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S02.E13: The Word

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7 minutes ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

His house is in complete disarray and he’s not getting any blowback? Come’on now.

 

If June can keep escaping and then end up caught and remain completely untouched and not punished for it?

I have no doubt that Fred can continue to hold his position, because the show seems to think that these characters have to remain almost invincible to the evils of Gilead to keep the story going.

Not even Atwood believed that, imho, why these writers do is beyond me.

But I do think that is a good chunk of what is sinking the show, it’s drowning in impracticality. 

Eden was probably the one person in the Waterford’s household guilty of only one “crime”.

Rita is a part of the underground, Nick is a rogue spy, resistance member, and keeps hanging around June like a love sick puppy, June has basically done everything to end up dead as a handmaid, Serena is guilty of numerous crimes of her own doing and thanks to Fred, and Fred is sitting on countless illegal behaviors that should’ve earned him a hanging long ago, but this household continues to stand and the people within it continue to get away with almost everything. 

Maybe they will change course in season 3. If they don’t...I just don’t think the story will survive. 

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13 minutes ago, NoSpam said:

 

How many times have we heard someone say "RUN AND HIDE!" to June, only to have her look out a window?

Or be told "WE HAVE TO HURRY" only to have her heave, and sigh, and re-tie Hannah's cape THREE FUCKING TIMES while she repeats what she's already said, and we get another close up of Elizabeth Moss's nose. 

Now she has time for some grafitti, when other peoples' lives are at risk. 

 

They seriously need a new headwriter.  That stuff isn't tense, it's just stupid.  Kudos to Moss for making that stuff almost believable.

22 minutes ago, arabidopsis said:

Dialogue from season 1 finale

Serena: [Referring to Scrabble] I forget, how many tiles do you pick to start?

Fred: Seven

Serena: Do you want to play?

Fred: Love to, but I have work to do. And in any case, you know the law.

Serena: Yes, I do. I helped write it.

Fred: I remember.

I can believe that Serena didn't want this for herself, but I think it's pretty clear she was fine with it for other women.

As I said, they also need to hire a decent continuity person.

 

5 minutes ago, NoSpam said:

And...She was fine with holding June down while she was violently raped (not the decorous "ceremony rape") and screaming "No!" Which, of course, was forgotten in the very next episode. This show has a clean slate every episode. It's seriously Gilligan's Island now, and they should just play it for camp at this point.

So yeah, I'm finding the attempts to show a "complex" side to SJ eye-rollingly unbelievable. 

I believe she's complex as hell, which is what makes her a good villain. 

Still, I agree.  They need to fire that dude and put a woman in charge of this show.  Speaking of that, I just cancelled Hulu.  They asked a bunch of questions, including how likely I am to subscribe again in the future.  I said their prices are too high for what they are offering, and to put up with commercials on top of that.  I further said I MIGHT return if they fired the head-writer of Handmaid's Tale.

The acting is much too good for this many mistakes, and it's the writing, not the actresses.  Although Fred is reaching "twirl the mustache" territory, and the only really good male actor we've had is Commander Lawrence, who somehow rose above the somewhat sketchy script and made me believe in the dude.

1 minute ago, mamadrama said:

I feel like the writers are just ignoring that scene and acting like it never happened. The S2 Serena has acted like she had no part in the formation of Gilead and tonight's Serena acted like she had no part in writing that "no reading" law. Honestly, I think this was one of those dropped plot points that I am getting pissed about.

Exactly.  New head-writer and a continuity person would help this show out a lot.

Edited by Umbelina
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I have a feeling that at a minimum,  the “don’t do drugs” comment from Commander Lawrence was an ad lib. Probably at least one other was something he made up in the moment.

I just don’t believe the writers are able to create that sort of levity. 

Edited by guilfoyleatpp
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I'm glad that Holly is on that truck with Emily. I sure hope season 3 shows them safely in Canada. I understand why June stayed, but like everyone else has mentioned, there is no way she can walk right back into the Waterford house. I have zero sympathy for Serena. Speaking of Serena, I think June might have Stockholm Syndrome going on.

I liked the little bit of levity that Commander Lawrence brought, and I'm glad that he helped Emily get out, but I didn't like the way he pushed his wife into the room. And of course, with him helping to create Gilead, I can't like him yet. He needs to redeem himself some more.

I did like learning the backstory of some of the characters, and I'm curious about Aunt Lydia's, so I would like to see that explored. I highly doubt that she is dead. She is too evil to be gone from the show already. 

I think I'm going to need season 3 to be the last season, with June getting out and all who created Gilead destroyed in one way or another...if not killed, having trials for treason, etc. I like the show very much, but I think it's a show better suited to a shorter run.
 

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1 hour ago, dramachick said:

The writers seem lost without source material, and I honestly believe this show would be much better with a female showrunner.

The character of June lacks consistency and emotional honesty. I don't have much to add to what others have already pointed out as being unbelievable except to say that during her first escape attempt, she didn't antagonize over leaving Hannah, and at that time she had no idea if Hannah was being cared for or treated unkindly. She now knows that Hannah is loved by her Martha and is as safe as she can be in a place like Gilead. She's also seen what happens to members of the resistance when they're caught, so it's very selfish to put herself in a position where she can be forced to divulge the identities of people who risked everything to help her. All the commander has to do is threaten Hannah, and June will rat out everybody.

Emily is my favorite character, and Alexis Bledel knocks it out of the park every time. Whether she's poisoning someone, stabbing them or kicking the shit out of them, I believe her. I'm ecstatic that she escaped and hope that she works to bring Gilead down.

I stuck with it for two seasons, but I'm out.

 

Someone in another thread described Emily as a lioness, and she really is. I’m glad she made it out...although I suspect she’s going to discover in S3 that her wife remarried and her son doesn’t remember her, because why stop the misery parade?

I can’t even with June. Maybe decide to stay behind before a bunch of Marthas risk their lives trying to save your useless ass? 

...And oh yeah, Nicole’s a terrible name. 

Edited by Eyes High
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I'm watching this, and just got to the part whereFred says they can try for a boy, "it could be fun". Ugh!!!

I know that Ann Dowd is amazing, but go Emily!! That was painful to watch, but after all Lydia has put them through, I don't blame her for snapping. It looked like the knife was for the commander and his wife (if she was to be involved in the ceremony). 

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5 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

Those two have spent all season screaming and spitting at each other and then giving super hard looks of silent brooding before one walks off

This. I fell like this is 60% of this season - with 30% being June brooding by herself, 5% of other characters stories, 5% of actual development.

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I'm a bit disappointed with June's choice but if next season she joins the Resistance or something, I could live with it. However, I think she'd have been more useful to Hannah in Canada, working safely against Gilead. By staying, she's risking her life and tbh, I'm not sure she has the skills to free Hannah. 

God, I love to hate Aunt Lydia, but when Emily stabbed her I almost threw a party.

Serena's main personal sin is probably pride. And she didn't want to admit to herself -or June- that Gilead actually sucks big time. But she's getting there. Does it mean she can be redeemed? I don't believe there's a right or wrong answer, forgiveness is such a personal choice. It seems that the new Commander created the colonies. Now he's trying to help. Does it mean he can be redeemed? Emily probably thinks he can. Most of you seem to believe he can. The women who are now dying in the colonies probably think he can't. 

I don't know if I wanted her to be redeemed, though. On the one hand, it'd mean she's helping people who needs helping. On the other hand, I sort of like the idea of her betting always for the wrong horse and paying the final price. 

When the second season started, I said this show wasn't telling new things. It was repetitive and it seems I was right. Things have to change for season three. 

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14 minutes ago, alexvillage said:

Reading some of the posts here before watching the show. This must be the first (full of potential good material) show to jump the shark so soon. The things June has been doing, her overt defiance, her recklessness, would have her killed immediately. We saw some pretty awful stuff in the first season, when the writers were being more loyal to the book. Yes, June is the protagonist so they want to keep her in Gilead but this does not mean they have to completely contradict themselves. They could have written the escape differently, having her decision to stay not a choice, but an inevitability. I mean, they're WRITERS. They are writing these plots as if the character knows it is just a TV show, so they can do whatever and the consequences they would suffer a few episodes back will not apply anymore, for the sake of more seasons.

Yes.

I blame the showrunner for this, the writers are directed what to write, just not how to do it, and the editor sucks too.  There seems to be no overall vision, other than "drag this out as long as possible" and that's not the way to keep viewers watching.  Ever.

10 minutes ago, Helena Dax said:

God, I love to hate Aunt Lydia, but when Emily stabbed her I almost threw a party.

I thought the most unreal part of that was that she didn't finish the job, kick her head in.  Emily would have done it, but once again, the writers are all about keeping the actress on screen, and to hell with the story, or anything making any sense.

10 minutes ago, Helena Dax said:

When the second season started, I said this show wasn't telling new things. It was repetitive and it seems I was right. Things have to change for season three. 

Indeed.  For those saying there is "no more book left" I disagree. There is plenty of "book story" left, but it requires imagination and a desire to get on with it, instead of "Gilead, one day at a time, we'll make this last as long as Gilead did, come hell or high water."  Also, as others have noted, the episodes are usually not bad, as stand alones.  It's when you put them all together and call it a season that the problems are apparent.  (Which I really detailed in the "Hate" thread a while ago, so I don't want to repeat it all here.)

But I'm tempted.  I'm actually kind of angry at all of them for this season (not the actresses, they, as always, have done an amazing job, especially when you consider what they've had to play.

10 minutes ago, Helena Dax said:

Serena's main personal sin is probably pride. And she didn't want to admit to herself -or June- that Gilead actually sucks big time. But she's getting there. Does it mean she can be redeemed? I don't believe there's a right or wrong answer, forgiveness is such a personal choice.

Fred needs to die, humiliated, and Serena, since I agree, she has the sin of pride, needs to go to Jezebels and thus, pay for her many sins, as well as finding out just what the "men" of Gilead are really doing.

I'm cool with her joining the resistance as well.  If anything would do it, Jezebel's would.

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: )
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5 hours ago, DiabLOL said:

I'm assuming an ambulance was called for Aunt Lydia but what were they told happened to her didn't she have a knife sticking out of her head? Unless they killed her and buried her in the yard.

They probably just told the authorities the truth: Emily stabbed Aunt Lydia and then took off. But obviously left out the part where Commander Lawrence helped Emily get away.

I am not surprised that June decided to stay behind. I knew that as soon as she looked at that photo of Hannah. Actually, I knew it from the beginning of the series, but looking at that photo made it clear why she would stay this time. As someone else already mentioned, June is not going to get out of Gilead until the end of the series. When she got pregnant I hoped that she would at least manage to get the baby out of Gilead so that Holly wouldn't have to grow up there. So that's one of the few things I liked about the finale. Others have already mentioned the things that I didn't like so I won't repeat all that.

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"I've got to save Hannah first" or "Not without Hannah" would have made June's decision more understandable. Taking out her picture at the border maybe seemed to the writers to take out unnecessary exposition but it played like Hannah was an afterthought (which seems like the story of Hannah's life). 

I did however love Emily tearfully  choking out can you please turn the music OFF? Was that the first words she said in the epispde? Alexis Bledel, unlike EM, is someone whose microexpressions I could watch all day. She is a true lioness. If they were to ever pit Emily against June...I know where my loyalty would be (and I like June. Emily is just better).

Next year--for the love of God keep the Lawerences, they are the best part of the show. Focus on the resistence, if June stays make her part of the underground and get her to Hannah. No more skulking around the Waterford house playing nice with the serial rapists.

Serena, I still remember you holding June down while she screamed as Fred raped her--and I remember it was because your dumb ass got mad at her because she said sorry Mrs Waterford in a TONE. So while I do feel a little tiny bit bad for you for getting your finger chopped off, you really deserve a lot worse. 

Lydia, I wish Emily cut out your tongue.

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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5 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

And I dont think that most editors turned breeding slaves are given Navy SEAL training, or super powers! 

Actually I was thinking about that during this episode. We've often discussed how one of the worst things about Gilead would actually be the soul-crushing boredom. It occurred to me during this episode that some of the handmaids could be spending all the hours during which they are sent to their rooms working out like crazy. Strength training like push-ups and sit-ups are simple, silent and extremely effective. Cardio would be harder as it can create impact noise and if the handmaid had no pre-Gilead training they wouldn't necessarily know any silent moves but they have plenty of time to work out ways to get their heart-rate pumping if they want it enough. The same goes for drilling hand-to-hand combat moves silently and most women have done some sort of self-defence class at one point in their lives, so they'd probably have a few ideas to start drilling from. If the house was empty they could do burpees or make a make-shift focus mitt from their pillows and mattress. Some yoga for flexibility and mental calming.

If nothing else it would give them physical activity to get themselves through the boredom while also providing a mental focus of preparedness in the event of an opportunity for escape or vengeance arising. Sure being physically strong is no match for the assault rifles the guardians carry but there is a reason that elite military personnel workout as much as they do. Strength and stamina are important and it would also negate some of the punishments the aunts dish out, as kneeling in the rain holding out a rock would be a lot easier and could be viewed as an exercise challenge that would improve your outlook during the ordeal. And when you do eventually slap your Commander back, you'd at least break his stupid nose.

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4 hours ago, Eyes High said:

Someone in another thread described Emily as a lioness, and she really is. I’m glad she made it out...although I suspect she’s going to discover in S3 that her wife remarried and her son doesn’t remember her, because why stop the misery parade?

I can’t even with June. Maybe decide to stay behind before a bunch of Marthas risk their lives trying to save your useless ass? 

...And oh yeah, Nicole’s a terrible name. 

 

I'd actually assume her wife remarried, or at least has emotionally moved on. I think it's been three years since they saw each other (Emily said Oliver is turning 7 and I think he was 4 when they tried to flee), and they probably haven't had any contact since, with no hope of having contact since. I would hope her son remembers her though. 

Fred looked like Mr. Burns at the council meeting. Serena stays thinking that Fred gives a fuck about her. He doesn't. He's gone. The goal of those in power is to remain in power. That's all he cares about. She's the same way except with far, far fewer options - she's not one of them and never will be. And after she showed him up in front of the council, there was no way he was letting her get away with that. When she asked "What did the others say?" I thought, "They told him he better get his wife all the way together."

1 hour ago, AllyB said:

Actually I was thinking about that during this episode. We've often discussed how one of the worst things about Gilead would actually be the soul-crushing boredom. It occurred to me during this episode that some of the handmaids could be spending all the hours during which they are sent to their rooms working out like crazy. Strength training like push-ups and sit-ups are simple, silent and extremely effective. Cardio would be harder as it can create impact noise and if the handmaid had no pre-Gilead training they wouldn't necessarily know any silent moves but they have plenty of time to work out ways to get their heart-rate pumping if they want it enough. The same goes for drilling hand-to-hand combat moves silently and most women have done some sort of self-defence class at one point in their lives, so they'd probably have a few ideas to start drilling from. If the house was empty they could do burpees or make a make-shift focus mitt from their pillows and mattress. Some yoga for flexibility and mental calming.

If nothing else it would give them physical activity to get themselves through the boredom while also providing a mental focus of preparedness in the event of an opportunity for escape or vengeance arising. Sure being physically strong is no match for the assault rifles the guardians carry but there is a reason that elite military personnel workout as much as they do. Strength and stamina are important and it would also negate some of the punishments the aunts dish out, as kneeling in the rain holding out a rock would be a lot easier and could be viewed as an exercise challenge that would improve your outlook during the ordeal. And when you do eventually slap your Commander back, you'd at least break his stupid nose.

Yeah. Prisoners do work out a lot. I'm into fitness, so I'd probably be doing push-ups and crunches and squats and tricep dips and yoga in my copious spare time. It's literally the only one of my hobbies I'd be able to even attempt to do in Gilead, and even that would be limited. I guess I could help with cooking?

Emily stabbing and beating Aunt Lydia's ass was everything I needed. And Lydia looked terrified, which she deserved. I also loved that when Emily realized what was happening she BOLTED for the van, like "HELL YEAH FUCK THIS LET'S GO."

I wish we could see more Lawrence.

The escape was exciting to watch, the Martha relay. I was spoiled, but I assumed June wasn't going back to the Waterford's. How could she? I don't know where she'll go. I don't think SHE knows where she'll go. The Resistance here is underground (and I LOVE that it's the Marthas, taking some of their power back. I was hoping to see the neonatologist), so she can't just be like "I AM JOINING THE RESISTANCE, WHO NEEDS ME?"

The story in which I am least invested now is June's, as she's choosing this and it's so narratively stupid. I want to see Emily on the road. Actually, I would totally watch an Emily spin-off.

Edited by Empress1 · Reason: Removed sentence fragment
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3 hours ago, Eyes High said:

...And oh yeah, Nicole’s a terrible name. 

This just occurred to me, was Serena trying to honour the baby's actual father by calling her the female form of his name? Nicole - Nick (presumably Nicholas).

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Even though Eden was only reading the bible (not, say a magazine), I love that even our pious believer was a rule breaker even before she ran off with Isaac.

June was being so careless and reckless (once again). Fred just hit her and then Nick comes to her bedroom in the middle of the day while Fred and Serena are home and she starts snuggling up to him while he holds their baby? Girl, are you trying to get both of Nicole's parents killed?

I was rolling my eyes when Serena and Naomi were just gabbing while their marthas looked after Nichole and Angela. Despite Naomi saying that Angela was a rock star for gaining some weight, she seems to have no more interest in Angela than she did before she almost died. At least Serena is obviously obsessed with her little baby doll.

When Emily went rummaging through the kitchen for a knife, I thought she was going to stab the new commander. Then I thought oh crap, is she going to kill herself? But as soon as Lydia called her a degenerate, I was like girl, you in danger! As much as I have enjoyed Ann Dowd in this role, Aunt Lydia had that coming after all the abuse we've seen her put so many of the handmaids through.

Damn, I was impressed that Serena managed to round up so many wives who were willing to go to the council. I thought most of them would not want to publicly stand up and request that women be allowed to read. Of course, when Serena began reading, some of them chickened out and left the room as fast as their legs could carry them. I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry when one of the commanders said that her proposal to let their daughters read the bible was "radical."

Fred's utter inability to do something as simple as making tea for the wife whose finger he just had cut off made me hate him even more. So useless.

The look of hatred on June's face when she realized that Eden's own father had turned her in and later when she was talking to Fred in the kitchen probably looked a lot like mine. FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCKERS.

When Serena insisted on saying goodbye to Nichole, I was afraid she was going to pull a Rolf from the Sound of Music and call for the guardians to come arrest June. I was shocked that she let both of them go. I was so tense after that because I knew the show wouldn't let June escape so I was just waiting for her to get caught. When she took out the photo of Hannah, I knew she was going to decide she had to stay in Gilead to save her other daughter. Even so, no need to walk so slowly to the getaway van. Hurry the fuck up or you will ALL be stuck there, including Nichole/Holly!

I really want to know what June's plan is now. Does she think she's just going to walk back into the Waterford house and claim that she has no idea what happened to Hannah or how those words got on the wall? After everything that ALL of those people did to smuggle her out, I can't believe she is going to stay. Staying in Gilead is not going to get Hannah back. It's not even going to make Hannah safer. By staying, June is increasing the likelihood that Hannah has one less parent on this earth. Does she really think she isn't going to be punished? At the very least, Fred will punish her privately but I'm sure there is some crime he could report her for that would get her an official Gilead punishment. How is being maimed or killed going to help Hannah? It would have been nice if she had told Emily where Luke and Moira are now before the van left.

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Oh, I definitely think Emily was going to kill the Commander or herself, but then Lydia came in, being Lydia...

I don't understand the directing or editing choice in constantly having June dawdle when she should be hurrying...it's like everything else this season, just dragging every moment out or something.

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6 hours ago, arabidopsis said:

Dialogue from season 1 finale

Serena: [Referring to Scrabble] I forget, how many tiles do you pick to start?

Fred: Seven

Serena: Do you want to play?

Fred: Love to, but I have work to do. And in any case, you know the law.

Serena: Yes, I do. I helped write it.

Fred: I remember.

I can believe that Serena didn't want this for herself, but I think it's pretty clear she was fine with it for other women.

I think she wanted it but in theory.  The theory of a concept of government is different than that actual government in practice.  If you read Karl Marx and then actually look at the history of communism it plays out extremely differently.  I think on some level she believed all she needed and wanted was to be a wife and mother.  She failed to realize or sees now is that when the element of choice is missing, these roles feels like a prison sentence. 

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Just a couple of things...

Lawrence told Emily "I'm not doing that with you," when she was on her knees for the pre-ceremony prayer thing. So he's done ceremony rape before. It's easy to get caught up in the escape and Lydia stabbing and have that little nugget slip by. I get the impression we're not going to see him again, though. I find this series guilty of criminal under-use of Bradley Whitford.

Also this is a terrible screen shot, but check out the map Waterford was looking at on his desk during the fire. Maybe someone can get a clearer image and see the text.

map.jpg

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There were few extra LOL lines this episode like: "Forget your lunch today Waterford..."-Random Gilead Commander and "It was nice knowing you" by Commander Lawrence Wife hahaha

 

I hate so much Eden’s dad and June because she stayed (again) for a millionth time.

 

Rita and Nick and Emily this episode <3

And I liked how Janine said Eden died for love :(

 

EDIT- What was in the bag that Fred was holding when Serena came back to the house? Is it her finger? :O

Edited by Stephanie23
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I don’t think the escape was a waste of the Marthas time. The baby and Emily got out. They weren’t working to get June out, they were working this hard for the baby, and I’d still say mission accomplished.

Untul i see previews for S3, I’m going to believe June can’t and won’t return to the Waterford house. I have no idea how she’ll survive differently, but the way she pulled the cloak over her head and stared into the camera with foreboding(again) and how it was all lit, she might be the next Avenger!

You know the men who come out in support of the #MeToo movement but seem to only understand it in the context of “Well as the father of two girls” or something similar? That is my impression of Serena and the wives, who are suddenly concerned about the girls after Eden was executed. 

Edited by VagueDisclaimer
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Me, the whole show: "OMG JUNE, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!"

Great, another "fuck this"-type ending.

I ask again: Am I supposed to feel bad for Serena? Because I *don't.* And I *won't.*

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42 minutes ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

I don’t think the escape was a waste of the Marthas time. The baby and Emily got out. They weren’t working to get June out, they were working this hard for the baby, and I’d still say mission accomplished.

Untul i see previews for S3, I’m going to believe June can’t and won’t return to the Waterford house. I have no idea how she’ll survive differently, but the way she pulled the cloak over her head and stared into the camera with foreboding(again) and how it was all lit, she might be the next Avenger!

You know the men who come out in support of the #MeToo movement but seem to only understand it in the context of “Well as the father of two girls” or something similar? That is my impression of Serena and the wives, who are suddenly concerned about the girls after Eden was executed. 

 

 

5 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Serena very much thought all of this brutalization and oppression and death would be happening to Other People, and not to her. It didn’t sink in until now that not only does her husband now think of her as a Wife and not a wife like he used to, but now she’ll have a (stolen) daughter who won’t even be able to read the cut up bible she’ll be forced to quote every damn day. She was fine with random people being executed and tortured (was even ok with it if it got her closer to “her” baby) for stupid reasons, but when it’s a girl she actually liked, or when it’s her, THEN she decided to take a stand. I do find Serena to be a complicated villain, but my sympathy for her is very limited. 

Yep. She's the quintessential "I never thought leopards would eat MY face!" person.

I don't believe for a fraction of a second that Serena does anything that doesn't benefit her directly, or at least that she thinks will benefit her directly. If it happens to benefit others as well, so be it. I think she can paint the picture of herself as a mother (which: no) who made this noble sacrifice for her child and that will get her through, but I do wonder what she'll do now. She really has nothing. She and her husband hate each other, she's already on thin ice for rebelling and lost a finger (which is a fraction of what she deserves), and it will take an ENORMOUS amount of lying to herself to get her to acknowledge that Gilead isn't total bullshit when she knows it is - she's been confronted with it directly. And she was able to squash all that down so she could have a baby, but now she can't (is she going to get another handmaid?). What's she going to do? Fill her life with gardening?

Quote

So many thoughts on this episode, but mostly: GO MARTHAS!!

I love, love, love that it was the Marthas.

Edited by Empress1
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SO many ridiculous things happened in this episode that I don't even know where to begin. Let's start with this - this is a regime that's brutally and mercilessly killed thousands upon thousands of people. That pool in the last episode was full of chains from previous executions. We see people hanging on the wall the whole time. We've seen a Wife sent to the colonies for doing the same thing Eden did. So, why is her execution so special that it should shake the foundations of the society? I understand very well why those who knew her would be upset. But THIS is the thing that opens the other Wives' eyes? Nothing like this has happened before? Nobody was executed for adultery? Give me a break. 

Serena's redemption arc or whatever this mess is has been played out hideously wrong. What in the world has made her think those men would listen to what she had to say? How did she think she was going to get away unpunished? She's smarter than that. Also, how did all those women casually walk in on the Commanders' meeting like that? 

June's concern for Serena is bizarre. I can buy that June feels somewhat uncomfortable with what's happened to her, but having *a moment* (while is trying to escape and is running out of time, no less!) and acting like gal-pals? Seriously. And no, I don't think Serena would willingly give the baby away.

Had Aunt Lydia been killed like this at the end of the last season, I would have been doing a happy dance all over the room. Now, I'm just kinda "meh" about it. Her character hasn't had much to contribute lately. 

I don't see what direction the show can take now and how they're going to write themselves out of this nonsense, other than replacing more than half of the cast with new characters, which I don't think will happen. Also, I've realized that I actually... don't really care what happens to June now. 

Edited by Joana
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Heh, when you get excited to talk about THT finale and then... lol

I liked it. (Don't chop off my finger!) It's not like I have no issues or frustrations with the series, but overall I enjoy it. And I 100% agree that the show needs a woman running it, but man, the source of the show is just so MUCH I feel like there are script ideas on the cutting room floor that may have made this season gel better. There were many different directions they could have taken that could have enhanced the storytelling so much - even if it meant adding episodes. So there are holes, and I have issues. But still, overall, I like it. Crap - I wake up at 6AM on Wednesdays to watch it before work, lol. I don't get up that early for literally anything else. :) 

I don't expect June to make rational - or even wise - decisions. And her going from feeling empowered to feeling powerless over and over again completely makes sense to me. She's not my favorite character, but I completely get why she stayed. I was left with the impression that she was NOT going back to the Waterfords, but who knows? She's the star of the show so it's not like she's going to disappear with Moira in Little America any time soon. 

Alexis Bledel continues to blow me the fuck away. Even if just for her scenes, this episode was great. Good god, what she can do with the direction, "freak out in a small space" is kind of amazing. Very curious as to what happens to Emily after the gets to Canada or wherever - it's gonna be a shit show, and Emily will break my heart, but I hope it has some happiness. 

I like Nick - first season I went back and forth, but I really liked him this season. His lack of displayed emotion is totally in character to me, and I always feel like he's internally freaking out about a million things at once. And as good as he is about self-preservation (he's such a hustler), I think now-Nick - a few years on the inside - is much more likely to stick his neck out for someone else than the Nick we met in the flashbacks. It was nice seeing the softer side of Nick with Holly, and I just wonder how her existence will impact how he proceeds. 

I didn't see this as a Serena redemption AT ALL. I saw it was Serena getting her face rubbed in her own shit. She didn't realize Gilead wasn't good enough for her daughter until after Gilead cut off her finger - otherwise, even with the Eden drowning, I don't think Serena would have been like, "yeah take her." I saw June as doing her best to appeal to the human left in Serena, and also being a human herself and seeing Serena has a human. I didn't get a redemption thing there - I got June doing what she had to do, and Serena losing her ever-loving mind. I feel like I have to disclaim - I think Serena is horrible - the worst. But as a character, her layers are freaking fascinating. I really want to see her get what she has coming - her own creation turning on her. We've gotten hints at it all season. There are so many deliciously horrible things they could do to her next year. If season 3 starts out with her in teal clipping roses I'll scream...

I love the Marthas, and OF COURSE they are helping the UF. I'd love to hear Rita and Cora have a few beers together. For reals. Lawrence can maybe make that happen? Heh. 

Fred needs to die. I don't care how. Just...go. Delete his account. 

And omg, "don't do drugs." Nice little guffaw during such tenseness. I am fascinated by Lawrence and would give him all the tens of dollars in my checking account to get him to come back. Please, please, please bring him back. PLEASE?

Next season I want more everything, especially Moira and the Marthas. (And Oprah.)

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9 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Serena actually seems religious, and she's an asshole often, but she gritted her teeth during the ceremonies.  She MISSES sex.  She hates not reading.  She hates not writing.  She hates knitting.  She hates her teal uniforms.  She hates having a handmaid in her house.  She hates that the men have the only say in everything.  She hates that girls can't read.  She hates the Aunts. 

Tell me where I am wrong about that?

You aren't wrong. It was the men who thought up "the ceremony" and even said wives eat that up or something like that? Fred said in season one "We only wanted to make the world better. Better never means better for everyone. It always means worse for some.” Serena is seeing now, she is part of the "some."

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9 hours ago, Umbelina said:

I'm not "defending her" I'm just stating my opinion which is based on what I've watched.

Serena actually seems religious, and she's an asshole often, but she gritted her teeth during the ceremonies.  She MISSES sex.  She hates not reading.  She hates not writing.  She hates knitting.  She hates her teal uniforms.  She hates having a handmaid in her house.  She hates that the men have the only say in everything.  She hates that girls can't read.  She hates the Aunts. 

Tell me where I am wrong about that?

 

I agree with all of this, but at this point we really need to 1) know more about what her role exactly was in the foundation of Gilead and 2) learn more about the backstory of Sons of Jacob and how they came to power. 

As I see it, she alligned with the Sons of Jacob movement not necessarily because she agreed with all their ideas, but because they came closest to what she stood for and what mattered to her the most (i.e. "the biological destiny"). Also, I believe that Sons of Jacob hid their most extremist views from the public until the very end (and as Margaret Atwood's book is largely based on the Iranian revolution, it makes sense as the same kind of "slow frog boiling" also happened in Iran) and probably even used Serena for PR purposes as she was someone people were already familiar and whose views must have resonated with many in times of fertility crisis, only to discard her when they got what they wanted and could make the rules themselves. 

But, until we're actually shown all this, it's just speculation.

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I knew the moment when Rita said, "Hurry up and go get your shoes," that June would take 30 extra minutes to do when she needed to do. At least the writing is consistent in that regard. 

I am torn on June staying. I understand that she doesn't want to abandon Hannah, especially since Fred did tell her he would arrange more visits for Hannah. Funny enough, I actually believe him when he says that. It's all about power for him. However, of course they know she ran away because of the writing on the wall (and let's not forget that writing is also a crime in Gilead). They would know that she wouldn't have the means to do it on her own, and that means that every single person she encountered on her journey is at risk if/when June is interrogated. Not to mention that the Marthas risked a lot trying to help her. Also, someone brought up an excellent point regarding how Holly would eat if June isn't there to nurse her. 

While I understand how it can be seen careless to have June slapping Fred or telling him to go fuck himself, part of me thinks she does it because she knows it turns him on. If he is "turned on" by it, then he isn't going to get rid of her, and she has a chance to rescue Hannah. I mean, look at how he responded to her after the "go fuck yourself" comment. He wasn't angry. 

Oh, Serena. It's interesting because I do and don't have sympathy for her at the same time, and I 100% credit Yvonne's performance for that. I hated that those assholes cut off her finger, and I don't get enjoyment out of seeing men belittle and humiliate other women, regardless of how much the woman may deserve punishment. However, at the same time, she deserves a lot worse when you see how she treats June and Rita. She couldn't even escape with June if she wanted to because everyone in Canada knows who she is. She has no where to go. 

It is so apparent that Fred hates Serena. He probably couldn't helped her, but he had no interest in doing so.

The Marthas were the MVPs this episode. I want to see more Rita. 

I really wish in season three that this show will explore reunification after captivity with Emily. I think it's really important to show the after effects. We really didn't fully get that with Moira, but we can with Emily because she'll be reunited with her wife and child. Life just can't go back to normal after three years in such conditions. Also, I just want more Alexis Bledel on my screen.

Remember, don't do drugs.

Edited by PepSinger
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If they don't give us more of Bradley Whitford's character in S3, I'm going to be seriously pissed. He's a gold mine and we barely scratched the surface. "Have a great life. Stay off drugs!"

I knew June wouldn't leave as soon as she tucked the picture of Hannah in the baby's clothing. I understand why, but it drove me crazy. GET IN THE VAN, JUNE!!! That needs to be the absolute last time she almost escapes -- the next time, she needs to actually escape. Her almost-escapes are to the point of the ridiculous memory curses on Once Upon a Time.

I have no idea where they're going to go with June next season. It would make absolutely zero sense for her to end up back at the Waterford house without some major body-part punishment. And being tortured to give up who helped her. As for Fred, it would also make zero sense for there not to be repercussions for him after having his handmaid go missing not once, not twice, but THREE times; his driver's wife commit adultery and be killed for it; his wife get too uppity about reading and get her finger chopped off; and now losing his baby!

However, I sadly expect her to end right back in the Waterford house, with those promised visits with Hannah if she's obedient.

Go, Marthas! I hope none of them are punished. I'm worried about Rita.

Lydia isn't dead, I'm sure of it. They mentioned calling an ambulance. If she was actually dead, they'd have shown it. I'm guessing Prof. Lawrence will say that he had Emily killed and disposed of after she stabbed Lydia, though of course that's out of the ordinary course of things. But if he's high-ranking enough, he might be able to get away with it.

Please bring back Bradley Whitford. And show us Emily in Canada with Moira and Luke. Stuff needs to be happening there.

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19 minutes ago, Souris said:

If they don't give us more of Bradley Whitford's character in S3, I'm going to be seriously pissed. He's a gold mine and we barely scratched the surface. "Have a great life. Stay off drugs!"

Spoiler

This article confirms that he will be returning in season 3.  https://tv.avclub.com/the-handmaids-tale-ends-a-frustrating-season-on-a-frust-1827507984

Not sure if that is a spoiler or not but wanted to be safe. 

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Couldnt June at least have told Emily to get in touch with Luke? All she said was “ tell her I love her and her name is Nichole. “ ??? really??  @Umbelina I think you might be right about Nichole being a political clusterfuck next season. Bruce Miller mentioned how popular a girl she is and how important she is to Gilead so that sounds pretty ominous. If that’s the case, I’m even more annoyed with June staying behind because that baby has no blood relative with her to keep her safe legally and protected in a foreign country. 

I really enjoyed this episode because I loved  a lot of the moments, like how bad ass the Martha’s were, the touching scene with Nick and June and Holly, June smacking Fred. I have to admit Serena made me cry. It’s entirely Yvonne’s acting, she makes you forget how vile her character actually is, and I respected that she put Nicole’s welfare ahead of her own interests. Whatever she is , she loves that baby. And even my stone cold Serena hating heart was touched at that scene between her and Nicole at the end. I cried. ( I also think June has stockHolm syndrome) Emily stabbing Lydia was amazing, that scene in the car with the music was hilarious. She was rightfully so freaked out. I swear Emily  is the only one who reacts properly to what goes on. 

June as always annoyed the hell out me. All these women put there literal lives on the line and she’s writing snarky messages on walls and then decides to not even go. Real nice ?. She’s very tiresome and I’m sick of her. If something happens to Rita as a result of that message that’s on June.

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2 hours ago, Joana said:

SO many ridiculous things happened in this episode that I don't even know where to begin. Let's start with this - this is a regime that's brutally and mercilessly killed thousands upon thousands of people. That pool in the last episode was full of chains from previous executions. We see people hanging on the wall the whole time. We've seen a Wife sent to the colonies for doing the same thing Eden did. So, why is her execution so special that it should shake the foundations of the society? I understand very well why those who knew her would be upset. But THIS is the thing that opens the other Wives' eyes? Nothing like this has happened before? Nobody was executed for adultery? Give me a break. 

 

I totally agree.

How can these women be so “horrified” after living in Gilead since its’ conception?  

It took the most random girl in their world dying, a girl almost none of them even knew or cared about personally, to finally spark a lady revolution? 

If the show was going to do this with Eden, she should’ve been the daughter of a commander, she should’ve been a young girl that all the women knew and loved as their own, they saw themselves as her aunties and her fellow second mothers.

She would’ve been someone that they all looked to, to carry on the torch and be one of the next great ladies leading tge holy and righteous charge for the young women of status in Gilead.

Then, they could kill her, shattering the world of these blind, complicit Wives and their ideas of what these men are capable of doing to their daughters.

That would’ve had actual impact in my eyes, that would’ve been certainly a turning point for this group.

To truly see one of their own, one of their best and brightest and youngest murdered as if she was nothing, murdered by a regime that the wives know all too well are just as imperfect, sinful, and immoral, that, imo, would be a sufficient triggering moment. 

But as it stands? 

They have seen entire households slaughtered and hung from the trees in the front yard, Wives have been killed before, they have been around mutilated handmaids on a regular basis or know those who have been sent off to die one way or another and the methods are well known, they know Econo wives are just as likely to be harshly punished or unforgiven by the Gilead PTB, no one supposedly is above the law, aside from the men whenever it suits them that is. 

I felt that was such a weak argument for the show to lean on this idea that Serena was so impacted watching Eden drown and then thinking about Holly’s future in Gilead and the fact she could be a “victim” one day motivated her to act, it was laughable to me.

If anything, Serena watching Eden die should’ve made her even more aware of just how unimportant life is to the regime, that would’ve made her more protective of herself and “her child”. 

 Instinctually she should’ve felt like keeping a low profile, keeping her mouth shut, making sure that she did things accordingly to the law, not presenting herself up as a heretic the very next week.

 I don’t buy for a second that a woman of so called intelligence would ever have addressed the Gilead council the way that she did.

Serena would’ve kept to herself and been plotting, planning, keeping things to herself in secret because she would be all too aware that the men of Gilead just cannot be reasoned with or trusted to do the right thing, whatever the age, gender, or sex of a person. 

She would not go to them and basically commit heresy under their new laws and then expect a pat on the back and a “Thanks darling, we will totally take your comments into consideration. Golly gee, it’s a good thing you ladies spoke up and corrected us over our male folly”.

The Serena that was belt beaten in Fred’s office would’ve known that after watching Eden’s demise, the last thing she needed to do was anger Fred or set him off, or any of the Commanders in charge.

She would have been far more meticulous and careful, IMO. 

But what she did in this episode, it was just sloppy to me.

Sloppy in its’ conception, its’ direction, its’ delivery, and definitely the ending to me was an absolute sloppy mess.

Edited by AnswersWanted
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1 hour ago, PepSinger said:

While I understand how it can be seen careless to have June slapping Fred or telling him to go fuck himself, part of me thinks she does it because she knows it turns him on. If he is "turned on" by it, then he isn't going to get rid of her, and she has a chance to rescue Hannah. I mean, look at how he responded to her after the "go fuck yourself" comment. He wasn't angry. 

I don't remember the title but there's a book from a Holocaust surivior that said the nazi doctor Josef Mengele would visit the infirmary where a woman he used to treat i.e. torture was recovering in preparation for more torture, and all he would do is sit there next her bed and let her verbally abuse him. I specifically remember that she liked to call him a ratfucker. Anyway the person who wrote the book witnessed all this and said she thought Mengele was turned on by it. All these Gilead men are pervs with Mommy issues. Except maybe Commander Lawrence, who may have engineered a crime against humanity but at least doesn't use drugs and appears not to be an active rapist.

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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5 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

I totally agree.

How can these women be so “horrified” after living in Gilead since its’ conception?  

It took the most random girl in their world dying, a girl almost none of them even knew or cared about personally, to finally spark a lady revolution? 

They have seen entire households slaughtered and hung from the trees in the front yard, Wives have been killed before, they have been around mutilated handmaids on a regular basis or know those who have been sent off to die one way or another and the methods are well known, they know Econo wives are just as likely to be harshly punished or unforgiven by the Gilead PTB, no one supposedly is above the law, aside from the men whenever it suits them that is. 

I felt that was such a weak argument for the show to lean on this idea that Serena was so impacted watching Eden drown and then thinking about Holly’s future in Gilead and the fact she could be a “victim” one day motivated her to act, it was laughable to me.

If anything, Serena watching Eden die should’ve made her even more aware of just how unimportant life is to the regime, that would’ve made her more protective of herself and “her child”. 

 Instinctually she should’ve felt like keeping a low profile, keeping her mouth shut, making sure that she did things accordingly to the law, not presenting herself up as a heretic the very next week.

 I don’t buy for a second that a woman of so called intelligence would ever have addressed the Gilead counsel the way that she did.

Serena would’ve kept to herself and been plotting, planning, keeping things to herself in secret because she would be all too aware that the men of Gilead just cannot be reasoned with or trusted to do the right thing, whatever the age, gender, or sex of a person. 

She would not go to them and basically commit heresy under their new laws and then expect a pat on the back and a “Thanks darling, we will totally take your comments into consideration. Golly gee, it’s a good thing you ladies spoke up and corrected us over our male folly”.

The Serena that was belt beaten in Fred’s office would’ve known that after watching Eden’s demise, the last thing she needed to do was anger Fred or set him off, or any of the Commanders in charge.

She would have been far more meticulous and careful, IMO. 

But what she did in this episode, it was just sloppy to me.

Sloppy in its’ conception, its’ direction, its’ delivery, and definitely the ending to me was an absolute sloppy mess.

In the book, I don't remember Serena being involved in Gilead's creation.  It has always been a stretch to me that someone who considers herself to be an intellectual would sign off on women not being able to even read.  That premise has always made her actions seem to me off base.  

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6 minutes ago, dmc said:

In the book, I don't remember Serena being involved in Gilead's creation.  It has always been a stretch to me that someone who considers herself to be an intellectual would sign off on women not being able to even read.  That premise has always made her actions seem to me off base.  

In the book, IIRC, she was a zealot who used to be a religious TV personality, in favor of Gilead but not necessarily a pioneer. Right? I may be way off. I definitely rememeber one of her favorite things to do was to watch old videos of herself singing in the church choir. She was older (it was implied post menopausal), more openly aggressive, and less complicated in general--easier to hate without reservation.

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Just now, The Mighty Peanut said:

In the book, IIRC, she was a zealot who used to be a religious TV personality, in favor of Gilead but not necessarily a pioneer. Right? I may be way off. I definitely rememeber one of her favorite things to do was to watch old videos of herself singing in the church choir. She was older and less complicated in general--easier to hate without reservation.

I am trying to remember as well, she is definitely older...and maybe past childbearing age.  She is an avid gardener.  Yes I remember the religious stuff and I don't think anything else.  

 

I am trying to picture any big name conservative woman commentator who would sign off on Gilead and I am coming up empty.  That is part of the issue with her character.  

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