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S02.E13: The Word

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6 hours ago, Helena Dax said:

 

Serena's main personal sin is probably pride. And she didn't want to admit to herself -or June- that Gilead actually sucks big time. But she's getting there. Does it mean she can be redeemed? I don't believe there's a right or wrong answer, forgiveness is such a personal choice. It seems that the new Commander created the colonies. Now he's trying to help. Does it mean he can be redeemed? Emily probably thinks he can. Most of you seem to believe he can. The women who are now dying in the colonies probably think he can't. 

 

I don't know. He seems to be more fun than Serena, but that's no reason for him to be redeemed, above anyone else. I think his wife should be the one who decides what happens to him, but that might drive her completely around the bend. I wonder how many handmaids he's had in his house, and helped. I thought the snide, "I'm not doing that with you" was keeping up an image, until he got her out of there. He keeps his wife away from it, so she can't get into trouble if he does? I think his wife would be conflicted, even knowing that he's helping people, because she hates him for what he's done, and I don't blame her. 

Someone associated with the show, said that Serena isn't supposed to be a sympathetic character - then why do they keep having her do things, like bringing in June to nurse the baby, and giving the baby up in the hopes of her having a better life than she would have there? 

6 hours ago, Umbelina said:

 

Fred needs to die, humiliated, and Serena, since I agree, she has the sin of pride, needs to go to Jezebels and thus, pay for her many sins, as well as finding out just what the "men" of Gilead are really doing.

 

I was waiting for a kick to the head, but I'd also read spoilers, and knew she would be taken in an ambulance. 

I've said that Fred needs to die, but it needs to come after years of what he would consider to be torture. After what he's put the women and children through, death alone would be too easy on him. 

I was so annoyed by those men, being shocked that she would suggest that girls at least be allowed to read the bible. A few years before, girls and women were reading and writing, and wearing whatever they liked. Then the few women who walked out as Serena read from that bible. But then Serena also did help to write that. She was excited and nervous, as they received texts that the government officials were about to be executed/wiped out. They were fine with people being shot at protests across the country, as they slowly changed everything, like getting women fired, and having their bank accounts frozen (money transferred to the men in their lives). 

2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Serena very much thought all of this brutalization and oppression and death would be happening to Other People, and not to her. It didn’t sink in until now that not only does her husband now think of her as a Wife and not a wife like he used to, but now she’ll have a (stolen) daughter who won’t even be able to read the cut up bible she’ll be forced to quote every damn day. She was fine with random people being executed and tortured (was even ok with it if it got her closer to “her” baby) for stupid reasons, but when it’s a girl she actually liked, or when it’s her, THEN she decided to take a stand. I do find Serena to be a complicated villain, but my sympathy for her is very limited. 

She keeps reminding me of a woman I knew online, who insisted that women shouldn't be allowed to vote, that ever since we got that, women haven't been happy about anything. As if they were happy before? Being someone's property, and having no choice in their lives. She would be up for Gilead happening here - at least at first, before she had her own freedoms taken away from her. 

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39 minutes ago, dmc said:

In the book, I don't remember Serena being involved in Gilead's creation.  It has always been a stretch to me that someone who considers herself to be an intellectual would sign off on women not being able to even read.  That premise has always made her actions seem to me off base.  

 

 In the book I absolutely do not believe that Serena Joy had anywhere near the amount of control the show has decided to give her. 

 And the reason I think they gave show Serena so much “gumption”, as it were, is for episodes like this one, where they feel they can interject her suddenly as this confident woman who will stand before the menfolk and speak her truth and give her “hear me roar” blah blah speech. 

I could never see the book Serena having done anything like that, in fact I don’t think the book Serena would’ve bothered, to me she was smarter than that.

The show seems determined to twist and mold Serena into whatever form they want depending on the way they’re telling the story.

She's a woman of control, she’s a woman who can be beaten in her husband’s office, she’s a woman who can slap around the help, she’s a woman that can hold down her handmaid  to be cruelly raped outside of the ceremony, she’s a woman who can stand up to the men and then lose a finger, she’s a woman who can give up the blood baby that she’s been so desperate for without barely a peep. 

She is not even a person to me at this point, she’s a concept to them, they just use her to help push along whatever agenda they want a specific episode to have. 

 

 

4 hours ago, Trillian said:

I don’t think Serena is a complex character but I think the writers want us to believe she is.  I think the problem is the speed with which everything happens. Serena in the first season was a younger, physically more beautiful, version of book Serena.  In season 2, any resemblance between book Serena and tv Serena is entirely coincidental.  She changes modes with whiplash speed:  she’s into Gilead, she hates Gilead; she feels a bond of sisterhood with June, she hates June; she feels some discomfort with the Ceremony, she’s an instigator and active participant in the violent rape of the at-term pregnant June. Etcetera.  Had there been a gradual evolution of her character, even with occasional backslides, it might have been plausible (same with Eden’s and the Wives’ plots), but it was all too rushed. 

 

 I had to quote you because you put it so well, heh.

I could not agree more with everything you said. 

I don’t find her to be a character of complexity either, I just see her as full of whatever bullshit the show is trying to sell me on. 

A different day, the same flavor, the same unappetizing and unappealing result.

She’s a cartoon to me now, the realism of her character has been obliterated this season, imho. 

And to be honest I feel the same way about June and Fred at this point 

They might as well rename them the invincible Gilead gang, they all live supposedly in this realistic world in the most unrealistic ways imaginable.

Edited by AnswersWanted
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12 minutes ago, igotquestionstoo said:

, I find it very telling that everyone is cheering Lawrence as a hero - yay Lawrence! even though it is revealed that he engineered Gilead, but for Serena, who may be slowly coming around to see her error - off with her head! I can't forgive her! Let me be clear. I am not defending her - just pointing out the hypocrisy because Lawrence's wife has clearly observed some atrocious things, including the rape ceremony which at some point he probably took part in. Women are terribly unforgiving of other women and men somehow get a pass.

That’s very simplistic. No ones cheering him as a “hero”.  Neither one is innocent here. They are both architects of Gilead, we just didn’t spend two seasons with Bradley Whitfords character and watch him personally do some of his horrendous shit. We have been with Serena from the beginning And are privy to all of the horrible things she has done . In the two episodes we have seen this new character, it is clear that whatever Commander Lawrence has been responsible for, he has obviously come to regret it, and he has helped one of our favorite characters escape. Who knows how many others he has helped? That is a man living with regret and trying to atone for the horrors he has done, when Serena ever reaches that point then yes, I’m sure we will be here to talk about it too. To try it make it sound like it’s “ women get a raw deal by other women” issue is insulting. 

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35 minutes ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

I don’t want to get into politics here and name any one in particular, but if the rule was first made to affect women “lesser” than them, I can see many big name conservative women doing so. We’ve already seen seeds of that. I think the same happened with Serena. It didn’t affect her at first, these rules wouldn’t touch the Wives or those on her level, but the sinners, the “lessers”, the kind of women that would “benefit” from these kinds of laws. But like i said before, it’s a slippery slope when you’re looking to infringe law on reproduction and equal rights and Serena missed the moment where she was sitting on that slope and got pushed along with the rest of them. 

LOL don't because it's a landmine.  My only point was that is basically how they present her and it is hard for me to visualize anyone voluntarily giving up their power/job etc

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34 minutes ago, igotquestionstoo said:

Also, I find it very telling that everyone is cheering Lawrence as a hero - yay Lawrence! even though it is revealed that he engineered Gilead, but for Serena, who may be slowly coming around to see her error - off with her head! I can't forgive her! Let me be clear. I am not defending her - just pointing out the hypocrisy because Lawrence's wife has clearly observed some atrocious things, including the rape ceremony which at some point he probably took part in. Women are terribly unforgiving of other women and men somehow get a pass.

 

 

Speaking for myself, Lawrence got my praise because he got shit done.

He helped Emily, who was definitely going to die, escape and also managed to snag an innocent baby up in his crazy catch-all net to freedom he threw out that evening. 

To me he is no hero, he just has a heart that can still affect him to the point that he’ll try to do the right thing.

I like seeing a character capable of that sliver of humanity in Gilead. It’s rare but I do believe it has to exist or else the entire society is just doomed. 

The Marthas were a great example of the “heart” that still beats and thrives in Gilead.

The soul of that portion of the country is not dead, there is hope as long as there are people who keep fighting for what is right.

On the contrary I felt that Serena’s actions in this episode were just too ridiculous to believe that she actually thought it would bring about anything but more punishment and oppression. 

I am not one who would boo if Serena starts to show a presence of mind to try and bring Gilead down, better late than never, or she starts trying to aid rescue efforts.

I just don’t feel that they have shown her yet coming anywhere close to having that sort of self awareness. 

Yes she did not raise the alarm watching June escape with Holly, but to be honest I don’t believe that the Serena being presented to us so far would’ve done that, even while drugged out of her mind, I just didn’t buy that Serena would so easily give up the baby. 

If the show wanted me to buy that she had finally swung that far away from everything that she had fought for and believed in all this time, they skipped a whole season’s worth of explaining why and how and when to truly convince me. 

I think this season they had plenty of time and opportunity to place Serena into a position to have made the right choice for the right reasons for this finale, but the past 12 episodes did not lead up to that much of a change in personality, imho. 

To me it was just more pushing the plot forward because “reasons “ and “If we get renewed for a third season we’ll figure this shit out then”. 

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30 minutes ago, GraceK said:

That’s very simplistic. No ones cheering him as a “hero”.  Neither one is innocent here. They are both architects of Gilead, we just didn’t spend two seasons with Bradley Whitfords character and watch him personally do some of his horrendous shit. We have been with Serena from the beginning And are privy to all of the horrible things she has done . In the two episodes we have seen this new character, it is clear that whatever Commander Lawrence has been responsible for, he has obviously come to regret it, and he has helped one of our favorite characters escape. Who knows how many others he has helped? That is a man living with regret and trying to atone for the horrors he has done, when Serena ever reaches that point then yes, I’m sure we will be here to talk about it too. To try it make it sound like it’s “ women get a raw deal by other women” issue is insulting. 

You're right it is insulting (the practice of different expectations). The fact is that numerous posters have said, "I don't want to see Serena redeemed!" "She cannot come back from what she has done." I am just saying that it is possible for Serena to eventually have regret as well, and perhaps she will likewise "try to atone" as Lawrence has. He is a commander. Do we have to see his crimes? It's like, oh hes the nice slave master - still a master. My aim is not to insult - just saying lets examine our thinking for bias.

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51 minutes ago, GraceK said:

That’s very simplistic. No ones cheering him as a “hero”.  Neither one is innocent here. They are both architects of Gilead, we just didn’t spend two seasons with Bradley Whitfords character and watch him personally do some of his horrendous shit. We have been with Serena from the beginning And are privy to all of the horrible things she has done . In the two episodes we have seen this new character, it is clear that whatever Commander Lawrence has been responsible for, he has obviously come to regret it, and he has helped one of our favorite characters escape. Who knows how many others he has helped? That is a man living with regret and trying to atone for the horrors he has done, when Serena ever reaches that point then yes, I’m sure we will be here to talk about it too. To try it make it sound like it’s “ women get a raw deal by other women” issue is insulting. 

With Lawrence we've seen him actively helping someone, whereas with Serena we've seen her let someone go without doing anything. So it's a little harder to say Yay Serena! I also kind of felt like Serena might be in a little mental shock from having had her finger cut off, and from the fact that some punishment actually happened to her. That, along with maybe being a little tipsy from whatever they gave her in that prescription bag. She's flip-flopped too many times for me to think that she's going to join the rebels or a book club or anything like that. She might change her mind next season and decide that she wants to rain crap down on whoever has ended up with the baby in Canada and cause a bunch of legal drama trying to get Nicole back. And she might scream bloody murder the whole way.

That's if Emily and Nicole make it, though. June got out of the back of a van at the beginning of this season, too, and look where that ended up. The writers don't want to go to Canada, and we've seen a lot of people go in circles. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So I have to wonder if Emily and Nicole will even make it out of the district.

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Yeah, I wondered what was in that bag that Serena had. It may have been painkillers, but I also wondered if it was psychotropic medication to help Serena "calm down" and essentially "recognize her place" in Gilead.

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2 hours ago, igotquestionstoo said:

I'll quote this later, formatting issues.  Umbelina.

2 hours ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

I don’t want to get into politics here and name any one in particular, but if the rule was first made to affect women “lesser” than them, I can see many big name conservative women doing so. We’ve already seen seeds of that. I think the same happened with Serena. It didn’t affect her at first, these rules wouldn’t touch the Wives or those on her level, but the sinners, the “lessers”, the kind of women that would “benefit” from these kinds of laws. But like i said before, it’s a slippery slope when you’re looking to infringe law on reproduction and equal rights and Serena missed the moment where she was sitting on that slope and got pushed along with the rest of them. 

I see women doing it everyday.  They think men should make more money, and deplore the ERA.  They use the word "feminist" as an insult.  They want to control women's reproductive rights.  They quote parts of the bible in memes on Facebook about wives submitting to their husbands.  It's really not so far-fetched at all.  Honestly, Serena's are a dime a dozen, even today. 

The show kind of skimmed over it, but remember, Serena and others were supporting the ideas of bringing God back to the USA, taking care of the environment, and also because the

Spoiler

white race

was dying out.  All of those things were as easily packaged and sold as the fact that Viagra is covered by insurance and no one is protesting, but birth control is being dropped.  We like to think we are so above Gilead, but really, are we?  Creationism is being taught in our schools now, and those that won't are seeing people leave in droves for "private schools" that do just that.

1 hour ago, igotquestionstoo said:

You're right it is insulting (the practice of different expectations). The fact is that numerous posters have said, "I don't want to see Serena redeemed!" "She cannot come back from what she has done." I am just saying that it is possible for Serena to eventually have regret as well, and perhaps she will likewise "try to atone" as Lawrence has. He is a commander. Do we have to see his crimes? It's like, oh hes the nice slave master - still a master. My aim is not to insult - just saying lets examine our thinking for bias.

Anyone can be redeemed in some ways.

I think the fascination with Lawrence was that he was something different.  In this dragged out version anything different is good.  He brought surprise and freshness to an already stale and predictable show.  So did his wife and his Martha.

1 hour ago, LordOfLotion said:

With Lawrence we've seen him actively helping someone, whereas with Serena we've seen her let someone go without doing anything. So it's a little harder to say Yay Serena! I also kind of felt like Serena might be in a little mental shock from having had her finger cut off, and from the fact that some punishment actually happened to her. That, along with maybe being a little tipsy from whatever they gave her in that prescription bag. She's flip-flopped too many times for me to think that she's going to join the rebels or a book club or anything like that. She might change her mind next season and decide that she wants to rain crap down on whoever has ended up with the baby in Canada and cause a bunch of legal drama trying to get Nicole back. And she might scream bloody murder the whole way.

That's if Emily and Nicole make it, though. June got out of the back of a van at the beginning of this season, too, and look where that ended up. The writers don't want to go to Canada, and we've seen a lot of people go in circles. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So I have to wonder if Emily and Nicole will even make it out of the district.

I think Emily and Nicole are out of there.  I'm really hoping the show corrects some of it's mistakes this season and rebounds.

--

I

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So, who's going to end up killing Fred?  I'm thinking Serena.  Will Aunt Lidia survive?  Probably so.  I hope Emily gets to Canada before the baby gets hungry.

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2 hours ago, igotquestionstoo said:

Been lurking here a while - just a couple observations.

I think Serena's character isn't complex. It just represents human nature. If it doesn't directly affect us, we don't care (ask any black person living in the US whose ancestors have already lived Gilead).  Also, I find it very telling that everyone is cheering Lawrence as a hero - yay Lawrence! even though it is revealed that he engineered Gilead, but for Serena, who may be slowly coming around to see her error - off with her head! I can't forgive her! Let me be clear. I am not defending her - just pointing out the hypocrisy because Lawrence's wife has clearly observed some atrocious things, including the rape ceremony which at some point he probably took part in. Women are terribly unforgiving of other women and men somehow get a pass.

  Finally, as  mother, I could not actually live "free"in some country while a child of mine is left behind, so I understand June's choice. We have no evidence that Canada is doing anything except gathering info and offering asylum - which I am not downplaying.  But how many atrocities are occurring in the real world we live in that the world is silent about  or if raising awareness not actively resolving?- particularly when women are the main victims. Countries offer asylum when they get out, but movement to save people usually doesn't happen unless there is some economic benefit or economic danger to the (mostly) male leaders of these powerful nations. Sadly, the show reflects the world we live in but viewers are pissed that it is not giving them the satisfaction of resolving the issue quickly (in a year or two?). Slavery (of African people) went on for over 400 years people. The events surrounding the Holocaust - over 10.

As for June constantly escaping punishment, that is because Fred likes having her around for his sick purposes. He spares her to torment her and he has the power to do it. I agree that this one will be hard to come back from. Janine faced death for putting her baby in danger, so hiding or kidnapping a baby should draw death (unless by some plot twist Serena and Fred agree to pretend that they still have a baby).

I agree.

For me it's not so much that they don't end Gilead quickly, it's more that they keep snatching the escape ball away from June, much like Lucy snatching away the football from Charlie Brown.  In addition the directors and writers like to make June seem to move in slow motion when speed and urgency is called for.  It's tired already.  As another poster said, it's too "Gilligan's Island" as far as escaping for June, they've gone to the well too often for it to have much impact. 

On the other hand, I don't WANT a day to day documentary on Gilead, and a time jump or at the very least, more world building is needed here desperately.  We still don't know where the rebels are fighting, or what the Gilead world is like outside of Boston, aside from one nuclear waste colony that is.  There is much more book inspired materiel to explore, and we already have characters on screen that could help with that.  I don't mean glimpses of blurry maps either.

--

As far as June going back to the Commander's house?  I don't see that as problematic, just boring, but there are ways they can make it not boring.  For example, Nick was definitely threatening to Fred in that last scene.  Nick has enough on Fred to send him to the wall, and frankly, it's time for that to happen.  A trial, humiliation, all of it.  As far as "in the beginning" of June's return?  It's in Fred, Serena, and Rita's best interest to pretend June wasn't involved at all.  Just blame that crazy Handmaid Emily who attacked Aunt Lydia and stole their baby. 

I do think it's time for Fred to pay though, and I think what happens to Serena after that?  With her disgraced husband and audacity about suggesting girl's read, and organizing the wives to approach the leaders about it?  It's time for Serena to end up in Jezebels with the other smart women imprisoned there.  Hopefully, since they think she's barren, they don't sterilize her, and oopsie!  She becomes pregnant.

3 minutes ago, Ruby said:

So, who's going to end up killing Fred?  I'm thinking Serena.  Will Aunt Lidia survive?  Probably so.  I hope Emily gets to Canada before the baby gets hungry.

Gilead.

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2 hours ago, dmc said:

LOL don't because it's a landmine.  My only point was that is basically how they present her and it is hard for me to visualize anyone voluntarily giving up their power/job etc

I had the same thought as VagueDisclaimer; there are a lot of female conservative political commentators, but talking about them here = landmine. IMO people in the political landscape might agree with Gilead's position on abortion, but would not want to give up their own agency (money, power, and attention above all else). I don't think sending women back in time is their main goal. There is not an excessive amount of prominent female religious commentators that I know of, or that would be recognizable by name like a Billy Graham or TD Jakes. They're mainly men. :| Draw your own conclusions. 

This is the TV world so I can be manipulated into SJ's redemption, if I'm being honest....but not without a crisis of conscience. Father Lawrence at least feels really bad (maybe), bad enough to get in "deep shit" and run a house for wayward Marthas. 

Edited by The Mighty Peanut
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If Serena was so pious why did she have to read the bible, she could have recited from memory, right?

Was the fire set to create a distraction or did they just take advantage of the situation?

Emily's Commander has a Tesla (which is odd that he has that and not a Behemoth or what ever those SUV's are called) but the car had a car engine noise as they pulled up to meet June...Tesla's are crazy quiet, production needed June to hear the car I guess.

They send June and Nichole off with no diapers or anything?

Will June be living in the wilds of Boston? She really cannot go back to the Waterford's without the baby.

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perhaps,June will find a spot with Lawrence.  His house had lots of rooms.  she knows he sympathetic.  I don't think I could take another season at the Waterfords....glacial dialogue and long silences, yuk.  Time for some action.  Was June's look at the end supposed to be conveying that she will now become Wonder Woman?  a bit far fetched since she's demonstrated many times she doesn't even have common sense.  I'll check out next season and hope for the best.

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7 minutes ago, Baltimore Betty said:

If Serena was so pious why did she have to read the bible, she could have recited from memory, right?

Was the fire set to create a distraction or did they just take advantage of the situation?

Emily's Commander has a Tesla (which is odd that he has that and not a Behemoth or what ever those SUV's are called) but the car had a car engine noise as they pulled up to meet June...Tesla's are crazy quiet, production needed June to hear the car I guess.

They send June and Nichole off with no diapers or anything?

Will June be living in the wilds of Boston? She really cannot go back to the Waterford's without the baby.

She was reading it to make a point.  I have little doubt she could have recited it from memory.  I do think Serena considers herself devout, and wanted to 'bring God back' when she was dreaming of Gilead.

The fire was a distraction, probably set by the female underground, the Marthas.

It's four hours to Canada, and I think Emily's escape driver, since Commander Lawrence is directly involved, will have ways to pass borders and check points.  Honestly, babies are not that fragile, other than their skulls and necks of course.  Babies have survived much worse than escaping in a climate controlled car for four hours. 

I think June just returns to the house.  Fred will have to TRY to cover it up, Nick looks ready to turn him in anyway, and I hope to God he does.

 

2 minutes ago, watch2much said:

perhaps,June will find a spot with Lawrence.  His house had lots of rooms.  she knows he sympathetic.  I don't think I could take another season at the Waterfords....glacial dialogue and long silences, yuk.  Time for some action.  Was June's look at the end supposed to be conveying that she will now become Wonder Woman?  a bit far fetched since she's demonstrated many times she doesn't even have common sense.  I'll check out next season and hope for the best.

I'd love that.  That's a change that is not only logical, it would be welcome.

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35 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I see women doing it everyday.  They think men should make more money, and deplore the ERA.  They use the word "feminist" as an insult.  They want to control women's reproductive rights.  They quote parts of the bible in memes on Facebook about wives submitting to their husbands.  It's really not so far-fetched at all.  Honestly, Serena's are a dime a dozen, even today. 

Right, they're all over the place. Even younger women - some, not all - use the word "feminist" as an insult. A friend of mine in her twenties, uses the word "feminazi". Another didn't believe in feminism, and believed BS that I can't get into, because it's political. She deleted me from FB, after I attended the women's march, but not before posting a video from a veteran, mansplaining to women everywhere, why they were wrong.

22 minutes ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

I had the same thought as VagueDisclaimer; there are a lot of female conservative political commentators, but talking about them here = landmine. IMO people in the political landscape might agree with Gilead's position on abortion, but would not want to give up their own agency (money, power, and attention above all else). I don't think sending women back in time is their main goal. There is not an excessive amount of prominent female religious commentators that I know of, or that would be recognizable by name like a Billy Graham or TD Jakes. They're mainly men. :| Draw your own conclusions. 

This is the TV world so I can be manipulated into SJ's redemption, if I'm being honest....but not without a crisis of conscience. Father Lawrence at least feels really bad (maybe), bad enough to get in "deep shit" and run a house for wayward Marthas. 

I have an Uncle who posted that, "don't forget to take your country back 500 years" thing, only he meant it. He didn't talk about certain things around me, but with my dad, he says that women shouldn't be allowed to sleep around, and get abortions, etc. He has a daughter and granddaughters, but he wants that world for them.

52 minutes ago, igotquestionstoo said:

Been lurking here a while - just a couple observations.

I think Serena's character isn't complex. It just represents human nature. If it doesn't directly affect us, we don't care (ask any black person living in the US whose ancestors have already lived Gilead).  Also, I find it very telling that everyone is cheering Lawrence as a hero - yay Lawrence! even though it is revealed that he engineered Gilead, but for Serena, who may be slowly coming around to see her error - off with her head! I can't forgive her! Let me be clear. I am not defending her - just pointing out the hypocrisy because Lawrence's wife has clearly observed some atrocious things, including the rape ceremony which at some point he probably took part in. Women are terribly unforgiving of other women and men somehow get a pass.

  Finally, as  mother, I could not actually live "free"in some country while a child of mine is left behind, so I understand June's choice. We have no evidence that Canada is doing anything except gathering info and offering asylum - which I am not downplaying.  But how many atrocities are occurring in the real world we live in that the world is silent about  or if raising awareness not actively resolving?- particularly when women are the main victims. Countries offer asylum when they get out, but movement to save people usually doesn't happen unless there is some economic benefit or economic danger to the (mostly) male leaders of these powerful nations. Sadly, the show reflects the world we live in but viewers are pissed that it is not giving them the satisfaction of resolving the issue quickly (in a year or two?). Slavery (of African people) went on for over 400 years people. The events surrounding the Holocaust - over 10.

As for June constantly escaping punishment, that is because Fred likes having her around for his sick purposes. He spares her to torment her and he has the power to do it. I agree that this one will be hard to come back from. Janine faced death for putting her baby in danger, so hiding or kidnapping a baby should draw death (unless by some plot twist Serena and Fred agree to pretend that they still have a baby).

There are a number of us who don't want to sit through ten years of waiting for things to be resolved in any way,

and thinking of the book, at the very end, it didn't sound like things went back to anything normal

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9 hours ago, AllyB said:

This just occurred to me, was Serena trying to honour the baby's actual father by calling her the female form of his name? Nicole - Nick (presumably Nicholas).

Yes, I noticed that right away. Adding that I watch with CC and the spelling they are using is Nichole. Even more obvious.

 

Was anyone else reminded of the Underground Railroad when the train showed up as the Martha's helped June escape? I think that was the purpose of the train in the scene. Marthas as Harriet Tubman. 

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22 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I used to absolutely love that song.

I love Commander Lawrence.

Ditto and ditto. In fact I'm listening to it again. It's fabulous if you haven't heard it in years. Ditto on Commander Lawrence, I hope we get more of him and the rest of his household in the next season. (he was kind of sexy, too)

Edited by chickenella · Reason: reason: wine and typos
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8 minutes ago, alexvillage said:

Yes, I noticed that right away. Adding that I watch with CC and the spelling they are using is Nichole. Even more obvious.

 

Was anyone else reminded of the Underground Railroad when the train showed up as the Martha's helped June escape? I think that was the purpose of the train in the scene. Marthas as Harriet Tubman. 

I don't know why the show didn't address the whole Nick/Nichole thing.  I think we are meant to think that June was honoring Serena's sacrifice there, but then they had the scene with Nick holding his daughter, so who the hell knows?

Yes, the female underground escape help is straight from the book, I'm glad they finally showed that.

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4 hours ago, igotquestionstoo said:

Finally, as  mother, I could not actually live "free"in some country while a child of mine is left behind, so I understand June's choice.

This is a valid point but I think the reason why it is hard for some of us to understand why June would just go back is that the writers forgot they are telling a story, it is a drama, and they started writing June as a superhero. She is not supposed to be so comfortable going back to Fred after telling him to go fuck himself, writing on the wall, and all the defiant things she's done. she is supposed to be certain she will die if he ever sets eyes on her.

The writers are writing June as someone who KNOWS she will be writing or recording a story, still far from finished, and that story will be told in the future. She doesn't know any of these. June would be thinking that she can escape with one child, she would be hoping (or fooling herself to believe) that she can find help to come and get Hannah, and that she needs to leave or she will be dead and nobody will ever save Hannah.

If the writers made any sense, June would be afraid, torn, but she would not go back to what she believes is death. But the writers don't make sense, so we get a June that can apparently see the future [seasons] and has total control over Fred.

 

On the writers not making sense: FOUR handmaids walking and talking together, and even arguing, as several guards just watch. That's a no-no in Gilead. 

4 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I don't know why the show didn't address the whole Nick/Nichole thing. 

Because the writers think they are so subtle and cute? 

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On the Nicole/Nick thing. Fred knows that Nick is her father. The Commanders have to know damn well that the fertility issues lie at least as much, if not more, with them than with their wives. Fred having a daughter named after his driver would at best result in an intolerable level of gossip, innuendo, sly digs and mockery from the other Commanders (and plenty of the former from everyone else). He'd be a laughing stock and in Gilead that alone could destroy a man with Fred's position. There is absolutely no way he'd consent to Serena choosing that name for the baby.

And why would she even want to do that? We know she does sometimes deliberately needle him about the baby's paternity. But not so publicly and permanently. It's just very, very weird.

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8 minutes ago, AllyB said:

On the Nicole/Nick thing. Fred knows that Nick is her father. The Commanders have to know damn well that the fertility issues lie at least as much, if not more, with them than with their wives. Fred having a daughter named after his driver would at best result in an intolerable level of gossip, innuendo, sly digs and mockery from the other Commanders (and plenty of the former from everyone else). He'd be a laughing stock and in Gilead that alone could destroy a man with Fred's position. There is absolutely no way he'd consent to Serena choosing that name for the baby.

And why would she even want to do that? We know she does sometimes deliberately needle him about the baby's paternity. But not so publicly and permanently. It's just very, very weird.

I think Serena has had names picked out for her baby, male or female, since she was a young teen.  Still, for the show not to address that is complete bullshit.

For those of you who rarely visit the media thread?  The reviewers are, almost all of them, really letting the show have it in this week's reviews, and not just for this episode, but for the entire, frustrating, and often nonsensical season.  Well worth a read, in a frustration-relieving kind of way.  ;~)

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So... Serena lets go of Nichole so she can get a better life and June decides to leave Nichole on her own?! No breastmilk, no one to protect her but Emily? 

Does she really think she'll stay alive that long back in Gilead? 

This show is so stupid.

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35 minutes ago, AllyB said:

On the Nicole/Nick thing. Fred knows that Nick is her father. 

Right. He actually called Holly her daughter, this time. Not "our daughter" or "my daughter". Of course, he's also a manipulative s**t.

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8 minutes ago, lesmisfits29 said:

So... Serena lets go of Nichole so she can get a better life and June decides to leave Nichole on her own?! No breastmilk, no one to protect her but Emily? 

This is such a grotesque oversight that I cannot fathom how that scene ever got approved and made it to screen. June has absolutely NO way of knowing where they're going, how long they're going to travel and if they'll have to stop and hide somewhere along the way. What is the baby going to eat in the meantime? They're going to stop by at the local grocery store to get some formula? How could she not think about it?!

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I do understand June's reluctance to leave Hannah. Especially after so recently seeing her. Hannah would have become real to her again in a way that she wouldn't have been for a long time. Feeling her in her arms, hearing her crying 'mommy' when she's being taken away again, knowing that she has felt let down by her parents all this time. I 100% get June being unable to leave her this time unlike when she got in the plane in ep3.

But right there and then she needed to get in that truck and ensure Nic-olly was safe, fed, secure in Canada and preferably weaned. If for no other reason than stopping breastfeeding all of a sudden means that she herself is at severe risk of mastitis, something which can make a woman gravely ill. I don't necessarily think that being in Canada will make it at all easier to rescue Hannah than being in Gilead. But she could gather information, tools, supplies, weapons, maps, make contacts with Mayday who she can freely talk to, etc and come back at least somewhat prepared. Either way it's not easy but leaving Gilead with Nic-olly didn't have to mean abandoning Hannah.

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The show didn't do a decent job of it, but I know I wouldn't leave Hannah either.  June has already been told by Fred he would arrange another meeting, and she now knows there is a female underground, and a handy complicit Commander.  It's really the only hope Hannah has, and as her mother, I get it.  I get it as an auntie, so I certainly understand that a mother would risk her life for her child.

Seriously, it's four hours to the border.  Refugee babies have traveled for months, in far worse conditions.  Holly Nichole (I like the double name) will be fine.  Babies are seriously not THAT fragile, diapers can be made from a cloak if needed, and water dribbled.  She's not going to die.  Canada will have formula.  Do I wish June had grabbed a bottle?  Yes.  Do I really care?  No.  For all we know, she did.  Still, I get it, June was surprised by the "rescue" and thought she would be with Holly Nichole, and in the rush of things, she realized she couldn't leave Hannah to her fate in Gilead, it's not like she had time to plan.

I agree that the story was sloppy though, completely.  Hopefully the reviewers nailing them about that, not just in this episode, but throughout the season?  Will make them clean up their act next year.

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1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

Seriously, it's four hours to the border. 

Under ideal circumstances, yes, and those are hardly guaranteed in Gilead. We've seen how June's multiple escape attempts went.  Not to mention that June herself knows how they went and what they could expect. There's a good chance they won't be able to drive straight to the border and will have to walk some distance, or go into hiding some place. And if you have to hide, having a hungry baby screaming its lungs out is not going to help you.

I can understand not wanting to leave Hannah behind. But letting her baby go on a very unsafe and potentially long trip with no food is madness. 

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4 minutes ago, Joana said:

Under ideal circumstances, yes, and those are hardly guaranteed in Gilead. We've seen how June's multiple escape attempts went.  Not to mention that June herself knows how they went and what they could expect. There's a good chance they won't be able to drive straight to the border and will have to walk some distance, or go into hiding some place. And if you have to hide, having a hungry baby screaming its lungs out is not going to help you.

I can understand not wanting to leave Hannah behind. But letting her baby go on a very unsafe and potentially long trip with no food is madness. 

The Commander arranged this escape though, and he's a big shot, which June knows from her talks with Emily.  Honestly, that 4 hour estimate is WITH TRAFFIC, and since Gilead has no traffic?  It's probably quicker than that. 

I know what you are saying, but June didn't have much, if any, time to think here.  It's not as if she was planning all of this, or even that she knew what was happening as Martha after Martha led her to that car.  During that journey, she realized she couldn't leave Hannah.  Holly Nichole's future is much brighter than Hannah's at this point.

2 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

This is like the debate about the car seat a couple of weeks ago. This is war, not a garden party. When you have the opportunity to escape, you take it. The kid is not going to die in the back of the truck on the way to Canada. OTOH you can keep her right where she is and she can grow up to lose a body part, never learn to read, maybe get drowned in a pool, get sent to the colonies, be married off to an old man when she's still a child, or all kinds of other horrific things. If it takes longer, improvise. Get a bottle of milk. Put some honey on a pacifier. Figure something out. Or you can keep waiting for the perfect time when you have everything you need and everything is perfectly clear-- that's never going to happen. There's always a reason to stay mired in misery, but there are a million reasons to run to freedom.

Exactly.

This wasn't a Sophie's Choice.  Hannah needs to be rescued, and Holly Nicole IS being rescued, with the aid of a Commander.  Refugees have to make tough choices.  Had the Martha's told June a rescue might be happening, she could have had time to express milk, pack, etc. 

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TBH, the idea that a big shot commander is secretly smuggling handmaids to Canada is another thing that requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, which I'm seriously running out of for this show. 

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17 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

This is like the debate about the car seat a couple of weeks ago. This is war, not a garden party. When you have the opportunity to escape, you take it. The kid is not going to die in the back of the truck on the way to Canada. OTOH you can keep her right where she is and she can grow up to lose a body part, never learn to read, maybe get drowned in a pool, get sent to the colonies, be married off to an old man when she's still a child, or all kinds of other horrific things. If it takes longer, improvise. Get a bottle of milk. Put some honey on a pacifier. Figure something out. Or you can keep waiting for the perfect time when you have everything you need and everything is perfectly clear-- that's never going to happen. There's always a reason to stay mired in misery, but there are a million reasons to run to freedom.

But there are still no guarantees that they will make it that far.

13 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

The Commander arranged this escape though, and he's a big shot, which June knows from her talks with Emily.  Honestly, that 4 hour estimate is WITH TRAFFIC, and since Gilead has no traffic?  It's probably quicker than that. 

I know what you are saying, but June didn't have much, if any, time to think here.  It's not as if she was planning all of this, or even that she knew what was happening as Martha after Martha led her to that car.  During that journey, she realized she couldn't leave Hannah.  Holly Nichole's future is much brighter than Hannah's at this point.

Exactly.

This wasn't a Sophie's Choice.  Hannah needs to be rescued, and Holly Nicole IS being rescued, with the aid of a Commander.  Refugees have to make tough choices.  Had the Martha's told June a rescue might be happening, she could have had time to express milk, pack, etc. 

I've made the drive - it's about four hours from NE Ohio. I don't know how far away Boston is from the border. 

I still maintain that she could do more from safety, than being stuck there. Fred may favour her, but she could still be killed at any time. he dangles her daughter in front of her like a carrot. 

Edited by Anela
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2 minutes ago, jmnf19 said:

May I ask... I thought this show is shown at 9 p.m. How is it that people have watched it already?

It was on at 9PM PST last night.

3 minutes ago, Anela said:

But there are still no guarantees that they will make it that far.

I've made the drive - it's about four hours from NE Ohio. I don't know how far away Boston is from the border. 

I still maintain that she could do more from safety, than being stuck there. Fred may favour her, but she could still be killed at any time. he dangles her daughter in front of her like a carrot. 

I googled.  About 4 hours, with traffic.

She knows she could be killed, and will be raped and possibly even lose body parts.  Her daughter getting out is more important to her.

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2 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

It was on at 9PM PST last night.

 

Thank you. I thought it was Wednesday that it was shown, not Tuesday.

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6 minutes ago, Anela said:

But there are still no guarantees that they will make it that far.

You're right. There are no guarantees that they will make it that far, or anywhere. But there's a guarantee that Emily is going to have something horrible happen to her in Gilead, and it won't be much better for Nicole. Should they sit there and wait for it, or should they try to escape?

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So they spend the whole season driving the point home that they need June and her breastmilk to feed the baby (implying that formula is not an option) and then June just hands her baby off to someone completely unprepared with no way to feed her and no idea how long they'll be traveling? Whatever, show.  

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6 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

You're right. There are no guarantees that they will make it that far, or anywhere. But there's a guarantee that Emily is going to have something horrible happen to her in Gilead, and it won't be much better for Nicole. Should they sit there and wait for it, or should they try to escape?

She had another option - going with them and making sure her baby crosses the border safely, or at least following them in the van as far as it goes, and then returning to Gilead to retrieve Hannah. 

I mean, if she had an even remotely feasible plan how to find Hannah and take her away, while being completely sure that Holly will arrive to Canada quickly and without any complications, then sure, go for it. But the thing is that she has zero idea how to get Hannah back and also can't possibly know how much time Emily will have to spend with the baby with no food and supplies. She's taking a pretty huge risk that at least IMO is not completely necessary. 

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I may have shouted “TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE, JUNE!” once or twice at the screen during the final minutes of this fecking finale.

Edited by TimWil
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33 minutes ago, Joana said:

TBH, the idea that a big shot commander is secretly smuggling handmaids to Canada is another thing that requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, which I'm seriously running out of for this show. 

Guilt is a great motivator.  I'm hoping the show will follow through with this story, and show us how and why he's changed.  For now?  I love him, and his household as well, and I can't wait to learn more about them.

1 minute ago, fivestone said:

Eff this show. I'm out.

I totally understand, but the good news is, most reviewers are calling the showrunner on his errors in this week's reviews.  I have hope that will bring the changes needed to make this show watchable and interesting again.

 

1 minute ago, TimWil said:

I may have shouted “TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE, JUNE!” once or twice at the screen during the final minutes of this fecking finale.

Terrible directing.  Terrible editing.  As above, finally the showrunner is being held accountable in the latest reviews, so I'm really hoping for changes next season.  Either way, we will probably know if it will be worth watching from spoilers.  This show leaks more spoilers than any I've ever seen, that isn't a reality show.

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1 hour ago, LordOfLotion said:

This is like the debate about the car seat a couple of weeks ago. This is war, not a garden party. When you have the opportunity to escape, you take it. The kid is not going to die in the back of the truck on the way to Canada. OTOH you can keep her right where she is and she can grow up to lose a body part, never learn to read, maybe get drowned in a pool, get sent to the colonies, be married off to an old man when she's still a child, or all kinds of other horrific things. If it takes longer, improvise. Get a bottle of milk. Put some honey on a pacifier. Figure something out. Or you can keep waiting for the perfect time when you have everything you need and everything is perfectly clear-- that's never going to happen. There's always a reason to stay mired in misery, but there are a million reasons to run to freedom.

You get a like for one of my favourite lines from GWTW. Well done!

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I’m typing as I watch the episode. 

1. After June found Eden’s bible I couldn’t figure out what she was flipping out with Serena about and then I remembered women weren’t allowed to read!!! Eden could read!!! That poor girl ran home and her family turned her in. REST IN PEACE EDEN. 

2. It’s about time someone slapped Fred. 

3. Serena was arrested!!! Did she really think the laws wouldn’t apply to her? Wait no she wasn’t arrested, was she just whipped? Branded? Home the same day.... she lost a FINGER! Now is she finally going to recognized how fucked up this world is? June is a decent human being to comfort her after all Serena has done to her. Fred really is a sick twisted sadist, he let those people multilate his wife and then goes to make her tea, like she has a COLD. Fred angers me so much. As a black woman I’m getting so many impressions of slavery where owners would keep slaves close to rape at their leisure and the women would do anything they could to be near their children.

4. Fabulous acting by Alexis Bendel, I think the rage and anger inside of her were too much. 

5. A surprise bit of acting from Max Magella- nick you made me proud. 

6. Marthas are the MVPs. 

7. No idea what June is going to do next season. 

Edited by Scarlett45
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5 hours ago, igotquestionstoo said:

You're right it is insulting (the practice of different expectations). The fact is that numerous posters have said, "I don't want to see Serena redeemed!" "She cannot come back from what she has done." I am just saying that it is possible for Serena to eventually have regret as well, and perhaps she will likewise "try to atone" as Lawrence has. He is a commander. Do we have to see his crimes? It's like, oh hes the nice slave master - still a master. My aim is not to insult - just saying lets examine our thinking for bias.

 

I do not believe any of these people can be redeemed at this point.

Lawrence cannot ever earn redemption, in my eyes, if they bring Gilead down and he still alive he needs to die for what he has done, there is nothing that he can do now to make up for everything that occurred by his own hand and his own decisions.

It’s my own personal belief that just because you can do what is right in the future, it does not erase any of the evil acts that you committed in the past. 

If you are guilty of mass murder, rape, abuse and torment and torture, you’ve earned death and no good deeds could or should, imho, ever wash that tainted mark away.

To me Lawrence is a marked man for death, he’s just spending his borrowed time doing something good and I acknowledge him for it, but he could liberate every single innocent man, woman, and child out of Gilead and I would still want to see him hanging for all the lives that he is guilty of condemning to die for no good reason.

Serena doing something truly good, committing multiple good acts, would not save her in my eyes either.

I think that war criminals are capable of doing the right thing, they are human beings, but they should never be let off the hook for their initial crimes and behavior. 

If they can do what is right for an amount of time before they are brought to justice, I’m all for that, but I will still need them to be brought to justice and appropriately dealt with. 

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I understand June's need to not leave Hannah behind....I will not be so understanding of the writers need to put her back with The Waterford's next season - should that happen.  

June the resistance fighter.....that, I can get on board with!

I will also be furious if Emily doesn't make it to Canada.....especially as she is now in possession of the political football I call Holly....

Interesting times ahead for Emily....

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