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S02.E05: Seeds

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7 hours ago, Empress1 said:

Yes, what happens to the children raised by the commanders and their wives? Are they part of the ruling class?

Those kids will grow up to become members of the ruling class. Yet, if one of them misbehaves and steps out of line, they could end up like the other wife, who was turned into an "unwoman" and banished to the colonies. Or forced to become a handmaiden, a jezebel if they are female. The boys also don't have too many options.

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5 hours ago, JennyMominFL said:

To me the letter burning was the saddest part. It was the loss of the last bit of hope for the women.

To me, it also showed that June at that moment, lost the will to keep going.

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2 hours ago, DiabLOL said:

Yeah why *was* sex between a man and wife of the Waterfords' status outlawed?!

Sex is for procreation, never for fun. Since all the wifes are presumed to be barren, they aren't allowed to have sex.

Not sure if it is an actual law, but it's certainly frowned upon.

1 hour ago, DrSpaceman said:

I mean other than the fact it would end her story and part in the show.  Practically speaking, what is the advantage of having people at the colonies?  I suppose they must be doing something their productive, but I can't tell what

They are removing top soil that has been contaminated with radioactive elements. I question very much if this is the most efficient way to be doing this, but whatever it's Gillead. If they would want to be efficient, they'd just execute these women and put the aunts that are currently guarding them on some mechanical diggers. They'd be at least ten times as fast.

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She hates that baby, and has since it was born.

Not all women are cut out to be mothers, an idea that certainly wouldn't be admitted in Gilead, by anyone, except perhaps a Jezebel employee.  She's obviously pissed about many things, and yes, she's dangerous.  She is playing her role, as all the women in Gilead must do, but she is unhappy with it.

I hope you aren't right about her doing something to the baby, but honestly?  She might.  She should just hand it off to her Martha to raise (which she probably does most of the time) and just bring it out to show her friends and cheating husband now and then.  Actually, that's probably what she does do, and she can't even stand the kid for those short amounts of time.

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5 hours ago, Miles said:

It's not like the husbands have any say in it. Nick's wife seems to be way more enthusiastic about the whole thing than he is. So from that perspective she is raping him.

She also doesn't look that much younger than him, but I might be a bad judge of that. Disregard the first part of this comment if she is really supposed to be underage.

 

I was mainly referencing the regime of Gilead when I said they were offering up the baby brides for rape and domination, a common theme with them, the men however are more complex an issue I feel. 

Not all of them reacted as Nick did, I’m sure some of them probably felt privileged and glad that they were getting a good, young little wife to take home, like a shiny new toy. 

Some of the people in Gilead actually have a conscience that still works and some of them don’t, there’s no way to know which one of those men outside of Nick may have actually felt guilty or bad for these young teens having their lives given away. 

In Nick’s case he wants nothing to do with this girl or his new role as a husband, and she’s just incredibly young and immature. 

‘She has no clue what she’s getting into, she’s been raised by a cult, in my eye, She has been conditioned and trained and taught to live this way, act this way, she has no other concept of what it is to be in a relationship for leading with a man or anything. 

 There was no mention of the girls ages in the show, sadly, but I am fairly certain that they are implying she’s under the age of 18. Just the references to Leah and Rachael implied that to me, because of the historical record of how young girls were back then when betrothed or being married off. Some girls could be a signal digit in age and given to a man of forty years or older. 

The actress herself is just 20 and she looks at least three or four years younger than that, imho. I would assume that most of those girls were between the ages of 14 to 16 years old. 

‘And I also feel they wanted to touch on what is still going on to day, underage kids are still going through this horrific practice, just young baby girls being treated like a lamb, often purchased and sold or just outrightly taken. 

 

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Our modern ideal of marriage is a pretty new one. Gillead is bringing it back to it's roots in biblical times. At least they are consistent.

Which is also why it was always so laughable when christians talked about "traditional marriage" when they were trying to keep gay people from getting married. Nothing traditional about modern day hetero marriages.

 

 

 Comparing the marriages against current modern day thinking was not my point.

 My comparison to Gilead making marriage over as Frankenstein‘s monster was in reference to how they have warped and mutilated and distorted the entire concept, whatever view or opinion of it from the past or present.

 I don’t feel or believe that Gilead is following any set script, they’re making this shit up as they go along.  

 After all this is the same group then also rewrote the Bible, omitting certain verses or changing their wording, they use the parts of the Bible that they want to, but they are certainly not following it to the letter. 

 They’re not totally following a biblical guideline for marriage. They are taking bits and pieces from history and certain cultures and they’re creating this monstrosity from it, just like the beast Frankenstein crafted. 

Just as that monster was put together with different body parts, Gilead has manufactured this ideal marriage system from different parts and pieces of the past, and it’s just as horrific to see in action as any monster could be.

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2 hours ago, Umbelina said:

I'm pretty sure the "children" of Commanders are destined to be the future Commanders and their Wives.  After all, the ruling class must go on as well.

That's what I think will happen.

Luckily, she only burned a few.  Did anyone else try to read everything that was burning?  "Colorado..."  I'm glad Nick saved most of them, he has much more ability to hide them than June.

Why do you say he's keeping them FOR JUNE?  He's keeping them for the women who wrote them.  He's a good guy.  He also can move around, and has many more safe places to keep them than June will ever have.  Obviously, he could just take them back to the Boston Globe building if he wants to (or other places) to hide them.  He could have also just burned them.  June didn't ask him for anything, or expect it.

Yeah, that Wife is a piece of work, that poor baby!

Recreational sex is bad.  Procreation is good.  Sex is only legal for procreation.  Everything in Gilead is fucked up.

The Wife was an unwoman just like them, the Guards are used to the prisoners dying and they don't give a shit, more will be sent in.  Taking out a guard or Aunt (if that's what those women are) would be a crime, they are still considered to be people, unlike the prisoners.

Ann Dowd is great, and I also love Aunt Lydia lording it over Serena and the Commander so very much.

I meant June’s daughter that she had that Serena showed her? 

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1 hour ago, Umbelina said:

Recreational sex is bad.  Procreation is good.  Sex is only legal for procreation.  Everything in Gilead is fucked up

Which, of all of the cockamamie, backwards ideas Gilead has come up with, this has to be one of the stupidest. Seriously, even some of the most tyrannical and/or conservative Regimes or religious sects didn't outlaw recreational sex between spouses. Hell, even the Puritans were fine with some passionate sex between husband and wife. I'm surprised they high ups thought this was a smart idea.

27 minutes ago, Miles said:

Sex is for procreation, never for fun. Since all the wifes are presumed to be barren, they aren't allowed to have sex.

Just by the law of averages, though, some of the Commanders and their wives must be fertile. There are older ones who were probably married for years before Gilead came to be, who had plenty of chances to have  sex that could have resulted in a baby. It just seems weird that so far the show is painting it like Commander's wives=barren and lower class women=fertile (or more of them then the higher ups, anyway).

3 minutes ago, GraceK said:

That wife who had her husbands hand cut off and who has Janine’s baby scares me. If you pay close attention to her throughout both seasons, she hates being a mother. I’m not kidding. She has no mothering instinct and is constantly annoyed and irritated by the baby. This episode brought it up again when they made  her say “ the lord is testing me “. I get a bad feeling whenever they bring her up and I think they are leading somewhere terrible with it. How much you want to bet she does something to that baby?

I mean, she certainly is a piece of (shit) work, but I'm not sure that I'd say she is a child abuser waiting to happen. Not every women is fits the mold of perfect, maternal caregiver. If anything, so far I'm most worried about Serena Joy getting her hands on a baby. She might ohh and aww when it is cute and can't talk, but as soon as it develops a personality and dares to not be the perfect version of a child Serena imagines? That is scary. Serena Joy is like textbook abuser.

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Quite a few of the quotations they use are directly from the Bible, probably the King James Bible.  The Bible is full of horrifying things.  Oh, and Gilead certainly wouldn't be the only ones who have changed the Bible to suit their purposes over the centuries.  At all.  It's always been changed to suit the times or ambitions, or will of those who re-wrote, translated, etc.

I do think Gilead's goal IS to increase the population, and decrease all of the pollution, chemicals, nuclear power plants, etc.  Climate change issues were certainly part of the book, and have been mentioned on the show.  They need babies.  In the book girls were married at 15, a very fertile age.  Men were lucky to get a wife, it WAS a great honor.  Aside from everything else?  SEX!  (such as it was, still better than nothing.)

Anyway, obviously POWER is also a goal for those that took over, but I think most are sincere about not wanting to die out as a country as well.

Edited by Umbelina
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For so many episodes I've been thinking about how much Janine reminds me of Tricia from OITNB. Never once did I put two and two together that it's the same flipping actress. I'm so dumb.

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3 minutes ago, dmc said:

I meant June’s daughter that she had that Serena showed her? 

Yes, she's in the power class now, so would probably be married to a boy from the power class as well. (One of the handmaid's babies, or stolen children, that are no longer theirs, but belong to the Commanders now.)

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2 minutes ago, HeySandyStrange said:

Which, of all of the cockamamie, backwards ideas Gilead has come up with, this has to be one of the stupidest. Seriously, even some of the most tyrannical and/or conservative Regimes or religious sects didn't outlaw recreational sex between spouses. Hell, even the Puritans were fine with some passionate sex between husband and wife. I'm surprised they high ups thought this was a smart idea.

 

I am of the belief that they put this rule into action because a lot of those husbands want nothing to do with their wives.

Yes we have seen that supposedly Fred and Serena were in love and had a good marriage, if it can be called that, but I am thinking that they were not the norm when it comes to the other officials of Gilead.

The majority of the men at the top did not want to continue to have a typical marriage arrangement, so they went about applying certain laws and decrees that would allow them to remain in holy matrimony well also consistently cheating on their wives in the name of the lord, hallelujah amen, blessed be the fruit loops. 

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I find the things that Gilead has deleted from their version of the Bible to be so fascinating. When Serena was quoting the song of solomon to Eden, it was clear that Eden had no idea that this was even in the Bible - why cut it out? Too lustful? To tie it back with the whole 'no sex between Commanders and Wives' thing, and with the messed up ceremony itself, it's like they want sex to consistently be as a clinical and functional as possible with no reference to love or pleasure whatsoever - except at Jezebels, of course. And even there the pleasure is all one-sided. What is the point of this? Surely it's a good thing if fertile couples enjoy sex with one another, it means they'll have sex more often, meaning more chances for conception. Do they just not want women to get uppity ideas like thinking sex should be enjoyable for them? Or to just make actual sexual pleasure something that's a privilege for Commanders who can get into Jezebels?

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They blamed casual sex, birth control, sexual diseases, women having jobs, and above all, the lustful actions of so many for the drastic drops in birthrates. 

LUST, or sex for pleasure became a sin.  The only righteous purpose of sex was declared to be for procreation.

(As I said above, they also blamed the damages done to earth by a wanton greed filled population.)

Keep in mind, not all of the Commanders visit or even know about Jezebels (yet.)  Some of them really are devout, and honestly believe they are doing the right things here, living holier lives.  God will look upon them and smile, and allow eventually, for the plague of dying out as a race/country to stop.  They are repenting their previous sins.

Edited by Umbelina
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3 minutes ago, Anela said:

How did the baby survive that? All that blood...

Babies are fairly resillient. The amount of blood can be deceiving, too. As long as the placenta remained at least partially attached, which it obviously did because she is still pregnant, the baby had a good chance. 

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1 hour ago, AnswersWanted said:

I was mainly referencing the regime of Gilead when I said they were offering up the baby brides for rape and domination, a common theme with them, the men however are more complex an issue I feel. 

Well then they are also putting their husbands up for rape

 

1 hour ago, AnswersWanted said:

Not all of them reacted as Nick did, I’m sure some of them probably felt privileged and glad that they were getting a good, young little wife to take home, like a shiny new toy. 

And not all of the women reacted badly. Just like Nick's wife didn't.

 

1 hour ago, AnswersWanted said:

The actress herself is just 20 and she looks at least three or four years younger than that, imho. I would assume that most of those girls were between the ages of 14 to 16 years old. 

YMMV. I don't think she looks younger than 20. Nick on the other hand has a particalur baby face. I was shocked to find out that the actor is already 32.

 

1 hour ago, AnswersWanted said:

 My comparison to Gilead making marriage over as Frankenstein‘s monster was in reference to how they have warped and mutilated and distorted the entire concept, whatever view or opinion of it from the past or present.

Marriage has changed through the ages. I don't see how it is a Frankenstein's monster. Gilead's version resembles marriage in biblical times a lot more closely than our modern day idea of it. That was my point.

 

1 hour ago, AnswersWanted said:

After all this is the same group then also rewrote the Bible, omitting certain verses or changing their wording, they use the parts of the Bible that they want to, but they are certainly not following it to the letter. 

The catholics assembled the bible in the middle ages. Leaving out parts of scripture they didn't like. For example Adam's first wife Lilith, you know the one who was made from the same dust he was, but was too dominant. (The bible is very badly edited, so it's kinda still there. In Gensis 1:27 he creates man and woman equally. Then in 2:7 he creates man again and then in 2:21 a woman from his rib ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) Or how about the part where nobody would go to hell, because if the people in heaven would see the people in hell suffering and would petition god to let them in and god being loving would do so. The catholics couldn't have that, since then they wouldn't be able to sell indulgences,

 

1 hour ago, AnswersWanted said:

They’re not totally following a biblical guideline for marriage. They are taking bits and pieces from history and certain cultures and they’re creating this monstrosity from it, just like the beast Frankenstein crafted. 

What are they doing that is against the biblival guidelines for marrige?

 

1 hour ago, HeySandyStrange said:

Which, of all of the cockamamie, backwards ideas Gilead has come up with, this has to be one of the stupidest. Seriously, even some of the most tyrannical and/or conservative Regimes or religious sects didn't outlaw recreational sex between spouses. Hell, even the Puritans were fine with some passionate sex between husband and wife. I'm surprised they high ups thought this was a smart idea.

Well the midevil catholics weren't much better. I think it's still debated if that sex through a sheet with a hole in it is just a myth or was a real thing. That even being a question certainly shows their attitude towards sex though.

 

1 hour ago, HeySandyStrange said:

Just by the law of averages, though, some of the Commanders and their wives must be fertile. There are older ones who were probably married for years before Gilead came to be, who had plenty of chances to have  sex that could have resulted in a baby. It just seems weird that so far the show is painting it like Commander's wives=barren and lower class women=fertile (or more of them then the higher ups, anyway).

Birth control is forbidden and I think it's at least implied that the gileaden leadership never took it. So the commanders and their wifes have like 20 years of unsuccessfull trying under their belt.

I'm sure commanders and wifes who already had children are allowed or even encouraged to keep trying.

 

46 minutes ago, legxleg said:

I find the things that Gilead has deleted from their version of the Bible to be so fascinating. When Serena was quoting the song of solomon to Eden, it was clear that Eden had no idea that this was even in the Bible - why cut it out?

I don't think they cut anything. They are just really selectively quoting it and women aren't allowed to read, remember. So if nobody ever told her about that part, she would have no way of knowing about it.

Edited by Miles
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June has mentioned several times that she has viable ovaries so they must be able to check - so presumably, Serena Joy doesn't and that's why sex is forbidden because it couldn't be procreational.  Book talk -

Spoiler

I'm sure in the books there were fertile wives that Offred mentions - a commander only qualifies for a handmaid if his wife isn't fruitful but of course the commander and serena joy are much older in the book so they wouldn't need to check if she had viable ovaries as she's presumably too old for childbearing and it's implied lots of the wives are of a similar age where it wouldn't be an issue.

1

They do also mention that in "future" it will be easier as the handmaid system will be established and the handmaids will be part of the family - but you do wonder where they are planning to get future handmaids as most of the children seem to be given to commanders so will be wives - I suppose there are econowives that get out of line - and depending on the age if they have daughters they could have the same fate? 

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3 minutes ago, snowbryneich said:

June has mentioned several times that she has viable ovaries so they must be able to check

No, they know that she has viable ovaries because she has a daughter. All of the handmaids were mothers before.

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1 minute ago, Miles said:

No, they know that she has viable ovaries because she has a daughter. All of the handmaids were mothers before.

Moira wasn't. Also, they use ultrasounds so they would be able to check on women's reproductive systems to some extent. They also have pregnancy tests so could also have ovulation tests which are very similar.

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1 minute ago, snowbryneich said:

Moira wasn't.

Moira was also a handmaid and a lesbian in the book, wasn't she? Maybe she got pregnant and had an abortion at some point. Yes, even lesbians can get accidentally pregnant, even if it's a lot less likely.

It's hard to even check if a woman is fertile even with our current technology. There are so many factors. I kinda doubt that Gilead would go through all that for every woman or that they even want to use that complicated technology. Though ofcourse, they don't seem as technology averse as they were in the book. But they still killed all the scientist. Not sure if they even still have the required lab workers to do these test.

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For those arguing that the brides weren’t meant to look underage, the show literally had Rita point out how young Eden was. 

One of the brides looked like she was barely through puberty.

I suspect this will be made quite clear later in the season, probably when Hannah becomes a potential bride. 

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34 minutes ago, Miles said:

Moira was also a handmaid and a lesbian in the book, wasn't she? Maybe she got pregnant and had an abortion at some point. Yes, even lesbians can get accidentally pregnant, even if it's a lot less likely.

It's hard to even check if a woman is fertile even with our current technology. There are so many factors. I kinda doubt that Gilead would go through all that for every woman or that they even want to use that complicated technology. Though ofcourse, they don't seem as technology averse as they were in the book. But they still killed all the scientist. Not sure if they even still have the required lab workers to do these test.

Moira is a lesbian in the books yes, she could have had abortions but the show hasn't shown that - and June and Moira reference abortion clinics destroying records when they see June's mother picture in the colonies when they are in the red centre so how would Gilead know she had. It hardly seems like something wise to own up to in this regime.

With reference to lab workers - they make ovulation tests work just like pregnancy tests - you pee (obviously you have to wait to mid cycle) and get a line and they have no issue using those test as has been shown. I think the way that Gilead has been portrayed - so focused on what a resource fertile women are they wouldn't want to miss out on any fertile women they could use as a resource just because she hadn't already had a kid and there are low tech ways to check - I think it's been previously suggested that they could do something as basic as assume women with regular periods are fertile and ones without aren't and if your wife isn't fertile - no sex allowed.  

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21 minutes ago, Miles said:

Well then they are also putting their husbands up for rape

 

 

 In Gilead men have privileges that women’s don’t, would I call a grown man having sex with underage girls rape on the part of the virginal child? No. Ymmv.

What the regime is doing in regards to the men involved, as I said, that’s a more complex issue for me because Gilead obviously gives more power to males, that’s just the way the society is structured at this point 

But I’m not gonna say that these men are going to experience sexual domination by 14 or 15-year-old girls on their wedding night as the girls are going to experience in turn.

 

25 minutes ago, Miles said:

And not all of the women reacted badly. Just like Nick's wife didn't.

 

Brainwashed victims often don’t because they know nothing except with they’ve been taught or trained to do.  

Those girls were precisely there because they know no better; they were raised to become child brides. I wasn’t expecting any one to jump up and run away, unless she was a very self-aware little girl that have been forewarned, but then she would probably just wind up as a handmaid for punishment. 

 

29 minutes ago, Miles said:

YMMV. I don't think she looks younger than 20. Nick on the other hand has a particalur baby face. I was shocked to find out that the actor is already 32.

 

 

And I thought she did, as I said it was my opinion. I think she looks quite young, and I have always placed Nick to be in his late 20s so the girl would probably still be at least 10 years his junior if not more if she was under eighteen. 

 

31 minutes ago, Miles said:

Marriage has changed through the ages. I don't see how it is a Frankenstein's monster. Gilead's version resembles marriage in biblical times a lot more closely than our modern day idea of it. That was my point.

 

 

 And my point was that the current construct of Gilead’s idea of marriage, to me, is a Frankenstein‘s monster because it is a jumbled up, twisted mix of things. I didn’t say that it was not taken partially from the bible, I just said it wasn’t totally from biblical construct, hence the mention of it being made of various ideals. That’s all. 

The Bible itself was made up of various ideas frankly, but that’s a whole other conversation for me and not one that I want to have, at least here

 

34 minutes ago, Miles said:

The catholics assembled the bible in the middle ages. Leaving out parts of scripture they didn't like. For example Adam's first wife Lilith, you know the one who was made from the same dust he was, but was too dominant. (The bible is very badly edited, so it's kinda still there. In Gensis 1:27 he creates man and woman equally. Then in 2:7 he creates man again and then in 2:21 a woman from his rib ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) Or how about the part where nobody would go to hell, because if the people in heaven would see the people in hell suffering and would petition god to let them in and god being loving would do so. The catholics couldn't have that, since then they wouldn't be able to sell indulgences,

 

 I’m gonna be honest here, I was raised by two biblical scholars and religious fanatics, I am not here to discuss the bible and all it entails like this, that was literally my whole childhood.

I am talking about the show and Gilead’s perception of the Bible and how they have used it, or not, so far based on my own opinion, that’s it. 

 

38 minutes ago, Miles said:

What are they doing that is against the biblival guidelines for marrige?

 

 

I did not say they were doing anything against it, I never used that word. I said they were not using it totally, as in there were other beliefs and systems involved that expanded beyond being directly from the book itself. That’s just how I see it.

 Just the fact that they had them use wedding rings went against the biblical norm for marriages. The use of rings came from and continues to be used by a certain group of Christians based off of, yet again, a retelling and exception given because it was deemed okay.

If Gilead it was using just the text in the bible to guide these wedding ceremonies that part should have been left out. 

I am not implying that Gilead wrote the book, pun intended, on rewriting the Bible.

As has been mentioned, it is something that has been retold and re-sold and re-edited for as long as it has been in existence basically.  

There have been more religions that have used it to their advantage than I could ever care to count or probably even know about.  But some get it wrong in ways that are just more horrifying, to me, than others, and if Gilead was real I would feel that way about their take on it. That’s where my comparison to Frankenstein’s monster comes from.

My point was in regards to the show and the book and Gilead’s specific take on certain things, such as marriage and ritual rapes, I see their perspective as being one of the worst and most dangerous I have yet to come across.  

 Is it the only one? Not by a long-shot. But it is what drives this show and that’s why I focus on it in its entirety and not on all the others. 

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I continue to find Serena the most intriguing character on the show. Her "wedding night" talk with Eden seemed genuinely sweet and really progressive, for Gilead. She gave more information than Eden's own mother did. She gave her the "it's your duty to bear children" party line, but she also said that sexual pleasure between husband and wife is not a sin, that it can draw them closer together, and that it can be enjoyable for both partners. She clearly misses that closeness with Fred. She also seems to crave a closer bond with June, or at least more stimulating conversation. And she does have genuine maternal feelings, as she showed when she cooed over Mrs. Putnam's (or Janine's) baby, I kind of want her to have a child to love; I think it will make her a much better person, but I also remember that she is as much to blame for Gilead as any of the Sons of Jacob,

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When Serena was quoting the song of solomon to Eden, it was clear that Eden had no idea that this was even in the Bible - why cut it out? Too lustful? 

I don't know if it had been "cut out" or just never read, but it is a very sexy book. Even now some religious devotees are embarrassed by it.

Quote

They are just really selectively quoting it and women aren't allowed to read, remember. So if nobody ever told her about that part, she would have no way of knowing about it.

Did the show or the book ever make it clear how long Gilead has existed at this point? Young as she is, Eden might have read it before the ban on women reading went into effect. Then again, she may have been illiterate even before Gilead.

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1 hour ago, Miles said:

Well then they are also putting their husbands up for rape

 

And not all of the women reacted badly. Just like Nick's wife didn't.

 

YMMV. I don't think she looks younger than 20. Nick on the other hand has a particalur baby face. I was shocked to find out that the actor is already 32.

 

Marriage has changed through the ages. I don't see how it is a Frankenstein's monster. Gilead's version resembles marriage in biblical times a lot more closely than our modern day idea of it. That was my point.

 

The catholics assembled the bible in the middle ages. Leaving out parts of scripture they didn't like. For example Adam's first wife Lilith, you know the one who was made from the same dust he was, but was too dominant. (The bible is very badly edited, so it's kinda still there. In Gensis 1:27 he creates man and woman equally. Then in 2:7 he creates man again and then in 2:21 a woman from his rib ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) Or how about the part where nobody would go to hell, because if the people in heaven would see the people in hell suffering and would petition god to let them in and god being loving would do so. The catholics couldn't have that, since then they wouldn't be able to sell indulgences,

 

What are they doing that is against the biblival guidelines for marrige?

 

Well the midevil catholics weren't much better. I think it's still debated if that sex through a sheet with a hole in it is just a myth or was a real thing. That even being a question certainly shows their attitude towards sex though.

 

Birth control is forbidden and I think it's at least implied that the gileaden leadership never took it. So the commanders and their wifes have like 20 years of unsuccessfull trying under their belt.

I'm sure commanders and wifes who already had children are allowed or even encouraged to keep trying.

 

I don't think they cut anything. They are just really selectively quoting it and women aren't allowed to read, remember. So if nobody ever told her about that part, she would have no way of knowing about it.

You make it sound like any of it is okay. Who cares if she looks 20? I don't believe in the bible, and don't believe that this is any way for a girl or woman to be treated. The girl may have looked okay, because she got a guy who's not over 40, and seems to be kind. He also won't force himself on her, but we'll see if she's brainwashed, and the type to report him if he doesn't do what he's supposed to be doing. 

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20 hours ago, Umbelina said:

It makes a certain kind of sense to marry the girls off young, at least fertility sense, but yes, it was revolting.

 

Actually, women are most fertile in their early-mid twenties. Being pregnant that young can cause a lot of complications. (I'm assuming she's early teens?)

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1 hour ago, badlemonnohope said:

Actually, women are most fertile in their early-mid twenties. Being pregnant that young can cause a lot of complications. (I'm assuming she's early teens?)

The stats are screwed several ways though, and different reports say different things. 

For one thing, they aren't going to do tests (do clinical trials) to know, not with young teens.  For another, lack of awareness and proper pre-natal care could contribute to those complications.  Just because statistically more women have babies in their early twenties in our current society?  That doesn't mean that they weren't simply following societal norms before trying to get pregnant.

Fertility rates do start dropping off fairly soon for women past 30, that is without medical intervention, and of course that is not true in every case. 

So, logically, starting to try for a baby as soon as a baby is possible is something Gilead WOULD do.

I'm in no way implying approval of that, but than again, we are facing issues of overpopulation, not a drastic drop to nearly NO healthy babies being born to anyone, as in the story.

A sane society facing those same issues could avoid rape and sex all together, and at least use artificial insemination.  Then again a sane society would also check men's sperm counts, and we know Gilead wont do that.

Edited by Umbelina
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4 hours ago, kieyra said:

For those arguing that the brides weren’t meant to look underage, the show literally had Rita point out how young Eden was. 

One of the brides looked like she was barely through puberty.

I suspect this will be made quite clear later in the season, probably when Hannah becomes a potential bride. 

I truly don't get how anyone could think that the brides whose faces we saw - childishly round, big-eyed (especially that third one!) were meant to be perceived as being of age. Whatever the actresses' ages in real life, they were obviously chosen for their adolescent look. 

And looking at them, I also had the same premonition about a possible fate for Hannah. Ugh.  That whole sequence made me shudder, for real.

10 hours ago, Joana said:

I believe Rita knows (or at least suspects) about June and Nick too. And Eden definitely wasn't brought into the story for nothing. She must be here for something big, and although I really have no idea what she's all about, I somehow don't think she's going to make June's life any easier.

Agreed, I too definitely got the feeling Rita has some idea of what's between June and Nick - and is not without sympathy. Somehow, though I have nothing really to base it on at this point, I keep wondering if Eden is going to come to pervy Fred's attention in some way...

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It makes sense that Rita would overhear or pick up on things, I think she does know about Nick and June.

Hannah's destined to be a WIFE, not an Econowife.  She would marry at 15 as well though.  It's all about the babies.

Who knows what Fred would do?  He'd probably have to kill her afterwards, she seems devout.  She would tell.  He's also obsessed with June, I think he would rather make her pay for having sex and a baby with Nick.

Speaking of June!  Wow, great make up and CGI work there, she really did look pregnant, and chunky elsewhere as well.  It also honestly looked like her own pregnant stomach in that last scene.

I googled for information and nothing came up (it always did when they made Moss heavy on Mad Men) but instead this came up. 

Handmaid's Tale is Trying to Shame Pro-Lifers.

Edited by Umbelina
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57 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Hannah's destined to be a WIFE, not an Econowife.  She would marry at 15 as well though.  It's all about the babies.

Yes, that's what I meant. I didn't mean she'd be an Econowife, but that as of now, she's probably destined to marry at a disturbingly young age.

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Ok the letter burning and the I’m not supposed to be out of my room. I thought June was just acting...If she was really Offred she wouldn’t be out of her room or be caught burning the letters...then she tells Nick she can’t get caught burning the letters and leaves some of them not burned and goes back upstairs where they could be found.  

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2 hours ago, dmc said:

Ok the letter burning and the I’m not supposed to be out of my room. I thought June was just acting...If she was really Offred she wouldn’t be out of her room or be caught burning the letters...then she tells Nick she can’t get caught burning the letters and leaves some of them not burned and goes back upstairs where they could be found.  

I really don't think she was acting.  I think she had snapped.  The crime of having the letters (in her mind at that moment) was worse than being out of her room past midnight.  As soon as someone saw her out of her room, she left.  It's just lucky it was Nick who saw her.  I'm glad June snapped out of it.  I'm just frustrated that her receding into herself directly caused Nick having to marry a mere child. 

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Quote

 

Guards that are married have Econowives.  They become an Econofamily.

Just six places for women in Gilead.

Wives of the leaders (Wives)

Econowives (wives of underlings)

Handmaids

Marthas

Unwomen (colonies)

Jezebels (for the wealthy and powerful men)

 

Perhaps there is a official or unofficial re-assess point at age 25 or something....if she's had babies or even miscarriages she stays and they keep building a family. If she's starting to appear infertile (like the vast majority of Gilead women are, let's remember) the spouse/Commander get to apply for a handmaid assignment. But, he has to be high enough up in the food chain/politically connected. What I couldn't tell if ALL the men in ceremony are already commander status or if it was a mix of just grown, single men in general being presented with one of the first batches of "fresh" (i.e. came of menarche IN the Gilead era, no "before time" status) wives.  I've been unclear about the mobility of the men.

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We don’t know what Hannah’s fate is yet. Many articles have noted her pink cloak, guessing that it may symbolize her status as a future handmaid.

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1 hour ago, Pachengala said:

We don’t know what Hannah’s fate is yet. Many articles have noted her pink cloak, guessing that it may symbolize her status as a future handmaid.


 I don't see Hannah fitting into a group such as the child brides that we saw in this episode.

I don't even think she fits into the group that the Econo family's son is in now, since they took his mother and father away.

 Hannah is probably the lowest of the low when it comes to the kids in Gilead.  

She is the child of two adulterers, making her a child had out of wedlock under the law, she is not a priviledged girl I don't think.

Most likely they are training her up to serve a purpose, but she will never regain social status to be a wife of any kind or a Martha. 

 I could certainly see her being the next generation of handmaids in fact.

To me it makes sense that they would want some upcoming young girls to take the place of the handmaids as they age out, or run out of opportunities to bear a child, and who better than the female offspring of the 1st generation?

 Gilead is not opposed to using children for whatever purpose they see fit to use them for, so a girl like Hannah, when she reaches puberty, why wouldn't she be fair game to become a handmaid.

What would also add to their appeal would be that girls like Hannah will be raised with the Gilead mindset and mentality deeply instilled so that they will not fight back the way their mothers and aunts and older sisters are doing now.

 In the same way that Eden is deeply submissive and docile, Hannah will be even worse what she gets to be the same age. 

 Except Eden was raised to be the perfect wife, Hannah could very well be raised to be the perfect womb. 

Edited by AnswersWanted
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On 5/16/2018 at 1:09 AM, chocolatine said:

The baby is fine, *and* June as we know her is back! I've never been pregnant so I don't know if it's normal to lose that much blood,

I did, but it was much earlier in my pregnancy ... just a little over a month ... was sure I'd lost or was losing the baby but Little Snappy hung in there and turned out just awesome. 

So a few things/questions ... 

When Fred first talks to the bigger muckety-muck (can't remember his name, but the general, I guess?) about Nick, he's trying to have him "promoted" and reassigned, right? Out of jealousy, obviously (and the general seems to figure that out immediately and that is a moment where I think we get the feeling that maybe Fred's in a more tenuous position than we might have realized) ... but I thought I heard him saying something about sending him to Washington for a better position? Since we know that basically Washington no longer exists as a center of government operations, did I mis-hear? Misunderstand? Did anyone else catch that?

Also, if Nick as a guardian (even one in high standing) would only qualify with his virgin/Gilead-bred-to-bear-fruit wife only qualify as high as econofamilies, is there a stratification of econofamilies within that designation? Or are they on the exact same level as Omar and his family was/were? It would seem to me that the guardians who work directly with/for the Commanders and their wives would be in a higher position than, say, guys who drive the bread trucks or sell fishes and loaves.

Given, especially, the concerns about sterility and the continuation of the regime, and the fact that it's tough for the Commanders and their wives to have kids, would they be worried enough about "their line" dying off that perhaps the very best most trusted guardians can eventually be promoted to commanders, and by having Gilead-indoctrinated virgin child brides, those girls have been selected as the best possible future Commanders' wives? SOMEONE has to run the show down the line and we haven't seen many young sons, and those that they have would be too young to become Commanders as this line dies off (since the Commanders are mostly older men). 

I'd think there needs to be a middle line of select potential commanders between the current ones and their offspring. 

Finally, when June sees the bundle of letters tucked behind the bathtub, we have to assume they were put there specifically for her to see, I assume by Rita. I worry for Rita. 

Edited by PamelaMaeSnap
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43 minutes ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

Finally, when June sees the bundle of letters tucked behind the bathtub, we have to assume they were put there specifically for her to see, I assume by Rita. I worry for Rita. 

Uness I'm forgetting something, Rita gave the letters back to June saying she was too afraid to do anything with them, and then June put them behind the bathtub herself. 

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It's interesting that both Fred and Serena displayed a lack of knowledge of the (new) Bible in the same episode, first with Fred not knowing where those verses are from, and then with Serena quoting a part that was removed from the Gilead-sanctioned version. That's possibly not a coincidence and might be a foreshadowing that their position in the society is in danger.

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Serena reminds me of those western women doctors who join up with ISIS all fervent with “faith “ and then are shocked when they aren’t allowed to practice medicine and are stripped of all personhood. 

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58 minutes ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

I did, but it was much earlier in my pregnancy ... just a little over a month ... was sure I'd lost or was losing the baby but Little Snappy hung in there and turned out just awesome. 

So a few things/questions ... 

When Fred first talks to the bigger muckety-muck (can't remember his name, but the general, I guess?) about Nick, he's trying to have him "promoted" and reassigned, right? Out of jealousy, obviously (and the general seems to figure that out immediately and that is a moment where I think we get the feeling that maybe Fred's in a more tenuous position than we might have realized) ... but I thought I heard him saying something about sending him to Washington for a better position? Since we know that basically Washington no longer exists as a center of government operations, did I mis-hear? Misunderstand? Did anyone else catch that?

Also, if Nick as a guardian (even one in high standing) would only qualify with his virgin/Gilead-bred-to-bear-fruit wife only qualify as high as econofamilies, is there a stratification of econofamilies within that designation? Or are they on the exact same level as Omar and his family was/were? It would seem to me that the guardians who work directly with/for the Commanders and their wives would be in a higher position than, say, guys who drive the bread trucks or sell fishes and loaves.

Given, especially, the concerns about sterility and the continuation of the regime, and the fact that it's tough for the Commanders and their wives to have kids, would they be worried enough about "their line" dying off that perhaps the very best most trusted guardians can eventually be promoted to commanders, and by having Gilead-indoctrinated virgin child brides, those girls have been selected as the best possible future Commanders' wives? SOMEONE has to run the show down the line and we haven't seen many young sons, and those that they have would be too young to become Commanders as this line dies off (since the Commanders are mostly older men). 

I'd think there needs to be a middle line of select potential commanders between the current ones and their offspring. 

Finally, when June sees the bundle of letters tucked behind the bathtub, we have to assume they were put there specifically for her to see, I assume by Rita. I worry for Rita. 

If they're talking about Washington DC, I never got the impression that it was no longer being used. I thought that maybe Boston was a hub for the New England area or something along those lines. If DC wasn't nuked, and Gilead has control of it, I'm not sure why they wouldn't use it. All I've heard so far about the big coup is that there was a bomb at the White House and a bunch of machine guns used on congress-- hardly enough to render the rest of DC useless, and Gilead had control of it. I would think Gilead would want to use it for the symbolism, and there's a lot of useful stuff there.

Maybe guardians could have a chance at being promoted to commander, but Nick won't because he is an eye. They want him right where he is so he can keep spying for now. I don't think we'll know unless we see other guardians get a promotion, or if Waterford is ousted and Nick is promoted and takes Waterford's place.

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On 5/15/2018 at 11:09 PM, mamadrama said:

Thank you. I'll try to find that article and link it over there. I just read it a few days ago so it should be around...

ETA: It's there now. 

Isn't it funny how the better of the two weddings, and the most "normal", was the one in which two women whose skin was literally falling off from radiation poisoning wed on the one's deathbed? 

http://academic.depauw.edu/aevans_web/HONR101-02/WebPages/Fall 2007/Sarah/Handmaid's Tale/basics.html

 

Don't forget Aunts.  They are the top of the female food chain.

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I don't think the Commanders think handmaids are a long-term solution. I mean, supposedly, God will be happy with everything they've done and the infertility problem will disappear, so in the future, handmaids won't be really "necessary". Of course, they could stll turn a woman into a handmaid as a punishment, but what's the point of so many sacrifices if they don't believe there will be a reward?

I saw June pretty broken at the end of the last episode: I don't think she was faking it. I do think it was temporary, though. When she saw the blood, she also saw another way to rebel, even if it was a very passive one, and she choose to take it. And then she almost died and she choose to fight again.

 

On 16/5/2018 at 4:30 PM, dmc said:

It's interesting to me that Serena wants June to be her confidante but is legitimately horrible to her.  She doesn't even try to be nice and when she does...it comes off the way a cold detached mother treats a child.

So the Commander is jealous of Nick and wants him to be removed?

So is June's child being raised to be a handmaid like her mother or a child bride?  Clearly those are your options...handmaid, child bride or colonies?

I think that Serena hates and resents June, but this hate and resentment are honest, She doesn't have much honesty in her life right now. Also, I find sad and hilarious the fact that Serena just doesn't understand what she really wants. She thought she wanted Gilead and now she feels trapped. She thought she wanted an obedient, meek handmaid and the moment she gets it, she's all "gurl, what's wrong with you?". 

19 hours ago, Miles said:

 

 

Well the midevil catholics weren't much better. I think it's still debated if that sex through a sheet with a hole in it is just a myth or was a real thing. That even being a question certainly shows their attitude towards sex though.

 

 

Medieval catholics  weren't as repressed as people may think. Books like The tales of Canterbury or The Book of Good Love make pretty clear that they enjoyed sex even if they had to confess their sins later. There were also tons of prostitutes, which means tons of clients too. In the end, the Church wouldn't have had to devote so much time to fight against lust if people weren't lusting all over the place. Of course, there were also people who believed that sex was evil and wrong, but not all of them. I think it got worse later, with the Catholic Reformation, but that happened in the 16th century and people kept fucking and whoring anyway.

Edited by Helena Dax · Reason: grammar
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1 hour ago, Joana said:

It's interesting that both Fred and Serena displayed a lack of knowledge of the (new) Bible in the same episode, first with Fred not knowing where those verses are from, and then with Serena quoting a part that was removed from the Gilead-sanctioned version. That's possibly not a coincidence and might be a foreshadowing that their position in the society is in danger.

 

 I agree, I think that they are going to soon find themselves in a precarious situation, especially since the Commander is one of those bad sheep in the flock that uses Jezebel's and is a known cheater with his handmaid. 

  From the preview for next episode, I think next week will reveal more about why they could end up victims, rightfully so, of the very system they've created.

 I think that even though they were top dogs so to speak when Gilead first began, they were such go getters for this newfound system, they soon lost control to higher ranked TPTB and right now they are seeing what it is to be a part of something but also at its mercy at the same time. 

 They are not safe, their roles in society aren't secured, and the walls are going to close in on them I think because eventually they are far too "sinful" for Gilead's liking. 

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18 hours ago, QQQQ said:

For so many episodes I've been thinking about how much Janine reminds me of Tricia from OITNB. Never once did I put two and two together that it's the same flipping actress. I'm so dumb.

OMG, you are right - it's the same actress.  I had no idea, either.  Now it clicks but it never even occurred to me.

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13 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

 I think that even though they were top dogs so to speak when Gilead first began, they were such go getters for this newfound system, they soon lost control to higher ranked TPTB and right now they are seeing what it is to be a part of something but also at its mercy at the same time. 

 

What I find chilling is that flashback in season 1 when Serena and Fred are in the movie theater serenely ( no pun intended) eating popcorn when mass murder is about to go into effect at their command. The very fabric of society is about to unravel and a new world is about to begin and they are eating popcorn. And Serena is convinced that it her role in this new society is gonna be a powerful one beside her husband? How does that compute? No more movies. No more reading. No more writing. This woman who was at the forefront of leading a movement , who was powerful, who utilized to the extreme America’s freedom of speech and education really had no idea that she was a shooting herself in the face by putting into power a religious doctrine that believed MEN should hold the reigns? How does she sanction murder and then be resentful and surprised at what her role is now? I don’t get it.

Edited by GraceK
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I forgot, I loved Janine's "cows don't get marry" because it wasn't just funny, it was also wise and poignant. They aren't unwomen, they aren't beasts. They are women who feel, and love and think. When Janine suggested that wedding, it was an act of rebellion, even if she didn't know it -a statement; and I'm glad Emily understood that at the end. It was a beautiful moment.

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I think it's obvious that this is NOT how Serena imagined the new society would be. I think she imagined some sort of a domestic bliss utopia where women would be happy to stay at their homes and take care of their families without even wanting anything more, while she would be one of the select few women to lead them, guide them and show them the way. Don't forget that she also tried to talk to Commanders and share her ideas with them, which clearly implies she almost expected them to treat her like an equal. Also, TBH, I find it difficult to believe she demanded that the women be denied the ability to write and read, I mean, the woman was supposedly a best-selling author, I'm guessing women were the main target group and I kinda doubt her books were all "You better remember this piece because when I come to power, it will be the last thing you've ever read". She probably thought that in the new society women wouldn't want to read anything more than domestic manuals and religious texts, like back in the good ol' days. 

And then the reality bit her.

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48 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

 Serena is so much like a Kellyanne Conway, or a Sarah Pailin, or a Sarah Huckabuck Sanders type.

There appears to be something in them that doesn't seem able or capable of understanding that standing behind men in power that think women should be so antisubversive and docile and submissive and controlled applies to them too. 

 If you're a woman with a vaginal you are in that group too, if you think that you're gonna have some sort of protection after the fact you are the biggest fool there ever was.

With the very freedom that she supposedly railed against, when she was able to shout and speak and preach her so called truth about the way the world was falling apart and the way to fix it, the way that women should behave and what they needed to start doing again and stop doing, but in doing so she effectively held out her own tongue to be cut out.

She lost the ability to speak, she lost the ability to matter in conversations and have opinions, she lost the ability to have her husband give her real attention and affection whenever she wanted, and if she were to complain she could end up with all manner of punishments, the very same punishments she signed off on in the beginning.

To me it's one of those cruel ironies that they call the women in the colonies Unwomen and yet that's exactly what I think a Serena Joy is: an Unwoman, an anti-woman, someone that is so against her own self interests that she doesn't even seem real.

And yet all I have to do is turn on the news and I see those like her everywhere and it will always baffle me.

Frankly I think what may have happened is Serena's case is that she was promised that she would not end up where she is.

I bet that Fred assured her that once the regime had control and they were in place as a head commander and his beloved wife she would get some of her freedoms back.

She would have the ability to speak up and speak out just like before, that they would be different and have different permissions.

But more than likely what happened was the script got flipped, Fred ended up actually  underneath and answering to those whom were really making the rules and made the decisions for them and suddenly Serena was shit out of luck and his promise of freedom and ability to keep her womanhood was snatched away and that is where her true resentment lies. 

 To put it plainly I think she got duped, just like any dummy that believes giving up rights is the only way to gain true freedom, imho. 

 Aunt Lydia said that there are 2 types of freedom, freedom to and freedom from.

Serena thought freedom from was the way to go, and now she truly is free from, free from purpose and free from joy and love and meaning. 

 There was actually a scene in last season where the regime is holding a meeting and Serena truly thought she could be involved with it, and yet at the last second it was made very clear that only men could attend and Fred abandoned her outside of the room.

After he leaves there is a flicker of realization on her face that now, as I see it, was the start of her permanent scowl and look of bitter betrayal.

 

I'm not sure that Fred was too low on the chain to give his wife certain freedoms. I think he just didn't want to. We had that one episode in which we saw them in love, and when they slept together for the first time in a couple of years. Otherwise, he seems to seriously dislike her. He didn't listen when she tried to talk to him about something, when he was on a laptop that she wouldn't be allowed to use. He's obsessed with this woman brought in to be raped once a month, breaks the rules to satisfy his own hunger and "needs". He has zero respect for his wife. 

Serena and her husband then went on to show how exceptionally cruel they can be. Marrying Nick off to a teenager, in a sick ceremony. Serena seemingly enjoying herself? I know she was relishing what she was putting June through, but children getting married off to grown men is not beautiful. 

Edited by Anela
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