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Tara Ariano

S01.E08: Jezebels

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1 hour ago, Stiggs said:

and really defined THIS commander as much more predatory than book commander

I feel this way too. Show Commander seems much more into mind games.

In the book I don't remember them "getting it on" so to speak, at Jezebels. 

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They did.  That's the whole point of Jezebels.  Make noise, fuck, indulge in outlawed acts, dress up the women in shabby, used, tawdry "sexy" clothes, there is no other point to Jezebels.  Commanders can drink at home.

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43 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

They did.  That's the whole point of Jezebels.  Make noise, fuck, indulge in outlawed acts, dress up the women in shabby, used, tawdry "sexy" clothes, there is no other point to Jezebels.  Commanders can drink at home.

Tawdry is totally the word for it. I didn't feel like the show Jezebels was tawdry enough if that makes sense.

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49 minutes ago, Eureka said:

Tawdry is totally the word for it. I didn't feel like the show Jezebels was tawdry enough if that makes sense.

Me either.  At all, and I think it hurt the scene.  Her make up looked brand new, her dress still had all the dangling sequins and fringe, the shoes looked like they came right out of a store, and her hair just swooped down into luscious curls when he unpinned it, like the old secretary fantasy, remove the glasses, take out the bun, and woo!  Sex Goddess. 

Ugh.  It was much to like a sex fantasy for the viewer to me, Woo!  We can show boobie!  Woo!  Let's show ass too!  The way they filmed this was much more pandering to encourage the audience, or at least the male audience, but they did throw in a few tears...so.

Edited by Umbelina
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On 5/31/2017 at 10:23 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

Are we supposed to gather that Nick had an affair with the woman who hung herself?  It's all confusing.  

I was thinking that the Commander took the previous Offred to the Jezebels club and sometime after that, she hung herself.  So, Nick is associating that outing with a suicide and is worried that will happen to June also.  So he does what so many people do, back away from the person you have feelings for, so that he doesn't get too involved and hurt.  Selfish on his part, yes, but that was my read on it.

But then again, who knows, I'm awful at reading people.  

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 So, Nick is associating that outing with a suicide and is worried that will happen to June also.  So he does what so many people do, back away from the person you have feelings for, so that he doesn't get too involved and hurt.  Selfish on his part, yes, but that was my read on it.

I actually wondered if the entire situation with June was a complete repeat of the situation with their prior handmaid.  Something about the way he pulled her down and held her made me think that he'd been involved with her as well.  And as he pulls away from June, it was an effort to not get too involved (no hurt or guilt), but also to try and spare June any conflict or further emotional turmoil that could lead her to do the same thing.  

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That wasn't really my point. Just for fun, compare June to a classic car, and the Commander to a collector of cars who has several models available. He is NOT going to risk damaging the classic car on a joyride. He will take the classic out on a Sunday drive through a not-heavily-trafficked area, and probably not even valet park it, as the risk of some kid messing it up is too great for something so valuable. June is INHERENTLY valuable, because so much of what happens to her can affect her fertility. You are devaluing her by narrowing the scope of her value to just that small time frame, and that's where I think Atwood doesn't "get" her own creation.

That's interesting.  Except I don't think the Commander truly recognizes June as having value.  He can...just get another handmaid.  He did before.  Granted, I don't think he would apply that logic to anybody but himself, but in his own case, he's above everything.  

Edited by Shangrilala
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4 minutes ago, Shangrilala said:

Something about the way he pulled her down and held her made me think that he'd been involved with her as well.

That makes sense too!  I completely forgot about the detail of the way he was holding her.

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10 hours ago, Eureka said:

Random thoughts:

This episode was so dark (literally) that it was hard for me to see. 

 

I'm glad I'm not the only who thought that--I thought my eyesight was going!

At this point, I think I can only say I heard this episode...

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34 minutes ago, Shangrilala said:

I actually wondered if the entire situation with June was a complete repeat of the situation with their prior handmaid.  Something about the way he pulled her down and held her made me think that he'd been involved with her as well.  And as he pulls away from June, it was an effort to not get too involved (no hurt or guilt), but also to try and spare June any conflict or further emotional turmoil that could lead her to do the same thing. 

I've seen a lot of people speculating about Nick possibly having been involved with the prior Offred, and I can see why, but I honestly didn't get that - I just felt that he was gutted by the sight of this...death a few feet away, the death of someone he'd known and lived side by side with for however long. Someone whose downfall he'd personally witnessed and likely felt compassion for. It just seems like we would have been told unambiguously if he had actually been involved with her - I can't think why they would hold back on it.

I also feel another factor in Nick's pulling away from June was that he was afraid of what he might do if they continued on. That scene of him glowering at the sight of Fred and June from the doorway at Jezebel's...I think he's afraid of somehow slipping because of his feelings for June, of hauling off and belting Fred or worse. His emotions seemed barely contained a few times during the episode, and that is, of course, incredibly dangerous.

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Well, from the "how could you?" at the end of that from Serena Joy we know that she must have at least been playing chess with the Commander, but probably refers to Jezebel's and possibly even to Serena trying to get her pregnant by Nick. 

An affair though?  I really don't think so, but he'd know about the chess and Jezebels.  Since the cook expected sex, we can assume Nick gets sex occasionally especially when driving the Commander to Jezebels. 

I don't think he fell for her as he has for June, but maybe.  Or maybe he just wanted to distance himself because of that temper worry shown in the above post, or simply knows there is no good end for June, and needs to distance himself from that.

All of the above maybe?

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So, Nick is an eye, keeping an eye on the Commander? That one said something about him, and the rules. 

Jezebels was awful. Poor Moira pointing out the perks of being able to smoke, drink, and not having to work until late, but she's still reduced to having sex with men, and being a prisoner. The Commander talking about how they had former lawyers, and other really successful women there. :( All of those hypocrites who changed the U.S. to suit their supposed beliefs, only to be getting off on having casual sex (and watching others engage in it). 

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Something that really didn't work for me were any of the scenes with Serena. After nearly 6 full episodes of Fred being incredibly cold towards her, we last left them with him seeing what he used to see in her and them having a form of reconciliation. So what has happened since? Are they still having sex, is he still loving and respectful to her when they are alone? Or has he returned to pushing her away and keeping her in her place? Is she still holding on to the bit of happiness she'd found with him or has everything returned to how it was and is she more bitter than ever? In the scene where Serena returns and Fred is touching her hands was that a sign of the renewed intimacy of their marriage or a sign of him trying to cover up after taking June to Jezebels. Did Serena bring June a present because she's a bit happier now and feeling magnanimous or because she knows what Fred would have done in her absence and is trying to prevent June from killing herself. I haven't a clue and I wonder if the writers do either.

I also felt that the jewellery box was more than Serena patronising June by passing on a child's toy. The first thing she pointed out was that the box had a key. It was almost like she was acknowledging June's lack of privacy and wanting to give her a little, even if it's just symbolic. She also gave her music. How often do we think June gets to listen to music? Pretty much never. The tinny sounds of a clockwork music box mightn't seem like much to us but if it was the only music we had, then it becomes something greater.

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I think that Jezebel's Nightclub pulled off the cheap/tawdry feel for a visual medium quite well. Given that it's tv things are going to be "pretty" but this did NOT look like a glamorous place, most of the women looked depressed (no faking happy for the customers), when they were off duty they slept in a communal room with mattresses on the floor, there was an Aunt guarding their bathroom time. (That to me is abominable- you can't even pee in peace!) The lighting was awful, the floor looked dirty, Moira said the food was good but they never showed us any of that. Most of the commanders didn't even look to be enjoying themselves.

  HOWEVER the exchange I liked most was between the chef and Nick- the chef stated wome would spike the guys drinks and go through their phones. There's a power trip at play there but that shows these women have not given up, they are looking for something (information, leverage, etc). 

I too wondered why Handmaids were given razors at all? The leg shaving scene was creepy because it's supposed to be "intimate" and The Commander is asserting his dominance, beautifying his property, I know June wanted to take that razor and slit his throat with it. 

Edited by Scarlett45
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Given that it's tv things are going to be "pretty" but this did NOT look like a glamorous place, most of the women looked depressed (no faking happy for the customers), when they were off duty they slept in a communal room with mattresses on the floor, there was an Aunt guarding their bathroom time.

I thought all of the women looked strung out.  Jezebels is a brothel, nothing more, nothing less, where the Aunt's are the pimps to a certain extent.  I wonder if the girls are drugged at the "jezebel's center," or wherever they took Moira, and turned into "controlled" addicts, or if they self-medicate to make it through each night.  

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6 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:

I think that Jezebel's Nightclub pulled off the cheap/tawdry feel for a visual medium quite well. Given that it's tv things are going to be "pretty" but this did NOT look like a glamorous place, most of the women looked depressed (no faking happy for the customers), when they were off duty they slept in a communal room with mattresses on the floor, there was an Aunt guarding their bathroom time. (That to me is abominable- you can't even pee in peace!) The lighting was awful, the floor looked dirty, Moira said the food was good but they never showed us any of that. Most of the commanders didn't even look to be enjoying themselves.

 

Maybe because it was so dark, I didn't see it well enough. LOL.

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6 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:

I too wondered why Handmaids were given razors at all? The leg shaving scene was creepy because it's supposed to be "intimate" and The Commander is asserting his dominance, beautifying his property, I know June wanted to take that razor and slit his throat with it. 

That was creepy.  I figure they shave their legs because it's hard enough to get it up in the bizarre conditions of the ceremony.  

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Not completely sure of the time frame here but I watched the episode twice (well, most of it twice ... I confess I fell asleep about three-quarters of the way through the first time, not due to boredom, just exhaustion) and each time I wondered ...

The first Offred ... we get a brief glimpse of her face when they pull her off the chandelier ... was she one of the handmaids we saw during the Red Center episodes? We know that this isn't "our" Offred's first posting (though we don't know anything about who she was with before this .. perhaps that is something that will be explored in a later episode or Season 2 since they love flashbacks) ... but with that in mind, isn't it possible that the first Offred could be someone she knew? I thought she looked familiar ... not sure of the name ... maybe Alma? 

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On ‎6‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 10:23 PM, Umbelina said:

Well, from the "how could you?" at the end of that from Serena Joy we know that she must have at least been playing chess with the Commander, but probably refers to Jezebel's and possibly even to Serena trying to get her pregnant by Nick. 

When did she say that?  Was it in an earlier episode? 

In this episode, she hissed "What did you expect?", and as a poster noted above, it is perfect in its ambiguity. 

I thought Nick's troubled face on the way home was the result of realizing he would have to turn in the Commander.  (I have not read the book, have no idea what happens.)  That would mirror the flashback we saw of the arrest of the man who had slept with two Handmaids.  I wondered what happened to the Handmaids who were raped by their Commanders.  I do not get a sense of much mercy here.

I was so sure June was going to be caught and punished by the Commander for leaving the room -- it was all I could think about while she was talking to Moira.  That was hugely risky. 

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1 minute ago, jjj said:

 

I thought Nick's troubled face on the way home was the result of realizing he would have to turn in the Commander.  (I have not read the book, have no idea what happens.)  

 

I don't think that's it.  From him trading contraband to his obvious casual relationship with the cook, Nick has been here with the Commander, a lot, and recently.  I think Nick is troubled because he sees Offred's fate probably being similar to that of her predecessor, and he doesn't want to be involved, even on a feeling level.

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Yeah, June's taking a lot of risks.

I thought she said "What did you expect?" in a flashback in this episode as they were taking the previous Offred's body out the door.  ??? 

A lot of different interpretations about why Nick was so upset.  I never felt like he was worried about the Commander being turned in though.  The guy's a prick and he must know that.  I was thinking that he is so high up, they would want a lot of evidence on him to take him away.  You could be correct though.

(Show is departing the book in a number of ways now.)

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16 hours ago, Mrs Shibbles said:

If Moira is now forced into prostitution,  couldn't she still get pregnant? We know she was fertile when chosen to be a handmaid.

The lady Nick was meeting did say something about pregnancy tests. I dont really know what that meant.

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38 minutes ago, Kuther2000 said:

The lady Nick was meeting did say something about pregnancy tests. I dont really know what that meant.

That puzzled me, also.  I assume that the powers that be can test for pregnancy if they can supply endless drink and drugs.  I also assumed that the women in the brothel might have been altered so they could not conceive.  Again, have not read the book, don't want to hear what happened there!  But preventing a former future Handmaiden like Moira from conceiving seems contrary to the grand plan to create more children.  I realize not all of this is supposed to be logical. 

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Regarding Moira and the other women at Jezebel's and possible pregnancies...

Spoiler

 

It would seem they've had their tubes tied. In the book Moira tells Offred

“If I'd had my tubes tied years ago, I wouldn't even have needed the operation.”

 

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On 6/1/2017 at 4:09 PM, EC Amber said:

The fertility isn't as value as is the opportunity to control women. That is the real crux here. See, the Fred and all the Commanders can just go and get themselves a brand new shiny convertible when one gets tangled up in the trees, or dangling from a sheet. 

And THAT is where Atwood and this series fails for me. Her PREMISE suggests that it should be otherwise.

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15 minutes ago, NorthstarATL said:

And THAT is where Atwood and this series fails for me. Her PREMISE suggests that it should be otherwise.

Really? For me, the premise includes religion, which by nature makes the rational irrational. 

 

Without religion I think you'd have a point. But this is a theocracy, the drive isn't too better or protect humanity. It's almost entirely about masculine derived control. 

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19 minutes ago, EC Amber said:

Really? For me, the premise includes religion, which by nature makes the rational irrational. 

 

Without religion I think you'd have a point. But this is a theocracy, the drive isn't too better or protect humanity. It's almost entirely about masculine derived control. 

Right. That one guy said something to the Commander about his wife not being allowed to speak, because that's how things got out of control before: women had a voice. They weren't going to allow that to happen again. 

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4 hours ago, EC Amber said:

Really? For me, the premise includes religion, which by nature makes the rational irrational. 

Religion supplies the structure under which a Fascist order coalesces, which is then enforced through faith/belief and militarism. But the supposed reason for any of it is the inability of people to reproduce. Under THAT premise handmaids should be a valuable resource. Atwood could still tell a story about man's inhumanity toward women under those conditions, but the story veers into absurdity when you have your valuable resource not only disrespected but treated haphazardly, without concern for the risk of damaging that which made it valuable in the first place. There is no guarantee that fertile people are still being born, so there is also no guarantee of replacements. In a real situation the handmaids would have status above anyone else in society, but that's another treatment of women that's problematic.

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1 hour ago, NorthstarATL said:

Religion supplies the structure under which a Fascist order coalesces, which is then enforced through faith/belief and militarism. But the supposed reason for any of it is the inability of people to reproduce. Under THAT premise handmaids should be a valuable resource. Atwood could still tell a story about man's inhumanity toward women under those conditions, but the story veers into absurdity when you have your valuable resource not only disrespected but treated haphazardly, without concern for the risk of damaging that which made it valuable in the first place. There is no guarantee that fertile people are still being born, so there is also no guarantee of replacements.

That's where the series veers into absurdity.

Spoiler

The implication in the book was that the fertility crisis was very much exaggerated by the architects of Gilead. There was certainly a falling birth-rate but it wasn't necessarily a threat to humanity's survival and the laws of Gilead contributed to the birthrate falling further. The Commanders were interested in control and whipping up fears of infertility allowed them to take it.

That's all. It's why the book was so clever and why so many book readers feel the series made a big mis-step in A Woman's Place.

Edited by AllyB
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On May 31, 2017 at 1:23 PM, nodorothyparker said:

 

I'm interested in the men because they're very big pieces of the puzzle as to how we got here, and because there's a pretty strong allegory to real world situations running throughout Nick's story.

 

Yes, I think there's a lot of truth to that. And I can see why the writers took the opportunity to build on the book by giving the men a more extensive backstory. However, I think there's a way to do that while remaining true to the central POV in the story, which is June or at least the woman's gaze more broadly. That is where the last episode failed, and where this one fails a bit, too. What if we discovered Nick's backstory along with June, maybe through her finding an artifact of Nick's past life. What if--instead of asking for June to write a letter to Lucas--the Mexican envoy had brought her a smuggled letter from Lucas, so that we see their escape and his subsequent rescue through her eyes. Those, for me, would have been stronger episodes than the ones we got.

Also, glad that others commented on how literally dark this episode was. This was the second time in the series that I had my brightness cranked all the way up and could still barely see what was happening!

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5 hours ago, NorthstarATL said:

Religion supplies the structure under which a Fascist order coalesces, which is then enforced through faith/belief and militarism. But the supposed reason for any of it is the inability of people to reproduce. Under THAT premise handmaids should be a valuable resource. Atwood could still tell a story about man's inhumanity toward women under those conditions

Sure - she could. But she didn't. She told this story where the religious mindset is fundamental to the cohesive whole of the story. So it would completely make sense why it seems absurd when you discount a fundamental element to the entire story. To be perfectly frank, I'm very skeptical that a scenario could play out where religion wouldn't be a powerful leverage for controlling large groups. A fertility crisis of this magnitude would incite a great amount of fear - and that is just a breeding ground for irrational ideas. I just don't think humanity is at a place where we could survive something like this without large segments regressing. Hell, we haven't been able to *stop* doing this as a whole globally - ever. And the story we are seeing - all the hypocrisy, the fabrications being built, the violence - the virgin and the whore - they exist now, so why would that disappear in the face of pandemic infertility? 
 

1 hour ago, LaChavalina said:

What if we discovered Nick's backstory along with June, maybe through her finding an artifact of Nick's past life. What if--instead of asking for June to write a letter to Lucas--the Mexican envoy had brought her a smuggled letter from Lucas, so that we see their escape and his subsequent rescue through her eyes. Those, for me, would have been stronger episodes than the ones we got.

That would have been a great way to approach that. Or if the flashbacks we see are simply expressions of her imagination? Her interpretations of events based on the clues she finds? By telling this story in 3rd person on screen (though 1st person is really hard to pull off well), she stops being the unreliable source of information. 

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As disturbing as this was, the scene where June runs off to meet with Moira, gets to the elevator and the door opens to reveal some officer tonguing some poor woman's hand stub (probably lost her hand for misbehaving - you know, reading or something) was pretty damn disturbing. I think I would have rather had a tide of blood come spilling out of the elevator a la The Shining than have seen that!

The talk in the back of the limo about how they were gonna 'brand' enslaving and raping fertile women to make it more acceptable to their wives as if they were talking about a new logo that goes on an energy drink was chilling! CHILLING! I think that is as deep into the men's minds as I want to go. Any deeper and I am gonna need a frigging canary!

On 6/1/2017 at 7:55 PM, Umbelina said:

They did.  That's the whole point of Jezebels.  Make noise, fuck, indulge in outlawed acts, dress up the women in shabby, used, tawdry "sexy" clothes, there is no other point to Jezebels.  Commanders can drink at home.

Another small thing was the Commander making a big deal of going in the backdoor to the hotel. The whole frigging hotel is a damn whorehouse and it is probably the worst kept secret among the higher ranks.  What difference does it make which door you enter? It just seem like a way to feel like he was being that much more illicit and breaking rules.

Commander likes to feel like he is creating intimacy with his handmaidens but really it is a total mindfuck for the handmaid! What is fun and games to him can and will cost any Offred her life. So all this put on these forbidden clothes, forbidden makeup, a wife only blue cape, ride illegally outside Gilead city limits into a forbidden men only area to Satan's playground, which we all told you is forbidden and punishable by unnamed torture and death - isn't it just FUN!!

Nothing will convince me that the Commander doesn't love his life and the society he has created. June asks him who are they and he goes into an explanation of the men only, like that is the only thing anyone would need explanation of. Never crossed his mind that she was asking about all the poor women. 

Edited by islandgal140
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He went in the back door because you aren't supposed to bring women there, just to enjoy the women that ARE there.  He smuggled in his handmaid.

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On 31/05/2017 at 7:23 PM, nodorothyparker said:

At the end of this episode we still don't really know all that much about Nick, about whether he actually believes in any of this or whether it's just a job, or even where his true loyalties lie.  We just know that he's double dealing as both a Guardian and Eye.

I'm not sure I'm getting this. Eyes are spies and Guardians are the guys with the walkie-talkies out on the streets, right? So Nick's not a Guardian, is he?

Do we think his narcotics-trafficking activities are Eye-sanctioned somehow?

Also, on a slightly different topic, I know in previous episode threads, people said Nick could report Offred or the various "unlawful" things going on in the household, but... the main unlawful thing happening was him agreeing to help Serena Joy by having sex with Offred. He could be particicuted as a rapist now, couldn't he? I feel they've been focusing a lot on how the affair was dangerous for Offred, but he's just as guilty... Makes me wonder if he'll report the Commander or just keep his mouth shut about everything ever...

 

On 02/06/2017 at 11:06 AM, AllyB said:

I also felt that the jewellery box was more than Serena patronising June by passing on a child's toy. The first thing she pointed out was that the box had a key. It was almost like she was acknowledging June's lack of privacy and wanting to give her a little, even if it's just symbolic. She also gave her music. How often do we think June gets to listen to music? Pretty much never. The tinny sounds of a clockwork music box mightn't seem like much to us but if it was the only music we had, then it becomes something greater.

Yes, all of this. I also thought the main thing SJ was gifting Offred might have been the mirror, especially after that scene in which she puts the make-up on. In an earlier episode, I noticed the obvious outline of a mirror that had been removed in her bathroom.

So she's not allowed a razor, but now she has a mirror she could use to kill herself... or someone else!

Edited by GinnyMars
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43 minutes ago, GinnyMars said:

I'm not sure I'm getting this. Eyes are spies and Guardians are the guys with the walkie-talkies out on the streets, right? So Nick's not a Guardian, is he?

Do we think his narcotics-trafficking activities are Eye-sanctioned somehow?

Yes, Nick is a Guardian.  He has to be to be working for Commander Fred with a gun and access to the Waterford house.  Pretty much all the guys you see working openly under this regime are either Guardians or Commanders.  In addition, some of these guys are also spying on the people they're working for as Eyes for shadowy secret intelligence.  That's what he was talking to the other commander about.  

Spoiler

And all of that is before you even get into the whole is Nick also part of the Mayday resistance.

At this point we honestly have no idea what exactly Nick is reporting of what he sees in the Waterford house, or what view the higher ups even might take if he were to tell them that they were insisting he attempt to impregnate their handmaid.  Officially, we can probably assume they would take a rather dim view of it and punish everyone involved, but with the amount of hypocrisy and rule bending we've seen on so many things, who knows?  

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Oh, ok. I thought he was just an employee, a driver, I didn't know the term "Guardian" applied to him. Thanks for explaining!

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I immediately saw the jewelry box Serena Joy gave to June as a gift because of the mirror.  In previous episodes, June has "hung around" any mirrors in rooms where Serena Joy had called June into (painting room, bedroom). As a handmaid, she doesn't ever get to look into a mirror and Serena Joy sees that.  Also, the fact that it had a key, I saw as Serena Joy's little way of giving June a tiny little secret.

When Freaky Fred calls June "my fair little one", I wanted to barf. The scene of him watching her get ready, shaving her legs, it was too much to watch at points.

I see Nick as pulling away from June because of attachments, just like he said to Freaky Fred in the car, after the sex slave marketing convo. He is in a spot where no matter what he does, someone is fucked. Always June, sometimes others.  I don't think he wants to pull away from her, but he doesn't have a choice.  I hope he is able to rat Freaky Fred out and watch that fucker get tortured, but we all know, there is another one ready to take his place.

 

Seeing Moira just made my heart so happy, just to know she is alive. However, the fact that she is a sex slave is so terrible. The scene where June is walking through the halls and sees the "ceremony rape"...those men laughing at it all....just makes me sick. Because this happens now. Gilead is not completely fictional, as we all know.

I believe the infertility crisis is as bad as they are making it out to be, though. remember all the flashbacks we've seen, with June getting nervous she would miscarry because so many other women have. The empty nursery in the hospital, where babies are dying on a daily basis, if born at all. As much as i like the idea that Gilead is making is seem worse, I think it is already bad. Other countries, like Mexico, wouldn't be so desperate if that was the case. But remember, there are thousands of women and children still missing, so I think there are FAR more handmaids than we think.  As we saw with "The Other Side", afertile women have abducted and no one knows where they are.

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On 6/3/2017 at 8:34 PM, LaChavalina said:

Yes, I think there's a lot of truth to that. And I can see why the writers took the opportunity to build on the book by giving the men a more extensive backstory. However, I think there's a way to do that while remaining true to the central POV in the story, which is June or at least the woman's gaze more broadly. That is where the last episode failed, and where this one fails a bit, too. What if we discovered Nick's backstory along with June, maybe through her finding an artifact of Nick's past life. What if--instead of asking for June to write a letter to Lucas--the Mexican envoy had brought her a smuggled letter from Lucas, so that we see their escape and his subsequent rescue through her eyes. Those, for me, would have been stronger episodes than the ones we got.

Also, glad that others commented on how literally dark this episode was. This was the second time in the series that I had my brightness cranked all the way up and could still barely see what was happening!

That sounds like an extremely clunky and unreliable way to get more information on this universe.  I am not sure what the aversion is to hearing all sides of the story.  I think sometimes the most interesting parts of a story is learning more about the reasons why the people we hate on a show or book are doing the things they are doing.  It encourages deep thinking and introspection.  If you can recognize any of yourself in Luke or Nick or the Marthas or Serena Joy, it makes it that much more terrifying to realize how close we all are to living in a society like this.  I don't see the benefit story wise to only keeping it to the handmaid's and/or women's perspectives.  

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1 hour ago, Ragingviolet said:

f you can recognize any of yourself in Luke or Nick or the Marthas or Serena Joy, it makes it that much more terrifying to realize how close we all are to living in a society like this. 

Setting aside for the moment the approach of metering out knowledge to the viewer - this comment resonates with me. While this series can serve as a useful harbinger of what is possibly on the horizon, I think it might be even more beneficial by helping us see these sides in ourselves to better eradicate tendencies and latent ideas. 

As to approach... great arguments for and against the POV and presentation of information. I can certainly see the appeal of maintaining the integrity of the original story by keeping Offred/June's voice "pure." For me the only meaningful reason to expand the POV to include that of the men in this story is almost to assure the viewer that the narrator isn't unreliable - only because we lose are narrator for the voice of the third person (and ultimately the interpretation of the viewer). 

 

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So this is the obligatory secret sex club and/or orgy scene that seems to be the trend in every other series from premium channels.

Fred is a creepy hypocrite. He played mind games with his prisoner and then take her to a secret sex club as if that would be a treat for her.

Jezebel is a worst fate than being a handmaid.  At the very least handmaids had a part in the fight against worldwide infertility crisis.  The women in Jezebel were used as living toys for the amusement of assholes.  Very demeaning.

 

On 6/3/2017 at 4:23 PM, NorthstarATL said:

Religion supplies the structure under which a Fascist order coalesces, which is then enforced through faith/belief and militarism. But the supposed reason for any of it is the inability of people to reproduce. Under THAT premise handmaids should be a valuable resource. Atwood could still tell a story about man's inhumanity toward women under those conditions, but the story veers into absurdity when you have your valuable resource not only disrespected but treated haphazardly, without concern for the risk of damaging that which made it valuable in the first place. There is no guarantee that fertile people are still being born, so there is also no guarantee of replacements. In a real situation the handmaids would have status above anyone else in society, but that's another treatment of women that's problematic.

Agreed. The infertility was a real problem long before the coup (per June's flashback) and actually was the reason for the Giliad(?) party raise of power pre-coup.  The problem did not go away just because the coup happened and Gilliad was formed.  If anything it was worse per the Mexican ambassador.  Even assholes like Fred and his cronies should know the future of human race is in their hands / system.

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17 hours ago, MtLCL said:

Seeing Moira just made my heart so happy, just to know she is alive. However, the fact that she is a sex slave is so terrible. The scene where June is walking through the halls and sees the "ceremony rape"...those men laughing at it all....just makes me sick. 

This is a good point. I never thought about that group sex scene as being reminiscent of the 'ceremony'. I don't know how June was able to keep it together. After being captured, torn from her family, terrorized daily and raped monthly all because of the religious beliefs of some zealots to then see their utter hypocrisy while they revel in all the things they condemn must feel like being gutted. 

They really couldn't have picked a better song than "White Rabbit" for this episode. 

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So I have a really far fetched theory about the music box. I think Serena is trying to hide something she might need later to protect herself in some way. I'm surprised there hadn't been more talk about Commander Fred's little rant about purges. We're sort of off book at this point so this is just a hunch, but I think Commanders and their families are being arrested for not being true believers and Serena knows Fred is a likely target and she might be executed (or worse) along with him. I think the music box is somehow some sort of insurance policy if she's arrested. I have no idea how, but I think she's trying to hide something she can trade for her own life in plain sight. I think she knows that Offred's room is the last place Fred will wander around in (my guess is she knows how haughty Fred is and if he wants Offred he'll just order her to come to him) so whatever she has on him that she doesn't want him to know about is safest in there.

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In the book, it is noted that the handmaids aren't allowed access to razors and Offred (sorry we don't know in the book that her name is June for certain) talks about how she is self conscious of her legs having grown scraggly in the way that legs that used to be shaved would if you stop shaving.).  that makes a lot more sense than allowing handmaids razors when you are worried about suicide.  

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So much to unpack here.

I really liked Nick’s interaction wit the Martha at Jezebel’s. June said something about the Martha’s having their own networks. Given their positions it makes sense that they would run the black market. We exercise agency where we can.

Fred is so creepy I can’t even deal with it.

Moira! So happy to see her, even under those circumstaces. Girl is a survivor.

Of cource there is a sexy Handmaid's costume.

Edited by marinw
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