The Handmaid's Tale (TV series)

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

  1. Timewalker

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

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    And yes, they really are that helpful in RL. They will help "irregular crossers" (aka asylum seekers doing it the illegal way) if they're having trouble, such as if they have to cross a ditch and they have children or if they have medical problems and it's winter (saw that on TV). They'll rescue people who cross accidentally (or on purpose) via river and are in distress. That said, it's not an automatic welcome-to-Canada-you-can-stay thing.

    The U.S. border agents/cops are sometimes standing on the other side, not trying to force them to stay, although they obviously would have preferred them to stay.

    What nobody wants to happen is for the American side to get twitchy with their guns. And Canada has signs up at the commonest illegal crossing places warning that it's illegal to cross there, and anyone who does will be arrested.

    But since the people who cross there have absolutely no faith in the current U.S. government, they come anyway.

    At least we don't hear any more about people dying in farmers' fields in Manitoba due to hypothermia (the body was found in spring; the hell of that situation was the woman actually had legal documents that would have let her cross safely at an official crossing place).

    Some of the asylum seekers have lost body parts (fingers, toes) due to frostbite, when they got lost in the woods, fell into a creek, etc. This is why I found the scenes of Moira's crossing absolutely realistic (remember, she was staggering through a farmer's field, half-frozen by that point), and pointed out numerous times on the YouTube reviewers' pages that if Moira - reasonably healthy and NOT pregnant - had that much trouble during a winter crossing, it would have been suicide for June - about to give birth - to even consider a run for the border.

    Sometimes I think some of those commenters must never have seen snow or experienced freezing temperatures and have no clue at all...
     
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  2. Timewalker

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

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    Ofmatthew.

    I read an interview that said Lydia absolutely doubles down on being vicious this season. She has no clue that Emily tried to kill her because of her viciousness and unjust punishments (she doesn't consider them vicious or unjust), and decides that she was too soft and lenient with "her girls" before and won't make that mistake again.
     
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  3. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Oh, that's right. Ofmatthew. Thanks.
     
  4. Amaris

    Amaris Princess of Love Premium Member

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    I think ofMatthew is playing the long game. It might be nothing, and I could be off base, but I think she's not as big a believer as she appears. The best way to hide, though, is right out in the open, and if you want the authorities to stay off your ass, you assume you're being watched everywhere. June doesn't care because she knows her time is limited, that she'll probably die, but she's going to save her other daughter and try to tear the place down.

    I'm also hoping Emily is able to heal. I look at her, and my heart keeps breaking because I think she's just so overwhelmed. For years she was beaten and abused, tortured at the hands of a sick society that treats women like cattle to be bred. Now she's free, she has free agency, and she is with Sylvia and their son again, and I think she's just trying to make it all fit. I would imagine it's like being imprisoned for years, and then finding yourself back where you started, with the people you love, but you cannot erase your experiences in captivity, and you don't really know how to proceed. You're kind of frozen. Just my two bits on that one.

    I also love the mundanity of Sylvia apologizing for not finding a decent place to park the car. I mean, for her (and us), it's just a minor thing you complain about, it's almost surreal from Emily's point of view.

    As for Aunt Lydia, yeah, I was hoping a change of heart, but the moment she growled at June (during the visit to the Lawrence house) I knew she hadn't learned a thing, except maybe to hate "her girls" even more, to distrust them more, and to separate herself from them more. Lydia's all in, and she's riding it as far as it will go. She's either a true believer, or is so dedicated to power that she might as well be one. Either way, she is a menace, and either the girls will turn on her Julius Caesar style, or something else will happen, maybe by her own hand, to bring her death by the state. Either one will be a grisly fate.

    True, and Canada's not perfect, it was just a relief to see that scene, because I knew she was in good hands. It had already been established that Canada gave a damn and was determined to rescue as many people as they could (unlike the current United States who seems to enjoy letting refugees suffer and die in either captivity or just by outright murdering them). I have no faith in the U.S. government now, let alone a near future where religious zealots have managed to secure much of its former territories as their own.

    It just speaks poorly of any nation that would let people die because they just want to escape whatever hell they're running from. Right now, the U.S. looks horrible, and it's a reputation well deserved.
     
  5. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Hm, you might be right. The "Don't rock the boat" mentality and that's why she's quietly antagonistic towards June. On the other hand, some women are truly warped in Gilead so only time will truly tell.

    Yeah, I really ache for her during those scenes. She's suffering from so much trauma. Rape, torture (physical and psychological), clitoridectomy, sentenced to slowly die by radiation in the Colonies. As if all of that weren't enough, Emily also has to contend with the fact she murdered someone (the Guardian she ran over with the car), even if it was a righteous kill. Sylvia recognizes Emily is deeply hurting inside but she probably has no idea just how much and that's going to take a lot of time and patience for both of them. Their love is clearly still there, but their relationship will never be the same.

    Indeed. All of this mundanity and normalcy is very surreal for her. It's probably the most severe form of culture shock anyone can ever experience.

    That's about how I imagine at this point. I can't see a path of redemption for her at this point, not when she so clearly believes what she's saying and doing, even when she made her misstep at the party.
     
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  6. Amaris

    Amaris Princess of Love Premium Member

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    Agreed. The only tell I really have is where I watched her facial expressions during the christening ceremony. You could see which baby was once hers. Right before June congratulates her on how pretty the baby is, you can see ofMatthew's features flicker, like she was repressing something trying to come to the surface. It may have been nothing, but I did notice it. I'm riding a hunch right now.

    Another great reason to be furious at Gilead and all it has stolen from other people.

    Everyone involved is why I consider this show top tier. From the direction to the actors, they drive home the real tragedy of what has happened. Pitch perfect, IMO.

    Which makes her incredibly dangerous. I expect we'll see the punishments increase in both frequency and brutality as Lydia becomes more unhinged trying to stay in the good graces of the system.

    All of that aside, my favorite part was when June was speaking with Serena in the swimming pool room. When June just sits back in the reclining chair, she has this moment of pure exultation. Her life is forfeit, she knows it. Her second born is safe, she knows it. She's going to save her first born, she knows it. Then she's going to bring the whole bastard down, and she knows it. In that moment, she is wholly and completely free. She is a free agent in a world of oppression, and she only plays by enough rules not to be killed too soon, in order to maximize the effectiveness of her hand. In that moment, I felt that same freedom she felt.
     
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  7. Timewalker

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

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    Emily also killed the Wife in the Colonies (by poison).
     
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  8. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Yeah, I noticed that moment, too. It could go either way. We shall see.

    Indeed. I'm sure Ann Dowd will bring more nuance to the role than an unhinged maniac, but she is definitely someone that June needs to tread more carefully with than she has as of late because Lydia may finally go all the way with June.

    Yeah, that whole moment was awesome. The way she lit up the cigarette and soaked in the moment screamed Peggy Olson. :D

    Ohhh, yeah. I had forgotten about that murder. I suspect that one will weigh even harder on her conscience than some nameless Guardian oppressor.
     
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  9. Amaris

    Amaris Princess of Love Premium Member

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    I'm sincerely hoping she isn't just a dupe. Even though I get irritated at her attitude, I try to remember that a lot of women, by this point, have been gaslighted all to hell, and think they're being given a chance despite their horrible, horrible sins. Then I feel bad for her.

    Ann Dowd is nothing short of brilliant. She brings this, I don't really know how to describe it, temperament? She almost seems like a loving aunt, like a real person who cares for you, but then she lashes out at you, and you realize just how awful, and evil she really is, it's just masterful.

    What sucks is we know it's short lived, too. I mean, this is The Handmaid's Tale. Somebody 'bout to die. :lol:

    I really am pulling for Serena to come around, though. I know she had a hand in creating Gilead, but I honestly think she was more the catalyst than anything, as these men already had their plans in place. She just gave them a "pretty face" and a ring of reason in order to carry it out. I feel so bad for her, too, because she wants Nichole back, but then I remember Nichole isn't hers! But then I feel bad again, because she grieves like a mother who has lost her child would grieve. I mean... I don't know, I'm conflicted when it comes to her. I want her to be redeemed. I'm a firm believer in redemption, and I want her to be redeemed, to make things right. By now she has to realize the system she wanted will not happen. I had hoped the loss of her finger would have been the clarion call, and while it pushed her in the right direction, she still had reservations. I'm hoping hoping hoping those have now been quelled, and she's ready to fight the good fight.

    Also, I know both of them are married, but um...

    I...

    kind of want to see June and Serena get together. They have incredible chemistry, more than June and Luke, IMO. Yeah, what am I thinking? I know, but still... if it could happen, I wouldn't be averse to it at all.
     
  10. Timewalker

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

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    Ask and fanfic authors will already have obliged. I found over a dozen June/Serena stories on the Archive Of Our Own (AO3) site.

    No, I have not read more than one of them (just now; it's short). It's not my cup of tea, but others might like them.
     
  11. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    I am wondering how long she has left. The radiation from the colonies should have taken a toll.
     
  12. Timewalker

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

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    You'd think there would have been some mention of screening her for various forms of cancer, but there wasn't.
     
  13. Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)

    Happy X-Mas (War Is Over) If You Want It Premium Member

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    What did Aunt Lydia do pre-Gilead? I thought it was mentioned, but I can't recall.
     
  14. Timewalker

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

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    The actress said in an interview that she was a teacher. Word is that Aunt Lydia's backstory is coming in Episode 8.
     
  15. Untitled Hallmark Sequel

    Untitled Hallmark Sequel Have An Awesome Possum Holiday Moderator

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    All the scenes with Janine were so heartbreaking. She’s been so utterly broken by Gilead and continues to face the full force of its cruelty.

    At this point I really want to see Gilead burn.
     
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  16. Timewalker

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

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    Wow, Bravo aired 2 episodes on Sunday (#3 and #4). So I'm almost caught up.

    So... smoking is forbidden to Handmaids. June has been a Handmaid for 5-6 years now. Why isn't she coughing her lungs out?

    And why do they keep casting kids that are clearly too young to be in keeping with how much time has passed?
     
  17. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Fuck.

    With every small step forward, ten steps backward. June was able to manipulate Serena and Fred for her own purposes...only to have them unite stronger than ever before against her.

    Serena, in her mad self-righteous selfishness, convinced Fred to allow her to fly to Toronto and convinced June to sway Luke to meet her with Nichole in tow, so she could say one final goodbye. Naturally, June and then Luke were reluctant, but June saw an opportunity to reach out to Luke both publicly and privately and, in step too far in June's own self-deception of control, she believed she could force Serena into "owing her one." Luke's own distrust was overcome only for the sake of hearing his wife's voice once again and...was rewarded with a truth that he was not prepared to hear.

    When I figured out that June was able to smuggle a secret message to Luke, I honestly didn't expect June to come clean about Nichole/Holly's conception and who with (a man Luke had briefly met, so a face and a voice for him to match the name with). I knew that horrible hard truth would be a difficult one for both June and Luke to reckon with but I didn't expect that it would be an issue that would be dealt with so soon. I cannot fathom what Luke must have felt upon hearing that truth. On the one hand, Nichole/Holly isn't a product of rape. On the other, she's a product of love (in June's own words), a product of choice that June deliberately made. Despite her love for Luke. And maybe even because? Is that truth something Luke will ever come to terms with? I see hope in how he handled Nichole/Holly in the final scene. But will the Gilead live broadcast strengthen his resolve or weaken it?

    But whatever Luke might be feeling now is incomparable to the fury we saw flowing from June's eyes in that final shot. Major kudos to Elisabeth Moss and director Colin Watkinson in capturing that fury. Such a fury that exemplified how June knew that her work was all for naught.

    On a side note: It looks like you're right about Ofmatthew, Amaris. She looked absolutely...ashen at the prospect that she might be pregnant yet again. She seemed genuinely sorrowful for her needling of June at the beginning of the episode (but at least we got that wonderful exchange "Under his eye" "Bite me"). There's hope in bringing Ofmatthew into the inner circle of resistance, but now June has bigger problems to deal with.

    At least with Fred and Serena's broadcast, now we have context for the trip to DC, which had been further shown in a clip Moss shared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  18. Timewalker

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

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    I won't be able to see this until Sunday, but I've seen a couple of YT reviews. June didn't really have much of a choice the first time with Nick. Serena just expected both of them to cooperate, and she stood there while they had sex (at least she didn't watch... much).

    June's later encounters with Nick were, of course, her own decision.

    And yes, this would be very hurtful to Luke - but what does he expect? In a place like Gilead, a person has to take whatever good things they can, for their own sanity.
     
  19. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Honestly, I'm surprised how shocked June is to learn that Nick was part of the armed rebellion for Gilead's uprising. Even if he never mentioned, it seemed fairly obvious by his original posting and eventual rise in power that he had a part of that uprising. While disappointing, I'm also not surprised he didn't say anything of consequence to the Swiss (presumably, since we didn't see it). What is surprising is the Swiss' willingness to aid Gilead. Is Gilead's military so powerful that it would cause the Swiss to waver in their morality, regardless of their neutrality?

    I nearly vomited during the scene at the Winslow home when all of the commander's children came running in, all different ages and ethnicities. It was a silent reminder that underneath of this polite and happy home, a lot of rape and violence has occurred. And that's before we meet the newest Ofgeorge with her mouth sewn (or stapled?) shut behind close doors.

    Intriguingly, Lydia seems deeply effected by Ofgeorge's current state of being. We briefly see her notice the muzzling with little reaction beyond slight curiosity, but later on she reveals to June after a little prodding that she doesn't like seeing her "girls" silenced and that she is undoubtedly horrified by what has happened to Ofgeorge. I was also taken aback just a bit by June's seemingly willingness to wear the gag and polite request for Lydia to help her put it on. However, on a side note, I thought it was a bit weird how easily June was able to pull it down at the Lincoln Memorial considering how tight and secure it looked when Lydia clasped it shut.

    For all of the cruelty presented by this show, I continue to love the way the show is shot. The imagery in this episode is especially striking: The recreation of last episode climatic scene but now at Commander Winslow's house, the framing of June with the giant angel wings (which contrasts nicely with the shot of Daenerys with Drogon in the Game of Thrones series finale), the extreme shallow depth-of-field, close-up shot of June in the foreground and Serena approaching (and later departing) in the background, the countless bird's eye view perspectives, and even Winslow's not-so-subtle power play when he shoved his ass in Fred's face during the pool game.

    Speaking of Winslow, I loved the casting of Christopher Meloni. He doesn't get much to do here, but he clearly demonstrated a quiet lordship of every scene through the mask of niceties. His mere presence always made look Fred look small and weak, especially at the end of the pool scene while Fred leaned forward for his shot. Meloni will always be known for his fiery characters thanks to Special Victims Unit and Oz and that reputation elevates his performance here even if we only see the softer, kinder side. It's almost a warning of what could come if one (or particularly Fred) crosses him in any regard.

    As much as I loved the shouting match between June and Serena, clearly establishing once and for all where Serena's loyalties and "compassion" lie, I was somewhat taken out of the scene because I found it hard to believe no one notice or hear the two of them going at each other, especially when see moments later the large crowd in front of the steps. Not Fred, not any of the Guardians, no one? I loved the confrontation (and I dearly hope June will finally accept that Serena will never truly help her), but I found that part unbelievable. Yeah, suspension of belief and all that, but it was a little hard to swallow with the loud echoing.

    Lastly, my already-shattered heart broke even further at the sight of the Lincoln Memorial smashed and desecrated. It's not a surprise Gilead would loathe a man who championed freedom for a group of people, but it was still hard to see.
     
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  20. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sure Fred and Winslow will become very close.