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Umbelina

S03.E13: Mayday

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3 hours ago, PsychoDrone said:

From interactions with Serena, I genuinely believe Truello saw Serena as much a victim as any other woman suffering under the Gilead regime.  He may have known the hierarchy, but didn't truly understand its implications.  Serena had clear evidence of her mistreatment with the missing pinky.  He would have approached her differently if he believed that she was as much a war criminal as her husband.  He certainly wouldn't have treated her with so much deference and worked so hard to allow Serena to see her "daughter".

Which is yet another thing that makes very little sense. Serena is not some random Wife who might not have even known what her husband was up to and then had no choice but to play along. She was a well known public fugure who actively associated herself with Sons of Jacob and advocated for their ideas. That the new regime didn't reward her they way she thought they would does not exonerate her from the role she had in establishing it. 

And I totally agree, Serena wouldn't last a week without protection. Remember, people tried to kill her while she was still merely lecturing on "women's biological destiny". I can't even begin to imagine what they'd do to her now that her ideas have been implemented in reality. And here she was, looking forward to living a free life in Toronto, instead of asking to have her indentity changed and be sent away some place where nobody knows her. Come on, she's not that stupid. God, they've really ruined her character. 

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14 minutes ago, Joana said:

Which is yet another thing that makes very little sense. Serena is not some random Wife who might not have even known what her husband was up to and then had no choice but to play along. She was a well known public fugure who actively associated herself with Sons of Jacob and advocated for their ideas. That the new regime didn't reward her they way she thought they would does not exonerate her from the role she had in establishing it. 

And I totally agree, Serena wouldn't last a week without protection. Remember, people tried to kill her while she was still merely lecturing on "women's biological destiny". I can't even begin to imagine what they'd do to her now that her ideas have been implemented in reality. And here she was, looking forward to living a free life in Toronto, instead of asking to have her indentity changed and be sent away some place where nobody knows her. Come on, she's not that stupid. God, they've really ruined her character. 

Yes, and she may not have been Oprah levels of famous, but she was pretty close to that.

At the very least before she headed out to look for a neighborhood to live in, she would have asked for hair dye and scissors to change up her look.  Maybe glasses, a short dark brown haircut, and sunglasses before venturing out.

It's laughable that the USA would blow their chance to use her over pressure for June to have sex/baby with Nick.  Ummm...bigger things at stake here dude, like millions of your citizens trapped and being murdered and raped daily?

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2 hours ago, Ariam said:

Wait, was she Marisa Tomei? I didn’t recognise her at all. How old is she now? And most importantly, if she’s now old, how old am I??!! 😱

She's 54 and she has a time machine or something because she honestly looks about 35.

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10 hours ago, AllyB said:

She's 54 and she has a time machine or something because she honestly looks about 35.

I honestly thought she must be in her 40s most, in my mind she is around 30 though (which wouldn't make sense as she couldn't be younger than me). But she looked older to me as a wife than I remember her.  And now I'm shocked because if she is really that old then it means I'm old too 😄 I just checked and the movies I remember her from are from like 20 years ago, but I thought they were just a few years old. If you google her name the pictures that come up fit my memory a bit better. This is just another example of how female actors mostly disappear after they age, while male actors still head movies, where their co-actresses are 20, 30 years younger. 

Sorry for the OT.

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She looked older in THT because she was made up to be a disgraced wife sent to the colonies. Even before she was dying she was stressed, dirty, scared, underfed, etc. She's May Parker in the MCU and she looks about as old as she did in My Cousin Vinnie.

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17 hours ago, mamadrama said:

So for the past few weeks people have been very defensive of Truello, saying NO he is NOT interested in Serena Joy and that he was basically just sucking up to her to get information. Playing both sides, more or less. Being nice to her by bringing clothes, newspapers, and food so that he could get information from her. Honestly? I don't think so. In a world where the scripts make sense and the writers have logic and nuance, that's EXACTLY what Truello would've been doing. Not so sure that's what was going on in THIS world, though. I think Truello may actually have had a thing for SJ and that he was genuinely shocked to find out that she'd committed her own crimes. In THIS world, June is the only smart person in the room. There's not enough for any more. 

I think saying that Truello was mind-gaming her is giving the writers too much credit. These are the same people who have said that Serena Joy has done awful things, but that people still root for her. WHAT people? What rocks are they digging these folks out from under? 

I think it is an interesting theory. And since the show ruiners and most writers are men, we need the male savior hero that will redeem Serena, so totally possible they are writing him this way.

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Regarding the soap

It was actually part of the plan. We see June putting the product or their soap boiling on the metal gate hinges and confirming that it was not squeaking. Presumably because they wanted to prevent neighbours hearing the gate being open and shut every time a Martha showed up with a child.

This is because soap is made with oils. If I recall my chemistry right, if one were to boil it, water would evaporate, oil would be on the bottom and solids would float to the top.

That said, they must have cooking oil in all the Commanders' households. Even if you don't use it everyday, it is a very common staple (I think we have seen some people eating fried eggs, too). So, they could have used that and saved themselves the time. 

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Yeah, it was to blur up those basement windows, which do not have curtains.  Curtains suddenly appearing might be more suspicious than simply windows that haven't been washed.

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On 8/14/2019 at 9:46 AM, AllyB said:

The nastiest part being that the first prisoners June saw being moved were mainly disabled people and undoubtedly this was for a Gileadean version of the Nazi's Aktion T4.

Absolutely. That scene tore me up. 

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13 hours ago, WearyTraveler said:

Regarding the soap

It was actually part of the plan. We see June putting the product or their soap boiling on the metal gate hinges and confirming that it was not squeaking. Presumably because they wanted to prevent neighbours hearing the gate being open and shut every time a Martha showed up with a child.

This is because soap is made with oils. If I recall my chemistry right, if one were to boil it, water would evaporate, oil would be on the bottom and solids would float to the top.

That said, they must have cooking oil in all the Commanders' households. Even if you don't use it everyday, it is a very common staple (I think we have seen some people eating fried eggs, too). So, they could have used that and saved themselves the time. 

Yeah, I think we all understood that it was part of the "plan." The criticisim was on why they went through all that trouble of cutting it, boiling it, etc when there undoubtedly already some kind of oil in the house and yhe curtains could be closed. 

Windows smeared with stuff at night=questions from the people outside

Curtains closed at night= it's nightime 

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Here is my issue:

Wouldn't at least SOME of the children fuss about being taken away from home? I know they are raised to be obedient, but even the best behaved child would be upset at these events...I mean, how do they know it's for their own good? They wouldn't, they would just know that they are being separated from perhaps the only parents they have ever known. I didn't for a minute buy the exchange between the 10 year old and June. She doesn't remember before Gilead but is totally A-OK with being taken away?  If she were 13 or 14 and remembered her original parents and/or was facing an imminent marriage, I could see it, but these kids were young....

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On 8/16/2019 at 8:59 AM, SuzieSioux said:

I did the same as others have said though, and switched my brain to entertainment only mode - no worrying about how much it makes sense, and I enjoyed the episode enough. I do agree with other posters though that while I want to see Serena punished, I was unsatisfied with the way it unfolded in this episode. Truello seemed a lot less smart and like he was playing people, and more like he was genuinely upset to find this out about Serena.

I agree, I found Serena’s arrest unsatisfying because it was clear from Tuello’s reaction that he was disappointed because he viewed her as a victim before that 

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25 minutes ago, ffwbe said:

I agree, I found Serena’s arrest unsatisfying because it was clear from Tuello’s reaction that he was disappointed because he viewed her as a victim before that 

It's interesting.  In some ways Serena is a victim.  The book made it more clear, in that she was essentially a victim of her own ideology.  She was given what she supposedly wanted, a life as a "traditional" wife and mother, where the only acceptable interests she was allowed to have involved child rearing and housekeeping.  That isn't to say Serena isn't also a criminal who deserves punishment, but from the flashbacks, she obviously did envision Gilead differently from how it turned out, and in her own way, she did become one of its victims.

Also, the little moment between Rita and Emily in the airplane hanger was quite lovely.      

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3 hours ago, ffwbe said:

I agree, I found Serena’s arrest unsatisfying because it was clear from Tuello’s reaction that he was disappointed because he viewed her as a victim before that 

And then when we think back to the way he treated Moira when she came to give Serena her hour with Holly it reinforces my annoyance with him. Had he been playing Serena and was merely trying to get Moira to be quiet and get out of the room to make it seem like he was siding with/protecting Serena so she stayed comfortable and he could get what he wanted out of her later that may have been one thing, but speaking to Moira like she was a naughty child and hurrying her out of the room when she mentions Serena's horrific crimes just because he liked and/or pitied Serena is just awful.

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I don't get how these kids will be recognized as most of them probably don't remember their original name. I surprised 'Rebecca' did.

I wonder if Waterford will get either a clean suit, regular clothes or an orange jumpsuit.  He's been incarcerated now what? A week?

Yeah on SJ getting arrested!  Too bad Fred didn't squeal on how they raped June in regards to get her to start labour.  SJ calling June 'Offred' and not June gives indication how little she respects her. Still.  I can't wait for Fred and SJ to hear how all these kids got to Canada and out of Gilead's hands.

I wish Rita would have told Luke what happened to Hannah. I'm sure she knows since she is a Martha.

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On 8/14/2019 at 1:23 AM, rideashire said:

Having said all that, I got emotional at the end when the kids made it and I don't even like children. There was something in my eye. My contact lenses itched. I don't know.

Just saw. Okay, I was eye-rolling like mad at the fillers - 5 minutes of  stuff being jammed into bags, 5 minutes of slow-mo, what seemed 20 minutes of various June closeups (June glaring, June dripping tears, June looking resolved, June looking triumphant/determined/smirky etc etc), at anyone being able to find their way five miles through the woods at night (how they do that?)with a gaggle of kids and babies. I got lost in familiar woods one afternoon walking my dog and it took me two hours to find my way out, but whatever. 

  In spite of all that I got a bit emotional too at the end (I know! I know!) even with the usual blaring, manipulative music, as I thought of the little girls in their pink "marked-for-rape" outfits being safe. And yeah, I liked how coldly June shot the guard in the face after saying "Thank you." I pictured those guards getting together for a beer after some raid or other and saying, "Hey, guys! I shot one of those bitches in the back tonight!" and the others high-fiving him for his heroism and loyalty to Gilead

On 8/14/2019 at 8:39 AM, Ariam said:

Also, raping June before the birth was not something that was necessary or done under duress. 

Right, but ol' weaselly Fred, who was looking a little seedy here,  isn't going to spill the beans on that little incident, and how he raped her with Serena's assistance just because he was in the mood to get a little and rape turns him on in a big way. That's what they need to know about Serena since it's a million times worse than Serena pimping out June to Nick (even if June had feelings for Nick) just to steal the resulting baby. The guy who seemed to be hot for her might not be if he knew the whole of her crimes.

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On 8/16/2019 at 5:47 PM, Umbelina said:

At the very least before she headed out to look for a neighborhood to live in, she would have asked for hair dye and scissors to change up her look.  Maybe glasses, a short dark brown haircut, and sunglasses before venturing out.

It seems no one wants to ruin Yvonne's looks. It was the same in Dexter, where she was the subject of a large manhunt, and she didn't even have the sense to put on a pair of sunglasses or dye her flowing blond locks before venturing out and about looking exactly the way she did on her "Wanted" posters, in the news, etc. 

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On 8/14/2019 at 2:14 AM, AnswersWanted said:

Good dear god almighty, that first scene with June’s face flashing in between strobe light lit closeups was the worst yet. 

I felt like it was the start of a horror flick with a bunch of jump scares, yikes. 

That scene really served to remind me of what this show used to tell us Gilead was like. Terrifying, hateful, cruel, dark, unforgiving, unsurvivable. 

Then they flash to June walking side by side with a guard who doesn’t notice every other fucking handmaid thrusting their hands into her bag like it’s Santa's Christmas sack, especially Janine who giggles like her usual looney self while doing so.

Whatever, if the guards were even half as competent anymore this entire season wouldn’t exist. 

And of course Lydia has a hint something is afoot, but does nothing like take June back to the center to be reassigned because “finale!.”

So a Martha moved during the daytime and brought her kid early, yet that didn’t totally blow the whole plan because “finale!”.

And they traveled from a far distance, through the woods totally undetected? And yet no alarm had been sent up yet? Oh right, because “finale!”.

Oh look at June Wick, wielding her big bad gun like a pro. Who the fuck is this character anymore? 

They’ve ruined her, straight up removed everything and anything redeeming about her. Just so she can be some so called “badass”? What utter bullshit. 

Clearly they have no fucking clue who Lawrence is or what he’s all about. 

This idea that June, handmaid extraordinaire, could just take over his home and strip him of his power because Lizzie lowers her voice a little? GTFOOH. 

Also, are they seriously implying these mf-ers hadn’t even gotten a MAP to chart a safe path to the fucking airport until the evening of????

They had a week!

There was no plan!

Just pulling shit out of their asses at the last goddamn second and making sure it worked out because “finale!”.

Oh fuck you, show. 

Aw, Lawrence had story time with the 52 kids, who all obviously would not be able to WALK all the way to that airport in time unless they grew wings and battle armor to survive the oncoming onslaught of guards headed straight for them.

But sure, because “finale!”. 

Also also, somehow 52 kids are all missing come nightfall, plus a handful of Marthas and handmaids, and Gilead would not immediately have their airport swarming with guards because that shit should be suspicious as HELL.

But gosh golly, of course not because “finale!”. 

Too bad all those brave women didn’t know June really didn’t need their help because she can’t die, ever, so she truly could have faced off with those guards all alone and been just peachy. 

I guess none of them brought a pen...

Hey, she can avoid any and all bullets that would surely kill her, huzzah, another superpower activated! Praise be! 

And of course she got the best of an ARMED GUARD, got him to call off any further search of the area, AND then killed him because fine, sure, yep, why not...

...she got carted out of the woods with the help of the other handmaids with nary a guard or patrol in sight despite the very deceased guard laying just mere feet away who you’d think they’d be trying to contact or find or something...

So Gilead just stopped caring about everything, great, because so have I. 

I’m done. Officially done. 

This entire finale was a pile of fuck you footage to all semblance of logic. 

A “happy ending” submerged in total bullshit and fuckery to get us there. My brain deserves better. 

Thank you. My thoughts exactly. 

 Why oh why isn't June dead? That's all I wanted from this finale. Couldn't we at least have had that???

Who am I kidding? Of course Super June can't die. I'm killing this show instead. Bye, THS! 

Edited by maddie965
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My DVR "cut off" when June shot the guard!!!  Could someone please fill me in on what happened after that??  Thanks in advance!!!

June lay down and 'died' (not) and the sun came up and five handmaids skipped the flight and came and placed her on her cape and carried her face up through the woods to God knows where while she smiled beatifically toward the sky, smug in the knowledge she saved the children. June has now become Christ.

I was watching a rerun of James Cordon's Late Late Show Friday and Bradley Whitford was a guest. He raved about the brilliance that is Moss, how she controls what the scenes are, how they are shot. approves the close ups ,etc. It's as bad as we imagined. The part that really appalled me was when he said in adoration that Moss' performance in THT is the 'performance of her generation'.  Seriously. He said that. I wanted to throw up.

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What's with Gilead giving stripper names to the kids that had "normal" pre-Gilead names? I get why they change their names. I just don't understand why they choose the names they do. Hannah to Agnes was already an interesting choice. But Rebecca to Kiki? Gilead doesn't seem to be big on nicknames. Like, they'll turn Fredrick into Fred as we saw from Commander Waterford's interrogation recording but it doesn't seem like they would do, say, Reenie from Serena. So I have to believe that her legal Gilead name is Kiki. Kiki?! Girl, be glad they got you out of there and you can go back to being Rebecca. 

Edited by Callaphera
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9 hours ago, AngelaHunter said:

It seems no one wants to ruin Yvonne's looks. It was the same in Dexter, where she was the subject of a large manhunt, and she didn't even have the sense to put on a pair of sunglasses or dye her flowing blond locks before venturing out and about looking exactly the way she did on her "Wanted" posters, in the news, etc. 

This might be better for the plot holes thread, but another thing missing from the show is the media, Canadian and worldwide. Overall, how have they covered the story of Gilead and its refugees? Specifically to Fred's arrest and Serena's detention (and now arrest), where are the reporters? What news has been reported? Would people on the street recognize Serena?

Things can happen in a vacuum in Gilead, but not in the free world.

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Re: the kids and their memories, I think you would get a mixed bag of kids who remember and who don't (of those who are in that 10/11 range).  I lost my mom a few years ago, and my son was only 3 at the time and he still has memories and brings up things I assume he's long forgotten, even stuff that he hasn't heard us talk about, so it is legitimate memory (not things he thinks he remembers).   So I can buy that girl remembering that her name was Rebecca and recognizing her dad, even if she doesn't remember "life" fully before. I'd imagine that kids remember flashes and blips.  Not to mention, they are probably conditioned not to talk about before because in Gilead, you aren't supposed to talk about before.  

Does Serena's plea deal include actions BEFORE gilead?   I can assume that it must because otherwise, they could nail her on treason, easily.  

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On 8/17/2019 at 5:36 AM, Ariam said:

I honestly thought she must be in her 40s most, in my mind she is around 30 though (which wouldn't make sense as she couldn't be younger than me). But she looked older to me as a wife than I remember her.  And now I'm shocked because if she is really that old then it means I'm old too 😄 I just checked and the movies I remember her from are from like 20 years ago, but I thought they were just a few years old. If you google her name the pictures that come up fit my memory a bit better. This is just another example of how female actors mostly disappear after they age, while male actors still head movies, where their co-actresses are 20, 30 years younger. 

Sorry for the OT.

Imagine my distress.  I remember her from her stint on As the World Turns when she was about 18.  

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One thing I forgot to mention is how did Moira, Emily, Luke and company know that there were going to be a mass amount of refugees on the flight?  I feel like there was a Canada scene cut somewhere between the plane taking off and landing. 

Forgot to ask. Anyone know if baby Charlotte made it out?

Edited by greekmom
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1 hour ago, greekmom said:

One thing I forgot to mention is how did Moira, Emily, Luke and company know that there were going to be a mass amount of refugees on the flight?  I feel like there was a Canada scene cut somewhere between the plane taking off and landing. 

Forgot to ask. Anyone know if baby Charlotte made it out?

I'm going to guess that the pilot radioed ahead that he was arriving with women and children.  When Moira was helping with the organization, she said "we don't know what we're dealing with" which was pretty vague - but they could have added a simple sentence of "we have a plane with refugees, but we don't know who or how many, so let's be prepared for anything!" and still have her go onboard and be stunned by the number of women and children on there.  Or perhaps the Canadian authorities had the pilot land and stay out on the runway, took him in for questioning, and then towed the plane in and in the chaos there were gaps of communication to the volunteers in the hangar?  

But you're right, there's still a gap.  Somehow the volunteers got to the airport and got organized.  They could have shot a simple scene of Emily, Moira and Luke sleeping when they got a call that a plane had radioed ahead and see them run out the door to get to the airport.  I have no idea how close the Toronto airport is to downtown.  In NYC it takes a while to get out to the airports, I remember being shocked one time being in boston for work and it only took me about 15 mins to get to Logan.  

But we'll never know.

Edited by BrindaWalsh
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21 minutes ago, BrindaWalsh said:

In NYC it takes a while to get out to the airports, I remember being shocked one time being in boston for work and it only took me about 15 mins to get to Logan.  

Off topic but I remember a few years ago we were traveling with my (grown) daughter in France. Our flights back to the US landed around the same time-- hers to Logan, ours to JFK. She called us when she had gotten back to her Cambridge apartment. We'd just arrived at the long term parking lot at JFK 🙂

Back on topic, I also enjoyed the reunion of Emily and Rita. It was so nice seeing Emily in her professional-woman persona again with her serious eyewear. And then mentioning her Ofglen name (which I'm sure was rather awful for her).

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4 hours ago, Ashforth said:

This might be better for the plot holes thread, but another thing missing from the show is the media, Canadian and worldwide. Overall, how have they covered the story of Gilead and its refugees? Specifically to Fred's arrest and Serena's detention (and now arrest), where are the reporters? What news has been reported? Would people on the street recognize Serena?

Things can happen in a vacuum in Gilead, but not in the free world.

I've been screaming about this since Moira got to Canada.  It's total BS.  

2 hours ago, greekmom said:

One thing I forgot to mention is how did Moira, Emily, Luke and company know that there were going to be a mass amount of refugees on the flight?  I feel like there was a Canada scene cut somewhere between the plane taking off and landing. 

Forgot to ask. Anyone know if baby Charlotte made it out?

As @BrindaWalsh says below, I assume the pilot radioed ahead, but I'll add something after her post.

58 minutes ago, BrindaWalsh said:

I'm going to guess that the pilot radioed ahead that he was arriving with women and children.  When Moira was helping with the organization, she said "we don't know what we're dealing with" which was pretty vague - but they could have added a simple sentence of "we have a plane with refugees, but we don't know who or how many, so let's be prepared for anything!" and still have her go onboard and be stunned by the number of women and children on there.  Or perhaps the Canadian authorities had the pilot land and stay out on the runway, took him in for questioning, and then towed the plane in and in the chaos there were gaps of communication to the volunteers in the hangar?  

But you're right, there's still a gap.  Somehow the volunteers got to the airport and got organized.  They could have shot a simple scene of Emily, Moira and Luke sleeping when they got a call that a plane had radioed ahead and see them run out the door to get to the airport.  I have no idea how close the Toronto airport is to downtown.  In NYC it takes a while to get out to the airports, I remember being shocked one time being in boston for work and it only took me about 15 mins to get to Logan.  

But we'll never know.

I agree with all of this.  

I will add though, that I think the pilot, who, after all, seems to smuggle goods into Gilead regularly, (possibly with Canadian/USA approval just to maintain some kind of contact with people inside Gilead?) did radio ahead, but in code.

He's not going to, for example, in Gilead airspace, announce that he has a plane full of children being smuggled out of Gilead, or really, even a plane full of refugees.  Gilead would probably, or at least could, simply shoot him down.  Once he hits Canadian airspace, he's about to land and dealing with that, so why bother updating anyone on the ground?

So, for example, radioing in, and assuming both the Gileadians, Canadians, the Americans, and some refugees monitor stuff like air traffic and ham radios, which logically they all would?  They heard the code phrase or word, which could be something as simple as "arrival delayed by 13 minutes" or "aircraft sluggish, request code 17 assistance at landing."  (Whatever, I'm not a pilot, but some agreed upon code phrase which lets them know he has refugees aboard, but not details about them.)

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: ', clarity
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2 hours ago, dleighg said:

Back on topic, I also enjoyed the reunion of Emily and Rita. It was so nice seeing Emily in her professional-woman persona again with her serious eyewear. And then mentioning her Ofglen name (which I'm sure was rather awful for her).

That was my favorite minute of the whole episode.  And I felt the "Emily...  Ofglen" delivery was spot on, as that is only how Rita would have known her.   It killed Emily to say that name, but she did it for Rita.  Please let us have lots more Rita in Season 4!

As for the kids, some of the Marthas will know the pre-Gilead names of the older kids.  Also, June had all the files in the basement, so there's a chance they matched some up to the kids so they'd have some sort of paperwork upon arrival in Canada.  (They could have shown that instead of packing bread & tearing sheets.)

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39 minutes ago, chaifan said:

That was my favorite minute of the whole episode.  And I felt the "Emily...  Ofglen" delivery was spot on, as that is only how Rita would have known her.   It killed Emily to say that name, but she did it for Rita.  Please let us have lots more Rita in Season 4!

As for the kids, some of the Marthas will know the pre-Gilead names of the older kids.  Also, June had all the files in the basement, so there's a chance they matched some up to the kids so they'd have some sort of paperwork upon arrival in Canada.  (They could have shown that instead of packing bread & tearing sheets.)

Canada could also just do cheek swabs of the kids.  The older ones will be recognized by family/parents/friends who have managed to escape, much like Kiki.  The babies probably belong to Handmaids still imprisoned in Gilead.

Still, there is no doubt they will all have loving homes.  Children are a rarity in Canada as well.  I'm so glad they got so many pre-and-barely-pubescent girls out on that plane.  At least they will be spared forced marriages, and can finally learn to read, and have dreams, instead of just being told their only value and purpose is to be mothers.

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3 hours ago, chaifan said:

Also, June had all the files in the basement, so there's a chance they matched some up to the kids so they'd have some sort of paperwork upon arrival in Canada.  (They could have shown that instead of packing bread & tearing sheets.)

Amen. The paperwork would have been much better and more useful than the obvious filler of packing-tearing interminable scene. I do find the fillers extremely annoying. 

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10 minutes ago, AngelaHunter said:

Amen. The paperwork would have been much better and more useful than the obvious filler of packing-tearing interminable scene. I do find the fillers extremely annoying. 

I thought the paperwork was removed when Lawrence was "demoted" or whatever it was by Winslow, and the house redecorated to include Gilead approved boring art and furnishings?  

Maybe not.

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1 hour ago, Umbelina said:
1 hour ago, AngelaHunter said:

Amen. The paperwork would have been much better and more useful than the obvious filler of packing-tearing interminable scene. I do find the fillers extremely annoying. 

I thought the paperwork was removed when Lawrence was "demoted" or whatever it was by Winslow, and the house redecorated to include Gilead approved boring art and furnishings?  

Maybe not.

I thought that paperwork may have been what Lawrence shredded and left behind when he made his failed attempt to escape with Eleanor.

I'm pretty sure that Eleanor showed June the files after June returned from the hospital and the house had been brought to Gilead's standards.

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2 hours ago, Ashforth said:

I thought that paperwork may have been what Lawrence shredded and left behind when he made his failed attempt to escape with Eleanor.

I'm pretty sure that Eleanor showed June the files after June returned from the hospital and the house had been brought to Gilead's standards.

Yes!  That was it.  Someone I knew it was already gone, but didn't nail the reason why.  

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Although I disagree with why she's being punished I am still glad that Serena is not going to get away with everything. Maybe my interpretation of the story is wrong but in my opinion she's more responsible for Gilead than Fred is. 

According to the flashbacks she wrote books that advocated for this way of life. at a minimum we know she was very influential on some of the wives of other commanders. She planted the seeds of Gilead in the minds of many of the wives of other commanders. Her own thirst for having a child doomed many women and justified a world where Gilead made up reasons to steal the existing children of women.

Serena thought she would be an exception and be allowed some power. She only turned against Gilead when she realized she created a world where she was at best 2nd class.

Unlike some of the other posters I have no sympathy for Serena

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7 hours ago, CouchPotatoNoLife said:

. Maybe my interpretation of the story is wrong but in my opinion she's more responsible for Gilead than Fred is. 

I feel the same way. I just don't think Fred has the intelligence to conceive of any complicated and detailed plans. Really, he doesn't appear to be very bright. Agree that Serena probably never thought she'd also be subjugated and basically enslaved. 

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Good points you guys.  It is very possible the only reason Fred was even allowed to be a Commander is because of his famous and influential wife.

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2 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Good points you guys.  It is very possible the only reason Fred was even allowed to be a Commander is because of his famous and influential wife.

It's a society where women are only allowed to engage in a few prescribed tasks and lose fingers for reading.  This is not a society led by people who would be dazzled by the famous wife of anyone, much less that they would give a position of prominence to Fred because they were so taken with Serena.  I mean, within what, a few days of the revolution, any influence Serena had was over.   

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7 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

It's a society where women are only allowed to engage in a few prescribed tasks and lose fingers for reading.  This is not a society led by people who would be dazzled by the famous wife of anyone, much less that they would give a position of prominence to Fred because they were so taken with Serena.  I mean, within what, a few days of the revolution, any influence Serena had was over.   

I agree that her influence was over after the revolution. I also subscribe to the idea that Fred's power comes largely from the fact that his wife was a famous advocate of the lifestyle Gilead prescribes.

I think I've been told in the past not to bring in real life examples to this forum, so I will refrain from that. However it is possible that commanders would look upon favorably a woman that advocated every single thing they believed in.

Just because a group of people discriminate against a certain demographic doesn't mean there aren't specific people of that demographic that they can support if that person behaves in exactly the way they feel is appropriate. Further if that person is willing to demonize and attack others of their demographic group they can become a valuable attack dog.

I don't think Fred is a commander without Serena Joy being a famous author that wrote books idealizing the Gilead lifestyle.

If Serena were Sam and Fred were Francesca, Sam would probably have been among the most powerful commanders. Basically in my opinion the only thing holding Serena back in the Gilead power structure is her gender.

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11 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

It's a society where women are only allowed to engage in a few prescribed tasks and lose fingers for reading.  This is not a society led by people who would be dazzled by the famous wife of anyone, much less that they would give a position of prominence to Fred because they were so taken with Serena.  I mean, within what, a few days of the revolution, any influence Serena had was over.   

Back when it was the USA, Fred was a nobody, but his wife was famous and powerful.  She was very, very useful to those men who planned and executed the Coup, and that's probably the only reason they would even notice Fred.

I'm not talking about current day, or even the day-after Gilead, where obviously, they had absolutely no use for her.  I'm talking when they were busy swaying hearts and minds pre-coup.  She was a useful-idiot tool for them.

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1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

Back when it was the USA, Fred was a nobody, but his wife was famous and powerful.  She was very, very useful to those men who planned and executed the Coup, and that's probably the only reason they would even notice Fred.

I'm not talking about current day, or even the day-after Gilead, where obviously, they had absolutely no use for her.  I'm talking when they were busy swaying hearts and minds pre-coup.  She was a useful-idiot tool for them.

I agree with this and I will go even further. Serena was out there advocating for this lifestyle. She was out there talking about a woman's place. Her book idealized Gilead's perception of women. To be child bearers, to be wives, to be submissive, to serve, etc. Her writing was probably one of the justifications of how Gilead treats women. 

We see in the flashback that groups opposing her went to protest her speeches. We even see that some people hated her so much that they tried to assassinate her.

I honestly would have been disgusted if Serena had gotten scot-free away with what she did in Gilead and in any way got to spend time with Nicole. It would have offended me so much if her character got the baby she wanted

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You know it still blows my mind after all these episodes that the founders of Gilead blew up congress and pretty much eliminated the leadership of the United States of America and basically imprisoned a country of people to sexual slavery et al and the rest of the world seemed to be tolerating it and shrugging it's shoulders.....

The scene where Serena was being arrested and she referred to rape as some sort of state sanctioned religious ceremony .... 

It's absolute madness that it's only now that the world seems to be waking up to itself..... or did I miss something??

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52 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

She was very, very useful to those men who planned and executed the Coup, and that's probably the only reason they would even notice Fred.

Could very well be. What else does Fred have going for him that would single him out to be given a position of power? He's an obsequious, opportunistic, spineless, weak toady and as I mentioned, a not-very-bright one, whose great joy in life is feeling like lord and master and having women who can't say no at his disposal.  Serena may have thought she'd be the First Lady of Gilead and maybe some other wives deferred to her but she was just as enslaved as any of the handmaids, subject to the whims of Fred who could choose if he wanted to dance the tango, have sex with her or cut her finger off. 

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58 minutes ago, CouchPotatoNoLife said:

She was out there talking about a woman's place. Her book idealized Gilead's perception of women. To be child bearers, to be wives, to be submissive, to serve, etc.

Yet there are real women out there today who truly believe in that.

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I still like this show but I can’t handle it that Serena still gets to see the baby. It is not her baby in any way. That guy was being way too nice to her too it was weird. Wouldn’t everyone hate her too if she went out into public.

Sometimes I have to FF scenes because they are just so dragged out and annoying. 

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22 hours ago, CouchPotatoNoLife said:

Serena thought she would be an exception ...

This was shown in an early episode in which, after the "revolution," Serena showed up to make a policy presentation to the Commanders and was shut out. She was a woman, an inferior. The men would not hear her. She was stunned. Fred pretended to be sorry. 

Serena thought she was going to be part of, or at least a continuing influence on, the Gilead leadership. Surprise! Go do some knitting, dear.

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I'm not a Serena apologist in any way, but from what we saw in the one episode when she was on her book tour, the views she espoused in her book and what Gilead ended up becoming are very, very different.  I don't believe, and I don't think it was ever established, that Serena ever advocated for taking away women's legal rights to a) have bank accounts, b) have jobs, c) drive, or d) participate in any meaningful way in society other than wife and mother.  None of these are antithetical to Serena's view of "traditional" roles, and they are not mutually exclusive ideals.

Comments have been made that Serena was one of the "architects" of Gilead or responsible for the gov't overthrow.  Can someone point me to where this was established, because I don't recall seeing that in the show. 

I think Serena is evil enough just for what we actually know about her that we don't need to create new offenses that she really didn't do.

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27 minutes ago, chaifan said:

Comments have been made that Serena was one of the "architects" of Gilead or responsible for the gov't overthrow.  Can someone point me to where this was established, because I don't recall seeing that in the show. 

I recall a flashback in which Serena and Fred were at a movie and they talked rather giddily about how the plan to assassinate US federal government elected officials was about to go down. So they were aware of it, and maybe peripherally involved, but certainly were not the masterminds or personally involved in the execution (sorry) of the plan. As for her arrest in this ep, I don't even recall how Fred would know that Serena orchestrated and forced June and Nick into that first extra-curricular "ceremony."

see y'all in Small Talk for another topic...

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2 hours ago, Ashforth said:

I recall a flashback in which Serena and Fred were at a movie and they talked rather giddily about how the plan to assassinate US federal government elected officials was about to go down. So they were aware of it, and maybe peripherally involved, but certainly were not the masterminds or personally involved in the execution (sorry) of the plan. As for her arrest in this ep, I don't even recall how Fred would know that Serena orchestrated and forced June and Nick into that first extra-curricular "ceremony."

see y'all in Small Talk for another topic...

I found the scene - Season 1, ep. 6, A Woman's Place.  About 17 minutes in.  Fred comes home discussing "the committee", then they go out to the movies.  They're discussing Serena writing a second book when Fred gets a text and says "It's happening, they issued the orders.  It's what we proposed.  Three separate attacks...  Congress first, then the White House, then the Courts."  Based on his earlier filling in Serena about the committee, and the explanation of the "plan", I think the "we" in that sentence is the committee, not Fred & Serena. 

So I still don't think Serena was actually involved in any of the planning of the coup.  We know she had knowledge of it through what Fred told her, but can only speculate as to whether she advised Fred or had any actual input.

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