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I thought I had ranted enough about it, but then episode 6 came out.

What the hell, seriously.

Even with the lesbians the previously strong characters are a pathetic codependent shred of their former selves.

I thought that as soon as Oona declined to help June, Moira would break up with her. I mean, it’s certainly a deal breaker that your partner doesn’t show compassion, right? Wrong. Not only is Oona who breaks up (and fires her) but Moira goes to her and says that she hopes that this can be separated from “us”.

Then June. I thought I had reached my cringe limit with her when she kissed and said she loved the dude who SENT HER TO TORTURE because aT LeAsT sHe’LL bE aLiVe. But we reached a new low this episode, where her biggest concern, in the present and the past, was Luke’s approval. In the flashback, she’s worried that she’s going to disappoint him because he really wants babies and she doesn’t know if she can give him babies. Is this flashback from the 50’s or something?!? Then in the present we’re supposed to swallow with no critical reading whatsoever the scene where she’s concerned that he’s not going to accept her if she doesn’t bring their daughter (a daughter who btw he seems to have totally forgotten when he’s at the porch with Nicole and Moira, whining about how sELfiSh June was to remain in Gilead and “leave everyone here”. Everyone?! Yep, let me see, you, me, this baby, yep, that’s everyone, no one else I can recollect right now). She’s all worried that he’s going to reject her if she shows up without the girl. And we’re supposed to share this journey. No “oh wow, what a dickhead if he doesn’t”, or “hunny, you’ve been to hell and back, what do you care if a dude who hasn’t experienced a tenth of your trauma starts making demands?”. No, we’re back on chick-flick mode guided to think “awww, hope he takes her back, hope he understands”.

I mean, Margareth Atwood’s book is long gone since season 2, but right now it’s becoming a joke. Not surprised at all that the writer is a MAN.

Next thing will be a TIM being oPpReSsEd in Gilead, mark my words.

I thought I had ranted enough about it, but then episode 6 came out. What the hell, seriously. Even with the lesbians the previously strong characters are a pathetic codependent shred of their former selves. I thought that >! as soon as Oona declined to help June, Moira would break up with her. I mean, it’s certainly a deal breaker that your partner doesn’t show compassion, right? Wrong. Not only is Oona who breaks up (and fires her) but Moira goes to her and says that she hopes that this can be separated from “us”. !< Then June. I thought I had reached my cringe limit with her when >! she kissed and said she loved the dude who SENT HER TO TORTURE because aT LeAsT sHe’LL bE aLiVe. But we reached a new low this episode, where her biggest concern, in the present and the past, was Luke’s approval. In the flashback, she’s worried that she’s going to disappoint him because he really wants babies and she doesn’t know if she can give him babies. Is this flashback from the 50’s or something?!? Then in the present we’re supposed to swallow with no critical reading whatsoever the scene where she’s concerned that he’s not going to accept her if she doesn’t bring their daughter (a daughter who btw he seems to have totally forgotten when he’s at the porch with Nicole and Moira, whining about how sELfiSh June was to remain in Gilead and “leave everyone here”. Everyone?! Yep, let me see, you, me, this baby, yep, that’s everyone, no one else I can recollect right now). She’s all worried that he’s going to reject her if she shows up without the girl. And we’re supposed to share this journey. No “oh wow, what a dickhead if he doesn’t”, or “hunny, you’ve been to hell and back, what do you care if a dude who hasn’t experienced a tenth of your trauma starts making demands?”. No, we’re back on chick-flick mode guided to think “awww, hope he takes her back, hope he understands”. !< I mean, Margareth Atwood’s book is long gone since season 2, but right now it’s becoming a joke. Not surprised at all that the writer is a MAN. Next thing will be a TIM being oPpReSsEd in Gilead, mark my words.

14 comments

[–] [Deleted] 20 points (+20|-0)

Yeah it's always bothered me that women leave Gilead and now they're in heels all the time. Um, what?? It might be nitpicking but they can finally choose what to wear and this is supposed to be a representation of freedom? Also it bothers me how religious they all still are. Like do you not understand that it's religion that did this to you? It seems to always have this underlying message of "this isn't REAL Christianity"

[–] Feerique 7 points (+7|-0)

It's true Hollywood often wants to tiptoe the line on Christianity but that does mirror reality. Currently tons of women live in oppressive religious communities and when they finally escape, many are still religious though they might join a less restrictive sect.

[–] [Deleted] 8 points (+8|-0)

Sure but the handmaids weren't born in Gilead. They grew up in America before it was taken over and I doubt that June's mom raised her to be particularly religious but she's constantly going on about god

[–] Feerique 6 points (+6|-0)

That's a fair point but conditioning is hard to escape. Women who escape domestic abuse situations will often keep internalizing the abuse they suffered.

[–] Xact 8 points (+8|-0)

I have to completely disagree with you.

Firstly, those flashback scenes with Luke were not depicted as pro-Luke. His thinking is 1950's, and that's the point. In fact, throughout the whole series, most flashbacks of Luke have shown him as someone pretty problematic in regards to women. If anything, I took those scenes to align with how similar Luke's thinking is with Gilead, as well as all the men on the show, including Nick. Time and time again, they depict how females become more valuable to men (and society) when they carry a baby. Luke's flashbacks show a man that treated his first wife as disposable and apparently judged her worth (and eventually June's worth) by their capabilities to birth his baby. Nick seemed to become more steadfast on getting June out of Gilead once she became the mother of his child. And in Gilead, women are nothing beyond their capability to nurture children or birth children. It shows you something very real there, which is the mental absurdity of our current society (and all of civilized human history) that sees inherent value in the children that come from women, and not the women themselves, the fucking CREATORS of the children...the creators of all human beings. How fucked is that? We are seen by men and society as disposable, even though nothing exists without us. Our bodies are literal gods on earth.

So far, this season has been showing us how Gilead is not just Gilead, but a mentality (misogyny) that we already see existing outside of Gilead. They come across the resistance movement, the "good guys", and the leader sexually exploits them, just as men do in real life in left-wing movements 24/7. This was such a significant scene, helping to make people understand a larger context that exists outside of the right-wing patriarchal fascism.

As far as June kissing Nick, I think a lot of people miss the complex position he's in within Gilead. Even though he's gaining more power, he's still living in a fascist state where he's having to balance keeping his power so he can help June get out (which has always been his goal, and he's coordinated to get her out twice). He definitely didn't put the orders in to torture her. I 100% got the impression he's been trying to stay as close to her as possible so he could help as much as he possibly could under the pretty impossible circumstances.

June's biggest concern was not disappointing Luke, it was leaving without her daughter. That's been her whole fight this whole time. She barely even agreed to go to Canada. I think once she realized she would be seeing Luke, her thought process shifted to the fact that she's about to see her husband after all these years. But more importantly, I think that it's more symbolic for her because she probably thinks seeing Luke means her fight is over. She probably imagined that the next time she saw him she would have Hannah with her. That completely makes sense to me from an emotional perspective. Remember, June was out of sorts. I don't think the writers were trying to legitimize the idea that June owes Luke his daughter. This series is extremely critical of men (all men), which is one of the main reasons I love it.

As far as Luke's lack of acknowledgment of Hannah, I completely agree with you there. I think that was a majorly weak spot in the writing for a while. For example, when Luke met Serena with baby Nicole last season, the logical thing to do would have been to ask to see Hannah in return. Realistically, Luke would probably even exchange Nicole for Hannah, as bad as that would have been, but a desperate father is going to do whatever it takes. I also didn't like when Moira and Luke seemed to be shit talking June and some of the narratives that suggest June takes too many risks and gets people hurt.

And with Oona and Moira, I think that situation was a bit more complicated than what I initially thought when I saw the preview because they're risking losing their access to help large masses of people, and apparently this is how it is in real life with organizations that provide relief and aid in other countries. I think it raised a really good, age old moral dilemma of helping the greater good vs sacrificing an individual. With that being said, I agree that Oona was being pretty thoughtless, and I also would have thought Moira would break up with her, even if her logic made sense, it still seems to have crossed a line that can't be forgotten.

My guess is, they're setting the groundwork for June's relationship with Luke and Moira to be more rocky and not as anticipated, similar to the way it was for Emily when she came home.

There's zero room for TIM's in Gilead. Zero, which is another reason it's so brilliantly done. Misogyny is being depicted at its root. This is exploitation of bodies. Worries over oppression via clothing ranks at the bottom of the list of things happening in Gilead.

Idk, there were a ton of desperate people left who needed help. Oona seemed to say that their group would be closed for taking someone back, and it’s reasonable that Gilead won’t allow another mission like that if they find out June escaped. What’s that thing about pulling a train lever to save a bunch of people but choosing to kill a few who would’ve survived otherwise? They saved June and lost the ability to help everyone left behind. I still think they did the right thing but. I don’t think Moira should’ve been upset with Oona for seeing the bigger picture. It didn’t feel out of character to me.

I took the “are you gonna leave me without a baby” thing as meant to show how much June has grown up since then. It does seem pretty weird for a fertility crisis, but, idk maybe we’re meant to see June as just being super insecure back then. She DID marry a man who cheated on his wife, which is at least a little sketchy—I don’t think she had her self worth shit together pre-Gilead.

I also find it realistic that Luke is less obsessed with getting Hannah out. Idk he seems like an okay dad but I mean even Janine seems like she might be willing to escape without her son (who she thinks is still alive). I do hope they show SOME sign that he’s been affected by Hannah not escaping but. I think June is an outlier for how far she’ll go to try and get what she wants. I’m pretty sure things with Luke are over soon, I think they just tried to give this happy reunion before the “oh, right, all that trauma + mystery love rape baby” shatters everything.

Didn’t know they had a man writing this show. If they ever throw in a transwoman, it better be at a brothel or something. If they pretend someone just passed well enough I’m out.

[–] Jade [OP] 1 points (+1|-0)

I get the lever and train point. But the person is on the boat already. It’s not “let’s not try to rescue her”, it’s literally “let’s throw her at the dogs”. But fine. That’s Oona’s point of view. That’s her values. What bothered me was just that Moira, who has opposite values, who cares so much about her best friend, who strongly believes in finding a way, would not only not break up with someone who showed herself to be so ethically opposite to her, but after she is the one who’s dumped (because Oona did draw this line), still expects to stay together, and goes there and says it.

Maybe it’s because I’m a survivor of a toxic relationship (the person turned out to be a sociopath), but I get particularly affected when I see someone giving away their own boundaries and core values to stay together with someone.

As much as Oona still has a logical point, from Moira’s point of view, her partner has literally said “sorry mate, your friend’s gotta go”, with callous clarity. She didn’t think twice (until the last moment of course). I understand it’s too comon in real life to act like Moira did, and when you’re involved it’s harder to see through the fog, but from the outside, I can’t help but think that given the situation, her partner would have had no second thoughts about giving me in for the sake of “what’s right”.

Ah certainly. Luke and June are going to fight and she’ll end the show with Nick. There’s a whole new season ahead, so with this current sloooow pace there’s going to be a lot of extreme close ups of June angry staring at the camera before that happens.

[–] remquarqk 6 points (+7|-1)

I'm also annoyed Moira didn't have more of a backbone in the moment. However, I did think the interaction was realistic. When dealing with a partner who lacks compassion, sometimes it doesn't hit you until later.

With your analysis on June, I actually completely disagree.

Nick didn't send June to torture---Gilead did, and Nick works under Gilead. He is also trying not to get them both killed. Any slip up and he would. He doesn't have the option to just free her. He tried in the past, though. So I think your conclusion is too simplistic.

On the Luke flashbacks, the insecurity coming out of June was purposeful. I think they are setting up for June and Luke not to work out. They are painting their relationship, purposefully, in a negative light by showing her insecurities.

There is an analysis out there talking about how Atwood wrote different female characters to represent the different branches of feminism. June's mother, badass extraordinaire who always tells June not to settle, represents radical feminism. June on the other hand represents liberal feminism. Over the course of the show however, June ends up grappling with both in the context of Gilead. Back in Canada though, she may be remembering her old liberal feminist self. If you re-analyze the show in that vein, it makes a lot more sense.

Just because June embodies an imperfect feminist, doesn't mean that there isn't a lesson there about her behavior.

[–] Jade [OP] 1 points (+3|-2)

No mate, if I “reanalyse” the show it will still bother me.

At no point have I said that Moira’s behavior is not realistic. It’s realistic, I see it all the time. I’ve seen it ever since me and my friends started being romantically interested in others, dating, in relationships.

I don’t see any growth in maturity in June, she’s still displaying the exact same insecurities as in the flashback. In fact , half of her reasoning when wanting to throw herself at sea in a lifeboat was “I need to get Hannah, I can’t leave without Hannah, I’m her mother”, the other half was “plus Luke is never going to forgive me if I don’t bring the child back, Luke is going to be mad, Luke, Luke”. Also there’s a difference between “not being too fussed about recovering his own daughter” (eh?!) and completely blanking her existence (that was episode 4 when he was at the porch with Nicole and Moira.)

As for Nick, sure, whatever. Someone whispers in my ear that I’m going to torture but it’s totally fine because if I tell them everything at least I will be alive, thinking that this is “helping” me, and I’ll “too simplistically” never want to see their face again, let alone kiss them and say I love you.

No one needs to be perfect, the show (any show) would be too boring otherwise. But a feminist show where the lead is constantly clinging onto men and suffering for their approval makes me “too simplistically” offended. Just my opinion. I heard lots of people loving the show, and I’m no one to call them too simplistic for thinking so. Lots of people love the Hallmark Channel, The Meg, thought Hustlers was feminist and empowering, etc., and each to their own. If it resonates with you, moves you, changes your life, etc, that’s great. I just made the post because I honestly wanted to see if it was just me who was thinking this season insufferable.

[–] Xact 1 points (+1|-0)

"I don’t see any growth in maturity in June, she’s still displaying the exact same insecurities as in the flashback."

I think that was the point. They're directly pointing to her thought process being similar to the fears she had in the flashbacks with Luke. The previous episodes this season (and past seasons) show Moira and June's mother questioning whether she should really marry this guy and appear to be critical of marrying men in general. I think it shows that Gilead is not just a place you can escape from, but the roots of Gilead had been there all along. June had gone along with a lot of traditional thinking that was the opposite of her mother...Christianity, marriage, motherhood. I think the depiction is pretty critical and not at all validating the dynamic or the thought process. I think if you continue to watch, we're absolutely going to find that either June falls into her old patterns and Moira steps in to point out the bullshit and June has an epiphany or we're going to find that Luke has to move out of the way and come to terms with the fact that she's a lot more than his wife and mother of his child and June isn't going to stand for the same old bullshit anymore.

June is not constantly clinging to men though? Any suffering she's endured from them has been against her will. We haven't seen June with her husband until just now, and June has been angry and critical and dismissive of Nick various times throughout the series. Their affair was extremely brief.

What about when June poisoned multiple men at a brothel? What about when June told the 14 year old Mrs. Keyes to murder her rapist? What about all the liberation and resistance that June has led and participated in? To compare this show to the Hallmark Channel or Hustlers is an insult. This show constantly sets the groundwork for critiques of prostitution, surrogacy and men.

[–] kaitzi 0 points (+0|-0)

I have been SO disappointed in the show, and every seasons gets worse

In the book the full oppression was stifling.

[–] Jade [OP] 0 points (+0|-0)

I've just watched the 10th episode of the current (4th) season, season finale. And my final balance was: there were 7 good minutes in 10 hours of show this season. It seems to have been written by those 12 year old students who repeat the same sentences 3 times for padding. I can imagine the producers saying "the script for an episode must have 10 pages", so they write 4 pages and format to font size 18 and double space, including one-word-per-line poems that appear in the beginning and in the end.

I still don't know what's up with Lawrence. Is he good? Is he bad? Is he pro-Gilead? Is he not? Is he happy with his life choices? is he miserable? What are his values? His motivations? - He seems to have none of these things. No well-rounded character, just a device used to advance the narrative when suitable.

The way they choose to portray Luke is so, so pathetic. It's the laziest solution to justify June "ending up choosing" Nick. Luke is not even a portrait of male fragility. He's an oversensitive alien who can't get a grasp on basic human emotions. Yeah, my wife was tortured and abused sexually, physically and psychologically for years, but can't we just move on and just have a beer? No? OMG no? Whaaaah I don't know how to act, I don't know what to do whaaah! Yeah, cool, my own daughter has been kidnapped and will soon be condemned to a lifetime of rape either as an official sex slave or as a veiled sex slave if paired with some disgusting 50-60 year old cradle snatcher, but so what, June? You are here, this other baby of yours is here, can't we just be happy for what we have? No? OMG No? Whaaah! We're drifting apart so easily!!! We're so distant! It's so hard to please you! Whaaah!"

Then there's the support group, where Every. Single. Woman. is just quietly weeping and trying to cope and let go, trying to practice self-care. Breathing, journaling and lavender oil helps, they say. It's hard. Be kind to yourself. June is the only one who shows up with blood and fire in her eyes. And then every other woman, like sheep, suddenly agree that it would be nice, because June. Moira of all women is the only one who opposes, arguing that June is perhaps too negative, and repeats the whole kindness and self care shit.

Lawrence tells June, "you want your daughter? Cool, no problem at all. Just give us 5 kids you put on the plane." Easiest deal ever, given that there will be at least 5 of that bratty boys throwing tantrums about hating pizza and missing having a maid to bake them heirloom wheat bread. But no. This no-brainer, somehow, is not negotiable.

June enters Waterford's cell to try and seduce him... what for again? He personally gave her and Tuello safe-pass - from his cell - to go to a diner in the middle of nowhere (in Canada, or the USA, where he has no jurisdiction whatsoever) for some shady business he knows nothing about?

Every time June and Nick kiss I cringe.

Serena also changes personality according to the current need of the script.

Randoms in Canada are fans of Gilead and specially Serena Joy (?!? wtf ?!?)

Now suddenly wives can become handmaids too.

Lydia being bullied by 2 random aunts we know nothing about.

Lydia suddenly feels sorry for Janine, or feels like keeping her close gives her a stronger sense of control than sending her to the reproduction colonies (ripped off from book /movie The Giver).

Waterford ends up hung in the middle of the forest where absolutely no one can see him, but personal catarsis is good enough for this bunch (a bunch, mind you, led by a woman who raped her husband in revenge for "men as a class" and who threatened to kill Tuello because Waterford is a rapist, so how dare Tuello).

Seriously, season 3 was written by lazy interns, but season 4 seems to have been written by the developing algorithm of basic beta AI.

[–] somegenerichandle 0 points (+0|-0) Edited

we’re supposed to swallow with no critical reading

I think we are supposed to be critical. It's a shame that June wasn't. But, I believe a lot of men see women as baby makers.

she’s concerned that he’s not going to accept her

Is she? I just thought she was so hung up on Hannah now that she can't think of anything else. I didn't like it tho. That scene in the snow was so close to one of the flashbacks they showed previously with hannah.

I really didn't like that in episode 7 June forced herself on him. He said 'wait' more than once and then she covered his mouth. That's rape. And a lot of people (like wikipedia) are not pointing that out. There has to be some fall out b/c of that.