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The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Episode 11


SilverBeach

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How did June end up back in her cell at the Waterfords house since the baby was already born? SJ hates her and wants to pretend the baby is hers.

Frankly, I've had enough of June in that room. I was disappointed that Ep. 11 resolved so little, it felt so stretched out to me. And what was with the wolf symbolism? It must have not been too hungry, as it never even approached June. I also wonder why she didn'tlook for the master electrical panel.

June had to know that all that strenuous activity would likely bring on labor, she was at the point where anything coud happen at any time. It's fortunate there were no complications. I did wonder about the placenta and cutting the cord. I'm surprised she didn't immediately put Holly to the breast. 

The SJ/Fred fight scene was epic though. I got news for you Serena, they hate you too! Fred's head is firmly up his ass if he really thinks June would be grateful to him. Gilead must not have a good communication system, you think Fred would have been informed right away that his driver had been apprehended for suspicious activity. 

Agnes McKenzie, that's Hannah's new name. I don't care how good they are taking care of her, they are still massive assholes for stealing children. Beautiful summer home though. 

Not sure how I feel about the show going forward. 

Nick wasn't set up. Once again, June's unthinking behavior led to harm for someone else. She should have left as soon as the guardian said to. Although it is good that she didn't have to endure that ridiculous birthing ceremony or have her daughter ripped from her arms as soon as she came out. I hope she got a blood tranfusion as soon as she got back to Gilead.

On 6/23/2018 at 9:30 PM, EmiGirl said:

The thing is hannah is a religious name. Hannah was the mother of the prophet samuel.

Yep, I posted about that above. Good ol' old testament name, not even Catholic sounding or anything (given that Gilead hates Catholics). The McKenzies just wanted to try to erase the past.

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Oh, I totally missed that it was Oprah giving the resistance announcement on the radio when June was trying to bust out of the garage, found out on Reddit.

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To avoid the possibility of spoilers in the existing thread,  I am starting a new one dedicated only to discussion of  Episode 11 of Season 2.  Discuss away!

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I have asked the mods to move a couple of my posts from the other thread to this one, although I don't really considering it spoilering once the episode has been released to everyone (your local time corresponding to Wednesday midnight). Note that discussions of teasers for upcoming episodes can be spoilery too, although they are posted on Hulu for all to see. 

I'm curious about everyone's response to this June-centric episode, which was short on dialogue (except for SJ and Fred's epic fight). You think SJ would be afraid to talk to him the way she did after getting her ass beat a couple of episodes ago. It was definitely an artsy-crafty episode, and as always Elizabeth Moss knocked it out of the park. But it seems all for naught. Somebody drove up to that house after she gave birth, and she and Holly will not be free. The ep. 12 preview at the end of episode 11 was quite a letdown. I hate waiting another week or two to finally see who the pool people are and what happened to Nick. I wish this episode moved those story lines along also. 

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I really loved this episode. It was so different in terms of content and pacing, especially from the last episode, but it was just as powerful in a different way. Elizabeth Moss is just amazing. 

I also loved the fight between Serena and Fred. It covered such a range of issues and emotions. And had the feel of regular couples ( with extra drama of course ! ). I wasn’t surprised that Serena snapped on Fred. I don’t think she’s afraid of him. 

As far as going forward - do you think June can convince the Waterford’s she had tried to go get help when Nick was taken away ? And came back when she went into labor? It seems very feasible.

I never watch the coming episode trailers, I want to be surprised.

 

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2 hours ago, Mama Mia said:

I wasn’t surprised that Serena snapped on Fred. I don’t think she’s afraid of him.

Which is why I was surprised she let him whip her in Ep. 9. Maybe it was actually kink since they can't enjoy regular sex.

 

2 hours ago, Mama Mia said:

As far as going forward - do you think June can convince the Waterford’s she had tried to go get help when Nick was taken away ? And came back when she went into labor? It seems very feasible.

SJ won't care as long as she has her grubby hands on Holly. And Fred will go along with anything as long as he doesn't end up on the wall.

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All right @SilverBeach, I finally watched it and can discuss!

About the names: if they give Holly a name with an "A" I'll be convinced that's the pattern - Agnes, Angela, etc.

That was a very good, visceral birth scene, especially the noises June was making. I liked how they showed the previous birth scenes, including Hannah's, and how it connects to June naming Holly. But also - the cord, the placenta, all the blood, how does it all end so peacefully?

There's one other thing that bothered me: Fred and Serena show up very quickly, considering Fred gave them about 3 hours and they're about 1.5 hrs away, wouldn't we not see them for another few hours? I also wish she'd shot their sorry asses.

The only message I got with the wolf is that June is not afraid of the things she previously would have been afraid by (wolves, unmedicated birth outside a hospital, returning to Gilead) when faced with bigger fears (the baby being okay).

Spoiler based on the sneak peek next week:

Spoiler

Nick is in the sneak peek for next week, does that mean he's okay?

 

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@SilverBeach, I agree with your assessment of the Serena/Fred fight: I’d think she’d be afraid to go off at him like that—unless she realizes that he’s in huge trouble and has dragged her along with him, so she’s run out of fucks to give.  Even so, I was surprised at the amount of cussing they came out with, remembering that the two of them are patriarchy-establishing super-fundies. 

I got a kind of Red Riding Hood and the wolf vibe from this episode. 

There have been many times I’ve seen a character (June, Fred, Nick, Eden, Emily, Janine) do something monumentally foolhardy and shaken my head in disbelief. But then I remembered reading books like “Persepolis” and “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” in which people under restrictive regimes sometimes do things that just make them typical people, desperate to get out from under If only for a few minutes.

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It only just aired in Australia but I don’t have anything meaningful to add yet, I’m only here to brag :D

I should have posted my thoughts in the other thread beforehand! I’m so proud of myself!

I just knew last week when I saw that the episode was named ‘Holly’ that she would have a baby girl and name her Holly after her Mum.

I also knew it was Hannah’s summer house.

Often, small details escape me and it takes me a while to put all the puzzle pieces together, so the fact that I figured those two things out is really surprising haha.

I’m off to think about next week’s trailer, I have some thoughts brewing. 

 

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The fight was really interesting to me for the insight into Fred and Serena’s dynamic .

My take from the ritual punishment beating of Serena vs her going off on Fred - she buys into the patriarchy / submissive wife ideology because she thinks it will lead to a more orderly, calm society. With less blow-up, knock down drag out fights ( like they had in the past ) .

She is naturally just as dominate as Fred, with more ambition and less compassion. But their ideology ( which she formulated ) says she’ll be happier if she gives way to him.  And if that sometimes requires physical punishment, so be it. She is missing some of her old life, and thinks this all went more restrictive than she would of liked - for HER social status - but she’s dealing with it. 

But the one thing she wants is a baby. That’s it. So when Fred jeopardizes that it’s just like “ well fuck this idiot” over it. Time to take charge. 

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Something about this show...I think it's the choice of pacing...just doesn't work for me.  I feel like some aspects are not explained well enough while others are dwelt on to the point I'm yawning.  I didn't get whose home it was supposed to be.  I didn't think we needed all the flashbacks/parallels to her old life.  The wolf was a cool visual/symbol but after the first time it was enough.  The birthing scenes went on too long (I didn't want her to just happily pop out the baby after ten seconds of labor, but again, we get it.  It's painful and primal and all that).  Yeah...I don't know.     

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2 hours ago, LilMissMetaphor said:

Something about this show...I think it's the choice of pacing...just doesn't work for me.  I feel like some aspects are not explained well enough while others are dwelt on to the point I'm yawning.  I didn't get whose home it was supposed to be.  I didn't think we needed all the flashbacks/parallels to her old life.  The wolf was a cool visual/symbol but after the first time it was enough.  The birthing scenes went on too long (I didn't want her to just happily pop out the baby after ten seconds of labor, but again, we get it.  It's painful and primal and all that).  Yeah...I don't know.     

I know what you mean. Sometimes I wander off to make a cup of tea, others I’m rewinding to pick up the details that I missed.

I really dislike June. I feel like I need a drinking game for every time she stares out of a window or does something so stupid that I shout at the TV. I get that she is supposed to be a flawed character (affair with married man etc) but I jut can’t warm to her. To her situation, sure, but not to her. I think I just don’t like Elisabeth Moss. I started watching Top of the Lake and gave up because I couldn’t “click” with her character.

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Elisabeth Moss and her involvement with Scientology continue to bewilder me. Especially when she has done this show. I want her to talk about it. In depth. It distracts me. She made one bewildering Instagram comment that explains nothing. I have mixed feelings about her. I quite like Mad Men. Couldn’t take Top of the Lake. 

I think the pacing is off too. 

I believe Nick will overtake his captors and return to June. Then the two will start an escape. Meanwhile, Eden and the jerkwad commander will get killed because someone has to be. SJ and Fred will start pursuit. I think we will end the season with them alive but separate (because more drama) and on or over the border. Maybe Nick will have Holly. That would be randomish and give him something to do :D 

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13 hours ago, AliceInFundyland said:

Elisabeth Moss and her involvement with Scientology continue to bewilder me. Especially when she has done this show. I want her to talk about it. In depth. It distracts me. She made one bewildering Instagram comment that explains nothing. I have mixed feelings about her. I quite like Mad Men. Couldn’t take Top of the Lake.

The Scientology thing bothers me a lot too, and how the show hasn't made her rethink her cult membership (though who knows, maybe she has and we just don't know it). But here's why it makes sense - celebrity scientologists are carefully shielded from all the bad parts of scientology, and then are told those bad parts are just rumors and haters trying to persecute the religion. Scientology is great for actors for networking and because its made for narcissists (which most actors are) because it makes them believe they have superpowers and are in control of their success. When a scientologist is successful, they reinforce that it is because of scientology. The more successful Elizabeth Moss is the more credit she likely gives scientology.

I loved her in Mad Men, and remember first watching her as a child actor. Escape to Witch Mountain, anyone? Clearly a 90's kid here.

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If you don’t want to know exactly what happens in the next episode DO NOT watch the Israeli trailer. It’s has MASSIVE spoilers.

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Elisabeth Moss was born into Scientology as both of her parents are members. To a certain extent, I can give her break because indoctrination probably started when she was very young. 

I've been reading through the other The Handmaid's Tale threadsere and they have filled with great posts from everyone. Does anyone else read the subreddit which has a lot of good theories?

There are also some Facebook fan groups which have given out some major spoilers due to a production crew member posting set pics on their professional website.

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It’s just such a disconnect. I mean, I was under the impression that Scientologist women were supposed to give birth quietly. (I could be wrong about that.) And there she is, really Acting. How does she think a woman is supposed to give birth? So many questions.

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I try not to think too much about Elizabeth Moss being a CO$ member. It really is a reprehensible and abusive non-religion, but her experience as a celebrity is nothing like that of run-of-the-mill members. Yeah, she was born into it but she doesn't get a pass because of that, Leah Remini was a child member. Many of the high-profile defectors had been members for decades! Elizabeth willfully disregards the truth about CO$, like a lot of cult members do. 

I did not scream during labor, that would have required too much energy. I wasn't drugged either. The women screaming around me annoyed me. Screaming is not universal, although the pain is. If June's birth scene was really realistic, they would have shown her tending to the afterbirth and cutting the cord. I didn't bleed like she did either, June would likely have needed blood soon after birth. With the baby weighing nine pounds, she may have had a tear too. Yes, seeing your newborn for the first time is amazing, and given the bleak circumstances, she made the best of the time with her baby. But I felt like shit right after giving birth and probably didn't look nearly as serene as June did, even without the wilderness drama.

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11 hours ago, SilverBeach said:

I try not to think too much about Elizabeth Moss being a CO$ member. It really is a reprehensible and abusive non-religion, but her experience as a celebrity is nothing like that of run-of-the-mill members. Yeah, she was born into it but she doesn't get a pass because of that, Leah Remini was a child member. Many of the high-profile defectors had been members for decades! Elizabeth willfully disregards the truth about CO$, like a lot of cult members do. 

I did not scream during labor, that would have required too much energy. I wasn't drugged either. The women screaming around me annoyed me. Screaming is not universal, although the pain is. If June's birth scene was really realistic, they would have shown her tending to the afterbirth and cutting the cord. I didn't bleed like she did either, June would likely have needed blood soon after birth. With the baby weighing nine pounds, she may have had a tear too. Yes, seeing your newborn for the first time is amazing, and given the bleak circumstances, she made the best of the time with her baby. But I felt like shit right after giving birth and probably didn't look nearly as serene as June did, even without the wilderness drama.

I was a screamer. I was fine with that. Everyone is different.

The bleeding I think was important - she had almost died with the hematoma (?) or whatever it was earlier in the pregnancy. Bleeding again is what led her to shoot the gun off for help. Despite all the attempts to flee. She thought the baby would die. Without the bleed she would of just given birth.

As far as the post birth scene - on a practical level - I tore to hell on an unmediated birth - and didn’t feel it until later because I had that baby glow rush going on. And you don’t need to cut the cord right away. 

On a TV note - you also don’t see people taking the time to pee - or eat, or shower - unless it’s important to the story line. 

 

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3 hours ago, Mama Mia said:

I was a screamer. I was fine with that. Everyone is different.

The bleeding I think was important - she had almost died with the hematoma (?) or whatever it was earlier in the pregnancy. Bleeding again is what led her to shoot the gun off for help. Despite all the attempts to flee. She thought the baby would die. Without the bleed she would of just given birth.

As far as the post birth scene - on a practical level - I tore to hell on an unmediated birth - and didn’t feel it until later because I had that baby glow rush going on. And you don’t need to cut the cord right away. 

On a TV note - you also don’t see people taking the time to pee - or eat, or shower - unless it’s important to the story line. 

 

I hope you would be fine with what you did, I didn't say you shouldn't have been. To each her own, but screaming can be disconcerting to laboring non-screamers, as it was to me. An advantage of home birth I suppose, not being around other laboring women, but I would have never considered that as an option.

I get that this is a fictional TV program and a fictional birth. No problem with the bleeding but hemorrhage can be an emergency and she could have realistically passed out. I don't agree that the bleeding is what made her decide to fire the shotgun. I think the entirety of the situation hit her, no electricity, no assistance, what if she did hemorrhage? Even Gilead help would be better than no help at all.

Again, everyone is different but I sure as hell felt my tear ever though I was over the moon about my baby girl. I didn't say that she should have cut the cord right away but I'm practical and would have probably done it before snuggling up.

I watch a lot of TV of all genres and there is indeed a lot of going to the bathroom, eating, and showering that is completely tangential to the story line.

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On 6/29/2018 at 10:38 PM, SilverBeach said:

 

I did not scream during labor, that would have required too much energy. 

I THOUGHT I WAS CRAZY... I was practically silent my whole 41 hour labor... I just didn't feel like talking and I didn't want anyone else to talk to me either... I was on a mission to get that kid out. 

Back on topic... SJ and Fred's relationship bothers me. It seems so random at times and I don't get a solid idea of what the standing is. First he beats her like a child in from of a handmaid and she doesn't fight back at all next she's screaming at him and he is fighting back like he yelling at him is considered acceptable.  

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On 6/28/2018 at 5:39 AM, SilverBeach said:

Which is why I was surprised she let him whip her in Ep. 9. Maybe it was actually kink since they can't enjoy regular sex.

No. It did NOT look like a kink thing. She really hurt from it and hated every second. 

I was btw surprised that Serena and June didn't receive a greater punishment for writing and editing the papers, not that I want them to! But a woman supposedly loses her finger or a hand if she's caught reading according to season 1. 

I'm also puzzled as to what happened to Nick from the part in episode 3 when he is shot and drawn out of the plane. Gilead had to realize he helped June escape and tried to escape too as well. But in the next episode he's back at the house like nothing happened. I've waited for an explanation for that for so long now! 

And I desperately want June to get out of Gilead. The sooner the better! In the book that ends where the first season does you get the feeling that she is indeed being taken to freedom by the resistance. I was pretty disappointed when it didn't happen, although I start to get the feeling that as long as the show goes on, she's gonna be stuck in Gilead, because there's more drama that way. 

 

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@Queen, I think June and Serena got off relatively easily because it would have made Fred look VERY bad if he’d gone public with their crimes—it would have proven that he can’t control his wimmenfolk.

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On 7/3/2018 at 11:52 AM, Queen said:

 

I'm also puzzled as to what happened to Nick from the part in episode 3 when he is shot and drawn out of the plane. Gilead had to realize he helped June escape and tried to escape too as well. But in the next episode he's back at the house like nothing happened. I've waited for an explanation for that for so long now!

That was not Nick. It was some other ex-guard, maybe a "gender traitor"? It seems clear that he and the pilot were killed.

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59 minutes ago, freethemall said:

That was not Nick. It was some other ex-guard, maybe a "gender traitor"? It seems clear that he and the pilot were killed.

I watched it again and you're right! I don't know why I thought it was Nick, the actors look a bit similar though. That explains it!

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