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S02.E07: After

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6 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

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.

This runs on the assumption that the people who created these technologies and the people who helped those people were even born. This decline in births supposedly began in the 60s and slowly snowballed as time went on until the rate of healthy births dropped 61% in the year prior to Serena being shot. There would have been a butterfly effect into all kinds of cultural and technological developments, and the writers have completely ignored that. It wouldn't have just been a matter of actual technological development, either. Gilead's people getting into positions of power prior to the takeover would have stifled certain things and encouraged others. They didn't just flip a switch one day.

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10 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

This runs on the assumption that the people who created these technologies and the people who helped those people were even born. This decline in births supposedly began in the 60s and slowly snowballed as time went on until the rate of healthy births dropped 61% in the year prior to Serena being shot. There would have been a butterfly effect into all kinds of cultural and technological developments, and the writers have completely ignored that. It wouldn't have just been a matter of actual technological development, either. Gilead's people getting into positions of power prior to the takeover would have stifled certain things and encouraged others. They didn't just flip a switch one day.

People like Emily, June, and Moira - biologists, editors, web developers - were born, so why wouldn't someone like Zuckerberg or Dorsey? They're all around the same age. Last season, in the episode where June met Luke, she and Moira were looking at Tinder on an iPhone. The technology that we're accustomed to was all there. 

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15 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. 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.

This.  I heard Odette as well and thought they were naming the dead handmaids from the bombing, not a random, missing, "powerful" woman. 

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18 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

People like Emily, June, and Moira - biologists, editors, web developers - were born, so why wouldn't someone like Zuckerberg or Dorsey? They're all around the same age. Last season, in the episode where June met Luke, she and Moira were looking at Tinder on an iPhone. The technology that we're accustomed to was all there. 

Well, I guess who was born and who wasn't would be a crap shoot. The way this show has explained things isn't very good. Pick names out of a hat and you're bound to pick a few who would throw a wrench into the works. As for Tinder, just because it is there doesn't mean it should be, or would be. Would there be a bigger demand for dating apps in this world, or apps for surrogate mothers who can make $250,000 per baby?

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was this addressed upthread and I missed it? How did all of those photos get into the binders that Moira was looking at? It seems the only people in a position to take those photos would be their killers (that is, Guardians or high-up people in Gilead). How did the photos end up in Canada? And why are they without names? If they were hacked from a Gilead server, I assume they would have had the names attached.

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The director that speaks the names of the fallen handmaids says Briget or Brigette, I think that's the name some belived sounded like Odette instead.  

I believe the full name was Bridget/teJohnson.

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closed caption had Odette, and it sounded like Odette. As I mentioned up thread, a theory is floated on the interwebs that Moira asked that her name be added as a no-longer-unidentified-dead-person.

3 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

The director that speaks the names of the fallen handmaids says Briget or Brigette, I think that's the name some belived sounded like Odette instead.  

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1 hour ago, charmed1 said:

 

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? 

 

Those were supposed to be actual people hanging from nooses.

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19 minutes ago, dleighg said:

closed caption had Odette, and it sounded like Odette. As I mentioned up thread, a theory is floated on the interwebs that Moira asked that her name be added as a no-longer-unidentified-dead-person.

 

 It sounded like Briget/te to me. I guess only the producers of the show know for sure. 

 Or there was another Odette, but not Moira's, which is also a very reasonable possibility.

 I thought I caught something so I went back just to check, the director names 16 women, but in the beginning sequence I counted 31 caskets. 

 So unless those 15 other handmaids just could not be named, which is possible,  the director did say that the information came from their sources inside of Gilead, so it is understandable that they would receivce partial or incorrect infor.ation.

But what stuck out to me is that 15 women are known to be deceased within the darkened walls of Gilead and the outside world has no idea. 

Fifteen more potential families who will remain hopeful that "she", whomever each she was, will return to them someday. 

This show is truly a misery shit sandwich. 

Edited by AnswersWanted
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I can't stop thinking about Emily's face when June goes to talk to her.  Her face was in silent terror. Is it the shift change back to being a handmaid? Understanding you will die in the colonies and now you are out? Back to being raped once a month? Probably all of it. I think I felt more for Emily than anyone. Alma..that girl never loses her sass. 

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4 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

 It sounded like Briget/te to me. I guess only the producers of the show know for sure. 

 Or there was another Odette, but not Moira's, which is also a very reasonable possibility.

Yanni or Laurel?

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51 minutes ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

Yanni or Laurel?

 

I like to keep it neutral and always choose Yahtzee. 

 

52 minutes ago, Tarar said:

I can't stop thinking about Emily's face when June goes to talk to her.  Her face was in silent terror. Is it the shift change back to being a handmaid? Understanding you will die in the colonies and now you are out? Back to being raped once a month? Probably all of it. I think I felt more for Emily than anyone. Alma..that girl never loses her sass. 

 

 The look of absolute dread and terror on Emily's face when the Eyes came racing down the road in the colonies, you can just see that she remembers the last time she was in one of those vans, the unspeakable things that had just happened to her, where she had just been brought from, not to mention the fact that the last stop they'd made was the colony

She obviously wondered what more could they want her for at that point, what fresh hell could they want to inflict on her that was worse than the colonies?

There is no doubt that her mind and spirit have been forever impacted by everything she's been through, but I am grateful to see that she's still going. 

She is for sure weary and drained and physically battered and bruised, but I think trading the colonies for life as a handmaid, at least for the time being, gives her a lift, as sad and heartbreaking as that is. 

 I think some of her terror naturally comes from knowing what awaits bad handmaids, she has seen what they will do if she's not a "good girl" and I think for the moment she is in constant panic of doing something to be punished for.

 Not giving their preprogrammed proper greetings, talking out of turn, talking at all, lifting her head when she shouldn't, if there is any returned handmaid that is going to watch her P's and Q's, her F's and U's, it is Emily right now.

She knows she just barely held on long enough before and she doubts she could go through any of that again and survive it. 

Also, I had to chuckle at Janine's usual kookie self actually trying to get info from the aunts before she got into the truck, because watching all her fellow girls get zapped with cattle prods didn't seem to affect her any and she just wanted to know where they were going, heh, I love her. 

Edited by AnswersWanted
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25 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

I like to keep it neutral and always choose Yahtzee. 

 

 

 The look of absolute dread and terror on Emily's face when the Eyes came racing down the road in the colonies, you can just see that she remembers the last time she was in one of those vans, the unspeakable things that had just happened to her, where she had just been brought from, not to mention the fact that the last stop they'd made was the colony

She obviously wondered what more could they want her for at that point, what fresh hell could they want to inflict on her that was worse than the colonies?

There is no doubt that her mind and spirit have been forever impacted by everything she's been through, but I am grateful to see that she's still going. 

She is for sure weary and drained and physically battered and bruised, but I think trading the colonies for life as a handmaid, at least for the time being, gives her a lift, as sad and heartbreaking as that is. 

 I think some of her terror naturally comes from knowing what awaits bad handmaids, she has seen what they will do if she's not a "good girl" and I think for the moment she is in constant panic of doing something to be punished for.

 Not giving their preprogrammed proper greetings, talking out of turn, talking at all, lifting her head when she shouldn't, if there is any returned handmaid that is going to watch her P's and Q's, her F's and U's, it is Emily right now.

She knows she just barely held on long enough before and she doubts she could go through any of that again and survive it. 

Also, I had to chuckle at Janine's usual kookie self actually trying to get info from the aunts before she got into the truck, because watching all her fellow girls get zapped with cattle prods didn't seem to affect her any and she just wanted to know where they were going, heh, I love her. 

Thank you! You articulated exactly everything I was feeling/thinking. Janine...that girl..in the words of June "bat shit crazy Janine" I love her though. Her running up to June like she is back at summer camp cracked me up! It was a lighthearted moment I really needed. When June stoked her face, it really made me smile. 

You are so right about Emily being terrified because she knows exactly what will happen to her if she messes up. You could tell she was barely holding on and then when everyone is sharing their names..I wish they cut to her face more. 

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8 hours 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.

I KNOW! That was ridiculous!

I wouldn't care if I never saw Luke again and wouldn't even need an explanation for his disappearance.

I realized this week that I haven't been clear if the rest of the world is online, gets tv etc. Someone mentioned Waterford working on his laptop what does that mean?

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7 minutes ago, DiabLOL said:

 

I realized this week that I haven't been clear if the rest of the world is online, gets tv etc. Someone mentioned Waterford working on his laptop what does that mean?

That he’s a hypocrite? Advocates and enforces bans on reading, technology and recreational sex to the rest of the world, but still takes part in all hose things and derives additional pleasure from knowing he’s the asshole in charge.

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11 minutes ago, bijoux said:

That he’s a hypocrite? Advocates and enforces bans on reading, technology and recreational sex to the rest of the world, but still takes part in all hose things and derives additional pleasure from knowing he’s the asshole in charge.

True but what I meant was is he connected to the internet? Is there even an internet?

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9 hours 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.

 

9 hours ago, dleighg said:

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

It was less an error of casting and more a case of working with what's available. Newborns are not allowed to be used in Canada. Canadian law states:

(1) Babies under 15 days old can't be used in entertainment, which rules out using actual newborn babies.
(2) Child actors under the age of two can only be filmed for a maximum of 4 hours per day. This sounds like a lot but it's really not. It can take hours to shoot one short scene.
(3) Child actors under the age of three may not be in front of a recording device aka a camera for more than 15 consecutive minutes. They must then be given a minimum 20 minute break. That means for every hour that the baby is on set, you can only film for about 30 minutes. This is why twins are often used because you can swap one in while the other is on their mandatory break.
(4) Each child must have a separate chaperone which means if you have twins, both parents must be on set with them the entire time.

On top of all that, having a baby on set is really dependent on whether there are any parents within a reasonable distance from where you're shooting who have recently had a baby (or twins) who are willing to let their kid(s) be on set for four hours a day (I can tell you that my mom would never have allowed me to be around a bunch of strangers for half a day because she was a total germaphobe). Unless someone on set knows someone local who has a C-section scheduled about two weeks before the scene is scheduled to shoot, you just have to kind of wait and see what's available. It's not like casting an older child where you can start looking for someone months in advance. Babies come out when they feel like it and not every parent in the surrounding area is going to want to let their very tiny baby be on set for four hours a day.

4 hours 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.

From what we've seen on the show of pre-Gilead, I think that many of the things we have/use are things that they had too. In one episode, Emily's student saw a picture of her wife on Emily's smartphone. In another episode, Moira and June were looking at people on Tinder. Those two things make me think that most things in their pre-Gilead lives were similar to what we have now.

The cloud has been around for several years and even before that, I remember using sites like photobucket, yahoo photos, and flickr because I was a paranoid person who wanted my pictures saved somewhere besides just my house. When my sister went to Europe for a semester in the early 2000s (I want to say 2003 or 2004), she wanted to make sure she didn't lose any of her photos (we all knew shew as mainly going so she could have drunken adventures) so every day without fail, she uploaded all of her new pictures to photobucket.

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56 minutes ago, Tarar said:

Thank you! You articulated exactly everything I was feeling/thinking. Janine...that girl..in the words of June "bat shit crazy Janine" I love her though. Her running up to June like she is back at summer camp cracked me up! It was a lighthearted moment I really needed. When June stoked her face, it really made me smile. 

You are so right about Emily being terrified because she knows exactly what will happen to her if she messes up. You could tell she was barely holding on and then when everyone is sharing their names..I wish they cut to her face more. 

 

Aww, you are sweet,  I just ramble a ton, heh. 

Janine is the brightest rainbow on the stormiest day.

The face stroke melted my heart. 

Should there be another escape attempt made, and I'm sure there will be, I want Nick to show up and realize that June has somehow smuggled out Emily and Janine to take with them.

 I think Emily's mind is just a hot mess right now.

She knows that the other girls are acting the way they are because they don't know what she knows,  and I am sure that she will try to do her best to make sure that they never have to.  

I thought that she might admonish them but I think she will need to work on her nerve to get to that point, but I could definitely see her doing that in the future.

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22 minutes ago, DiabLOL said:

True but what I meant was is he connected to the internet? Is there even an internet?

The internet still exists, even in Gilead. In S1, Fred was reading the news on his laptop.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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It doesn't seem that the rulers of Gilead want to be cut off from the rest of the world like, say, Albania under Enver Hoxha's regime. As we have seen, they very much want to trade with other countries and be recognized by the international community (as long as they don't meddle in their "internal affairs" and interfere with them treating 90% of the population like dirt, of course). So, it's not really surprising the ruling class would use the internet in order to be in touch with what's happening outside their borders. 

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Can I just say how stoked I am that this show not only has several episodes left this season BUT is re-upped for S3? (Said someone for whom watching the series finale today of "Americans" was so filled with an unspeakable sadness for its loss). 

I also like the fact that we're "off the grid," so to speak, of the book so who knows where they will go. This keeps me at the edge of my La-Z-Boy every episode. I'm just bummed that Mr. Snappy won't watch it (though I consider him very much a feminist, he found the show to be too anti-men and I don't think he ever got into the book because he is a very slow reader). So it's just me ... and you, my PTV friends.

I've long held the "unpopular opinion" of loving Alexis Bledel ... GG was something Little Snappy and I watched together for the entire run, she being the Rory to my Lorelai without the divorced/single mom part ... and I think she has been absolutely KILLER as Emily ... 

I was SO terrified that Rita had been executed (I think we were supposed to wonder about that, right?) ... I love how she has become one of the stealth heroines of this show and hope we will get a Rita-centric episode at some point where we see everything from the Marthas' POV ... Amanda Bruegel (sp?) is a revelation.

Thank you for the catch on Deeds being Glen ... Also, I had been hoping we'd see Cushing executed right out on the lawn instead of shuttled into a van but one can still hope, right?

AGHHGHGHHG that baby ... so cute. WannaBeAGrandma emoticons kicking into full gear on that. 

And every time I see her, Moira just slays me more and more. 

Okay. All my thoughts. Sort of. Part of me wishes this whole thing was streaming so I could binge but the other part is glad someone is limited my virtual Godiva Chocolate-TV intake to a piece at a time.

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I think about how Gilead was able to develop and Europe, Mexico etc, did not turn into this crazy Gilead-like world. I think it’s because those countries Don’t have massive fundamentalist populations like the USA. Most of Europe’s funamentalists come here and it’s shaped our history. Imaging quiverfull, Duggar types dealing with a loss of population, a massive drop in children ,when their main goal is to make  enough kids to form an ARMY for god. These are the sorts who built Gilead.. 

 

ETA, I see there is talk about the loss of the Americans. I will miss it too and I’m happy that some of the people from that forum are here. I’m looking at you for one, Umbellina. This show and Billions can help fill that void.

Edited by JennyMominFL
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Having June serve as her editor may have unintended consequences for Serena Joy.  Reading those orders could give June useful information for an escape attempt.

I don't trust Eden, either.  But who is she going to tell about the Handmaids exchanging names? Nick? Serena Joy?  I suppose she might snitch to Aunt Lydia on one of her pre-natal visits.  I can't help hoping that scene might be an epiphany for her - when it hits home that even the Handmaids' names have been taken from them - and she realizes what Gilead has done to them.  Sadly, I suspect she is too thoroughly indoctrinated for that.

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On 5/30/2018 at 3:10 PM, Tarar said:

That episode was amazing! One mistake I caught. Moria told June that she was sterilized before being sent to Jezebels.  

If I'm remembering correctly, they were being given some kind of contraception not being sterilized. Wasn't there the suggestion that Nick or someone was smuggling it in to them?

On 5/30/2018 at 6:35 PM, Joana said:

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

This was my worry with them making a season 2. They're having to do a lot of plot gymnastics to make this work. Emily in particular went to the colonies around the time June became pregnant. We know June is in her second trimester, so Emily was probably at least three months digging around in nuclear waste. Not a strong candidate for carrying a healthy baby to term. It's just hard for me to believe that they'll maim, depose, and disappear commanders on the slightest evidence of wrongdoing but bring these handmaids back. I'd think they'd find a way to steal an upstanding econowife from someone first.

I missed a few episodes and have been catching up, but I'm somewhat amazed that we're almost to episode 8 and it feels like fairly little has happened. It's almost like last few episodes just transitioned us back to where we were sometime in season 1.

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Imo, Atwood never thought about all the complexities of a society like Gilead. It was never the point, she isn't Tolkien. Gilead works better as a symbol of a specific type of oppresive regime than as a real society so now that the writers are trying to expand this world, I'm not surprised some things are coming across as unclear -which commander has power over what commander- or unbelievable or repetitive. 

Edited by Helena Dax
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6 minutes ago, LaChavalina said:

If I'm remembering correctly, they were being given some kind of contraception not being sterilized. Wasn't there the suggestion that Nick or someone was smuggling it in to them?

why is this an issue? She had her surrogate baby before that; now she's in Canada. Why is it an issue whether she is, or is not, currently fertile?

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I didn't get the impression Waterford had authority over Cushing - he was arrested for being a traitor and they said the eyes had been given evidence. So it was more they'd managed to fake up some evidence to put his loyalty in doubt - which given Nick is an eye and involved in Mayday and was helping should have been easy enough to scare up rather than Fred outranking him.

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25 minutes ago, Helena Dax said:

Imo, Atwood never thought about all the complexities of a society like Gilead. It was never the point, she isn't Tolkien. Gilead works better as a symbol of a specific type of oppresive regime than as a real society so now that the writers are trying to expand this world, I'm not surprised some things are coming across as unclear -which commander has power over what commander- or unbelievable or repetitive. 

 

She has been (apparently) working on a sequel to the book though.

I think so far, they've mostly expanded the book using things FROM the book that were left out in the first season (econofamilies) or just skimmed over by Atwood (colonies, tension among the Commanders, escaping, Mayday, Resistance fighters) and the first true thing they've added is the suicide bomber and June's pregnancy.

I think a great deal has happened this season.  The only thing that is bugging me is that they are being very stingy about the outside world, after placing Moira and Luke in a perfect position to let us know what's happening.  I'm getting a bit resentful that they are deliberately holding off on that, not because they don't have clues about that from the epilogue, but just to expand this show into as many seasons as possible.

Edited by Umbelina
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3 hours ago, LaChavalina said:

It's just hard for me to believe that they'll maim, depose, and disappear commanders on the slightest evidence of wrongdoing but bring these handmaids back. I'd think they'd find a way to steal an upstanding econowife from someone first.

Exactly. And not even getting into the issue of how viable she'd be for childbirth after having been exposed to nuclear waste - Emily was sent to the colonies in the first place because she killed a soldier. And now they're letting her move around freely and mingle with other handmaids?! And right after a handmaid had staged a suicide bombing killing two dozen commanders, no less. It just wouldn't happen, ever.

I love her character and want to see more of Alexis Bledel on the show, but come on.

Edited by Joana
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26 minutes ago, Joana said:

Exactly. And not even getting into the issue of how viable she'd be for childbirth after having been exposed to nuclear waste - Emily was sent to the colonies in the first place because she killed a soldier. And now they're letting her move around freely and mingle with other handmaids?! And right after a handmaid had staged a suicide bombing killing two dozen commanders, no less. It just wouldn't happen, ever.

I love her character and want to see more of Alexis Bledel on the show, but come on.

Yeah. It’s starting to go off the rails.

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On 5/30/2018 at 2:04 AM, Shaynaa said:

Serena Joy's plan seems doomed to fail.  Someone will notice Fred is no shape to be issuing orders.  Surely someone will ask him and what?  He's going to pretend this was his idea?  Last season SJ tried to give him advice after a Martha escaped to Canada and did a media interview.  He shot her down telling her smart men were working on it.  I really don't understand her involving June.  Yeah, she was an editor.  Is she so worried about grammar?  I was wondering if she did it to involve and implicate June.  So if SJ goes down, June goes with her.

June and Nick continue to have super secret convos and make out in very public places.  How are these two still alive?

I wondered if SJ was giving June access to false clues to see if she betrays them (by warning somebody else). On the balance of probabilities, I think this is less likely, but I also don't see why she would truly feel the need for an editor when she apparently excelled at this type of thing before. It seems like an excuse to bring June into this and I am wondering why.

On 5/30/2018 at 5:41 AM, 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.

Yes - like a punch in the gut. I did enjoy the contrast/bookend with the ending scene, of the real names being read out.

On 5/30/2018 at 7:26 AM, 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?

How come they did not just shot Commander Cummings in head right there on the street?  Will we see him hanging on the wall?

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

The hospital make out scene was stupid, how is it they are never caught? 

Add me to the list of people who assumed Moira got the photo from social media.

I wonder if this isn't the end of the Commander, since we didn't actually see him die. Of course, he may very well be on the wall in the next episode, but as far as I am concerned, they have left it open-ended. He knows the condition Fred is in, and was told that it was Fred who gave these orders. He's gotta say something to try to save himself.

I believe June said at some point that they killed everyone in Glen's household including the Martha, and Glen lives next door to the Waterfords.

I cannot stand how dumb June and Nick are. Pull yourselves together FFS!

3 hours ago, dleighg said:

why is this an issue? She had her surrogate baby before that; now she's in Canada. Why is it an issue whether she is, or is not, currently fertile?

Someone upthread commented that in the Jezebel episode they thought Moira said she was sterilized before coming, and that that is what happens before being sent to Jezebel's or the colonies. If that is true, the 'fertile' women returning from the colonies should not be fertile anymore, even without considering any radiation exposure.

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10 minutes ago, secnarf said:

dered if SJ was giving June access to false clues to see if she betrays them (by warning somebody else). On the balance of probabilities, I think this is less likely, but I also don't see why she would truly feel the need for an editor when she apparently excelled at this type of thing before. It seems like an excuse to bring June into this and I am wondering why.

Honestly, I really feel that in a twisted way Serena wants a friend. I think she’s desperate for intelligent conversation and is feels oddly connected to June. She feels June’s baby is hers, she feels June is also hers, It’s this weird thing.

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13 minutes ago, GraceK said:

Honestly, I really feel that in a twisted way Serena wants a friend. I think she’s desperate for intelligent conversation and is feels oddly connected to June. She feels June’s baby is hers, she feels June is also hers, It’s this weird thing.

It makes me wonder if that scene where Serena spooned June in the fourth episode really was partly due to an attraction to June herself and not just seeing June as a vessel for her child.

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With regard to the plausibility of of Emily and Janine being able to conceive and bear healthy children again - the effects of radiation on human health are complex – type, dosage and duration/location of exposure all figure into outcomes, as well as demographics, initial health status, and (probably) genetic predispositions of the exposed.  Certainly radiation sickness that happens in response to high dose exposure is horrific and can ultimately be fatal. That being said, female survivors of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic bombings were not found to have a significant reduction in fertility, nor have there been any health or genetic effects found in children of survivors conceived post-exposure.  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1762286/pdf/ajhg00457-0003.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4981260/

So, ignoring any issues of whether it's a wise strategy for Gilead to bring such "troublemakers" back into the handmaid fold, it's not unreasonable to think that Emily and Janine could still have healthy children. 

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18 hours ago, chocolatine said:

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.

Remember the First Blood episode, right before Serena was shot, her secretary said "That was awesome Mrs. Waterford, Twitter is blowing up!" So there were platforms around. 

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13 hours ago, dleighg said:

why is this an issue? She had her surrogate baby before that; now she's in Canada. Why is it an issue whether she is, or is not, currently fertile?

I think because if Moira was raped by men at Jezebels (which we know she was) people are surprised she hasn’t been pregnant since her surrogacy. However I think that most of the men in this society are sterile, but still, being raped by multiple men for two years most fertile women would’ve been pregnant unless they had access to contraception.

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The issue isn't Moira and her not getting pregnant before fleeing to Canada. It's that people think that she said that women were sterelized before getting sent to Jezebel's or the colonies. If that's the case, there's no pretext for bringing Emily and Janine back as handmaids. That said, I don't remember what she said and would have to go back to that episode to check. 

Edited by bijoux
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37 minutes ago, bijoux said:

That said, I don't remember what she said and would have to go back to that episode to check. 

I did - there were no mentions of women being sterile. Nick and the chef traded: she gave him alcohol from their "Russian visitors" and hair dye for the wives, and he gave her oxy, percocet, speed and pregnancy tests. Oh and ketamine. 

Edited by DuckyinKy
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Nope, no mention of sterilization in that episode.  That pregnancy tests are among the items traded into the place suggests that at least the possibility of pregnancy is an issue for the women who work at Jezebels.  I think we're supposed to read them not getting pregnant for however long they've been there as just another example of the fertility crisis.

Still, as others have already said, women can and have gotten pregnant in far less than optimal circumstances.  There were pregnancies happening in concentration camps and after Hiroshima.  Anything's possible. So I'm willing to let the show have this one if it puts Emily and Janine back on the main canvas.  They're warm bodies who have proven to be able to conceive and birth in the past and Gilead probably figures that's good enough rather than rile up the population that's just seen a fairly deadly suicide bombing by mass commandeering a bunch of econowives or young virgin daughters to serve as handmaids.  That would blow the whole they're criminals working off their punishment narrative the regime has been selling at a time you want the population at large to keep their heads down and continue complying.  Janine is addled enough to probably be considered mostly harmless and Emily, well, she now knows the alternative is a long drawn out death by inches if she steps out of line again.

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Re: Moira's sterilization,

Spoiler

it definitely happened in the book - Moira tells June about it when they meet at Jezebels - but I don't remember it being mentioned on the show. Book Moira also wasn't a surrogate.

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17 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

Emily, well, she now knows the alternative is a long drawn out death by inches if she steps out of line again.

Or maybe the message she'll get is that as long as she has functional ovaries, she can get away with pretty much everything. 

OK, I can see that the suicide bombing has left them with a shortage of handmaids. And Emily and Janine have spent relatively little time in the colonies in contact with the toxic waste, they're young and they're likely still fertile. So I can maaaaaaybe handwave their return to the handmaid status in lack of other options for the regime. However, what I can't get over is that they're still being treated like every other handmaid. That's just not realistic. No matter how valuable the handmaids are for Gilead, at some point the authorities have to think some of them are more trouble than they're worth. Especially Emily - a recap of what she's done: first she wouldn't let go of her gender-betraying  ways, then she hijacked a vehicle and ran over a soldier and finally she killed a woman in the colonies. Fine, they probably didn't care enough about the last one to make a big deal out of it, but it says a lot about her character. I find it extremely difficult to believe that a regime that's shooting down random Marthas in open sight would let a notorious troublemaker go about her daily routine with no supervision. 

Again, I understand they want to keep using these two actresses and their characters are a valuable contribution to the show. But IMO, this is not the way to do it. 

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4 hours ago, Joana said:

Or maybe the message she'll get is that as long as she has functional ovaries, she can get away with pretty much everything.

That's entirely possible too.  But at this point the message under these particular circumstances seems to be functioning ovaries and at least the possibility of producing children is still of some value.  That is what this entire setup is supposedly about, or it's at least what they're telling people to get them to go along with it.

Sure, it does seem like it might be wise to send a minder/aunt along with Emily if they're going to let her go out and about like any other handmaid.  But this is the same group that first literally had June chained to a bed for trying to escape with the holy blessed fetus and is now letting her travel about as freely as any other handmaid to the point that she can be making out in hospital hallways.  So who knows?  I'm inclined to think Emily also probably got a pretty heavy dose of Aunt Lydia's special brand of gaslighting about her sins and second chances between the colonies and the market where we next see her.  She looked positively frozen and horror struck when June called her by her name. 

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I'm not going to lie, that scene where the handmaids were whispering their names to one another made me full-on cry. 

The Serena and June storyline is intriguing to me. I feel like Serena has been itching to get back in the driver's seat ever since she was sidelined right after the coup, and now that Fred's out of commission she's seizing her moment. And if cheating on your husband gets you sent to the colonies, what do you suppose a behind-the-scenes power grab would get you? I think Serena's headed for that hanging wall. I am also curious to see what exactly she'll be writing - more orders that she pretends are Fred's? Is there going to come a point where June and Serena disagree about what "Fred" should say? Surely this is not sustainable - at some point someone's going to wonder how Fred is being so active from his hospital bed. I am very curious to see where all this goes.

Spoiler

If I recall correctly, in the book epilogue they say that Fred and Serena Joy were purged at some point. If they keep that as a plot point, I could easily see Serena's machinations getting her and Fred killed, and possibly June and Nick being able to slip away in the chaos (hopefully with Rita because I don't want to leave her behind).

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48 minutes ago, Joana said:

Or maybe the message she'll get is that as long as she has functional ovaries, she can get away with pretty much everything. 

OK, I can see that the suicide bombing has left them with a shortage of handmaids. And Emily and Janine have spent relatively little time in the colonies in contact with the toxic waste, they're young and they're likely still fertile. So I can maaaaaaybe handwave their return to the handmaid status in lack of other options for the regime. However, what I can't get over is that they're still being treated like every other handmaid. That's just not realistic. No matter how valuable the handmaids are for Gilead, at some point the authorities have to think some of them are more trouble than they're worth. Especially Emily - a recap of what she's done: first she wouldn't let go of her gender-betraying  ways, then she hijacked a vehicle and ran over a soldier and finally she killed a woman in the colonies. Fine, they probably didn't care enough about the last one to make a big deal out of it, but it says a lot about her character. I find it extremely difficult to believe that a regime that's shooting down random Marthas in open sight would let a notorious troublemaker go about her daily routine with no supervision. 

Again, I understand they want to keep using these two actresses and their characters are a valuable contribution to the show. But IMO, this is not the way to do it. 

 

I don’t think Emily would ever have the blind naivety to think that she’s gotten away with anything that she has done. 

When her romance with the Martha was discovered she watched her lover hung from a crane and then had her clitoris removed. 

When she snapped in the market and ran over the guard, she ended up in the colonies to rot. What might have happened to her before the drop off was probably none too pleasant either. 

 Emily is well aware that the only reason she even got a reprieve from the colonies, because she knows as they do she was meant to drop dead in that place, and brought back is because of a suicide bombing that killed 31 other handmaids, that’s not exactly something that she can rely on happening time and time again to give her second chances at life.

 There’s no doubt in my mind that everything that has happened to Emily has shaped a woman who’s well aware that if anything Gilead has more than enough ways to punish you beyond your worst nightmare. Cross them at your own risk. 

How can you be cocky or confident to rebel again when, if you’re Emily, you’re a woman who has had part of her womanhood removed, she lives with the guilt of knowing her lover died and she survived, not to mention whatever the colonies did to her, physically and emotionally and mentally, she lives with countless demons I would assume. 

The Emily that was a member of MayDay is dead, the Emily that remains looks terrified of her own shadow. 

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20 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

I like to keep it neutral and always choose Yahtzee. 

Now you're making me want to binge-watch Paradise Hotel. 

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I can see Janine returning - girl is a bit batshit crazy and sipping some of the kool aid.  But Emily I do not get.  At most I can see Emily brought back as a Martha and TPTB plucking a few econowives on some trump up charges instead of taking a chance on her being a handmaid again. 

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