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S02.E08: Women's Work

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On 6/5/2018 at 2:22 AM, TV Mercenary said:

 

Fred lacks a soul, that is for sure, so I absolutely agree. Everything he does is calculating and selfish, he is rarely thinking about anyone outside of himsel

I agree but I would add that fanatical male religious hypocrites have a particular fondness for protecting the unborn at all costs, including the life of the mother. Once the baby is out of the womb and becomes substantially more expensive, the responsibility of protecting the innocent is shifted back to God.

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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21 hours ago, LittleRed84 said:

 

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4) I think a main motive for Fred beating Serena in front of June was to drive a wedge between them. When he saw the music box, and THEN that rose.... it's very easy to see that they are getting along and bonding. Red flag for him.

I think this is the only reason he decided to beat his wife. He was pretty wevs about her rewriting the security orders until he saw the box and the flower. THAT’S what pushed him over the edge, in my opinion. 

 

9 hours ago, Tarar said:

Could be nothing but Janine's guardian really stuck out to me...the way he looked back at June at the same time as Janine did? hmmm. 

Wasn’t that Guardian so interesting? That he allowed June to rip her arm away from him and have some space with Janine, and then took Janine by the hand to lead her away? He was almost tender with them both, in a way that was surprising and unexpected. That strange display of near-morality in a dystopian hellscape kind of unnerved me.

This was the episode that so divorced itself from the book that I was actually able to enjoy it. Also, wanted to note that, as ever, @AnswersWanted, everything you say is both spot-on and revelatory.

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I wonder if Eden was allowed to learn to read. If not, she won’t be reading those letters! I know it’s just a matter of time before those letters come back to bite Nick in the ass. Now it’s just a matter of exactly how, whether Eden reads the letters herself or brings them to Fred/Serena or something else!

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19 minutes ago, Pachengala said:

While I haven’t necessarily agreed to this point, i think you bring up a really interesting perspective and I, personally, appreciate your thoughts. How complicit is Nick? It’s a good question.

I think Nick is as complicit as any man in Gilead, or even any person of any gender, who continues to let it happen, encourages it to happen, or just stands by silently. We only saw him get involved with Mayday when June was pregnant and wanted to run. It was for completely selfish reasons that Nick... didn't so much join Mayday as he used them to his advantage. He doesn't care about Gilead continuing or falling. He would seem to be happy either way, but the second that he knocks up June and she's the closest thing to a girlfriend that he has since Gilead began, he suddenly... cares? But only about one woman. He wasn't going to continue to work with the resistance to help other people. Just June. Because he likes fucking her. 

Eden had no choice in becoming his wife. Assuming Gilead has been in power for around 5-ish years (I got the number from another forum, I could be off in that), and judging from how old Eden appears to be, she would have been 9 to 12 when that happened. Can a 9 to 12 year old consent to this life? But insofar as we know, Eden has no nefarious intent towards Nick but Nick treats her like absolute crap and whines about what an imposition it is on his faux-relationship with June to have a wife. So neither of them signed up for this. Eden comes across as a True Believer but are we supposed to hold that against her when it's probably all she's known? She is trying her best to be a wife to Nick in the only way that she knows how, she's trying her best to be part of the Waterford household and she's either dismissed or Nick treats her like a bug under his shoe. She consented to sex with him, encouraged it even, but is it so much consent when you don't know any other way? Eden, to me, is much more of a victim than Nick.

Was it wrong for Eden to go through his things? I don't know. That's his wife and in this society, that would essentially be her job. Maybe Nick should take a step back and think about getting a better hiding place for things he doesn't want her to see rather than loom over her and scare her into knowing that what she found was A Number One Bad News. 

takes a deep breath

Yup, like I said, issues with Nick. And with a healthy side of YMMV. Also again: those eyebrows. 

Edited by Callaphera · Reason: minor typos
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1 hour ago, Callaphera said:

I'm all for Nick being burnt so I'm cheering on Eden. Fuck yeah, girl.

Im all for different opinions. But this one shocked me! Totally reread it 2-3 times. 

I’m curious if your hatred of Nick goes beyond his eyebrows annoying you? Hes frustrated with Eden. Doesn’t trust her. Hes not cruel, just indifferent. He’s been good to June. I think without him, her life would be much much worse. He’s not perfect, but I certainly don’t cheer for his demise like I do Fred. You seem to.

Could you elaborate?

@Callaphera I think we posted at the same time! I think you just answered my question before I asked it lol

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15 minutes ago, LittleRed84 said:

Im all for different opinions. But this one shocked me! Totally reread it 2-3 times. 

I’m curious if your hatred of Nick goes beyond his eyebrows annoying you? Hes frustrated with Eden. Doesn’t trust her. Hes not cruel, just indifferent. He’s been good to June. I think without him, her life would be much much worse. He’s not perfect, but I certainly don’t cheer for his demise like I do Fred. You seem to.

Could you elaborate?

I think this is just a difference in how we view him. I don't think he's indifferent and I don't think he means to be cruel. But he treats her like she's nothing, which is just as bad as treating her cruelly. And isn't that part of what Gilead is? The women are less than the men. Nick is showing that he has that opinion just as much as Commander Waterford, except that we're supposed to like Nick because June likes him and June is special to him because she's carrying his baby. 

ETA: By "burnt", I don't mean physically set on fire (I've been trying to do it with my mind all season but haven't managed it yet, alas). I mean that I want to see him get what he deserves for going along with Gilead and seeing absolutely no problem with it until he got to stick it in and make a baby. 

Edited by Callaphera
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@Callaphera That's an interesting perspective on Nick.

I think both Eden and Nick are victims here in different ways. He’s been indifferent toward Eden but what else should we except? She’s a stranger to him and he’s already emotionally invested in another woman.

The only thing that’s going to make Eden happy is to have a husband that seems to want this marriage as much as she does, but she’ll never have that and it’s an unreasonable request of someone that was basically married off against their will. I think to him, giving her space, telling her to do whatever she wants, etc is trying to be kind, but it’s got to be difficult to give Eden anymore than he already has considering the situation. And considering she’s a child. She’s supposed to be fifteen on the show, right? I would imagine he’s got some moral issues with all of this as well that might be filtering into his interactions with her.

I do think he cares about June much more than just liking to fuck her, and it’s not odd to me that just a regular person trying to survive and not having much interest in joining the resistance, would suddenly want to help the cause to keep someone he cares for safe. Isn’t that how people usually get involved in things? They know someone, love someone, have family, etc. that was effected by something and suddenly it’s more important than it was the day before. I don’t think that means he never gave a shit before, but that now he has someone to fight for. Not only that, but now he has a baby to fight for, too.

Anyway, I’m not trying to sing his praises here, the actor has a weird way about him that honestly makes it difficult for me too and for a while I couldn’t really like his character much just because of that, but I guess he’s grown on me.

Should I be posting this nick stuff in another thread and not the ep thread? Sorry for the off topic if it is.

Edited by rideashire
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I don't think Nick "just joined the resistance to help June" I think he was ALWAYS a member of the resistance, and for obvious reasons, he hid that.

He wasn't with the escape helper side of the resistance, he seemed to be on the intelligence side of thing.  He's well placed to let the rest of the resistance know exactly what is going on with the Commander and that head Commander guy.  He can also inform on what the Eye's are up to.

He's a double agent as well, the Eye's think he works for them, but his real loyalty is to the resistance.

So, I don't see any way that he's allowing Gilead to be, he's been actively working to bring it down, long before he even met June.

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54 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

FWIW,I thought your post was kind of awesome. I lol'ed when I read it. I'm noncommital about Nick, and I feel sorry for Eden. She's kind of a victim in all of this too. Granted, a victim that might bring down several people with her, but a victim nonetheless. The only counterargument I have about her reading the letters is that Girlfriend may legit not know how to read. If her fam was hardcore Gilead before Gilead was cool, they may not have taught her.

This is something I've considered. And it definitely puts a pin in my "Fuck you, Nick" balloon but it would fit with Eden's character. It's honestly not something I can argue for or against until we get some sort of hint one way or the other.

43 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I don't think Nick "just joined the resistance to help June" I think he was ALWAYS a member of the resistance, and for obvious reasons, he hid that.

He wasn't with the escape helper side of the resistance, he seemed to be on the intelligence side of thing.  He's well placed to let the rest of the resistance know exactly what is going on with the Commander and that head Commander guy.  He can also inform on what the Eye's are up to.

He's a double agent as well, the Eye's think he works for them, but his real loyalty is to the resistance.

So, I don't see any way that he's allowing Gilead to be, he's been actively working to bring it down, long before he even met June.

I read back through the wiki page on Nick and there doesn't seem to be any concrete information on whether he was a longtime member of Mayday or whether he joined up/availed himself of their services only to get June out of there, so it definitely seems up in the air (if I'm wrong, please let me know. I know the book forward and backwards but sometimes get confused between the two). The way it came across to me was that it was simply to get June out of Gilead with their baby. And it could be the fault of the actor, the writers, or the director(s) that it seems to me more like he wants to play house with June in the Boston Globe bits ("Nah, it's cool, baby. You can live here for the rest of your life with the baby. I can come by on weekends and bring you some coffee that I pinched from Rita. It's all good!") but wasn't as concerned about getting her out of there until she really pushed the issue. 

I'm not saying that Nick should singlehandedly take down Gilead, that would be unrealistic as hell. But he doesn't seem to have any complaints about the society or how it operates or how it treats women and other religions, etc., except when it came to June. And only June. He doesn't want Eden as a wife, he complains about her, but does he have any sympathy for the young girl who only knows that she is supposed to cleave to her husband and bear his children? 

He chose to work with the Sons of Jacob. He chose to stay rather than try to escape to Canada or elsewhere when Gilead was forming. Eden just wants to choose some damned fabric for her curtains. He chose to help the society that made Eden into what she is, rather than what she should be: a teenage girl who has the right to choose for herself. For one brief shining moment, he seemed like he was being nice when he chose yellow but then he turned into Looming McLoomerson with bonus furious face and Eden was almost cowering in fear. Which again: way to let her know that the bundle is hella suspicious. 

It's weird because I was kind of liking the little temporary power trio of June, Mrs. Waterford, and Nick working together in the last episode. And then he had to go and be a dick to Eden and ruin it again. 

Edited by Callaphera
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Nothing is concrete, because he's being very careful, but yes, in both the book and the show, I think it's implied that he's in the resistance, and he admitted he was an eye to June.

He had no say whatsoever in when June would leave for the next step of her escape, or what it was.  For obvious reasons, Mayday seems to be VERY compartmentalized.  He told June how hard it was to even find out where she was.  NO chance anyone would have told him, unless he's been working with them for a significant time, IMO anyway.  It's that way so if one is caught, they won't be able to bring down too many others.

That handmaid that was in Mayday, who the heck was it?  Was it Emily?  Anyway, she only knew one other person and then she was also frozen out, they are very, very careful.  Nick also knew when he put June in the Van last season that "it will be OK."  Did he know that from the Eye job Mayday job?

As far as Eden?  Hell!  She was about to have him hung as a gender traitor!  Yes, she's brainwashed, and sad in her way, and naive, but she's also a religious dogmatic scary and dangerous, as well as completely unwanted addition and complication in his already incredibly complicated life.  He also just helped Serena write those orders, to protect his baby and to protect June.

He's actually leading a very remarkable life, it will be amazing if he isn't caught or killed or framed, and now the one Commander that he was spying for, and who might have taken down Fred?  Seems to be dead.

The actor doesn't compel me though, which is sad, because he's doing fine really in this role.  He just isn't charismatic or strong enough looking to pull off the hero role, but in truth, I think this is a very heroic part.  Nick seems to be the most complicated character on screen really.

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Nick has the potential to rank right up with Serena as one of the more compelling characters on this show. 

I've always believed that a patriarchal society can be oppressive to men as well as women, albeit in a less obvious way. I think that is what Nick's story has the potential to show. Fred is obviously an ass beyond ass, but not all men are like Fred either.

And count me in as one who speculates that something will happen between Fred and Eden later in the series.

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Fred has to be severely punished, and then die a long, painfully slow, miserable death. 

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28 minutes ago, Anela said:

I'm watching this now, and I'm liking Serena. Somebody pinch me. 

Serena being likable/human in this episode is lulling us in to a false sense of security.  I believe Serena Joy will take out her frustrations of her freedom being snatched away again (and being humiliated in front of June) on June.  

How did Serena resist the temptation of screaming at Fred that she got him to where he is today and how she wrote most of the laws and such, she knew that ride was over and now must submit and I did feel for her, while I don't like what she stands for I think her work her ability to work as a team really came thru in this episode.  June must have felt some pride in the work she did even though the subject was not a good one.  

Once Fred saw that music box and rose he put 2 and 2 together, I am sure June will be dealt with at another time.  He will spin it that June did something to get SJ to bend to her will.  

Janine is always on the brink of needing a straight jacket but pulls back at the last minute, she did the instinctual mothering with no effort and the Putnum's couldn't comprehend that a baby needs nurturing...what do TPTB do with wives that don't have that mothering instinct that endangers a baby? Maybe there will be a law that once a HM delivers she becomes the baby nurse/nanny for that child.

Nick better be careful with Eden, how could she not have glanced at those letters?  I'd hate for Nick to disappear. He should knock her up ASAP if for no other reason but to keep her occupied and to prove he is not a gender traitor.  Will they always live in that one room over the garage?  Are they allowed off property housing?

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I felt that Nick's longterm membership of Mayday was heavily implied in the book and have always read him that way. That said I did see the 90s movie before I read the book and Nick's motives are completely unambiguous in that, so it may very well have coloured the way I thought about him. I don't think Max Minghella does a great job with the character, he doesn't manage to convey much of his thought process/inner conflict/fear/determination/etc. He almost always has the same inscrutable look on his face. Though that could be the direction as Nick is always something of a cipher to June. The problem is that as the series expands beyond just her pov, we need to see more of what's going on with him. We should be seeing a complexity beneath Nick's stoic exterior and we're just not, at best he manages to look a bit sulky.

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Serena at this point is much more interesting as a character than June.  She is more complex.  I truly felt empathetic to her when she was being spanked by her husband.  What a humiliating experience.  Like she is a child.  And in front of June.  Ultimately, yes, I know this is the world she created, but I think she is starting to see this was all a horrible idea as women will never have any power in Gilead. 

I am still hoping she rebels further against Gilead and becomes a force of the resistance, with June helping her. 

I could see it coming the whole episode that the baby would get better once she spent time with her real mom. 

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Is TV show Serena Joy supposed to be the same age as June, just unable to conceive due to the gunshot wound? Whenever SJ and June are in the same room I am always struck by how young and dewy Serena looks. Especially after Waterfuck whipped her and she was in her room wearing the plain tank top, I thought she looked like she was in her late twenties whereas June looked 35+. 

I am older than both these women IRL and don't mean to be ageist. It's just something I've noticed since being of childbearing age is such a focus.

ETA: Did Fred actually SPANK Serena Joy? EW. I thought he just whipped her back which is bad enough. That motherfucker needs to die.

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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Ok, we've been shown again and again all the horrors of Gilead. I'm ready to move forward into the revolt part of the story. Any time now. Getting tired of waiting for some plan to be laid out and steps made toward implementing it.

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So many interesting takes on Nick. I see him as a survivor/hustler who has ambiguous morals but a tugging need for doing what he feels is the right thing. He’d have drinks with Hitler if it served a purpose he felt was worth it. That said, I feel like Nick is constantly in a state of pants crapping and that Eden scares the shit out of him in a number of ways.

I did enjoy the brief moment of Serena being human and being nice to June. I knew it would all be shot to hell, but it added layers to layers. 

Fred is disgusting. Janine is the sanest person in Gilead.

Oh, and the interaction with the guard...the way June spoke to him. Makes me wonder if, after time, the guards start seeing the handmaid’s as humans, no matter how hard they try not to? Or this particular guard will be hanging on a wall at some point...

Can’t wait for next week!!!!

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21 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

Other than Moira and Rita, who get very little screen time anyway, I am annoyed that the show finds these amazing women of color to play such limited and fleeting roles. I would love to see that actress having a permanent role, a regular presence on the show. 

It was so gutting to see what they reduced her to. When she began looking over the baby’s chart and she was right back at work, launching into doctor speak, firing off all the different tests they’d need to run, it was so sad to think of that brilliant, genius mind trapped in a role of total servitude. 

ITA. For me, it harkened back to enslaved African women being forced to serve as wet nurses and midwives for the children of plantation owners. Especially seeing her dressed in that get up.  Wonderful piece of acting. Her scene was the very first and only time I shed a tear during this entire series. Every one of my doctors is a black woman — from dermatologist to therapist. It definitely resonated with me.

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23 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

I don't think I would call what Serena got a spanking. Fred beat her.

Yes he was beating her, not spanking, what I mean to say. 

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I had a very different idea of what may be happening to baby Angela. I thought that Naomi was secretly poisoning her to "escape" motherhood and that the expert Dr. would happen to discover it. Then what? But I was way off.

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30 minutes ago, charmed1 said:

ITA. For me, it harkened back to enslaved African women being forced to serve as wet nurses and midwives for the children of plantation owners. Especially seeing her dressed in that get up.  Wonderful piece of acting. Her scene was the very first and only time I shed a tear during this entire series. Every one of my doctors is a black woman — from dermatologist to therapist. It definitely resonated with me.

Spot on. And I would give up cheese forever for an episode focused on the pediatrician Martha. I sat here and bawled when she put on the stethoscope. Her few moments on screen were as powerful as Janine's few moments - the highlights of the ep for me, in an episode with tons of "moments." This SHOW. 

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Regarding Serena's role in creating Gilead, wasn't there a S1 episode where she was arguing with Fred about something, he reminded her of the law against women reading, and she snapped, "I know. I wrote it"? I think it was when she was starting to suspect dear hubby was giving June privileges, like playing Scrabble, that Serena herself did not get. Fred really is such an asshole.

Regarding Nick, what frustrates me is that he never took the time to just sit Eden down and explain how weird this is for him, how her youth is something he is mindful of as they begin their relationship, that he wants her to understand this is new territory for him, too, blahblahblah caringhusbandcakes. It wouldn't cost him anything; his love (or whatever) for June would not be corrupted by him being kind and gentle with Eden. And it might just save his ass. 

Edited by freebie
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33 minutes ago, DrSpaceman said:

Yes he was beating her, not spanking, what I mean to say. 

Ok.... this is what I found online.  Beating,  spanking,  its all the same to me.  Not here to mince words.....

**********************

Spanking is a common form of corporal punishment involving the act of striking the buttocks of another person to cause physical pain, generally with an open hand. More severe forms of spanking, such as switching, paddling, belting, caning, whipping, and birching, involve the use of an implement instead of a hand.

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1 hour ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Is TV show Serena Joy supposed to be the same age as June, just unable to conceive due to the gunshot wound? Whenever SJ and June are in the same room I am always struck by how young and dewy Serena looks. Especially after Waterfuck whipped her and she was in her room wearing the plain tank top, I thought she looked like she was in her late twenties whereas June looked 35+. 

I am older than both these women IRL and don't mean to be ageist. It's just something I've noticed since being of childbearing age is such a focus.

ETA: Did Fred actually SPANK Serena Joy? EW. I thought he just whipped her back which is bad enough. That motherfucker needs to die.

 

There is a good article out there that breaks down the staging of that scene, and the actress explains how they padded up her backside with protective gear so that she could actually be hit with the belt, so there was no faking it, and according to her it did not hurt but she could definitely feel the intensity of the lashes.

 I also thought the makeup artists did a great job with the markings left on her rear when she peered onto the mirror after undressing. They looked very realistic. 

I think the makeup crew on the show are true unsung heroes, the way that they are able to transform so many characters in different settings. From the women in the colonies to giving people looks of normalcy in Canada, they are doing really fantastic work.

I wholeheartedly agree about Fred. 

 

40 minutes ago, charmed1 said:

ITA. For me, it harkened back to enslaved African women being forced to serve as wet nurses and midwives for the children of plantation owners. Especially seeing her dressed in that get up.  Wonderful piece of acting. Her scene was the very first and only time I shed a tear during this entire series. Every one of my doctors is a black woman — from dermatologist to therapist. It definitely resonated with me.

 

 Her scenes really hit hard with me because I am a woman of color and I personally know other women like myself in the medical field and as a woman of color it is one of the hardest things to get through the trenches with such recognition, to climb the ropes and to become a specialist, to become a leader in such a competitive field of medicine and study, what she did would have been touted as a brilliant feat and proud accomplishment.

And then Gilead stole all of that from her, turning a genius medical mind into a menial Martha. 

 It definitely takes me back to the old days of black women being put to work in the kitchen or in the home, despite their qualifications, despite their intelligence. 

 

 

16 minutes ago, Stiggs said:

Spot on. And I would give up cheese forever for an episode focused on the pediatrician Martha. I sat here and bawled when she put on the stethoscope. Her few moments on screen were as powerful as Janine's few moments - the highlights of the ep for me, in an episode with tons of "moments." This SHOW. 

 

 I would love to see this character make another appearance, especially if we can learn more about her and her life before Gilead. 

Can she and Rita have a meet up at some point? Share some tea and trade stories? Can they secretly be best friends? Come on show, throw me a bone here.

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16 minutes ago, freebie said:

Regarding Nick, what frustrates me is that he never took the time to just sit Eden down and explain how weird this is for him, how her youth is something he is mindful of as they begin their relationship, that he wants her to understand this is new territory for him, too, blahblahblah caringhusbandcakes. It wouldn't cost him anything; his love (or whatever) for June would not be corrupted by him being kind and gentle with Eden. And it might just save his ass. 

Oh, I think that could cause Nick lots of trouble.  Eden could interpret that as questioning the faith and undermining Gilead.  In her true believer's mind, how could something ordained by god be weird or uncomfortable??  I could totally see her going off and reporting him for being a heretic and possibly a gender traitor too because what strong alpha male would possibly be kind and gentle to a woman?  I think this would cost Nick his ass not save it.

At first, I wasn't too excited about Nick.  I haven't read the book yet, but I had seen the movie with Robert Duvall and I love Aiden Quinn who played Nick.  He's so hot!!  Now, I find that this actor has won me over.  I think he's a good guy who was disenfranchised and thought this whole movement might be a good thing.  As it has continued, he saw the horror of it all and is actively working against it.  I believe Nick is in the resistance and has been long before June.  In that scene with Eden, I could feel his discomfort with Eden all in his personal space and I felt for him.  I felt for her, too because she doesn't know any better.  It's a no win situation.  I think he felt badly for the way he reacted to her, but he's just under so much pressure.  Having Eden there is a threat to him and I can't fault him for feeling defensive, even though she (possibly) doesn't realize what she is doing to him.  It's interesting to see the different takes on Nick.  I am worried for his future, though --- big time!

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24 minutes ago, ihartcoffee said:

Ok.... this is what I found online.  Beating,  spanking,  its all the same to me.  Not here to mince words.....

**********************

Spanking is a common form of corporal punishment involving the act of striking the buttocks of another person to cause physical pain, generally with an open hand. More severe forms of spanking, such as switching, paddling, belting, caning, whipping, and birching, involve the use of an implement instead of a hand.

Whatever you want to call it, it was awful, wrong and humiliating physically and emotionally for her

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5 minutes ago, Normades said:

Oh, I think that could cause Nick lots of trouble.  Eden could interpret that as questioning the faith and undermining Gilead.  In her true believer's mind, how could something ordained by god be weird or uncomfortable??  I could totally see her going off and reporting him for being a heretic and possibly a gender traitor too because what strong alpha male would possibly be kind and gentle to a woman?  I think this would cost Nick his ass not save it.

 

 I agree completely.

Eden is not at a point where Nick could hope to ever reason with her outside of what she thinks is normal, the problem is what she believes is normal is actually nonsense. 

 Eden has been raised by a particular sort of people. She keeps harkening back to her mother teaching her how things are meant to be.

Nick trying to explain reason to her would, as you say, probably trigger a response from her that could have him hanging from the wall by sundown,  especially since his main protector, Andrew, is now dead.

Eden not only lacks maturity but also any outside influence that would allow her to comprehend why a man would not think of a wife as a blessing regardless of her age.

Gilead obviously does not care that she would, not too lon ago, have been considered by most to be underaged, that’s an old concept, for Nick to try to use that  explanation would probably be akin to heresy in this world. 

 He didn’t want to take her virginity and she thought the only reason why had to be because he was a gender traitor, knowing full well what such an allegation would mean for him. 

I think that all things considered, for now, because Eden is such a wild card it is actually beneficial for Nick to focus more on keeping Eden contained and in line, keep her out of his things and potentially uncovering his undercover work or worse, his problem though is that he has to play by Gilead’s rules and be a controlling and domineering male figure to do so, but obviously that is not something Nick is comfortable with because he is not like the others, he never wanted any of this, certainly not a baby bride too young and naive to know how the “real world” works. 

Nick is decent at playing pretend and trying to seem like a true follower of Gilead whereas Eden is full on living in a dreamland, a fairytale come true, so bursting her bubble would be far too costly. 

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2 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

Eden has been raised by a particular sort of people. She keeps harkening back to her mother teaching her how things are meant to be.

 

I just thought about her saying that her mother said "Happy Home Happy Husband."

Is that actually a saying? Or just a perversion of the very common "Happy Wife Happy LIfe"?

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I don't think there's ever been anything about the portrayal of Fred that suggested he's into barely pubescent meek little girls. The women he's known to be attracted to - Serena and Eden - are the polar opposite of Eden, so something happening between the two of them would be wildly out of character for him, IMO.

Speaking of him, he's such a disgusting coward. He knew that if the word got out his wife was doing his work for him, he'd be punished and stripped off his power, and he cannot allow that to happen as power is the only thing he can't do without. So, he made sure she was never going to compromise him again. Of course, it would be too much to ask for him to remember how he got to have all that power in the first place, and who was there by his side to help make it happen. As he said, that was then.

I'm afraid Serena is now going to resent June for having witnessed her humiliation, which was probably Fred's attention all along. But I also think there's no turning back for her after this. She now knows exactly where she stands with Fred and the last bit of her illusions about Gilead must be completely shattered. It just remains be to seen how this will affect her - whether she'll break down or she'll ultimately start to rebel at some level. 

Count me in among those who felt for Eden. At the end of the day, she's just a child trying to live the only life she's ever known. She's never asked for any of this and I wish Nick would treat her differently. Yes, I know he never wanted a wife and that the thought of having sex with a young girl physically repulses him, as it should, and that he's afraid of what might happen to him because of her - that's all more than understandable. And it's understandable he can never be warm and loving towards her, but it doesn't mean he cannot muster up a bit of basic human kindness and just a tiny effort to be more pleasant would go a long way. As I said, she had no say in anything that has ever happened to her in her entire life and s/he's just another victim of the people he's nominally serving. Also - recklessly leaving those letters exposed enough for her to find them was your damn fault.

Finally, may the force be with you, Janine. It breaks my heart that they're going to take her gorgeous baby away from her again and give it to that cold, uncaring woman.

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8 minutes ago, Joana said:

I don't think there's ever been anything about the portrayal of Fred that suggested he's into barely pubescent meek little girls. The women he's known to be attracted to - Serena and Eden - are the polar opposite of Eden, so something happening between the two of them would be wildly out of character for him, IMO.

Speaking of him, he's such a disgusting coward. He knew that if the word got out his wife was doing his work for him, he'd be punished and stripped off his power, and he cannot allow that to happen as power is the only thing he can't do without.

He may not have been into young girls, but as you point out, he's into power.  I think he just might enjoy having power over Eden, plus it would be an FU to Nick who cuckolded him, another show of power over another man, which in his mind is even better.  Sounds like Fred to me.

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1 hour ago, Chelz said:

I had a very different idea of what may be happening to baby Angela. I thought that Naomi was secretly poisoning her to "escape" motherhood and that the expert Dr. would happen to discover it. Then what? But I was way off.

That would have been a great twist, though. Or some sort of Muchaussens by Proxy in the age of Gilead.

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11 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I wonder if Eden was allowed to learn to read. If not, she won’t be reading those letters! I know it’s just a matter of time before those letters come back to bite Nick in the ass. Now it’s just a matter of exactly how, whether Eden reads the letters herself or brings them to Fred/Serena or something else!

I wondered if Eden could read too. When she said “of course not,” my mind assumed she meant “because I can’t read.” But then I thought, “If she’s 15 and Gilead has only been Gilead for 5 years, she can probably read but maybe not above grade level.” I would assume she was in school before she ... wasn’t. But she could also come from the sort of family that already didn’t value education for girls, so she may not have had much formal education.

I cannot imagine not being able to read. Even leaving aside reading for pleasure, which I love but I know there are people who don’t, you would be so helpless. UGH.

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1 hour ago, Chelz said:

I had a very different idea of what may be happening to baby Angela. I thought that Naomi was secretly poisoning her to "escape" motherhood and that the expert Dr. would happen to discover it. Then what? But I was way off.

Close to what I thought ... I thought she had either been actively beaten her or maybe "oops!" dropped her on her head or something and that the doctor would see that as soon as she examined her and, if she gave that diagnosis, would probably be executed. 

BTW, was I the only one who, when SJ and June were discussing a Martha who was the world's best neo-natologist (sp?), thought it would turn out to be Rita?

Edited by PamelaMaeSnap
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Dear show, I feel no sympathy for Serena's situation and I'm not going to. So stop it. Also, June, stop being disappointed when Serena's mood changes and she treats you coldly. How many times has it happened now?

I thought Serena was going to lose a hand or something to punish her for forging Fred's signature. She got off easy, IMO.

Anyone else catch that the quote that "somebody" said ("Women are afraid men will kill them") is by Margaret Atwood?

Edited by rubinia
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23 minutes ago, dleighg said:

I just thought about her saying that her mother said "Happy Home Happy Husband."

Is that actually a saying? Or just a perversion of the very common "Happy Wife Happy LIfe"?

 

I believe that was their intent, to twist that age old saying to be more in tune with Gilead’s world view.

A wife’s sole purpose now is to keep her husband satisfied, hence his happiness taking priority if there is to be a true happy home.

 

1 hour ago, Chelz said:

I had a very different idea of what may be happening to baby Angela. I thought that Naomi was secretly poisoning her to "escape" motherhood and that the expert Dr. would happen to discover it. Then what? But I was way off.

 

11 minutes ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

That would have been a great twist, though. Or some sort of Muchaussens by Proxy in the age of Gilead.

 

I thought the outcome would be that dear Naomi was guilty of intentionally harming the baby. But alas...although considering how things ended with Janine saving the baby, if they basically re-introduce her into the child’s life for her health and wellbeing, which they should, that might trigger a response then. 

 She seems like the type of woman that when she snaps it gets very ugly very quickly. 

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When Fred was reading from the bible about a wife submitting to her husband, I remembered a  book my DH and I were given when we were engaged, from an already married couple (the husband was a HS friend of my husband). They belonged to a fundamentalist church and the book was all about how a marriage should be more or less a  benevolent dictatorship. The wife should submit, but of course the husband should always be generous and kind and good.

Anyway, we laugh about the book from time to time (we never actually read it; the couple's summary of the message told us all we needed to know).

And 28 years later, we're married, and they aren't. She "broke free" from the benevolent dictatorship and left him.

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33 minutes ago, Normades said:

He may not have been into young girls, but as you point out, he's into power.  I think he just might enjoy having power over Eden, plus it would be an FU to Nick who cuckolded him, another show of power over another man, which in his mind is even better.  Sounds like Fred to me.

Yes but he also saw a comrade get his hand  chopped off on the word of a scorned wife, just for getting too sexual with his handmaid. What do you think the penalty would be in a society like Gilead for messing around with the WIFE of a guardian?? I have no doubt that would be a hanging offense. Fred may think he’s above the law, but as it’s been shown, Commanders aren’t. And Eden is also a true believer, I wouldn’t underestimate her in the slightest. She would have his balls for breakfast I think if it meant eternal damnation. If she’s willing to turn on her husband for being a gender traitor, you think she’s willing to commit adultery?

Also, as much as I have loved Serena these past few episides, I refuse to get lulled into a false sense of security. She’s still a snake and I don’t trust her at all. As much as I would love for her to go rogue next week, I have a feeling she will go back to her Gilead loving ways and disappoint us all.

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11 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

 She seems like the type of woman that when she snaps it gets very ugly very quickly. 

Definitely. When Warren was being tried for having an affair with Janine, I believe the council gave Naomi either a choice of punishment or the chance to give him a reprieve from his hand being amputated (I think it's the latter but I don't remember). All I know is Warren's got one hand because he pissed off Naomi.

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Also, in regards to the Eden and Nick situation. What annoys me is that , does it ever occur to Nick that maybe if he tries a little  she won’t stir up trouble? She’s extremely eager to please him, would it kill him to be nice to her? Compliment the damn curtains. Say how wonderful dinner tastes. Keep her happy and maybe she won’t be suspicious and eventually resentful. It doesn’t seem like it would take much to make her happy . Geez. It’s clear she could very possibly be a timebomb and his solution is to get in her face and be intimidating and scary? Nice job! She has no friends. Serena has zero interest or respect for her intellectually. She doesn’t have any contemporaries. Rita doesn’t like her. She literally has NO ONE but her husband to try to connect with and it’s clear he doesn’t want anything to do with her. I don’t see why he can’t make some kind of effort to make her happy or comfortable considering he’s stuck with this marriage for the foreseeable future and it’s very possible she can make trouble.

Edited by GraceK
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27 minutes ago, GraceK said:

Yes but he also saw a comrade get his hand  chopped off on the word of a scorned wife, just for getting too sexual with his handmaid. What do you think the penalty would be in a society like Gilead for messing around with the WIFE of a guardian?? I have no doubt that would be a hanging offense. Fred may think he’s above the law, but as it’s been shown, Commanders aren’t. And Eden is also a true believer, I wouldn’t underestimate her in the slightest. She would have his balls for breakfast I think if it meant eternal damnation. If she’s willing to turn on her husband for being a gender traitor, you think she’s willing to commit adultery?

Also, as much as I have loved Serena these past few episides, I refuse to get lulled into a false sense of security. She’s still a snake and I don’t trust her at all. As much as I would love for her to go rogue next week, I have a feeling she will go back to her Gilead loving ways and disappoint us all.

When I said those things about Fred, I was responding to someone saying he wouldn't touch Eden because he isn't into young girls.  I wasn't really thinking about the bigger picture. You make good points with the hand amputation and Eden's true believer status, but I still think it is in the realm of possibility.  Fred likes to play around with the rules and be the exception. With his lust for power and manipulative skills, I could see him trying to go for Eden and possibly even being able to convince a young, naive girl into it.  I think he's royally pissed about Nick and June, especially since Nick shows Fred to be inferior.  It'll be interesting to see if any of it actually happens. 

Serena is a snake and she is a traitor to all women.  She wanted to write the rules that took away freedom from other women, while retaining her own.  She, like Fred, doesn't think the rules should apply to her.  They just go about their hypocrisy in different ways.  Can't feel real sorry for her.  Also, note to June -- get smart and learn from history; it tends to repeat.

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Because reading and writing are considered a crime for women I am wondering if Eden actually didn't read the letters since she is so devoted.  Anyone else think that?

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26 minutes ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Definitely. When Warren was being tried for having an affair with Janine, I believe the council gave Naomi either a choice of punishment or the chance to give him a reprieve from his hand being amputated (I think it's the latter but I don't remember). All I know is Warren's got one hand because he pissed off Naomi.

 

Right, I remember that, I had hoped tiny Warren could have been on the chopping block. 

But just looking at Naomi, this chick does not deal with stress well, clearly, she doesn’t seem to be very maternal if at all, and she has a cheater for a husband, I think she’s on the brink of a breakdown that could prove devastating to a lot of people.

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1 minute ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

Right, I remember that, I had hoped tiny Warren could have been on the chopping block. 

But just looking at Naomi, this chick does not deal with stress well, clearly, she doesn’t seem to be very maternal if at all, and she has a cheater for a husband, I think she’s on the brink of a breakdown that could prove devastating to a lot of people.

She did seem really upset though about Angela, going so far as almost attacking the doctor when he said she wouldn’t make it. Do you think that was acting? These people keep confusing me! Does she actually love the baby but is just not maternal at all? I’m honestly at a loss as to what to think .

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