The Handmaid's Tale (TV series)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Skipper, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    This map also suggests that Vandenberg AFB was thoroughly destroyed (the radiation hazard area between LA and SF).

    By the way: "Atomic Wasteland"? When was this map made, in the 50s? I suppose that's what the Gileadeans would want.
     
  2. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    This brings up a question: If the Sons of Jacob nuked the areas of the country where the nukes are kept, how did they nuke them in the first place? Do they still have one functional site with nukes, which is why the rest of the world just hasn't come and stopped them?
     
  3. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    A very sizeable portion of the country's nuclear arsenal is submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). So, it stands to reason that Gilead got control of the submarine fleet and destroyed the land-based ICBMs and airplane-delivered stockpile.

    That doesn't quite jive with the map, though, because the nuclear submarine bases are in Georgia (east coast) and Washington (west coast). It indicates those are in rebel-held territory.
     
  4. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe she doesn't know anything but, then again, she lived in Waterford's home! This would like being at war and having access to an escaped slave who lived in the enemy's home. Further, June helped Serena edit various orders. That means June had access and read various documents. June observed the neighborhood and the movements of the other commanders who lived there (seems like all the commanders live in the same neighborhood). What else did June observe? June lived through an escape attempt twice. She has working knowledge on some of the methods the resistance uses. Perhaps that could be used to help outsiders contact the resistance and offer assistance.

    Then again, what help does Mayday and other resistance really need? They were able to blow up he Rachel and Leah center. And they got June out twice. Well, nearly.

    Granted, June's knowledge has a limited shelf life and she was not privy to detailed tactical reports, troop movements, etc... But she must have some information worthwhile.

    Culturally her experience is not without worth. Just because other handmaid's have escaped (including Emily), this doesn't negate June's worth for the propaganda counterbalance. It might be just one more horror story from Gilead, but the free press has always been interested in "just one more horror story" from any such situation.

    Finding Hannah is a needle in a haystack in any situation. Unless June becomes a terrorist though, I'd think she could effect more change working from Canada.

    Did the Sons of Jacob use nukes or were they used by the opposition?
     
  5. Evil Headhunter

    Evil Headhunter Scarecrow Keeper Premium Member

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    Wow, where to even begin?

    There were many moments that were intended to shock. Eden's father turning her in. June finally striking back at Fred. Serena growing a spine. Serena paying the price for speaking out. Joseph not raping Emily. Joseph smuggling Emily out. But the only shocking moment for me was Emily finally giving Lydia her due comeuppance by stabbing her and shoving her down the stairs. Even June's decision to stay behind while Emily fled with Holly/Nichole didn't shock me. I suppose Emily's attack shouldn't have surprised me considering her past actions and her planned action against Joseph, but something about her body language in that moment as Lydia addressed her fooled me into thinking she was in shock about her situation.

    So many great uplifting moments. "Oh, it's fine. I think I broke my hand though."\"Praise be." Janine's continuous attempts to look on the bright side despite the horror show they're living in ("You don't see me complaining all the time"). Rita's sweet gesture to allow June and Nick to have a moment with their child. June's aforementioned striking of Fred. June telling Fred to go fuck himself. Serena letting go of Nichole/Holly and saying goodbye. Even Serena's highly privileged moment of defiance.

    This is the kind of hope I desperately needed in this show. Even as I said to myself "If June doesn't actually escape this time, I'm done with this show, I'm in a position to soldier onward with whatever June's plan is.

    And just what the hell is June's plan now? I understand why she had to stay behind. Not just for Hannah, but for so many other daughters and sons and the other women who are imprisoned in hell. But what is she going to do now? She sure as hell can't go back to the Waterfords. She'll be dead in an instant. Join the Mayday resistance in someway? How is she going to contact them? How is she able to contact any of them without being caught and executed?

    I also wonder about Joseph. While I love how Bradley Whitford is doing his damnest to take roles as far from Josh Lyman as possible, I'm grateful that he turned out to be a secret hero, or maybe anti-hero because I'm certain he's done some truly monstrous things before getting there. Can he still maintain his cover despite helping Emily escape? Cora certainly seems like a broken-in Martha so it seems like she would turn him in, unless she's part of the act. Either way, I hope we haven't seen the last of him. More Whitford is always a good thing and it's also great to see one sane man in Gilead other than Nick.

    One odd note for me: Why did June tell Emily to call Holly by her slave name, Nichole (I keep using that spelling because of that's how it's spelled in the close captioning)? Considering the importance of naming her Holly and the importance of getting her out of Gilead, it seems like an odd choice. I get that June has bonded with Serena and has even become sympathetic to her (which I can understand given June's situation even if I don't feel sympathetic towards Serena at all), but it still feels like an odd choice. Especially as a means of protecting the child further down the line. Fred and the rest of Gilead wouldn't be able to make a claim that she's his child if Emily is calling her Holly instead of Nichole.

    I'm glad someone made a screencap of the map already. I was going to do it myself but you saved me the trouble. Not that it mattered since those high-resolution maps from the screening are even better. Thanks for finding those.

    One side note: Does the book (yeah, I know, I know, I still need to read it) give an explanation as to why they're called "The Colonies," which seems like an odd choice for areas that contain radioactive material.

    Ah, yeah, that sorts that out, which aligns to what we both suspected. It's always fun to pore over alternate history maps. :D

    Yeah, their fools and idiots chowing down on their own hubris at this point. They think they're so holy and mighty because they were able to pull of the world's greatest coup but they don't have a clue about how to main law and order. The more they're cruel to even their own allies, the more likely an uprising will occur within.

    Anti-hero and the most far-reaching developed character she might be, but I still have no sympathy for her. The cruelty she put June through is unforgivable and has expressed no remorse, even if June herself seems to have at least become sympathetic for what Serena has endured. I know the same standard should be applied to Joseph but the difference is we've seen what Serena has done time after time while it's merely speculation to what Joseph has done (aside from Cora's missing eye). Maybe if Joseph returns next season we'll see more of his past.
     
  6. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    While there's no definite answer to that question yet, it seems more likely that Gilead did it. Whoever the "rebels" are, Gilead is surely more ruthless and brutal than any of its opponents and it's already proven that they have no qualms whatsover about maiming and annihilating "fellow Americans" when it serves their cause. Also, if enemies of Gilead had used the nukes shouldn't they have directed them at Washington D.C., Boston or some other target at the Eastern seaboard where the Sons of Jacobs were headquartered? Most of the irrediated areas are located within rebel-controlled territories and it seems unlikely that they nuked themselves.
     
  7. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Thank you for explaining. I hadn't had any idea about the submarines.

    And how many of Serena's orders were countermanded ASAP, when Waterford found out the extent of what she'd done? Probably most of them, if they conflicted with what he would have wanted.

    No, all the commanders don't live in the same neighborhood. There are at least several districts, each with its own enclave of commanders and their households, and I assume each district has its own assorted shops and Econo families.

    Remember, when Janine went to her new posting and became Ofdaniel, her first observation was that "it's so far." Aunt Lydia has no idea what she means, but it's obvious that Janine is upset because Daniel lives so far away from the Putnams, so she probably won't ever see Charlotte again.

    It must have been quite a hike for her to get back to the Putnams' house, get the baby, and try to get away. It's not entirely clear if she always intended to commit suicide, or if she only decided to jump off the bridge when she was found.

    As for escape attempts, please see my previous post. June has made 5 attempts to escape Gilead, 4 of them after being captured. Of course she's the only person who knows about one of them. People usually forget her first post-capture attempt, when Moira disguised herself as an Aunt and she and Offred made a run (okay, walk) for it. Moira got away for awhile, but June was caught and returned to the Red Centre.

    Of course June does know some things that might be generally helpful, if (for example) a team were to try to infiltrate and pass themselves off as Gilead citizens to get into whatever places they might try to get into. For instance, handmaids are expected to keep their eyes on the floor or ground, speak when spoken to, and then in soft, submissive voices as they utter the phrases they've been trained to utter.

    That said, the aftermath of what's happened in the last couple of episodes will probably shake things up considerably. I anticipate that the handmaids won't have as much freedom as they did before (going shopping, and deciding whether or not to rest, and where, and which routes to take).

    All that has to happen is that she would receive a message, somehow, telling her that if she tries anything, Hannah will be killed... or maybe married off (presumably the marriage wouldn't be consummated until she reached puberty; this is something that did happen among the European aristocracy in the Middle Ages, where the girl went to live with the husband's family and consummation occurred when she matured at age 14 or 15). That would infuriate her, but it might make her extremely cautious.

    Why would the opposition nuke themselves?
     
  8. Evil Headhunter

    Evil Headhunter Scarecrow Keeper Premium Member

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  9. Evil Headhunter

    Evil Headhunter Scarecrow Keeper Premium Member

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    Now having read both this round table of thoughts and their regular weekly review, I fully understand their frustration about June staying behind, contrary to her own actions in not just earlier, but the finale as well. My own frustration didn't set in right away because I was busy trying to process everything that happened, despite what I said in the review about quitting the show if June didn't escape yet again. I think part of that was staved off because she chose to do it, and in that moment of reckoning, I was intrigued by the notion. But having thought about it some more while reading the A.V. Club reviews (along with my own initial "What the hell is June going to do?" analysis), the whole set-up doesn't make much sense from in-universe perspective. I'm still intrigued by what June will do next season but it's still frustrating that show is seemingly repeating itself yet again. Like Allison Shoemaker (the writer of the weekly review in the link in my previous post), I would've preferred seeing June fleeing to Canada and fighting alongside Luke, Moira, and Emily to get Hannah back. We still would've had Janine, Rita and Nick fighting from inside as well as the secondary Handmaids we haven't seen much of but could have a greater focus now.

    Besides, the show can't delay the obvious and ripe conflict between June and Luke regarding her conceptual relationship with Nick forever. That dynamic needs to be explored sooner than later.

    Returning to the round table discussion, I agree with them June seems to be inconsistently portrayed, not just with her decision to stay in Gilead, but also with her relationship. Maybe I'm coloring my perspective with my own disdain against Serena, but it seems bizarre to me that June would be so sympathetic towards Serena despite all of what Serena has done to June, most recently helping Fred to violently rape June as a punishment. I understand feeling bad for losing a finger due as retaliation for seeking greater rights as well as being whipped by Fred for working beyond her station (in cahoots with June), but it still feels like June is too quick to forgive and forget what Serena has done to her.
     
  10. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Other than going to protests and uploading the letters to the internet, what have Luke and Moira actually done about Hannah?

    NOTHING.

    And that's all they realistically can do from Canada. That's all June could realistically do from Canada, since I very much doubt that the Canadian military would mount a rescue mission for one kid, no matter how much outdated information her mother could give them about Gilead and a few of the Commanders.
     
  11. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    The orders being countermanded are irrelevant to my point. June had access to documents. June read information. I believe she read more than was necessary to help Serena temporarily.

    But I can be wrong. You seem to feel June has little to zero Intel to provide the USA or Canada. Your mileage may vary.


    I have no idea what the initial coup was like. In those first few days the entire country was on the front line. How bad was the war going. Pretty bad since the US lost. We're Los Angeles and San Diego viewed as strategic Gilead strongholds. Was nuking them a last ditch attempt to stop Gilead before it could grow?

    So if Fort Leonard Wood fell to Gilead, then it was in enemy hands. Nuke this location to prevent Gilead from being able to "respond to and recover from a nuclear, chemical, of biological attack" by taking out "the people best equipped to do that"

    Maybe it's most likely Gilead nuked those locations in the initial coup. I am open to the idea the US nuked those locations in an attack against Gilead held territory.

    It's so odd the atomic wastelands are so few. DC wasn't nuked, which would seem like a logical first strike fir anyone wanting to overthrow the government. Most military bases are unaffected by nuclear strikes.

    Regardless who used nukes, both sides could be said to have used nukes on their own soil. Gilead claims that land as theirs. The US had the land prior to the coup. Why would Gilead nuke places they want to control? Why would the US nuke places they already controlled?
     
  12. Geoff Peterson

    Geoff Peterson Robot Skeleton Sidekick Premium Member

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    I can see LA and SF being targeted by Gilead. They are no doubt seen as modern day Sodom and Gomorrahs and the center for possible resistance. Maybe taken out by a terrorist attack rather than a missile or a bomber.
     
  13. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    And you think Serena gave her free run of the library/office? I don't think she'd have trusted June that far.

    The US seems to know a lot already, so no, I don't think there's a lot of new things June could tell them that would be of strategic importance unless it was some miscellaneous piece of information they were lacking.

    So she might have a few things, but what I'm getting at is this: Her escape would have prompted a slew of reactions from the Waterfords, the other commanders, and anything June would know would quickly become outdated.


    The only way June would have any chance from Canada would be to do what other women have done whose children are being held in repressive, hostile countries: Hire mercenaries to get them out. This, too, would be in keeping with Atwood's dictum of not adding anything to the story that hasn't already happened at some place and time in history.

    It's what's been going on and what is likely still going on, with women who get involved with foreign-born men, who take their children and return to their home country... intending that the kids will stay there permanently.

    The problem with this scenario is that mercenary teams like to be paid, and June has nothing. We know that Luke has a job, but he won't be rich by any means. Hell, even if he and Moira and Erin pool their resources, it wouldn't be enough. And if the Canadian government got wind of that, they'd put a stop to it.


    Or to prevent non-Gilead supporters from leaving? Or more likely, done by Gilead to prevent foreign military forces from landing? You don't think the use of nukes would have gone unnoticed by the rest of the world, do you? I would imagine that every country with nukes, and Canada (we share a lot of defense facilities with the US) would have sat up and taken immediate notice of all this.

    Hopefully some of these questions will be explained in the third season. It's crazy to think that all this would have happened and no other country would have noticed and reacted somehow, even if the reaction was, "We can't go in there with nukes, because we would be killing the very people we want to save."
     
  14. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thought this season was so-so - not bad, but not as well paced as season 1, especially in the beginning.

    Serena...hm... all the Stockholm-syndrome-issues aside... what she's done (especially the last "ceremony") is irredeemable. But I just don't understand what turned this studied, opinionated woman into this "wife"? I get that she apparently lost her ability to bear children in that assassination attempt - but wanting a child so badly (as substitution for what exactly? Self-determination?) to lose your social status, your right to read, to subject yourself to random violence, to old-testament like punishments? To assist in the rape and enslavement of other women? Yes, she had a vision of women returning to past role-models and she was fanatic in the flashbacks we've already seen in season 1... still... I simply don't understand the mindset that leads to supporting your own subjugation and servitude. But I'm curious to see what she'll do next.

    June's decision at the end was a non-starter: Hannah's been her driving force from the beginning. And even if she said her goodbyes, the minute she knew that Holly would be safe with Emily, it was clear she'd stay. To do what exactly I don't know - because she has nothing to protect her now, no pregnancy.

    I'm glad Eden didn't turn into some kind of planted betrayer, but rather the betrayed one. And Nick now quite showed his allegiance when he prevented Fred from pursuing June... Hope we'll see more of Whitford's character, what happened in his house that his wife went crazy and the Martha lost her eye? Emily and Jeanine both returned quite changed from the colonies... although one question remains: Didn't the radiation damage their ovaries, especially Emily's who was exposed longer?

    Finally, Marthas rule.

    Favourite quote: I think I broke my hand. - Praise Be.
     
  15. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    Nick should be dead, too. Fred will be convinced Nick helped Offred to steal Nicole. People have been executed without due process this whole time.
     
  16. Geoff Peterson

    Geoff Peterson Robot Skeleton Sidekick Premium Member

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    Hey, he'll be given a chance to confess. That's due process in Gilead.
     
  17. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Commodore Commodore

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    Not sure the story on his wife, but I'll bet his Martha lost her eye before arriving. He seems to have a habit or taking in those who are on their last chance in Gilead.
     
  18. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Well, I've finally seen this last episode, and now I get why some people are livid that June didn't get in the van as well.

    But I also get why June made that decision. She's still got a kid to rescue. Hannah is 10 years old (I do not give a damn that the actresses they use are much younger; if you pay attention to the dialogue and can count to 9 twice and add several months for breastfeeding, it's obvious how much time has passed).

    There's just no pleasing people. If June had gotten into the van, people would have started bitching that she was abandoning Hannah.

    So... parts of the season finale weren't great, but I'll definitely watch the third season. In the meantime, there's fanfic.
     
  19. Supergirl

    Supergirl Not Awesome Possum Moderator

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    Yeah, I get why she didn't go. But there is a lot to be said about getting out when you still can. Gilead will collapse at some point in the near future, societies like it just aren't able to function for long. Even now, it's pretty clear the entire female population is probably close to open rebellion.

    That said, I do want to see Fred and the other commanders killed in awful ways.
     
  20. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    I don't know about the TV series, but in the movie:

    In the 1990 movie, Offred slits his throat after someone in Mayday leaves a knife in the drawer of her dressing table (Ofglen has already told her that Mayday might want her to kill him); she's uncertain whether or not she can actually kill him until he makes it clear he won't help her when Serena finds out about their trip to Jezebels'. Nick has her arrested for the murder, but in reality is sending her to safety with Eyes who are also part of Mayday.
     
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