be here.  Could that have been the Waterford's home?  A country house or some such thing that they no longer use?  His parents home?  Her parents?  

I loved Ann Dowd shaking her head at June.  For some reason it reminded me of a scene Bring it On when Big Read is screaming at Kirsten Dunst who stomps away upset and her boyfriend is shaking his head and wags a finger saying "nuh-uh, not cool."  But honestly, Aunt Lydia must have watched that entire scene between June and Serena and wanted to smack some sense into her.  Good god, June, stop antagonizing your oppressors who will just find more and more ways to be cruel to you.  There are plenty of ways to harm a pregnant woman without harming the baby.  

And can Nick PLEASE just pretend with his childbride?  Just for a hot second?  She clearly doesn't need much from him.  "Why do you like her and not me?"  I mean, all he has to do is give her a kiss good morning and he'd probably have her singing from the rooftops she's so damn young and naive.  

Now that I think about it, this episode was basically everybody being 100% careless.  Sure, there were varying degrees of carelessness.  But so much for the straight and narrow example of Gilead.  

  • Like 20

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

It was a way of re establishing the power, Serena Joy wanted June to know they were not equals and Fred, well Fred just wanted one more go at the girl and to show her whose boss.  I did get the idea that SJ knew it was not right.

Agreed—it wasn’t really about hastening the birth, it was showing June who really controls her body.

I took the meeting with Hannah to be something that Fred was able to arrange using his considerable power (showing June that yes, he does have the power to do this) and he also wanted her to see that he had the power to take Hannah AND Nick away from her.

Did anyone else notice that Serena had pantyhose on during the “birth” scene? The thought of wearing pantyhose while giving birth cracked me up. Speaking of the birth scene, do they not have a midwife at least “check” the woman to make sure it’s true labor? When I was having my baby it seemed like I had a nurse’s hand inside me every 10 minutes to check my progress! Maybe they should wait until her water breaks before they get the harp out, just sayin...

Edited by rubinia
  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post
59 minutes ago, Callaphera said:

Compare that with how "tender" Nick is with June when she cries later in the episode. But Eden, a child bride who has been forced on him, he can't even muster any sympathy for. Just a "Stop crying". Jerk.

Aside from it being an acting “choice” (I mean, really, Max Minghella is rather limited. Outside of him hugging June and verbally comforting her, when has emotion ever betrayed him?), I’ve tried my best to understand why Nick can’t just try a little. All I can come up with is that he feels he’s already in a hugely precarious position, if he allows kindness that Eden could misconstrue, then he’s got an added problem and he’s decided just getting through this with as little compromise or interaction as possible is his best bet.

Then again, I’d also think that him being somewhat honest with her, treating her less like an annoying little sister that won’t stop bugging him, would actually benefit his complicated situation and keep things from boiling over much more. 

Edited by VagueDisclaimer
  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, nodorothyparker said:

I'm with everyone else in just being over June being smug and sassy well beyond what she can realistically back up.  Yes, as we've seen being pregnant has given her some respite and a bit of protective camouflage. but her pregnancy's almost up.  Everyone thought she was having the baby that day.  Serena has already made it clear that June's out the door as soon as the placenta pops loose.  And sure, that reality and her own surging hormones are probably doing a number on her.  But especially in taunting Commander Fred, WTF is she doing?  Don't give us scene after scene of June begging people to look out for her baby, caressing her belly and telling it she loves it, and then deliberately antagonizing the people who will have complete control over it after she's out of the house.

This 1000 times. 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Snewtsie said:

Why is it every time time June is told to hide, all she hears is, "look out a window"...?

Good gravy, yes! And apparently, “we gotta get out of here right now!” translates to “wait, let me run out for just two more melodramatic minutes in a bright blood red dress in the middle of lily white snow sobbing and dry heaving with this hysterical child. No one will notice.” It’s like watching Shaggy and Scooby eating a sandwich with their backs turned in the haunted house, while the ghost is behind them, tapping them on the shoulder.

I watched this for the first time on a mobile device, and now finally understand where all the complaints of the scenes being too dark come from. I spent the greater portion of the episode looking at my own reflection on the screen. It’s definitely better to watch this series on a television, in the dark.

  • Like 23

Share this post


Link to post
8 minutes ago, charmed1 said:

Good gravy, yes! And apparently, “we gotta get out of here right now!” translates to “wait, let me run out for just two more melodramatic minutes in a bright blood red dress in the middle of lily white snow sobbing and dry heaving with this hysterical child. No one will notice.” It’s like watching Shaggy and Scooby eating a sandwich with their backs turned in the haunted house, while the ghost is behind them, tapping them on the shoulder.

I love you.

  • Like 6
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

did not know that, thank you.  I always thought the "having sex to induce labor" bit was pretty much a myth.

 

Definitely not a myth (I do think they should have mentioned it in the episode as most people don’t know about it). When I was overdue with my second child, my doctor told us about semen inducing labor. That or drinking cod liver oil. I opted for the sex. :-D We came home and did the deed (funny comment from a friend when I told her my husband was stripped down before I could even say Should we? - she said “Just like a man.” lol) and that night I went into labor. So anyone whose fed up and wants the baby out already, there you go! 

Edited by jmnf19
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Joana said:

I think the point was to show that as brainwashed as she is, she's essentially just a young girl who needs kindness and affection, like most human beings do. Which is all fine and true, except that if they're going to show someone like her having an affair, it really needed to have a proper build-up and we didn't get any since the writers clearly aren't invested in her character nearly enough. It's too bad, it could have been a fascinating story. 

YES! Exactly! She's so brainwashed that her teenager instincts take over and instead of running from the guy leering at her, which she has surely been warned about as a young fundamental giladean, she goes to him and takes both his hands and somehow leans in for a kiss? And then thinks that a kiss is "cheating?" And yeah, she thinks a kiss is cheating but she does it anyway because she's a young horny girl and can't help herself. Um hmm.

If we're going to point to ANYTHING that indicates "male gaze," it's a brainwashed teenage girl, newly married, kissing a man who isn't her husband within 48 hours of meeting him. 

2 hours ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

Aside from it being an acting “choice” (I mean, really, Max Minghella is rather limited. Outside of him hugging June and verbally comforting her, when has emotion ever betrayed him?), I’ve tried my best to understand why Nick can’t just try a little. All I can come up with is that he feels he’s already in a hugely precarious position, if he allows kindness that Eden could misconstrue, then he’s got an added problem and he’s decided just getting through this with as little compromise or interaction as possible is his best bet.

Then again, I’d also think that him being somewhat honest with her, treating her less like an annoying little sister that won’t stop bugging him, would actually benefit his complicated situation and keep things from boiling over much more. 

LOL at the bolded bit. And also, Nick is sure an awesome double agent, huh? He knows how to play that part and keep those around him from getting suspicious. I thought spies were good at this shit?

If Eden has noticed his attention to the handmaid, others surely have. And what are we, the audience, supposed to gather from that? Are we supposed to handwave it?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, guilfoyleatpp said:

If Eden has noticed his attention to the handmaid, others surely have. And what are we, the audience, supposed to gather from that? Are we supposed to handwave it?

Probably the same thing we were supposed to do when they had a loud argument together in the sitting room or were making out in a public hallway or when Nick casually made his way into June’s room in the middle of the night in the silent house. The writing has become so sloppy, making the characters so sloppy, I’ve just stopped questioning these obvious moments and declared this the season of suspension of disbelief. There’s just no telling when a sloppy moment will actually be significant until the TV show tells us. 

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post

Do they give Emmys for perfect timing?   This episode would be a shoo-in.

Sigh.  I kept hoping Serena could be redeemed.  Has anyone ever done a study or offered a sociological explanation why bullies, cowards and hateful people so frequently resort to the Bible for justification?  Has anyone ever offered a theological explanation as to why their apparent familiarity with the Bible only seems to reinforce the evil within them rather than bring out the good?   When I think about Bible-quoting people in general, the faces that come to mind aren't very nice.  

And I have to say it -- once again, June refuses to follow the simple instructions of people trying to help her, placing them in jeopardy.    They told her to stay inside the house.   I know it was an emotional crisis, but she put her own priorities first and blew right out the door, delaying the departure and possibly getting Nick killed.

Edited by millennium
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, secnarf said:

I did feel a little bit bad for Eden when she was sobbing - the actress did a really good job there - and when Nick told her not to cry so she tried to stifle her tears, still trying to please him. It frustrates me that Nick is being so difficult/taciturn.

At first I was inclined to really dislike Eden and just see her a danger to Nick & June, but than I realized this was the way the writers presented her and it was completely wrong. She is a child bride, sent away from her family to wed an older man she never met and brainwashed to see it as her religious duty. She has no adult females emotional support, no friends and a really bleak future if she does not bear a child. The fact that they chose to show her as unpleasant and sort of thick and annoying teenager keeps all our sympathies for the emotional suffering of the mature June & Nick. This is especially jaring as she does try to do her best, even if she misses the mark. In any other story, we would be outraged at Eden's fate and the fact that Nick does not even try to be nice to her and June does the absolute minimum mainly because of the perceived danger to Nick. I wonder, like several posts indicated, if this again is the male point of view coming thru. She is no less a victim of Gilead than the other female casts.

  • Like 20

Share this post


Link to post

The scene where June is in (false) labor and Nick is helping her up the steps of Casa Waterford she and Nick are making eyes and smiling at each other, what? Nobody else sees that?  

Eden kissing that guard and Nick watching her could have been his moment to get her at his mercy or get rid of her but instead he shrugs it off, sometimes I think Nick is not too smart.

How interesting that Hannah knew that June was not going to be able to keep the baby.  I get the impression that she is not in Handmaid training because she had been placed in a home, I would think that if she was in HM training she would be in an institution like a Pre K Red Center system for HM's in training. 

June does not know how to follow instructions but honestly she tried to calm her daughter down and make the parting less traumatic for her as any mother would have down.  Other than that, June does not think about how her actions will affect others.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, rubinia said:

Agreed—it wasn’t really about hastening the birth, it was showing June who really controls her body.

I took the meeting with Hannah to be something that Fred was able to arrange using his considerable power (showing June that yes, he does have the power to do this) and he also wanted her to see that he had the power to take Hannah AND Nick away from her.

Did anyone else notice that Serena had pantyhose on during the “birth” scene? The thought of wearing pantyhose while giving birth cracked me up. Speaking of the birth scene, do they not have a midwife at least “check” the woman to make sure it’s true labor? When I was having my baby it seemed like I had a nurse’s hand inside me every 10 minutes to check my progress! Maybe they should wait until her water breaks before they get the harp out, just sayin...

That thought crossed my mind too, Aunt Lydia has been all up in June's bid-ness but this time, no?

The Wives pretending they are in labor just cracks me up, it's nuts.  Is that something from the bible?  

I am surprised that Serena did not keep June locked in her room till she goes in to labor.  If June has to leave the house ASAP after giving birth I wonder if she will have to pump breast milk for the baby and Aunt "It wasn't my fault" Lydia has to deliver it to the Waterford's.  June can't be expected to show up on another doorstep ready for action, she has to wait at least 6 weeks.  

Any bets on what Serena would name the baby?  Bathsheba, Rachel, Leah?  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

Since it was outside the boundaries of "the ceremony" I think Gilead probably has a punishment for that - but wouldn 't call it rape.

Agreed. The handmaids are only vessels, their only purpose is to procreate. They would call it a "poor judgement with good intentions".

14 hours ago, GraceK said:

Isaac and Eden both have  the motive and Isaac being a guardian himself might have a few resources to pull it off.

I don't think Eden has anything to do with it. She believes she needs to respect and serve her husband. Even if she told Isaac, and even if he had the resources to do what he did, it would be a very bad piece of writing to have him knowing where they are, since Fred personally sent Nick there. And the consequences for him would be deadly, he must know that. 

Even if Nick was followed - since Fred said "be sure you are not followed", so maybe the writers set this up, it would still be a very bad piece of writing. The shots of the road showed a very open area. Nick would have noticed being tagged.

 

On the other hand, we might be heading to a very bad piece of writing. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Shangrilala said:

And can Nick PLEASE just pretend with his childbride?  Just for a hot second?  She clearly doesn't need much from him.  "Why do you like her and not me?"  I mean, all he has to do is give her a kiss good morning and he'd probably have her singing from the rooftops she's so damn young and naive. 

I actually like that he is not willing to do anything anymore. It gives the character some humanity. He sees her as a child, and he doesn't want to have sex with a child. Even a kiss. I like that he seems to understand how hard it is. He is supposed to help populate Gilead, but he doesn't want to have sex with someone so young. And Eden knows that she is supposed to get pregnant. She was brainwashed into serving, and she believes sex with her husband, and getting pregnant, is her duty.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
23 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

When Eden was crying about how Nick doesn't love her, I was really hoping that he would point out he doesn't even know her and that being married to a stranger doesn't mean you automatically love each other.

I was hoping he'd say those exact words too "Love you? I don't even know you." but no - so now he is on Eden's shit list and even if he isn't dead from the shooting, etc., she would "tell on him" and put him under scrutiny by the commander(s), etc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, meira.hand said:

At first I was inclined to really dislike Eden and just see her a danger to Nick & June, but than I realized this was the way the writers presented her and it was completely wrong.

Agreed. I think that ever since she was first introduced, we're supposed to see her as some kind of antagonist and a permanent threat to the characters we've grown to love, like a dark force constantly lurking in the background waiting for others to make a wrong move so she could tell on them and have them punished. I assumed that's what her role would be, too, but I no longer think so. She's witnessed several instances of rules being broken and she hasn't done anything about it, so I really don't think she has her mind set on ruining other people's lives. Instead, she just wants to live hers the way she believes she's supposed to - which she is being denied and she doesn't know why. 

I could see how her "love story" with Isaac would work in theory. Nick is hardly ever around, and even when he is, he's completely ignoring her. Isaac, however, is always there, and he's the only man in her life to show her any kind of affection. He acknowledges his presence. He smiles at her. He compliments her cooking. I can see why she would get attached to him. Likewise, she's the only female close to his age he is in regular contact with. She's been taught to be subservient to men with any authority without questioning it, so she is always being pleasurable and nice to him, unlike other women he encounters whose reactions to him are fear and avoidance. So, he starts showing more affection towards her, which in turn brings out more affection for him from her, and slowly, a bond is created.

But obviously, it all takes time. You cannot choose to have it portrayed in three or four scenes of 30 seconds over a couple of episodes and expect it to work. 

Edited by Joana
  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
22 hours ago, Joana said:

 

I was totally unspoiled going into this episode, so this was felt like a true punch in the gut. The episode title and all that talk about speeding up the childbirth process (damn that "Friends" episode!) hinted towards the rape scene very clearly, but it didn't make it any easier to watch and stomach. And as for her meeting with Hannah, it was heartbreaking to watch, but their conversation (or rather the things Hannah was saying) felt a little... artificial. How much would she even remember of June after all this time. Also, "Why didn't you try harder to find me" doesn't seem (to me, at least), like something a child of that age would say. Unless she was instructed or manipulated to do so, which is of course a real p

According to the "inside the episode" extras, the producers did some research with the UN on how reunions between separated parents and children tend to go, and this conversation was close to word for word some of the things they were told about.

  • Like 12
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

So Commander Harris was promoted because his wife got pregnant? Okay then.

And he appears young, so these older guys like Waterford HAS to be worried that this new younger generation might not be sterile or barren. It's like "YOU GET A HANDMAID and YOU GET A HANDMAID, but not you, you have your own thing evidently......BUT YOU GET A HANDMAID! 

I thought I saw a shot into the ground but I didn't see Nick shot, just knocked out. That house is empty, there is no one suppose to be there, as the patrol guardians asked what Nick was doing there, as soon as Nick said he was checking on the commander's house, I knew he was lying. They did too. They took his keys and his vehicle so no one will know June is even there. 

Edited by DuckyinKy
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Deputy Deputy CoS said:

Serena Joy is a mass murderer, a serial rapists and all things that a are blight on humanity. Expect some push back if you are going to give her the benefit of the doubt. Even the perception of being an apologist for this character is a problem of its own.

The way I see it, Serena Joy is a character in a book/tv show.  She is not a real person, and as such, open discussion about the character, her motivations, her background, everything that is left open for speculation because the book/tv show hasn't directly shown it, should not be subject to being perceived as an apologist.  We're simply discussing a character.  Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but I hate to see people here have to put in the "I'm not an apologist" disclaimer to give an opinion as to why they think the character does what she does.  I personally find that aspect of this thread fascinating, and I think the character has been portrayed in a way to purposely to spark these discussions. 

  • Like 22

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, GraceK said:

I have the opposite problem. I think she’s beautiful, and it’s startling for me to reconcile how someone who looks so ethereal can do such horrible things. Plus her face sells it, her acting is amazing.

Omg the wives ceremony of “ labor “ is so bizarre I don’t know how they can go through it with straight faces. 

I'd have to be drugged and hypnotized to get through that ceremony.

12 hours ago, Joana said:

I think the point was to show that as brainwashed as she is, she's essentially just a young girl who needs kindness and affection, like most human beings do. Which is all fine and true, except that if they're going to show someone like her having an affair, it really needed to have a proper build-up and we didn't get any since the writers clearly aren't invested in her character nearly enough. It's too bad, it could have been a fascinating story. 

I agree. It was far too abrupt.

10 hours ago, Shangrilala said:

And can Nick PLEASE just pretend with his childbride?  Just for a hot second?  She clearly doesn't need much from him.  "Why do you like her and not me?"  I mean, all he has to do is give her a kiss good morning and he'd probably have her singing from the rooftops she's so damn young and naive.  

Now that I think about it, this episode was basically everybody being 100% careless.  Sure, there were varying degrees of carelessness.  But so much for the straight and narrow example of Gilead.  

Just simple human kindness would do the trick. I like your take on everyone being careless.

10 hours ago, rubinia said:

Did anyone else notice that Serena had pantyhose on during the “birth” scene? The thought of wearing pantyhose while giving birth cracked me up. Speaking of the birth scene, do they not have a midwife at least “check” the woman to make sure it’s true labor? When I was having my baby it seemed like I had a nurse’s hand inside me every 10 minutes to check my progress! Maybe they should wait until her water breaks before they get the harp out, just sayin...

I did! I didn't follow the thought through to "giving birth" but I thought "geez, those are still around in Gilead"?

3 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

The scene where June is in (false) labor and Nick is helping her up the steps of Casa Waterford she and Nick are making eyes and smiling at each other, what? Nobody else sees that?

That and before that, when he doesn't even bother to help his wife down.

2 hours ago, alexvillage said:

I actually like that he is not willing to do anything anymore. It gives the character some humanity. He sees her as a child, and he doesn't want to have sex with a child. Even a kiss. I like that he seems to understand how hard it is. He is supposed to help populate Gilead, but he doesn't want to have sex with someone so young. And Eden knows that she is supposed to get pregnant. She was brainwashed into serving, and she believes sex with her husband, and getting pregnant, is her duty.

She doesn't need sex, as much as some kindness. Sure we can applaud Nick for not wanting to have sex with her - but for not bothering to make the slightest gesture of kindness, not so much.

23 minutes ago, chaifan said:

The way I see it, Serena Joy is a character in a book/tv show.  She is not a real person, and as such, open discussion about the character, her motivations, her background, everything that is left open for speculation because the book/tv show hasn't directly shown it, should not be subject to being perceived as an apologist.  We're simply discussing a character.  Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but I hate to see people here have to put in the "I'm not an apologist" disclaimer to give an opinion as to why they think the character does what she does.  I personally find that aspect of this thread fascinating, and I think the character has been portrayed in a way to purposely to spark these discussions. 

This! IMO it's fine to judge the characters, and even point out when the victims are not helping their situations. But we shouldn't be judging each other. We can disagree without attacking. We all have different perspectives, and we all react differently to characters and plot lines - sometimes we react emotionally, sometimes intellectually, and sometimes just trying to understand.  Sometimes all of those reactions at once.

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

The way I see it, Serena Joy is a character in a book/tv show.  She is not a real person, and as such, open discussion about the character, her motivations, her background, everything that is left open for speculation because the book/tv show hasn't directly shown it, should not be subject to being perceived as an apologist.  We're simply discussing a character.  Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but I hate to see people here have to put in the "I'm not an apologist" disclaimer to give an opinion as to why they think the character does what she does.  I personally find that aspect of this thread fascinating, and I think the character has been portrayed in a way to purposely to spark these discussions. 

It is a TV show and our perception is filtered through that, I agree. This applies to every character, circumstance and event on the show. 

No one is stopping speculation and analysis about the character but as with every discussions, there will be counter arguments. I used a specific example in my original post that you quoted. If Serena Joy is being touted at the would be savior of Gilead for whatever reason, it is only natural that it would be countered. 

The same with speculation that she wasn't part of the inception of the Rape, which was the example I used. I questioned that and gave two specific examples why that speculation isn't plausible. I wasn't accusing anyone specifically even though I have seen people wishing she be redeemed use that speculation to support their position. As if her being not part of it makes her not as evil or something.

On the other side, it is frustrating that when you question a speculation/analysis like I did, you are accused of stifling discussion. I feel I should get on board the "Serena is so complex, she will/ought to be redeemed" bandwagon. Either that or don't voice an opposing view 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Deputy Deputy CoS said:

I am stomped on why there is speculation that she didn't sanction the "ceremony".  In quotes because I won't conform to Gilead's way of thinking. RAPE. Twice now we have seen Serena initiate RAPE. First time involved two people and she stood watch over them. Second time, it was to a heavily pregnant woman. 

And you know what, it makes not a lick of a difference if Serena didn't pen the Rapes or wasn't in the room when it was made law. She sanctioned it and is an active participant. 

That reminds me. Fred clearly knows (through Serena and June) that he is not the father of June's baby, but does he know that Serena was the one who basically puppeteer-ed that first rape with June and Nick? If not, I would be curious as to how he responds if/when that tidbit comes out.

I think Fred did arrange the meeting with Hannah (it was totally a control move, cushioned in something "nice"), but I'm not sure about his part in Nick getting shot. Still, he has motive, especially given that he knows Nick is fertile combined with that tidbit that Commander Harris was promoted because his wife became pregnant. Nick could eventually be promoted to Commander and I think that possibility just doesn't sit well with Fred. 

Aunt Lydia was spot on this episode. Yep, she's not incredibly fond of Serena and I want to see that come out more in future episodes. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
8 minutes ago, Deputy Deputy CoS said:

I feel I should get on board the "Serena is so complex, she will/ought to be redeemed" bandwagon. Either that or don't voice an opposing view 

To be fair, I don't think anyone was demanding that Serena be redeemed. People were just speculating whether she could be - and IMO, before this episode, it was a theoretical possibility. It doesn't mean it would have been a good solution plotwise or something I or anyone else would personally be happy about, it was just a path the show could have taken. Not anymore. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, Deputy Deputy CoS said:

On the other side, it is frustrating that when you question a speculation/analysis like I did, you are accused of stifling discussion. I feel I should get on board the "Serena is so complex, she will/ought to be redeemed" bandwagon. Either that or don't voice an opposing view 

I didn't accuse anyone of stifling discussion, I was mainly commenting on the "apologist" aspect of your comment.  There are lots of posts on both sides of whether or not Serena can be/should be/will be redeemed, which is the whole point of posting on forums like these.  I look at it as a virtual book club (which is sort of funny because I really haven't liked any live book club I've ever been a part of).  I just personally don't like people feeling like they have to put disclaimers to avoid being labeled an "apologist".  My apologies (no pun intended) if I offended, there was certainly no intent to do so.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, Shaynaa said:

I am continually bothered at how much of the show is from the white, male gaze.  Calling that out sure isn't sexist.  I so wish the show runner was not a man.  That's not a knock on Bruce who is very talented but this show really needed to be from a women's perspective.

I've thought this too with some of the choices that are being made.   A part of me actually loves that Nick can't be bothered to go through the motions of giving a single fuck about the child bride forced upon him.  He can't even fake it like nearly everybody else in this story is.  There's something genuine about that that I respect.  But at the same time, can we acknowledge that Nick is only able to behave that way because of the relative privilege he has in this world by virtue of being a man and not one that doesn't have any connections or power of his own?

I'm finding myself surprisingly and increasingly invested in the story of Nick, a man who can't be with the woman he believes himself in love with or the child he was basically cornered into standing stud for and is having dispassionate unwanted sex with a girl he knows is little more than a child to avoid endangering himself or said woman and child, in this seminal feminist work.  At times, the character is reading more sympathetically than most of the female characters who are weekly being subjected to some pretty terrible things.  I don't know if I'm necessarily complaining about it, but at the same time I can't help but wonder if that would still be happening to this degree if the show runner was a woman.  

 

2 hours ago, Joana said:

I think that ever since she was first introduced, we're supposed to see her as some kind of antagonist and a permanent threat to the characters we've grown to love, like a dark force constantly lurking in the background waiting for others to make a wrong move so she could tell on them and have them punished. I assumed that's what her role would be, too, but I no longer think so. She's witnessed several instances of rules being broken and she hasn't done anything about it, so I really don't think she has her mind set on ruining other people's lives. Instead, she just wants to live hers the way she believes she's supposed to - which she is being denied and she doesn't know why. 

Spot on.  Every episode since she first appeared people have been speculating that Eden must be a time bomb or some kind of mastermind that will be the death of them all.  And maybe she will be.  But all of it is built upon the show throwing her in as an obstacle between Nick and June and her one time tentatively asking June if Nick might possibly be a gender traitor because he hadn't touched her.  In that particular scene, she wasn't making any threats to report him or do anything about it.  She was merely wondering and fearing that it meant that there was something wrong with her and what it might mean.  And to be fair, because Gilead is Gilead that was enough to set the alarm bells off in June's head to tell Nick that he needed to get the fuck over himself and join the official Gilead club of people who have been forced into fucking someone they didn't want to.  In actuality, what we've seen of the character is a sheltered young girl who bought into what Gilead was selling struggling to make sense of all the dysfunction she's seen in the Waterford house and an arranged marriage that's fallen far short of expectations. 

This is not to say that Eden doesn't present a possible danger.  She does if she ever starts talking about some of what's going on in that house with the wrong people.  That very well may happen.  But the fact that we're all waiting for it, anticipating it, rather than seeing a 15-year-old in tears over having technically had sex before her first kiss and being so starved for affection and kindness that she's coming damn close to risking adultery in a society she has to know won't respond well at all to it, is another thing I think can be chalked up to tropes of teenage girls and a male show runner willing to feed into them.  Of course the teenage girl is going to doom an older man over sex.  Of course she can't help being spiteful and conniving and may be plotting because of it.  Because she's a teenage girl.  We've all seen movies about this.

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post

Eden breaks my heart. The actress killed it this episode. She's so lonely, she's trying so hard, she's doing everything she's been told and shown is the right thing (keeping house, cooking, paying him attention), and she can't understand why Nick doesn't love her. And Nick doesn't even have it in him to talk to her about it, so she thinks it's all her fault. She has no friends and no one to talk to or confide in. There's a little farm near me that I buy eggs from sometimes, where they post Bible quotes in the yard and the wife and daughters all wear plain dress, and I think of Eden when I go by there. Nick is in a shitty situation, but so is she, and her efforts to make something positive out of it don't and can't work.

I read an interview with the writer of this episode in which she says that her intention was that Fred arranged the meeting with Hannah out of guilt at what he had done to June (of course not realizing that that was basically exactly what he's been doing to her every month, only this time she was "present" for it) and not as an intentional trap, which makes sense given that he wouldn't want his 9 months pregnant handmaid to disappear AGAIN. He might or might not be invested, but Serena certainly is, to say nothing of their entire social circle, and I can't see him destroying this thing she's so invested in on purpose. Also, it's been made clear that the status of a Commander depends partly on his progeny; that baby is valuable to Fred on multiple levels.

Edited by maxineofarc
  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
28 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

I've thought this too with some of the choices that are being made.   A part of me actually loves that Nick can't be bothered to go through the motions of giving a single fuck about the child bride forced upon him.  He can't even fake it like nearly everybody else in this story is.  There's something genuine about that that I respect.  But at the same time, can we acknowledge that Nick is only able to behave that way because of the relative privilege he has in this world by virtue of being a man and not one that doesn't have any connections or power of his own?

I'm finding myself surprisingly and increasingly invested in the story of Nick, a man who can't be with the woman he believes himself in love with or the child he was basically cornered into standing stud for and having dispassionate unwanted sex with a girl he knows is little more than a child to avoid endangering himself or said woman and child, in this seminal feminist work.  At times, the character is reading more sympathetically than most of the female characters who are weekly being subjected to some pretty terrible things.  I don't know if I'm necessarily complaining about it, but at the same time I can't help but wonder if that would still be happening to this degree if the show runner was a woman.  

 

Spot on.  Every episode since she first appeared people have been speculating that Eden must be a time bomb or some kind of mastermind that will be the death of them all.  And maybe she will be.  But all of it is built upon the show throwing her in as an obstacle between Nick and June and her one time tentatively asking June if Nick might possibly be a gender traitor because he hadn't touched her.  In that particular scene, she wasn't making any threats to report him or do anything about it.  She was merely wondering and fearing that it meant that there was something wrong with her and what it might mean.  And to be fair, because Gilead is Gilead that was enough to set the alarm bells off in June's head to tell Nick that he needed to get the fuck over himself and join the official Gilead club of people who have been forced into fucking someone they didn't want to.  In actuality, what we've seen of the character is a sheltered young girl who bought into what Gilead was selling struggling to make sense of all the dysfunction she's seen in the Waterford house and an arranged marriage that's fallen far short of expectations. 

This not to say that Eden doesn't present a possible danger.  She does if she ever starts talking about some of what's going on in that house with the wrong people.  That very well may happen.  But the fact that we're all waiting for it, anticipating it, rather than seeing a 15-year-old in tears over having technically had sex before her first kiss and being so starved for affection and kindness that she's coming damn close to risking adultery in a society she has to know won't respond well at all to it, is another thing I think can be chalked up to tropes of teenage girls and a male show runner willing to feed into them.  Of course the teenage girl is going to doom an older man over sex.  Of course she can't help being spiteful and conniving and may be plotting because of it.  Because she's a teenage girl.  We've all seen movies about this.

I totally agree. This is one of the reasons why I have a problem with Jun/Nick ship. Instead of substantive analysis,  the focus has been Eden possibly being a foil. No one endangers Nick more than Nick. 

This is a brainwashed teenage bride. That status should be the focal point of the character. I resent that the show positioned her to be ridiculed, dismissed and outright hated on. She is one of the victims who is also totally innocent. I will be pissed if her arc ends in her unjustified death.

Edited by Deputy Deputy CoS
  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×