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S02.E11: Holly

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-loved the episode. classic bottle episode, beautiful cinematography. the flashbacks were woven in so nicely.

-the wolf/dog wasn't real. it vanished once she gave up and fired off the gun. there's no way a real wolf/feral dog would have ignored injured prey that smelled of blood.

-the fight was tense, well done, and hilarious.

-the house belonged to hannah's new parents.

-when you're in labor, you don't think logically. june did very well considering the circumstances. 

-that was a lot of blood, something is wrong and I hope they get june to a hospital soon.

-i don't need to see every detail (placenta delivery, wiping off the baby etc) to infer that it happened.

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3 hours ago, ferjy said:

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.

I don’t like Luke either.  Thank you for validating my feelings.  

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I admit that I've never had or especially desired children of my own, so I am not in the right place to understand Serena's apparent willingness to take an active part in destroying an entire nation and creating Gilead in order to get a baby, any baby. Or am I getting her wrong in this episode when she says all she wanted was a baby and now she has nothing?

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4 hours ago, ferjy said:

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.

Yes, yes and yes. More Emily, please. I wanted to fast-forward through June's flashbacks but didn't because I thought I might miss something important. And what did I get? Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Edited by numbnut
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7 hours ago, whoknowswho said:

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.

 

No kidding. 

Spoiler

That preview gives away a lot. We now know Nick survives, June goes back to the Waterfords, Eden "disappears," which given other previews--I think we know where that goes. The focus on Emily is the only potentially intriguing thing. I'll be honest and say that I'd hoped this episode was leading to a finale where June either escapes or dies shortly after childbirth and we can shift on to other Handmaid's Tales for Season 3. I doubt that's realistic, because they've so heavily invested in casting all of these characters who are relevant only because of their connection to June... but her story is progressively more of a strain on credulity. She's disappeared twice now while pregnant, she'll be returned again to the Waterfords, they're all sneaking around all the time in that house, no one gets held to account, etc. etc.

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5 hours ago, maxineofarc said:

I admit that I've never had or especially desired children of my own, so I am not in the right place to understand Serena's apparent willingness to take an active part in destroying an entire nation and creating Gilead in order to get a baby, any baby. Or am I getting her wrong in this episode when she says all she wanted was a baby and now she has nothing?

I think that was a bit of revisionist history on Serena's part. I don't think she actually willingly gave up everything she had. She obviously had much different expectations about Gilead, but by the time she realized what it was really going to look like and what her role in the society would be, it was already too late. However, in order to keep her mind she managed to convince herself that if she got a baby, it would all be worth it - and now, if she would be denied even that, she's literally left with nothing.

Edited by Joana
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1 hour ago, maxineofarc said:

I admit that I've never had or especially desired children of my own, so I am not in the right place to understand Serena's apparent willingness to take an active part in destroying an entire nation and creating Gilead in order to get a baby, any baby. Or am I getting her wrong in this episode when she says all she wanted was a baby and now she has nothing?

 

I think that was just Serena trying to play the victim.

“She was just the doting wife who supported her husband and his efforts and all she ever asked for, wished for, dreamed about night and day, was having a baby of her very own”.

This is the same chick, however, who wrote a best seller detailing a “new way”, a “better way”, while encouraging the country “to turn back to god”.

She held rallies, made grandiose speeches, she put herself smack dab in the middle of national debates while Fred basically kissed the ring as her loyal sidekick. 

Serena had a lot of goals and aspirations for Gilead, she was expecting to get a hell of a lot from it plus a baby.

The baby was meant to be the cap off to all her other new privileges and power. 

But now, since she got totally screwed over in the end, because she trusted men to subjugate females fairly, and barely ranks as a human being without a single right to her sullied name, all she has to cling to and desire and obsess about is the baby.

It’s the only guaranteed promise Gilead is still willing to go through with. 

But then she had her meltdown at the thought of losing out on that last hope after being vanquished at every other turn: losing the right to read, to write, to have marital copulation, to wear real clothes again, to have unrestricted freedoms, to have a respected opinion that matters to society, to have anything meaningful to look forward to each and every day. 

Imo, Serena’s quest for a baby is driven by her desperate need to matter again, to someone.

The baby will have no choice but to love her, let her dress her up, she’ll call her “Mommy”, she will tell her “I love you”. 

This baby will give Serena back the life she knows she squandered, at least that’s what she believes. 

Edited by AnswersWanted
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46 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

mo, Serena’s quest for a baby is driven by her desperate need to matter again, to someone.

The baby will have no choice but to love her, let her dress her up, she’ll call her “Mommy”, she will tell her “I love you”. 

Also, to have someone on her side. According to an interview I read ( or maybe it was a podcast? I don’t remember )  her desire to have a baby is also driven by her need  to have an ally in this world. That’s even more disturbing if you think about those implications, raising a little mini Serena in her image, an automatic friend who has to love her.  It’s completely narcissistic and selfish.

Edited by GraceK
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In regards to all the talk about shooting the lock on the garage, she probably didnt want people to hear the gunshot

Edited by rainbowbanana
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9 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

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.

[EXTERIOR.  Outside nearby mansion.  Wolf-dog runs up to homeowner shoveling driveway.]

Wolf-dog:  Ruff!

Man: Whoa there!  What are you doin' here, girl?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: What's that?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: You say there's a lone pregnant handmaid trapped at the MacKenzie house?  Well, I heard the screams, the yelling, the gunshots, and all the squealing tires, but I didn't think anything was wrong.

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: And her contractions are coming every two minutes and that she's dilated 8 centimeters?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: TEN centimeters!  Well, by gosh, we should get her some help.  But I can't because my garage door is frozen shut and I know no other way to get my car out of my garage.  At all.  Really.  No one around here does!  Anyway, I hope she's ok.  Miracle of life! [Resumes shoveling.]

[Wolf-dog HALPERTS directly at camera.] 

Edited by Penman61
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6 hours 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.

  Hide 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.

 

It's been at least 3-5 years of Gilead in the show right? I'm thinking at the beginning it was huge news, the first ones to escape all over the news with their stories...but now a few years later, the media has somewhat moved on. The world doesn't accept what is happening, but it's no longer breaking news

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20 minutes ago, GraceK said:

Also, to have someone on her side. According to an interview I read ( or maybe it was a podcast? I don’t remember )  her desire to have a baby is also driven by her need  to have an ally in this world. That’s even more disturbing if you think about those implications, raising a little mini Serena in her image, an automatic friend who has to love her.  It’s completely narcissistic and selfish.

 

Oh yeah, she sees this baby as “her’s”, a possession, property, someone she can own since she’s lost all sense of ownership thanks to the regime.

I agree, she really sees this baby as being an ally, and accomplice, someone she can count on because, as I mentioned in earlier post, there’s no way she counts on Fred now, and who else is there?

She despises June, Nick it’s just the driver that she can take advantage of sometimes, Rita cooks her meals and washes her laundry, she’s alone.

The other wives are not really her friends, she spends her days knitting useless fluff and trying to make plants grow while contemplating the fact that her life is total shit.

But here comes a baby and suddenly she has purpose again, she can feed her and change her diaper and give her baths and wave toys in front of her face and put her in pretty clothes and push her out and about in a pram and get all the attention from all the other still barren women now extremely jealous of her to be so lucky to get a baby, it’s a dreamland for a woman that has currently been living in an absolute nightmare. Especially one of her own doing. 

 

12 minutes ago, Penman61 said:

[EXTERIOR.  Outside nearby mansion.  Wolf-dog runs up to homeowner shoveling driveway.]

Wolf-dog:  Ruff!

Man: Whoa there!  What are you doin' here girl?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: What's that?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: You say there's a lone pregnant handmaid trapped at the MacKenzie house?  Well, I heard the screams, the yelling, the gunshots, and all the squealing tires, but I didn't think anything was wrong.

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: And her contractions are coming every two minutes and that she's dilated 8 centimeters?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: TEN centimeters!  Well, by gosh, we should get her some help.  But I can't because my garage door is frozen shut and I know no other way to get out of my garage.  At all.  Really.  No one around here does!  Anyway, I hope she's ok.  Miracle of life! [Resumes shoveling.]

[Wolf-dog HALPERTS directly at camera.] 

 

Magnifico. If this had happened on the show I would have given it two thumbs up. 

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This show is turning into Gilligan's Island. Every week, a new possible way of escape, only to be thwarted by stupidity. Every week, they end up back on the island.

And I'm another who thinks EM's acting is weak. No subtlety, no variation.

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15 hours ago, Callaphera said:

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.

 

I also thought it was sloppy that they showed on the outside of the garage door and it showed no damage whatsoever!

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On ‎6‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 2:02 AM, LittleRed84 said:

And why was everyone (guards, nick, now Fred) all like “we shouldn’t be here” or “we have to hurry, someone may have seen our car” what’s so damn special about that abandoned house?? It’s an empty house. Who cares??

I think it showed that it was the MacKenzies (?) who were Hannah's new parents - this must be their summer home.  Full of secrets...  But yeah like it seems about an hour 1/2 north of Boston in the middle of nowhere, so maybe guards are not on those snowy roads.

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9 hours ago, ferjy said:

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.

Can't stand Luke either, there's nothing about him that I like, so the less I see of him, the better.  I am not particularly a fan of June, either, she can be sly and sneaky, with her "Might hurt the baby" stuff. I love Emily, Janine and Moira, and even Aunt Lydia--I'd love to know her story, how she got special dispensation to write, she's one of the most interesting characters to me--who was she before and how did she become who she is now?  Nick, is a beautiful waste of space--he could have a VERY interesting story, but what he get's is little to work with. Commander Pryce was murdered I guess though it never actually said, so does Nick lose his position as an Eye assuming he survives? How is Waterford still putting up with him, knowing he probably impregnated June, and likely helped her to escape? So many questions, and I think we'll get few answers.

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On 6/27/2018 at 1:27 AM, rideashire said:

I think if given the chance she would have tried to pop that baby out with her foot still on the pedal and then held it in her lap while she drove to canada ;)

 

Yeah, I think lack of a car seat was the least of her worries at that point.

And I see DuckyinKy already said this upthread

Edited by anniebird
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4 hours ago, Penman61 said:

[EXTERIOR.  Outside nearby mansion.  Wolf-dog runs up to homeowner shoveling driveway.]

Wolf-dog:  Ruff!

Man: Whoa there!  What are you doin' here, girl?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: What's that?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: You say there's a lone pregnant handmaid trapped at the MacKenzie house?  Well, I heard the screams, the yelling, the gunshots, and all the squealing tires, but I didn't think anything was wrong.

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: And her contractions are coming every two minutes and that she's dilated 8 centimeters?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: TEN centimeters!  Well, by gosh, we should get her some help.  But I can't because my garage door is frozen shut and I know no other way to get my car out of my garage.  At all.  Really.  No one around here does!  Anyway, I hope she's ok.  Miracle of life! [Resumes shoveling.]

[Wolf-dog HALPERTS directly at camera.] 

Plus, no car seat so she is sca-ruwed. 

Seriously I laughed so hard when I was reading this I woke my own dog. 

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10 hours ago, sam77 said:

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.

I really enjoyed it too. Maybe I simply have fewer expectations than some. I also know I will definitely be in for next season, not going to pretend otherwise.

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6 hours ago, Penman61 said:

[EXTERIOR.  Outside nearby mansion.  Wolf-dog runs up to homeowner shoveling driveway.]

Wolf-dog:  Ruff!

Man: Whoa there!  What are you doin' here, girl?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: What's that?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: You say there's a lone pregnant handmaid trapped at the MacKenzie house?  Well, I heard the screams, the yelling, the gunshots, and all the squealing tires, but I didn't think anything was wrong.

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: And her contractions are coming every two minutes and that she's dilated 8 centimeters?

Wolf-dog: Ruff!

Man: TEN centimeters!  Well, by gosh, we should get her some help.  But I can't because my garage door is frozen shut and I know no other way to get my car out of my garage.  At all.  Really.  No one around here does!  Anyway, I hope she's ok.  Miracle of life! [Resumes shoveling.]

[Wolf-dog HALPERTS directly at camera.] 

Hilarious. The frozen garage door especially. “No one here does!” ha ha! I couldn’t do it alone, but my husband and neighbour did eventually get the door open.

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When June was first sitting in the garage, sweating to the oldies and asking the baby what it wanted, my first thought was, “It doesn’t want to die of carbon monoxide poisoning, that’s for sure. maybe turn the car off?” Also, where was she driving that sports car in snow? Directly into a tree? 

Edited by charmed1
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7 minutes ago, charmed1 said:

When June was first sitting in the garage, sweating to the oldies and asking the baby what it wanted, my first thought was, “It doesn’t want to die of carbon monoxide poisoning, that’s for sure.” 

 

^THIS^, exactly. I was like, "Turn OFF the ignition, damn!"

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On 6/27/2018 at 4:31 AM, Becks said:

This is so nitpicky, and I know my own grammar is not perfect by any means - but then, I'm not supposed to be a book editor, either. When June was trying to convince Hannah to go to school and she said 'Daddy and I' (we) when it should have been 'Daddy and me' (us), I could feel the smoke coming out of my ears. I know, I know - get a grip. But still.

Exactly my reaction! I grit my teeth and handwave it for most - but for people who supposedly make (or made) their living by writing or editing - NOPE. So I'm just as nitpicky as you, grammar sister.

On 6/27/2018 at 7:19 AM, Baltimore Betty said:

I did like that June named the baby Holly however, June was not bothered at all to lay in all the birth mess, eww.

Well, I think it was more that she was too exhausted to move. The mess, after all of that, is the least of it in my experience. 

On 6/27/2018 at 2:35 PM, millennium said:

The only true performance in this episode came from the Waterfords, which was like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?: Gilead Edition."

 

While I disagree about EM's acting, I have to say this is genius.

23 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

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 can be interesting, though the scene from some other show that came to mind has flitted away now. This wasn't.

22 hours ago, AllyB said:

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.

I watched the Expanse this morning while exercising, and ate while watching Handmaid's Tale this afternoon - think it works in reverse?

20 hours ago, Callaphera said:

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?

There was metal framing. I thought it might make sense that if you can't rely on electricity that you might add extra measures to keep thieves out. But the biggest thing I wanted to know was how much gas there was in the car. It's not like she'd be able to get a fill up along the way - and I imagine a muscle car doesn't have the best gas mileage.

3 hours ago, MV713 said:

I think it showed that it was the MacKenzies (?) who were Hannah's new parents - this must be their summer home.  Full of secrets...  But yeah like it seems about an hour 1/2 north of Boston in the middle of nowhere, so maybe guards are not on those snowy roads.

I thought so too. Why else have pictures of Hannah?

I really wanted to like this episode, and I'm way less critical than most, but man, my attention did wander, and like everyone else, thought Fred and Serena was the best part.

Having given birth twice, the biggest thing I could relate to was June being nasty to her husband while in labor - though she qualified it. Me, not so much. Transition, baby, it's not for the weak. But I gave birth like on TV - the first in an hour, and the second 10 minutes after the doctor said it would be hours.

Edited by Clanstarling
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10 hours ago, dmc said:

I don’t like Luke either.  Thank you for validating my feelings.  

Conversely, I do like the actor, it's only the character Luke I don't like. The actor is quite well rounded, he's also a musician (plays saxophone), sings, dances, and also a writer and director. He's good in interviews and I like his British accent with a hint of Nigerian as he grew up there for some time. I hope to see him in a meatier role one day. 

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On 6/27/2018 at 9:19 AM, Baltimore Betty said:

with June begging for them to stop it became real rape.

Rape is rape, a woman doesn't have to beg the man to stop, or "fight back" or be beaten to a pulp for rape to be rape. Most rapes are committed by family members or acquaintances. Intimidation is the weapon of choice in many, if not most of these. Women also know they won't be believed because of rape myths such as "it isn't real rape unless there was a gun to her head" or it was rape by a stranger in a dark alley who beat her. 

Remember the US House of Representatives member who said that a woman couldn't get pregnant from a "legitimate rape" because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down"?

It is real rape in Gilead every time a Commander and his wife have the "ceremony" of sex with a Handmaid. That a Handmaid who knows that if she resists, she may have her eye gouged out, or her hand cut off, or be sent to toil in a radioactive wasteland, doesn't scream and struggle, and so is silent while raped, doesn't make it less of a rape.

Edited by Ashforth
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2 minutes ago, Ashforth said:

It is real rape in Gilead every time a Commander and his wife have the "ceremony" of sex with a Handmaid.

What I meant was the last ceremony was out of network so to speak, it was not for procreation like the ceremony was designed.  This violent act was for so many other reasons and unjustified.  Not condoning the ceremony rapes but this one resonated with Serena and Fred because they knew they were trapping her, restraining and forcing the act, at the ceremony she never said no, stop, get off of me, etc...this one she fought back and was scared for the baby.

All in all I think Fred and Serena realized that they were/are horrible people.  I also think they realize the new world is not all that and are blaming each other for the state of Gilead and how it is going sideways.

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19 minutes ago, Ashforth said:

Rape is rape, a woman doesn't have to beg the man to stop, or "fight back" or be beaten to a pulp for rape to be rape. Most rapes are committed by family members or acquaintances. Intimidation is the weapon of choice in many, if not most of these. Women also know they won't be believed because of rape myths such as "it isn't real rape unless there was a gun to her head" or it was rape by a stranger in a dark alley who beat her. 

Remember the US House of Representatives member who said that a woman couldn't get pregnant from a "legitimate rape" because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down"?

It is real rape in Gilead every time a Commander and his wife have the "ceremony" of sex with a Handmaid.

I think that what the OP was referring to is that during the "ceremony" Serena and Fred can pretend it is not rape because June submits but when she is resisting and screaming, there's nowhere to hide.

There is a reason why the Handmaids have to go through that horrible training camp: after they are terrorized into submission, they meekly go to the rape bed without putting up any resistance.  This allows the Commanders and Wives to pretend that the Handmaids are doing this willingly, an act of contrition to atone for their "sins" and to contribute to society by making babies.

This pretense is important to them, otherwise, they would not go through the trouble of sending the Handmaids to the Aunts for training.  Not only do they want to implement their way of life, it is important to them that people in Gilead believe the bullshit.  They want converts.  And they don't want to feel guilty for their actions.  This is why they have to send the Handmaids to "training" centers and this is also why Fred and Serena had to justify to themselves what they planned to do with June.

It's all horrible, off course, and the ceremony is rape, absolutely, as none of the Handmaids have consented to any of it, but Gilead implemented that system so that the Commanders and wives can pretend that it isn't.  And that illusion completely disappears when the Handmaid is resisting and verbalizing her lack of consent.

Edited by WearyTraveler
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On 6/27/2018 at 6:12 PM, 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." 

How modest of him (or her).

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10 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

This is the same chick, however, who wrote a best seller detailing a “new way”, a “better way”, while encouraging the country “to turn back to god”.

She held rallies, made grandiose speeches, she put herself smack dab in the middle of national debates while Fred basically kissed the ring as her loyal sidekick. 

Serena had a lot of goals and aspirations for Gilead, she was expecting to get a hell of a lot from it plus a baby.

The baby was meant to be the cap off to all her other new privileges and power. 

But now, since she got totally screwed over in the end, because she trusted men to subjugate females fairly, and barely ranks as a human being without a single right to her sullied name, all she has to cling to and desire and obsess about is the baby.

It’s the only guaranteed promise Gilead is still willing to go through with. 

I think this sums up Serena Joy quite well. She didn't expect to become a "wife" under Gilead's new laws. She was robbed! She is pissed. 

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10 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

Oh yeah, she sees this baby as “her’s”, a possession, property, someone she can own since she’s lost all sense of ownership thanks to the regime.

I agree, she really sees this baby as being an ally, and accomplice, someone she can count on because, as I mentioned in earlier post, there’s no way she counts on Fred now, and who else is there?

Well, then Serena is in for a HUGE eye opener because let me tell you no one thinks you are dumber than your own kids and I mean that in the kindest way. I have two sons, ages 20 & 22 who still live at home. They think I know squat and they are the smartest people alive. So good luck with that, SJ. 

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On 6/27/2018 at 11:42 AM, 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

Although most of the season two episodes are Emmy-eligible, "Holly" missed the cut for 'hanging episodes'; that is to say if a season has aired at least 50% of its episodes by May 31 - the Emmy eligibility period cutoff - then they are allowed 'hanging episodes' into the month of June, up to the date when the nominee voting closes. June 25 was that deadline, so "The Last Ceremony" was the last of this season's episodes eligible for individual submission. 

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15 hours ago, alexvillage said:

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.

I agree. This episode was particularly bad.  It was like she was thinking “OK, now I’m going to try to drive the car through the door so I’m going to make a very determined face.  Now I’m going to show my rage by quivering my lips.” Etc.  Like a high school acting class.  

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13 minutes ago, DuckyinKy said:

Well, then Serena is in for a HUGE eye opener because let me tell you no one thinks you are dumber than your own kids and I mean that in the kindest way. I have two sons, ages 20 & 22 who still live at home. They think I know squat and they are the smartest people alive. So good luck with that, SJ. 

Good luck, Ducky! https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/23/613616315/judge-backs-n-y-parents-saying-their-30-year-old-son-must-move-out

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11 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

I think that was just Serena trying to play the victim.

“She was just the doting wife who supported her husband and his efforts and all she ever asked for, wished for, dreamed about night and day, was having a baby of her very own”.

This is the same chick, however, who wrote a best seller detailing a “new way”, a “better way”, while encouraging the country “to turn back to god”.

She held rallies, made grandiose speeches, she put herself smack dab in the middle of national debates while Fred basically kissed the ring as her loyal sidekick. 

Serena had a lot of goals and aspirations for Gilead, she was expecting to get a hell of a lot from it plus a baby.

The baby was meant to be the cap off to all her other new privileges and power. 

But now, since she got totally screwed over in the end, because she trusted men to subjugate females fairly, and barely ranks as a human being without a single right to her sullied name, all she has to cling to and desire and obsess about is the baby.

It’s the only guaranteed promise Gilead is still willing to go through with. 

But then she had her meltdown at the thought of losing out on that last hope after being vanquished at every other turn: losing the right to read, to write, to have marital copulation, to wear real clothes again, to have unrestricted freedoms, to have a respected opinion that matters to society, to have anything meaningful to look forward to each and every day. 

Imo, Serena’s quest for a baby is driven by her desperate need to matter again, to someone.

The baby will have no choice but to love her, let her dress her up, she’ll call her “Mommy”, she will tell her “I love you”. 

This baby will give Serena back the life she knows she squandered, at least that’s what she believes. 

Wait until the baby becomes a teenager!

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On 6/27/2018 at 8:53 PM, AllyB said:

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.

What’s the Expanse about?  I never heard of it.  

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I've heard a lot of people talking about how "realistic" the birthing scene was. Yeah, it was pretty realistic but I've given birth 3 times. I know what it's like, I don't really need to see it played out on my screen again for further proof of what a good actress their lead actor is. To be honest, I'd have rather watched more of the ridiculous "birthing ceremony" from the fake mothers. As cringe-worthy and ridiculous as those are, they entertain the hell out of me. (Though I am conflicted because I am also enjoying the fact that Serena Joy got to miss out on it. So there's that.) 

For pregnancy realism, the comedy movie KNOCKED UP is still #1 in my book. We watched it right after the birth of our first son and my husband and I have never laughed so hard in our lives. (And we're not even big on comedies.) They got so much of that right. Now we're more in line with THIS IS 40. 

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Did anyone get screencaps of the Gilead maps from that Commander's study?  I'll take whatever world building I can take.

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8 hours ago, ferjy said:

Conversely, I do like the actor, it's only the character Luke I don't like. The actor is quite well rounded, he's also a musician (plays saxophone), sings, dances, and also a writer and director. He's good in interviews and I like his British accent with a hint of Nigerian as he grew up there for some time. I hope to see him in a meatier role one day. 

Oh I am sure the actor is great.  Ohhh now I want to hear his accent.  

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5 hours ago, DuckyinKy said:

Well, then Serena is in for a HUGE eye opener because let me tell you no one thinks you are dumber than your own kids and I mean that in the kindest way. I have two sons, ages 20 & 22 who still live at home. They think I know squat and they are the smartest people alive. So good luck with that, SJ. 

 

5 hours ago, ferjy said:

Wait until the baby becomes a teenager!

 

Serena seems to have a real issue with only seeing things in the short term, apparently she has no concept of looking past any immediate gratification and really thinking about the future consequences of her actions.

Absolutely, she is not prepared at all to deal with a child once they begins to show itheir own personality, separate from her and her wants and needs and desires. 

 What will she do the first time the child snaps a loud “No!”at her? We’ve seen she’s quick to resort to physical violence when she’s feeling frustrated, her temper is very short.

 What is she going to do once adolescence hits? What happens if she ends up with a child that has feelings that would label them a “gender traitor” under the law? 

The Serena that was unhinged and ranting and rambling and shrieking as she searched the house for “her child”, and its’ living incubator which is all she seems to view June as at this point, to me it spoke volumes about just how unfit she is to be a parent. 

She is so wrapped up in herself and what she has to do to survive the cruel wasteland that is Gilead, nothing else and no one else matters. 

In her mind having that baby will make it all better, as if then she can hit the pause button and she’ll have a small, beautiful infant to care for for the rest of her days.

Serena is not thinking about raising a human being, an individual life, she is wanting to restore her own humanity through it, nothing like a real mother ever would, IMO. 

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6 hours ago, DuckyinKy said:

Well, then Serena is in for a HUGE eye opener because let me tell you no one thinks you are dumber than your own kids and I mean that in the kindest way. I have two sons, ages 20 & 22 who still live at home. They think I know squat and they are the smartest people alive. So good luck with that, SJ. 

lol Didn't notice this before I posted my comment. Yep. I'm surprised my kids' eyeballs aren't permanently stuck upwards in their sockets from all the eye rolling at how daft I am.

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On 6/27/2018 at 1:13 AM, PepSinger said:

Why. Is. It. Always. Snowing?! I live in Boston. It isn't an endless winter here.

 

My daughter lives in Cambridge. I said word-for-word the same thing to my husband.

All this talk about car seats cracks me up. My kids were born in the 90s and carseats were certainly unarguable at that time, but both grandmothers didn't quite get the "no-arguments" thing since both of them brought their babies (me and my husband) home in a lap, and babies were typically transported in a box. Really! I just looked it up and car seats were first required in 1985. Sounds about right.

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11 hours ago, ferjy said:

Conversely, I do like the actor, it's only the character Luke I don't like. The actor is quite well rounded, he's also a musician (plays saxophone), sings, dances, and also a writer and director. He's good in interviews and I like his British accent with a hint of Nigerian as he grew up there for some time. I hope to see him in a meatier role one day. 

I am in the same boat - I like O-T as an actor and he's interesting offscreen as well, but I just find Luke totally bland and his relationship with June not all that engaging.

On 6/27/2018 at 3:00 PM, millennium said:

Especially when Serena was stalking through the mansion, green cape flowing behind her, screaming "OFFRED!"   The madness was palpable. 

I got such a Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest vibe from that "OFFRED!". Which is fitting, since Faye was the OG Serena Joy...

On 6/27/2018 at 10:45 AM, Umbelina said:

(how DO you remove quotes here?)

I place my cursor at the beginning of the next line, just below the quote box, and then hit the backspace key twice. It seems to work.

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12 hours ago, Clanstarling said:
On 6/27/2018 at 7:31 AM, Becks said:

This is so nitpicky, and I know my own grammar is not perfect by any means - but then, I'm not supposed to be a book editor, either. When June was trying to convince Hannah to go to school and she said 'Daddy and I' (we) when it should have been 'Daddy and me' (us), I could feel the smoke coming out of my ears. I know, I know - get a grip. But still.

Exactly my reaction! I grit my teeth and handwave it for most - but for people who supposedly make (or made) their living by writing or editing - NOPE. So I'm just as nitpicky as you, grammar sister.

This is my biggest grammar pet peeve! I noticed it immediately as well.  It is particularly annoying to me when professional writers make this mistake over and over and over and over.

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11 hours ago, WearyTraveler said:

I think that what the OP was referring to is that during the "ceremony" Serena and Fred can pretend it is not rape because June submits but when she is resisting and screaming, there's nowhere to hide.

There is a reason why the Handmaids have to go through that horrible training camp: after they are terrorized into submission, they meekly go to the rape bed without putting up any resistance.  This allows the Commanders and Wives to pretend that the Handmaids are doing this willingly, an act of contrition to atone for their "sins" and to contribute to society by making babies.

This pretense is important to them, otherwise, they would not go through the trouble of sending the Handmaids to the Aunts for training.  Not only do they want to implement their way of life, it is important to them that people in Gilead believe the bullshit.  They want converts.  And they don't want to feel guilty for their actions.  This is why they have to send the Handmaids to "training" centers and this is also why Fred and Serena had to justify to themselves what they planned to do with June.

It's all horrible, off course, and the ceremony is rape, absolutely, as none of the Handmaids have consented to any of it, but Gilead implemented that system so that the Commanders and wives can pretend that it isn't.  And that illusion completely disappears when the Handmaid is resisting and verbalizing her lack of consent.

Yes, that is what I was trying to convey, thank you. 

And just for the record I do not condone rape in any form.

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12 hours ago, Ashforth said:

How modest of him (or her).

Honestly it was the most boring episode of Handmaid yet.  I was checking my phone through most of it.  Best part was the Fred/Serena fight - the rest was projected.

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5 hours ago, AnswersWanted said:

In her mind having that baby will make it all better, as if then she can hit the pause button and she’ll have a small, beautiful infant to care for for the rest of her days.

Serena is not thinking about raising a human being, an individual life, she is wanting to restore her own humanity through it, nothing like a real mother ever would, IMO. 

I've known more than a few women (mostly young) who become  mothers because they want someone to love them unconditionally. Serena's reasons are similar - but on steroids, as it were. Like so many things, the motives and beliefs depicted on this show do come from the real world - which is why, I think, this show impacts us so viscerally.

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14 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

I watched the Expanse this morning while exercising, and ate while watching Handmaid's Tale this afternoon - think it works in reverse?

I exercised last night while watching The Expanse and it wasn't great. If I'm into a show I want to sit and really absorb it and exercise spoils that. I'm into The Expanse. On the otherhand, I was bothered by this episode of THT. I don't want to watch June try and fail to escape, Elizabeth Moss isn't Patrick McGoohan and this isn't The Prisoner. (Though if her latest escape attempt had been thwarted by a giant white ball, I might have been intrigued.) Exercising my way through the episode so I could watch it as a bit of a distraction was about the only way I could get through it.
 

9 hours ago, Lemons said:

What’s the Expanse about?  I never heard of it.  

It's a science fiction show set in a future where humans have colonised most of what we know of the solar system and have divided into 3 factions Earth, Mars and the Belt, a group of colonies that mine the asteroid belt for resources needed on the inner planets and colonies that support them. If you enjoy sci-fi it's exceptional (and -as a sort of THT link - the showrunners were also the producers of The Children of Men movie.) It's not made by women but, imo, the 3 best characters in the show are women.

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30 minutes ago, AllyB said:

I exercised last night while watching The Expanse and it wasn't great. If I'm into a show I want to sit and really absorb it and exercise spoils that. I'm into The Expanse. On the otherhand, I was bothered by this episode of THT. I don't want to watch June try and fail to escape, Elizabeth Moss isn't Patrick McGoohan and this isn't The Prisoner. (Though if her latest escape attempt had been thwarted by a giant white ball, I might have been intrigued.) Exercising my way through the episode so I could watch it as a bit of a distraction was about the only way I could get through it.

I am more focused when I'm exercising, as I have noise cancelling headphones on, and focusing on an exciting and intense show, rather than the exercise (norditrak), helps me get through it. Sitting down to watch a show, I'm easily distracted by the rest of my family and household.

This episode of THT would have been a crappy show to watch exercising. It would have felt endless and my energy would have lagged.

Edited by Clanstarling

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