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S02.E01: June / S02.E02: Unwomen

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Offred reckons with the consequences of a dangerous decision while haunted by memories from her past and the violent beginnings of Gilead.

 

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Offred adjusts to a new way of life. The arrival of an unexpected person disrupts the Colonies. A family is torn apart by the rise of Gilead.

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Holy crap!

That was actually much better than I expected, I'm glad the spoilers I read didn't really say the most important thing!

So tense!  She's free, but for how long?

Moss is killing this.

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1 hour ago, Umbelina said:

Holy crap!

That was actually much better than I expected, I'm glad the spoilers I read didn't really say the most important thing!

So tense!  She's free, but for how long?

Moss is killing this.

I swear I spend every episode with this giant knot in my stomach wanting to throw up because I don't know what is coming and with my hands gripping my couch. 

This show is insane- but a good insane. 

47 minutes ago, Deputy Deputy CoS said:

When she cut herself, I wanted to throw up

I had to look away and cover my ears. Because I am a squirmy child of 33. Haha. 

This show man... wow. 

Edited by SiobhanJW
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I grit my teeth through every episode...I love it! Man, this show does tension better than just about anyone else. It's damn scary at how realistic the flashbacks are. 

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I can't believe June got away!

I felt that is when it happened in the book, but I thought the show would drag it out.  Who knows?  She could be caught and they still might...

Emily killing that wife surprised me, at first, I wasn't happy with that, but then?  I was.

Great dirty water too...watching the guards wear masks and carry stun guns was sickening.

So far, I really am impressed, and I'm done with spoilers for now.  ;)

Something tells me that both Bledel and Moss are going to win more emmys.

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5 minutes ago, Shaynaa said:

The airport stuff was poignant as hell.  So many people.  Travel bans are so immoral.  They even had ACLU observers there.  As a queer woman, all of the homophobia was so hard to take.  Emily totally faked me out.  I really thought she was helping that wife but I love the plot twist there.  I guess in the Colonies they don't much care if anyone uses their given name since they will be dead soon enough?  What exactly were they shoveling into bags?  Soil?  It isn't like you could grow anything edible when it is all radioactive.

They are supposedly removing radioactive waste...how deep would you have to dig, and where do they think those flimsy bags will go?

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I've been so excited to see S2, partly because the show is now its own thing plotwise (I read the book during the hiatus and found that S1 ends where the book ends). I am not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that the show is no longer obligated to follow any particular storylines, but I guess we will find out!

That opening scene was brutal. Even though on a logical level, I knew that Offred was not going to die in the season premiere (and that no matter how mad Aunt Lydia/the Red Center/Gilead leadership was about the girls refusing to stone Janine, they wouldn't give up their brood mares out of spite), I was still freaking out when I saw the line of nooses and all the girls crying with fear. What a FUCKED UP thing to do to them.

So would Offred have escaped (to wherever Nick thought they were taking her) if not for the decision to round up all the girls to punish them?

And those poor girls. Aunt Lydia brought Offred inside once she found out that she was pregnant, but the rest of them were left out in the rain holding their stones.

Although I love June's continued defiance, I had to question how smart it was. Once that baby's born, there's nothing to keep them from punishing her in multiple ways that won't affect her baby making parts.

I was kind of cracking up when Nick was so insistent that June cut her hair because realistically, how many people have seen her hair since she became a handmaiden? For all most of them know, she could have any color hair of any length under that huge white bonnet!

Earlier tonight, the episode of Rise that I watched had a short scene where a teenage girl pierced her own nose using an ice cube and a sewing needle. I was already going owwwww, ewwwww because I am too much of a wuss to do that. But June is even more hardcore. Damn.

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June crying at the bullet-riddled, bloodstained wall was quite affecting, but Emily's storyline was wrenching. Poisoning the Wife was stone cold. 

Surprise John Carroll Lynch is always welcome.

Vulture.com has an article with interviews about the creation of the TV version of the Colonies. A lot of thought went into it, as always. (Hell on Earth is apparently Uxbridge.)

I assume the airport scenes were filmed at Pearson...?

4 hours ago, mamadrama said:

I'm not gay but the scenes with Emily and her partner, being told their marriage was no longer valid, and the scenes with her boss hit me like a ton of bricks. I was angry FOR them, to the point where I had to keep reminding myself that it was TV. I can't believe how much both episodes affected me. I'm an American married to a foreigner (and we have kids) and I really AM concerned about travel bans and such. We want to go ahead and get my British citizenship because you just never know when I might need it. (It could even come in handy when traveling abroad. Not trying to be alarmist or anything.) This show wouldn't be half as terrifying if they didn't have constant reminders that it's set in "this" world: the FRIENDS' episode, modern music, WalGreen's reference, etc. 

Exactly.

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After all of those seasons of GILMORE GIRLS I am only just now realizing that Rory can act.

I know, right? It's so odd to hear Alexis Bledel use her natural speaking voice--which is quite lovely--as opposed to the high-pitched baby voice she used when playing Rory.

Edited by Eyes High
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I know that June was lucky to be able to hide in a building with water and power, but it was still pretty damn creepy.

The colonies were about as bleak as I expected. No surprise that the girls have no protective gear while the supervisors have on gas masks. I had to laugh when Emily was bandaging up one of the girls in the colonies who described her as the best nail salon place in town, prompting Emily to tell her to leave her a good Yelp review. Good to know that even in circumstances as grim as the colonies, they haven't lost their sense of humor.

But damn, Emily isn't fucking around. She was so stealth about killing that wife.

Awwww, Janine and Emily have been reunited!

High five for the Friends episode with the erogenous zones.

I was so excited about S2 beginning but as soon as I started watching the first episode, I remembered how this show makes me so tense and upset.

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1 hour ago, Eyes High said:

I know, right? It's so odd to hear Alexis Bledel use her natural speaking voice--which is quite lovely--as opposed to the high-pitched baby voice she used when playing Rory.

She's giving such a nuanced performance, too. As Rory I thought she always came off as very wooden. Her high-pitched baby voice was kind of monotone, too-it didn't change for mood. Here, though, she's great!

 

I want to know what pills she gave Maria Tomei.

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Whoa. Episode 1 was immensely moving and powerful, but DAMN that was really rough to watch.  Like, rougher than almost any episode from season 1 (with the exception of the circumcision episode).  E.M. continues to EARN that Emmy.  Wow.  She seriously gave me chills, both in that scene where she's laying with her daughter in bed but scared shitless about the impending "revolution" and, of course, in that final scene.  She's incredible.   

As a slight aside: I wish they had split these episodes up into two separate topics on here. I didn't realize that the 2nd episode was available and so I came here to comment only on the first one - now I'm spoiled for the 2nd one.  Boo.  Oh well.  My fault for just glancing at - but not truly reading -the topic title. 

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The scene with her daughter in bed was gut wrenching.  Every mother has been there where they’re mind is somewhere else, but the kid needs mom and only mom.  

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57 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

The flashbacks were particularly effective in showing us the frog in the boiling pot analogy.  It may seem like a minor irritant to suddenly need your husband's signature for birth control or to have someone repeatedly refuse to address you by your expressly stated name or smilingly question your fitness to parent your own child, but once you can be convinced to shrug those off, the next encroachment becomes all the easier.  

I was thinking of the frog in the boiling pot, too.

It hardly stretched credulity for that nurse to insinuate that a mother was an unfit parent for not staying at home with her child and blandly threaten a mother with the removal of her child from her care with a concerned smile on her face. Heck, that happens already. Good writing (and good acting from the actress playing the nurse), but ugh, too close to home.

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This episode also did a bang up job in showing the dichotomy of motherhood for many women:  It can something we seek out or hope for for whatever reason, but it can also be used as a weapon against us, whether it's the struggle to work and take care of a sick child or whether the contents of your uterus can leave you vulnerable to being trapped where you are or chained to a bed.  

Yes. Staying alive for Hannah is probably the only thing that kept June sane, but Hannah's also the most powerful weapon Gilead can use against her.

Edited by Eyes High
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Yep, I realized in watching and typing that that I've had the latter two things, someone pointedly ignoring that I don't share my husband's name or implying with that helpfully "concerned" tone that my kids were receiving less than ideal parenting because I didn't x, y, or z, happen in our current environment.  So not all that far fetched.

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2 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

but once you can be convinced to shrug those off, the next encroachment becomes all the easier. 

This is true and it scares the hell out of me. 

I watched the two episodes back to back and I am wrung out.  

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I'd like to second the suggestion that each episode has it's own thread, not because I won't watch them all together the moment they are put up, because I have no self control there, but because I realize others will wait.  Both of these episodes were so powerful.

Those ICE uniforms at the airport just gave me chills.

We are not really that far from catastrophe here, perhaps not quite this one, but I think everyone is feeling the tension already in the real world.  The show is doing an excellent job of conveying those feelings, and showing what happens when it IS too late.

June running through and out of that hospital was even more tense to me than the hanging scene, because, yes, on some level, a level which I successfully ignored, I did know they weren't going to kill all the handmaids.  However, during her extremely brave run for freedom, at any moment I expected her to be caught.  It really showed how much flat out courage it took to escape that regime.  Stunning.

Oddly enough, I'm re-watching Mad Men, and the episode that came up after watching these just happened to be "The Suitcase."  I couldn't help but think that before that pot started to boil in what became Gilead, how different were they really?  It was a very strange juxtaposition. 

Then we are in the colonies, and if anyone could actually survive there long enough to be rescued, it would probably be Emily.  I seriously doubt that will happen, but I couldn't help but hold out some hope for her future.  What Army would want to invade that toxic wasteland just to rescue walking corpses?  I also really liked how the women, other than the forced prayer, had become themselves again there.  In spite of the horror of the place, at least they had that.

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4 hours ago, mamadrama said:

I want to know what pills she gave Maria Tomei.

My question is why wouldn't anyone of the Unwomen take those pills to put themselves out of their misery?

Also, what a waste of Marisa Tomei, I would have thought she would have lasted a couple of episodes only if to go crazy and be tortured by an Aunt.  

When I see Serena Joy on camera I shudder.  Ice wouldn't melt in her mouth.

The sex between June and Nick was reaching, it added nothing to the episode, we could have done without it.  

I wondered if June was going to watch the Friends DVD.

If the dirt the Unwomen are bagging up is radioactive where is all going that it won't contaminate someplace else?  Are gas masks enough to keep the radioactive particles away?  There are other body parts exposed, they are not in hazmat suits, also the horses, those horses will get sick too, (says the person who raises money for a horse rescue) and that makes me sad.  

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I loved season 1 but not sure why I'm watching season 2. I have to keep stopping and walking away because it's so overwhelming. I guess S1 was easier because it followed the book. 

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11 hours ago, Shaynaa said:

I guess in the Colonies they don't much care if anyone uses their given name since they will be dead soon enough?  What exactly were they shoveling into bags?  Soil?  It isn't like you could grow anything edible when it is all radioactive.

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The idea is that the women must dig up the top layer of the contaminated soil so that Gilead can later reuse the land to grow food. “It’s like a lot of penal farms or slavery-type situations, where human bodies are used as a tool to work the soil,” Williams said. “It’s a very inexpensive way to basically reclaim the Earth. You don’t use machinery; you use humans who are considered useless to society and you make them work until they die.” Considering how dark that is, they also didn’t want the Colonies to feel too apocalyptic. “The idea was to have it in more of what we consider a bucolic setting,” Williams said. “We have shots at sundown, and the sun is setting over this golden landscape and these women in light blue dresses are there. There’s something very pretty about it and, at the same time, quite horrific. The idea was that, with this kind of contrast, it leaves the audience with a sense of dread.”

http://www.vulture.com/2018/04/the-handmaids-tale-season-2-the-colonies.html

A bit more:

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For the muddy pit, Williams and producers researched environmental disasters, particularly the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011. “In that tragedy in Japan, they cleared the waste and put it in bags and stockpiled the bags into these huge mounds,” said director of photography Colin Watkinson. “That’s how we got the idea for the mounds.

Synchronicity.  I've been doing a lot of reading about the Gulag slave camps during Stalin's time in the USSR.  What we saw in Unwomen is very much like those camps.

Edited by Umbelina
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Yes, I love EM and AB, they are doing fantastic work, but I adore Ann Dowd..wow.

To prepare for this new season I scanned thru season 1, and Ann is knocking it out of the park.

In the Season 1 finale, she broke my heart because you could see her conflict in having to order the stoning of Janine. In her warped way she cared for Janine, allowing Offred  to comfort Janine during her labor, getting Offred to the bridge and the shaking in her voice when Janine was led into the circle. That bit of compassion turned to terror at the mere site of Aunt Lydia strolling into the Fenway Gallows and use that microphone only to be moved when she was crying before ringing the bell. ..this blew me away. Was she crying cause Offred would be spared, was it relief? Then she turns and threatens to chain her to the bed and coldly burns Ofrobert. Ohe Aunt Lydia you are a heartless bitch, but Ann Dowd you are amazing.

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8 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

Yep, I realized in watching and typing that that I've had the latter two things, someone pointedly ignoring that I don't share my husband's name or implying with that helpfully "concerned" tone that my kids were receiving less than ideal parenting because I didn't x, y, or z, happen in our current environment.  So not all that far fetched.

Yup, I kept my name and when we moved 20 yrs ago from the Boston area (where I knew many professional women who didn’t take their husband’s name) to where we live now, south of the Mason Dixon line, I confused a lot of people because of the different names bc it’s not done as much here. A couple people I worked with who were my parents’ age and much more conservative than we are were very concerned for our future children (who we gave DH’s last name) because that and the fact that we are different religions (though not really observant in either) would confuse the kids. Insert the rolly eyes.

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Who did Emily barter with to get the Tylenol, alcohol and poison? I probably would have wanted the poison for myself if I was in the colonies too. All of Emily's scenes just killed me, especially the flashbacks. I wish we had seen a bit of her home life, like we did with June's. I hope this isn't the last we see of Clea DuVall. The scene of them saying goodbye and knowing they probably wouldn't see each other ever again was heartbreaking.

That scene when June and Hannah came home and Luke was standing in front of the TV watching news about the attack in Washington really resonated with me. After 9/11 I came home from school and I remember my parents standing in front of the TV watching the news too - something about them standing, not sitting, always stuck with me. We have chairs/couches there, but they were standing similar to how Luke was.

I also liked the key with red tape marking the way - to me, it implies that this is some sort of "Underground Railroad" type of thing and they do this for other handmaids as well.

I was missing Moira in this episode, but it would have been quite a lot for these episodes to also have another storyline about what she's doing up in Canada. Looking forward to seeing her again soon, though. Moira and Emily are easily my favourite characters.

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I don't understand how June can even be interested in Nick. He only cared about her once she was pregnant. Once he handed me that gun, I would shot him and headed for Canada.  

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Did I miss a scene where June says how she feels about her pregnancy?  I was taken aback when Nick said something about “our baby.” Like, I was kind of assuming when she got to Canada that pregnancy would be terminated. 

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1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

He cared about her before that as well.

Why would she have to shoot him, he gave her the gun.  She'd be dead now if she'd tried to run alone.  He just saved her life, and got her on the first step of out of there.  He also has never done this before, he didn't know the next steps for escape, but he knows there are people in his group that
DO know.

Why would she terminate her baby?  There is no reason for her to hate that child, she obviously has feelings for the father as well.  I honestly don't understand.  She wanted another child, as we say when she talked to Luke about getting off birth control.

June wanted a second child with Luke, not Nick. She's with Nick because of circumstances, not because she's in love. 

I would shoot Nick because he's an Eye. I would not trust him at all. 

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10 hours ago, Eyes High said:

It hardly stretched credulity for that nurse to insinuate that a mother was an unfit parent for not staying at home with her child and blandly threaten a mother with the removal of her child from her care with a concerned smile on her face. Heck, that happens already. Good writing (and good acting from the actress playing the nurse), but ugh, too close to home.

 

I don't have any kids, but have multiple coworkers with kids, so I know that particular scenario isn't that too far from the current reality.  I've lost track of how many times in the past several years since my male coworker's divorce that he's had to leave work early because the school nurse calls to tell him one of his kids aren't feeling well enough to go back to class.  I've raised the question to him is she more insistent that parents who have the luxury of ample sick time and secure jobs come and get their kids, even if the kid is borderline.  It's hard to tell whether her attitude towards her job is similar to the nurse's on the show. 

I know that my younger sister was exceptionally good at faking sick in elementary school to get out of going to weekly mass.  We were sent to a Catholic school because it was allegedly "better" according to my father.  My mother would be livid with anger and frustration if she left work early to find out my sister was faking to get out of mass.  Her test was giving her a good meal to see if she was really sick, because my sister still has little or not much of an appetite when she's sick.  She told the nurse's office to make her eat lunch before calling her or, very rarely, my father, and to only call if she wasn't eating.  That cut down on the calls home a lot.  I'm not sure she could have gotten away with that today with the overly concerned method of parenting today. 

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9 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

He cared about her before that as well.

Why would she have to shoot him, he gave her the gun.  She'd be dead now if she'd tried to run alone.  He just saved her life, and got her on the first step of out of there.  He also has never done this before, he didn't know the next steps for escape, but he knows there are people in his group that
DO know.

Why would she terminate her baby?  There is no reason for her to hate that child, she obviously has feelings for the father as well.  I honestly don't understand.  She wanted another child, as we say when she talked to Luke about getting off birth control.

June has seen and experienced horrible things in this new world. Why would anyone willingly bring a child into a world where women have no rights, people are routinely tortured and murdered, raped, or sent to work in a toxic wasteland? 

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I don't think June is thinking as far ahead as whether or not to keep the baby. She doesn't even know if she's going to get out of Gilead, and Nick is her only option, whether she fully trusts him or not.

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1 hour ago, belladonna77 said:

June wanted a second child with Luke, not Nick. She's with Nick because of circumstances, not because she's in love. 

I would shoot Nick because he's an Eye. I would not trust him at all. 

He's undercover as an Eye, he works for the resistance.

June was only forced to sleep with him once.  After that, she, risking both of their lives, willingly went to him for sex.  She has NO chance of escaping without collaborators to help her, just like the truck driver in this episode who said "After a while crocodile."  Without Nick's connections with the underground resistance group, she'd still be stuck in Gilead proper.

20 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

I don't think June is thinking as far ahead as whether or not to keep the baby. She doesn't even know if she's going to get out of Gilead, and Nick is her only option, whether she fully trusts him or not.

Exactly, and if this escape works?  She won't be subjecting her child to any of that.  If she is recaptured?  She might consider it, but I doubt it.  She has great hopes, or she wouldn't have made that dangerous escape into the unknown.  Those hopes would likely extend to her child, who, at least for 18 years or so?  Would be pampered and cherished, and have her own chance to escape, perhaps and even easier chance.  If it's a boy?  He'd have an even better chance.

What we see over and over again in this show is that HOPE, that WISH to get out of this hell, and back to a sane world.  The wish to live, to be free, to survive this horror.

Book Spoiler below:

Spoiler

We know Gilead doesn't last.  This will all be over relatively soon, probably in her child's lifetime.  So abandoning hope really isn't the best plan.

Edited by Umbelina
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2 hours ago, Umbelina said:

He's undercover as an Eye, he works for the resistance.

Did they tell us that last season? I never got that feeling but if it's true, I'm glad. Is he still working for the Waterfords? How is he explaining away his absences?

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1 minute ago, Shorty186 said:

Did they tell us that last season? I never got that feeling but if it's true, I'm glad. Is he still working for the Waterfords? How is he explaining away his absences?

It's unclear if he's still working for them so far.  He didn't seem to be in any rush to leave June and get back, so maybe he's leaving as well?

He had to be undercover, or he could NEVER have arranged June's escape.

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13 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

My question is why wouldn't anyone of the Unwomen take those pills to put themselves out of their misery?

Also, what a waste of Marisa Tomei, I would have thought she would have lasted a couple of episodes only if to go crazy and be tortured by an Aunt.  

When I see Serena Joy on camera I shudder.  Ice wouldn't melt in her mouth.

The sex between June and Nick was reaching, it added nothing to the episode, we could have done without it.  

I wondered if June was going to watch the Friends DVD.

If the dirt the Unwomen are bagging up is radioactive where is all going that it won't contaminate someplace else?  Are gas masks enough to keep the radioactive particles away?  There are other body parts exposed, they are not in hazmat suits, also the horses, those horses will get sick too, (says the person who raises money for a horse rescue) and that makes me sad.  

I don't think anything will protect you from radioactive material, or at least nothing short but actual clothing that's designed to protect you. Like super astronaut type stuff, not a mask and three layers of clothes. 

I totally would have been taking some of those special pills. I mean, I'm a fighter but at some point they really have to be thinking enough is enough, f**k these f****rs and be done with it. 

I don't get the whole Nick character. Are we meant to like them? Believe that they are interested in each other? I see zero chemistry between them and, maybe because of that, I can't get a feel for either of their intentions. I would be fine with a forbidden love subplot, but they're going to have to do better than that. Girlfriend had more chemistry with the butcher. 

And yes about the horses! Get thee on a 4-wheeler or something but please leave the poor horses out of it. :-(

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A few thoughts:

  • The subtle racism when The nurse asked June if Hannah was her biological child. Damn. 
  • The line that gave me some serious heebie jeebies was almost throw away, where the ICE officer asks Emily if her child was from “her ovaries” or was implanted. Chills!
  • The airport scene scares me because my husband is a dual citizen carrying a British passport. How many couples would be split over that designation? Wasn’t there a line in the book that spoke of visas getting canceled or invalidated?
  • I thought the Wife being sent to the colonies was an interesting twist on the narrative, reminding us that no women are safe from the horror that is Gilead.
Edited by Sbeetle · Reason: Typo
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I am always struck by how much of the violence on women in this show is perpetrated by other women. Aunt Lydia, but also the guard at the Colonies. They aren't as high up status-wise as Serena and the other women that I could see going along with the whole Gilead thing because they think they will be winners in the whole scenario, so are they just cruel? Are they true believers? Argh, so many questions.

Man this is rough. I admit I totally thought that June had been taken by Mayday at the end of last season, so when they walked in to the stadium and turned on the lights I even thought "oh no, wait, does Fenway have a dome? Won't they see the lights on?" Ooooooh no. That was really brutal.

I wish it was easier to watch this without thinking about the reality we live in right now. 

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Just now watching the second episode. Realizing the safe house is the office of the Boston Globe. "We don't need no stinkin' newspapers anymore...." Frightening. 

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Just a couple of thoughts. I realize that Aunt Lydia and the guards use the cattle prods and other "discipline" to keep the women in line, but I think it's a stretch that they would routinely cause them physical and psychological harm like they were showing, because after all, the future of humanity rests on these women reproducing. They haven't abandoned medical technology and they must know that harming a women, even psychological, can impede her ability to get pregnant. So why would they take that chance? That part made no sense to me.  

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3 minutes ago, poeticlicensed said:

Just a couple of thoughts. I realize that Aunt Lydia and the guards use the cattle prods and other "discipline" to keep the women in line, but I think it's a stretch that they would routinely cause them physical and psychological harm like they were showing, because after all, the future of humanity rests on these women reproducing. They haven't abandoned medical technology and they must know that harming a women, even psychological, can impede her ability to get pregnant. So why would they take that chance? That part made no sense to me.  

Non of it makes sense.  They somehow have uneducated themselves, dumbed down, forgotten the science behind reproduction, etc...these are the first generation of Handmaids and Lydias so they remember what life was like before.

Will we ever see an Aunt in the colonies?  Surely there must be an Aunt that does something against the rules.

Edited by Baltimore Betty · Reason: I forgot to mention...
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7 minutes ago, poeticlicensed said:

Just a couple of thoughts. I realize that Aunt Lydia and the guards use the cattle prods and other "discipline" to keep the women in line, but I think it's a stretch that they would routinely cause them physical and psychological harm like they were showing, because after all, the future of humanity rests on these women reproducing. They haven't abandoned medical technology and they must know that harming a women, even psychological, can impede her ability to get pregnant. So why would they take that chance? That part made no sense to me.  

It doesn't make sense.  It also makes even less sense when you realize that under their system where the earliest holy zygote trumps all that any of these women could be like June and very early pregnant, yet they're out there merrily torturing along with no consideration for those possible zygotes, let alone their "hosts" who will be expected to be healthy enough to nourish and carry them.  It's almost like their system is every bit as much about controlling and punishing women's sexuality as it is anything else, which just happens to be one of the most often lobbed criticisms of the modern pro-life movement.

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2 hours ago, vinnieprice said:

I am always struck by how much of the violence on women in this show is perpetrated by other women. Aunt Lydia, but also the guard at the Colonies. They aren't as high up status-wise as Serena and the other women that I could see going along with the whole Gilead thing because they think they will be winners in the whole scenario, so are they just cruel? Are they true believers? Argh, so many questions.

Man this is rough. I admit I totally thought that June had been taken by Mayday at the end of last season, so when they walked in to the stadium and turned on the lights I even thought "oh no, wait, does Fenway have a dome? Won't they see the lights on?" Ooooooh no. That was really brutal.

I wish it was easier to watch this without thinking about the reality we live in right now. 

 

During the height of ISIS there was an article written written the oppression and abuse of women by other women, and how you can trace that back through history and I think even went into the psychology behind that.  I suppose one could give an extremely warped argument that all of the women in Gilead are victims of the system (I don't doubt that should Aunt Lydia step out of line, she'd be in the colonies right along side Emily), and they are doing what they need to to do in order to survive, however as we saw with the wife at the colonies, when it comes time to answer to your crimes, you will pay with your life.  Again, we see that time and time again in history -- revenge for the atrocities committed against them.  What I think this show does so well is mimic what has happened in history and what could happen one day, from the slow breakdown of society as we know it to the very real human response to oppression.  And that's what's makes it extra horrifying. 

That said, I think Aunt Lydia is a true believer.  The zealotry is over the top.  I'm curious about her backstory and how she came to be so utterly evil.  

I had seen the preview of all the handmaids lined up but nothing prepared me for what I watched.  The moment This Woman's Work started playing I started bawling.  I almost got sick several times during the first episode.  It is not for the faint of heart.  And as soon as I saw that she was in the Boston Globe offices I knew they had gone in there and simply killed everybody.  I suppose that was the most efficient way for the leaders of Gilead to eliminate the free press - just slaughter them right then and there.  

I don't need or want any more sex scenes with June and Nick.   Even going back to season 1, I don't find them empowering, I'm not "rooting" for them in any way.  The scenes are desperate and devastating.  They add nothing to the depth of the characters.  The only thing they provide is a "reason" for Nick to help June - as if being completely against the regime and wanting to help Mayday because Gilead is hell on earth isn't enough?

ETA:  "After a while crocodile" man is my favorite person of the episode.  

Edited by Shangrilala
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2 minutes ago, Shangrilala said:

I don't need or want any more sex scenes with June and Nick.   Even going back to season 1, I don't find them empowering, I'm not "rooting" for them in any way.  The scenes are desperate and devastating.

I agree. Personally, it would be much more powerful to me if they simply kissed, hugged, fell asleep in one-another's arms as an illustration of two humans supporting one another.

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