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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    He also implied that she could get pregnant and have her own biological child, since the Americans had solved the infertility problem (wonder if they shared their information with Mexico? We never did find out if the chocolate-for-Handmaids deal went ahead).

    There are times when I watch or read the latest godawful crap Trump is saying or doing and think to myself, 'If Canada decides to build a wall to keep him out of our country, I'd help build the damn thing myself, even though I live hundreds of miles from the border.'" (ordinary tourists and dual citizens would still be welcome - no government lackeys, though; it's a safe bet that while Justin Trudeau is PM, Trump will never be invited for an official state visit, nor will he be invited to address Parliament, as there would be massive security concerns and a super-massive protest).

    DNA also proves that Serena is not the mother. Since neither June nor Nick are in Canada and won't be for the foreseeable future, the only hope of establishing Holly/Nicole's parentage is if Luke managed to save anything that might still have a trace of June's DNA on it (he did manage to salvage a couple of things from the site where they were taken, such as Hannah's stuffed toy).

    We know from Jezebel's that Fred raped Moira at least once (he knew her as "Ruby"). Emily was part of Mayday before she was caught with the Martha, and she knew Nick was an Eye.

    My point is that there is a distinct difference in attitude between the diplomatic visit and the confrontation Moira and Emily had with the PM. The latter was NOT a PM who would tolerate a subordinate being in charge of kicking the Waterfords out and stating, "We believe the women."

    We're having a federal election in October, so I'm very focused on Federal politics right now and what the various parties' attitudes are on various topics (FYI to non-Canadian posters here: We have FOUR major federal parties, and two fringe parties that will pick up votes from the top three major parties).

    I can't tell if the Canadian storyline in the show was meant to scream out that there must have been an election between these two episodes and the Reformacons won, but it does. It's like a neon billboard as far as I'm concerned. If that's what the writers intended, they should damn well say so. If not, it shows that they're just making stuff up and don't care about how the nuances of federal politics here would make a difference in how Canada deals with Gilead, Fred and Serena, the refugees, how much help they're given, and whether or not they would be extradited back to Gilead.

    I realize that this show isn't supposed to be a documentary on Canadian federal politics and 99.9% of American viewers don't know the difference and don't care. But I've asked this on the YT pages: If I made a show that included U.S. political content and it mattered to the story, wouldn't they prefer that I actually made an effort to research it to make it make sense? Some American viewers are confused by this, so I've been explaining my theory - that there's been an off-screen election, a different party won and changed its attitude and policies, and the writers were too lazy to make that clear.

    I assume you mean three seasons. Even the writers can't do basic math, with their "it's been five years" bullshit. It's been at least 6 years, edging on 7 since June's capture. Just count the pregnancies, periods of breastfeeding, add in the 6 months or so of June's initial indoctrination at the Red Centre, plus the fact that the Waterfords are NOT her first assignment. In the novel each assignment lasts 3 years (evidently it's 2 in the show, longer if a pregnancy is achieved).

    So even the show's own writers can't count.
     
  2. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    As far as inconsistencies in the behavior of the Canadian government are concerned:

    IF there was some plot in motion between Serena Waterford and the Canadian, the U.S., and possibly also the Swiss (since representatives of them were involved in the evaluation process regarding Nichole's potential repatriation) governments since the moment Serena had received that phone during her visit in Toronto then the Canadian willingness to consider Gilead's repatriation request and all that it entailed could have been a deliberate ruse as part of their effort to ultimately guide Fred into the trap.
     
  3. Timewalker

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

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    Including the Prime Minister's snarky comment to Moira, saying that June voluntarily relinquished her parental rights to her own baby? :wtf:

    I have no doubt that Serena agreed to give up Fred in exchange for at least leniency, if not outright freedom, plus she thinks she has the right to take Holly/Nicole. The baby is all she really wants, and to hell with anyone else who gets in the way of that.

    I doubt Serena herself talked to anyone in the Canadian government. Tuello would have arranged it so there would be no objections to Americans arresting two Gilead citizens on Canadian soil. Tuello is not Canadian (a lot of people seem confused on that point).


    I've been thinking back to that "Waterfords go to Canada" episode for a different reason. Why weren't the Waterfords received in Ottawa, rather than Toronto? Ottawa is the capital. I guess this is another case of they're shooting the show in Toronto, they set "Little America" in Toronto, and they don't think the audience is smart enough to know the difference.

    Well, from my experiences on a lot of review sites, that's true. I have seen a ton of clueless comments about Canada (does it snow year-round here? Do we have baby formula here? Why doesn't the Canadian government just give the American refugees "Little America" as their own province?). That last one makes me :scream: . If the situation were reversed, would the American government just give a bunch of Canadian refugees a patch of land for their very own state? I very much doubt it.

    Oh, and the perennial "June should go to Canada and get Hannah out from there." HOW? Luke and so many others have been trying to get their loved ones out for years and years, and get nowhere. If this show's writers have any respect for how things really are, they will not show Luke, Emily, and Moira dashing across the border to Gilead, and then waltzing back to Canada, expecting to be let in again. That's not how asylum works.
     
  4. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I can't recall his precise words, but if it's - at least publicly - the "official" government policy at this point? I mean there were a lost of witnesses standing around them and maybe the Canadian government wouldn't want to prematurely blow the whistle on the secret plan to catch Fred Waterford.
     
  5. Timewalker

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

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    That's reaching.
     
  6. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The war is pretty dang close to Ottawa. I'm sure that Waterford didn't want to go that close. Also, Toronto is a shorter distance. The real reason has to be filming. Canadians would gripe that everything looks like Toronto and we dumb Americans can't tell a difference.

    Also, the Mexican delegates were seen going to Boston earlier.
     
  7. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    I think reading deeper meaning into the Canadian scenes is getting sidetracked. As Starbreaker aptly pointed out, we're dumb Americans and can't tell the difference. Odds are it's just a bit of sloppy writing that is causing the confusion about Canadian politics. The story isn't about Canada, it's about Gilead. I've not given any thought to Canadian political inconsistency but, then again, I'm just a dumb American. I suspect all the inconsistency is for the sake of the plot and no further deeper thought was planned or expected. Is anyone else not in the Canadian viewing audience noticing the inconsistencies?

    Plus, what I gathered from the Emily and Lydia backstories is the seeds of Gilead were being planted much earlier than when all this actually began. Subtle changes in society and laws. Emily and her family trying to leave was the result of seeing the writing on the wall and the vandalism/persecution. They were caught by surprise by the change of law. The law changed well before Emily became a handmaid. The rest of her family were allowed to go to Canada unhindered. That would not have happened after Gilead completed their takeover.

    I got the same vibe with Lydia. I do not see how Child Services could be so easily manipulated in the real world today. That little boy's mother was not a neglectful horrible mother that deserved to have her child removed from her care. Something was already at work within the government that made it easier to commit such an atrocity.

    So the horror began much earlier than 5 years ago for sure.
     
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  8. Timewalker

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

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    No, really? I missed that.

    Seriously, if you're going to have a significant part of the storyline involve Canada, our refugee/asylum laws, and our Prime Ministers and their senior secretaries and cabinet ministers, the least you could do is a bit of research to get it at least somewhere in the vicinity of believable.

    At least they did Moira's escape across that freezing, snowy field right. That's exactly the sort of thing some of the Muslim asylum seekers went through after Trump decided they weren't welcome in the U.S. anymore and they were afraid of being deported. Sadly, in one case, the woman died of hypothermia and her body was found the following spring.
     
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  9. StarMan

    StarMan Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I meant three seasons / three years as a viewer. As griping as it is it's bloody brutal to get through at times. We've had very few moments of release from the onslaught but this episode ticked all the cathartic boxes.
     
  10. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thought that season 3 so far didn't make much sense. Why would June ever "star" in the Waterfords' videos to get back Nichole? She must have understood by then that Serena was beyond hope - and what kind of leverage did they have on her (that hasn't been already done to her, save for sewing her mouth shut I suppose, which they figuratively did anyway, but actually doing it would be hard to hide in a video)? Why does she even escape any of the more permanent punishments?

    I also couldn't empathize at all with Lydia's backstory... a very gentle rejection of her advances (and I didn't get the impression that that guy was overall against anything physical, just not that fast, or on that evening) sets her off and gets her to sort of turn her ideas about "child welfare" into reality?

    But the two most recent episodes made up quite a bit for my disappointment.

    First of all, that ceremony/rape... semi-public and even more humiliating. Fred's power-trip, his wish to dominate June especially... urgh. And Serena just goes with it (albeit with a small contradiction). I think she still doesn't see those ceremonies as rape, or the handmaids as victims. They are a means to an end... and her wish for a child blinds her to everything else. Let's not forget she was a driving force behind Gilead's foundation and principles, just as much as Joseph... and she did instigate that horrible rape scene "to induce labour" last season... There's nothing redeemable about her.

    I'm glad though, that this time we didn't get to see the actual rape - I have to admit I do see just a tiny bit of Josh and Zoe... and that would have been beyond the horrors that that scene evokes even without that association.

    And last episode... I did cheer for June, especially after listening to her mantra again, finally defending herself, and the Marthas defending her.

    The Waterfords... hm... first of all, I didn't quite get that Fred told Serena she could get pregnant herself now after the Americans sort of found a cure for infertility. But Serena's problem wasn't infertility through radiation (or whatever the reason), she was shot in the abdomen, that's when she learned she couldn't have children.

    Yes, it was made quite clear that Fred was arrested by the Americans, Serena taken by the Canadians... but what's actually the endgame here? Did she make a deal to get Nichole? Serena has no claim on Nichole, she isn't the biological mother. And the Canadians don't have any legal claim on Nichole either. Especially if Gilead isn't recognized officially as a sovereign state, as Fred implied (in either this episode or the last one), any kind of "culturally binding" rape and giving up the children by the handmaids and sort of adoption by the wives within Gilead is nowhere legally binding for another sovereign state... ISIS comes to mind, just as a recent example. Until Fred said that, I thought that Gilead's standing in the world was far more secure, just details having to be fleshed out (such as the extradition of handmaids and/or children). The interaction with the Mexican and Swiss officials at least supported that.

    Hm... so, who's going to be the main antagonist to June's plans? Nick? The last we've seen of him wasn't really positive after all.

    Is the series renewed for a 4th season yet? Because I could see it ending with the next 2 episodes... the only variable (even if June's main objective) is Hanna's whereabouts, but even that could be at least revealed via the Martha network. And honestly, I don't see June's story continuing for another season...
     
  11. Evil Headhunter

    Evil Headhunter Scarecrow Keeper Premium Member

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    The show was renewed last month.
     
  12. Timewalker

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

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    June had no choice about the videos, and she kept hoping that if she cooperated with them, Serena might eventually give her more help with rescuing Hannah. Plus, as June straight out said, her doing the videos meant she had protection from the worst punishments (since Gilead wanted to perpetuate the fiction that the handmaids were all doing this voluntarily and everyone was blissfully happy, to see an obviously injured or mutilated handmaid would make that lie all too obvious).

    Lots of people totally missed the point about that backstory. It's not his rejection that set her off, it's that she suddenly realized that she was turning into the sort of loose, sinful woman she considered the kid's mother to be, and by extension all single women who didn't attend church and ran around drinking and having sex outside of marriage. She felt she was becoming the sort of woman she despised, and that's what set her off.

    Lydia was horrified at herself and everything she did after that was some bizarre way of atoning for the "sins" she believed she had committed. That atonement took its first step with making sure the single mother she considered to be unrepentantly sinful would lose custody and access to her child, as she considered the woman unfit to raise her kid.

    Fast-forward several years, and you get the Lydia we saw in the series premiere (remember that Gilead had existed for some time by then; that "five years" line was bullshit; it's been more than five years). She was probably one of the first of the older women to be recruited into the Aunts, based on her attitudes toward "sinful" unmarried women and their unfitness to raise their own kids (but they could redeem themselves by bearing kids for the elite).

    Agreed. It's disgusting to see all the comments on YT that Serena has learned her lesson, she's a victim too, she deserves a happy ending in Hawaii with Tuello and Nicole, blah-blah-blah... I get the impression that all too many of these people don't really understand the series, and many have never read the novel.

    Serena doesn't see the handmaids as people. She sees them as walking incubators who do the shopping and are otherwise supposed to stay out of sight until Ceremony nights. That she occasionally speaks to Rita and June as though they're individual people and not merely the current interchangeable Martha or Handmaid is unusual.

    No idea who "Josh and Zoe" are. But yeah - by this time we've seen more than enough instances of the ceremony.

    The Marthas she talked to at the house are probably pretty pissed off, since this would be something they hadn't expected. But the Marthas stationed at Jezebel's would hopefully point out that in killing Winslow, June removed someone who would have really cracked down on Gilead and that would have severely hampered the Marthas' network.

    Fred didn't say that. Tuello told her that, during her first visit to Canada (the one where both of them had diplomatic immunity so they couldn't be arrested after the letters were posted online).

    We'll find out next episode just what sort of deal Serena made (I am guessing this, based on the promo).

    The writers have shown themselves to be... inadequate, to put it politely, at including any political nuances involving Canada.

    Every third comment on YT is "Where's Nick?" My response is, "Were you not paying attention, when he A. requested reassignment to the front; and B. he finally got it later?" Nick outright said he was going to the front, which happens to be in Chicago. Therefore, the answer to "Where's Nick?" is "Chicago."

    Why his activities in Chicago haven't been shown is because the actor was working on another project - some movie he was involved in, so THT temporarily wrote him an off-screen storyline that we'll likely be caught up on after the actor returns. So I'm not in any panic over his absence. He's not dead.

    Yes, there's going to be a fourth season. As for what June's storyline will be, she's probably still searching for Hannah (and they damn well better have an older kid to play her), and of course there has to be resolution as to exactly who Nicole's legal parents are. At the very least, Luke should have legal custody until June/Nick turns up to claim her. Serena has zero rights to her at all.
     
  13. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, that's my point - she had protection from the worst of the punishments... but her believing Serena would still help her in some way at that point in the story... that wasn't her driving force.

    But let's be honest, she had that protection even earlier on... why wasn't she punished for running away (twice)? She doesn't need her feet for being raped after all. Cut the Achilles tendon and that problem's solved.

    That's a good point.

    Then you have missed out on one of the best series of the last 20 years, "West Wing", where Whitford and Moss played said characters.

    But Fred mentionned it again. And even if it was mentionned just in the "previously" section... it wouldn't solve Serena's childbearing problem... which is my point.

    I didn't wonder where Nick was - I wondered what his future role, given that Gilead is running out of commanders, will be.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  14. Timewalker

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

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    She was whipped on the soles of her feet on two separate occasions (when she and Moira ran away; Moira got on the train and June was caught, and when June was returned to the Red Centre after being caught at the McKenzies' house). On another she was chained to a bar in a makeshift 'bedroom' and given a choice: either beg the Waterfords to take her back, or spend the rest of her pregnancy chained exactly where she was.

    I spent a lot of time in the last 20 years either without cable or without a working TV, period.

    Okay, I'm going to need a clip to verify this. There are a gazillion clips on YT, so if Fred said the Americans could fix things so Serena can get pregnant, I'd love to see it, because I don't remember him ever saying that. It was Tuello who dangled that bait at her.

    Gilead is losing some high-level commanders, but they're hardly running out of the rest of them. Consider the number of handmaids assembled to greet Winslow. I didn't do a head count, but it looks like a few dozen. Every one of them is assigned to a commander, and that's only one district in Boston. There are other districts, and Boston is only one city in Gilead. There are lots of others.
     
  15. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    The penultimate episode of Season 3, "Sacrifice"...


    "I've changed her", gloats a (somewhat luxuriously) imprisoned Fred Waterford in Canada. And in a certain way he's in fact correct with his assessment. The new, ruthless June is willing to do whatever she deems necessary to ensure Gilead's eventual defeat. This includes making the decision to let Eleanor Lawrence die in order to get rid of an unstable element in the equation. Our heroine is transformed into an anti-heroine.

    I wonder if the plot of the season finale hasn't become too obvious by now?: With Winslow and Waterford out of the picture, a rehabilitated Commander Lawrence stays in Gilead after all, and "Ofjoseph " becomes MRS. JUNE LAWRENCE. It certainly would make sense. Either June goes to Canada or she stays in Gilead, and she already has decided to stay. But if she stays in Gilead the question is how she could possibly continue running resistance operations as the handmaid of a new and probably brutal commander. The only reason why June was able to set her current plan in motion in the first place is because Lawrence tolerated and facilitated it, and he's probably the only commander in Gilead willling to do that (well, he and Nick). So, the junction the plot of this show has arrived at kind of requires that she continues to stay with him and with Elanor out of the way the best way to ensure that is her becoming his wife. Besides, running resistance operations will be far easier removed from the constraints of handmaidhood and Aunt Lydia's watchful eyes.
     
  16. Evil Headhunter

    Evil Headhunter Scarecrow Keeper Premium Member

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    I thought June's turns in darkness had stopped. Not reverted, but stopped growing. Changed and no longer the June Osborne that Luke knew, as Fred cruelly and slimily pointed out.

    But I was wrong. In a moment of weakness, in a moment that perhaps June sees as a strength and a gain, she let Eleanor's suicide attempt succeed. Because it was for "the best." To remove that unknowable and unstable factor for their grand escape plan, after she almost let the cat out of the bag in front of Mrs. Winslow and Mrs. Putnam.

    And I wonder. I wonder. Does Joseph know? He mourned in terrible pain, but did that look at June confirmed that he knew...and understood?

    On a lighter side, Moira blissfully chewed out Serena and Luke weakly sucker-punched Fred. They both deserve far worse, but given the way they're both comfortably sitting, I fear neither will ever face full and true justice. Serena cut a deal and while we don't know the details behind it, she'll clearly get a far lighter sentence than she deserves. And Fred...he has the benefit of the outside world's innate and morbid curiosity.

    That's...a terrifying and disgusting thought...and I fear that you might actually be onto something. While I (and Emily VanDerWerff) predicted the slight and unlikely possibility that June dies to help the children escape, your suggestion is a more likely one. And while I understand that direction and why it would happen and the appeal of that happening, I really, really don't want it to happen.
     
  17. Timewalker

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

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    June becoming Lawrence's new wife is a theory that's been floating around the YT review channels for several weeks now. In the context of the story it would make sense - not because Lawrence would suddenly develop any positive emotions for her (or vice versa, not that June would have any say) - but because it would ensure that June wouldn't go to yet another household and possibly betray Lawrence's secrets. "Keep your enemies (and rogue handmaids) closer."

    At least suspected. June just couldn't keep the stupid smirks and half-smiles off her face. If ever there was a time for a poker face, that was it. And she blew it.

    So many people are complaining about the luxury prison cells, and asking if that's how Canada treats all prisoners... GMAFB. No. It's not how we treat any prisoners, at least normal ones who aren't war criminals. I suspect that they're being held in a high security area of the embassy Tuello works for, which means that they are not in any Canadian prison (and this still annoys me: Somehow the show writers have decided that Toronto is now the capital of Canada, rather than Ottawa; no wonder they can't write the Canadian political stuff correctly - they can't even find the damn capital of the country on a map!).

    As I pointed out to someone on YT, you catch more with honey than vinegar. Fred and Serena are being fed honey right now. The vinegar (and orange jumpsuits) will come later.

    What would be disgusting on top of disgusting is if June married him and the new couple were forced to take in a new handmaid (it's absurd, of course, since June is still fertile, but the show writers could go there). There's no way June would force another woman to go through what she did, but if the other commanders decided they needed to "witness" again... yikes.
     
  18. Musōka

    Musōka Cadet Newbie

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    I have been binge-watching The Handmaid's Tale over the last couple of weeks until the latest episode. It’s probably the most emotionally engaging show I have ever watched!

    As for the last episode "Sacrifice"...

    ... I was also left with the impression that Joseph may choose to stay on as a Commander in Gilead! His most important reason for considering defecting to Canada was his wife Elanor. Moreover, with Winslow and the Waterfords out of the picture, he appears kind of rehabilitated and he may be even in for a promotion. Hence, I can see Joseph pressing the case next episode that he could achieve more within Gilead than from the outside.

    Regarding June’s fate, I would say there is absolutely no way that she could become Mrs Lawrence and thus receive the powerful status of a Wife! It would be totally inconsistent with the world building we have seen so far for at least 3 major reasons:

    First, handmaids must have by default committed capital crimes according to Gileadean laws. June specifically is considered an adulteress (a most heinous crime according to Abrahamic faiths) because her marriage to Luke is not recognized. If I recall correctly, Aunt Lydia called her a "whore" or "slut" because of it. Moreover, she tried to illegally escape Gilead as a fertile woman.​

    Second, June must be the most (in)famous handmaid in all of Gilead. She has so far been directly involved in multiple grave incidents from Gileadean leadership perspective. Commander Putnam – who may be the leading authority in the Boston area right now – noted that June "may be the only one to feel happy about the Waterfords' capture".​

    Third, (which brings together all 3 points) Commanders are not above the law in Gilead, or at very least not if their failings are laid bare open to the Committee like in Putnam’s case. Therefore, there’s no way that Joseph Lawrence could marry such a disgraced troublemaker who most likely would be legally barred from becoming a Wife in the first place. Remember that Wives have serious decision-making powers, e.g. they can issue commands to Guardians, Aunts and possibly even Eyes. ​

    Within Gileadean society June probably can only change her status to the following 3 classes: Unwoman, Jezebel and potentially Martha. However, I have serious doubts about the last one. Probably she could only become a Martha if she is proven infertile and if there's a lot of goodwill e.g. from Aunt Lydia to let her off the hook!

    This leaves us initially with 2 main options (granted she won’t leave Gilead): She goes underground and presumably joins Mayday a.k.a. the Resistance or she remains a handmaid. If she remains a handmaid, I only see those options: She’s allowed to stay with Joseph for a mourning period lasting 2 or 3 more episodes. Then, pressure would mount to see her getting redeployed. Joseph could have a hand in choosing a new commander but they would all be mighty scumbags by various degrees except... Commander Nick!
     
  19. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    The Handmaid's don't seem to be so much a reward for the commander's as they are a tool to use because the commander's wives are infertile. I don't see any commander with a fertile wife also having a Handmaid. I also don't see a Handmaid staying with an unmarried Commander.
     
  20. Amaris

    Amaris Witchy Woman Premium Member

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    SPOILERS

    I'm just going to say the season finale had me in tears. Seeing all of those babies make it back home safely, free of Gilead's cruelty, it was quite an emotional release episode. Obviously, Serena is now in trouble as Fred isn't going down alone, not that I expected the coward to do so anyway. They both deserve so much worse because of all they've done. Now I'm curious as to what will happen with June and the other handmaids, as well as the Marthas. The loss of 52+ children is going to send a huge shockwave throughout Gilead, and I can expect even worse measures put against the women.

    Side note: I laughed out loud when June asked Joseph if he really though it was still his house. :D
     
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