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S02.E11: Holly

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7 minutes ago, GraceK said:

Praise be.

Its like Orange is the new black, everyone BUT Piper is more interesting. 

The highlight of this episode was the Waterford’s screaming at each other. I root for their downfall in every single episode and want to see Serena pay in brutal ways for what she has done, but that’s  because she is such a fantastic villain and has elevated every scene to masterful levels. 

Especially when Serena was stalking through the mansion, green cape flowing behind her, screaming "OFFRED!"   The madness was palpable.   I loved the black humor too, when Fred complains that it would be just his luck to be strung up on the wall next to Serena.   LOL.

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1 hour ago, Helena Dax said:

I thought the door was frozen to the ground and that's why she couldn't open it.

In retrospect that must of been what they were going for and why she couldn't get it open.  That was why she tried the shovel or whatever on the outside? 

That never crossed my mind though until you mentioned it.  I lived 32 years in the Midwest and never once did my garage door freeze shut.  Other doors, sure, but not the garage door

Michael Weston would have found a way out.  He would always go for the side walls instead of the heavy reinforced doors, though I think it was like a middle garage or something on the show, so that might not have worked.  But then Michael Weston working against Gilead would tear them all apart and have the US back up and running in a few weeks. 

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10 minutes ago, millennium said:

Especially when Serena was stalking through the mansion, green cape flowing behind her, screaming "OFFRED!"   The madness was palpable.   I loved the black humor too, when Fred complains that it would be just his luck to be strung up on the wall next to Serena.   LOL.

That made me laugh ? Their mutual hatred is delicious 

Edited by GraceK
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15 minutes ago, GraceK said:

Praise be.

Its like Orange is the new black, everyone BUT Piper is more interesting. 

The highlight of this episode was the Waterford’s screaming at each other. I root for their downfall in every single episode and want to see Serena pay in brutal ways for what she has done, but that’s  because she is such a fantastic villain and has elevated every scene to masterful levels. 

I tend to agree about June.

But I don't blame Elizabeth Moss and her acting.  Her WHOLE story, not just this episode, is just so dull and plodding and overwhelming.  And her backstory is just really not that interesting. 

This show needs something like a Saul Goodman like on Breaking Bad to lighten the mood.  The spunky comic relief, as it was called in Galaxy quest. 

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26 minutes ago, Helena Dax said:

I think EM is amazing. This season has a lot of flaws but her acting isn't one of them. 

She is amazing.  Such an awesome show.

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2 minutes ago, DrSpaceman said:

I tend to agree about June.

But I don't blame Elizabeth Moss and her acting.  Her WHOLE story, not just this episode, is just so dull and plodding and overwhelming.  And her backstory is just really not that interesting. 

This show needs something like a Saul Goodman like on Breaking Bad to lighten the mood.  The spunky comic relief, as it was called in Galaxy quest. 

I agree. I wish they would focus more on the resistance, have Moira and Luke actually do more than mope around in Canada. And actually have Nick step it up . It’s his baby too, which he has seems to have forgotten about. He’s a man in a position of some power, he should be more active. ?

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One of the writers gave an interview about last week's rape scene and called this episode "one of the best episodes of television ever." 

K. 

Edited by PerPlexied
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Weirdly, I liked this one. Maybe because there was no real character stuff to fuck up and I could just squint into the dimness and enjoy the flashes of the sets. And it was quiet for the first half. Kind of relaxing and meditative with all the breathing and crunching feet in the snow and not much talking. And the penis-mobile in the garage gave me a good laugh ("Yeah, they're not going to stop you in that thing, right?").

I do like how they wrote in an excuse for the lack of lighting in the scenes. Duh! No electricity, and then only a fire in the fireplace to light the set. 

I'm sure I'll be back to hate-watching the next episode but this one was all right. I almost went down for a nap. Admittedly not good for the show, but good for me. 

Edited by Callaphera
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1 hour ago, millennium said:

Big NO.   What an awful episode.   I don't value "Elisabeth Moss Grunts and Makes Faces" as good acting or good writing.   The only true performance in this episode came from the Waterfords, which was like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?: Gilead Edition."   I would much rather watch a show about the Waterfords -- a true believer couple gradually realizes that the dystopia they helped to create is fucked at its core -- than this insipid and pointless Elizabeth Moss vanity project.  

June isn't even a likable character, either in her present Offred existence or Before.    I don't know what Luke and Moira saw in her.

 

 

I have always run hot and cold when it comes to Elizabeth, I mostly lean towards her being average more than being really all that great.

To be honest I think the actresses who play Moira and Rita are far more capable than she is, if they were the ones playing June I think the show would skyrocket.

Or even the actress who plays Serena, Yvonne, if she were playing June I think I might be far more invested in her story.

Even Rory beats her, imo, and I never thought I would ever be impressed by Alexis, that girl has been around for a good long time and I never thought her acting was anything special either, but for some reason on this show she has surprised me a billion times over, showing real range and true acting ability. 

 And don’t get me started on Ann Dowd, I’ll try to refrain from writing a full love letter to that woman,  heh. 

 Overall I would say that out of all the female performers on the show I wouldn’t even put Elizabeth in the top five as far as acting skill goes. 

In this episode I was bored and, like you mentioned, her moments with Luke and Moira didn’t work for me but it wasn’t them, it was her.

I don’t know if maybe it’s because the directions for the show when it comes to June has really gone off the rails to me, but I am not liking June all that much and the fact that she is the focus of nearly every episode does not help when I’m watching a character that I am more annoyed with than I’m not.

They can have her stalked by a wolf or a wild dog or Bigfoot for all I care, June getting stuck out in the cold and ending up trapped and giving birth and then once again put back in the captivity is not riveting to me, it’s not entertainment, it’s not even all that inspired, it’s lazy and pointless frankly, imo.

Overall I feel like this episode just showed that the show has countless loose ends that they are just not going to have time to cover and deal with, and they really have written them selves into a lot of corners with these final episodes. 

June worked okay during the first season to me, but this season should have focused on all the other players, really make this show a collective about all the people affected by Gilead, those still inside of it, those who have escaped it, and those who are attempting to bring it to its knees, instead of constant close-ups of Elizabeth’s face and all her endless “fucks” to give, because I’m about out of them myself at this point. 

 

 

Quote

 

One of the writers gave an interview about last week's rape scene and called this episode "one of the best episodes of television ever." 

K. 

 

 

...where? Where were they looking?

What episode were they watching? Were they the wolf?

Is it because they managed to get Oprah to do a voice cameo?

Is it because they figured out Elizabeth’s fake pregnant belly would look a lot better if they had her barely lit by a fire in the middle of nowhere? 

Was it the car? I am going to go with car, final answer. 

Edited by AnswersWanted
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Yeah, I don't get this episode. 70% of the present day scenes were mostly without dialogue. How is that interesting? I started to fast forward through June's scenes because minutes were spent on her: wandering around the house, looking for the keys, looking in the garage, looking through closets, trying to get the car out of the garage, walking back and forth from house to garage, etc. It was about 35 minutes of nothing and 12 minutes of actual stuff going on. 

It's no wonder the better scenes were with Fred and Serena and their argument. The most that happened in this episode was June finally giving birth. I guess I just like a little more going on, that's all. This episode really wasn't groundbreaking for me. But maybe I'm just sick of the blatant episodes that are clearly striving to be nominated for awards. This episode was trying too hard at being "unique", you know? Or maybe that's what I'm projecting through the episode because I'm tired of Elizabeth Moss staring into a camera while it lingers forever. And I do like Elizabeth Moss and think she's a fine actress; I'm just tired of the same stuff they keep making her do every other episode...over and over and over again. Nothing new comes out of it. 

I guess I find the show trying TOO hard this season with being ground-breaking and whatnot. I think it's lost its appeal for me. 

I did love June getting to give birth without the stupid Gilead tradition. At least that was a win in itself, even though it's clear that it'll be taken away once Serena and Fred get there. 

The set design and cinematography WAS very pretty, so there is that. 

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39 minutes ago, PerPlexied said:

One of the writers gave an interview about last week's rape scene and called this episode "one of the best episodes of television ever." 

K. 

One of the writers bragging about his work?  Never!  Yea, it's wasn't even close.

13 hours ago, alexvillage said:

I bet she will get an Emmy for this scene, even tough I haven't watched yet. The PR and lobbying will be heavy

Her faces are too over the top.  I would think to qualify for emmy you should be an excellent actor.  Nuanced, understated.  Anyone can make faces in the camera and she's using the same ones over and over and way too often.  

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If you're just judging it as a stand-alone episode, this wasn't a terrible one.  The Fred-Serena fight was everything, there were lots of lovely camera angles in a house with a really cool layout, and Elisabeth Moss turned in one of the more realistic birthing scenes I think I've seen.  It accomplished what it clearly set out to do as a character episode.  The problem, like so many have already said, though, is that the episode exists within this second season as a whole and it mostly felt like a whole lot of wheel spinning for an outcome we could all see coming from a mile away.  Of course, her water was going to break after all that running up and down stairs and heavy lifting.  Of course the garage door wasn't going to open and she wouldn't be able to escape.  Of course at the end, she'd still be stuck in Gilead where they can now separate her from the baby she's made multiple go go girl power promises to that she can't realistically keep.  It's a lot of pretty images strung together, yet at the near end of the season most everyone is exactly where they started off.

Even as character episodes go, you know there's a problem when the most interesting thing about it is the ONE scene starring two other people who show up to argue and then leave.  The fight, which was indeed everything, was beautifully staged from Fred and Serena manhandling each other to June looming over them like a sniper in a crow's nest.  It also confirmed a few things we probably already knew but were fun to hear the characters spit out nonetheless.  Fred really is as hapless as we think he is and not even a mastermind enough to have had any ulterior motives in sending Nick and June out to this place.  His power doesn't come from being smarter or cagier but because he happened to have the penis.  He can't even call for backup on looking for them or report that his handmaid has gone missing because he knows he's fucked up so badly.  I don't totally buy either that Serena did it all for a baby or that that's really the only thing she ever wanted, but I will buy that she's convinced herself of that.  When she kept saying "I have nothing, you left me with nothing," that read like she was talking about everything that's transpired with their dream for Gilead, where instead of being the influential leader she thought she would be she's playing the bored and hateful hausfrau in near identical teal dresses with absolutely nothing to aspire to beyond stealing another woman's child.  While I don't have trouble believing she probably does want a baby for the sake of having one, at this point it's the consolation prize she's going to insist is every bit as good as anything else she could have gotten.

I guess if we're looking for any kind of win, June at least not having to go through Gilead's ridiculous birthing ritual and having the baby immediately snatched away so Serena could play make believe qualifies.  It's not much, but with Gilead it seldom is.  I had no real strong feelings about Elisabeth Moss as an actress going into this as I mostly knew her from Mad Men, where she sometimes read so self contained as to be flat to me.  While I've certainly found her good enough in this, I'm at the point I really wish they'd lay off the long lingering closeups.  I feel like I know the moles on her face and neck better than I know my own.

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Now THAT was a birth scene. Best one I’ve ever seen on TV. 

 

Also, much better job with newborns this time. Don’t know if they used dolls or what, but whatever they did is what they should have done with Moira’s baby in the earlier episode. 

 

Strains credulity that no one came back to really search the house, if only for clues - but worth it for that birth scene. Can’t wait to see what happens. I really hope June gets away somehow, or at least not back into the same situation for a third season.

 

June is the worst at hiding. But I can understand why she’d rather aim a gun at them than hide in a trunk or under a sheet, which is where I thought it would be going. 

 

(Is everyone else getting a feminist documentary on Barbie up next on Hulu?)

19 hours ago, chocolatine said:

you can't drive with a newborn without a carseat.

You can if your other option is torture and execution! 

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18 hours ago, Umbelina said:

they call it a "wild dog" not a wolf in the "inside the episode" by the way

Hulu captions called if a wolf. Do we know who does those captions? Are they a canon source of info?

I actually really liked this episode. However, I don’t watch the previews, but I will be mad if she ends up right back with the Waterford’s next episode, after all that. 

Edited by LeGrandElephant
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3 hours ago, millennium said:

Big NO.   What an awful episode.   I don't value "Elisabeth Moss Grunts and Makes Faces" as good acting or good writing.   The only true performance in this episode came from the Waterfords, which was like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?: Gilead Edition."   I would much rather watch a show about the Waterfords -- a true believer couple gradually realizes that the dystopia they helped to create is fucked at its core -- than this insipid and pointless Elizabeth Moss vanity project.  

June isn't even a likable character, either in her present Offred existence or Before.    I don't know what Luke and Moira saw in her.

I could watch an entire season about the Waterfords. I find their story to be fascinating and I want to see both their origin stories and how they'll eventually fall. I guess June is meant to reflect kind of an "everywoman" and her character is supposed to be flawed enough that she's not really a saint and yet we still root for her, but I just can't with this. I'm bored now. I don't want to eat quiche with Serena Joy and paint each others nails while we reflect on America's Next Top Model, but, as a viewer, I'd sure as hell gleefully sit back and watch her descent in gradual madness on my television. The only interesting people I am finding right now are the "evil" folks and, therefore, they're the only ones I am invested in watching. I have zero fucks to give about most of what's going on. As long as Emily is reunited with her family and Janine gets Charangela out and goes dancing at a nightclub in Toronto sometime in the future, I'm good.  

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1 hour ago, Callaphera said:

I almost went down for a nap. Admittedly not good for the show, but good for me. 

Best thing about this episode for me was that I cycled 20k on my exercise bike and worked off the pizza I ate earlier while watching The Expanse. Otherwise it would just have been an hour I'd be regretting not watching another episode of The Expanse. It's actually really painful to take a break from binging The Expanse to watch THT. Last year THT was my weekly highlight but this year it's mainly disappointment after disappointment with the exception of First Blood and Smart Power.

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17 minutes ago, LeGrandElephant said:

Now THAT was a birth scene. Best one I’ve ever seen on TV. 

I agree.  There was one other that I really liked, either TV or a movie.  That had to be tough to act, and she had to do TWO of them for this one.  I also liked that she was squatting when she finally gave birth, being alone, that was probably the most believable way.

She was also adorable with that baby, and it did look like a newborn as well.  I get why they didn't goo up a tiny real baby, but that was the only clinker.  I loved how the baby really did calm to her voice.

2 hours ago, DrSpaceman said:

In retrospect that must of been what they were going for and why she couldn't get it open.  That was why she tried the shovel or whatever on the outside? 

That never crossed my mind though until you mentioned it.  I lived 32 years in the Midwest and never once did my garage door freeze shut.  Other doors, sure, but not the garage door

Michael Weston would have found a way out.  He would always go for the side walls instead of the heavy reinforced doors, though I think it was like a middle garage or something on the show, so that might not have worked.  But then Michael Weston working against Gilead would tear them all apart and have the US back up and running in a few weeks. 

Yeah, I was thinking that normally the garage is probably at least partly heated in winter, also shoveling done. 

She certainly tried though, and yes, I would be worried about ricocheting bullets as well, good point.  Not to mention that shotgun would have knocked her on her ass if she isn't familiar with long guns.  (hint, hold them very tight against your shoulder, and brace)  I don't think she would have missed Fred and Serena had she been able to shoot them though, that's the beauty of shotguns, they spray.  She may not have killed them, but she would have certainly wounded them gravely.

2 hours ago, DrSpaceman said:

I tend to agree about June.

But I don't blame Elizabeth Moss and her acting.  Her WHOLE story, not just this episode, is just so dull and plodding and overwhelming.  And her backstory is just really not that interesting. 

This show needs something like a Saul Goodman like on Breaking Bad to lighten the mood.  The spunky comic relief, as it was called in Galaxy quest. 

Exactly, it's June's STORY endless misery that is my problem.  I love her acting.  The show has people that could be doing the hopeful or comic or world building stuff.  They are CHOOSING not to do that, and I think it's to get as many seasons in as they can. 

It's annoying.

Why aren't Canada actors interacting with world news?  Relating stories of the reactions and ideas/plans about how the rest of the world is reacting?

Why isn't Nick shown talking with Mayday people about the resistance, or things he's learned while spying?

Bring back the CIA guy!

Why no scenes of the wars/resistance Americans still fighting?  They don't have to do battle scenes, show them in a cave hiding, and discussing things!  Show men treating women as equals!  Show them win ground!  Show US military (now Gilead) forces desert and help fight. 

1 hour ago, PerPlexied said:

One of the writers gave an interview about last week's rape scene and called this episode "one of the best episodes of television ever." 

K. 

It's VERY good as a stand alone, as I said earlier in the thread.  Also as @nodorothyparker says above. 

The problem is, the entire second season (with the exception of the Canada visit and the end of the sick baby episode featuring Janine, and then June and Serena working together?) has just been BLEAK and definitely all SLOW MOVING misery.

You stick an episode like this in a fast moving story?  We would probably all have had a different reaction, and loved it more.  Or liked it at least if you hated it.

8 minutes ago, LeGrandElephant said:

Hulu captions called if a wolf. Do we know who does those captions? Are they a canon source of info?

The "Inside the Episode" from the show runner calls it a wild dog.  I live in a more populated area, but very near wilderness, and we have bears and cougars wandering into town often enough.  It was believable to me, but that may be because of where I live.

"Little Red Riding Hood" never occurred to me, but now that it's been mentioned?  Strange.

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I admit I read a lot of the comments here before watching, so I knew a lot of what was going to happen already. Maybe if I had watched the episode cold, I would have found it gripping. I wasn't thrilled by the two birth scenes (three if you count the flashbacks to Janine's labor). I got that they were going for contrast--the first in a proper hospital surrounded by medical professionals, Moira, and Luke; the Gilead birth with the chanting handmaids and Aunt Lydia; and finally the birth of Holly, with nobody but a wolf/wild dog for company. I wondered if he was supposed to be some sort of spirit animal.

I agree that the Waterfords arguing was the high point of the episode. But I did wonder why Serena didn't stay to keep searching the house and let Fred drive off to do whatever. It's the reverse of the horror movie trope "Do everything except get the hell out of there pronto."

Finally, I thought of the commenters here with June's voiceover: "I'm sorry there's so much pain in this story...I keep on going with this limping and mutilated story..." It's almost as if she knows many people have become disappointed with the show and is apologizing for it!

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19 hours ago, Umbelina said:

No, not him, he's actually pretty succinct, and things actually happen.  It's a classic and I'm having a brain fart.  It's really a moment by moment, tell us how you choose to have eggs, how you cracked it into a certain bowl, describe the bowl in depth, and where you got it, and why you chose it, then decide which fork to use to scramble it, which pan, which burner--detail every choice, then begin to fry it and have sensory memories of doing it before, and every person who ever made you eggs.

Four pages later, take your first bite of the egg. 

Sounds like Ulysses by James Joyce

18 hours ago, Umbelina said:

It may be near Canada.

But how long would it take to get to Canada from Boston?  Remember, the commander told Nick to be back in three hours, so the drive can’t have been more than 90 minutes one way.

14 hours ago, alexvillage said:

Actually, the act seat is something that a "normal" society requires, and it is pretty new. S

This.  I was born in the late 1960s, and my mother used to drive with me in a cardboard carton jammed under the dashboard on the passenger side.  That was typical, or they had bassinets that yu out on the car seat, but the baby himself or herself was not secured to anything.

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12 minutes ago, GreekGeek said:

I admit I read a lot of the comments here before watching, so I knew a lot of what was going to happen already. Maybe if I had watched the episode cold, I would have found it gripping. I wasn't thrilled by the two birth scenes (three if you count the flashbacks to Janine's labor). I got that they were going for contrast--the first in a proper hospital surrounded by medical professionals, Moira, and Luke; the Gilead birth with the chanting handmaids and Aunt Lydia; and finally the birth of Holly, with nobody but a wolf/wild dog for company. I wondered if he was supposed to be some sort of spirit animal.

I agree that the Waterfords arguing was the high point of the episode. But I did wonder why Serena didn't stay to keep searching the house and let Fred drive off to do whatever. It's the reverse of the horror movie trope "Do everything except get the hell out of there pronto."

Finally, I thought of the commenters here with June's voiceover: "I'm sorry there's so much pain in this story...I keep on going with this limping and mutilated story..." It's almost as if she knows many people have become disappointed with the show and is apologizing for it!

I think that's STRAIGHT from the book, and the beauty of those words is Atwood.  Anyone else know for sure.  From

Spoiler

the epilogue when the asshole talks about June's tapes and how much work it was to organize them.

Fred was searching downstairs, Serena upstairs.  Speaking of that, super tiny, insignificant book spoiler here, I wonder if they are ever going to mention that Serena Joy

Spoiler

made up that name?

12 minutes ago, Missus Aitch said:

Sounds like Ulysses by James Joyce

But how long would it take to get to Canada from Boston?  Remember, the commander told Nick to be back in three hours, so the drive can’t have been more than 90 minutes one way.

This.  I was born in the late 1960s, and my mother used to drive with me in a cardboard carton jammed under the dashboard on the passenger side.  That was typical, or they had bassinets that yu out on the car seat, but the baby himself or herself was not secured to anything.

Yes!  Proust was another good guess though, I honestly can't remember which it was.

https://www.discovernewengland.org/travel-planning/drive-times-mileage

I'm thinking it was Maine, but New Hampshire and other areas are within that time frame as well.  Times are probably faster than this chart too, since there is no "traffic" to delay you.

Edited by Umbelina
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As far as not shooting Fred and Serena, besides aim, I don’t know much about guns and I doubt she does either, so I wouldn’t want to rely on having loaded it correctly, or on a gun that’s been sitting there for who knows how long being in good working order. 

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I give credit to the writers for giving June enough smarts to pull the manual release.  I was thinking that while she was banging on the switches.  But, I give demerits for June not having the smarts to try the other 3 doors!!!  It's a 4 car garage, with plenty of room to maneuver.  Try another door!  Make it into a montage is there's not enough time to show it all.  But that was just stupid.  (I disagree with the other posts stating the doors would have been locked and she probably had the key - most doors with electric openers are not manually locked, the electric opener functions as the lock.)

I agree with the other comments about this being about 90% filler, none of which will matter by the middle of the next episode.  Unless the headlights we saw belong to Oprah, or Bruce Springsteen. 

The main reason I'm interested in the next episode is to see what crazy ass explanation either June or the Waterfords come up with to explain her being there.

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1 minute ago, LeGrandElephant said:

As far as not shooting Fred and Serena, besides aim, I don’t know much about guns and I doubt she does either, so I wouldn’t want to rely on having loaded it correctly, or on a gun that’s been sitting there for who knows how long being in good working order. 

Well, she certainly knew how to load it.  A shotgun is as simple as it comes, if she knew how to load it?  Pulling the trigger is easy and the shotgun pellets spray out, it's almost impossible to miss at relatively close range.

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1 hour ago, chaifan said:

I give credit to the writers for giving June enough smarts to pull the manual release.  I was thinking that while she was banging on the switches.  But, I give demerits for June not having the smarts to try the other 3 doors!!!  It's a 4 car garage, with plenty of room to maneuver.  Try another door!  Make it into a montage is there's not enough time to show it all.  But that was just stupid.  (I disagree with the other posts stating the doors would have been locked and she probably had the key - most doors with electric openers are not manually locked, the electric opener functions as the lock.)

I agree with the other comments about this being about 90% filler, none of which will matter by the middle of the next episode.  Unless the headlights we saw belong to Oprah, or Bruce Springsteen. 

The main reason I'm interested in the next episode is to see what crazy ass explanation either June or the Waterfords come up with to explain her being there.

They retained electric openers on every door in that garage in a society where they can't even get electricity in homes to keep the lights on?

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The car scenes were very poorly written. It is completely unbelievable that the car wouldn't break through the door. Even if it was made of solid 2x material, the hinges or track would have bent and given way. It would have been easy to show the car starting the first time for the radio scene but not the second, because of a dead battery.

A house that far out in the country most likely doesn't have public water service, thus no water at the faucet because the well pump has no power. 

Glad she found enough dry firewood and a lighter to start the fire, which also would haven given away her location/presence. But then we wouldn't have gotten the dramatic birth scene.

The plot this season has kinda sucked. I was hoping for more development about the commander structure, views from the common folk and resistance network. Going back to the guy that got killed for helping her escape, he had a cell phone/pager. I don't see anyone else with telephones or cell phones. Just the guardians with their earpieces. 

Why hasn't Moira linked up with the CIA guy? I'm sure they would have debriefed her after her escape, and she would be very useful with getting spies back into Gilead. 

Maybe the last two episodes will be earth shattering but I just don't see it happening. 

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I am only partly through the episode and I had to come here just to say "ARGH!!!!" Why the fuck is she going back and forth to and from the house like she has all the time in the world?!? What's with all the pensive pauses? Just grab some shit, throw it in the car and go! It's like the writers are stalling just to keep her there. And what numbskull invented a garage door that can't open manually? Good grief.

Edited by numbnut
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26 minutes ago, hokiefan said:

The car scenes were very poorly written. It is completely unbelievable that the car wouldn't break through the door. Even if it was made of solid 2x material, the hinges or track would have bent and given way. It would have been easy to show the car starting the first time for the radio scene but not the second, because of a dead battery.

I thought it looked like there was some sort of metal framing around the area where the bumper hit. I don't know if that's actually a thing or not on garage doors (city apartment living, yo) but I just thought that it was reinforced so that one couldn't drive through it, either accidentally or on purpose?

Then again, like I said above, the beginning of the episode lulled me into such a peaceful, almost nap time state that I could have been dreaming.

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I wonder if there's a reason or underlying message as to why the studio version of Hungry Heart was used for the radio broadcast but during the credits they used a live version where the audience sings the entire first verse.

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23 hours ago, Deputy Deputy CoS said:

That was dull as fuck.

This was an unnecessary vanity episode for Moss. She already has her Emmy tape show. Move the story along.

I am not on the "this show is torture" bandwagon but the pacing on this show is exhausting and torturous for a viewer. Just last week, June was brutally raped and teased with a short reunion with her child. It doesn't end there, she goes into labor and delivers alone. 

They keep piling on and on and on with no reprieve and no light at the end of the tunnel. Even if I am incline to think the Waterfords don't get Holly, another Commander/Wife would which means June would have lost her baby after everything.

I am trying hard to see what the point of the never-ending suffering is. A cautionary tale can be told without relentlessness of this episode. 

I hear you. I can't wait for this season to be over so that I'm done with this show. I won't be back next year.

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3 hours ago, chaifan said:

I give credit to the writers for giving June enough smarts to pull the manual release.  I was thinking that while she was banging on the switches.  But, I give demerits for June not having the smarts to try the other 3 doors!!! 

June trying to break through the garage door in that short space reminded me of "The Lonely Grave of Paula Schultz."  Where's Pai Mei when you need him?

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23 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Looked like the middle of the country or a forest to me.  Suburbs generally have other houses around.

 

Obviously, they play games with the Boston geography (never mind that they don't film locally) but there are plenty of places in suburban Boston/Middlesex County where that house and the surrounding property/woods would fit right in: Weston, Sudbury, Wellesley, just to start. 

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40 minutes ago, CaliCheeseSucks said:

Obviously, they play games with the Boston geography (never mind that they don't film locally) but there are plenty of places in suburban Boston/Middlesex County where that house and the surrounding property/woods would fit right in: Weston, Sudbury, Wellesley, just to start. 

Yes but 10 minute visit, 3 hour round trip, no traffic at all.  They could have been anywhere, my guess is Maine, so many lakes....

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44 minutes ago, CaliCheeseSucks said:

Obviously, they play games with the Boston geography (never mind that they don't film locally) but there are plenty of places in suburban Boston/Middlesex County where that house and the surrounding property/woods would fit right in: Weston, Sudbury, Wellesley, just to start. 

 

That was my general thinking, I know the area and those from there, the sense of true isolation can be very deceiving. The landscapes are really beautiful overall. 

I don’t think it detracts from anything if the house was more centrally located than not, June could barely hoof it down the short driveway in her condition.

She was alone regardless of actual distance from anyone else, maybe one mile or maybe thirty-five, she was far enough away that no one could hear her scream, which is why she used the shotgun, whether that mattered or not she was desperate to be found at that point.

Not to mentiont that wild dog wolf breed hound beast was really shitty about going to get help. No Lassie of the Year award for him/her.

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9 hours ago, whoknowswho said:

I HATED this episode, because I just knew she was going to give birth, and she was going to get caught. No happy ending for June. I did think for a moment when she was bleeding everywhere, not having had a baby myself, thought she had Abruptio Placenta or Placenta Previa, and was going to give birth and die of blood loss.  Then I thought she was going to shoot herself with the shotgun, not use it as a flare. Honestly I came away from this episode simply pissed off.  Baby goes to the Waterfucks (wonderful name, whoever coined it!) and June...will be sad somewhere. That's all I got out of this plodding, long series of vignettes.

All of this. I felt all of this as well. 

I’m STILL pissed. I’m pissed about next weeks episode and it’s not even aired yet. 

Ughhhh. ???

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31 minutes ago, LittleRed84 said:

All of this. I felt all of this as well. 

I’m STILL pissed. I’m pissed about next weeks episode and it’s not even aired yet. 

Ughhhh. ???

I'm still pissed too. Then I saw the promo for next week and decided, screw it, I'm going to overdose on ice cream and drown my pain.  And probably NOT even watch.

(Oh who am I kidding? I'll watch... while eating a 1/2 gallon of ice cream, maybe pick up smoking again and hell, maybe not even get out of my pajamas for a week. Then I'll go on a crash diet of puppies who may or may not, be wolves in Red Riding Handmaid-Hood's story. )

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When the media reports stated this would be a mostly quiet episode I rolled my eyes and expected complete boredom. And I did kind of drift away at the start of the episode, but somewhere along the line it clicked for me and by the time the birth(s) rolled around, it made sense to me as a self-contained story, and I think dealing with Nick and Eden in this episode would have distracted from it.

I enjoyed the way the past and present were being weaved together. First with dropping off Hannah at kidergarten and feeling like she was abandoning her while dreading this would happen with her new baby. Then, the birthing scenes were excellent in my book, the way they contasted the darkness and isolation of giving birth to Holly with the light and community when she gave birth to Hannah. Even the Red Center and the scenes of Janine giving birth were bathed in light and the other handmaids were there to lend emotional support, regardless of the stupid chanting. Those flashbacks actually felt like June was drawing strength from those communities and feeling their presence at that moment.

I also enjoyed her mother in this episode. At first I thought June was being pissy and disinviting her from the birth, when it turned out she actually didn’t expect her to come after being burned too many times. And then she did, and the way she was looking at her daughter and her new family was beautiful. Naming Holly after her was very appropriate after that. Plus, I took it as June wishing that she has the same clarity of vision that her mother did.

The final voice over felt a little ominous, with June talking about telling the story for her and maybe meeting one day. If the ‘her’ is Holly, it sounds like they definitely get separated, that June escapes and Holly remains stuck with the Waterfords. I’m trying to tell myself that the ‘her’ is any other handmaid or Martha, and June hopes her words will help them like the letters helped her ta one point.

When Serena found the handmaid’s outfit I was super impressed at how quickly June managed to change. I guess she just found one and laid it out as a decoy. Clever move and it resulted in Serena and Fred vacating the premises quickly. Good for June,

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10 hours ago, PerPlexied said:

One of the writers gave an interview about last week's rape scene and called this episode "one of the best episodes of television ever." 

K. 

lol Tooting their own horn. 

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Oh for the love of God! Enough already. Get June out of there. I too fast forwarded through parts of the episode. And worse, I watched it recorded and had inadvertently glimpsed the scene beforehand where she was in bed in the hospital with Luke and Moira around her and thought Thank goodness, she made it out! Only to find out it was merely flashbacks! So this was a double letdown for me. I can't believe she is still at the mercy of the Waterfords. Never mind shooting Fred and Serena, turn the shotgun on the show runner(s). 

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30 minutes ago, bijoux said:

I also enjoyed her mother in this episode. At first I thought June was being pissy and disinviting her from the birth, when it turned out she actually didn’t expect her to come after being burned too many times. And then she did, and the way she was looking at her daughter and her new family was beautiful. Naming Holly after her was very appropriate after that. Plus, I took it as June wishing that she has the same clarity of vision that her mother did.

The final voice over felt a little ominous, with June talking about telling the story for her and maybe meeting one day. If the ‘her’ is Holly, it sounds like they definitely get separated, that June escapes and Holly remains stuck with the Waterfords. I’m trying to tell myself that the ‘her’ is any other handmaid or Martha, and June hopes her words will help them like the letters helped her ta one point.

Yes, and I also liked the scene when she was leaving Hannah at pre-school or whatever it was and the woman said something like "you were probably like this too" or something.  June replied, "not really."  I think June was used to being "left" but Hannah was not, and it was again, about "why didn't you look for me harder?"  It also showed how very hard it must have been for Hannah trying to adjust to her new parents, and the two beatings, which I felt were about her missing her mother and wanting her back. 

 

The final voice over, I believe is taken straight from the book.  It sounded so familiar.  I'll tag it though, with the warning that this actually is a huge spoiler that the show has not, at all, addressed.

Spoiler

June makes a series of tapes which are found many years later, maybe a century or so.  This odious academician misogynist gives a speech about his amazing discovery in a cabin in Maine, and all the work it took for him and colleagues to put the tapes together in a way that made some kind of sense.  They were hidden in music tapes, which is one reason why so much pop music is in the show.  ANYWAY, that voice over was on the tapes, probably verbatim from Atwood, but I can't find my copy of the book...so.  June is talking to whomever finds the tapes, saying she is believing that person into being, and all the rest, it's hopeful that Gilead ends someday, and she stays sketchy on information about her daughter, the professor speculates it's to protect the daughter, and others.  Her words are beautiful, while his are judgemental.

I am positive I would have loved this episode as a stand alone.

I just think the rest of the slow and dragging, limited information season made it a bit unpalatable for many.  It's hard to judge it all alone when the season has been mostly a misery tour, and very frustrating with lack of follow up, and general lack of information about just about everything.  From Nick's Eye job to his Mayday job--we've never seen him at either, and Canada has been mostly wasted as well, when it should have been our eyes to the world, instead they just did more flashbacks and more misery.

What happened to Fred after the Canada fiasco.  How are the rebels doing in the wars?  Why aren't the refugees in Canada all over world wide news telling their stories?  Hell, Oprah would be all over that, as would the BBC and everyone else.  What's happening after the bombing?  How's Janine's baby?  On and on...

So, when you leave so many unanswered questions, a long slow episode doesn't work as well. 

The writers seem to be deliberately dragging this show out to get as many seasons as possible.  So including a slow episode right now?  Didn't work well.

Edited by Umbelina
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20 hours ago, dmc said:

 I legit tolerate flashbacks of Luke and June. Other the initial how they got together and were captured, I find the rest to be uninteresting.  The most interesting part of the episode was the McSadist and his wife arguing.  The dynamic between Fred and Serena is fascinating.  First Serena was abused by Fred recently but she still feels comfortable screaming at him like that in the hallway. Fred seems to despise Serena.  I fully think he believes where his life is her doing and blames her for creating Gilead. Never mind that he went along with it, promoted it and is a high powered official.  I suspect that is the crux of his hatred for her.  

I agree about the flashbacks. I don't like Luke much to begin with. He cheated on his wife and left her for June, for one. But he rubs me the wrong way, in all his actions. He's like a little boy who never grew up. The less I see of him the better. I would say I'd prefer June with Nick, but I side with others that she's not very likeable either. I'd have preferred to see the story from Emily's point of view. More interesting backstory. I've always liked her scenes better.

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11 hours ago, DrSpaceman said:

In retrospect that must of been what they were going for and why she couldn't get it open.  That was why she tried the shovel or whatever on the outside? 

That never crossed my mind though until you mentioned it.  I lived 32 years in the Midwest and never once did my garage door freeze shut.  Other doors, sure, but not the garage door

Michael Weston would have found a way out.  He would always go for the side walls instead of the heavy reinforced doors, though I think it was like a middle garage or something on the show, so that might not have worked.  But then Michael Weston working against Gilead would tear them all apart and have the US back up and running in a few weeks. 

It happens where it's damp and where you tend to get freezing rain. Also positioning. The rain hit our garage door directly. We never locked the garage door, but our door froze so many times, and was very difficult to open in that state, that we finally ended up leaving it open an inch in the winter. 

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17 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Yes, and I also liked the scene when she was leaving Hannah at pre-school or whatever it was and the woman said something like "you were probably like this too" or something.  June replied, "not really."  I think June was used to being "left" but Hannah was not, and it was again, about "why didn't you look for me harder?"  It also showed how very hard it must have been for Hannah trying to adjust to her new parents, and the two beatings, which I felt were about her missing her mother and wanting her back. 

 

The final voice over, I believe is taken straight from the book.  It sounded so familiar.  I'll tag it though, with the warning that this actually is a huge spoiler that the show has not, at all, addressed.

  Reveal hidden contents

June makes a series of tapes which are found many years later, maybe a century or so.  This odious academician misogynist gives a speech about his amazing discovery in a cabin in Maine, and all the work it took for him and colleagues to put the tapes together in a way that made some kind of sense.  They were hidden in music tapes, which is one reason why so much pop music is in the show.  ANYWAY, that voice over was on the tapes, probably verbatim from Atwood, but I can't find my copy of the book...so.  June is talking to whomever finds the tapes, saying she is believing that person into being, and all the rest, it's hopeful that Gilead ends someday, and she stays sketchy on information about her daughter, the professor speculates it's to protect the daughter, and others.  Her words are beautiful, while his are judgemental.

I am positive I would have loved this episode as a stand alone.

I just think the rest of the slow and dragging, limited information season made it a bit unpalatable for many.  It's hard to judge it all alone when the season has been mostly a misery tour, and very frustrating with lack of follow up, and general lack of information about just about everything.  From Nick's Eye job to his Mayday job--we've never seen him at either, and Canada has been mostly wasted as well, when it should have been our eyes to the world, instead they just did more flashbacks and more misery.

What happened to Fred after the Canada fiasco.  How are the rebels doing in the wars?  Why aren't the refugees in Canada all over world wide news telling their stories?  Hell, Oprah would be all over that, as would the BBC and everyone else.  What's happening after the bombing?  How's Janine's baby?  On and on...

So, when you leave so many unanswered questions, a long slow episode doesn't work as well. 

The writers seem to be deliberately dragging this show out to get as many seasons as possible.  So including a slow episode right now?  Didn't work well.

I found a copy online and I think actually the entire, or most of, voice over was from the book, though not from the epilogue. I'll take this to the Palimpset thread. 

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47 minutes ago, bijoux said:

When the media reports stated this would be a mostly quiet episode I rolled my eyes and expected complete boredom. And I did kind of drift away at the start of the episode, but somewhere along the line it clicked for me and by the time the birth(s) rolled around, it made sense to me as a self-contained story, and I think dealing with Nick and Eden in this episode would have distracted from it.

I enjoyed the way the past and present were being weaved together. First with dropping off Hannah at kidergarten and feeling like she was abandoning her while dreading this would happen with her new baby. Then, the birthing scenes were excellent in my book, the way they contasted the darkness and isolation of giving birth to Holly with the light and community when she gave birth to Hannah. Even the Red Center and the scenes of Janine giving birth were bathed in light and the other handmaids were there to lend emotional support, regardless of the stupid chanting. Those flashbacks actually felt like June was drawing strength from those communities and feeling their presence at that moment.

I also enjoyed her mother in this episode. At first I thought June was being pissy and disinviting her from the birth, when it turned out she actually didn’t expect her to come after being burned too many times. And then she did, and the way she was looking at her daughter and her new family was beautiful. Naming Holly after her was very appropriate after that. Plus, I took it as June wishing that she has the same clarity of vision that her mother did.

The final voice over felt a little ominous, with June talking about telling the story for her and maybe meeting one day. If the ‘her’ is Holly, it sounds like they definitely get separated, that June escapes and Holly remains stuck with the Waterfords. I’m trying to tell myself that the ‘her’ is any other handmaid or Martha, and June hopes her words will help them like the letters helped her ta one point.

When Serena found the handmaid’s outfit I was super impressed at how quickly June managed to change. I guess she just found one and laid it out as a decoy. Clever move and it resulted in Serena and Fred vacating the premises quickly. Good for June,

I thought she'd only left the cloak and head piece behind. She probably couldn't fit into the other clothes at this point in her pregnancy. I think even the coat she took she couldn't button up. 

I really liked the scenes with her mother too. Cherry Jones is always good. 

And I agree with the posters about seeing more of how other countries are reacting to Gilead. They need to keep our interest and give us some hope. 

Edited by ferjy
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47 minutes ago, bijoux said:

When Serena found the handmaid’s outfit I was super impressed at how quickly June managed to change. I guess she just found one and laid it out as a decoy.

June just took off her cape and bonnet and set it on the bed before putting a mans coat on. That’s what Serena found.

I think June intended to change but could only find wives clothes (teal color) and scowled at them so just took a coat. 

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It’s funny, we get the episode a day later than most of you and I know I shouldn’t but I always come and read your comments before the episode drops here.  People were so negative about this particular episode that I was expecting to hate it too,  but I actually really enjoyed it.  I liked the pace and the stand alone quality.  I didn’t need to have spoiled myself about the outcome, because as others have said, we knew she was not going to escape, the story was never going to be plucky June escapes with a newborn, but June the character didn’t know that.

 

The wolf I was a bit meh about, I enjoyed all the acting with the Waterford scene being a standout.  I liked the small touches like the photo of Hannah and the maps on the wall in the background.  The garage didn’t bother me, we had one like that, it used to need a key to open, but then we modernised it with an electric opener and the one time the power went out and I pulled the manual release the damn thing jammed.  

I’m glad Serena did not get the birthing ceremony and I quite liked the ‘I will you into being’ or whatever the exact quite was.

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11 hours ago, Lemons said:

Her faces are too over the top.  I would think to qualify for emmy you should be an excellent actor.  Nuanced, understated.  Anyone can make faces in the camera and she's using the same ones over and over and way too often.  

This. I see a lot of actors who have great moments, who can go through a scene and wow me but that's not what being a great actor means, imo. EM is one of those actors. Great moments, then meh. Setting aside that the Emmy's are just a silly ceremony where who is your agent and how much the powers that be are investing in you so that they can get their investment back, a really great actor needs to be effortless.

EM is not effortless. I always have a feeling that she is exhausting herself, when I am not exhausted for her character (I hope this makes sense, as it does in my head). Not that she is not putting work into her craft, but her range is not vast. It is actually pretty limited. Compare that to Samira Wiley, who I don't think is a great actor (because I haven't seen her much, so I don't have an opinion, but in this show she is far superior. 

EM exceptionality is a media construct. We were told she was great even before we (many of us) had the chance to form our opinion. It is subtle, but it is effective PR. It happens a lot in the TV/Movie business. 

 

Editing: one reason I usually cannot follow shows for more than a few seasons is when the writers forget that the story is more important than special episodes to highlight an actor. As already pointed out, there is so many unfinished plots that never get resolved, and they are wasting screen time and giving us endless boring minutes of snow and panting.

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My kids and I have a podcast and a You Tube channel in which we watch and discuss things that some people don't think are appropriate for children. (Low budget horror flicks, Handmaid's Tale, etc.) While watching this episode, here's what my 6 year old daughter had to say:

 

- Maybe she can just ride that wolf out the way that Mary rode the donkey. 

- Oh, a depressing part. Good, we hadn't seen one in almost 3 minutes. 

- If you are 6 or 11 then this is totally inappropriate for you and you shouldn't be watching. You might just want to turn to our kitten videos now, they're fun for all ages!

- Now go hide your baby so those idiots don't come back and take it from you!

- I get it, people had babies, but does that mean that we have to sit through 3 births in one episode? Boring!

- Shoot Serena Joy! But don't shoot Fred. Now that we've learned that he's kind of stupid, it doesn't seem fair. 

- Does Gilead never see the other 3 seasons?

- I love that house! Can we have more of that and less of the closeups on her face?

- I feel bad for the poor camera guy who had to stand there and watch her have the baby. At least I got to cover my eyes . 

- Mommy, when you're 110 and you die, can you come back as a wolf to be my spirit animal? I'll keep you as a pet and feed you chicken every day. 

- After seeing her have the baby, I totally understand now why we have Mother's Day. Sorry Mommy. That looked bad...

- Don't worry guys, we edited out all our farts. 

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16 hours ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Again, I understand why they dedicated an episode to the birth but I think there's a way to tell June's story and show us the inner workings of Gilead as a whole (not just handmaid torture porn) without compromising Atwood's intentions. Some of that is the Eden/Isaac thing. Maybe I'm just being bratty because I have to wait a whole week, but whether or not the time has come and gone ITA this episode played like one, long Emmy reel (though I'd add Emmy reel inspired by the movie Castaway). 

I'm so happy someone else thought this! As I was watching June at the summer house, "Castaway" is exactly what came to mind. I was waiting for her to name something (the shovel? The rifle?) and start a conversation with it....

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2 minutes ago, TwirlyGirly said:

I'm so happy someone else thought this! As I was watching June at the summer house, "Castaway" is exactly what came to mind. I was waiting for her to name something (the shovel? The rifle?) and start a conversation with it....

I would've enjoyed that so much more than what I watched...

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