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S02.E07: After

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13 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

Those women they brought back from the colonies are going to have shredder babies if they even get pregnant at all.

I mean, really it makes more sense for them to use a few Martha's and a bulldozer or something if they really wanted to clean all that crap up, instead of making a bunch of random prisoners do it, or at least they wouldn't put their precious handmaidens there where they their wombs could get all messed up. But of course, Gilead gonna Gilead. Why do something practical when you could do something cruel? 

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10 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

That room full of the binders holding the photos of the unnamed dead, that chilled me to the bone.

And then the all white section which was for the children... yet another reminder that Gilead has never been and hever was about truly repopulating America at all.

They murdered an untold and in some ways unknown number of fertile adults, and then they slaughtered actual children?

And these are people who care about fertility and making babies left and right, as many as possible?

This regime is about control and power, and by any means necessary they get it, babies and handmaids are their currency. 

I thought that last season and I am convinced of it this season. 

I didn't think the binders contained information about dead children, but about stolen children like Hannah.  I thought they were cataloging whatever information they had about the stolen children with the hopes of helping with reunifying them with their parents in the future. 

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11 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

 That room full of the binders holding the photos of the unnamed dead, that chilled me to the bone.

Wait a minute... A room full of binders. Did Canada run out of computers? Even Gilead has laptops.

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34 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

I mean, really it makes more sense for them to use a few Martha's and a bulldozer or something if they really wanted to clean all that crap up, instead of making a bunch of random prisoners do it, or at least they wouldn't put their precious handmaidens there where they their wombs could get all messed up. But of course, Gilead gonna Gilead. Why do something practical when you could do something cruel? 

Well, if we look at it from Gilead's perspective: First, they did not expect to use Emily or Janine as handmaids again, regardless of their fertility, because they had shown themselves to be too great of a risk.  This was intended to be their death sentence; a slower version than stoning or the Wall.  The fact that they retrieved them helps to illustrate just how desperate they are for handmaids after losing around half of the handmaids who were at the bombing.  (Was Gildead's entire contingent of handmaids present at the bombing?  Does the Red Center process all of Gilead's handmaids?)

Second, the primary purpose of the Colonies (at least the nuclear cleanup colonies) is not to actually clean up the nuclear waste, but is to provide death camps to threaten the citizens of Gilead to keep them in line.  The nuclear cleanup that happens is a secondary benefit.  

Lastly, we don't know if there are any other logistical factors playing into the decision.   For example, Gilead may have only very limited gasoline supplies and priority is probably given to the military, guards, transportation of essential items like food, emergency vehicles, and the Commanders' personal use.  There may not be gasoline available to run bulldozers.    

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1 hour ago, McKinley said:

I didn't think the binders contained information about dead children, but about stolen children like Hannah.  I thought they were cataloging whatever information they had about the stolen children with the hopes of helping with reunifying them with their parents in the future. 

 

Maybe, but personally I am beyond jaded by Gilead.

What if those kids came from the "wrong families"? Immigrant families? People they explicitly rejected and wanted out of the US?

We don't exactly see that many FOCs, families of color.

African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, etc. Does the show explicitly state that these groups have been pared down? No, but the numbers speak for themselves, imo. 

Gilead is not just rebuilding a society of inclusiveness, they did seperate and label and classify and I don't think children would have been excluded from roundups. 

They obviously have a type of people they are taking stock of. 

 The amount of people that are currently living in Gilead are very marginalized, and I believe it was a question many raised often during season one: where did so many of the children go?

Yes the issue of fertility was present at that time but that was in regards to having new babies, not the ones already there. 

 I know this season was shot before this was released, but it reminds me of the current situation where our government has admitted that they have misplaced, like they're a missing pair of car keys, nearly 1,500 migrant children and no one knows where they are or what happened to them and pretty much no one cares to find out.

This sort of thing goes on in a lot of governments,  and if that government turns into a totalitarian regime that believes certain groups shouldn't even exist?

Those kids don't go missing, they are going to die. 

Holocaust victims ranged from the unborn to the elderly.

Sadly, when evil men are in control there is no such thing as too young to die. 

Edited by AnswersWanted · Reason: Typo.
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13 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

If the show is trying to set up a Serena Joy redemption, I’m just not here for it.

They have done too much with her to try to redeem her now, imho. 

Having a vagina is never going to be enough of a reason for me, take note show.

 The fact that they killed more handmaids than commanders I think was put in there simply so that they could re-introduce Emily and Janine.

They obviously wanted to bring those girls back, methinks the powers that be realized after season one just how popular those two characters have become, and they felt that this would be a good vehicle to do it with.

 I don’t think it was the most imaginative way they could’ve done it, especially since they did kill off so many other handmaids, but I’m still happy that Janine and Emily have returned to society. Even if it’s Gilead’s, for now. 

Although I do worry about Emily.

She’s been exposed to all manner of toxic fumes and god knows what else for quite some time, a lot longer than Janine has, I’m wondering if they’re going to work that in later on.

I agree Serena is irredeemable, but I think it highlights her hypocrisy, and it does not set up a redemption arc. Most of the flashbacks we've seen, it's Serena giving the speeches, writing books, and going on book tours while Fred was in the background. Fred doesn't really come into power until the nuts have taken over the government and push all women out of power.

IMHO, it's Serena, not Fred, who had a bigger impact to take away women's rights (among everyone else's) and she will absolutely break her own rules and views when it suits her by using Fred's name to issue government decrees.

12 hours ago, Shaynaa said:

Luke is so effing useless.  I guess we are supposed to contrast him and Moira but he have acted like he cared any less?  Hell, he didn't even pretend to care about Moira's feelings.

I'm not sure why I have so much sympathy for him when we really haven't had any character development, but he seems more beaten down and exasperated to me than anything else. I like the variety of character choices the show provides rather than making everyone a freedom fighter.

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I'm assuming Gilead isn't that far in our future and everyone we are watching in the show was not that long ago online etc so they still KNOW, like we all here know, that exposure to nuclear waste means no healthy babies/pregnancy. That and the general horrific conditions in the Colonies are at odds with Aunt Lydia's green smoothies etc.

It's not like the world was bombed back into the Stone Age (or eveb the Middle Ages or e the Victorian times) and started over hundreds of years later with zero basic scientificl knowledge retained. Everyone including Aunt Lydia knows all this. 

So this is either sloppy writing or we're about to see how healthy babies are Gilead's Fake News.

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That episode was amazing! One mistake I caught. Moria told June that she was sterilized before being sent to Jezebels. Pretty sure she said they sterilize before being sent to jezebels or colonies. 

I loved when June called her Serena instead of Mrs. Waterford when telling her that dude was sniffing around. WE are in this together "Serena". 

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Luke is pissing me the hell off and I am not buying the "everyone grieves differently" crap. (I've lost a child and I know that everyone handles grief in a different way.) In fact there hav only been 2 instances in which I've even liked Luke-when he saved the mute woman (which may have only been a reflex) and when he called Moira "family."

I'm with @Umbelina, I need to know what the rest of the world thinks or what they even know. Then again, this could be a Sarajevo situation. The city was under siege for years and most of the world had no idea what was happening there. My buddy Bill was a relief worker there, sneaking in and out of the city when he could, and it wasn't until he set up a live feed and started interviewing Sarajevans during U2 concerts that the general public became aware of just how dire the situation was. (He wrote a book about his efforts, it's called FOOLS RUSH IN if you are interested. I see some parallels with some things in this show; even though the Bosnian War came after the book, it is one of the more recent examples of a Western country being turned on its head and losing basic rights.)

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I cheered when Serena made that power move against Commander Cushing and now I feel dirty cause I actually loved her in that moment ???? in fact I loved Serena this whole episode and now I don’t understand anything anymore!! My world is upside down and everything is meaningless!!!

Are we supposed to believe that the binder was full of dead kids but I can’t suspend belief that far. This whole fucked up system is created specifically because children are such a rare commodity that I can’t justify them slaughtering babies....unless it’s the disabled? This may sound really dark but wasn’t there a reference to some babies being born to handmaids with deformities that were “ unbabies” or something? Do you think Gilead would have gotten rid of all the “ imperfect “ children during the takeover? Cause that brings up such horrific possibilities that I can’t even wrap my head around it.

Also Luke is such a non entity. Like serously dude WTF are you even doing? His wife and kid are gone and he ordering Indian food and acting like he doesn’t give a damn and just living his life. Is he part of the resistance? Is he even trying to help them in America? What is his deal? He’s such a limp noodle I can’t muster anything for him. Seriously at least Nick is making moves and gives a damn. Honestly I wish Moira was June’s wife.

Edited by GraceK
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4 minutes ago, GraceK said:

I cheered when Serena made that power move against Commander Cushing and now I feel dirty cause I actually loved her in that moment ???? in fact I loved Serena this whole episode and now I don’t understand anything anymore!! My world is upside down and everything is meaningless!!!

Are we supposed to believe that the binder was full of dead kids but I can’t suspend belief that far. This whole fucked up system is created specifically because children are such a rare commodity that I can’t justify them slaughtering babies....unless it’s the disabled? This may sound really dark but wasn’t there a reference to some babies being born to handmaids with deformities that were “ unbabies” or something? Do you think Gilead would have gotten rid of all the “ imperfect “ children during the takeover? Cause that brings up such horrific possibilities that I can’t even wrap my head around it.

Also Luke is such a non entity. Like serously dude WTF are you even doing? His wife and kid are gone and he ordering Indian food and acting like he doesn’t give a damn and just living his life. Is he part of the resistance? Is he even trying to help them in America? What is his deal? He’s such a limp noodle I can’t muster anything for him. Seriously at least Nick is making moves and gives a damn. Honestly I wish Moira was June’s wife.

AGREED!! At least Moira is still trying to find June or know if she is dead or not. I wonder if its just because he has been there longer. Maybe he went through this too? 

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I know that lots of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors had healthy children, so maybe Emily still can get pregnant, who knows. But I' not sure the writers made the right move here. Doesn't Gilead feel smaller now? Why would you send Emily back to the same community?

I wasn't surprised by Aunt Lydia's words. When the Inquisitors had you tortured and burned it was also for your own good and your inmortal soul. 

Ah, Serena... I think they all understand they're in the same boat too. In the eyes of Gildead, Eden is the only innocent left in this house. Even Rita hid those letters for a while and probably knows about June and Nick. That's pretty interesting because the dynamic in this house has to change after something like that. Serena took a huge risk when she made Nick and June sleep together, but she still had the possibility of saying that she didn't know anything. Now she can't do that. If they find out, she's fucked. And while I don't know if I really want a redeemed Serena, I just can't wait to see Fred's face when he finds out.

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These people certainly do love their theatrics and their just so picturesque visuals with that opening mass funeral, don't they?  I get it.  They've done away with TV, books, pretty much any entertainment of any kind, or anything much at all that might break up the tedium so they might as well develop some highly intricate rituals that involve special occasion matching cloaks and bonnets and slap some red lacquer on pine boxes to spruce them up.  I watched most of that scene of the handmaids ceremoniously circling the coffins laid out just so wondering when they would have practiced that.  I doubt their education at the old Red Center included proper mourning for a mass suicide bombing.

Aunt Lydia is a true believer.  She believes what she's saying.  Any punishment she or her underlings dish out to the handmaids is their fault, something they earned.  She's not doing it to them.  They did it to themselves.

Loved the upping of the June-Serena frenemy relationship as they each realized that, any personal feelings about each other aside, the outside threat Cushing was posing was still greater than anything they might do to each other.   They truly needed each other.  The household closing ranks with Nick and even Rita to move against Cushing was fascinating to watch after every horror we've seen within.  Again, for yet another episode I'm struck by the sense that June and Serena could have been great allies had the circumstances been very different, and the ending too made it clear that they're both better and stronger than good old Commander Fred and that they each recognize that about themselves and each other.  Yet they're still stuck as powerless women and as things return to normal and the clock ticks down until the baby is born, Serena will almost certainly go back to lording her relatively privileged status over June and treating her terribly.  We also get the added bonus that with the death of Nick's superior that may throw his own status up in the air and that however unwillingly or unwittingly, Serena has now made June at least peripherally complicit in whatever fucked up orders might be in that stack of paperwork she handed her.

I know the scene of the handmaids sharing their real names with each other was supposed to make me feel things, especially when juxtaposed against the earlier burials that didn't allow the poor dead handmaids their identities even in death and the Canadian reading of the casualty list that told us Oflgen was really Lillie with the terrible hair, but dammit if it didn't anyway.  Sure, it seems kind of reaching to bring women back from a nuclear waste site and expect them to be healthy enough to get pregnant when they mostly weren't getting pregnant before, but I guess with the deaths of 31 other bodies they figure any body that's still warm and breathing will do even if the odds are stacked heavily against it.  I'm mostly okay with anything that puts Emily and Janine back on the main canvas because unless they were going to stage a rebellion where they were, there was only so much story they could milk out of them dying slowly for no legitimate reason.  There was just something so lovely after all this time about Delores offering up that she was named for her grandmother.  That bit of her identity isn't gone.

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The handmaids not even getting their real names at their funeral gutted me. Like the last dagger they could throw.

June calling Serena by her first name was everything. That one moment had so much power. And Serena making a mocking comment about how shooting Marthas hardly makes them feel safe gave me a weird sense of hope for June. Serena sometimes sees her as an actual person, maybe. I know - I am going to regret the moment I thought Serena might have a human feeling left...

Unpopular opinion - I love Nick this season. Last season the actor was a little uneven, but this season I think his barely contained OMG FUCK FUCK FUCK state of mind is well done. He is juggling more Gilead balls than anyone - I actually felt bad for him when the supreme evil bad guy got killed, even though I’m glad that sicko bit the big one. But he was Nick’s best connection. 

Luke? Really? Sigh. Stop being a dick. I defended you last season! Lol

More Moira and Little America please!!!! Moira’s slow cry when she saw those pictures killed me. Man, I love Samira!

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Serena is walking on very thin ice and it can't possibly end well for her (and others around her, possibly June included), but I'm fascinated to see how it unfolds. And no, I don't think the show is trying to redeem her or that she's had some sort of epiphany and is going to start treating June like an equal or anything. She's doing what she needs to survive, it's as simple as that. But I also feel she's quite relishing this chance to take charge and be in control for a change - and man, does it not suit her completely.

It was about time we got to know about Moira and how she got be a handmaid in the first place (it's something that's always bugged me), but I agree with the others that we should have learned about her girlfriend much earlier.

Emily's and Janine's return requires A LOT of suspension of disbelief, and frankly, I'm not sure I have it in me.

And I found Eden witnessing the handmaids' little bonding moment more than a little bit unsettling. 

Edited by Joana
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Aunt Lydia: "I want to shield you from violence and pain." Bitch,  what.  You burn these people's hands, take their eyes and zap them with cattle prods, not to mention the psychological torture you inflict daily.   Get out of here with your crazy ass.  

 

 

And Luke seems like he cares just as much about his second wife as he did about his first one.  This episode basically had him shrugging and looking around for wife number 3.  Weird.  

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5 hours ago, McKinley said:

I didn't think the binders contained information about dead children, but about stolen children like Hannah.  I thought they were cataloging whatever information they had about the stolen children with the hopes of helping with reunifying them with their parents in the future. 

I agree.  I think the binders are the "missing" until and if identified as dead.  Also, I think they would be from all over the (former) USA, not just this east coast section.  Resistance fighters and their families are still fighting in several areas, for example, so it's possible a grenade or bomb did kill some of the kids in hiding with the resistance.  So, for example, you have someone up in Canada from (former) NYC, they may not have heard from their sister or her family back in Kansas since the fall of the USA.  They would go into the book.

Thanks, the idea that the photos came from the cloud makes sense!  (for the poster who said that.)  The whole computer thing is kind of an issue though, obviously they weren't around when Atwood wrote the book, at least not PC's.  I'm guessing Canada would have both systems, books and computer files.

3 hours ago, Catfi9ht said:

I agree Serena is irredeemable, but I think it highlights her hypocrisy, and it does not set up a redemption arc. Most of the flashbacks we've seen, it's Serena giving the speeches, writing books, and going on book tours while Fred was in the background. Fred doesn't really come into power until the nuts have taken over the government and push all women out of power.

IMHO, it's Serena, not Fred, who had a bigger impact to take away women's rights (among everyone else's) and she will absolutely break her own rules and views when it suits her by using Fred's name to issue government decrees.

 

I don't think any of that was about redemption for Serena, honestly, it never occurred to me.  It was all about SURVIVAL, for all of them.  Serena needed a copywriter to check her work, she hasn't written anything in years, and as a writer back in the USA, she was used to having a copywriter/editor.  June was just handy.  They both already have enough on each other, Serena didn't need more.  She was just trying to survive, and ensure the survival of her baby, which meant saving June.

I agree, Serena was the driving force, and Fred was more like the "wind beneath her wings" and he loved being that support.  Until Gilead made that all go away, and he lost his brilliant, powerful, sexy wife to Gilead.  His "reward" for that was his own power rising, but losing all real joy.

3 hours ago, Tarar said:

That episode was amazing! One mistake I caught. Moria told June that she was sterilized before being sent to Jezebels. Pretty sure she said they sterilize before being sent to jezebels or colonies. 

I loved when June called her Serena instead of Mrs. Waterford when telling her that dude was sniffing around. WE are in this together "Serena". 

I don't see why they would bother to sterilize the nuclear colony women, they didn't live long enough to produce a baby there, and the camps were segregated.  USUALLY fertile handmaids weren't sent there.  So that makes the entire group that returned probably more "revolutionary" than those who haven't been.  For one thing, they did have a certain kind of freedom, spoke openly when alone, mocked Gilead, etc. 

3 hours ago, mamadrama said:

Luke is pissing me the hell off and I am not buying the "everyone grieves differently" crap. (I've lost a child and I know that everyone handles grief in a different way.) In fact there hav only been 2 instances in which I've even liked Luke-when he saved the mute woman (which may have only been a reflex) and when he called Moira "family."

I'm with @Umbelina, I need to know what the rest of the world thinks or what they even know. Then again, this could be a Sarajevo situation. The city was under siege for years and most of the world had no idea what was happening there. My buddy Bill was a relief worker there, sneaking in and out of the city when he could, and it wasn't until he set up a live feed and started interviewing Sarajevans during U2 concerts that the general public became aware of just how dire the situation was. (He wrote a book about his efforts, it's called FOOLS RUSH IN if you are interested. I see some parallels with some things in this show; even though the Bosnian War came after the book, it is one of the more recent examples of a Western country being turned on its head and losing basic rights.)

Luke didn't really bother me last night.  Everyone faces grief and trauma differently, I didn't think that meant he didn't care.  He was kind to Moira bringing her the take out food.  Sometimes small gestures and the touch on the shoulder mean more to someone who is grieving than lots of words or tears.  Also, for the other poster that said this (?) Luke may be in a different stage of his PTSD up there, he's been there longer.

30 minutes ago, Helena Dax said:

I know that lots of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors had healthy children, so maybe Emily still can get pregnant, who knows. But I' not sure the writers made the right move here. Doesn't Gilead feel smaller now? Why would you send Emily back to the same community?

I wasn't surprised by Aunt Lydia's words. When the Inquisitors had you tortured and burned it was also for your own good and your inmortal soul. 

Ah, Serena... I think they all understand they're in the same boat too. In the eyes of Gildead, Eden is the only innocent left in this house. Even Rita hid those letters for a while and probably knows about June and Nick. That's pretty interesting because the dynamic in this house has to change after something like that. Serena took a huge risk when she made Nick and June sleep together, but she still had the possibility of saying that she didn't know anything. Now she can't do that. If they find out, she's fucked. And while I don't know if I really want a redeemed Serena, I just can't wait to see Fred's face when he finds out.

Yeah, and Serena and Fred covered up June's escape, there is Jezebels, the baby is Nick's, they've all been sailing pretty close to the wind.  The power-hungry commander that Serena knew from before HAD to be taken out for ALL of their safety, even Fred's.  It was a joint effort.  Loved that. 

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I actually really liked Luke's interaction with Moira. They don't have the type of relationship where they'd cry on each other's shoulder, they never have, and it's fine. But he's making sure she knows he'll be there for her when she needs him, and I think she understands and appreciates that.

However, I do think they need to start fleshing him out more. I don't believe he wasn't concerned about June, but we needed to see more of it, because his reaction did come across as odd and I can see why it might rub people the wrong way. 

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9 minutes ago, Joana said:

I actually really liked Luke's interaction with Moira. They don't have the type of relationship where they'd cry on each other's shoulder, they never have, and it's fine. But he's making sure she knows he'll be there for her when she needs him, and I think she understands and appreciates that.

However, I do think they need to start fleshing him out more. I don't believe he wasn't concerned about June, but we needed to see more of it, because his reaction did come across as odd and I can see why it might rub people the wrong way. 

Didn't we see it though?  He was super pushy and determined and loud when he first go there right?  I seem to remember a scene where someone helping the new arrivals told him, basically, "Dude, cool your jets, you think you are the only one here with that problem?"  He was bustling around trying to organize invasions or other unrealistic ideas.  As I said, the passage of time changes things, Moira hasn't been there as long as he has.

What I want to see is Luke updating Moira on the negotiations with the UN about action on Gilead, stuff like that.  Honestly the only reason I really care about Canada scenes at all was, because in the book we really didn't KNOW how the rest of the world was reacting to Gilead, what was being said, although tourist groups were mentioned (on the show as well I think) so come on Canada people!  Let us know what's happening, are other countries supporting the resistance fighters at least by sending arms or weapons or logistical support?  Is the rest of the world passing laws so this couldn't happen to them? Do they have baby shortages?  How are THEY handling low birth rates?  COME ON.

Canada is the one place where this show can be something other than a downer, and instead they are showing us only the downer parts.  I GET that Gilead is, and always will be a downer, with little bright spots like we had last night like "it was my grandmother's name."  The Canada allowed the opportunity for the writers to show some hope, give us a lot of information, frustrate us if need be, but at least lighten it up a bit.  Show us something other than just more misery, give us some information.

Expanding the show, for me anyway, was always about seeing the rest of the world react as well.  Moira and Luke are the two who could be showing us that, and so far, it's mostly been more wallowing in misery.  Which, OK, I get that, PTSD is real, they are in pain.  Does it have to be all about that though?  No.  It honestly doesn't.

Edited by Umbelina
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I can only speak for myself but personally considering how Gilead was founded and who controls it, is there really any line that they won't cross?

 Killing the children of unwanted invaders of their country? I believe they could do that.

Klling disabled children or those showing imperfections? I do believe they would. Hitler did. 

We have real life individuals who have crossed that line many times, and still do.

I don't see why those in Gilead would be above committing the same atrocities. 

 it has always been my belief that Atwood patterned much of her story after history and the things that have gone on in the past and what was in the present for her 30 years ago.

Quite frankly, I think individuals who could all collectively come together to create such a world are cut from the exact same cloth as some of the worst baby butcheres in history. 

Everything that we've seen, or what has been hinted at, I do not believe that they would stop at anything if they believed it would benefit them. 

Even in today's world countless children are murdered, they are the innocent casualties of governments that do not value their lives. 

The Holocaust is one of the largest, most expansive examples of that but it is far from the first or the last. 

The system in Gilead, I wholeheartedly believe, was created to overthrow the current government, they used the fertility crisis as their cover story. 

After all, just look at what happened in this episode alone.

They brought back handmaids that they had condemned to toxic waste dump sites.

These women were exposed to who knows what, all manner of infections and illnessres and starvation and diseased water. Any injuries were left untreated, unattended to. 

 And let's not forget that those dumps are run by aunts who are even more cruel and unforgiving than the ones roaming about in Gilead. 

 But what sense does that make?

Emily and Janine and the others, there is nothing wrong with their reproductive organs, or wasn't before they were "punished",  and the same could be said for those like Moira who were put to work at Jezebel's.

 They were not sent away because of a physical defect or that they had run out of chances to get pregnant, no, they were deemed not worthy to keep being bothered with and the regime supposedly decided that instead of keeping still healthy and still fertile handmaids who all could potentially produce umpteen amounts of children for their precious future, these girls were stashed in varying hellholes and left to rot.

 But this is the group that cares about children and growing the community and growing their numbers?

It doesn't add up.

 If you truly care about producing as many healthy babies as possible then why kill or condem so many of your...I hate describing them this way, but... your breeding stock?

Janine proved she can have a healthy baby, she had no business being sent to those colonies; keep her locked up in a room and under constant watch, you don't throw her out to die in a desolate wasteland knowing full well she still could be a producer of healthy children.

Gilead is based on a huge ass lie, imho, they care only for power and control at the end of the day. 

And even if there are a select few true believers, they have to be fooling themselves to go along with this system because it works against the very thing they claim is of utmost importance.

 They were in a panic when they realized that they had lost so many handmaids that they basically had to go digging around in the garbage, as it were, to grab the few throwaways that they thought they could afford to cut.

These so called leaders of Gilead are just as lost as the people they've trapped inside their walls.

These agents of terror and death don't really have a well laid out plan, and if this is it? Then they all might as well put on handmaids outfits too because they're fucked. 

Edited by AnswersWanted
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52 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Is the rest of the world passing laws so this couldn't happen to them? Do they have baby shortages?  How are THEY handling low birth rates?  COME ON.

The couple Moira was surrogating for was from England and June clarified that Moira did have to use her own egg as the wife could not provide any.  I'm not sure how much we're supposed to read into that about what's happening in Europe other than the compensation of $250,000 they kept mentioning as Moira's motivation would be considered absurdly high by our current standards.  That could suggest that even before, people were getting desperate.

It doesn't really bother me much that Luke seems stuck in some kind of dull acceptance for the time being.  What good would wailing or gnashing his teeth about it do?  

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11 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

The couple Moira was surrogating for was from England and June clarified that Moira did have to use her own egg as the wife could not provide any.  I'm not sure how much we're supposed to read into that about what's happening in Europe other than the compensation of $250,000 they kept mentioning as Moira's motivation would be considered absurdly high by our current standards.  That could suggest that even before, people were getting desperate.

It doesn't really bother me much that Luke seems stuck in some kind of dull acceptance for the time being.  What good would wailing or gnashing his teeth about it do?  

Yes, I think the birth problem exists in Europe, and Moira's story does address that. 

What I want to know more though?  What is Europe doing about it?  Certainly not overthrowing their governments and making fertile women handmaids.   I don't care much if they are having birthrate issues, what I really wanted, and expected, from the expanded show is what are they doing about it?  More than that I want to know how the rest of the world is viewing Gilead, it's implied it's not favorable by the boycotting story.  What else though?  Moira and blondie and Luke have access to computers, to newspapers, to television, to information about all of that. 

  • Has there been talk of supporting the resistance in the former USA?  Are they doing that?
  • Has there been talk at the UN, aside from sanctions, about rescuing the women there?
  • How are the nuclear meltdowns affecting the rest of the world?  Ditto the climate change issues?
  • Are scientists working on the birth rate issues?  Are sperm rates tested, discussed, all of that.
  • Has invasion been discussed?
  • What are people saying about Gilead?  Have women around the world protested these atrocities?
  • How much video is the rest of the world getting about conditions in Gilead?
  • Why aren't there international reporters questioning the escapees, or ARE there?

That's always been the main benefit of having the Canada storyline for me, and we aren't getting any of it.  Just personal stories about Luke, the blond, and Moira, which?  Fine, but definitely not enough.

Maybe this post would be better in the "hate" thread, but it was this episode that made me frustrated, since it was Canada-intense and nothing about the outside world was shared.

Edited by Umbelina
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18 hours ago, Umbelina said:

I was more bored by the Canada scenes.  I want SO much more from those scenes!  Like, HOW is the rest of the world handling the Gilead "story?"  Where are the London papers, what does France say?  What about the exiled government in Alaska and Hawaii?  What are people around the world thinking/doing?

And what about fertility in Canada. There is never a mention of whether or not there is a fertility crisis there. I'm assuming that there is as I can't imagine that the US and Mexico are the only countries where it's a problem. So if Canada has the same problem what is it doing about it are they encouraging pregnancies? Financially incentivising new parents? The surrogacy storyline made me realise that Luke, Moira and Erin are three proven fertile people, all living together in a too small apartment. They would be being offered better lives to have a couple of babies between them and/or to make sperm and egg donations. But it's never touched on.

I was also a bit annoyed watching the prenatal classes. When Hannah was born we saw that all the other babies in the hospital apparently died over night. The prenatal class would have been loaded with highly anxious people all stressing about their baby's health. And speaking of baby health. Fertility crises or not, Emily has been shovelling radioactive dirt and drinking contaminated water for months. I don't know how healthy any pregnancy she conceives could be.

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49 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

It doesn't really bother me much that Luke seems stuck in some kind of dull acceptance for the time being.  What good would wailing or gnashing his teeth about it do?  

 

 I felt the same way.

Luke has been separated from his wife and daughter long enough for it to be a sort of normal.

 I can only imagine how crazy he would drive himself if he were to get worked up every single time there's a new report, filled with rumors and partial information and all the dark places his mind must go to when that happens.

 At the end of the day he doesn't have the luxury of what we normally are able to do in such situations: he can't go on TV and beg his wife and daughter's kidnappers to release them, he can't offer up a reward for info, he can't even work with local law enforcement and actively search for them. 

 Luke has no closure to anything right now, he knows June is alive or used to be, he knows Hannah's alive or used to be, that's all he has to hope on and hope for, that they are still alive and able to be rescued one day.

Right now Luke is a helpless pawn in a very sick, twisted game that  leaves him stationary, not out of choice but out of having no choice.

 I didn't need to see him have a breakdown or lose control, when I look at Luke  I see a dying man.

He's not really living and I think you can tell that, his reaction is one of desperate waiting, fading hope, and there's really nothing that can keep him going except trying to convince himself that his family will ger lucky in a way hundred of thousands of others were not. 

 I also see a man who is not nearly ready to move on with his life, he isn't dating obviously, does he bother to go to the clubs like Moira but why woild he?

He doesn't seem to show an interest in anybody really.

Even June has Nick for comfort, and she's actually seen Hannah since she was snatched,  And there is no doubt that changed her, it filled her with a new breath of life that she didn't have before, when she didn't know for sure, when she was left having to think the very worst.

But the very worst outcome is all Luke has to think about and look back on.

He is miserable, and I think that it is Moira and the still to be named handmaid that keep him going, they help him feel needed so he stays.

 Situations like this actually make me wonder how high the suicide rate must be for Gilead survivors, especially those like Luke whose families have been ripped apart, wives kept as handmaids,  husbands murdered, daughters and sons either missing or killed or worse.

How many people just couldn't keep going knowing that they'd truly lost everything.

Edited by AnswersWanted
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11 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

We also get the added bonus that with the death of Nick's superior that may throw his own status up in the air

That's what i assumed was happening initially when Nick learned of Pryce's death. But for the rest of the episode Nick was seen to be in a recognised position of authority. Guardians made reports to him and called him 'sir' while he gave them orders. I was watching wondering when Nick stopped pretending to be just a driver. Soldiers aren't going to follow a commander's driver like that. Clearly he was recognised as some sort of commanding officer which makes no sense for a spy who worked for a guy who's now dead. I kind of equate him with a high ranking Stasi officer working undercover but for the soldiers to recognise his command, he'd have to be known as a higher ranking Eye. Which means he's have to give up his pretence of just being Fred's driver.

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When the Canadian office read the names & showed the photos of the handmaids who had died, I was bawling. Especially when Lillie’s photo appeared.  It gutted me.

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14 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

Moira's story was tragic but I think we all knew Odette was not going to be alive, that said, where did Moira get a photo of the two of them if Moira escaped Gilead with only the clothes on her back?

I assume these photos were found and pulled from social media sites (the in story version of Facebook/instagram). I would think that those companies would want USC refugees to have access to family photos and use their website to find each other. 

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21 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

They murdered an untold and in some ways unknown number of fertile adults, and then they slaughtered actual children

I'm going to guess this gets answered or address further in the thread but I'm not sure how to quote something and hold on to it so I'll just posit that I thought the "black books" were for the women (people?) who had been killed ... so, the professors, doctors, etc., which is why Moira was looking for Odette who, as a doctor (and a ob/gyn no less), would have been prime early target (though you'd think they'd like to hold on to them for fertility expertise) ... BUT here is a question ... near the end when the woman is reading the names of the HMs confirmed killed in the bombing, I THOUGHT the last name she said was Odette something ... it's the last name Moira heard. Coincidence, or did I misunderstand what list they were reading (I thought it was the Rachel and Leah Center bombing, so Odette would have been long dead by then if the photos of the women in the looseleafs were already filed, yes?) ... thoughts?

I loved the scene with the HMs taking back their names and meeting each other and forming a bond but YOU KNOW that evil Eden is going to out them all.

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4 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

 I doubt their education at the old Red Center included proper mourning for a mass suicide bombing.

This made me chuckle! 

This was probably an expanded version of a funeral for handmaid that has died "a honourable death". I think they do spend a lot of time making up and rehearsing all kinds of rituals for all sorts of occasions. After all, achieving social cohesion is the point of most rituals, and Gilead does want their Handmades to feel included and be integrated - if nothing else than not to have them throwing themselves in front of the moving vehicles or hanging from the ceiling. 

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17 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The worst thing about the handmaids' funeral wasn't just the hypocrisy of Aunt Lydia saying that she wanted a world free of violence for them, but the fact that even in death these women weren't called by their real names. They were still Ofryan, Ofzeb, etc. I know that might be a small indignity compared to monthly rape, not being allowed to read or write, and all the other shit they have been put through but it made me so angry that even as they were being mourned and buried, they were still anonymous women whose identities were tied to their rapists.

That really got to me, too. Such an indignity that even in death, they were still treated as possessions of the men.

Which is why the scene juxtaposing that where they all told each other their names was so powerful.

15 hours ago, Baltimore Betty said:

Because most scenes seem to lit with candle light, did they kill Serena's Martha? I could not tell.

I spent the rest of the episode wondering if it was Rita (Serena's Martha) who was killed, until later when Serena said that Eden and Rita had gone to visit the family whose Martha had been killed. I think maybe they wanted us to wonder, because when June was crying to Nick about it, she just said "They killed HER."

13 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I am telling myself that Moira had pictures uploaded to the cloud and once she got to Canada, she was able to access her account.

Ha, I got bugged by the picture like so many others, and that's exactly what I told myself, too.

I'm wondering if Odette also performed abortions, and that's why she was one of the first to be rounded up, "before the war." 

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I was more bored by the Canada scenes.  I want SO much more from those scenes!  Like, HOW is the rest of the world handling the Gilead "story?"  Where are the London papers, what does France say?  What about the exiled government in Alaska and Hawaii?  What are people around the world thinking/doing?

So much word. I want to know all of this, and I am here for the spin-off, in which an international tribunal holds Nuremburg-style trials for every last one of these criminals! 

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Well, I am here for Serena  redemption arc. There, I said it. I feel like we’ve been seeing a lot of glimpses of how unhappy Serena is, and I think it’s that that makes her lash out. The show has taken pains to include scenes of her expecting to go to a meeting and being shut out, offering to help with work and being shut down.

What she says to June it’s time that things got back to normal, she’s not just talking about getting guards off the street even though that’s what she says out loud.

 

That stack of papers was huge. She’s making some sweeping changes.

 

For the person who said why does she need an editor, I’m an editor. We do a lot more than correct grammar. She would be reading that defined the strongest points, change what should be upfront, organize it, and also make sure it’s in the voice of Mr. Waterford. It’s a lot.

 

For the person who said there were no PCs in 1987 that would surprise a lot of us who are in college then and wrote on Max. However, it is true that we didn’t upload photographs to the computers which I guess is the point. I like the idea of the cloud being the photograph because that kind of souvenir in hands of survivor of terrible tragedy, like Holocaust victims and call the midwife, always annoys me. But the cloud solves it.

 

That said it made total sense to me that they would print the photos out and put them in a binder, flipping through a photo album is much faster and more effective than clicking on the website.

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18 hours ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

So they basically retconned S1 so they could get everyone back in the same location at this point. Who cares if any of these women were a danger to Gilead or these women spent enough time in the colonies that they’ve actually been harmed by the toxicity there(including their ability to conceive and carry healthy babies), who cares about that logic, we need these characters back. Just like it felt wasteful that June was recaptured so quickly this season, it’s been highlighted that the show  sucks at balancing.

This. So much this.

It's frustrating because they're showing that, for the sake of the story, the writers/showrunners/whoever you want to blame don't care about showing a realistic portrayal of what this could truly be. The realism is gone for me. I'm basically just popcorning it for bits of character development and have been since June was taken back to the Red Center and then the Waterfords with no real consequence. Why care about the consequences of the characters actions when the show itself doesn't seem to?

Of course, then we couldn't have seven million close shots of June's face, lit from behind, while she chokes back tears. Per episode. All the money spent on that when this show really needs to invest in some higher wattage light bulbs. 

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I don't think this has been mentioned upthread but it was mentioned that Glen was punished for Lillie's suicide bombing. He was the Commander Deeds who was executed along with his entire household. So he, his wife, Martha and driver were all hung (presumably) because Cushing somehow assumed that he had some role in his handmaid's rebellion.

As for the handmaid shortage. Haven't we actually been shown the opposite in the Mexico storyline? Gilead had extra handmaids that they were going to sell off to any country willing to buy them. So now they are low on saleable commodities rather than women to rape for themselves. Unless Mexico already bought the surplus of handmaids and if they did, how has the rest of the world reacted to that? The only way the Canadians would have gotten the information about the bombing and the names of the dead handmaids was through Mayday. And considering the purges Cushing was carrying out, it would have been a dangerous task to get all their real names together (presumably there is an Aunt in Mayday to do that) and then out of Gilead (because it's not going to be as simple as sending a traceable email). So if Gilead was selling handmaids to Mexico, the rest of the world would not only know about it, but the real names of those women would be found and gotten out, leading to their families demanding them back.

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So that 250k baby is supposed to be a newborn?! It is at least 2 months old if not 4! I kept wondering why would Moira keep the baby for so long before handing it over but then when she mentioned having to sit on ice I realised it was just an error of casting.

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7 minutes ago, lesmisfits29 said:

So that 250k baby is supposed to be a newborn?! It is at least 2 months old if not 4! I kept wondering why would Moira keep the baby for so long before handing it over but then when she mentioned having to sit on ice I realised it was just an error of casting.

No kidding. AT LEAST 4 months old. Newborns don't look like that.

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June really pissed me off in the early flashbacks, pushing Moira to bond with the child she planned to give away. Wht the hell? Don't make this harder on her. Of course she won't want a sonogram picture on her fridge. I have no idea why she completely ignored that her and Moira's pregnancies were very different. But she really made up for it later in Lamaze class. Who'd want that? - Not me. Hee. 

18 hours ago, LordOfLotion said:

Wait a minute... A room full of binders. Did Canada run out of computers? Even Gilead has laptops.

You can't really create a visual gut punch like this by sitting Moira in front of computer. I at least find it difficult to think of how that might be achieved. 

16 hours ago, Catfi9ht said:

 

I'm not sure why I have so much sympathy for him when we really haven't had any character development, but he seems more beaten down and exasperated to me than anything else. I like the variety of character choices the show provides rather than making everyone a freedom fighter

8 hours ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

I'm going to guess this gets answered or address further in the thread but I'm not sure how to quote something and hold on to it so I'll just posit that I thought the "black books" were for the women (people?) who had been killed ... so, the professors, doctors, etc., which is why Moira was looking for Odette who, as a doctor (and a ob/gyn no less), would have been prime early target (though you'd think they'd like to hold on to them for fertility expertise) ... BUT here is a question ... near the end when the woman is reading the names of the HMs confirmed killed in the bombing, I THOUGHT the last name she said was Odette something ... it's the last name Moira heard. 

I assumed it was Moira's Odette and she was added becuse she was finally identified and deserved to be recognized as well. 

I felt really uncomfortable watching Luke in this episode. It's almost like watching Jaws and the water being still on the surface, but you know something is boiling beneath. I wouldn't be surprised if he cracked the next time we see him. 

The guy playing Ray was really good at playing scary. I'm surprised they got rid of him that quickly. 

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In S1 Waterford reads an online story written by an Aunt who had escaped Gilead so presumably the world does know what is happening, just as the World today knows that there are countries where women live in theocracies with few rights and are governed by male relatives.  If a nation is wealthy enough the governments of today often turn a blind eye to a number of human rights abuses to pursue economic advantages, so it is not a stretch to imagine the world of the Handmaid’s tale similarly not taking a hard line against Gilead

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1 hour ago, AllyB said:



As for the handmaid shortage. Haven't we actually been shown the opposite in the Mexico storyline? Gilead had extra handmaids that they were going to sell off to any country willing to buy them. So now they are low on saleable commodities rather than women to rape for themselves. Unless Mexico already bought the surplus of handmaids and if they did, how has the rest of the world reacted to that? The only way the Canadians would have gotten the information about the bombing and the names of the dead handmaids was through Mayday. And considering the purges Cushing was carrying out, it would have been a dangerous task to get all their real names together (presumably there is an Aunt in Mayday to do that) and then out of Gilead (because it's not going to be as simple as sending a traceable email). So if Gilead was selling handmaids to Mexico, the rest of the world would not only know about it, but the real names of those women would be found and gotten out, leading to their families demanding them back.

Even in that stupid story they worried that they didn't have any handmaids to spare, remember?  They were so desperate to establish trade with at least one country, they gave them some anyway, over objections by some that they really didn't have any fertile women to spare.

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42 minutes ago, lesmisfits29 said:

So that 250k baby is supposed to be a newborn?! It is at least 2 months old if not 4! I kept wondering why would Moira keep the baby for so long before handing it over but then when she mentioned having to sit on ice I realised it was just an error of casting.

They never use newborns in movies or TV. I always notice. That baby was adorable though. But yeah, he was holding up his head and everything. They could at least have carried him like a newborn - they were holding him on hips!

Samira Wiley has the most beautiful smile.

I fell out when Eden was talking about making lemon chicken and June gave that eye roll. There aren't many moments of levity in this show, but that was one.

The whisper down the lane with their real names was very moving, but I had my eye on Eden. I maintain that she is never to be trusted.

Edited by Empress1
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Watching society break down in Gilead is very interesting.  Mayday are desperate enough to stage suicide bombings, the government is willing to kill people (even commanders) in their own homes, women are reading and writing again, and handmaids are whispering their real names in public.  

What’s obvious is that the center cannot (and will not) hold for long.  It makes me wish that we got more time with the US Government in exile to learn what they have up their sleeve.

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2 hours ago, Empress1 said:

I had my eye on Eden. I maintain that she is never to be trusted.

 

Oh that girl is full of stitch, heh, she is absolutely the type you have to keep your eye on. 

The enjoyment that she is getting out of living life in Gilead should make everyone in the Waterford’s household incredibly uneasy. She is basically giddy at the thought of “playing house” with Nick and getting pregnant and fulfilling her biblical/biological purpose. 

It was nice seeing June react to her silly, little girl head in the clouds act with the proper rolled eyes of exasperation that it deserved. 

Edited by AnswersWanted
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I'm confused about how the commander system works.  Pryce was on top, then he got killed, so then Cushing stepped into his position and the other commanders (at least Warren) were okay with it.  But then Cushing could get stripped of his post based on another commander's (Waterford's) accusation?  Were we to assume Fred Waterford was normally above him in the pecking order?

Regarding Emily and Janine: Great to have them out of the poison zone, but one would think Aunt Lydia would be chaining them to bedposts at this point.

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15 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Thanks, the idea that the photos came from the cloud makes sense!  (for the poster who said that.)  The whole computer thing is kind of an issue though, obviously they weren't around when Atwood wrote the book, at least not PC's.  I'm guessing Canada would have both systems, books and computer files.

The problem that I have with the cloud, or social media, and some of the other modern amenities in the flashbacks in general, is that they've tried to sell us an alternate history or time line that was badly planned.  A lot of people who make this stuff would have been distracted at the least, and the population may have had priorities that led to things like Facebook and Twitter not being the successes that they are, or people like Zuckerberg might have created something else entirely. Things like the cloud might not have existed when Gilead was formed.

PCs were around when Atwood wrote the book. I know because I had them in my room. My father was a systems analyst and we had ones he built himself in the 70s as well, but that was an exception.

 

13 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Yes, I think the birth problem exists in Europe, and Moira's story does address that. 

What I want to know more though?  What is Europe doing about it?  Certainly not overthrowing their governments and making fertile women handmaids.   I don't care much if they are having birthrate issues, what I really wanted, and expected, from the expanded show is what are they doing about it?  More than that I want to know how the rest of the world is viewing Gilead, it's implied it's not favorable by the boycotting story.  What else though?  Moira and blondie and Luke have access to computers, to newspapers, to television, to information about all of that. 

  • Has there been talk of supporting the resistance in the former USA?  Are they doing that?
  • Has there been talk at the UN, aside from sanctions, about rescuing the women there?
  • How are the nuclear meltdowns affecting the rest of the world?  Ditto the climate change issues?
  • Are scientists working on the birth rate issues?  Are sperm rates tested, discussed, all of that.
  • Has invasion been discussed?
  • What are people saying about Gilead?  Have women around the world protested these atrocities?
  • How much video is the rest of the world getting about conditions in Gilead?
  • Why aren't there international reporters questioning the escapees, or ARE there?

That's always been the main benefit of having the Canada storyline for me, and we aren't getting any of it.  Just personal stories about Luke, the blond, and Moira, which?  Fine, but definitely not enough.

Maybe this post would be better in the "hate" thread, but it was this episode that made me frustrated, since it was Canada-intense and nothing about the outside world was shared.

I feel like we are never going to get answers to what is going on in the outside world, and if we do, it won't make sense. The Mexico plot didn't exactly set a good precedent. Right now, this show is about misery. If they show stuff from your list, that gives viewers hope, and they're not interested in that. I suspect that if we see any of what you've described, it will somehow result in handmaids losing body parts or some other disaster, even if there is no logical reason for that to happen. Things happen in this show because the writers want it to happen, not because it would.

 

2 hours ago, sam77 said:

In S1 Waterford reads an online story written by an Aunt who had escaped Gilead so presumably the world does know what is happening, just as the World today knows that there are countries where women live in theocracies with few rights and are governed by male relatives.  If a nation is wealthy enough the governments of today often turn a blind eye to a number of human rights abuses to pursue economic advantages, so it is not a stretch to imagine the world of the Handmaid’s tale similarly not taking a hard line against Gilead

I'm wondering how long it would take for other countries to go from "Americans are jerks!" to "Hey, that's not right!" A lot of people don't like us, and the countries who commit the same kinds of offenses are simply not going to care. Also, with the US out of the picture, you'll have countries like North Korea and Russia free to do anything, so human rights for the rich fat kid who tripped and spilled his ice cream all over the sidewalk will get pushed to the side while other countries deal with their own problems. You might see trade sanctions and-- oops, someone's invading Poland again. Y'all got any extras of them goons with guns that you have on every corner? We can trade some oranges for 'em.

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I was very confused by the scene in Canada where the names of the handmaids who were killed were being read. The last name was "Odette Johnson." Now we know Odette wasn't a handmaid, and wasn't killed in the bombing. I read on another site that Moira must have asked them to add Odette's name to those killed, as she is now no longer an "unnamed victim." 

Does this make sense to others?

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53 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

The problem that I have with the cloud, or social media, and some of the other modern amenities in the flashbacks in general, is that they've tried to sell us an alternate history or time line that was badly planned.  A lot of people who make this stuff would have been distracted at the least, and the population may have had priorities that led to things like Facebook and Twitter not being the successes that they are, or people like Zuckerberg might have created something else entirely. Things like the cloud might not have existed when Gilead was formed.

Social media and cloud services have been around for over a decade, so if Gilead has only been in power for the past three or four years, then those technologies pre-date it.

Also, all the action so far has been set on the East Coast. We don't know what's been going on in Silicon Valley and/or Seattle, the country's biggest tech hubs. It could very well be that they were in a liberal bubble and misjudged the political current - kind of like they did before the last presidential election.

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Re: Luke’s aloofness. Hey, sometimes people move on. Or is that only an appropriate excuse for fucking around on your wife? 

During the inquisition after the bombing, I couldn’t tell if those were supposed to be actual people (Marthas?) hanging from nooses, or were they in effigy? 

The handmaid June introduced herself to -  Brianna - looked and sounded so much younger than I expected. Like a little girl. She actually reminded me of Olympian, Laurie Hernandez.

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I don't have an issue with the show's timeline. Obviously, it's set in a somewhat fictionalized universe even in pre-Gilead era - those dramatically low birthrates being the prime example of this. So, it's possible that the show's universe saw the rise of Web 2.0 and digital technology in general somewhat earlier compared to what happened in the real world. 

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