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S02.E06: First Blood

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Offred finds unexpected allies and obstacles in her search for a way to protect Hannah. The Commander prepares for the dedication of a new Red Center. Nick struggles with his new assignment.

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So, only the first part of this is the preview, but it looks like we are going to see some of Serena's history, and also maybe the reason that she can't have children. 

Edited by Umbelina
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That blows.  Do they really think Memorial Day Weekend is still happening on Wednesdays?  I think it's just a ploy to keep the subscription money coming in.

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10 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

That blows.  Do they really think Memorial Day Weekend is still happening on Wednesdays?  I think it's just a ploy to keep the subscription money coming in.

Yet I saw in a forum here that the next scheduled date was May 23.  I hope the article is wrong -- it makes no sense to have the episode on May 30, which is closer to Memorial Day, rather than on May 23rd.

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IMDB says May 23 and the link to the post that said May 30 has been taken down so maybe it was an error they caught (from HERE lol) and it's being fixed? Hope so. Do NOT want to wait two weeks for next episode. I have no life. 

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2 hours ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

IMDB says May 23 and the link to the post that said May 30 has been taken down so maybe it was an error they caught (from HERE lol) and it's being fixed? Hope so. Do NOT want to wait two weeks for next episode. I have no life. 

The guide on my DVR says there’s an episode next Thursday - although granted, it’s not the most reliable. 

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Come on dude or dudette that's supposed to load the episode, do your dang job!  Is anyone else seeing this yet?

ETA

You need to go to "recently added" to find it, it doesn't list on the episode page.

Edited by Umbelina

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Honestly, I found this episode slow and kind of boring-until the end. Now THAT, is the kind of blow I needed to see dealt to Gilead. I really hope Commender Fuckface Waterford doesn't somehow hobble out of the explosion alive, but if he does, I can only hope he'll be carted off by the Eyes and tried once Nick spills the beans. 

I had to watch the ending again and realized some of the Handmaid's on the top floor likely died in the blast, poor women. Now I want to see the backstory of Ofglenns turn from demoralized Handmaid to suicide bomber. I need to know who put her up to it-Mayday? Another rebel group? Maybe some rebels from the former United States who've infiltrated Gilead? Or does Ofglenn have some bomb-making skills? 

As for the rest-seriously, fuck Serena Joy. I can't wait to see her turned into a Martha or Unwoman, though with any luck she'll finagle her way into an Aunt position. That would be right up her sadistic alley. And Fuckface getting his creep on, only took him five or six episodes. Welp, hopefully he can explain his fuckery to his God now. 

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That ending made up for an almost boring episode. Just like her predecessor, Ofglen2 went out like a motherfucking boss! That was one of the most satisfying ending since Emily's mowing down of the guards. 

I was looking forward to this episode for Yvonne Strahovski but I am sorry to say that she did not impress in the flashback scenes. Loud public speeches is not her forte. 

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1 minute ago, chocolatine said:

I just watched that scene again so that I could take in every detail. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a hand grenade, it was explosives strapped to her body, like a bomb vest, which is why she ran to be in the middle of the commanders. If it had been a grenade she could have thrown it. I love how, when she walked in she turned towards the other handmaids and showed them the detonator in her hand so that they could run to safety. Absolute hero, Ofglen 2.0, and we've never even learned her real name.

 

I  thought it was probably best to cover my bases since I didn’t get a good look at it, heh.

But I did think it could be a hand grenade as well, but she might not want to throw it just because someone might have time to intervene and she wanted to make damn sure that she took out as many of those monsters as possible.

That was a handmaid who was taking absolutely no chances, and I definitely applaud her for that.

She was ready to go and she was going to make it count. 

I also personally love how all of those handmaids, once they saw her raise her fist and give them warning, hauled full ass out of there.

 Although in the preview for next week ... the aftermath looks incredibly brutal. 

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And here I was thinking that I finally understood why people thought this season was slow... then OMG!

That said, the Serena plot was frustrating. I knew she was going to turn, and couldn't understand why she was so willing to talk about the "before time" with Offred.  And that handmaid lunch was just weird.  What was she hoping, to be "one of the girls"?  (Although did anyone else's mind flash to that SNL sketch?)

As for Offred, her change from the previous episode was jarring.  She went from being a virtual robot to how she was when she initially returned to the Waterfords, if not more brazen.  Talking in casual language without so much as a "praise be," bringing up past eating spots, being bold with both Serena and Fred.  It was good to have June back, but it was like a 180. 

Finally, where can we watch previews for next week right away?  I always seem to have to wait at least a day to watch on YouTube.

Edited by Brn2bwild
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You can watch the previews in the "Etras" tab. The one for next week's is available 

I agree that the change in June is jarring. She was too catonic to be fully functional right now. 

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I was so surprised that Serena Joy let June see the ultrasound, equally shocked that letting the (at least) birth mother see the child wasn't routine.  Such a creepy place.  Serena really did seem to be making a sincere effort to be kind to June now.  I know it's all about the health of the baby, but I have to admit I enjoyed the respite.  Both women were being civil and almost "real" at times now.  Finally!  The knitting.  Showing June the nursery and honestly asking her opinion, June being kind back, and sharing a story about her real life, the stars on the ceiling in their daughter's room.   Later of course, nasty Serena reentering the episode by making June pick up the knitting needle, and training Eden to treat Handmaid's like shit, but at least June won that one.  "I felt a cramp."  She's playing the game now, and using her wits.

OK, I was truly shocked that Serena threw a dinner party for June's "friends" and actually served the guests herself.  Can't say she didn't try.  June pushing it, bringing up the old days about having brunch with friends.  Serena, shocked, hang in there with "Who knows?  Maybe we were thee at the same time?"  Nice little jab there June, well done.

So June's "friends" look as if they have forgiven her?

The RESIST signs!  The protests!  The suicide bomber! This is so much like today, I think that's why this show is so very hard to watch at times.  It's much to close to our current situation.  It's not the show being bleak, as much as it's how damn close to home it all is.  It's also so interesting to see how Gilead came to be.  The terrorist comment later...sigh

Nice to see June back, but changed again, more practical, more careful.  Her interactions with Nick we quite telling.   How many "June's did we see this episode, I've lost count, but I really like her now.  I just keep thinking how much June has changed this season.  That casual and somewhat normal conversation with Fred mirrored in some ways her changed relationship with Serena Joy.  Another side of June coming out, finally somewhere between snarky June thoughts, prisoner June, and escapee free June.

Go Rita!  "Ask your wife."  So much said in one short sentence.  I heard, "Be careful you asshole, what the hell do you think you're doing with June now?"

It's just so bizarre to me to see the men walking around that building like things are normal and free...well, for them, not that much has changed, just a lot more control over the women.  Then later to see the men all seated, while, of course, the handmaid's stand.  Now of course, the men are dead!  Yay!  Is Fred dead?  What do you guys think?  Could some have survived that?  Looks like Mayday may be out of the rescuing Handmaid's work, but on to bombs and more resistance now, and not just in the colonies!

So, looks like Eden is wearing the dirty grayish teal of an Econowife?  She's talking about knowing how to cook and keep house, so that must be her designation.  Probably because of her age and her faith, but I'm getting such a FLDS vibe from her, raised to serve.  This little kitten has sharp claws though.  It seems they are implying that Nick may be a Commander one day, which will promote her to wife though.

How awkward was that conversation between Eden and June!  "He thinks I'm ugly" and June being so kind to her, and WHAP!  There come those sharp claws, "What if he's a gender traitor?"  I'm a bit spoiled, so I knew it was coming, but it still shocked me.

They seem to have almost been reading the board (I know, this was filmed months ago) but Serena knitting, Serena gardening.  So much for "what to the wives DO all day?" questions. 

Fred loves powerful Serena, and the preview showed the shot, so I knew it was coming, but obviously her infertility wasn't what pushed her into being that way to begin with.

"If I could just see her, know she's OK, it would make me feel so much better, I wont' tell anyone."  AND, it's over, the civility Serena probably correctly identified as leading up to that request was a step too far. 

Nick is really pushing his and June's luck, rushing after her "what's wrong?"  June tells him to go fuck his wife, with the jab, what's the matter you don't want to fuck someone you don't want to.  Hello!  I'm glad she warned him, and frankly, I'm preferring the personal over the political story, it's almost a relief to see normal human problems (OK "normal" is stretching it a bit,) but you know what I mean, relationship issues over the very frightening political issues. 

What the heck?  A glory hole sheet?  Least sexy sex scene ever.  Poor Nick.  Poor Eden.  That was seriously awful and perfect as well.

Serena to Fred, "Be a MAN!"  Careful what you ask for Serena, or maybe reconsider the traits you assign to men, and to women.  So the "man" murders  the bound and gagged wife of the man who shot Serena.  Very manly, although, I do think many would consider that justice, even today. 

The whispers are sometimes hard to understand in this show, I certainly think they are true to the story, but dang, it makes me wish Hulu had closed captioning available on the web.

What a ride show, extremely well done episode.

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: typos
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Sigh. This show is really lost without the source material. It started with the ‘rah rah girl power!’ last season and hit its nadir with this episode. Who even WERE these characters? What story do they think they’re telling? It’s gone drone chilling and prescient to rote and cliche. I miss that show.

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I really loved all of it.  All of the changes, the different personalities, the back story, yes, the relevance to our times now might have been a little heavy handed, but every step of the way this episode worked for me.

It revealed some of the past, and it certainly showed us many sides of most of the characters. 

What will happen if Fred is dead? 

Is this "phase two" of Gilead?

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21 minutes ago, Deputy Deputy CoS said:

I am truly sorry you feel that way.

LOL, it’s okay that we have different responses to the show. 

Edited by Pachengala · Reason: Unnecessarily snarky, even for me.
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The end was amazing.  However the show continues to ignore to concept of race.  The college protests were calling Serena Joy a Nazi.  Nazi ideology is centered on white supremacy and purity.  The idea that the rise of Gilead and Gilead itself would not include racism is laughable and insulting.  Note how almost all the Commanders are white.  Most of the handmaids are as well.  We have had a few POC.  Bruce Miller said he understood the criticism of race in season 1 and would address it.  We are halfway through and the writers have done zilch. 

Serena said something about the number of life births having gone down 60 something percent in the last year in the flashback.  Wow, what in the world was going on.  I thought the decline was more gradual.  I am curious how long ago the flashback was.  I remember the flashbacks to Hannah's birth where there were no babies in the nursery.

Edited by Shaynaa
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46 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

The whispers are sometimes hard to understand in this show, I certainly think they are true to the story, but dang, it makes me wish Hulu had closed captioning available on the web.

They do - I watch it every week via the Hulu site with closed-captioning. It's under the 'settings' icon in the lower right-hand side of the player.

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So, in other news, this show has now made me cheer for a suicide bomber, and that makes me feel weird. Ofglen2 goes out fighting back HARD! Something about the Ofglen line really just inspires a "end this miserable life with my middle finger in the air" kind of feeling, doesn't it? Certainly ended on a bang, right? Its like the whole episode is mostly just awkward awfulness, and then BOOM action! I hope she took as many of those assholes out as possible. Especially Fred. 

Fred and Serena Joy being all offended that they dont feel like their right to freedom of speech is being respected is just hilarious in hypocritical that is, considering what they end up doing. What a perfect pair of assholes they are. Every time you think Serena Joy will finally have a breakthrough, she heads back to Mean Girl land. Serena Joy, despite being a seemingly intelligent person, really come off as a spoiled child who always wants what she cant have, and takes it out on everyone around her. 

What an awful, no win situation with Nick and his new child bride. Poor Nick. Poor brainwashed Eden. Poor June. Its really a crappy conversation to have with your kind of boyfriend. "You need to get in there, have sex with your fifteen year old unwanted bride, or she could have you murdered, and I dont really want that". I wonder if Nick gave Ofglen2 the bomb, and thats why he was so quick to want to leave? Or maybe he just freaking hates being in this messed up situation with June that could easily get them both killed because he isnt a monster who wants to fuck a child. This really is a dystopian world that decided that all the other dystopian worlds just didn’t have enough societaly enforced rape. 

I guess the real winner in all of this are suit manufacturers. Its like every single commander goes to the same bland suit store. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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Yes, it really looks like Mayday has moved to plan B, no more quiet resistance, no more smuggling people out, they are bringing the fight to Gilead proper.  Everything changes now.  Just like in real life, small resistances (like June refusing to stone Janine) move to larger plans, like a suicide bomb, blowing up many of the powerful in Gilead, and sadly, a few Housemaids as well.

Wouldn't it be wonderful it Aunt Lydia is at least partially blamed for cutting out OfGlen's tongue, thus spurring her to her sacrifice as the bomber?  Yeah, probably not going to happen, but a girl can dream.

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4 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I wonder if Nick gave Ofglen2 the bomb, and thats why he was so quick to want to leave?

I wonder if he at least knew about it. There's the line in the season 2 trailer where SJ worries that people will think they're a part of the resistance. Maybe Nick was planting the seeds for that. "There's things you don't know about Commander Waterford,""protect the handmaid" (literally just minutes before a bunch get blown up), etc. Maybe he was covering his bases in case Fred makes it through that blow out. If he doesn't die then at least the higher ups might think he was in on it.  

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7 hours ago, chocolatine said:

O. M. G. I never thought I'd applaud a suicide bombing. Ofglen 2.0 is my hero. I have so many questions. How did she come to be a part of it? She was a true believer at first, then balked when she was ordered to stone Janine, and apparently went full-on radical after they cut out her tongue. But there must have been other people working with her. How did she get the explosives? Mayday is officially "silent", so who helped her? Did Nick play any part in it? Is that why he urgently asked to be reassigned, then left the premises?

I know a bunch of other stuff happened in the episode, but I can't get over the suicide bombing.

Ofglen was a true believer, because she thought that being a Handmaiden would be better than what her life was before. Then, she saw exactly how her and the other Handmaidens were treated: they are walking wombs. Of course she would go full on radical. 

I know that they probably haven't killed off Fred, but I hope he is missing a leg or arm after that explosion at the Center.

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I haven't seen a suicide bomber scene that makes me "get it" why some would feel so oppressed and desperate they'd turn to that. BSG had a powerful suicide bomber scene, but this one take's the cake. So much more to say later--love reading the perspectives here.

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2 hours ago, mamadrama said:

Part of me wishes that June hadn't pushed back at SJ so heavily in this episode. I've tried not to be too judgey about her decisions, because I know she's not perfect, but I truly think that she needs to be playing a different kind of game here. Fighting with SJ isn't going to net her anything but small moral victories at the moment-she needs to be playing the long game. I realize she doesn't have much time for the "long" one, because who knows what will happen once she's had the baby, but I think her best bet is to lull the commander's wife into a false sense of security before making any sudden moves and that means working on her for more than a day. She's not going to get anywhere with SJ anyway, Fred's the weak one and the one she can manipulate. 

3

This is what I'm not enjoying about this season: which version of June are we gonna get this week? And absolutely - there's not much time for the long con, but she rushed her rescue so hard she ended up destroying a family by putting them at risk & getting at least 2 men killed. When she realized the impact we got inert June for a week, but now she thinks she can work Serena Joy for a favor? It's too inconsistent. And we still don't know how she got on the ground last week!

2 hours ago, mamadrama said:

I wonder if he at least knew about it. There's the line in the season 2 trailer where SJ worries that people will think they're a part of the resistance. Maybe Nick was planting the seeds for that. "There's things you don't know about Commander Waterford,""protect the handmaid" (literally just minutes before a bunch get blown up), etc. Maybe he was covering his bases in case Fred makes it through that blow out. If he doesn't die then at least the higher ups might think he was in on it.  

It does make sense Nick would be in on it. But I was kind of flummoxed as to why Pryce would listen to Nick, other than the fact he's already got his suspicions about Waterford.

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13 minutes ago, JennyMominFL said:

As a retired Marine who has handled hand Grenades, that was not one, definitely a suicide bomber. And not to defend suicide bombers but most of them do believe that it’s the only way they can make a difference against a much larger entity. They are wrong of course. It’s usually innocents being hurt. Imagine how truly hopeless one is to get the the point Ofglen was at 

This doesn't look like a grenade to me. Also, she pushed a button; she didn't pull a pin. It's hard to tell if that stuff coming off the end of it is part of the handmaid habit or if it's a wire leading to explosives tied to her body.

hand.jpg

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Loved the triple meanings of the episodes title this week. Not only do they reference Serena Joy getting shot and Fred killing the shooters wife (first blood drawn of the takeover) and the suicide bombing (possibly first blood drawn of a war against Gilead), with the two events book ending each other, it also referenced Eve losing her virginity. 

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13 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

This doesn't look like a grenade to me. Also, she pushed a button; she didn't pull a pin. It's hard to tell if that stuff coming off the end of it is part of the handmaid habit or if it's a wire leading to explosives tied to her body.

hand.jpg

No. I agree.. not a Granade. She did not pull a pin or flip the thumb clip. A suicide bomber will do far more damage than the localized damage from a Grenade. Grenades are useful in throwing into a foxhole. Not so much into a large crowd like that.  

I have a grenade story that illustrates their range. In basic training we learned how to throw a  Grenade. We threw from behind a barrier which was just above waist high. You pull the pin , then at the same time you flip the thumb clip while putting up your other hand to sight where you will throw grenade. We memorized this..... Pull pin,  thumb clip, throw grenade.

We were in  a row maybe, 10 feet between each Marine , throwing live Grenades. The Marine next to me goes to throw hers. Pull pin, thumb clip, throw grenade, right? She went, pull pin, thumb clip, DROP grenade. It landed right  by her feet, With 10 feet on  either side from other marines, and a Drill instructor right there. The DI immediately yelled get down , grabbed the private, tossed her over the barrier,and jumped over too. The grenade went off. All of us were fine.

 

bottom line I hope Ofglen was a suicide bomber and took a lot more of those motherfuckers out then a grenade would

Edited by JennyMominFL
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KABOOM!

Ofglen 2.0 FTW! MVP!

Hey, remember after Offred got caught and returned to the Waterfords and I said that at least she wouldn't be forced to have sex with him every month since she was pregnant. Apparently he had different ideas. High five to Offred for playing the "I'm worried about the baby" card. As Rita advised her earlier, milk it while you can! Pick up that knitting needle for your power tripping bitch ass? Sorry, the baby.

I know that Nick had no choice in getting married, but I had to laugh when Nick said the soup smelled good and asked where his was and Rita's reply was "Ask your wife."

Poor Offred - it sucks to have to comfort your boyfriend's new wife.

9 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Probably because of her age and her faith, but I'm getting such a FLDS vibe from her,

[snip]

What the heck?  A glory hole sheet?  Least sexy sex scene ever.  Poor Nick.  Poor Eden.  That was seriously awful and perfect as well.

At my high school, people used to say that Mormons had to have sex with the glory hole sheet but apparently the same rumor exists regarding Orthodox Jews too.

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10 hours ago, chocolatine said:

O. M. G. I never thought I'd applaud a suicide bombing.

OMG, I'm there with you. I literally cheered - and it's fucked up, man. I'm all out of sorts knowing that yes, there are circumstances when I actually would applaud a suicide bomber. Nobody can say that this show doesn't make you think, man, lol. My god. I watched it at 7AM and I felt like I needed a shot of vodka after. (I walked my dogs instead, lol.)

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 I really hope that Fred lost a body part or two in that explosion.

The way he murdered that man’s partner was unforgivable.

Obviously they cannot be planning to give him a redemption arc which is just fine by me.

I like hating him, I like seeing him as a representation for all the things in a world like this that I have the need and desire to hate. And I want to see him pay dearly for all of his treachery and cruelty and destruction. 

 Oh, and the way he was hounddog pawing at June, full of pent up lust, not even caring that he was wanting to bed a woman who obviously is having a less then easy-going pregnancy  ... he is the devil. 

Donnie the doctor was back again, part of me almost hopes that he might be part of May Day.  The way poked his head around the screen to address June directly instead of just asking her questions from behind the curtain makes me wonder. It was a way to treat her like a person, if only for a second. 

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So now the authorities have to have a chat with Commander Glen right... That's two in a row who went nuts and killed Men of Gilead... Somn in the water at that house... I had a glimmer of  hope for Serena Joy.. Who I get is  a ball of contradictory emotions and motives.... But God she can't help but be horrible... What type  of mental gymnastics does a woman and capable and smart as she's been shown to be have to do to be ok with the state of affairs she's helped to usher in... A world where women get tongues cut out for refusing to stone other women... Where she's not allowed to write.. Where child-brides are given away to loyal older men... Not to mention all the Rape... I mean So. Much. Rape... I dunno how she does it.. And the show keeps teasing us showing us glimpses that maybe somewhere in there is someone who would be struggling with all this.. But then poof she's back playing the Master's wife teaching the slave girl her place... I mean seriously she has a black woman in her house who does all the work and she hits her when she's angry about other things... Gilead  or 1830's  Antebellum south not much is different. 

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1 minute ago, AnswersWanted said:

 I really hope that Fred lost a body part or two in that explosion.

The way he murdered that man’s partner was unforgivable.

Obviously they cannot be planning to give him a redemption arc which is just fine by me.

I like hating him, I like seeing him as a representation for all the things in a world like this that I have the need and desire to hate. And I want to see him pay dearly for all of his treachery and cruelty and destruction. 

 Oh, and the way he was hounddog pawing at June, full of pent up lust, not even caring that he was wanting to bed a woman who obviously is having a less then easy-going pregnancy  ... he is the devil. 

Donnie the doctor was back again, part of me almost hopes that he might be part of May Day.  The way poked his head around the screen to address June directly instead of just asking her questions from behind the curtain makes me wonder. It was a way to treat her like a person, if only for a second. 

I was like "My dude, she was just pulled out of a pool of her own blood. Go jerk off or something."

The actress playing Serena does quiet better than she does shouting. Her fiery rage in the flashback scenes wasn't quite believable.

I told y'all Eden was not to be messed with. She had crazy eyes when she was said it was their duty to God to procreate. (Yes, June IS sure Nick's not a gender traitor. Wink wink.) 

41 minutes ago, SillyOldClothCat said:

When we saw the shot of all the audience full of Commanders, I swear my first thought was "That'd be a good place to drop a bomb"... and then Ofglen2.0 heard my suggestion! 

So because I'm apparently mentally controlling this narrative, if anyone has has any ideas about what needs to happen next week, I can start thinking those thoughts really hard Right Now. Lmk!

Me: "Somebody should blow that place u - OH SHIT!"

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Serena was already feeling resentful when the other handmaids gathered around to touch Offred’s baby belly, so I was just waiting to see how kikg benevolent Serena lasted before snapping. 

Offred, on the other hand, I think pushed too hard because of what Serena said in the nursery: “I want you to know, I'm going to be the best mother I can be to my child.” My child, not by blood but through monthly rape and then forcing Offred to just hand over her child so that she could be a brood mare again. 

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2 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

At my high school, people used to say that Mormons had to have sex with the glory hole sheet but apparently the same rumor exists regarding Orthodox Jews too.

That's an odd rumor.  Oddly enough, it's quite the opposite.  Mormons think married sex is healthy, and should be fun, joyful, another gift from God, going as far to imply "anything goes as long as you are married."  As far as the FLDS, the polygamy people?  Yeah, no glory holes there either.

3 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Serena was already feeling resentful when the other handmaids gathered around to touch Offred’s baby belly, so I was just waiting to see how kikg benevolent Serena lasted before snapping. 

Offred, on the other hand, I think pushed too hard because of what Serena said in the nursery: “I want you to know, I'm going to be the best mother I can be to my child.” My child, not by blood but through monthly rape and then forcing Offred to just hand over her child so that she could be a brood mare again. 

I think Serena was right in suspecting June was being "pleasant" all along for one thing, the chance to see Hannah.  It was always about that, which is why we got to see so many sides of June this episode, and I loved it.  She had me fooled too.

It was a nice change up though, but the biggest nice change up is all those dead Commanders!  Is this the group that was coming in from all the areas of Gilead?

Edited by Umbelina
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