Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Skipper, Jan 29, 2017.
If it is, they should say so.
The real-worlds UN has offices and associated agencies headquartered in multiple nations. One of them, the International Civil Aviation Organization, is headquartered in Montréal, but I'd have thought Geneva would be the immediate go-to backup city, given my memory of past UN events and activities there.
Logistics might force them to consider Toronto in a Gilead-world scenario...?
Here's what the UN has in Geneva...
How little time would the UN have had to get moved once it was clear that NYC was going to fall?
I guess the only real issue would be the matter of physical documents stored at the UN headquarters in NYC (speaking as someone who worked in conjunction with archives at NATO). Everything else would be fairly easy. Simply saying "Okay, well, NYC is fucked, so all in favor of moving to here?"
Would the General Assembly and Security Council have had to hold separate votes on where to move to?
I expect it would have to be a quick "up-and-down" vote, given the circumstances.
(Assuming that the "rump" US of Hawai'i and Alaska still holds the UNSC seat for the States...)
Yeah, probably although I expect the votes may have taken off site depending on how urgent the circumstances and how much foresight they had regarding the uprising.
Well, I was wrong.
June left Gilead behind. Although not from a lack of trying. She only got out of the warzone and on the boat because of her concussion and Moira's absolute insistence.* Leaving behind Janine who may very well be dead.** Leaving behind Hannah. Once and for all.
My heart absolutely broke for June. She did everything she could to try and save Hannah. To save her daughter who doesn't even remember her and who is scared of her thanks to Gilead's cruelty. As a man without any children, I cannot imagine the level of pain June felt when she broke down to Moira about failing to save Hannah, and then again to Luke, apologizing for her failure. That's a level of suffering no parent should ever feel.
As I said two weeks ago, I didn't expect to see flashbacks again but they were well utilized here to give further depth to June and Luke's relationship and to add an extra layer to June's sense of failure. It was bad enough that she felt so horrible about leaving Hannah behind but she also feared that Luke would be upset at her for that failure, fearing that Moira was right before their marriage that the basis of their relationship was built on having children. Thankfully, present-day Moira was right that Luke deeply missed June and that he wouldn't blame her for leaving Hannah behind.
But the question remains: Now what? What will June do to fight Gilead and rescue Hannah and all of the other stolen children and stolen women? Will June still try to return to Gilead even if that would be, in all likelihood, a death sentence?
*While the focus of the episode was rightfully on June's sense of failure, my heart also ached for Moira who sacrificed both her relationship with Oona and her job with CERA. She clearly doesn't regret that decision but it was still a gut punch when it was clear Oona simultaneously dumped and fired Moira.
**As devastatingly real Janine's death appears to be, I expect she'll make a surprise return later on. I just hope it's a happy reunion.
Well, I hope this episode gave you some balm for your discomfort. It was stated quite clearly that the remnants of the US government is in Canada. Now, where is yet to be stated, but would you be willing to accept or suspend your disbelief by assuming that the US government in exile is located in Toronto?
There is historical precedent for something like this. The Free France government led by Charles de Gualle in WWII was headquartered in London.
The US government headquartered in Canada explains to me the flags we saw in, what was it, season 1 or 2? There was some red, white, and blue decoration with a single star in a blue field. Of course, they also contradicted themselves with the real US flag recently. In earlier seasons a US flag was depicted with 48 hollow stars and 2 solid stars. This season we saw a more traditional looking US flag with the field full of solid stars.
I'm pretty certain it has already been well established in the show that the remaining US government is in Canada, Toronto even.
I've only ever seen people get worked up about Toronto and The Handmaid's Tale on TrekBBS. The show is fictional and it might take place in a completely alternate universe for all we know. Filming is in Toronto and I don't think they have an enormous budget so a lot of the action needs to happen in Toronto.
A lot of Canadian and Canadian-adjacent "spot-the-mistake" hobbyists here. It's a series where we get to be "ourselves" on camera and in-story. This was going to happen.
Not sure why you conclude that Janine is dead. Of course she could be, but as with many situations of explosions and destruction, there are instances where people survive being buried.
In an earlier episode, Truello told Serena about Hawaii and made it sound like that's where the remaining US government is. I took the place in Toronto ( ) to be an embassy. And while I've never been to an embassy, it doesn't seem unrealistic that embassies would have secure areas like where the Waterfords are being held.
Thank you for pointing out that the show is fictional. Gosh, after reading the novel at least a couple of dozen times over the past 35 years and watching the 1990 movie about as many times, and seeing the first three seasons, I was completely unaware that this is fictional and Gilead doesn't really exist, even though some political parties and politicians in both the US and Canada appear to be treating the book as a how-to manual to make a Gilead-type of society possible.
I follow several of the review channels on YouTube, and the only reviewers who seem able to do a non-hysterical, reasonably balanced review are the male reviewers.
While it's nice that some Canadian women have posted comments that they know exactly where some scenes were filmed or they actually saw the filming happen, it just really grates that Toronto is being treated like it's Ottawa.
It also grates about the hysteria and screeching in the YT comments about don't they have baby formula in Canada, and how DARE the showrunners not make this a documentary on race relations because slavery never existed anywhere in the world except the US (do they not teach non-US history in that country?). There was one female reviewer (a white woman with a doctorate in something I forget) who was apoplectic that when Luke met Fred, he didn't go into a diatribe about how he, as a black man, had been treated unfairly his whole life, doesn't Luke know he's BLACK?
Um, I think he might have noticed that little detail every time he looks in a mirror, and do forgive him for being more concerned with the fact that Fred and Serena have been raping his wife every month for the past few years, and his daughter was kidnapped.
And it was just plain annoying when someone posted a comment saying she figured the Canadian government would just GIVE "Little America" to the Americans so they could have a state to live in.
Hello, they're in the midst of a city in a foreign country. No, they will not just be handed that land as a gift so they can make it into part of their own country. If the situation were reversed, would the US government gift territory in the middle of a major city to a group of Canadian refugees so they could have a province to live in? I very much doubt it.
I really appreciate how today's episode took the time to let June slowly accumulate in Canada, culture shock and panic attacks and all. I particularly appreciated how Luke gave June all of the space she needed and did try to push her with anything (aside from the luxurious room service, but even there he didn't force it on her), right down to sleeping on the nearby couch instead of at her side during her marathon 17-hour rest. It was a small moment but I also liked seeing June lock her bathroom door, not because she felt unsafe around Luke, but because it restored that small sense of control and security that Gilead had striped away from her.
While the focus was rightfully on June and her journey back to normalcy (whatever that can be in Gilead world), the whole episode was about the support of partners. Luke was an all-star with his patience and kindness and openness with June while supporting her needs every step of the way. We finally get to catch up with Emily's life and her own slow progress in accumulating with Sylvia and Owen, and in particular sung Slyvia's praises with her own patience. We even got to see Moira try to repair her relationship with Oona (who I didn't expect to see again), ending with Oona promising a fight and leaving with an open invitation to have Moira call her. And as much as I loathe Serena and Fred, I did appreciate how the episode showed the two of them trying to be partners again, if only for their own selfish needs and not for any real sense of partnership.
Even with that heavy focus on partners, the episode still managed the time to show obviously that not all is well in June's head. While she hungered for the overwhelming culture shock, she wasn't ready for the panic attacks that would come with it and being reminded of Alma and Janine and all of the other Handmaids she had to leave behind and the guilt June feels about that. I especially loved the post-dinner gathering of the four Gilead survivors taking the time to grieve and process their pain and trying their best to heal and to help June in particular in the early stages of her own process. I hope the show will continue to show that process, not just for June, but for all of them.
But the greatest highlight of the episode was the long, long-awaited confrontation with Serena. I cannot overstate how much I loved June's righteous, furious, liberating, cathartic declaration that Serena's pregnancy wasn't a gift from God but a punishment as a future miscarriage so that Serena would know just a tiny amount of the pain she inflicted on June, Moira, Emily, Rita, and all of the other women felt when they were forcibly separated from their children, and then were imprisoned, tortured, raped, and worse. I doubt such a miscarriage will actually happen but, man, I really felt June's rage in that moment and it gave me life.
Lastly, I want to close on this wonderful moment of levity:
"What happened to potato chips in the last seven years?"
"Oh, they made them healthy. I know, it's a travesty."
What an episode. Christ, the intensity of that scene at the end - I had to pause it briefly to take a breath! Those were some seriously harsh words for Serena, but there's no one more deserving.
And after that cathartic experience, then going back to Luke and asserting herself sexually after years of rape and degradation was both powerful ... and a little unsettling. Not that she did it, but because we're acutely aware that all is not well within June. Here is someone who has been in survival mode for years. And now, all this trauma which has never been properly processed - because she's been fixated on surviving / avoiding the next round of rape and torture - is all stirring within her and coming to the surface, as we saw in the supermarket. Also, those regular little things like commotion in the kitchen first thing or a meet and greet at the door with guests coming round felt quite jarring from her perspective.
I also laughed out loud at the chips observation. What were they - 'mad about beets' and some parsnip variation?
Other Gilead survivors have their scars (inside and out) and are just trying to rebuild their lives as best as they can. June though ... I don't think that's an option. She might be out, but Gilead remains and have her daughter. There's no going back to normal for her, I fear. Will this be a point of contention between her and Luke going forward?
For the others, freedom is victory. Whereas for June, I suspect the only victory that will satisfy her is the annihilation of Gilead. I don't think her implacable temperament is subsiding anytime soon.
I agree that June will have a much harder time to recover and letting go (and not just because she still needs to go back and rescue Hannah) than the others and that might cause problems between her and others (not just Luke). Gilead has molded her into a woman of action and there's no way she's going to handle sitting put in Canada while Gilead continues to exist. It's that same drive that made me think she wouldn't have even left with Moira in the first place if it hadn't been for the concussion, which took away a little bit of her agency.
Yeah, I found that moment unsettling, too, much the same way I felt unsettled during her sexual intercourse with Nick way back in season one. But in both cases, she seized that moment as an act of agency and control, neither of which she had much of during her time in Gilead. I agree that in this case with Luke there's more to do it this time because of that trauma you described. Like I said in my review, I'm very curious to see how the show will continue to handle June's trauma and recovery along with the others.
American shows often can't even get America "right".
While I understand June's righteous anger as the reason she sprung the former Aunt Irene on Emily at the support group, I agree with Moira that it was a shitty thing to do. Even knowing the end result and how Emily felt at that point, I felt horrible for her in that moment as she was ambushed in such a personal and raw arena and was forced to face the confrontation she already tried to avoid once before. Sure, June gave Emily the "choice" to opt out but at that point, she was facing the peer pressure of the group that already stated they wanted this confrontation.
However, the worst part for me, something the episode didn't even address, was how June publicly mentioned how Emily had been mutilated by Gilead. June is a newcomer to the group so how could she know that was something Emily had already talked about (and for all we know, it wasn't). It's not fair to Emily to have such something so horrific to be outed like that, even if it's in a support group. Maybe that's a not a big deal here since the episode didn't address it and the members didn't react to that information, but it still bothered me greatly.
Of course, the main focus of that storyline is how June is deliberately turning the support group from a place of healing to a place of righteous anger, much to the chagrin of Moira. Interestingly, before Emily said that she was happy Irene killed herself, I thought for a moment that Emily was about to express her disgust at who June had become (or what June had always been but Emily was only learning it now), but instead that scene shifted that discomfort to Moira, the person who has known June the longest. I've said before that what interests me the most about the show right now is how these will women learn to heal and move past the trauma Gilead inflicted on them, but this is an added wrinkle to that thematic arc. One that shouldn't surprise anyone considering how much June has gone through during this whole series.
But one place that I greatly welcomed that unfettered righteous fury was during June's eponymous testimony at the Waterfords pre-trial hearing. I loved the stark setting with its wide-open space but with filled with few people (and reporters tucked away from immediate view). I especially loved how the camera stayed on June during her entire testimony, slowing focusing on her face, as she briefly told the court the horrific experiences she suffered from the Waterfords alone. No cutaways to the Waterfords or the judges or the reporters. Just June and her truth.
What's unfortunate is how the scene then shifted to a silly sequence with the Waterfords lawyer asking absurd questions just so it would force the inevitable face-to-face confrontation between June and Fred. While we definitely needed to see that moment, it was poorly executed in this scene, especially considering how the judges said nothing as the whole hearing went off the rails and June stormed off. A great dramatic moment for June for certain, but it breaks the illusion that this was an actual hearing and, as a result, something is lost from that face-off.
Which brings us to that disgusting ending. The Waterfords have supporters in Canada. Ecstatic supporters who are rallying for their release. How can any of them be in support of such monsters? Were they so swept up by Fred prosperous dogmatic statement that Gilead's brutality is justified by their raising birthrate? If they truly thought that the Waterfords are right, why don't they go join Gilead? No? Crazy talk? Yeah, I know that whole thing is a direct reflection of the batshit insane support that the previous guy in the US still has, both from his party and from the public, but it's still absolutely disgusting.
Despite the rocky situation between them throughout the episode, I'm glad June is now prepared to tell Luke about the last time she saw Hannah, the horrible, heartbreaking moment. I just wish that was a conversation we were privy to see instead of being deliberately left unspoken in-between scenes.
Lastly, we have confirmation that Janine is indeed alive...and recaptured by Gilead. I wasn't sure if the show would show her survival before the end of the season so it's a pleasant surprise to have turn up now, even if it means she's not back in the clutches of Lydia, who is in the midst of some serious anger issues. My heart weeps for Janine yet again because there's no one left to protect her and Lydia is already trying to twist the truth and turn Janine against June.
Trumpism (and its predecessor set of notions of the "Tea Party") is a thing in Canada (I'm talking about RL politics and the "philosophy" - if it can be dignified with that word - of the far right-wing "Christian" evangelist party supporters and the far right-wing Catholics currently running my province). MAGA hats were worn at political rallies held by Jason Kenney (our premier) and the wearers claimed it meant "Make Alberta Great Again".
Stephen Harper is no longer our Prime Minister, but his political legacy of the Dark Decade is still alive in the current leader and supporters of his party (the government in my province is run by one of Harper's most loyal cabinet ministers).
I can well imagine the UCP and Reform supporters in Canada being sympathetic to the Waterfords. They claim to be "Christian" while spitting on, mocking, and denigrating the very people their Jesus would have wanted them to help. They're racist and misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-choice, and generally nasty people.
So while I'm unclear if the supporters you mention in Canada are Canadian or American (there must be some American ex-pats there who just happened to be in Canada at the time the Sons of Jacob took over and simply opted not to be part of that even if they secretly approved) - as I haven't seen the episode yet (it's on at 7 pm MDT here) - don't assume that all Canadians are nice people who are compassionate and socially responsible. There are some really horrible people here, and representation on the show sadly doesn't shock me. There are people in our provincial government who would very likely be among the Waterfords' supporters if Gilead were a RL situation.
Do you not mean that Lydia is trying to turn Janine against June? Lydia is already against June.
Separate names with a comma.