The Handmaid's Tale (full season including ep 10 spoilers)

akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
There was another thread about this but it was sidetracked with a lot of non- show talk and it kind of died, so can we have one where we just talk about the show?

I just watched the finale and I'm sitting here thinking this is one of the best shows I've seen on TV in a really long time. Everything from the visuals to the music to the characters to the way the show plays with language, to the acting, costumes, etc just blew me away. Almost every scene of the whole series packed some kind of punch.
April_May_JuneFrakkin TElisa

Comments

  • April_May_JuneApril_May_June California
    Just finished episode 10.

    This show is amazing. Elizabeth Moss is such a wonderful actress. Loved all the other actors as well, and the music, and the cinematography.

    I can't wait to see what season 2 has in store!
    akritenbrinkFrakkin T
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)

    Just finished episode 10.

    This show is amazing. Elizabeth Moss is such a wonderful actress. Loved all the other actors as well, and the music, and the cinematography.

    I can't wait to see what season 2 has in store!

    Yeah. It's been close to 20 years since I read the book, but doesn't the book end the way ep 10 ended? So season 2 would be new ground for the story.

    One of the many things that was so interesting to me is seeing June/Offred claim bits of power throughout the series and now that she is pregnant, she has even more power and more value to everyone, it seems, and she explores how to use it. She knows she won't be physically injured because she's pregnant so she stands up to Aunt Lydia, who already seems heartbroken about Jeanine, and she screams at Serena Joy in a way she would have never done before. 
    Elisa
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    Oh wow, I was hoping the finale would get back to the brilliance of the first half of the season, and it did. The last few episodes started to feel a little glossy and shallow in places, but this episode brought back the sheer terror, dread, brutality, and genuine heartbreak of the earlier episodes with moments that felt completely earned.

    I gasped and cried a few times throughout the episode, but I think the most stunning bit of writing and acting was the entire June/Serena/Hannah scene, culminating in June screaming viciously at Serena Joy. Stellar acting by both, and although I do feel a tiny bit of pity for Serena Joy (but also a great deal of schadenfreude), she never seemed so evil as she did sitting on the steps laughing and talking with Hannah, fully aware that June was going out of her mind in the car.

    I need some more time to gather my thoughts, and perhaps watch some cute cat videos to rebalance myself.
    akritenbrinkphoenyx1023Frakkin T
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    I just scanned the thread so far because I am watching the finale tonight. This has been a stellar season of TV so far. Will come back after. :)
    akritenbrinkElisa
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)

    Oh wow, I was hoping the finale would get back to the brilliance of the first half of the season, and it did. The last few episodes started to feel a little glossy and shallow in places, but this episode brought back the sheer terror, dread, brutality, and genuine heartbreak of the earlier episodes with moments that felt completely earned.

    I gasped and cried a few times throughout the episode, but I think the most stunning bit of writing and acting was the entire June/Serena/Hannah scene, culminating in June screaming viciously at Serena Joy. Stellar acting by both, and although I do feel a tiny bit of pity for Serena Joy (but also a great deal of schadenfreude), she never seemed so evil as she did sitting on the steps laughing and talking with Hannah, fully aware that June was going out of her mind in the car.

    I need some more time to gather my thoughts, and perhaps watch some cute cat videos to rebalance myself.
    After the episode that highlighted Serena's role in the revolution, her intelligence and poise in the flashbacks, and how she was shunted aside by her own ideology, I see her as a broken woman. Not that I feel sorry for her, because she was the architect of her own prison, and she helped sell out basically all of womankind as well. But I see her as kind of a shell, and a tragic figure nonetheless. She's so desperate to have a child, as if that will solve anything for her. It will only make her life worse. What happens to children in this society? Nothing good. And her emotions are so out of whack all the time. Occasionally she seems to have a human emotion, but spends most of her time being cold and hard, even to her own husband who you can see she once had a genuine relationship with. And then occasionally she just goes batshit and risks so much - Slapping June/Offred around when she might be pregnant. Telling Fred the baby isn't his. Even going to the place where Hannah is and showing her to June is extremely risky. She already knows June has a friendship with  Nick the driver, and who's to say June isn't memorizing every turn they make to get there? Serena just seems dead when she gets back inside the car and June is screaming at her. Again, I don't feel sorry for her, but this can't be the future she envisioned when she wrote her books and helped with the revolution. 
    pavlovsbell
  • The finale was phenomenal, in an already pretty amazing season. I didn't think the show could hit me in the gut any more than it already had, but here we are. 

    I've typed something and deleted like 10 times so far, lol. It's how it usually goes with this show--I have so many things swirling in my head, I never quite know where to start. I also have to take a deep breath before I let my inner misandrist loose on the internet.   

    akritenbrinkpavlovsbell
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    outstanding. agree with everyone about the school scene; it instantly reminded me of that scene in breaking bad when todd takes jesse for a ride to see his girlfriend. it had so much punch, and then to be followed up by June cursing out Serena Joy, boy I didn't know you could swear like that on hulu! 

     when they're at the salvaging there's a big buildup to who it's gonna be, and for a second when Aunt Lydia talked about endangering a child, I hoped it would be Serena Joy and that the Commander ratted her out. you guys probably figured out who it would be before I did, but i was crushed when they dragged poor one-eyed Janine out. 
    akritenbrinkpavlovsbell
  • GuyGuy with some Grist for the Mill
    Wow this show has some serious weight to it which of course is a tribute to its source material.  I am beyond thankful we have people like Margaret Atwood courageous enough to offer up these cautionary tales.  After every episode I find myself reflecting on the state of gender/sexual orientation/religious relations in our society.  I'll be damned if anything like this ever happens on my watch.  I promise all the women and lgbtq here if I ever get a whiff of this kind of regressive bullshit becoming the law of the land, I will stand on the front lines with you.  We must be the frog realizing the water is getting too hot and jump out before it's too late.

    Reflecting on the season, I would have to say the most loathsome character has to be the commander.  Serena Joy is a true piece of work, but to a degree, she is a victim too.  She was used by this misogynistic cult to produce an ideology such that the men could say, "Look, here's a woman's point of view on where their place should be."  Ironically (or maybe not so much knowing what we know about christian dogma and practices), she becomes a prisoner of this ideology...of course, not to the degree of aunts, marthas and handmaids, but a prisoner nonetheless.  I have a feeling her arch will take her out of the cult and she will end up being an advocate for the fall of gilead.  I think Aunt Lydia may end up here as well.

    The commander represents the true hypocrisy and ultimately the evil manifested by hardcore christian fundamentalist patriarchy.  At best it's brutal subjugation and at worst outright slavery and human trafficking.  All of this done while he uses his position and religious authority to do whatever the fuck feels good to him nevermind the consequences or damage it does to the people in his wake.  I guess ultimately to do what these asshats do, one must see women or gays, or blacks, or whatever class of people you are victimizing as less than human:  All backed up of course by appropriate passages in the 'good' book.  It makes me sick, but I guess in a good way as my eyes are wide open and guard is up to this happening irl.  
    akritenbrinkphoenyx1023Elisapavlovsbell
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    This show is a good example of when a society can get some momentum going in a crazy direction and it kind of rolls over all of the people in the culture.  I don't feel sorry at all for the Commander or Serena Joy, but they helped create this world yet they aren't happy at all, and it's clear this is not the society they envisioned. The thing about awful religious cults is that there are always a few tragic people at the center who have good intentions and don't see until it's too late that things have gone horribly awry, and I kind of see these two (or at least the Commander) as once being this way. Sometimes you see the Commander having a shred of humanity, like when he advocates for a lighter sentence for the guy who eventually gets his hand chopped off, or when he arranges a meeting between June and Moira. He also seems to be in a lot of pain sometimes. But then sort of hardens to the pain and grabs whatever power he can to manipulate and abuse the others in his world, like when he tells Serena she brought lust back into their household, YEAH RIGHT! And he uses his sad puppy eyes to try to manipulate June into some kind of feelings for him when in reality he's keeping her as a slave and he played the last one so badly she hung herself. None of this stuff is good for the human soul and there's a huge dark cloud hovering over this society waiting to rain down, and I think he can see it. Again not that I feel sorry for him because he dug his own grave, but I see these two as really tragic characters in a classic sense of having so much hubris that they don't know they are contributing to their own downfall.
    ElisaFrakkin Tpavlovsbell
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    edited June 16
    @akritenbrink I didn't really see Waterford's defense of whatshisname as particularly humanizing or kind. I expected all of them to let him off easy. White men in power never have to pay the same price as anyone else--Waterford was offering the typical Roger Sterling excuse: "We've all parked in the wrong garage." I also ascribe less-than-noble motives to his invitation to have Moira up to the room. It was obvious to me he was thinking he was gonna get a twofer. I came away with no empathy for him at all.

    Serena Joy is a trickier one: she obviously was a big part of setting up the way things are so she bears a lot of blame, and I'd say it's her own arrogance that led her to think she could float above it and not be subject to the same rules as other women. But then you also kinda feel bad for her, as she is obviously powerless and miserable in this situation. But then also you kinda hate her, because she takes every opportunity to grind June down instead of helping her up. 
    Elisaakritenbrinkpavlovsbell
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    @Frakkin
    I don't really feel bad for either one of them, and I do think some of Waterford's shock and horror was the very selfish realization that the same thing could happen to him, especially when he finds out the wife asked for the harshest sentence possible and knowing his own wife's toughness and how cold their relationship has become. You're probably right about Moira now that you mention it. It's kind of one of those disgusting situations where people are behaving so badly that you find yourself looking for any shred of decency in them. Maybe there just isn't any in him.
    pavlovsbell
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    I don't have one bit of sympathy for Waterford. He makes my skin crawl, especially everything that he does to make the situation with June seem like it's mutual or consensual. He wants the girlfriend experience from her, the feeling that what they're doing is some sort of illicit affair -- it's just naughty like the beauty magazines he keeps stashed in his desk. Even those are indicative of his paternalism. He doesn't give June a book to read, no, she's a woman therefore she misses reading about clothes and makeup and celebrity gossip. Ugh, Joseph Fiennes must be doing a great job, because he makes such a great shmoopy/sad face but that makes him more disturbing. He's the best kind of villain: one who doesn't know that he's a villain. He would be shocked and confused if June accused him of raping her. I laughed when he was genuinely surprised that the other commanders actually took the wife's opinion seriously.

    I forgot to mention Moira's scenes. Samira Wiley nailed all the different emotions that Moira was feeling. I'm amazed she didn't just collapse. And I know that Moira is fleeing Gilead and not America, but I couldn't help but be struck by the idea of American refugees seeking help in glorious Canada. I'm glad to hear that Moira will be getting a bigger role in S2, because I would much rather have had an episode focused on her than on Luke. Although, they did manage to make Luke sympathetic with just two words: “On your list? Of family?" "Of course." There you go, that’s all they had to do. They spent an entire episode on Luke’s Children of Men fantasy when all they had to do was use two words to win me over.
    phoenyx1023Elisaakritenbrink
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    "Finally, a show for men."


    Elisaphoenyx1023Frakkin T
  • "Finally, a show for men."



    I'm cracking up. So funny and clever

  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)

    I forgot to mention Moira's scenes. Samira Wiley nailed all the different emotions that Moira was feeling. I'm amazed she didn't just collapse. And I know that Moira is fleeing Gilead and not America, but I couldn't help but be struck by the idea of American refugees seeking help in glorious Canada. I'm glad to hear that Moira will be getting a bigger role in S2, because I would much rather have had an episode focused on her than on Luke. Although, they did manage to make Luke sympathetic with just two words: “On your list? Of family?" "Of course." There you go, that’s all they had to do. They spent an entire episode on Luke’s Children of Men fantasy when all they had to do was use two words to win me over.
    Interestingly enough, we already have immigrants fleeing Trump's America over the border to Canada. I've also wondered for a long time if more Americans will move to Canada as global warming makes things hotter in the US. As it stands, most of the Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the US border, so certainly they have room for us, right? lol. Come to think of it, see you guys later, I'll just be up north waiting for the tundra to thaw and my real estate values to raise up.
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