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S02.E12: Postpartum

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To clarify I don’t think Serena is a mother. I’m just saying the baby thinks Serena is her mother, as others have said, to suggest the Abby is crying because she senses her true mother nearby is silly.

 

and I agree that the non existence of formula is a bizarre oversight. Or not so bizarre, feels like a writing error to me. Because I also feel like the writing wants me to believe baby Holly misses June, and I don’t. And yes weirdly relevant today. 

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35 minutes ago, watchTV said:

June, Luke, and Hannah  happy together. Remember that, Hannah?  June reminded her daughter of her former life. For what?  This child could not return to that. In short, she caused her daughter more pain.

What would be more painful is for Hannah to believe her parents abandoned her, and June was trying to convey to her that they would not do that, and that they loved her very much.

Quote

The whole episode felt like one long extended scene of June giving birth.

It felt more realistic than a lot of labor and birth scenes, and I think that's what they were going for.

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1 hour ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Rory Gilmore is a very, very, very annoying and polarizing character.  I love the show Gilmore Girls, but I hate Rory Gilmore, personally.  Speaking for myself.  Alexis was honestly just too young and underdeveloped as an actor.  I don't blame her whatsoever.  I think she was chosen for those eyes which mimic Lauren Graham's - they freaking mention those damn eyes all the time on the show.   In everything else I've seen her in, she's been great.

It’s interesting. I think her inexperience worked well for early Rory, but then she developed a baby voice, and it was sort of downhill from there.

Edited by Sara2009
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On 7.7.2018 at 6:17 PM, lucindabelle said:

Well again born in 60s and this wasn’t done. I’m sure I was cuddled and held and all that as were friends and siblings but people didn’t undress to bottle feed.

Great, you didn't die. You also didn't die from the lead poisoning caused by leaded paint and gasoline, or from lung cancer caused by all the aspestos in the walls. Doesn't change the fact that now we know better. If a baby is struggeling, maybe do what current science knows to be best practice.

 

On 7.7.2018 at 9:55 AM, watchTV said:

Janine and Emily were sent there to work to death. The only reason they have a second chance is due to another handmaid's courage who sacrificed her own life.

And if the colonies didn't exist, where would they have been sent? Directly to the wall. So why are they alive? Because the colonies exist. Who created the colonies? He did.

I rest my case.

Edited by Miles
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29 minutes ago, Ruby said:

What would be more painful is for Hannah to believe her parents abandoned her, and June was trying to convey to her that they would not do that, and that they loved her very much.

It felt more realistic than a lot of labor and birth scenes, and I think that's what they were going for.

Two things. First, Hannah was there when the men tore her from her mother. Her accusation that she was abandoned was a coping mechanism to make sense of her painful situation. Second, now that Hannah knows her mom didn't abandon her and she couldn't go back, why did June need to risk everything by delaying her departure? She was repeatedly warned by both  Nick and Hannah's guardian. If the other guardians caught them, they could all be executed.

As for the birthing scene, we get the idea in 5 minutes. Since they insisted on showing it they could at least make the baby look natural. It was cleaner than normal.

 

 

24 minutes ago, Miles said:

And if the colonies didn't exist, where would they have been sent? Directly to the wall. So why are they alive? Because the colonies exist. Who created the colonies? He did.

I rest my case.

 

So bizarre. That's like a criminal saying, "Look, you're alive because I locked you in a basement instead of shooting you when I had the chance. Thank me for the cops setting you free."

Edited by watchTV · Reason: Birth scene
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1 hour ago, watchTV said:

 

When the glorification of biological mothers was first brought up, someone interpreted  that as dismissing the handmaids in  favor of the commander's wives. Not so. My understanding is this show is in a way overrepresenting the role of a biological mother.

June, Luke, and Hannah  happy together. Remember that, Hannah?  June reminded her daughter of her former life. For what?  This child could not return to that. In short, she caused her daughter more pain. That situation was already very risky and the other guardian kept telling them they needed to go. June then ran outside to say more words that ultimately resulted in what exactly? Great seeing you but nothing's changing. You're going right back to your new life. You know? Away from me. This extended scene resulted in Nick's abduction and June left on her own while ready to pop.

An actual doctor, who was an expert in her field, basically said it's over. Yet, through some unexplained miracle her baby healed. There are a lot of unexplainable things on the show so I guess we'll just have to buy it. The whole episode felt like one long extended scene of June giving birth. It's like the long close up scenes of her face emoting for filler. Did we really need that? Handmaids can have babies. We know. But in case you didn't know, here's what it looks like. Naked. In the dark. On the floor. Without much vernix. Why? Unexplained.

I feel this is stretching to take offense.  You want a mother ripped from her child to not want to see her again?  Like what should have happened?  She is upset.  Hannah didn't miraculously forget her either.  She's old enough to remember June so.....still not getting the "glorification of biological motherhood" thing.

24 minutes ago, watchTV said:

Two things. First, Hannah was there when the men tore her from her mother. Her accusation that she was abandoned was a coping mechanism to make sense of her painful situation. Second, now that Hannah knows her mom didn't abandon her and she couldn't go back, why did June need to risk everything by delaying her departure? She was repeatedly warned by both  Nick and Hannah's guardian. If the other guardians caught them, they could all be executed.

As for the birthing scene, we get the idea in 5 minutes. Since they insisted on showing it they could at least make the baby look natural. It was cleaner than normal.

 

 

So bizarre. That's like a criminal saying, "Look, you're alive because I locked you in a basement instead of shooting you when I had the chance. Thank me for the cops setting you free."

I thought the episode of June giving birth was boring myself however I can see the artistic element in it.  So odd some people take such offense at what was legit one of the most realistic birthing scenes I think I have ever seen on screen.  I am not a huge fan of desperately wanting babies stories but dear lord it's not putting down anyone to show June giving birth.  Jeez.

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1 hour ago, Ragingviolet said:

I feel this is stretching to take offense.  You want a mother ripped from her child to not want to see her again?  Like what should have happened?  She is upset.  Hannah didn't miraculously forget her either.  She's old enough to remember June so.....still not getting the "glorification of biological motherhood" thing.

I thought the episode of June giving birth was boring myself however I can see the artistic element in it.  So odd some people take such offense at what was legit one of the most realistic birthing scenes I think I have ever seen on screen.  I am not a huge fan of desperately wanting babies stories but dear lord it's not putting down anyone to show June giving birth.  Jeez.

I answered your question in your next quote of me. June risked everyone including her own child when it was forbidden because she's the biological mom and feelings? Honestly, that reunion was uncalled for. There were too many loose ends including Hannah's guardian and maid. Anyone could report them and they could be executed. For someone who is trying to save her children, she's taking unnecessary risks.

No one took offense. More at bored or annoyed at wasted story time. Sorry if you interpret it that way. And it wasn't even myself who brought up the biological mother glorification. I just understood the point that person was trying to make. I also can't watch a show and pretend everything's great.

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3 hours ago, Sara2009 said:

It’s interesting. I think her inexperience worked well for early Rory, but then she developed a baby voice, and it was sort of downhill from there.

I think the baby voice was an affected acting choice. Agree that she was good in the early seasons. She was terrible later on. Part of that was how the character was written, but a large part of that was also her acting. 

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Why is Lydia the only Aunt we see aymore? There must be others. But not too many, as aunts have power and Giled can't have too many  powerful women in Gilead.

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On 7/7/2018 at 12:57 AM, mamadrama said:

I have also been feeling uncomfortable and angry about this direction. Char-Angela was exhibiting signs of failure to thrive because while her basic needs were being met (food, diaper changes, etc.), she didn't seem to be getting the physical stimulation or the cuddling/contact that babies need. She perked up with Janine because someone finally offered her some skin-to-skin contact, physical affection, and stimulation (playing with her, singing to her, etc.). Janine just happened to be Char-Angela's biological mother but, theoretically, if Naomi had been offering this to her all along then she may not have fallen ill. While babies DO know their birth mother's scent (and their voice), the love and affection they receive is just as important-even if it's from someone else. With time, they will also get to know THAT person's scent and voice and will find it just as soothing.

True. Don't hospitals have programs where people can go and just hold babies in the NICU - the ones who can be held - because this helps them? It doesn't have to be the mother. 

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It’s getting awfully snippy in here. If you have a point to make, make it and move on. Do not snark on your fellow posters’ opinions. If you can’t say what you think civilly, it’s probably best to not say it at all. 

This is the last mod note. Warnings are next. 

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Eden quoting the "Love is patient, love is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4–8a) poem was totally out of character for her IMHO.

First, I don't believe that Gilead would have kept that particular verse in their version of the bible. They seem all fire and brimstone.  We are all going by the fact that Eden was probably fully indoctrined in Gilead as she was young when the take over happened.

I wish Issac had spoken as well to support his love for Eden.   

The weights at the bottom of the pool are telling that this isn't the first time or the last.

Why was June present? She was the only handmaid there.  Even if she was part of the Waterford's household, I don't think it was her place to be there.

I feel sorry for Joseph's wife (whatever her name is).  I think she went cray cray when the shit down.  

So, no one is happy in Gilead (even the Commanders), there are very few babies being born and they have not prospered.  Yeah brave new world.

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4 hours ago, graefin said:

I think the baby voice was an affected acting choice. Agree that she was good in the early seasons. She was terrible later on. Part of that was how the character was written, but a large part of that was also her acting. 

Definitely agree. It was a bad acting choice,though.

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I answered your question in your next quote of me. June risked everyone including her own child when it was forbidden because she's the biological mom and feelings? Honestly, that reunion was uncalled for. There were too many loose ends including Hannah's guardian and maid. Anyone could report them and they could be executed. For someone who is trying to save her children, she's taking unnecessary risks.

I don't see where it was, "risking everything."  And what mother wouldn't be desperate to see her child again, especially if she thinks it might be one last time?  I know I would.  I'd act exactly the way June did.

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32 minutes ago, Ruby said:

I don't see where it was, "risking everything."  And what mother wouldn't be desperate to see her child again, especially if she thinks it might be one last time?  I know I would.  I'd act exactly the way June did.

Yes I’d crawl over broken glass. And although it was traumatic for Hannah to have this very short reunion the positive outweighs the negative, she will no longer have the torment of thinking that her parents abandoned her, she knows that they still love her and miss her. As she grows up she would be gutted if she discovered her mother could have seen her but chose not to, she can now hold onto this memory of her mother to help soothe her sorrow. If that is the last time she ever sees June again she can hold onto the fact that her mother did not let her leave in distress, ignoring her cries, but comforted her with love and well wishes for a new life with her new ‘parents’. This was done at great cost to June but her love for her child overrode her pain and she did the best possible thing under devastating circumstances, she tried to give her child the tools to protect herself and to have a happy life. I thought June was an absolute rock star how she dealt with such an unimaginable situation.  

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2 hours ago, greekmom said:

Eden quoting the "Love is patient, love is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4–8a) poem was totally out of character for her IMHO.

First, I don't believe that Gilead would have kept that particular verse in their version of the bible. They seem all fire and brimstone.  We are all going by the fact that Eden was probably fully indoctrined in Gilead as she was young when the take over happened.

 

 

If the timeline of Gilead’s takeover is to be believed, which I find questionable at times thanks to the show’s hodgepodge pacing, Eden would’ve been around 12 or so before they took full hold of the country, and that would have included destroying all former copies of the Bible and creating their own.

 Also, until they took over women were allowed to freely read, so I believe that more than likely Eden’s parents brought her up on the former version of the Bible and probably she memorized it.

It was probably something she read and studied over every single day of her young life, so actually I think it’s very believable that she, like June, remembered parts of the old Bible because that’s what they grew up on.

Gilead did take over but, probably to their own frustration, they could not just brainwash what people already knew and had learned during the time before. 

  I always felt that was a standout when it comes to Gilead and their process of elimination being pretty futile and pointless, 

Sure, this regime has enforced all these new laws and restrictions and bans on so many things from these peoples lives that were so well ingrained, you can’t just take away X or Y and expect people to suddenly become programmable robots that follow your every lead.

To me that was one of the brilliant ways Atwood connected the story to reality, because we do see that in our every day world, this idea that just because you have control and you can enforce it that somehow it will replace the free will that someone had long before you came along. 

Eventually a rebellion often will emerge. 

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Both June and Janine have given birth to daughters. Are more girls than boys being born now due to the f*cked up environment? How will that effect the next generation of Gilead? It is interesting that baby girls are very highly valued, perhaps baby boys are even more revered. Fred was clearly hoping for a son.

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On 7/7/2018 at 6:52 AM, Ceindreadh said:

The scene where Serena lets June nurse Holly. Was anybody else expecting Serena to sit behind June in the chair so she could ‘participate’ in the feed much as she ‘participated’ in the Ceremony?

Yes. I fully expected Serena to take out a breast and mime nursing motions behind June. 

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5 hours ago, greekmom said:

Eden quoting the "Love is patient, love is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4–8a) poem was totally out of character for her IMHO.

First, I don't believe that Gilead would have kept that particular verse in their version of the bible. They seem all fire and brimstone.  We are all going by the fact that Eden was probably fully indoctrined in Gilead as she was young when the take over happened.

I agree. Remember, the day she moved into the Waterford household, Serena talked to her and quoted what I think was The Song of Songs - and Eden had absolutely no idea what it was. So, I doubt she's really familiar with the pre-Gilead Bible and it does look out of character and like an error in continuity.

But then again, having an insta-relationship with someone she just met is also out of character for a person like her. It's such a waste of a storyline, really. 

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3 hours ago, marinw said:

Both June and Janine have given birth to daughters. Are more girls than boys being born now due to the f*cked up environment? How will that effect the next generation of Gilead? It is interesting that baby girls are very highly valued, perhaps baby boys are even more revered. Fred was clearly hoping for a son.

Well, from a "we need to rebuild the population because fertility rates have sunk (and because we've killed or driven off half of society)" standpoint, having more girls than boys is more helpful than vice versa.  But you're right - in Gilead that would just put men in an even higher status above women than already exists.  

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Eden is the same person who thought the husband who had never laid eyes on her or even knew of her existence before she was handed out like a gym class pinny in an arranged marriage should be immediately in love with her.  Even with the complete unsexiness and lack of romance of Gilead, she was still somehow a romantic to the point of being willing to die for her idea of it.  1 Corinthians 13 is fairly well known and quoted a lot among people of faith, especially at weddings or in reference to marriage, so it doesn't seem a huge leap for me that the Gileadians might have kept at least some of it as aspirational for young brides with all of its talk about how love should be patient and enduring no matter what.  We've certainly seen them pervert select verses before for their own ends.  I can see why they might have dropped all reference to Song of Songs as it's fairly racy in comparison and might give a girl the idea that sex is for pleasure rather than strictly procreation.

I struggle with Gilead's timeline as presented on the show and how Eden as a 15-year-old really fits into that too.  Has it been three years? Five years?  Were her family separatists before and already well indoctrinated in what Gilead would become?  Did she struggle at all with childhood memories of before when she might have been able to read it for herself or heard it quoted?  Oh well, doesn't matter now.  She's dead.

I do kind of love that we never got a single line from Isaac about how he actually felt about Eden or any of it.  That's how little he mattered in any of this.

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4 hours ago, Joana said:

I agree. Remember, the day she moved into the Waterford household, Serena talked to her and quoted what I think was The Song of Songs - and Eden had absolutely no idea what it was. So, I doubt she's really familiar with the pre-Gilead Bible and it does look out of character and like an error in continuity.

But then again, having an insta-relationship with someone she just met is also out of character for a person like her. It's such a waste of a storyline, really. 

 

I actually know a number of people who prefer that their children not even read Song of Solomon, something about that they need to be of a certain age to understand what it “really means”.

 I’ve always found that to be total nonsense personally, they just want to avoid any “sex” talk thanks to the bible. 

 They are an incredibly conservative bunch who don’t even like their children receiving any sort of sexual education as they grow up, either in the home or at school.

I could see Eden having access to certain parts of the old bible, perhaps her parents sequestered away certain books or verses that did not fit what they wanted her to learn, as Gilead ended up doing on a massive scale. 

As we have heard her talk about her parents and former home life, it does seem that her household was not completely Gilead-based until a certain point, in my opinion. 

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On 7/4/2018 at 1:57 AM, arabidopsis said:

Re: Eden. My sister had a childhood friend whose dream from a very young age was to get married and have lots of babies.  Many years later, we had occasion to stay a few nights at her home, which was indeed filled with children – she had married her first love and they were living the “God won’t give us more than we can handle” philosophy of family planning. Before I go further let me qualify this – I am a 38 year-old single, childless-by-choice, woman, and a scientist on top of that – basically anathema, as far as Gilead-types would be concerned – conversely, the life this woman had chosen for herself makes me feel completely claustrophobic when I try to put myself in her shoes.  This woman, however, is genuinely happy with her life, and the household was full of warmth and kindness. The kids (all 8 of them) were intelligent, well-spoken, thoughtful and sweet. The parents clearly loved each other, displayed (G-rated) physical affection towards each other, and were firm believers that disagreements between themselves and discipline of the children should never involve raised voices or violence, but should be handled calmly, with kindness and respect. But make no mistake, the marriage and family was very firmly based in traditional conservative Christian values and gender roles – wives submit yourselves to your husbands; husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her; children obey your parents in the Lord...When Eden talked about her parents to Nick and Rita, my mind immediately went to this family.  The thing is, this set up only worked for them because of a combination of their naturally even-keeled personalities, fortunate financial circumstances, and the fact that these people got to choose each other and this life of their own free will. My thought for both the character of Eden, and the kids in this real-life family is what a rude awakening the harsh reality of the outside world will be. Eden expected that as long as she faithfully fulfilled her God-given role as a dutiful and submissive wife, she would be protected and adored by her husband in return. Instead she was met with coldness and indifference from Nick; the gender traitor comment she made to June, which could be interpreted as menacing, was simply Eden trying to make sense of her new life based on what she had been led to believe about the world – she was following the wife rules, so why wasn’t Nick responding in kind?  That was the promised reward for her devotion. Beyond that, in joining the household of a powerful commander in this new Godly society, she would have expected the Christian ideal of a devout and happy home – instead she was met with misery and corruption.  It makes all the sense in the world to me that faced with the true nature of Gilead, which challenged everything she believed so deeply to be true about the world, that as soon as anyone offered her some small shred of genuine affection, she would latch onto it with everything she had to try to realign her reality with the fantasy on which her whole identity was built. It’s both entirely expected, and the height of tragic irony that the truly devout believers would be romanced by the idea of this society, and then sacrificed at the altar of the power-hungry sleezeballs running it. RIP Eden and Isaac – “innocent” or “guilty,” devout or heretic, oppressive regimes will find a reason to make you suffer so they can live out their sick fantasies without consequence.

Beautiful post.  Thanks.  

I was deeply moved by her death.

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On 7/4/2018 at 4:04 PM, watchTV said:

As someone else pointed out a baby was kidnapped / stolen and the kid grew up to love the thief. It does not make it okay or normal. Just fact. Your exact words were:

I only brought up adoption because you said:

A mother doesn't automatically possess this ability. Some mothers can't be bothered. An adoptive mother and even a baby thief can. It's not normal but it happens.

This show is not about that.  It doesn't come close to implying that an adoptive mother cannot take care of her child beautifully.  Adoption is not what's going on here.  That is a false equivalency.  

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I'm enjoying the series and look forward to Sunday evenings, but they seem to be treading the same ground over and over lately.  No matter the twists and turns of the plot, June will always have to return to the Waterford House.  It must be difficult for the writers to come up with reasons why she's not moved to a new placement (this time it's breastfeeding).  I guess Fred is hooked on her and can pull strings.... maybe?

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On 7/9/2018 at 11:10 AM, Save Yourself said:

Yes I’d crawl over broken glass. And although it was traumatic for Hannah to have this very short reunion the positive outweighs the negative, she will no longer have the torment of thinking that her parents abandoned her, she knows that they still love her and miss her. As she grows up she would be gutted if she discovered her mother could have seen her but chose not to, she can now hold onto this memory of her mother to help soothe her sorrow. If that is the last time she ever sees June again she can hold onto the fact that her mother did not let her leave in distress, ignoring her cries, but comforted her with love and well wishes for a new life with her new ‘parents’. This was done at great cost to June but her love for her child overrode her pain and she did the best possible thing under devastating circumstances, she tried to give her child the tools to protect herself and to have a happy life. I thought June was an absolute rock star how she dealt with such an unimaginable situation.  

I don't know what the writers thought, I have a feeling they wanted to show June as the awesome warrior mom. The thing is, kids get traumatized all the time. I know a few young adults who were extremely traumatized by some events in their lives. I kind of wish that the writers had gone deeper in the trauma (still time!) because it happens to children all over the world. People get taken away from them without explanation all the time. It is not only the kind of things we see in the news these days, it is much closer and "simpler" than that. There is a book written by a former foster child, biological mother was not fit to parent him, but he describes the trauma of being taken away from her even if it was for his own good. He didn't read get over it. Different situation in the show but the fact that Hannah would be more traumatized by seeing June is possible and real and I wish they could show how she copes (or doesn't) with it. 

It would be interesting to see how  the abducted children are dealt with in Gilead 

 

Just an aside: I mistyped "trauma" and the autocorrect changed it to "trump". It makes sense...

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2 hours ago, alexvillage said:

I don't know what the writers thought, I have a feeling they wanted to show June as the awesome warrior mom. The thing is, kids get traumatized all the time. I know a few young adults who were extremely traumatized by some events in their lives. I kind of wish that the writers had gone deeper in the trauma (still time!) because it happens to children all over the world. People get taken away from them without explanation all the time. It is not only the kind of things we see in the news these days, it is much closer and "simpler" than that. There is a book written by a former foster child, biological mother was not fit to parent him, but he describes the trauma of being taken away from her even if it was for his own good. He didn't read get over it. Different situation in the show but the fact that Hannah would be more traumatized by seeing June is possible and real and I wish they could show how she copes (or doesn't) with it. 

It would be interesting to see how  the abducted children are dealt with in Gilead 

 

Just an aside: I mistyped "trauma" and the autocorrect changed it to "trump". It makes sense...

I think exactly that - the writers wanted to show that June is a warrior mother and if I was described like that I’d be pretty happy! I’d hope that’s what every parent wants to do, protect their children as much as they possibly can and in these circumstances June did what she could and I think the way June handled Hannah was true to what we have been shown of them as a family unit. Absolutely children are traumatised all the time, I’m by no means a young adult (44! ?) but I experienced a significant amount of trauma as a child that has reverberated for decades through my life and I’m in no way a minority, lots of crappy things can happen in life. I’m just not sure of the intent of your comment? That June shouldn’t have seen her child? Or were you simply stating that these things happen in real life?

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1 hour ago, Save Yourself said:

I’m just not sure of the intent of your comment? That June shouldn’t have seen her child? Or were you simply stating that these things happen in real life?

No, I think that the writers could have explored that because it is part of life for some. During crisis of this nature, there isn't much room for reason and logic. It is all emotion. And there is hope too, so I don't think that a parent (and a child, but children don't make the decisions, usually) who experience the trauma of separation as June did would not really start being all reasonable if the chance of seeing Hannah came up. It is true to reality as hard and sad it might seem. I don't think it is selfish of her. I think it is human, even if some think it is flawed. 

But I also think the writers didn't think in the same lines I wish they had. They went for the easy Super Mom! discourse.

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Ep 12:

 

I had to look up why Commander Lawrence seemed familiar. That can’t be Josh from the West Wing, can it?? His voice does fit, but is he really that old now or did they put him in old man hair and makeup? I do wonder what’s up in that house. Does he regret what he’s done? Is he part of the resistance now? Why is their house so openly different than the others? The paintings, the women not even pretending to follow the rules? The comment about the penalty for reading? Has he changed his mind about Gilead? How has he not been purged by the others? 

 

Come on, say “it wasn’t you I was hiding from in the attic, only Serena”. Play the few cards you have, girl! 

 

As usual, so dark I can’t see anything half the time. They need a button that says “I acknowledge all these scenes are set in the dark but I still want to see them” that turns up the exposure by 3 stops. 

 

Emily seems so traumatized every moment. It’s sad, I thought she was actually returning to herself in the colonies. If she’s given up, what’s to stop her for just killing whatever commander she’s assigned to and killing herself? I wonder why there aren’t more poisonings in this world. Didn’t a book come out recently about how that’s what women did in the Victorian era in England, when that’s the only power they had? 

 

Why would they do anything with Eden other than make her into a handmaid? Or if not that, return her to her husband under the assumption that she was taken against her will, no matter what she said - Commander Waterford should be powerful enough to arrange that. I guess he didn’t want to. But then again, why not a handmaid? Doesn’t make any sense that they would drown a teenage girl who is so young they have no way of knowing if she’s fertile, and who would at least make an attractive sex slave for some commander. But we already knew Gilead is deeply illogical and inconsistent, perhaps even more so in the show than in the book. (Also, pregnancy tests aren’t accurate for a few weeks). 

 

Has it occurred to Serena that that is what could happen to “Nicole” someday?

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16 minutes ago, LeGrandElephant said:

I had to look up why Commander Lawrence seemed familiar. That can’t be Josh from the West Wing, can it?? His voice does fit, but is he really that old now or did they put him in old man hair and makeup?

This is how you put it together: Aunt Lydia is the woman wearing a mumu and chain smoking Parliaments who was running LemonLyman.com on The West Wing. Then the USA fell, Josh became Commander Lawrence (he assumed a Christian name to avoid being purged as a Jew) and they ran into each other again in this horrifying alternate reality where Nazi Germany won. So when he says "super" and "glory be" to Lydia right before kicking her out, it's extra funny.

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3 hours ago, LordOfLotion said:

This is how you put it together: Aunt Lydia is the woman wearing a mumu and chain smoking Parliaments who was running LemonLyman.com on The West Wing. Then the USA fell, Josh became Commander Lawrence (he assumed a Christian name to avoid being purged as a Jew) and they ran into each other again in this horrifying alternate reality where Nazi Germany won. So when he says "super" and "glory be" to Lydia right before kicking her out, it's extra funny.

 

That was Deborah, IIRC.  And a truly terrifying mod she was. But, yeah, I could Aunt Lydia in that role. 

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15 hours ago, LeGrandElephant said:

Ep 12:

 

I had to look up why Commander Lawrence seemed familiar. That can’t be Josh from the West Wing, can it?? His voice does fit, but is he really that old now or did they put him in old man hair and makeup? I do wonder what’s up in that house. Does he regret what he’s done? Is he part of the resistance now? Why is their house so openly different than the others? The paintings, the women not even pretending to follow the rules? The comment about the penalty for reading? Has he changed his mind about Gilead? How has he not been purged by the others?

Yes, that's Bradley Whitford. He turns 59 later this year. I think that grey beard is really his.

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On 7/4/2018 at 7:04 PM, NoSpam said:

No, I'm not talking about the Gilead treatment of biological mothers. I'm talking about  what the show has presented.

I mean how only Janine could cure her baby (after a respected neo natal doctor said nothing could be done). The whole june/Hannah reunion, where June is so overcome by seeing her that she puts all their lives at risk. The birthing in the house alone...all of the flashbacks to Hannah's birth. It's all been too melodramatic.

YMMV, Whatevs.

I agree. It's almost like anvils. We get it, of course babies shouldn't be stolen from their biological mothers, but the OMG a baby needs breastmilk or she's gonna die stuff is a bit much. Is there no formula in Gilead?

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On 7/8/2018 at 9:07 PM, marinw said:

Punishment in Gilead is so freaking random. You never know if your “crime” will result in a beating, or re-assignment to Jezebels or the Colonies, or losing a body part, or an execution. It all seems so capricious. That just makes everything worse.

So who gets the fun job of recovering bodied from the bottom of the pool? 

Can someone explain why Warren lost a hand for infidelity (taking advantage of Janine and cheating on his wife) and Eden and Isaac had to be drowned? Did the laws change? Or is Love a far worse crime?

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On 12/14/2018 at 9:46 PM, BosomBuddy said:

Can someone explain why Warren lost a hand for infidelity (taking advantage of Janine and cheating on his wife) and Eden and Isaac had to be drowned? Did the laws change? Or is Love a far worse crime?

Warren is a Commander i.e. one of the elite. 

Eden was an Econowife, Isaac was a - I don't actually remember what his designation but he was pretty much a foot soldier. 

It's one rule for the bosses and another for the minions. 

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On 14 December 2018 at 9:46 PM, BosomBuddy said:

Can someone explain why Warren lost a hand for infidelity (taking advantage of Janine and cheating on his wife) and Eden and Isaac had to be drowned? Did the laws change? Or is Love a far worse crime?

Warren put on a good show of remorse. Eden and Isaac refused to beg forgiveness for their "sin". 

Also, the crimes were different. Warren was guilty of unauthorised sexual activity with the Handmaid assigned to him. Eden was guilty of adultery (a crime that landed a Wife in the Colonies) and Isaac was guilty of absconding with another man's wife, which were probably considered much more serious than Warren's infraction.

Their youth, and potential fertility in Eden's case, is probably the reason why they were offered the chance to repent. However, the Commanders would probably rather lose a young woman of potential, but unproven, fertility than to allow an unrepentant adulteress be seen to get away with her "sin".

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On 7/4/2018 at 1:00 AM, AnswersWanted said:

Ann Dowd’s look of disgust, coupled with horror, mingled with dark curiosity at the state of the home when dropping Emily off was glorious. 

Ann Dowd is awesome! Aunt Lydia might be loathsome, but I can never take my eyes from her when she's on screen.

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On 12 July 2018 at 4:40 PM, ChromaKelly said:

I agree. It's almost like anvils. We get it, of course babies shouldn't be stolen from their biological mothers, but the OMG a baby needs breastmilk or she's gonna die stuff is a bit much. Is there no formula in Gilead?

It's entirely possible that there is no formula in Gilead.

For one thing, they're all about "traditional" values, and the infertility crisis is being at least partly blamed on chemicals, so I can't imagine that any mother would dare to opt out of breastfeeding, for fear of being declared unfit and having her baby taken away.

For another, there are so few babies being born that I can't imagine that it would be considered practical to keep factories operating to provide a supply of formula for the tiny minority of mothers who can't breastfeed for health reasons. As near as I can tell, the only non-domestic, non-military labourers in their society are the men from Econo families and the inhabitants of the Colonies. The workforce has been decimated, so Gilead probably needs to prioritise the activities essential to keep the country afloat.

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