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Old 06-05-2019, 02:11 PM
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The Handmaid's Tale: Season 3 (open spoilers)


Head's up; season 3 premieres today on Hulu.

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Old 06-06-2019, 07:40 AM
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Oh goody! I get to go first!?

To start off, thank you alphaboi867, for the heads up; I had no idea it was back.

The tone continues to stray from the first season, but of course it has to, as the whole story arc has changed.

I think I need to watch the last couple of eps from S2 to refresh my memory. There's the usual recap at the start and I had somehow forgotten about Aunt Lydia's fate. I also can't quite recall what the deal is with Bradley Whitford's character.

I'll wait to see if anyone else chimes in, but if anyone does,
SPOILER:
was Serena sent to an asylum or to the wall?
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:56 PM
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Serena went home to her mother. It's actually a little odd since her mother is a Widow living a very comfortable life apparently without on her own (unless Serena has an unseen brother).

Cmdr Lawerence is very hard to read, but I like that. So far I get the impression that his major problem with the regime is that the theocratic bullshit is skewing their priorities and making them waste resources (like making a neonatologist work domestic service). I was expecting Hulu to drop 3 episodes at one so there was a lot to take in.

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Old 06-07-2019, 01:52 AM
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My opinion: this show has gone from one of the best serial dramas on TV to one of the worst, in just two seasons (that has to be some kind of record.) The tight writing, gripping plots, sharp direction and editing, stark and dramatic lighting and composition, all of it, are gone - replaced by tedious, asinine contrivances that are either too boring or too confusing, all apparently shot using a camera with a dusty pillowcase draped over it.

There was one moment and one moment only, where a bit of the old HT poked through: the sequence where June/Offred in Martha disguise walks through the city street leading to the laundry area, where she is told that handmaids are not allowed (because of chemicals in the air, presumably risking their childbearing ability) and we see a brief glimpse of the industrial workers of Gilead. That's what I want to see on the show - world-building, immersion, a sense of Gilead being a real place inhabited by real people and not just an abstract notion of oppressive dystopia peopled by the same handful of characters in every scene. I want to see the laundry workers of Gilead, I want to see the janitors, I want to see the barracks where the soldiers live, I want to see the scientists who work on whatever scientific shit they need, I want to see the guys who design the propaganda banners that will be displayed on the street - and so on.

I know that there are primary protagonists and antagonists who need to be the focus of the story, but there is still room for the other stuff too. Or, rather, there WOULD be room, if the directors exercised a little bit of judicious editing for economy of scene and story. Not every scene with dialog needs to have three second pauses between the lines. Not every shot of characters doing something dramatic needs to be in slow motion. Many of the scenes in the first episode of this new season could have been half as short and equally effective. They're wasting precious minutes of the show by running down the clock with bloated filler.

I've also seen just about enough of Bradley Whitford's character, Lawrence. We get it, the guy is sarcastic and aloof. As it is, he's practically channeling Bill Murray as Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic every time he finishes a sentence, like we've got to be hit over the head with the fact that he's a real quirky character. Enough! The Waterfords have also just about worn out their welcome, their overwrought personae are becoming one-dimensional and tedious.

Get it together, Hulu.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:25 AM
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My opinion: this show has gone from one of the best serial dramas on TV to one of the worst, in just two seasons (that has to be some kind of record.) The tight writing, gripping plots, sharp direction and editing, stark and dramatic lighting and composition, all of it, are gone - replaced by tedious, asinine contrivances that are either too boring or too confusing, all apparently shot using a camera with a dusty pillowcase draped over it.

There was one moment and one moment only, where a bit of the old HT poked through: the sequence where June/Offred in Martha disguise walks through the city street leading to the laundry area, where she is told that handmaids are not allowed (because of chemicals in the air, presumably risking their childbearing ability) and we see a brief glimpse of the industrial workers of Gilead. That's what I want to see on the show - world-building, immersion, a sense of Gilead being a real place inhabited by real people and not just an abstract notion of oppressive dystopia peopled by the same handful of characters in every scene. I want to see the laundry workers of Gilead, I want to see the janitors, I want to see the barracks where the soldiers live, I want to see the scientists who work on whatever scientific shit they need, I want to see the guys who design the propaganda banners that will be displayed on the street - and so on.

I know that there are primary protagonists and antagonists who need to be the focus of the story, but there is still room for the other stuff too. Or, rather, there WOULD be room, if the directors exercised a little bit of judicious editing for economy of scene and story. Not every scene with dialog needs to have three second pauses between the lines. Not every shot of characters doing something dramatic needs to be in slow motion. Many of the scenes in the first episode of this new season could have been half as short and equally effective. They're wasting precious minutes of the show by running down the clock with bloated filler.

I've also seen just about enough of Bradley Whitford's character, Lawrence. We get it, the guy is sarcastic and aloof. As it is, he's practically channeling Bill Murray as Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic every time he finishes a sentence, like we've got to be hit over the head with the fact that he's a real quirky character. Enough! The Waterfords have also just about worn out their welcome, their overwrought personae are becoming one-dimensional and tedious.

Get it together, Hulu.
I tend to agree. This season has been very lackluster.
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:37 PM
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I've only watched the first episode and was very underwhelmed. Once they ran out of book the writers seem to have real trouble making a coherent story. Some great looking scenes but it doesn't really seem to make any sense.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:47 PM
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Yeah, the worldbuilding leaves a lot to be desired. Also Kylie Jenner threw a Handmaid themed birthday party complete with signature cocktails like Under His Eye Tequila and Praised Be Vodka.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:22 PM
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I'm still enjoying it. I'm invested now - I have to see it to fruition!
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:47 PM
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I like that her new digs are an Underground Railroad for Marthas, but I think it would have been better for if it had been revealed more gradually. Also, I was totally confused when that one Martha got shot. Seems like they crammed way too much stuff in that one episode (or perhaps I need stop multitasking while watching this show).

I did like how Serena's mother went from a fount of loving kindness to evil all-knowing bitch in a matter of seconds, though. I should have guessed that was coming, but I didn't.

Perhaps highly ranked widows get generous pensions. I imagine that women in her position might also earn some cash by doing work for the church and whatnot.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:25 PM
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Aunts have many privileges, including driving the their own scooters. We saw a flash of the old Serena Joy, but there's only so much she can do behind the scenes and we know how suddenly her mood shifts. On the other hand she has a lot less left to loose now. And as cruel as the Handmaid system is she does have a point; events like this reception make everyone uncomfortable and don't really serve a point. It's bad enough that Handmaids have to silently watch as their stolen children are publicly paraded before them by other people they have to act like happy party guests (who stay in the kitchen & can't eat from the buffet) at the risk of brutal punishment if they step out of line. And it's not like Janine isn't already known for mental problems. What I'm really curious about is whether Aunt Lydia is going to suffer any kind of consequences for her actions. I mean I doubt beating Janine is the issue, but she did loose control in a room full of horrified Wives & Commanders and a baby (as opposed to having Janine dragged out of the room and punished later). Everything we've seen so far suggests she's the highest ranking Aunt in the district, but she clearly answers to someone. Either there's an unseen Commander overall in charge of the Red Center or maybe she answers directly to the District Council?
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:19 PM
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I'm having trouble suspending disbelief with this whole subplot of trying to get Fred and Serena back together. They are in a dystopian patriarchy where women are used as breeding stock and forbidden to read. You think a simple instruction to go back to your husband and do what he tells you would be dreadfully easy to enforce. Hell, we did that sort of thing in this country 30 or 40 years ago.

Also, the more openly aggressive June becomes, I don't understand how this society allows her to remain free. People are executed for trivial things, but she practices open defiance without consequence.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:00 PM
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Everything we've seen so far suggests she's the highest ranking Aunt in the district, but she clearly answers to someone. Either there's an unseen Commander overall in charge of the Red Center or maybe she answers directly to the District Council?
Those are interesting questions. But we won't get answers to them.

That's what's wrong with this show, or rather, what the show has become, as I still hold the first season in high regard. But it's changed. There's no more world-building. There's no more exploration of the interesting details of Gilead.

You may know of the concept in show-writing called "the bottle episode." Basically an episode with a greatly scaled-back scope, with a skeleton crew of a cast, confined to a small set, heavy on dialogue. It's a convenient contrivance for when the show's budget, or schedule, or both, are tight. "Fly" was one such episode on Breaking Bad. Well, every episode of The Handmaid's Tale is now essentially a bottle episode. After this season so far, I'm convinced of it.

Based on that, I expect every episode from here on out to essentially be summed up as "the same small handful of people, talking to each other, slowly, in a handful of different rooms." And it's a shame, because there's so much potential, but ever since they deviated from the book, they're out to lunch.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:11 PM
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Well said. I'm half watching along with my wife and it seems to degenerated into long pregnant pauses interspersed with dramatic scenes with no apparent plot I can make sense of. Which is a real shame as season one was excellent.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:18 PM
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Well the ending was certainly unexpected. What the hell is Fred's plan here? What's his comeback going to be if the Canadians do something really simple like demand June and him show up in person for a Family Court hearing or DNA test? Who are they trying to fool with June meekly & silently standing in the background? I don't see the point unless Gilead is really planning to use Nicole/Holly as a pretext to attack Canada (personally if I escaped from Gilead I'd try like hell to be resettled in Australia).

Serena was as wildly inconsistent as ever, if it weren't so early in the season I might actually believed she'd defect. She's obviously valuable enough not to have to worry about being tried for treason or crimes against humanity. The cassette tapes were a nice touch. I wonder if we'll finally get to see Fred on the wrong side of a purge this season. If push comes to shove I can still see Serena selling him out and giving whatever performance is asked of her at the show trial.
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:50 AM
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Gilead is still fighting with the United States, which is probably seen as a civil war by most of the world's nations. Attacking Canada would be a real act of aggression against another nation, and I'm not convinced that Gilead is strong enough to face the USA, Canada, and any of Canada's allies simultaneously.

I certainly can't believe that anyone in Canada would shed tears for Fred's and Serena's video -- the Canadians know what's going on in Gilead. On the other hand, Gilead does clearly have some sympathetic spies in Ontario, having fetched the baby's medical records and all.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:38 AM
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This past season has been garbage. No more drama. No more tension. No more world-building. No more "oh shit!" moments.

Just an unending series of the same handful of characters having slow, tedious conversations in dimly lit rooms, and close ups of Elizabeth Moss's face grimacing. I'm so over it.
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:57 PM
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This third season has us almost ready to give up on the show. As Dread Pirate Jimbo so accurately pointed out, the first season was all about the horrors of a modern world where women have lost ALL their human rights. This last season has focused almost exclusively on babies, children, and motherhood. I believe the irony would be completely lost on the writers of the show that they have reduced women to walking incubators who ONLY care about babies and children.

I can't figure June out, either. She is the stupidest person alive, is all I can figure. She has absolutely no concept of do the hard thing now so you can do other things in the future. She stayed in Gilead to get Hannah out? The only thing that matters to her in the world is the daughter that is safe and happy with a different family? I'll stay in Gilead and have zero power and be at risk of being killed for literally looking at someone wrong instead of getting out and getting safe and working to fight against the whole system from the outside - best decision EVER!!!!! Are we supposed to be assuming that June is working up to become a resistance leader or some such nonsense?
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:17 PM
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June ain't no Harriet Tubman, that's for sure. Harriet got the hell out of Slavery Land (Maryland) so she could harness the resources she needed to successfully rescue her family. Because no one got a slap on the hand for being a runaway slave. You get caught and you are either going to be executed or tortured in the most public way to deter any copycats. So you get the hell out while you can and then worry about how you are going to reunite the family.

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Old 06-25-2019, 06:55 AM
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I hate to say it, because I love the book,loved the first season, and usually adore EMoss, but making June into some badass is really not working, at least not for me. As others have mentioned, "the rules" apparently don't apply to her; she would have been on The Wall long ago. And the scene with her and Serena by the pool, sitting back in the lounge chair and glaring at the camera? I thought she was going to go into a Dr. Evil style soliloquy. All she needed was a cat to stroke.

On a different note, I'm not sure I understand what's going on with Emily and her wife. I realize their separation and all that followed have been traumatic but why do they seem so awkward with one another? Weren't they happily married when Emily got detained? When they finally reunited it was like they were distant relatives or something.Has it been explained that the wife (sorry I forget her character's name)had moved on and is with someone else or something? Why on earth would Emily stay at a hotel?
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:36 AM
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I hate to say it, because I love the book,loved the first season, and usually adore EMoss, but making June into some badass is really not working, at least not for me.<snip>
Maybe they just aren't there yet, but I don't understand what June is doing AT ALL. She's becoming a bad-ass? She's going to become the leader of the revolution? She's just going to be all determined one minute and crying and doing something stupid the next? Work with us here, writers. Help us to understand what you're trying to do.
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On a different note, I'm not sure I understand what's going on with Emily and her wife. I realize their separation and all that followed have been traumatic but why do they seem so awkward with one another? Weren't they happily married when Emily got detained? When they finally reunited it was like they were distant relatives or something.Has it been explained that the wife (sorry I forget her character's name)had moved on and is with someone else or something? Why on earth would Emily stay at a hotel?
I understand that they will be awkward with each other at first, but for the love of all that's holy, start talking with each other at some point!
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:53 AM
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This third season has us almost ready to give up on the show. As Dread Pirate Jimbo so accurately pointed out, the first season was all about the horrors of a modern world where women have lost ALL their human rights. This last season has focused almost exclusively on babies, children, and motherhood. I believe the irony would be completely lost on the writers of the show that they have reduced women to walking incubators who ONLY care about babies and children
You know, I've been feeling this too about the whole season, but I didn't really have the words to articulate it, it was just a vague feeling. But here you have described it exactly. Yes, it's ironic, and it's evidence of the show-writing falling apart.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:55 PM
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...On a different note, I'm not sure I understand what's going on with Emily and her wife. I realize their separation and all that followed have been traumatic but why do they seem so awkward with one another? Weren't they happily married when Emily got detained? When they finally reunited it was like they were distant relatives or something.Has it been explained that the wife (sorry I forget her character's name)had moved on and is with someone else or something? Why on earth would Emily stay at a hotel?
Emily is severely traumatized; she's been enslaved, tortured, repeatedly raped by multiple men, and subjected to female genital mutilation. The FGM was a result of her cheating on her wife with a Martha and it's not clear if she's even told her wife yet. Her wife & son spent years in a horrible limbo where they didn't even know if she was alive or dead. Her son doesn't really know here. Emily was an accomplished university professor before Gilead and now she can't even get through an eye test or reading a children's book without getting overwhelmed.

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...I can't figure June out, either. She is the stupidest person alive, is all I can figure. She has absolutely no concept of do the hard thing now so you can do other things in the future...Are we supposed to be assuming that June is working up to become a resistance leader or some such nonsense?
Yes, June isn't nearly as smart or as strong as she thinks she is. She repeatedly makes very stupid decisions without regard to the consequences to herself or others. She's gotten at least one person sent to the Wall before, and she had dozens of people risk death to not only get her out of Gilead, but to get her out of Gilead with her newborn, and she basically shat on them when she decided to stay. And she has been called out on this by Cmdr. Lawrence, but I think the writers really are setting her up to become some kind of resistance leader. It's hard to believe that her and the Waterfords constantly covering for each other has worked this long. I'm actually starting to think it hasn't worked and the Eyes know a lot about all the shit that's gone down, but it's just doing into a file to be used against Fred if the Eyes want to blackmail or purge him.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:59 AM
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I'm still enjoying the show and I'm going to continue watching but last night's episode had me saying "oh come oooooonnnn" over and over.

So, what? Nick was this great military leader and his reward was to be a chauffeur? Not made a commander, given a big house, a wife, a handmaid of his own?

Why would the handmaids be leading prayer for the return of a baby - wouldn't the "mother's" aka the commanders wives be leading prayer? The handmaids aren't "mothers" they're "vessels". And if Serena really wanted to see Nicole, wouldn't she have just stayed in Canada where Nicole is and the husband she hates isn't!

Uh oh! Is the commander going to catch teh gay?
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:21 PM
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Either High Cmdr Winlow is gay, or that was a truly massive red herring. I wonder if he's sireing his own offspring or if Mrs Winslow is pimping out her Handmaids. Gileadean DC was worse than I thought, I was not expecting the Handmaids to "silenced" under their gags. And it's apparently the norm for Handmaids in the capital. Even Aunt Lydia, who's had Handmaids mutilated was appalled. As for Nick, he was never just a chauffeur; he was an undercover Eye who's main job was to spy on Fred. And apparently he was one of the gunmen who attacked Congress too. I can't tell who I wanted June to shove down the steps more.

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Old 06-28-2019, 06:41 AM
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It's funny because until this most recent episode I thought the Commanders we have been following were the highest echelons of power. I knew there was that one higher guy who showed up in the flashbacks but besides him I assumed Fred was part of the council that ran things. He was in the inner circle that carried out their revolution after all and Joseph supposedly created their economy. Those sound like they would be high up guys.

With regard to Emily, maybe I am way off base but I thought the awkwardness was because her former wife was with someone else now in Canada.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:20 PM
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With regard to Emily, maybe I am way off base but I thought the awkwardness was because her former wife was with someone else now in Canada.

Is she? I hadn't noticed that.
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Old 06-29-2019, 11:44 PM
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The season continues to plod along at a snail's pace, with endless scenes of two people talking very quietly and very slowly in a bunch of very dark rooms with just barely enough ambient light to see their faces. There are approximately 19,000 close-ups of tears running down cheeks. Opportunities for interesting expository dialog are thrown away in favor of further discussion of the fate of Nichole, an unseen character. We're introduced to Christopher Meloni and we get to see him for all of three seconds. Then Fred's prayer, which I would at least expect to be interestingly reflective of his sociopathic mind, is just a small handful of boilerplate blather. Then the episode ends.

Other than that, it was awesome.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:10 PM
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It's funny because until this most recent episode I thought the Commanders we have been following were the highest echelons of power. I knew there was that one higher guy who showed up in the flashbacks but besides him I assumed Fred was part of the council that ran things. He was in the inner circle that carried out their revolution after all and Joseph supposedly created their economy. Those sound like they would be high up guys...
I always thought it was clear that we were seeing the local elite of Boston, not the national elite. Granted it's confusing because of stuff like Fred being so involved in foreign trade negotiations. I think Pryce and his role in designing the Handmaid system was just the national authorities solicited proposals from local Commanders and their proposal won. I'm enjoying the glimpses into Gileadean high society like the Waterfords dining out a fancy restaurant complete with menus Serena Joy can't read or a ball where all the Wives are wearing a variety of ballgowns in different shades of blue (some even showed cleavage). Or house hunting were the Jewish Baptist owners "left in a hurry".

If I were a refugee in Canada I'd really, really being trying to get resettled outside of North America now. The very notion that Canada is even considering something that could remotely be considered an extradition treaty is terrifying. Emily stabbed "her supervisor" in the back? Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it's extremely telling that the government minister's reflexive talking point is that "the birth mother already surrendered her rights". Also in the preview for next week...

SPOILER:
...it looks like we're finally get some insight into Aunt Lydia's life pre-Gilead.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:13 PM
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Welp, another episode full of stage whispers, grimacing, slow motion, and nothing happening. Glad to see that the show is at least consistent.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:48 PM
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<snip>
If I were a refugee in Canada I'd really, really being trying to get resettled outside of North America now. The very notion that Canada is even considering something that could remotely be considered an extradition treaty is terrifying. Emily stabbed "her supervisor" in the back? Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it's extremely telling that the government minister's reflexive talking point is that "the birth mother already surrendered her rights".<snip>
We need far more explanation of how Canada would possibly even be considering sending a baby girl back into slavery, especially knowing that her birth mother was the one who sent her out and clearly stated she wants her to be safe in Canada. And they do know that Gilead treats women as slaves - they’ve had plenty of refugees telling them.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:00 PM
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We need far more explanation about a lot of things, but the show creators have apparently deemed us unworthy of learning it. There's plenty of interesting material that could be explored - for instance the leverage that Gilead presumably holds over other countries in the world, due to their (presumably) having nuclear weapons or some other magic death card up their sleeve. You'd think they would at least have some characters talk about this stuff, second or third hand, if not outright showing scenes of the inner workings of the Gilead government...but they have other priorities, clearly.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:01 AM
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We need far more explanation about a lot of things, but the show creators have apparently deemed us unworthy of learning it. There's plenty of interesting material that could be explored - for instance the leverage that Gilead presumably holds over other countries in the world, due to their (presumably) having nuclear weapons or some other magic death card up their sleeve. You'd think they would at least have some characters talk about this stuff, second or third hand, if not outright showing scenes of the inner workings of the Gilead government...but they have other priorities, clearly.
I was thinking more about the scene with the Swiss people telling June why the Canadian government is even considering giving Nicole back, and none of it rings true to me. We have already been told that the rest of the world has economic sanctions on Gilead, and that is the only power that Gilead would have over Canada. If the US/Gilead and Canada aren't huge trading partners any longer, Canada would just walk away from any demands to return a female refugee baby to a place where they know she will be a slave.

The idea of Gilead marching an army on Toronto to get a baby is ridiculous; sure, go ahead. Give the rest of the world an excuse to vaporize your part of the country. The only thing that makes any kind of sense would be the spies that have obviously infiltrated Canada taking the baby under cover of night, and they don't need official talks to do that.

Last edited by Cat Whisperer; 07-04-2019 at 11:03 AM.
  #33  
Old 07-04-2019, 11:04 AM
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I was also thinking about June refusing to take refuge in Canada at the last minute, and the only way that makes sense is that the writers need her to remain in Gilead to continue the show. Bad, bad writing!
  #34  
Old 07-10-2019, 02:58 PM
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Well June is getting a lot more dark than I expected. As for Aunt Lydia the theories about her being a schoolteacher were correct. Did not expect her to have been a lawyer too. Interesting how even pre-Gilead she changed careers into something more in line with traditional gender roles. It's also quite disturbing that even before the coup privatized child welfare agencies were using religious piety as a measure of parental fitness and could quickly move children through foster care to more "worthy" families. We've seen signs of the Sons of Jacob's growing early influence in other flashbacks, like June suddenly needing her husband to sign off on her birth control.

I also liked the glimpse into the inner workings of the Red Center. The Aunts discussing Handmaid assignments over drinks was so banal it was almost black comedy. Apparently some Commanders are allowed to be picky about the race of their Handmaid without be removed from consideration. Also even the Aunts use the given names of unassigned Handmaids. I've been wondering how that worked; it seemed like it would be too awkward to constantly revert to serial numbers when they're between assignments.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:46 PM
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Wow. That was actually a good episode. I daresay it was the only good episode in the past two seasons, in my opinion, but at any rate, it was a good episode. Every episode should be like that, and every episode COULD be like that, if the show creators were not so relentlessly stingy about utilizing flashbacks, world-building, and scenes that humanize the characters.
  #36  
Old 07-24-2019, 05:59 PM
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June ain't no Harriet Tubman...
Well it looks like that's exactly what she's going for; we'll see how that goes. It seems Gilead is undergoing a crackdown on the ruling class; in the book from was one of the Commanders who ended up purged for not following their own laws. And now Serena is tempting Fred to commit high treason. This "morality drive" does not bode well for the Jezebels. It was interesting how Aunt Lydia was interacting with High Cmdr. Winslow; it almost sounded like she was a peer he'd have to negotiate with instead of someone he can simply around.

It was an interesting turn to see a Ceremony that was harder on the Commander & his Wife than the Handmaid, but I don't really give a shit about how Lawrence felt about it. Is it that Mrs. Lawrence can't her medication because it's simply either unavailable or forbidden in Gilead, or because they can't trust a psychiatrist to tread her without reporting to the Eyes? Cmdr. Lawrence was able to get birth control pills when pressed hard enough.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:40 PM
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I feel like this show is becoming more like Salo every week, with a few minutes at the end of A New Hope to keep us on the line. I'm pretty close to jumping off completely.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:07 PM
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Yeah, it's a bunch of bullshit. The writers are running it into the ground.

The lighting design continues to drive me crazy. We're repeatedly shown rooms that have as many as three or more different lamps and fixtures of various kinds, all of them emitting just enough of a dim glow to let us know that the bulbs are in fact there, but not throwing out ANY ambient light whatsoever, so that the room is essentially a black void in all of the areas that are more than a few inches away from the lamps. I get that they're trying to be dramatic and create a Caravaggio-like "camera obscura" effect, but it pulls me right out of the scene every time because it's so blatantly stage-lit and not remotely like real life looks.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:02 PM
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So I have a couple thoughts about this week's episode. Jezebel's has really fantastic maid service; just how many Commanders have never left there? The swastikas in the woodwork were a bit over the top though. And apparently Gilead has isolated unfortified border regions where people can pass back and forth with ease? Still I loved the look on Fred's face when he realized what Serena did. Hulu's renewed the show for season 4; does June get out or not? If she does then that's a pretty drastic change to the show's narrative; if she doesn't then she'll have to go completely underground. Like WWII partisans hiding in the forest underground. She's not going to be able to pull off "being kidnapped by heretics" again.
  #40  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:55 PM
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I was able to overlook the glaring detail of the unprotected border because finally a good episode! I haven't enjoyed an episode in so damn long. Yes, it's still not near as good as it was but I loved that something actually happened. I knew that she'd have to kill him as soon as she kicked him. She can't survive attacking a commander. It was good to finally see someone actually die who needed killin'.

Although it's nice to see something happen to Fred, he's not going to end up on the wall because Canada isn't going to execute anyone.
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Old 08-02-2019, 02:40 AM
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A question regarding this episode. When the Waterfords stay overnight in the household before they reach the Canadian border, the householders sing a few songs which set Serena off.

Neither of the songs was familiar to me. Were they particularly significant, or were they just allowing Serena to reflect on what they were about to do?

The border itself doesn't appear to have been defended, or particularly marked. But I just looked it up - its nearly 9,000 km long so even if they controlled a small remnant section Gilead would need thousands of personnel to manage all the crossings. And considering that Canada remained a country with which they were desperately attempting to maintain civil relations, so they didn't descend into a warlike footing, I could believe that backwater roads were not patrolled.

I must admit, apart from the general darkness and occasional mumbling that annoys me, I don't have the same problem with the story that some others up the page seem to have. Not as good as Series 1 but still serviceable TV.
  #42  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:45 AM
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A question regarding this episode. When the Waterfords stay overnight in the household before they reach the Canadian border, the householders sing a few songs which set Serena off.

Neither of the songs was familiar to me. Were they particularly significant, or were they just allowing Serena to reflect on what they were about to do?

The border itself doesn't appear to have been defended, or particularly marked. But I just looked it up - its nearly 9,000 km long so even if they controlled a small remnant section Gilead would need thousands of personnel to manage all the crossings. And considering that Canada remained a country with which they were desperately attempting to maintain civil relations, so they didn't descend into a warlike footing, I could believe that backwater roads were not patrolled.

I must admit, apart from the general darkness and occasional mumbling that annoys me, I don't have the same problem with the story that some others up the page seem to have. Not as good as Series 1 but still serviceable TV.
Pretty sure Dona Nobis Pacem is one of them.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:53 PM
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Pretty sure Dona Nobis Pacem is one of them.
Thanks Chefguy.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:50 PM
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Well I honestly can't fault June for letting Mrs. Lawrence die; she really didn't have much of a choice. It was a huge mistake to let her in on the plans. That being said her death is still going to complicate things. Cmdr. Lawrence has less incentive to leave Gilead now (especially that he seems to be getting his status restored), but he's also in way too deeply now to easily abort now.

Also now that he's a widower won't June have to return to the Red Center for reassignment to another household? I was expecting Aunt Lydia to take her back after the service. Maybe there's a waiting period to see if she's pregnant. I can see Gilead allowing a widowed Commander to keep his own children (since he'd have Marthas to help) even if they take don't allow Widows to do the same. They probably get assigned new Wives as soon as their mourning period is over.
  #45  
Old 08-10-2019, 08:33 PM
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Doing the free 30 day trial this month specifically to catch up on this show, which (like every other hulu show) I hadn't seen before. Unfortunately I already caught up to current so now I have to wait four days for the season finale like a sucker.

I've read the endless complaints about how the scenes are too dark, but I think that's an intentional bit of cleverness. Gilead is green, I think to the point where Commander Waterford claimed complete carbon neutrality. The show seems to be implying that part of it is because they don't really use lights, instead relying mostly on natural light. By contrast, the scenes in Canada are all brightly lit. Gilead has no street lights, and not much in the way of interior lighting by modern standards. I got the impression that when the sun goes down, everyone stays indoors until sunrise.

June never knew how good she had it until she went to DC. Good grief, those rings seem impractically harsh. I assume they can be removed to eat; even if they all drank their meals with a straw, that can't be the best way to maintain a healthy diet for a pregnant woman. If they can't be removed, I would assume they'd have all their teeth pulled before being ringed since there'd be no way to maintain proper dental hygiene.

For all of the mutilations the society inflicts on handmaids -- chopping off hands, gouging out eyes, cutting out tongues, burning while chained to a stove (!), FGM, silencing with mouth rings -- I would think they'd just do ice pick lobotomies instead. Hell, I'd expect they wouldn't even bother with it as punishment, but instead have a lobotomy be the first order of business on day 1 of handmaid school. No further mutilations required. Surely some of the commanders and wives would voice concern over having visibly mutilated women living in their house, right? I mean, Janine's pussy and leaking empty eye socket can't be appetizing around the kitchen.

I still can't get over June not getting on the truck at the end of season 2. Totally agreed with the comment in the thread that the only reason she stayed is because the show needs her to be in Gilead for the show to continue, which is the height of bad writing. For me personally, I think I would have been more invested if June got out with Emily (and Nichole/Holly) and season 3 was all about refugees in Canada working together to set up an underground railroad.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 08-10-2019 at 08:38 PM.
  #46  
Old 08-10-2019, 08:40 PM
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Sorry, missed edit window. In the above post, when I say Janine's "pussy" eye socket I meant "full of pus."

Googling reveals that the word I was looking for is "purulent," which I've never heard before.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 08-10-2019 at 08:42 PM.
  #47  
Old 08-11-2019, 10:23 AM
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Sorry, missed edit window. In the above post, when I say Janine's "pussy" eye socket I meant "full of pus."

Googling reveals that the word I was looking for is "purulent," which I've never heard before.
I'm so glad you clarified that because I was thinking "what???"
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:04 PM
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Yeah, that was possibly my worst "misspelling" ever. I'm almost tempted to beg the mods to edit it because it's so jarringly bad. In my head while typing I was thinking "gas => gassy, pus => pussy" and pronouncing with a short U in my head, not even realizing the word I was actually writing.


I've been thinking about June's plan to save the children, and I'm not sure if it's an entirely moral choice. Not saying I'm against her plan, but I'm picturing it in the context of the real world and it doesn't sound great. Imagine a Western democracy sent in special forces to steal rescue children from a Taliban-style regime. That would rightfully be decried as a heinous war crime, I would think.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:33 PM
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... I've been thinking about June's plan to save the children, and I'm not sure if it's an entirely moral choice. Not saying I'm against her plan, but I'm picturing it in the context of the real world and it doesn't sound great. Imagine a Western democracy sent in special forces to steal rescue children from a Taliban-style regime. That would rightfully be decried as a heinous war crime, I would think.
One line delivered by June also implied the children could also be seen as a commodity of value to Canada. From memory, this was in discussion with Commander Lawrence, perhaps appealing to his economic mind.

And don't worry about the 'pussy' typo - it made you sound so presidential.
  #50  
Old 08-11-2019, 08:53 PM
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One line delivered by June also implied the children could also be seen as a commodity of value to Canada. From memory, this was in discussion with Commander Lawrence, perhaps appealing to his economic mind.

And don't worry about the 'pussy' typo - it made you sound so presidential.
I think the value of the children to Commander Lawrence is that, if he frees children, the Canadian court could go easier on him.
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