The Handmaid's Tale (TV series)

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

  1. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    Finally.

    Finally, an uplifting and genuinely hopeful moment.

    The whole episode (and the entire planning leading up to this episode), I constantly expected the other shoe to the drop. I knew it wasn't going to be when Lydia suspiciously questioned June or even when Joseph tried to call the whole thing off. I did briefly thought it was happening when Maggie got cold feet and tried to flee with Rebecca, especially when it looked like June was going to shoot her in broad daylight.

    The walk in the woods was tense, not just waiting for that shoe to drop, but how eerily reminiscent their fleeing reminded of WWII films of people fleeing the Nazis (least of all, The Sound of Music, the first to come to mind).

    I was fully prepared for June to die, to sacrifice herself so the children could escape. I didn't expect (but I really should've after last episode's high praising of June) when many of the Marthas and Janine returned to June's side to distract the Guardian.

    While June's act of luring that Guardian away was a noble moment, the tension was removed from the moment when I realized the ridiculousness of there being a single Guardian at the airport's perimeter, especially considering the house sweeps that Janine warned June about and caused them to leave early. Surely Gilead's first act upon realizing there were children missing would be to secure any and all airports. Roadblocks are one thing, but come on.

    That said, I didn't care. The children escaped (way more than the original 52) and safely arrived in Canada and of course Moira, Luke and Emily were all in hand to receive them. I also didn't care about the sheer coincidence of Rebecca's father was there, too, because godsdamnit we needed that moment. Luke didn't get Hannah back but at least Rebecca got her father. :wah:

    I had forgotten Emily knew Rita so I was happy to to see their reunion, which allowed Rita to tell Luke that June did this. She made this happen.

    Ever so briefly, I thought just maybe, just maybe my (and others') prediction would come true and June would die. But no. The show couldn't let her go. Nor could it not help itself and gives the uplifting moment of the Handmaid's rescuing her the next morning, despite the fact there was no way they would have that kind of freedom of movement after dozens and dozens of children disappeared overnight.

    But I don't care.

    Let the revolution finally begin.
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    Post script: While I'm glad Serena is actually going to face justice for her crimes, I hate that it took Fred turning on her and revealing that he knew (as she did) that Nick actually fathered Nichole. Serena deserves to be punished for all of her crimes, not just the act of pushing Nick and June together so she could claim the offspring.

    That whole scene was awesome. "Nope. I'm in charge now, motherfucker."
     
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  2. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    One thing I forgot to mention: The opening flashback was utterly brutal. Once I got over the initial shock that we hadn't seen this particular part of the story, it was devastating to watch the Guardians treat these women literally like cattle. Pushing them around in herds into sections of a building that looked like a slaughterhouse, before directing them into different trucks. No regard for the fact that these are actual people with lives and personalities and feelings. The women only exist in these men's minds for a means to an end.

    And yet. I didn't break out into tears until we saw Janine. Back when she was headstrong and not afraid to speak her mind. Before they broke her. Before they destroyed who she once was.
     
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  3. Amaris

    Amaris Princess of Love Premium Member

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    I cried then, too. I adore Janine, and seeing her with her full level of indignation, with her righteous anger, I couldn’t help but tear up at what was lost because of these horrid men.
     
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  4. Timewalker

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

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    I'm glad to have found a way to watch this so I don't have to wait until Sunday. Yeah, that scene had me in tears, and honestly, that's the first time this show has ever made me cry.

    But... I have to wonder how all the rescue/triage people knew to be there. I guess the pilot must have radio'd ahead? But in that case, why was Moira surprised to see kids on the plane? You'd think the pilot, if he called ahead to say he was bringing refugees, would have mentioned they were kids.

    Billy must have more money and clout than I realized. The plane was larger and nicer than I was expecting.

    Okay, I am officially disgusted with Tuello. I'd been convinced that he was too smart to fall for Serena, that he was just playing on her vanity and obsession, and he didn't believe for a moment that she wasn't equally guilty of war crimes. Then he practically hands her the keys to the city, and she's got unsupervised visiting with JUNE'S baby?! WTF?

    Lip rings, ankle monitors, no more going out without a guardian with them...

    Well, technically it is, since women can't own anything in Gilead. But June was running the place during that final week. I guess Lawrence had to iron his own shirt.

    Exactly. I had to wonder how they knew where to look for her, how they got out in the first place, and WTF they're going to do with her, now that they've carried her out like she's a fallen soldier (which I suppose she is).

    People on one of the review sites I subscribe to pointed out how unrealistic it was that the kids wouldn't be upset at being taken from the only home they've known for the past half-dozen years (less for the ones born in Gilead). There should have been some crying, wanting to "go home" but there wasn't.

    She did more than push. She practically ordered June to get up there, drop her underwear, and wait to be impregnated. And then she stood there and watched.

    And I am so disgusted with how they wrote Tuello in this episode. The Canadian scenes make less and less sense as the series goes on.


    I've spent a lot of time on various review channel sites over the past several months, and things have taken a turn for the worse. Now there's so much June-hating and "June's getting all the black people killed" bullshit. And then I chanced on a channel where a couple of "doctors" (they finally admitted their doctorates are in sociology and anthropology; I questioned them when discovering that neither of them knew basic Latin words) are absolutely livid that Luke doesn't go around constantly complaining that he's being mistreated because he's black. They insist that his speech to Fred should have been about being black, rather than about Fred raping Luke's wife.

    Seriously, WTF? And no, it wasn't that these presenters were black themselves - they aren't. But they actually said, "Luke doesn't seem to know he's black." Well, he might get a clue when he looks in a mirror...

    There was a black woman who posted and said she was glad Luke didn't emphasize race - she said it was okay to treat everyone as simply being people. The book isn't about race. The show isn't about race. And those two presenters never even read the book (I suspect; they spout the usual erroneous nonsense people spout if they haven't read the book and don't know the basics that the viewers weren't hammered with).


    The opening sequence is a more brutal version of the first scene of the 1990 movie after Offred/Kate (her name is Kate in the movie) is captured. It shows women being tested, and depending on the results they're either put in cattle trucks to be taken to the colonies or put on a bus to be taken to the Red Centre (and there's a scene in which all the black people are being marched off to wherever they were taken; the movie followed the book in that respect).
     
  5. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    Another side note: As bored as I was by the Fred and Serena scenes, I loved, loved, loved how he was questioned by a woman who was assisted by a woman, while said meeting was recorded by a woman and the whole thing was guarded by a women. Fred was surrounded by powerful, strong women. Must be his greatest nightmare. :D
     
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  6. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    The A.V. Club review pointed out something that I completely missed: We also see Brianna during the flashback sequence and then the episode bookends the moment showing both her and Janine being among the Handmaid's who rescue June in the forest.

    Meanwhile, the Vox review discussion postulates a very unlikely theory but one that I like: What if June is actually dead at the end and the Handmaids are instead retrieving her body?
     
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  7. Amaris

    Amaris Princess of Love Premium Member

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    I've been considering this. We get our narrator one last time this season before next season it starts with someone else as June is being laid to rest? Maybe.
     
  8. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    Or, as suggested by Emily VanDerWerff and Constance Grady at Vox, maybe an anthology series where the focus changes with each episode?
     
  9. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If June is dead, I will eat my phone. Something definitely has to change though. She can't just hang out at the Lawrence house with a bullet wound with Aunt Lydia poking around.
     
  10. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    I'd buy that if it wasn't for all the blinking and smiling June does when daylight finally shines on her fallen body. She didn't look dead. She wasn't playing dead.

    And it would be gutting the show and, in my opinion, a disservice to Us, Elizabeth Moss and the character June if they kill her off and kept the show going. This whole journey is June's story.
     
  11. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Yep, although definitely can't go back to business as usual now, so not sure what the next step is. Definitely noticed that they were all missing, so not like they can go back to their 'homes'. Hope the Martha network had a plan for what's next...
     
  12. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    OMG, just bawled my eyes out at the arrival of the plane... got so overcome with emotions at that point.

    I'm curious to see where they're going to go with June next. 1. where/who will the handmaids turn to? - can't see them going to Lawrence... 2. what's going to be June's next "mission" - there's still Hannah left but where's she?

    What a shame it takes Fred so that Serena gets at least some of what's coming to her. Yeah, right, she was coerced into helping Fred. What a joke. And that Tuello-guy actually believed that? And anyway, I'd still like to know how they could make a deal over Nichole... just like that, who's not her daughter... Sorry, but that whole plotthread concerning the Waterfords and Nichole, the "Canadians" didn't work for me.

    Anyway, eagerly waiting for season 4 (although I'm emotionally spent right now).
     
  13. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't give any thought to the others besides June, but you're right. All those Handmaids were surely missed by their households. It should be easy to connect them to the assault on the guards. They may not connect this with the missing children. Eh, who am I kidding? Handmaid's involved in an assault, and those handmaid's also connected in some fashion to all these missing children? Missing children the same night of the assault?

    How do the missing children play into this? Will Gilead believe this was all accomplished by Handmaids and Marthas? Will they suspect greater involvement by the Canadians or the US in exile? Would this move Gilead toward war with Canada? The "kidnapping" of over 52 children will not sit well.

    Why is the border still so open between Gilead and Canada? Joseph was adamant NOT to close the border. The plane that flew from Canada (presumably) to Gilead then back to Canada was not secret. It wasn't stealth. It must have been a regular, planned cargo delivery. Trade. Foreign imports and exports.

    Can't charge Fred (and Serena) with the regular, monthly rape of June (or any Handmaid's) because those activities are legal in Gilead. Surely there is something that the world court can do. A court of justice administered by the US could surely do something.

    Back to Canada... Canada and other countries (as seen in the first season) must have officially recognized Gilead as a sovereign nation. That is a major blow. Had nobody recognized Gilead as a legitimate nation, things could be different. Anything done within Gilead's borders could be declared illegal.

    I don't see the charges against Serena sticking. There is no evidence. Nick is not there to testify and neither is June.
    There is only the word of Fred and he's not a reliable witness in this case. 1. He was deceived about Nicole's parentage, so he's mad about that. 2. He's upset Serena betrayed him and Gilead. He's not reliable. Any halfwit attorney could show that Fred would say anything out of revenge.
     
  14. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, that's exactly the problem - Gilead is a recognized state (at least by some states), so it's difficult to put the state's system on trial even though it negates any kind of human rights. The only thing I see them able to make stick is the way Gilead was established, the war against civilians, the persecution and segregation of women etc.

    That's a good point, and Nick and June's relationship was the first thing Serena said to that claim. Still, it was good to even see that moment, even if it might not stick. But the worse situation is IMO the fact that she actually thinks she has any kind of claim on Nichole (and this might even be official)... WTH???
     
  15. StarMan

    StarMan Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Well for me the big question is: where to from here? I imagine the crack down in Gilead will be extreme. Even if Gilead were to believe it was a Canadian plot, they'd surely conclude there was no way they could pull it off without inside help.
     
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Kang, now with ridges Premium Member

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    Gonna be pretty crowded on the wall is my guess.
     
  17. Timewalker

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

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    There are lots of ideas floating around on the YT comment sections. The problem isn't so much the Marthas, since they're all plugged in to some extent to the "Martha network" and as noted several episodes back, Marthas in their drab uniforms are more able to blend into the background than any other class of women in Gilead. They have hiding places and safe houses, as well as some of them have medical training (remember the Martha that was a doctor, pre-Gilead, who was called in to examine Janine's baby?), so the Marthas who got shot are probably being taken care of by other Marthas.

    The problem is what the other handmaids are going to do about June. Normally, Marthas don't talk to handmaids much, as they consider them to be pampered whores, not much better than the women at Jezebels (in any repressive society, every class seeks to find some group lower than they are, so they can have some feeling of superiority).

    It's been mentioned in the comments about the doctor June saved when she chose the 5 women captured in Chicago, the ones Lawrence said would be saved to become Marthas, rather than be sent to the colonies. June met one of them at Jezebel's (I'm guessing the chemist, given how fast she cleaned up Winslow's blood), and there are 4 others, including a doctor. Beth knows this, so it would be at least plausible if the handmaids take June back to Lawrence's house and Beth finds a doctor to treat June.

    So that's how June could live. But as to what happens to her later... current speculation is that she's used her chances up and then some in Boston. I predict she may find herself transferred to Washington, where she definitely won't find it easy to cause trouble - because she won't even be able to talk. Since Elisabeth Moss has said that she expects the 4th season to be when June gets Hannah out of Gilead, it would make sense if the Mackenzies were moved to Washington as well (but nobody mentioned that to Aunt Lydia, who would congratulate herself for ridding Boston of a troublemaker who would have to behave from now on).

    None of the handmaids escaped to Canada, and the Martha who killed her Commander and his Wife would have been one of the Marthas on the plane, if she had any brains. Otherwise yeah, she would be executed for sure. Anyone left in those households where the kids were had better get out fast, because even Commanders and Wives aren't exempt from hanging (as we saw after the bombing of the Red Centre, when Commander Glen and the rest of his household were killed).

    My 5 cents (we don't use pennies in Canada anymore).
     
  18. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    And maybe an extreme crackdown would finally get enough foreign attention that the world community would finally step in and invade Gilead. Human rights violations. The UN would still exist as that institution is more than just the building in NYC. Heck the US Government is depicted as still existing with 2 states still under US control.

    Fear of nuclear reprisal would be the only roadblock to a UN sanctioned invasion of Gilead.

    There is no way Gilead could repel an conventional attack. Not with all the pockets of resistance they are already dealing with.

    I've not gotten that impression. At least to that extent. For example, it's depicted as more common for the Handmaid's to purchase groceries. The occasional Martha was seen at Loaves and Fishes, but they were a minority compared to Handmaids. Seems like there is a bit of mutual cooperation between Handmaids and Marthas beyond the ritual.

    Maybe I've not picked up on a nuance you have.
     
  19. Timewalker

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

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    It's not a "nuance". The show didn't make this up and neither did I. It's in the novel. The handmaids are supposed to have daily exercise to keep them healthy and fit for carrying babies, and it comes in the form of a daily walk to get fresh groceries. This is an official thing that was decided about handmaids, and not a form of voluntary cooperation between Marthas and handmaids.

    It's also in the novel that the Marthas as a class tend to think of the handmaids as pampered and immoral, since they don't do any real work and their function is to have sex with the Commander (remember, the Marthas are only present for the first part of the Ceremony and have no idea what it actually consists of). Some of the Marthas believe that any woman who chooses to be a handmaid rather than be sent off to the colonies is no better than a whore, and they're not inclined to be nice or sociable to them.
     
  20. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    Well...there's no evidence of that in the series. Sure, it happened in the book but that's not inherently true for the series until it actually happens in the series.