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ElectricBoogaloo

S02.E06: First Blood

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In one of the Commander Fred scenes it was said that commanders from all the different districts were supposed to be there for the grand opening.  It was why it was such a big deal that everything be finished and perfect on time as it was going to be Commander Fred's big moment.

I wonder how quick they're going to be to assign Commander Glen (whoever he is) another handmaid considering how the last two have worked out.

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4 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

In one of the Commander Fred scenes it was said that commanders from all the different districts were supposed to be there for the grand opening.  It was why it was such a big deal that everything be finished and perfect on time as it was going to be Commander Fred's big moment.

I wonder how quick they're going to be to assign Commander Glen (whoever he is) another handmaid considering how the last two have worked out.

Maybe Glen's dead.  Good point though, not that Gilead would ever blame a man when there was a woman around to blame.  Although the guy Nick worked for (dead too?) certainly seems more sincere than the Jezebel's crowd, and he did cut off that other Commander's hand.

Thanks, that's what I thought but I wasn't sure.  These were the guys who would all be staying with former-Boston area Commander's families during their trip.  So OfGlen managed to take out several leaders from several areas.  Yay.

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I just went back and rewatched the end again, you can see all of the handmaids on the top level  falling downwards in the explosions.  A bunch of them are going to die

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20 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

I wonder how quick they're going to be to assign Commander Glen (whoever he is) another handmaid considering how the last two have worked out.

Strictly speaking, Emily was Ofsteven when she stole the car and mowed down the guard. She was removed from the Glen household after her relationship with the Martha was discovered.

12 minutes ago, JennyMominFL said:

I just went back and rewatched the end again, you can see all of the handmaids on the top level  falling downwards in the explosions.  A bunch of them are going to die

I watched again for the third time, paying attention to the top level. Some of the handmaids were sent flying by the blast, so Ofglen 2.0 must have been wearing very powerful explosives. It's horrific to think about. I have relatives who live in Israel, so I've heard and read some very graphic accounts of suicide bombings. What a horrible way to die.

Edited by chocolatine
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2 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Good point though, not that Gilead would ever blame a man when there was a woman around to blame.  Although the guy Nick worked for (dead too?) certainly seems more sincere than the Jezebel's crowd, and he did cut off that other Commander's hand.

You're probably right that they'll primarily blame the two successively wayward handmaids, but we have seen evidence they do consider it a poor reflection on a commander if his house isn't in order.  Having watched three episodes in two days to get caught up, I'm blanking now on which episode it was but there was the scene in one of them of one of the commanders snarking on Commander Fred about how yeah, they knew things in his house had settled down NOW, basically implying they knew perfectly well there hadn't been any kidnapping and that Aunt Lydia had been all but squatting there to try to keep peace.  Last season we also saw in The Bridge episode that Commander Fred and Serena were regarded poorly because their previous handmaid hung herself, and of course Janine's former commander lost a hand over his shenanigans with Janine that started the chain of events that led to her being up on that bridge railing.

Edit to add: Good point that Emily wasn't technically Ofglen anymore by the time she ran down the guard.  In addition to Ofglen 2.0 acquiring explosives, Commander Glen just failed to notice a lesbian relationship with the first one developing under his roof in the same way that Commander Fred still probably wouldn't have a clue that maybe Nick and June had happened had Serena not thrown his nonpaternity in his face.

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Let’s just say for that Commander Wareford was killed in the blast. What would happen to Serena? The womenfolk can’t be on their own so would they wait until a commander’s wife died and then marry her off to him? What would happen to her in the meantime? Would she move into the house of a commander and wife? Or instead of waiting for one of the other green wives to die, would they have her marry someone lower in status?

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In the book Fred is

Spoiler

disgraced, not killed in a bomb blast

So I kind of wonder where they are going with this too.  We shall see, I'm so looking forward to the next episode.  I want to know what happened.

Some of the reviews on this episode are well worth reading, but a few also have some spoilers.  Still, so many different takes on this episode, it's fascinating.

I'm just thrilled something so big happened so early in the season, the timing was perfect, if it had happened earlier, it honestly wouldn't have worked as well for me.  If later?  I think, as so many have said, it would be too much like season one (although I don't think this season has dragged or been a season one re-do at all.) 

Still, this changes everything, which may not be great for our Handmaid's, but certainly should be great to watch.  I'm pretty sure we've moved into something mentioned in the book epilogue,

Spoiler

phase two Gilead, where things get much worse for women.

At the same time?  We have a whole new story in many ways now!

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Quote

You can watch the previews in the "Etras" tab

Where is the "Extras" tab?  Found it under "trailers and promos."

Just for the record, we Mormons like it naked, hot and heavy just like every one else!

Edited by ali59 · Reason: found it!
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16 hours 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.

Just wanted to note: Hulu does have closed captions on the web (or however you stream it; I watch via the app either on my ipad or Tivo). I use CC with pretty much everything. I didn't go look first (it's been a while--everything I watch stuff on is set to CC, so I never have to do it separately), but I'm pretty sure you find the settings menu and the setup will be in there. Sometimes (depending on what system you're on), there is a way to do it while the video's streaming--usually you'll see that when you pause if so (something you can click on for setup). Also, depending on the type of computer, you may be able to set CC preferences in the computer itself, in the settings, to apply to any streaming video in which it's available. Sorry this isn't more step-by-step specific, but hope you can figure it out so you can catch every little word!

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7 hours 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.

They proceeded to put all the handmaids in nooses and then said "psyche".

They cut out her tongue from her mouth as an example. 

They burned another handmaiden as another example.

They are living in a hopeless life and world at this time. June continues to barely hang onto her sanity, strength and will to survive with each new day.

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7 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.

While I can't be 100% certain about the Mormon (or at least fundamentalist versions) rumors--though I suspect they're not true*--I can say with total assurance that the Orthodox Jew version is a total myth. Snopes has a whole entry on it, even. Not a thing. There are a lot of reprehensible, misogynistic things the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox/Hasidim do, but that isn't one of them, for what it's worth.

Not surprised that Gilead would decide on it, though. The creepy just doesn't end with them...

* Just saw other posts confirming the Mormons are no more a part of that silly myth than us Jews. Thanks, folks, nice to have it verified.

Edited by cuppasun · Reason: typo, update
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5 hours 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 long 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. 

Serena is in a constant state of resentment and as much as some folks may want her to have a moment of reflection and remorse for what she has caused, she continues to double-down on the situation, because of her status as "Wife" to a "Commander".

As for June, I understood why she pushed a little bit more, in order to try and see her daughter. She was playing Serena, just like she had done with Fred and she had to take that chance.

3 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Let’s just say for that Commander Wareford was killed in the blast. What would happen to Serena? The womenfolk can’t be on their own so would they wait until a commander’s wife died and then marry her off to him? What would happen to her in the meantime? Would she move into the house of a commander and wife? Or instead of waiting for one of the other green wives to die, would they have her marry someone lower in status?

I think that the league of Commanders would try to marry the wife to someone else in their ranks. Especially someone like Serena. I don't think they are suspicious of her. I think they all see Fred as the rotten one.

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I looked, the Amish community denies it, I know for sure the Mormons don't do it, those of the Jewish faith don't do it.  I can't even find it referenced in history.  I did find this, which at first I thought might be a troll, but she goes on and on about it.  It's the only way she's ever had sex, her husband told her all people do it this way.  (!)   https://community.babycenter.com/post/a39356788/dml_holes_in_sheets?cpg=4

She even ran to get a photo of her current sheet.  L7plrnRHZL1G5ORtGZVRhCFqDPjlwylt_lg.jpg

ahem, I do wonder where the writers came up with that.  Her husband is from Finland, or his ancestors are. 

Edited by Umbelina
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1 hour ago, vixenbynight said:

I think that the league of Commanders would try to marry the wife to someone else in their ranks. Especially someone like Serena. I don't think they are suspicious of her. I think they all see Fred as the rotten one.

I think if one commander dies, it would be logistically difficult to find his widow another commander husband, since I don't think any commanders are single. Fred has droned on an and on how Gilead is all about family, so I doubt they have any bachelors in their higher echelons. If one commander happens to have been widowed close to the same time, or another wife was disgraced like the one played by Marisa Tomei earlier in the season, then there would be an available commander to take on Serena, and even then I'm not sure a commander would't prefer someone younger and less opinionated. I think at best a widowed Serena would be made an Aunt and allowed to remain in a Gilead-controlled city, and at worst she'd be shipped off to the colonies to be one of those guards in gas masks.

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The flashback where angry protestors were calling Serena Joy a Nazi rang a false note for me. As one of the earlier posters pointed out, Nazism is primarily associated with racial "purity" and racial genocide, and the show expects us to believe that Gilead is somehow race-blind. I had assumed that Serena's political activism was a lot of crap about how a woman's place is in the home and women should stop working and going to college etc so they can focus entirely on their higher calling of procreation and in so doing follow God's plan and save the human race. That's messed up and worth protesting, but calling it a Nazi philosophy would not occur to me. I felt like the writers wanted to evoke scenes from our present day at the expense of internal consistency, which is a shame. The scenes were good overall, and could have been so much better if they writers had taken some time to think of resistance signs that actually matched who Serena Joy is and what she stood for.  

In spite of the iffy protestors, I thought that this was a really strong episode. Ofglen 2 with the suicide bomb truly shocked me. I didn't even realize it was Ofglen 2 - I assumed the bomber was Alma, but this is even more interesting. We can count Ofglen 2 as yet another side character who is so fascinating and whose internal life I'm desperate to learn more about, but is sadly dead.

I was also struck how Gilead's misogyny threaded itself into Fred killing the wife of the man who shot Serena Joy. Serena helps push him in this direction by scorning him for crying and telling him to "be a man," which I liked since it brings in how the toxic masculinity that is part of misogyny makes the whole system toxic for men too (similarly, Nick being decent and not immediately trying to sleep with a 15-year-old puts him in danger because a non-gay man would be ready to go any time and doesn't need to get to know the girl first, right?). And then Fred kills the shooter's wife rather than the shooter - we don't know if she was part of the plan or not, it doesn't matter, she as a person doesn't matter, she's only important because her husband loves her. 

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I do believe that just for a second, Serena could relate to June and did understand where she was coming from when she asked her to see Hannah, and that refusing her plea was a genuinely difficult moment for her. I also believe that a part of her did really want to bond with June as somewhere deep down she's fully aware of how unspeakably horrible June's situation is and what role she's had in it. But at the same time, she knows things have gone way too far, that they're on completely opposite sides, that there can never be any real good will between the two of them and that their entire relationship boils down to both of them trying the manipulate the other, so she overcompensates by punishing June for her "devious" ways and humiliating her publicly.

I don't think we learned much about her from those flashbacks - we already knew she was a renowned figure and could pretty much guess she'd be extremely reviled in liberal circles. It's interesting however that something she was literally willing to give her life for turned into a life of constant misery. Also, the world she fought so hard to create is a world that's designed for the likes of Aunt Lydia and Eden, not her, and it must have dawned on her long ago that she had a lot more power and freedom in the world she detested so much. The resentment boiling up inside her must be tremendous, and Yvonne Strahovski has done a marvelous job portraying it. 

Edited by Joana
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The irony of Fred screaming that this is America and to “ Let her speak!” Is hilarious. WTH Fred? These two are just bizarre. I am convinced Serena is a sociopath. I honestly don’t know what to think of them from one week to the next which I guess is the point? 

Edited by GraceK
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15 minutes ago, legxleg said:The flashback where angry protestors were calling Serena Joy a Nazi rang a false note for me. As one of the earlier posters pointed out, Nazism is primarily associated with racial "purity" and racial genocide, and the show expects us to believe that Gilead is somehow race-blind. I had assumed that Serena's political activism was a lot of crap about how a woman's place is in the home and women should stop working and going to college etc so they can focus entirely on their higher calling of procreation and in so doing follow God's plan and save the human race. That's messed up and worth protesting, but calling it a Nazi philosophy would not occur to me. I felt like the writers wanted to evoke scenes from our present day at the expense of internal consistency, which is a shame. The scenes were good overall, and could have been so much better if they writers had taken some time to think of resistance signs that actually matched who Serena Joy is and what she stood for.  

In spite of the iffy protestors, I thought that this was a really strong episode. Ofglen 2 with the suicide bomb truly shocked me. I didn't even realize it was Ofglen 2 - I assumed the bomber was Alma, but this is even more interesting. We can count Ofglen 2 as yet another side character who is so fascinating and whose internal life I'm desperate to learn more about, but is sadly dead.

I was also struck how Gilead's misogyny threaded itself into Fred killing the wife of the man who shot Serena Joy. Serena helps push him in this direction by scorning him for crying and telling him to "be a man," which I liked since it brings in how the toxic masculinity that is part of misogyny makes the whole system toxic for men too (similarly, Nick being decent and not immediately trying to sleep with a 15-year-old puts him in danger because a non-gay man would be ready to go any time and doesn't need to get to know the girl first, right?). And then Fred kills the shooter's wife rather than the shooter - we don't know if she was part of the plan or not, it doesn't matter, she as a person doesn't matter, she's only important because her husband loves her. 

Not sure that I agree with this. The right has no problems calling people on the left communists, it would not shock me at all to see people call Serena’s types Nazis, even it it’s not technically correct.

That said,  Gileads treatment of women is a lot like the Nazis treatment of women. Women were taken against their will to “breed” little Nazi babies.    There was no higher or  more important job for  Nazi women than to have babies. The  more babies you had, the better. The Mothers Cross, for a woman who had a lot of babies, was a very very high honor.  Polish kids were taken from their homes to be  germanized. Women who were considered immoral were imprisoned and even sterilized 

Edited by JennyMominFL
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Finally got good at the end.  I was so utterly bored up to then. 

Can't wait to see where this goes now. 

And I hate Serena even more now.  She is more than just the wife of the commander.  She is the very person that seems to have come up with the entire Handmaiden scheme

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Regarding calling Serena a "Nazi," there was more to Nazi ideology than racism. They were very much into the "3 K's" for women: "Kinder, Kueche, Kirke." (Children, Kitchen, Church). So Serena getting called a Nazi didn't seem particularly odd. The ironies get a little too on the nose at times: "Let her speak, this is America"--yes, we already know that it's no longer America and women aren't allowed to speak in public. The biggest irony for me is that Fred obviously preferred tough go-getter Serena to Stepford Wife Serena. 

I did wonder how Ofglen 2 was able to make a bomb and how those Handmaids were able to escape from the upper floor. After reading these comments, I realize a lot of them probably didn't escape. 

I really hope this is not going to start Phase Two Gilead, when things get even worse for women. How much worse can they get??? From the book epilogue, I had the impression that 

Spoiler

Gilead lasted around two hundred years, with each phase lasting roughly 60-70 years.

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19 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

Blessed be the handmaid with a hand grenade/detonator

Under his eye

17 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

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".

Which oddly parallels the conversation between Serena and Fred where she basically tells him to torture and/or kill her attacker.

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If anyone is interested in the Nazis treatment of women I highly suggest the book Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany. I had to read it for a class on Nazis

Edited by JennyMominFL
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7 minutes ago, GreekGeek said:

Regarding calling Serena a "Nazi," there was more to Nazi ideology than racism. They were very much into the "3 K's" for women: "Kinder, Kueche, Kirke." (Children, Kitchen, Church). So Serena getting called a Nazi didn't seem particularly odd. The ironies get a little too on the nose at times: "Let her speak, this is America"--yes, we already know that it's no longer America and women aren't allowed to speak in public. The biggest irony for me is that Fred obviously preferred tough go-getter Serena to Stepford Wife Serena. 

I did wonder how Ofglen 2 was able to make a bomb and how those Handmaids were able to escape from the upper floor. After reading these comments, I realize a lot of them probably didn't escape. 

I really hope this is not going to start Phase Two Gilead, when things get even worse for women. How much worse can they get??? From the book epilogue, I had the impression that 

  Reveal hidden contents

Gilead lasted around two hundred years, with each phase lasting roughly 60-70 years.

 

 

20 minutes ago, JennyMominFL said:

Not sure that I agree with this. The right has no problems calling people on the left communists, it would not shock me at all to see people call Serena’s types Nazis, even it it’s not technically correct.

That said,  Gileads treatment of women is a lot like the Nazis treatment of women. Women were taken against their will to “breed” little Nazi babies.    There was no higher or  more important job for  Nazi women than to have babies. The  more babies you had, the better. The Mothers Cross, for a woman who had a lot of babies, was a very very high honor.  Polish kids were taken from their homes to be  germanized. Women who were considered immoral were imprisoned and even sterilized 

Even though Nazis did plenty of terrible things to women (I think I once read that Nazis basically forced Scandinavian women into sexual slavery because they would produce Aryan babies, which is very Handmaid's Tale), I still think that the primary goal was a white supremacist one - women dedicate themselves to having babies for the good of the race, etc. And disassociating racism from Nazism to concentrate on the misogynistic part feels off to me, in the same way that the society of Gilead and its colorblind-but-misogynistic dystopia feels off to me. But I appreciate your point - and it's certainly true that screaming protestors are usually not the most nuanced thinkers. Thanks for the thoughtful responses :-)

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Was that the first person Fred had shot and killed, the one we witnessed? At first I thought it must have been, hence the episode title (along with several other "first blood" references, though sadly none alluding to John Rambo), but in retrospect it didn't seem to be based on his total lack of a reaction and lack of hesitancy to pull the trigger.  And on his lack of any resistance to the idea when Serena basically told him what to do to her attacker.  Its not like he protested or told her no. 

The 15 year old wife of Nick and her actions make me think there must be some of the general population outside the power hierarchy that not only just tolerate the actions of Gilead but actively support it and think their ideas are great.  Her mom seems to have taught her to play the part of the faithful wife and that it is her ultimate duty to do so

Edited by DrSpaceman
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5 minutes ago, legxleg said:

 

 

Even though Nazis did plenty of terrible things to women (I think I once read that Nazis basically forced Scandinavian women into sexual slavery because they would produce Aryan babies, which is very Handmaid's Tale), I still think that the primary goal was a white supremacist one - women dedicate themselves to having babies for the good of the race, etc. And disassociating racism from Nazism to concentrate on the misogynistic part feels off to me, in the same way that the society of Gilead and its colorblind-but-misogynistic dystopia feels off to me. But I appreciate your point - and it's certainly true that screaming protestors are usually not the most nuanced thinkers. Thanks for the thoughtful responses :-)

Oh it definitely was a white supremacy based ideology.. No doubt. Their whole reason for invading eastern  Europe was to create a much larger space for their very ggermanic world. The war was fought over Lebensraum.. living space.

 But I can see enough similarities . And lord knows  people love to call  other people Nazis

Edited by JennyMominFL
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And Nazi is just a general insult thrown around for anyone who is intolerant or has extreme ideas, whether its a correct or incorrect analogy.  Doesn't matter what political ideology or race or anything else about it.  Those who use it don't typically stop and give deep thought to whether it is truly analogous to the actual Nazi regime.   Maybe we should use a small n "nazi" term instead of large N "Nazi" to distinguish them

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Anyone else think that Serena was legitimately disturbed by the fact that Ofglen had her tongue ripped out? Do you think she was aware of that or was taken by surprise? Do you think she has any human empathy at all ?

Edited by GraceK
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1 minute ago, nodorothyparker said:

Because she barely sees the handmaids collectively as people, I don't think she even really thought about it until it was waaaay too late to break off that particular attempt to stimulate conversation.  I loved her mindlessly chirping along about "what do you girls even talk about on your little walks?" only for it slowly dawn on her that oh right, this one can't say anything because we RIPPED HER FREAKING TONGUE OUT.  Oh, that's really awkward for me.  More pie?

And that’s exactly why I can’t muster any sympathy for Serena. She is a monster. It’s fitting that she suffers in the hell she helped create.

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34 minutes ago, DrSpaceman said:

Under his eye

 

 May the lord blow that shit wide open. (I had to, heh). 

 If, hopefully, Fred is incapacitated or killed, I see Serena being reassigned basically.

Gilead does not seem the type to really smile upon single motherhood, and even though Serena would have Rita and even perhaps get to keep June around, there would be no father figure in the home, and we just can't have that.

 I also think they would feel they would be wasting a baby on her, they would rather take the child and give it to a complete family instead.

And as others have mentioned it's doubtful that she would find another high ranked male that they would bother pairing her with, so I could definitely her getting demoted down to some lower position, and since they have declared her infertile her pickings are rather slim.

 Truth be told I would love to see her end up under Aunt Lydia, serving her as a right hand maiden, forced to do whatever Aunt Lydia says whenever she says it. And should she ever show disobedience or insolence she would be just as susceptible to harsh punishment as any of auntie's little girls.

I woulld quite enjoy watching Serena play a whole other sort of game of twisted pick up sticks in the worse possible way with that maniac as her overseer.

 Another thought does cross my mind though, that would they have been willing to allow her to marry a single Nick if Fred had been taken out of the picture.

Which to me would be the ultimate sweet irony considering it was Serena's own pettiness and selfishness that pushed for him to get a wife, when it could turn out that was or could have been her saving grace as a widow. 

What a tangled web we can at times weave, Serena Joy. 

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4 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

woulld quite enjoy watching Serena play a whole other sort of game of twisted pick up sticks in the worse possible way with that maniac as her overseer.

The acting alone between those 2 would be worth a spin-off ? they have such great chemistry. 

Really I may hate their characters but I admit I love watching those two. They are always interesting to me.

Edited by GraceK
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4 minutes ago, GraceK said:

Really I may hate their characters but I admit I love watching those two. They are always interesting to me.

I'll admit I find them more interesting than June at this point. It's not a slight on June's part and it's not that I have anything against her, but June is clearly someone we're supposed to sympathize with and root for, which I do, make no mistake. But with these two, it would have been soooo easy to make them some cartoonish mustache-twirling villains with no substance or nuance behind them, but both the writing and the acting elevates them so much above that. They're clearly horrible people doing horrible things, but they're people. And that really is fascinating to watch. 

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2 minutes ago, GraceK said:

The acting alone between those 2 would be worth a spin-off ? they have such great chemistry. 

Really I may hate their characters but I admit I love watching those two. They are always interesting to me.

 

 I truly agree. I think Ann is the MVP on the show, she's just incredible.

 And while I do despise watching Aunt Lydia torture true victims like June or Emily or Moira, watching her torment and terrorize a hypocritical evil wretch that is Serena? I would pop some popcorn and kick back for that. 

 Something tells me that Serena would fight back even more than the average woman, because in her mind for so long she's always been better than so many others, and she will refuse to accept her new reality so she would definitely be a tough nut for Aunt Lydia to crack.

 Something tells me that cattle prod of hers would get a lot of use.

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9 hours ago, Empress1 said:

Yes, June IS sure Nick's not a gender traitor. Wink wink.

 

I was saying the same thing to my TV. DS17 and I watch together and he was rolling his eyes at me by then, lol.

Edited by Eureka
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5 minutes ago, Joana said:

'll admit I find them more interesting than June at this point. It's not a slight on June's part and it's not that I have anything against her, but June is clearly someone we're supposed to sympathize with and root for, which I do, make no mistake.

I just wish someone else was playing June. Elizabeth Moss I just don’t like at all. This may be a unpopular opinion on these boards but for me personally she plays June with this smirking, bitchy look on her face that makes it really hard for me to sympathize with her. Ugh I know people are gonna get real mad at me for saying it, but I don’t know what it is!!!! She’s the main character but there is just something about her that I just don’t like. She does look like she’s constantly devious and planning something and it’s annoying. 

13 minutes ago, Joana said:

But with these two, it would have been soooo easy to make them some cartoonish mustache-twirling villains with no substance or nuance behind them, but both the writing and the acting elevates them so much above that. They're clearly horrible people doing horrible things, but they're people. And that really is fascinating to watch. 

This is true. This episode Serena legitimately had me believing that she may not have been a she demon after all, and then She turned so quickly back into a snake that I actually almost had whiplash. That scene in the nursery where she actually cried had so many layers to it , it was amazing. It was suspenseful on thriller levels. Both Aunt Lydia and Serena are so ambiguous in their true feelings I feel we can watch a full series just exploring them.

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There's something that bugs me about this glory hole through the sheet sex business (something other than the obvious). Aren't the men just screwing themselves with that requirement? What man is going to say "I never want to see another naked woman in my life, not even my wife!" and then agree to this rule? I just find it odd that they'd go so far with married couples.

The men made the rules. They shot themselves in the foot with that one and I don't get why. Acceptable sacrifice for the greater goal, maybe? I don't know. Hmmm. Just seems odd. I'm over thinking this.

Edited by rideashire
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A few thoughts...

I don't think Nick knew about the bomb.  It would make no sense for him to have the conversation with the high commander (get me out, take care of the handmaid) if he knew the commander was going to get blown to bits. 

But... what does that say about the high commander (sorry, don't know his name)?  If he would protect a handmaid, based only on the word of Nick, that seems to imply that maybe the commander is part of the resistance. 

As much as I'd like Fred to be killed in the blast, he's a major character, so based on that alone I'm sure he survives.  I would love it if his penis were in a million little parts, though. 

Did the gunshot make Serena infertile, damage her uterus or something of the sort?  That's the impression I got but I don't think it was explicitly said.  But that could explain part of her attitude - if she were fertile before and then not after being shot, she's been denied her godly duty of bearing children.  (Still a heinous b, but a little more context.)

As to questions as to what would happen to Serena if Fred did die, if she was married off to another commander I suppose it wouldn't be so bad.  She's infertile, and no sex outside procreation, so it's not like she'd have to sleep with the new guy.  She'd just be in charge of a different house.

I love Rita.

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So my initial thoughts in the first 95% of this episode:

Even if there was nothing new presented about her character per se (other than getting shot), Serena Joy is absolutely, without a doubt, the most fucktasticly fascinating character on this show.

However, in this show, Commander Fred was giving her a run for her money in terms of the compelling nature of his character. 

I know everyone thinks he is a sick bastard, and he most definitely is. But there was nothing in it for him to give June a picture of Hannah, and even though she said she wanted him she was also concerned about the baby. Dude could have persisted but he backed down. And honestly, I think the ONLY reason he killed the wife of the guy who shot Serena was because Serena told him to "be a MAN!" He was doing what he thought it would take to show Serena that he could be what he wanted her to be. 

I honestly believe that without Serena Joy, Fred would just be an average dude. I'm not even sure he would be evil, just overly religious at best. It was very telling that the show portrayed Serena Joy, NOT FRED, as the one giving the speech, with Fred supporting her giving the speech to boot. He was not trying to dominate her at all.  

Tl;dr: I just feel that Serena Joy is more sociopathic than Fred. Fred is "easier" to get inside his skin.

Also, I realize she's new y'all, but Eden is providing a fascinating perspective to this story. This is a very, very young girl who has just become a wife. She is no doubt a more fervent believer in the Gilead religion than her husband. I actually kinda do want to see a brief backstory, because at least it may provide some insight as to how long Gilead has been around. If it has only been around a few years, then at best she was a kid when the regime took over. But what about pre-Gilead? Was she LDS or part of the same cult as the Duggars, or anything at all? BTW, I've heard of the hole in the sheets before, among the Duggar boards (i.e., Free Jinger, 19 Kids and Counting, Counting On, etc.). And if she, as a teenager essentially who has not been exposed to too much outside of Gilead, believes these things, then what will that mean for Hannah? Even if Hannah becomes a handmaid instead of a wife, if THT lasts long enough where Hannah is a teenager, imagine when June finally reunites with her - what happens if/when (but most likely "when" given her age) Hannah is fully indoctrinated into Gilead religion?

 

But the last 5% of the episode:

 

HOT DAMN!!!!! THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!

Edited by madpsych78
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6 minutes ago, rideashire said:

There's something that bugs me about this glory hole through the sheet sex business (something other than the obvious). Aren't the men just screwing themselves with that requirement? What man is going to say "I never want to see another naked woman in my life, not even my wife!" and then agree to this rule? I just find it odd that they'd go so far with married couples.

The men made the rules. They shot themselves in the foot with that one and I don't get why. Acceptable sacrifice for the greater goal, maybe? I don't know. Hmmm. Just seems odd. I'm over thinking this.

I thought the glory hole sex was a bit of an overkill too. I do get the "no recreational sex" rule - that one is all about power and control. That rule is basically impossible to enforce, almost everyone is bound to transgress at some point and everyone knows there's something they can be held accountable for, adding to the overall feeling of paranoia and fear. 

But this one does not seem to have any practical purpose other than to show how warped and messed up the world of Gilead is. It doesn't feel organic, more like something purely made up for the sake of the story. I think this show can do better than that.

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I know everyone thinks he is a sick bastard, and he most definitely is. But there was nothing in it for him to give June a picture of Hannah, and even though she said she wanted him she was also concerned about the baby. Dude could have persisted but he backed down.

He gave her the picture to help keep the peace in the household and between Serena and June.  Earlier in the episode Aunt Lydia alluded to this when she was speaking with him about how its a 'delicate' relationship, or some such terminology, and he stated he tried to stay out of it but that he would find a way to make things work, basically, if he needed to step in.  The picture he gave June was him doing that. 

As for the attempted rape, which is odd to say because he already was raping her before, just in a different manner, I think she just said that about wanting him as well as part of the excuse to get him to stop.  Its not outright telling him no but instead finding a reason why it can't happen and he should stop

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2 hours ago, rideashire said:

There's something that bugs me about this glory hole through the sheet sex business (something other than the obvious). Aren't the men just screwing themselves with that requirement? What man is going to say "I never want to see another naked woman in my life, not even my wife!" and then agree to this rule? I just find it odd that they'd go so far with married couples.

The men made the rules. They shot themselves in the foot with that one and I don't get why. Acceptable sacrifice for the greater goal, maybe? I don't know. Hmmm. Just seems odd. I'm over thinking this.

 

I honestly thought that hole in the sheet was something her mother told her about, not Gilead.  If it was Gilead, the Commanders would be using that when they fuck the handmaids.

Eden is very rural, very religious, and that sheet was lovingly embroidered around the hole, for re-use, unlike that article I posted above.  I think her mother is just creepy. 

I can't find any religious or even historical use of the bed sheet hole, and I DID look.

--

Hannah would not be a Handmaid unless she sins.  She's the beloved child of a Commander and his Wife, in this world of Gilead.  She's destined to marry (probably young) some promising young male, either a war hero or another Commander's kid, and go on to inherit the leadership roles of Gilead.  That's not addressed in the book, but it's the only thing that makes sense to me.

Wives detest and look down on Handmaids, why would they intend, let alone demand that their child become one?  The probably love their kids, like Hannah, as much as any adoptive parent, maybe more, since having a child is so rare and such a gift.

Edited by Umbelina
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3 hours ago, Umbelina said:

I looked, the Amish community denies it, I know for sure the Mormons don't do it, those of the Jewish faith don't do it.  I can't even find it referenced in history.  I did find this, which at first I thought might be a troll, but she goes on and on about it.  It's the only way she's ever had sex, her husband told her all people do it this way.  (!)   https://community.babycenter.com/post/a39356788/dml_holes_in_sheets?cpg=4

She even ran to get a photo of her current sheet.  L7plrnRHZL1G5ORtGZVRhCFqDPjlwylt_lg.jpg

ahem, I do wonder where the writers came up with that.  Her husband is from Finland, or his ancestors are. 

Thank you for this. I am howling!

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There's nothing in The Bible that speaks of the cloth having holes of any sort, but I thought they were taking liberties with the token cloth that is mentioned in the Old Testament. 

 It was a mystery cloth that they used during the 1st consummation of a marriage to prove that a girl was a true virgin because it was supposed to become stained with the blood of her virginity, proving that she was a pure woman.

If her husband ever claimed otherwise then her family, her dad really because back in those days having a virginal daughter was quite desired and to lose that to a lying man was seen as very costly.

So to prove any false claim a lie, he would have proof to say otherwise and contradict the husband and it could even be used to break the entire contract of marriage.

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25 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I honestly thought that hole in the sheet was something her mother told her about, not Gilead.  If it was Gilead, the Commanders would be using that when they fuck the handmaids.

Eden is very rural, very religious, and that sheet was lovingly embroidered around the hole, for re-use, unlike that article I posted above.  I think her mother is just creepy. 

I think it also serves as a strong visual contrast to how Nick and June had sex—passionate, sweaty, unashamedly naked, June on top, etc. But I agree, the sheet was probably from Eden’s mom. Eden did say that lust was a sin (apparently even within marriage) so I’d guess her mom’s explanation of sex was pretty conservative.

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This ep was more my speed. A renegade handmaid. Nick making bold moves like a boss. Good stuff. I wish the CGI bombing was better. The running handmaidens should have been thrown by the blast.

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Regarding Mormons, it's not a sheet, but it was/is apparently not uncommon for them to have sex while wearing at least some of their magic underwear, er, garments.

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3 hours ago, legxleg said:

Ofglen 2 with the suicide bomb truly shocked me. I didn't even realize it was Ofglen 2 - I assumed the bomber was Alma, but this is even more interesting.

What was notable to me is that Alma was the first to grok what Ofglen 2.0 was doing. She was the first to turn around and run when she saw the detonator, and the other handmaids followed her.

Alma is another interesting character that we know almost nothing about. She was the one last season who was secretly watching the news and mining information from her commander. She realized immediately that the Mexican ambassador wanted to trade for handmaids, and she was part of Mayday, making June get the package of letters from Jezebels. She's obviously sharp as a tack and knows a thing or two about politics/international relations. Maybe pre-Gilead she was working in politics for the "wrong" side, and that's how she ended up as a handmaid.

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