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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    Since the series is going into a second season, I daresay they're going to fill in a lot of what Atwood only alluded to in the afterword. There's not much left of the novel after the events at Jezebels, and immediately after.
     
  2. AliciaD496

    AliciaD496 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm guessing we'll get a cliffhanger of June being led to a black van by Nick, like in the novel, hoping it's the van Moira was driving. Next season will be her journey, along with some other handmaids possibly, to get her daughter and reunite with Luke in Canada. Along the way we may see 'the colonies' and possibly some of the rebels fighting. Maybe get some insight into what they do to the little girls at their 'school' and what the colonies are really like. Honestly I'd really like to see Serena Joy give Fred Waterford his comeuppance at some point too.
     
  3. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Thanks for the spoilers of the book, folks. :sigh:
     
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  4. Timewalker

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

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    What spoilers? All I said was that the book ends not long after Jezebel's. And I held off for weeks about Moira's being alive. I never said what happened, other than the ending is ambiguous, and that I think the series might deal with the stuff in the Afterword - which was never in the movie, so it's never been anywhere but in the book. Or they could just make up totally new stuff, like they already have been in some episodes.

    Basically, in the book Offred hears the van coming. She doesn't know if the reason is because Ofglen (the first one) was questioned regarding Mayday and told them that Offred also knows about Mayday, or if the Wife or the Commander have ordered her taken to the Colonies. She really has no idea at all what's going to happen to her... and neither does the reader.

    The movie decided to have a slightly more definitive ending, with an opening for a sequel, if one was thought feasible. The TV series? Who knows?

    Of course the ideal ending would be for June and Luke and Hannah to reunite, live happily ever after in a world where Gilead has been defeated, and Waterford has been hideously executed.

    Can you imagine what it would take to rebuild that society? It would be like the modern Middle East, with a whole generation of girls who were made illiterate and programmed to be subservient to men, and a generation of boys who would have to unlearn the misogynistic things they would have been taught.

    And of course there would still be the original problem of the low birth rate and the environmental toxins...
     
  5. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    But even that can be revealing (the ending being ambiguous). Further, the constant mentions of "that's not in the book" takes away that surprise for when I (or another person who is watching the show but hasn't read the book yet) read the book. And then you continue on what what happens at the ending, not matter however small it may seem from your perspective (I don't know because I stopped reading after "van"). I know it seems like a trivial complaint, but it is still annoying.
     
  6. NOVE9

    NOVE9 Commander Red Shirt

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    Actually post #100 is a pretty major spoiler is true. I was certainly annoyed by it.
     
  7. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    While watching that last episode I was reminded of one of the previous flashbacks to the time when the Waterford's first "handmaid" had just committed suicide. Back then, Mrs. Waterford had confronted her husband with the line: "What did you think was going to happen?"

    That's basically it. The rulers of Gilead are incredibly cruel, but they're also incredibly stupid and naive. They treat women like property or animals, because they think that's the "natural" order of things. And then they're astonished that they either become suicidal (Janine/Ofwarren and the first Offred) or murderous (Moira, and previously Emily/first Oflgen). Fred Waterford is an asshole, but he's also a moron.
     
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  8. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Most Christofascist fundies are like that, because they only know a narrow defenition of the Christian Bible and live by that (much like the people that are in the Taliban, ISIL/Daesh or Boko Haram are with how they regard Islam and are defined by it.)
     
  9. UncleRogi

    UncleRogi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Offred wrote nothing. She spoke into a machine, hiding in a basement. Historians had trouble in locating a
    suitable playback device. The novel is presented as a transcription.
    Makes you wonder about how easy we see Starfeet translate ANY form of communication.
     
  10. Timewalker

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

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    One thing about Nunavut (okay, a few things): It's Canada's newest Territory, the capital is Iqaluit, and it's bilingual (English and Inuktitut). It's a cold, remote part of Canada, and the fact that it's the base of operations for the scholars who are studying Gilead implies (in my opinion) that the southern regions of Canada basically went to hell at some point, too.

    I wonder if anything like that will happen in the second season.
     
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  11. Timewalker

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

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    Now that I've been able to see this episode, I see what you meant.

    The answer is that it actually makes very good sense that he was working in an employment office. I'm speculating that he was actually either recruited because he worked there, or got a job there in order to recruit men to fight, and men to join the network of Eyes. Did you notice the lack of women in that employment office? Granted, this happened before all women were barred from working (there was a waitress in the coffee shop), but the employment office was staffed by men and the clients were men.

    No doubt the Sons of Jacob were looking for young men who were either already believers or who could be persuaded without too much difficulty, and who had little prospect of finding regular work. These men would be either desperate enough to fight, zealous enough to fight or join the Eyes, or pragmatic enough to realize that this was probably their best bet to keep a roof over their heads, get three square meals a day, have steady work, and they would definitely not be at the bottom of the new society's totem pole. If it meant having to get their hands ethically dirty, so be it.

    A lot of young men in 1930s Germany probably joined the SS for the same reasons - they weren't getting anywhere on their own, and then along came an older, more knowledgeable father/uncle figure who offered them the best chance they could see of surviving and having a bit of status.

    Note that I'm not excusing this in any way, either in the TV series or in the historical parallel of Nazi Germany. Margaret Atwood didn't put anything in the book that hadn't already happened in real history, or wasn't going on while she was writing the book. So I think it does make sense that a case worker in an employment office could end up as one of the elite Commanders. He was simply fulfilling part of his assignment in the movement: looking for the most likely recruits to the cause.


    Something I've been wondering is how the Aunts were recruited.
     
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  12. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Serena's cruelty knows no bounds. Showing off Hannah mere yards away from poor June, preventing mother reuniting with daughter, all so Serena can lord her power over June to protect "her" baby. I loved how June channeled every cruel obscenity I screamed at the screen as she viciously yelled at Serena in the car.

    It is striking (so to speak) that Ofglen was the one to verbally rebel against Aunt Lydia's order to stone Janine, just minutes after fighting with June about not abiding the ways of Gilead. For the briefest of moments, I feared they would stone poor Janine ("Not too hard"), knowing that if just one or two of them initiated, then more would follow. I was relieved they all turned against Aunt Lydia, even if it took the cost of Ofglen's teeth. As the Handmaid's marched away with June in the front, her words from the beginning of the episode rung through my head: "It's their own fault. They should have never given us uniforms if they didn't want us to be an army."

    How utterly grotesque, after a long list of obscenities performed by the society of Gilead, that Commander Putnam's punishment for his "crimes" was chopping off his hand, the hand with with his wedding band.

    I didn't expect to see more of Moira, so it was a great relief that not only was she able to safely escape to Canada, but was able to reunite with Luke. For once I wept happy tears. Not only was it odd to watch an American receive orientation as a refugee, it was remarkable to see how embracing and giving Canada is to their refugees, a thought that's very striking right now.

    Such perfect music choices in this episode, both "Feeling Good" and "American Girl" hitting the exact emotional notes of their respective scenes. The whole season has been very good with its song choices, but this was the ones yet.
     
  13. Timewalker

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

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    I'm still an episode behind. Canadians don't get to see your last-week's episode until this coming Sunday. There's a YouTube trailer up, and I did wonder who was being stoned.

    I'm surprised that Ofglen was allowed to live, after running over that Angel with the car. Could've sworn I heard a shot when they took her away, so I assumed they just executed her on the spot.

    Or did you mean the second Ofglen? :confused:
     
  14. NOVE9

    NOVE9 Commander Red Shirt

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    The second one.
     
  15. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Yup. If I was referring to Biedel's character, I would've called her Emily (as I've done with any of the characters we know their actual name).

    Incidentally, I don't recall hearing a gunshot during that scene, so I assume they're trying to reprogram her again. Why "waste" the potential of childbirth if even she's hard to control (I imagine their mindset beting)?
     
  16. Timewalker

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

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    They wasted Moira's childbirth potential by sending her to Jezebel's, didn't they? Of course it's possible that she might have become pregnant there if she wasn't taking any black-market birth control, but they'd have sent her to the colonies if she hadn't chosen Jezebel's. So they are clearly willing to do without some of the fertile women if they prove too troublesome to handle.
     
  17. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    It's my reading that Sereny is at least in part so cruel, because that's her way of letting her frustration and anger out for being sidelined, silenced, and subdued under the very regime she helped to establish. She basically created the hell she has to live in now.

    ^^ Well, I guess they had finally gone one step too far... even for Ofglen II. This was the moment when it became clear that it will be forever impossible to sufficiently punish the rulers of Gilead for their crimes, because there's simply no punishment on Earth which would be adequate for them.


    The season finale was possibly the most emotional episode so far, a real roller coaster of hope and despair. While they sure took some liberties with the finale, that last scene mirrored the ending of the novel perfectly.

    I suppose we can consider it unlikely that June is going to be executed in the first episode of next season. And Nick probably didn't whisper "Just go with them, trust me..." to her for no reason. So, the goons who escorted June away at the end were either members of the resistance themselves, they were somehow bribed by Nick, or he has some other kind of elaborate rescue plan at hand. If the latter is true it could possibly take the first couple of episodes of next season to set her free.

    My prediction for Season 2: After her escape, June tries to locate and save her daughter. That this is set up was pretty obvious now. My money is also on Nick somehow getting killed in a heroic fashion next season, so that he doesn't stand in the way of reuniting June with her husband.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  18. Timewalker

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

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    Oh, so they used the movie ending? Well somewhat, anyway, since nobody has mentioned what else happened in the final few minutes of the movie - a significant deviation from the novel.
     
  19. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    No, I'd say the season's ending was in fact closer to the book than to the film... or at best it's a cross between the two.

    June's entering the van, she doesn't really know where she's taken and what's going to happen to her, and that's the end of it. She only has Nick's assurance that nothing bad is going to happen to her with no further explanation from him to the why or how. Which is more or less what happened in the novel IIRC.

    However, in contrast to the novel there's going to be a sequel here so I guess it's a foregone conclusion that she's going to be rescued by Nick somehow. Well, and June was very content with her being taken away and being at peace with whatever happens to her next. Even though that has more to do with the self-liberating thing she did just prior to being "arrested" (?), it did set a certain "positive" mood for the ending.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  20. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Yeah, that makes sense but that doesn't lessen how utterly horrible she is by even a smidgen.

    Agreed on both counts. The level of rape, slavery, murder, and enforcing others to commit murder (I'm sure it's been successful in other locations) is utterly vile. Their trails will be on the level of the Nuremberg trails.

    I've already seen a variety of speculations: June joins the Mayday resistance and stays in Gilead to recover Hannah; June flees to Canada and is reunited with Moira and Luke and develops means of returning to Gilead to recover Hannah; or June doesn't escape, she suffers some terrible punishment similar to Emily's clitoris being cut out and Putnam's hand cut off, and is then returned to the Waterford home where she continues to work undercover with the Mayday resistance with Nick and possibly Rita. Apparently Nick's line is changed from the book (he said "Mayday" instead?) which could either mean he's lying or the show wanted to make it clearer that he's part of the resistance instead of a more ambiguous "Mayday," and the reading of his whisper to June could determine which of these scenarios may occur.

    I'm not sure which one will occur myself but I think you're right that Nick will die in some heroic fashion if June doesn't go directly to Canada.

    And her final narration is practically word-for-word from the book (as I've discovered through Google).