The Handmaid's Tale: "Unwomen"
April 25, 2018 9:33 AM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Offred adjusts to a new way of life; the arrival of an unexpected person disrupts the colonies; a family is torn apart by the rise of Gilead.
posted by Bibliogeek (19 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
The entire airport scene is my nightmare, and I'm a straight, white lady applying to bring my straight, white, European husband to America. We are playing the game on easy and STILL I worry about him disappearing into the ICE machine. Because who the hell knows what the rules are? What your rights are? How could Emily know? Ugh. Alexis Bledel is doing such a phenomenal job here. Watching her try to hold it together for her son, having her heart ripped in two as she says goodbye to her wife... I absolutely ugly cried through the whole thing.

This show is so good and so stressful to watch. Real life is skirting way too close to Gilead these days.
posted by Bibliogeek at 9:45 AM on April 25, 2018 [14 favorites]


That scene in the Boston Globe with June mourning the executed journalists really got me.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:43 PM on April 25, 2018 [12 favorites]


Seconded with the vigil scene in the Boston Globe.

This scene also was intriguing because she was praying by choice and it almost like it felt like she was praying to an entirely different God than the residents of Gilead. The Gilead God is being twisted for their own gain, where to the vigil scene it was what God 'used to be'.

The parallels with the current religious right in the US are bone chilling.
posted by floweredfish at 6:26 PM on April 25, 2018 [8 favorites]


“The parallels with the current religious right in the US are bone chilling.” Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that the writers and producers have an agenda? Could it be that Hulu wants people to watch the episodes?
posted by Ideefixe at 11:17 AM on April 26, 2018


You say that like having an “agenda” (also known as an “artistic vision” or “point of view”) is a bad thing. Or as if every TV show DOESN’T want people to watch it.
posted by lunasol at 6:08 PM on April 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


many current shows have remarked on the current administration, even if they are not political (In Legends of Tomorrow, Sara Lance telling a young Barack Obama in the past "I really miss you" was amazing). Sometimes the shows just want to make a point, but also, by popular vote count, this is what the people want.

I'm really liking this season already if we get more Alexis Bledel. That was so hard to watch and so well done.

Also big points for having one-off characters played by some big names like Marisa Tomei, John Carroll Lynch, and Clea DuVall, they all did such great cameos.
posted by numaner at 12:39 AM on April 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Because who the hell knows what the rules are? What your rights are? How could Emily know?

Do we think that if Clea DuVall's character had said that she was Oliver's birth mother, Emily would have been allowed to leave? I suppose it would have been too dangerous to lie. Medical records of fertile women might have been flagged. I wonder if Gilead would still have insisted on punishing Emily for being a "gender traitor," or if they would have let her "self-deport."

Also big points for having one-off characters played by some big names like Marisa Tomei, John Carroll Lynch, and Clea DuVall, they all did such great cameos.

They did, and it completely subverted my expectations for their stories. I didn't think Marisa Tomei would be cast to die in the same episode. The casting really sold Emily's deception to the viewer. I love that.
posted by gladly at 11:00 AM on April 28, 2018 [7 favorites]


Do we think that if Clea DuVall's character had said that she was Oliver's birth mother, Emily would have been allowed to leave?
I thought that somehow Emily being the birth mother should have helped, but honestly, nothing was going to help. I was thinking, she should just say it was her own egg and not implanted if these psychos think that means it's actually her kid. But honestly it probably doesn't matter what either of them said or did. If she said it was her egg, great news, she's fertile. If she said it was implanted, great news, she's a gender traitor. Let's all just pray we all get out before this shit comes true. It was extremely chilling to be looking at twitter while there's a lot talk going on about incels.
posted by bleep at 6:58 PM on April 28, 2018


Emily carried the baby. They don't show her answering the implantation question, so my thinking was it WAS her own egg and they kept her from leaving so they could turn her into a Handmaid.

That final scene with June was so powerful. (I'm a journalist.) I kept expecting her to pick up and read one of the abandomed newspapers though, since reading is forbidden for women.

What was the deal with the sex scenes though? Nick says something to June like "I can't" and she says "Try." Was that meant to imply they had sex like a thousand times during that one visit?
posted by Brittanie at 6:51 AM on April 29, 2018


I think so. At that point I figured she was trying to wear him out in order to grab the keys and gun and escape for real.
posted by Flannery Culp at 8:52 AM on April 29, 2018


I don’t think the sex marathon was about the keys at all - June had already realized that plan was futile. I think it was about June having agency, in however limited a way.
posted by janell at 11:40 AM on April 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


The sex scenes (which irritated me) made me wonder how different this show would be with women as the showrunner, writers, and directors. The showrunner is a dude, and five women has written episodes, and three women have directed. And all of the writers who were women only wrote one episode apiece.

I like the show a lot, but side-eye some of the creative choices (the episode of Nick and his sad-sack beginning, for instance. This may be unfair because I HATE NICK. This show needs more women writing and directing.

Complaints aside, the airport scene was PERFECTION. So terrifying. I liked that they made ICE the enemy SINCE THEY FUCKING ARE IN REAL LIFE.

Also, it was driving me wild who was playing Emily's boss at the college. It was too early for it to have hit IMDB or Wikipedia. Of course, it was John Carroll Lynch and I loved him.
posted by Aquifer at 1:55 PM on April 29, 2018 [11 favorites]


I like the show a lot, but side-eye some of the creative choices (the episode of Nick and his sad-sack beginning, for instance. This may be unfair because I HATE NICK.

I hate Nick, too, and I wonder if the show wants us to hate him? I can't quite tell. I'm pretty sure that he's only helping June because he wants his baby saved. He's risking his life for the baby not June.
posted by gladly at 6:02 AM on April 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I thought the marathon sex thing with Nick wasn't meant to be titillating at all, it seemed so desperate and frantic and just an escape into the physical, no thinking or talking or acknowledging the reality of their existence and what they were doing at all. Fuck the pain away, as the sensational Peaches coins it. Only we all know that only lasts for as long as we are fucking, which can't be forever.

This season is awesome so far.
posted by h00py at 6:31 AM on April 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I took the sex as a distraction and personal power play. Being able to wear out her captor proves...something.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:16 AM on May 1, 2018


My take on the sex with Nick is that she was trying to fulfill as many of her emotional and physical wants and needs as she could while she had the chance -- a starving woman at a well.

She gets flat-out physical escapism to let her put aside her fear and trauma, agency over her own sexuality, power over a man (in the generic sense), power over Nick to keep him enthralled enough to continue helping her. On a more minor note, it gives her something personal and positive and alive to associate with the building in which she's stuck...which of course she later takes much farther on her own with the vigil.
posted by desuetude at 11:24 AM on May 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Sam Bee: "Abolish ICE"
posted by Paul Slade at 2:35 PM on May 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah so we're a bit behind and only watched this episode this past week. I ugly, ugly, ugly rage-cried throughout the entire last half hour.

(Also, I am a Canadian dual citizen. My son who is just a little bit older than Emily's son, is also Canadian dual. My husband is American. Home was hit close to.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:07 AM on May 30, 2018


I want to keep track of how often in this show victory is calling things by their true name and loss is being forced to repeat the lie.

And yeah, I'm about 1 week away from travelling internationally with my dual-nationality child and different-nationality spouse. Never rewatching this.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:10 AM on June 18, 2018


« Older The Handmaid's Tale: "June" ...   |  The 100: Eden... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster