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Tara Ariano

S01.E08: Jezebels

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3 hours ago, marinw said:

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.

So did I - the Chef Martha rocks (can she please get a name?) and the actress who plays her is great.  Loved her unflappability in the face of emo Nick. In the previous episode she even handled getting both her food and her body turned down with aplomb, and was still chipper as anything.

 

2 hours ago, JennyMominFL said:

Glad to know that MAC makeup brand has survived the war and is flourishing in Gilead.

MAC is forever (at those prices, it better be!). Even after a total breakdown of society, it goes on and on.

 

1 hour ago, Medicine Crow said:

When Nick identified himself to June, what did she say to him?  I didn't understand ....

 

She said, 'Well, under His eye, Guardian Blaine.' She was not impressed by his 'huge' info dump at all...

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4 hours ago, Medicine Crow said:

When Nick identified himself to June, what did she say to him?  I didn't understand ....

She wanted to know something personal about him, and he responded with name & location. That wasn't what she wanted, which is why she responded (as Umbelina said) with the sarcastic, "Under his eye, Guardian Blaine." In other words, thanks for nothing.

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On 6/9/2017 at 7:50 PM, kitkat343 said:

 allowing handmaids razors when you are worried about suicide.  

Is it really possible to kill yourself with a disposable safety razor?  It seems like you'd probably get about as much traction slashing an artery with your own fingernail or your teeth.  

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1 hour ago, Winston9-DT3 said:

Is it really possible to kill yourself with a disposable safety razor?  It seems like you'd probably get about as much traction slashing an artery with your own fingernail or your teeth.  

I would think that June has more chance of hurting herself with the mirror on the box that SJ gave her instead of a disposable razor. 

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3 hours ago, Winston9-DT3 said:

Is it really possible to kill yourself with a disposable safety razor?  It seems like you'd probably get about as much traction slashing an artery with your own fingernail or your teeth.  

Break it and remove the blades.  I'm shocked they are still using disposables though, what with their hatred of pollution and trying to clean up the planet.

1 hour ago, greekmom said:

I would think that June has more chance of hurting herself with the mirror on the box that SJ gave her instead of a disposable razor. 

Definitely easier to break!

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8 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Break it and remove the blades.  I'm shocked they are still using disposables though, what with their hatred of pollution and trying to clean up the planet.

9 hours ago, greekmom said:

The razor Fred was using was an old school double edge safety razor. I shave with one of those, the top unscrews to replace the blades which are super sharp. Also since the blades a metal without being attached to anything plastic (like a disposable or cartridge razor) the blades are recyclable.

Also when the career counselor group said that the pre-Gilead group was the Sons of Jacob, I was really hoping we would meet commander Ben Linus.

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On 05. 06. 2017. at 9:35 PM, GinnyMars said:

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

It's a way to spread his spying network, so I imagine so.

I agree with others who said the episode was extremely dark. I didn't even catch the details of the sex scene until they were discussed here. All I caught was the position from behind.

Congratulations on your multiple levels off mind fuckery, Commander! June could have very well stayed down all along like she did after they started approaching No Woman's Land, there was no need for her to don (I assume) Serena Joy's cape. Just another way to stick it to both these women. He really does go above and beyond.

Why did that one commander got caught for sleeping with his handmaids? Did they mean outside of the thoughtfully named ceremony? I actually imagine it didn't even matter and they apprehended him because he was starting to usurp their little utopia in some way, but I'm interested in how it's explained away.

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I hope Chef Martha’s Commander and his Wife appreciate having such an accomplished chef as their slave. Probably not, because she is just a woman. 

Maybe she pees or spits in their soup.

Edited by marinw
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Doesn't she work at the brothel? I didn't get the impression she was assigned to a specific commander.

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3 hours ago, bijoux said:

Doesn't she work at the brothel? I didn't get the impression she was assigned to a specific commander.

You may be right,

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10 hours ago, bijoux said:

Why did that one commander got caught for sleeping with his handmaids? Did they mean outside of the thoughtfully named ceremony? I actually imagine it didn't even matter and they apprehended him because he was starting to usurp their little utopia in some way, but I'm interested in how it's explained away.

Yes, that's what it was. Any sex that's not an attempt to reproduce is forbidden. Which makes the reveal of the brothel that much more cruel and hypocritical. 

--he was also involved in some kind of financial impropriety. 

Someone upthread mentioned that the brothel scene wasn't nearly as graphic or impactful as it was in the book. As a non-book reader, I was horrified by that scene. I was close to tears as I watched the scantily-clad women (including a plus-sized woman) who were nothing more than imprisoned sex slaves.  I actually started the book but couldn't finish it because it was to depressing. The series is dark for sure, but I find myself thinking about the issues instead of being paralyzed by sadness. 

Moira sadly mentioned that 'your pussy wears out after a few years.' So what happens to the women then? 

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2 minutes ago, topanga said:

Moira sadly mentioned that 'your pussy wears out after a few years.' So what happens to the women then? 

They get sent to the colonies. 

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2 hours ago, topanga said:

Moira sadly mentioned that 'your pussy wears out after a few years.' So what happens to the women then? 

I am also wondering what happens should Moira or those like her become pregnant. Who gets to keep the resulting baby?

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4 hours ago, marinw said:

I am also wondering what happens should Moira or those like her become pregnant. Who gets to keep the resulting baby?

My guess is that the baby is given to a high-ranking childless couple to raise.

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24 minutes ago, secnarf said:

My guess is that the baby is given to a high-ranking childless couple to raise.

Since a lot of the High Ranking people seem to be in on the hypocrisy that is Jezebel, that makes sence.

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Moira mentioned they tied her tubes when she started at Jezebel's.  Or did I imagine that?  It's been a long day.  I wondered why they would do that if babies are so precious.

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48 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Moira mentioned they tied her tubes when she started at Jezebel's.  Or did I imagine that?  It's been a long day.  I wondered why they would do that if babies are so precious.

I must have missed that.  But, if babies are so valued, it doesn't make sense.

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14 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

I must have missed that.  But, if babies are so valued, it doesn't make sense.

Now I'm wondering if I imagined it.  I remember thinking it was odd.  I thought she said something like "might as well it was free" etc.

Edited by Umbelina

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Just now, Umbelina said:

Now I'm wondering if I imagined it.  I remember thinking it was odd.  I thought she said something like "might as well it was free" etc.

It may have happened.  I have to admit that I caught about 50% of what happened in the Jezebel scenes.  It was so dark that I put my energy towards trying to see what was going on that I might not have heard what was said.  Sigh.

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24 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

It may have happened.  I have to admit that I caught about 50% of what happened in the Jezebel scenes.  It was so dark that I put my energy towards trying to see what was going on that I might not have heard what was said.  Sigh.

Yeah, the lighting director needs to be replaced for next season. 

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On 6/1/2017 at 0:40 PM, Shangrilala said:

The Commander is evil.  He is vile.  And every time they do the camera shot where you can only see the whites of his eyes, I get completely freaked out.  The way he talked about "the collection" of women, his shaving of June's legs, the way it is all a game to him - he's not just above the law, he created the law - is so fucked up and just a brilliant interpretation of the character of the book.  In the book I always thought of the commander as weary, his breaking of the rules as some indication that he didn't like the world he had created but was forced to live by it. This interpretation?  Truly sinister.  

Seriously. I really wasn't sure what to make of the Commander in the book. He was quite ambiguous there, which was interesting. This portrayal is also interesting. And all credit to Joseph Fiennes. I find him simultaneously inscrutable so I don't really know what he thinks, but also so clearly repulsive because of what he thinks. I still maintain a shred of sympathy for Serena Joy, but the Commander is seriously just 100% awful. Not since the uncle (? stepfather? don't quite remember) in Pan's Labyrinth have I seen a portrayal of such a completely human and completely horrible character.

On 6/1/2017 at 4:03 PM, NorthstarATL said:

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.

Depends on the collector. Some believe that cars are meant to be driven. One of my exes found the concept of keeping cars locked up and never subjected to the horrors of being driven to be completely incomprehensible. He would definitely joyride the classic car if that's what he felt like doing on a given day. And I think I've just skeeved myself out with applying that part of the metaphor to this situation...

That said, as far as June's value goes, and the risk of "damaging" her, so to speak, I think comes back to the Commander's exceptionalism. He knows she's valuable property, and would probably chastise another man who risked his Handmaid in this way, but he's special, so he can make an exception. If it happens to go wrong, well, that's unfortunate, but I expect he knows that he's powerful enough that he'll just get a new one, scarcity be damned. It's just one more element of his own personal ickiness.

On 6/18/2017 at 1:07 AM, Umbelina said:

Yeah, the lighting director needs to be replaced for next season. 

Seriously! I might as well have been listening to a radio play for most of this episode. Which is especially unfortunate, because the visuals as described in the book are quite striking, and I was really looking forward to seeing them on the screen. Instead I got a lot of shadows that I'm not sure would have even made much sense if I didn't already basically know what was going on. I cannot wait for the current trend of TV unlighting to end so we can turn the damn lights back on and see what the hell is happening.

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On 5/31/2017 at 11:14 AM, Ragingviolet said:

That being said I cried when June cried as she knew not only was she going to be raped but she was going to have to act like she wanted it and enjoyed it.  Somehow that is so much worse to me.

Yes, it was so much worse here than in the "ceremony" scenes.

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ok so music choice in the box bothers me. I don't think I have ever heard that particular piece in a music box for little girls with tiny ballerina... It's not Sugarplum fairies' dance, or Waltz of Flowers... now, those are used all the time

Here we have a theme of evil sorcerer Von Rothbart who cast a spell on princesse Odette and turned her into the swan...  She is a swan by day, but is back to her human form by night...

am I overthinking this?

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@vavera4ka I don't specifically remember the music that appeared in this episode, but if it's what I'm thinking, it's not that uncommon a choice for a music box. I definitely had at least one that played it. I don't think that theme is specifically Rothbart's theme, and it's probably the most well-known piece of music from Swan Lake, so it's not that weird.

Unless it's a different piece of Swan Lake?

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On 6/24/2017 at 4:58 AM, dleighg said:

Yes, it was so much worse here than in the "ceremony" scenes.

Both are horrible situations to say the least. Women being raped go through a lot of psychological problems years and years after the rape as I can imagine these Handmaids do as well. I hope I will never have to go through a rape, but to be forced to pretend to enjoy it while being raped would be absolutely impossible. The ceremony if the world ever got to that as horrible as it would be laying being a woman's legs who I would be possibly getting pregnant for I could do without showing emotion like the Handmaid's do on the show. Now once I would have the child and it be turned over that would be another story.

Edited by Cherry Bomb
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What I found interesting about this is the contrast between how it is depicted in the film and the TV series. In the film Jezebels is depicted as quite a fun place where although the women are ultimately still slaves they have many of the freedoms others lack, their cage is gilded. I guess in this PC age that would be unacceptable? 

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4 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

What I found interesting about this is the contrast between how it is depicted in the film and the TV series. In the film Jezebels is depicted as quite a fun place where although the women are ultimately still slaves they have many of the freedoms others lack, their cage is gilded. I guess in this PC age that would be unacceptable? 

In the book, it's MUCH more like the TV show.

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I was reminded of the movie DANGEROUS BEAUTY with this episode. In DB, the courtesans are still used for their bodies but they're also privvy to books, education (of a sort), and encouraged to be up-to-date on current events so that they can provide conversation. In some ways, the "prostitutes" enjoy freedom that other women do not. Although the women of the brothel are still essentially sex slaves, they're allowed to drink, engage in sex outside of fornication, wear different clothing, and have conversations with the men. Anyway, the similarities between the time periods there are striking. Not saying that one is better than the other, being a handmaiden or a hooker, but both come with their particular types of freedoms and restraints. 

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On 7/14/2017 at 9:52 PM, vavera4ka said:

ok so music choice in the box bothers me. I don't think I have ever heard that particular piece in a music box for little girls with tiny ballerina... It's not Sugarplum fairies' dance, or Waltz of Flowers... now, those are used all the time

Here we have a theme of evil sorcerer Von Rothbart who cast a spell on princesse Odette and turned her into the swan...  She is a swan by day, but is back to her human form by night...

am I overthinking this?

I am almost certain my daughter has had a music box with this music in it because as soon as it started playing I recognized it.  I am going to have to go and double check now.

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I know I'm late with this but I've been on the fence about this show for a long time and only started watching this week. Maybe I've just been watching too many other shows where an apparent suicide is always really a murder but I thought Serena had killed the previous Offred and staged it to look like a suicide. I assumed that Serena felt threatened by Fred being more interested in the handmaid than in her and that's why she killed her.

Fred is of course the one who is responsible for this, but Serena knows she can't do anything to Fred without also hurting her own position and what little power she has. Serena's "what did you think would happen" would be her letting Fred know that she was responsible and that the same would happen if he tries it again with the next handmaid. I guess Fred still tries it again with June because he thinks that Serena won't find out this time. Or more likely because he values his own pleasure more than a handmaid's life and knows that he'll just get a new handmaid if Serena also kills June.

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