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S02.E09: Smart Power 2018.06.13

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The Waterfords embark on a diplomatic trip abroad. Serena faces the temptation of life outside Gilead. Luke and Moira grapple with survivor’s guilt. Offred seeks support from allies.

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Serena might as well have told June to start forming an escape plan when she said June couldn't stay after the baby was born.

And ugh, we get it, she's so conflicted.  Was her throwing the matches into the fire her finally choosing Gilead?

When Waterford started talking about trade policy and returning illegal emigrants, it made me think of current events and I felt chills.

At first I thought Luke's reaction was underplayed (thought he would be much more unhinged at the sight of Waterford), but his scene with Nick was very effective.

Moira needs more to do, and Samira Wiley needs her own show already.  I didn't get that last moment where they were singing "America the Beautiful" and Moira started sobbing when she saw Luke walk away.  What tragedy was she realizing that she didn't realize before?

Edited by Brn2bwild.
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Whoa. 

 I have always been on the fence about the fact the show changed the ages of Fred and Serena, I have been often between not minding it and then there are times when I have disliked it greatly. 

This episode has me now deeply convinced that Ann Dowd should’ve been Serena Joy

That part of the story should’ve remained intact and she would have played, I think, the most perfect representation of what Serena Joy was always meant to be and should’ve been.

She’s brilliant as Aunt Lydia, but now I have no doubt that she would’ve been absolutely spectacular as Serena. 

 And speaking of Serena ... burn the witch. 

I cannot believe that she actually had the gall to bother saying goodbye to a June before jetting off on her little trip, but not before leaving June with the knowledge that Serena intends to kick her out of the house the second that baby is born.

This monster plans to deprive June of any time to bond and connect with the baby, her baby, even going so far as to decide that she would not have the child properly fed by a healthy mother during its most crucial first year. 

 Luke got me in the feels. I can’t imagine what he has to be going through finding out that his captive wife is now pregnant by her rapist, technically true, and lost in Gilead and there’s nothing he can do for her, or for Hannah.

Why did Nick not mention to Luke that he has seen Hannah? That was a miss for him, he drove June to visit her not too long ago at least. 

That new guard kid made me want to kick him in the spleen and drop him off a cliff. What a little asshole. He hit Janine! Such a little punk. 

 And maybe it was just me or was he getting a little familiar with Eden in the kitchen as well? Someone put a bullet in him ASAP.

That bonding moment between Rita and June was so heartbreaking.

The way that she promised June to do her best to protect the baby against all the odds, such as the fact that she could be subjugated by some pimple faced brat with a gun. That hurt.

No one took a shot at Fred, I cannot express how disappointed I am about that.

Someone finally told Serena to her pathetic face that June’s baby is not, in fact, her baby.

Thank you guy from new American governmentland.

He also pointed out that for someone so determined not to betray her so called country she already had at least once before. 

Again, thank you new guy, come back soon. We’ll find you a smoking lounge with a free bar. 

 Oh, and when you do can you bring back perhaps some numbers and research on how you guys are fixing the fertility issue? Good news to hear for once. 

Have you actually discovered the general causation?

Did he say something about the fact that they pretty much have proven that it is the males that are most likely sterile causing the fertility crisis? 

If so I am going to need that information be tattooed across the foreheads of every single male leader in Gilead.

I find it funny that perhaps most of the modern world is already on the case solving the fertility crisis with actual science, and of course Gilead is the one stuck now having destroyed all of those similar methods and basically have guaranteed that they are going to die out before all of this is over unless they give up their setiously fucked up plan. 

I also liked the Canadian lady at the end that twisted the knife deeper into Serena after they have been told they would have to leave, but I really needed a lot more knife twisting, or actual knife stabbing would’ve been fine too.

 But again, you have that many people surrounding their personal vehicles on the way to the air strip and no one has a gun or a grenade launcher or a tank or something?

Edited by AnswersWanted.
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22 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

Why did Nick not mention to Luke that he has seen Hannah? That was a miss for him, he drove June to visit her not too long ago at least. 

 

 

When did Nick take June to visit Hannah? The only time I remember her seeing her was when Serena Joy took her there and then left her screaming in the car. Nick did not drive on that trip, that was a different guard. 

Edited by mamadrama.
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So so many things to unpack this episode......Among my first thoughts is that the scene Serena gazing out the car window at the city streets parallels the scene in S1 when June is looking out the window of the car remembering Hannah.  I think it is the same episode where June goes to the doctor after Rita finds her passed out in the closet.

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So, I am a veteran anti-racist and anti-facist protester.  Neo-Nazis came to a town near here two months ago.  We protested them and chanted "No hate! No fear! Nazis are not welcome here!"  Another version of that we used is "No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!".  It's a really common chant and another one that was used in Charlottesville.

So I am coming at this with a deep understanding of the need to protest but Luke, WTF are you doing?!?  Fred has June held prisoner.  He could do anything to her in retaliation for Luke coming after him.  I understand you are not supposed to hurt a pregnant handmaid but Fred is an evil SOB and he could easily think of many ways he could get away with.  Luke seriously endangered her here.  I did like his giant photo of his family.

I LOLd a bit at Nick's selective use of facts.  He and June and "friends".  Of course, it made sense.  He doesn't want to open the can of worms of his actual relationship with her.

The timing of the upload of the letters.  I guess Nick isn't too concerned with his own well being?  The fact the letters leaked at the same time as this historic trip is not going to be lost on Gilead leadership.  It was great seeing them kicked out of the country but that was seriously risky.

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3 minutes ago, Olive said:

So so many things to unpack this episode......Among my first thoughts is that the scene Serena gazing out the car window at the city streets parallels the scene in S1 when June is looking out the window of the car remembering Hannah.  I think it is the same episode where June goes to the doctor after Rita finds her passed out in the closet.

I loved both of those scenes. I am loving Yvonne in this role. The expression on her face as they were driving around, compared with June's when she was in the similar scene, was fantastic. 

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31 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

"I wont betray my government."

"I thought you already did."

Oh snap!

 

I’m in love with new guy. They have to bring him back somehow. 

He dismantled Serena, all the smug arrogance oozed out of her until she was a mere puddle of self pity on the chair before he walked away, but not before leaving that little gift of cigarettes and matches which she eagerly snatched up like any addict desperate for a fix. 

 

 

5 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

When did Nick take June to visit Hannah? The only time I remember her seeing her was when Serena Joy took her there and then left her screaming in the car. Nick did not drive on that trip, that was a different guard. 

 

 

Well there goes my memory, I thought it was Nick driving. I last watched that episode last year right after it originally aired.

 But hasn’t June let him know that Hannah is alive?

Now that I am thinking about it, when June got that short message to Luke, didn’t she tell him tgen that she had seen Hannah or am I imagining that too?

 But all in all I liked their scenes together in the bar, though I did have to suspend a good bit of disbelief that Nick could somehow have traveled there on his own with those letters without security following him or keeping a close eye on him, what would keep him from deflecting if given the chance? 

Nick definitely looked uncomfortable when a devasted Luke asked if Fred was the father. 

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2 minutes ago, Shaynaa said:

....

The timing of the upload of the letters.  I guess Nick isn't too concerned with his own well being?  The fact the letters leaked at the same time as this historic trip is not going to be lost on Gilead leadership.  It was great seeing them kicked out of the country but that was seriously risky.

It could go either way.  It could be said that the person who had them was waiting for an opportune time to release them.  Gilead coming to town would have been that perfect time.

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8 minutes ago, Shaynaa said:

So I am coming at this with a deep understanding of the need to protest but Luke, WTF are you doing?!?  Fred has June held prisoner.  He could do anything to her in retaliation for Luke coming after him.  I understand you are not supposed to hurt a pregnant handmaid but Fred is an evil SOB and he could easily think of many ways he could get away with.  Luke seriously endangered her here.  I did like his giant photo of his family.

 

From my perspective Luke was not thinking at all, he was just lashing out. 

It was his first time finally being able to have something tangible from Gilead to attack, and it just so happened to be the very commander that he knows for certain is holding his wife as his own personal sex slave, raping her on a regular basis, and now on top of it he knows she’s pregnant. This man is not ever going to be able to sleep again. 

I think Luke is also an alcoholic or is about to become one from the looks of it.

It actually makes a ton of sense to me if he does spend a lot of time drowning his sorrows, trying to drink the pain away.  That would certainly help him to detach from the real world, to find a bit of reprieve from the soul crushing reality of his situation. 

 I loved the humongous family photo, I wish he’d brought Moira and the other handmaid, who really needs a name by now show, and they all had T-shirts with the same picture on them just for added emphasis. 

 

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I LOLd a bit at Nick's selective use of facts.  He and June and "friends".  Of course, it made sense.  He doesn't want to open the can of worms of his actual relationship with her.

The timing of the upload of the letters.  I guess Nick isn't too concerned with his own well being?  The fact the letters leaked at the same time as this historic trip is not going to be lost on Gilead leadership.  It was great seeing them kicked out of the country but that was seriously risky.

 

 

Heh, Nick was definitely trying his hardest to pick his words very carefully while answering Luke. But definitely I don’t think he could’ve laid everything on him in that moment, Luke would’ve done a lot more than just shove him a few times. 

 I actually thought about that as well, that the regime is definitely going to try to figure out how so many letters got out all at the same time, just as they were about to make that pretty crucial deal with Canada. 

And of course a certain somebody found a stack of letters in Nick’s possession right before everything went down, I do believe those two issues are going to collide sooner than later.
 

Edited by AnswersWanted.
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Twice Nick has told June he loves her and she hasn't say it back. She would choose Luke over him and he knows it. He looked so sad having to go back to Eden.

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Aunt Lydia is such a mystery to me. She obviously has the capacity for kindness and compassion, but she does such horrible things. I have no doubt that she would protect that baby if she was ever in a situation that called for it, yet she will have a woman's eye removed like it's no big deal.

How?! I just...the mind...it boggles. I want to know more about her and how she got where she is.

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As soon as Nick told his name to Luke, I cringed. It just takes one mention of where the letters came from, one slip of “a Gilead driver” or “someone from Gilead named Nick” by Luke to press or friends, even if meant in gratitude toward Nick... could be the end of Nick. I’m hoping Luke is smarter than that. 

And the exchange between Nick and June in her room? The entire time I was thinking, “close your blinds! What if someone (Eden) can see you?!??”

And... June’s last line? How the heck does she think she can change the location of the babies birth now, so close to delivery??? What do we think she meant?

Also. When Fred spotted Moira right after the mention of the leaked letters? His look told me that he thought she may be responsible. I don’t think he will immediately suspect Nick. 

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Yay for Canada to kick them out!

So Aunt Lydia was Godmother to her sister's baby and it died four days later.  Wonder what "It was not my fault" means?

Serena was an idiot not to take the offer and go to Hawaii, she has baby fever, if she didn't have June's baby on the way, I wonder if she would have gone?

Moira with her sign was powerful, "My name is Moira, not Ruby motherfucker."

The spontaneous America The Beautiful made me cry too.

Nick risked SO much telling his name to drunk Luke, and just as much giving him those letters.  He's a brave man.  He does love her, or he wouldn't have told her everything Luke said, he wasn't expecting an "I love you" back, everything he's done shows his love is generous, not selfish.

I've been wondering why Eden's clothes look too big for her, especially that coat...could June disguise herself as an Econwive once again, and attempt another escape?

"But fuck than!"  Yes!  June!

8 minutes ago, LittleRed84 said:

And the exchange between Nick and June in her room? The entire time I was thinking, “close your blinds! What if someone (Eden) can see you?!??”

I was thinking how loud his damn boots were pacing back and forth on that floor.

9 minutes ago, LittleRed84 said:

And... June’s last line? How the heck does she think she can change the location of the babies birth now, so close to delivery??? What do we think she meant?

Get out as an Econowife?  Borrow Eden's much too large coat?

9 minutes ago, LittleRed84 said:

Also. When Fred spotted Moira right after the mention of the leaked letters? His look told me that he thought she may be responsible. I don’t think he will immediately suspect Nick. 

It could be anyone who recently escaped from Gilead who brought those letters.  Nick risked a lot, he's a brave guy.  I don't think even Luke is stupid enough to betray him by name.

I loved this episode.

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34 minutes ago, rideashire said:

Aunt Lydia is such a mystery to me. She obviously has the capacity for kindness and compassion, but she does such horrible things. I have no doubt that she would protect that baby if she was ever in a situation that called for it, yet she will have a woman's eye removed like it's no big deal.

And also bullshit to that because just last episode we saw a baby dying and she did nothing, so fuck you Aunt Lydia and your protecting babies bullshit.

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Just now, Pachengala said:

And also bullshit to that because just last episode we saw a baby dying and she did nothing, so fuck you Aunt Lydia and your protecting babies bullshit.

Wait what, how did I forget this already, lol. Do I just have a bad memory? (not unheard of, it actually is swiss cheese)

I only remember the baby almost dying from unknown causes (or at least the doc would not outright say) but I don't remember Aunt Lydia doing anything weird. What could she have done in that situation anyway? It's not like someone was actively hurting the child, she was in the hospital, she was apparently getting care. I'm not saying Lydia is golden just that I'm not sure she's to blame for any of that.

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1 minute ago, Pachengala said:

And also bullshit to that because just last episode we saw a baby dying and she did nothing, so fuck you Aunt Lydia and your protecting babies bullshit.

 

I felt incredibly unsettled when aunt Lydia told June that her godson, a.k.a. nephew, died four days after birth but that it was not her fault.

 That was an incredibly creepy and worrisome thing to admit to out of the blue like that. 

Ann Dowd is a true treasure the way that she portrays Lydia, definitely one of the standouts in any episode she’s in. 

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Fred is truly disgusting. He beats the crap out of his wife and then insists that she accompany him to Canada to show them that women in Gilead aren't oppressed. To quote Avi from Ray Donovan, THIS FUCKING GUY.

Watching Serena look at all the women on the streets in Canada, walking around, dressed in non mandated colors, kissing their boyfriends, using cell phones, reading, etc. made me laugh. Yes, that's what you gave up so that you could live in a world where you aren't allowed to read and your husband beats you.

At first I was surprised that Serena was being allowed to wander around by herself (and drink wine!) but then I realized that was exactly the point of Fred forcing her to go. Let's pretend that the women of Gilead still have rights and freedom!

I half expected Fred to find Serena talking to Joel from Parenthood and then punish her for it when they got back to Gilead.

Ha, loved the immigration guy pointedly telling Fred that he's gay and that he won't go back to the United States until he feels welcome.

I thought that Nick would at least tell Luke the city where June was living with the Waterfords. I know Luke can't just charge down there and bust her out, but at least he would have an idea of where she was for the time being.

The look of happiness on June's face when she heard that Moira had escaped - awwww!

So during S1, June was literally tiptoeing through the house to get to Fred's office without Serena hearing her, but now Nick can just walk through the house late at night and go straight into June's room and nobody hears that? Have Serena and Fred suddenly become deaf?

Every time someone remarked that June was nearing the end of her pregnancy, all I could think was that means she is THAT much closer to Fred/Serena/Aunt Lydia being able to physically abuse her again without fear of her losing the baby.

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1) I have a pretty great life as is (I don’t have to say “but at least I don’t live there”), but I’d jump at a chance to escape to Hawaii with an hour’s notice.  My people would understand.

GET!  IN!  THAT!  PLANE!!!

 

2) I’m glad we saw Luke break down.  I knew this would be the case, because a lot of men when faced with both great emotional pain and heavy responsibilities will shut down that breakdown until provoked.  He had to confront Waterford, but that confrontation destroyed the wall he built.  

3) The introduction of the US agent, and the spontaneous patriotic sing-along from the refugees made me wonder about the existence of a free US Armed Forces (like the Free French during WWII).  It has to be a thing, and it looks like there’s a lot of people who want to fight for their country.  The agent dropping the hint that they still wield some power was telling.  Gilead has the land, the USA is still sitting on a lot of wealth (and probably a stupendous amount of other assets).

Edited by revbfc.
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Hot smoker guy in the free (lol) bar was a welcome respite. I agree with the other posters, I'd jump at that chance. Not a spoiler because it's based on nothing but I feel like Nick is not going to make it through this season alive. Sad because 1. I love the character and 2. This show is sad enough.

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One more observation on the United States.  Though only having two stars does aptly reflect the current situation, why wouldn’t the government want to stick with the old 50 as a symbol of hope and a promise to the people?

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Did anyone get the impression that the Canadian rep the Commander called a coward was a Gilead sympathizer (and/or agent)?  I got the distinct impression that there was a bigger plan afoot for Gilead to annex Canada, and that guy was a part of it.

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11 minutes ago, revbfc said:

Did anyone get the impression that the Canadian rep the Commander called a coward was a Gilead sympathizer (and/or agent)?  I got the distinct impression that there was a bigger plan afoot for Gilead to annex Canada, and that guy was a part of it.

No.  Not even a tiny little bit.

I think he was hoping to reestablish trade or decent relations, or his government was, but his "We believe the women." was pretty damn believable.

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9 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

Serena might as well have told June to start forming an escape plan when she said June couldn't stay after the baby was born.

And ugh, we get it, she's so conflicted.  Was her throwing the matches into the fire her finally choosing Gilead?

When Waterford started talking about trade policy and returning illegal emigrants, it made me think of current events and I felt chills.

At first I thought Luke's reaction was underplayed (thought he would be much more unhinged at the sight of Waterford), but his scene with Nick was very effective.

Moira needs more to do, and Samira Wiley needs her own show already.  I didn't get that last moment where they were singing "America the Beautiful" and Moira started sobbing when she saw Luke walk away.  What tragedy was she realizing that she didn't realize before?

I saw her throwing the matches into the fire, as choosing Gilead, because she'd just been humiliated in Canada. She's too proud to just leave, and admit that they were wrong in any way. 

I missed the part about returning illegal immigrants - and those people protesting included former handmaids! That gave me chills, when I realized they were holding signs with their real names. Especially Moira. 

 

9 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

"I wont betray my government."

"I thought you already did."

Oh snap!

I just finished the episode, a little while ago, and I can't believe I only just got this! For some reason, I thought he'd heard about her writing things, and pretending they came from her husband. Of course, she did betray her government: the American government. 

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2 hours ago, revbfc said:

1) I have a pretty great life as is (I don’t have to say “but at least I don’t live there), but I’d jump at a chance to escape to Hawaii with an hour’s notice.  My people would understand.

GET!  IN!  THAT!  PLANE!!!

I can understand one reason why she wouldn't have: I don't think the American representative promised her immunity from prosecution.  He probably doesn't realize the extent of her complicity... if he did, Serena would be arrested the moment she reaches American air space.

Also, I'm wondering if it was such a great idea for Luke to blurt out his last name to Fred?  Now Fred will have an easy way to trace him and send goons to "reclaim" him.

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I also worried about the handmaids, whose letters were uploaded to the internet. What if they're punished for that? The commanders have access to the internet. They could read them at any time. 

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That could happen, but those women wrote those letters to tell the world what is happening to them.  They wanted their stories and names out there. 

Resistance comes in a lot of forms.

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8 minutes ago, Brn2bwild said:

I can understand one reason why she wouldn't have: I don't think the American representative promised her immunity from prosecution.  He probably doesn't realize the extent of her complicity... if he did, Serena would be arrested the moment she reaches American air space.

Yeah, you’re right.  He did not offer her immunity.  He flat-out called her a traitor, too.

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39 minutes ago, revbfc said:

Yeah, you’re right.  He did not offer her immunity.  He flat-out called her a traitor, too.

I don't think that's why Serena didn't go though.  I think it was all about that baby.  She's obsessed with having a child.

She could have worked out an immunity deal, in exchange for outing everything, she made no attempt at that.

39 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

I really dont think Serena meant for Gilead to be quite as crazy as it is, with the no reading and all that, and she certainly meant for her to have more power than she actually does, but she still knew she was committing treason and murder, and she certainly knew that Gilead wasn't going to be an awesome place for everyone. So it was pretty satisfying watching her looking at women in the streets just walking around talking and reading and laughing and kissing like they should be able to, and the obvious disgust that people have towards her. I especially laughed at the one woman mentioning that Serena loves to knight, after she admitted to June that she actually hates knitting. And when they used pictures in her schedule. And when that lady at the elevator clearly couldn't stand looking at her. Of course, thats also probably why she chose Gilead over taking the US governments offer to escape. She is too proud to admit what she did, and how low she has been brought. 

Loved and agreed with your entire post.  I am quoting this part because yeah, I really don't think Serena had that kind of world in mind...at all.  I was thrilled that people spoke their minds to Serena AND to Fred, thrilled with the protests and disgust they had to look at, and were powerless against.

The pictures on her schedule was such a perfect touch, of course Canada would treat people from another country by respecting their customs, but damn!  The looks on Serena's face were worth the price of admission.  The elevator lady looking away in disgust as Serena repeated her meaningless pseudo blessing was perfectly done, and so very wonderful.

I really think she didn't go because of the baby.  Also, it was a bit too soon, she hadn't fully absorbed all of the hate and disgust yet.  If they'd stayed the planned amount of time, and Serena had enjoyed the freedom she had there for a few more days? 

Maybe.

Also I still wonder if being shot makes it impossible for her to have her own child, sure looks like that bullet went straight to her uterus.  So yeah, she knows Fred's infertile, but maybe now, she is as well?  If so, the American guy telling her she could have her own child wouldn't have landed with her.  Maybe she can't?

Edited by Umbelina.
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It's not often an episode lives up to expectations based on a trailer but this one really did.  Like everyone else, I would have been over the moon had the American refugees managed more pushback than just protests and signs and Luke getting to yell a few inconvenient truths, but we know government events like this are choreographed to death with layers upon layers of security to prevent exactly that.  It's one of the more frustrating things about protesting, as the official reminded Luke and Moira in the beginning as she pointed out that they're officially guests of the Canadian government and there's only so much they're even allowed to do.

Loved good old Commander Fred and Serena dealing with what's probably the first time in ages of everyone around them not being deferential and fearful and giving canned approved responses in making it clear they were not impressed.  Loved the gay official pointedly telling Fred about his husband and how they would never come to Gilead because they wouldn't feel welcome.  The picture schedule felt almost deliberately mocking.  The combined camera shots and Yvonne Strahovski's reactions were magnificent in showing us all the conflicting feelings she was processing on that trip.  Yes, that is how the world looked for you just a couple of years ago when career women could talk about their work as their passion and why they don't have time to pursue fussy "domestic arts" that you've already admitted elsewhere that you hate and you threw it all away for an endless parade of near identical teal Betty Draper in season 1 Mad Men getups and being smacked around via Bible readings when you're not slowly being bored to death talking about fungus on your plant cuttings.  Her exchange with American government Mark was illuminating, although I wasn't particularly surprised to see her reject the offer most of us would have jumped at.  Betraying Gilead when she's in as deep as she is would mean accepting that everything that she's believed and worked for was a failure as well as her own culpability in the horror that it's inflicted.  It was loosely reminiscent of all the times I've watched footage of women from what we know are horribly repressive regimes smiling for the cameras and insisting that no, they're just fine.  They're happy where they are, illustrating Aunt Lydia's axiom about "freedom from" being just as important as "freedom to."  But we know she's not happy where she as, just as we could see that the various incidents of women being visibly disgusted by her and her seeing Luke with the giant family photo and having that moment of "oh yeah, we did have to destroy an intact family to make this happen" got to her.   She may be choosing Gilead now because she was humiliated and thinking there's safety in the prison you know, but it's eating at her.  Oh, and there's also the she's expecting a baby at home thing, but even there as Mark pointed out, she's not actually expecting a baby.  She's about to snatch one from someone not in a position to give freely.  She's certainly not going to hear that hard truth from anyone in her circle in Gilead.

The Luke-Nick meetup was fascinating and should lay to rest complaints that Luke has been too nonreactive to all this.  Some still waters run deeper than others and can only be bottled up so long.  Nick went a long way here in convincing me he is the more or less up and up guy I've thought him to be who's been caught up in stuff beyond him.  When as far as we know there's no more Mayday smuggling handmaids out and June's so close to giving birth it's unlikely she could go anywhere anyway or that there's anything Luke could do about it, it's probably a kindness to let Luke think good old Commander Fred is the definite father of June's baby rather than try to explain whatever it is he's been doing with June with its varying degrees of consent and free choice and what Nick believes is love flowering around them.  We really need a character name for the third member of the Luke-Moira-handmaid apartment because she was brilliant in realizing the power of the letters dropping in the public when there were Gilead officials in the country to direct their rage and disgust at.

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Did anyone else shudder a little bit when Fred reported to Serena about his first day?  When he said they might even get to have the illegal immigrants repatriated back to Gilead at first I internally screamed NO!  Then I realized Canada would never do that, send those poor people who managed to escape back to certain deaths or sexual slavery. 

They were just using typical diplomatic speak with fool Fred, pretending everything was on the table, and he fell for it.  At least I sure hoped so.

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Aunt Lydia was an odd audience for June's bit about someone who abuses a woman would abuse a child. Lydia abuses women all time, for the exact kind of reason Fred beat Serena. I'd think Lydia would approve.

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11 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

We really need a character name for the third member of the Luke-Moira-handmaid apartment because she was brilliant in realizing the power of the letters dropping in the public when there were Gilead officials in the country to direct their rage and disgust at.

How about “Chrissy?”

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2 hours ago, Maire said:

Hot smoker guy in the free (lol) bar was a welcome respite. I agree with the other posters, I'd jump at that chance. Not a spoiler because it's based on nothing but I feel like Nick is not going to make it through this season alive. Sad because 1. I love the character and 2. This show is sad enough.

The free bar was killing me, lol.

And Nick is the most killable character at this point - not that I want that. I am really enjoying him this season, but his death will be tragic and probably heroic, and if June gets out of Gilead, what do we do with him? Does he go with her and start a throuple? I mean, obviously there are other things they could do with him, but he's totally killable. I'll be sad, though. :(

Bawled my face off when they started singing America the Beautiful, and when Moira had her sign. 

And I agree - the way they are playing Serena, if she didn't have a "baby" on the way, she would have thought more about Hawaii. She's stubborn AF so I'm not sure if she'd admit to being wrong, but I think it would have been a longer conversation. 

The guy representing the US government was kinda of awesomely, old-school, American-like. Like a George Clooney character. 

I loved the scene with the woman and the kid on the elevator, but it would have been PERFECT had the woman flipped Serena off as the doors closed. 

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I think another day or so would make a big dent in Serena’s resolve, as mentioned above. Another conversation with the American diplomat telling her he values her thinking...could entice more dialogue. She is starving for discourse and attention...especially if he can spin in a little God Gave You That Mind To Use...would seduce her to “treason” eventually.

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1 hour ago, gesundheit said:

Aunt Lydia was an odd audience for June's bit about someone who abuses a woman would abuse a child. Lydia abuses women all time, for the exact kind of reason Fred beat Serena. I'd think Lydia would approve.

It seemed odd to me too initially, but I think June is so desperately grasping at straws at this point that she can't afford to be picky.  The baby's coming soon and unless she can figure something out fairly quickly, she won't be there even through the first months to protect it.  Lydia already commented after June returned to the house after her "kidnapping" that it wasn't a secret that there was strife within the household.  So maybe it's worth a shot to put a bug in her ear that that strife goes well beyond just the wife and the handmaid not getting along.

Again, without knowing precisely how much power Lydia actually has compared to a commander who's already got a bit of a reputation for not being to keep his own house in order and now not one but two public failures in the bombing of the Red Center and the Canada trip fiasco to his credit, it's hard to know what June honestly thinks Lydia can or would do.  She knows as well as anyone that Lydia's not above hurting women to get them in line or because she thinks they deserve it.  But she also seems to be one of the few people in the entire regime who are completely sincere that it's all about the babies above all else.   You notice while Lydia didn't dispute that a wife has the right to immediately kick the handmaid out after birth, she did do a double take.  It clearly surprised her as not something that's normally done.

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4 minutes ago, Bubbetv said:

I think another day or so would make a big dent in Serena’s resolve, as mentioned above. Another conversation with the American diplomat telling her he values her thinking...could entice more dialogue. She is starving for discourse and attention...especially if he can spin in a little God Gave You That Mind To Use...would seduce her to “treason” eventually.

It may have, and I'm the one who said that about a few more days to think about it, look around and discuss it could have changed her mind.  But not if when she was shot she lost her uterus or ability to have children.  She's known Fred's shooting blanks for a while now, but if she's also reproductively dead, him telling her they'd made strides in fertility wouldn't have been an inducement to leave. 

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27 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

We really need a character name for the third member of the Luke-Moira-handmaid apartment because she was brilliant in realizing the power of the letters dropping in the public when there were Gilead officials in the country to direct their rage and disgust at.

I believe her name is Erin. http://the-handmaids-tale.wikia.com/wiki/Erin

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2 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

But she also seems to be one of the few people in the entire regime who are completely sincere that it's all about the babies above all else. 

I wonder if she did kill her nephew? 

That would explain quite a bit about her determination to have babies born and properly cared for, maybe this, in her mind at least, is her redemption?

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Or maybe she prevented her nephew from being treated by a doctor considered a gender traitor. 

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Yeah, Lydia's bit about the baby dying at four days old and that it wasn't her fault was a very odd non sequitur.  There's obviously a lot more to that story than she was telling but June really wasn't in a position to ask.

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