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1----˛!! Fridge Brilliance˛* Gilead is completely unsustainable from a population standpoint. If the only fertile women are being used as handmaids, who are only available for the elite, and the handmaids are both trafficked to other countries AND sent to the colonies to die if they become unruly, then the supply cannot possibly meet the demand, as there is no way to replenish the population and nobody wants to immigrate to Gilead.˛** Gilead realises this once the handmaid population suddenly drops, and retrieves some former handmaids from the colonies.˛* In the series, there is no longer a (obvious) white supremacy. While Gilead residents of all classes are racially diverse- it is still not a multicultural society, since all cultural differences (such as religion and attire) have been wiped out. It is likely that this has been done to protest extremists of both wings regarding race: both the ultra-conservative super-strict churches where the only diversity allowed is race; as well as ultra-liberals who think that as long as something is not racist, it is not evil and thus should be tolerated. Not the first time the Handmaid's Tale protests extremist views of both wings (such as regarding porn)- so it makes perfect sense.˛** They've started laying seeds of this element from the books in late Season 3. Commanders are mentioned not wanting to have Handmaids "of color" to the Aunts. Time will tell if they explore this further.˛* Also in the series, Ambassador Castillo from Mexico is a woman. Offred seems surprised at this. Before Gilead, the USA was the more progressive and gender-egalitarian nation, with Mexico being more conservative and having somewhat stricter (though not tremendously so) gender roles. This is likely done to show that Gilead is even more repressive and backwards than a country that once upon a time was seen as the more conservative neighbor to the more progressive USA.˛* I thought that it seemed a little bit of a bad thing that June was having a relationship with a married man, as we never hear from his wife in Season One or the book, and we never learn why he did it (was it a forced marriage? Did he want to spice things up? Was she cheating on him and he saw it as right?) and it seemed that Aunt Lydia [[VillainHasAPoint made a good point]] even if she was RightForTheWrongReasons. But then I realized why she probably had no problem doing it and didn't apologize to Annie. Her mother was a militant feminist, and she raised her with this strict philosophy in mind. One tenet was that as a woman, June was free to do as she pleased, so she had no problem having an affair.˛** We do, however, see that June is troubled by the situation - she is the first to bring up that Luke is married when they commence their affair, and later when Annie confronts her she does seem concerned that, when she and Luke started their affair, he and Annie weren't even separated. For that matter, militant feminism has a few solid lines in it about not screwing other women over. June had an affair with a married man because she wanted to. Not the most commendable behaviour, all right, but at the same time, it's a private misdemeanour, and definitely not something any government should ever involve itself with.˛** June's mother is shown definitely pushing her daughter to do "the right thing" rather than "as she pleased". She's also not too enthusiastic about the latter's relationship with Luke ("waste of energy, better things to do") so it's hard to imagine that she'd approve of her daughter getting caught in any adultery-related drama.˛* If the ban on women reading was extended to include even Literature/TheBible, it would make sense for Gilead to do so in order to keep women ignorant of Scripture verses so they could defend themselves against the state-enforced religious misogyny against women, instead feeding them only what the state religion wants them to know about God's will for their lives. In the series, Aunt Lydia wasn't too pleased to know that Offred also knew Scripture and quoted it back to her without [[QuoteMine Quote Mining]] it like Lydia did.˛** This might go along with the idea, as if you read about the story of Sarah and Abraham, you'll learn that Abraham tried to get a child by fathering one on Hagar, her Handmaid. Only, Sarah wasn't happy about it, because EverybodyHasStandards, and she got so mad at the woman that she ran her out of town. The only reason Hagar returned was because an angel ordered it, and the two never really got along after.˛*** It was Sarah's idea, though.˛* At first all that talk about "Colonies" so severely contaminated or irradiated that you die with a short time of being shipped to the clean-up gulags seemed rather weird, considering that just 5 years before, life in the U.S. appeared to have looked almost exactly the same as it does in the real world. And there's no talk about Gilead having provoked a nuclear / chemical war with the rest of the world, or anything like that. (On the contrary, they seem desperate to maintain good relations to other countries and even Canada is apparently not worried about getting invaded next.) But in a full-blown civil war in the U.S. it's quite likely that at least some of the country's about 100 nuclear plants would go into meltdown,[[note]] Not so much the reactors themselves, which can be shut down quite quickly, but the pools where the spent fuel rods have to be kept under water for 5 years to cool down. Those pools need continually running pumps so the water doesn't boil off and the stored mass of still-hot fuel rods melts and goes critical, which is what happened in Fukushima after the pumps were damaged by the tsunami. Nuclear plants in the U.S. normally only have enough diesel on site to keep the pumps running for a couple of days in case the electrical grid has a blackout. The electrical infrastructure of the U.S. is already in pretty bad shape – now imagine what happens if the people maintaining stuff get driven away by fighting militias, or if some theocratic luddite terrorists clueless about how things actually work try to sabotage a nuclear plant or detonate an EMP bomb close enough to wipe out their computers…[[/note]] so of course large areas of the country would be as uninhabitable as Fukushima and Chernobyl. And yes, attempts to clean up the actual reactor site would kill people very quickly. In Fukushima, not even robots hold out for long in the intense radiation, which is why they still haven't located the melted core half a decade after the disaster, and are only very, very slowly managing to get out the old fuel rods from the pools that haven't blown up yet.[[note]]But most likely will, during the next earthquake, which is why time is of the essence and people ''are'' trying to clean up the site as fast as possible.[[/note]]˛** The alliance between anti-pornography feminists and fundamentalists had also become outdated since the original novel was published. In the series, Commander Waterford mentions that all farming in Gilead had converted to organic farming. In the adaptation, maybe Gilead has an alliance between fundamentalists and environmentalists to thank for its existence.˛*** They vaguely touch on this in Season 3. Gilead has "gone green" but not from any desire to save the environment, only to save ''themselves'' from the environment. They suspect that pollution might also be affecting the fertility rates and switched to renewables. It might not be too big a leap to think they did the same with farming- they didn't make an alliance with Green Peace to seize power and end factory farming, just held a belief that GMOs might have affected fertility rates. Also doubles as an anti-intellectual, returning-to-the-good-old-days theme.˛* Stripping June of her name becomes all that much more insulting when you learn that she even chose to keep her last name when she got married. Watching her repeatedly tell the nurse that her name is Osborne, not Bankole, is especially unbearable when you know what's coming.˛* Research has proven that babies often need skin to skin contact with their parents or caregivers in order to survive. The Putnams never saw Charlotte as anything more than a status symbol and certainly never gave her hugs or cuddles even when she was fully clothed, let alone skin to skin, so it's not that surprising when she starts to wane. By contrast, when Janine undresses and cradles her daughter close, Charlotte starts to improve. ˛** This could be a reason why Dr. Hodgson told them to make Charlotte feel warm and safe. At first, it felt like she was saying to comfort her in her final moments, especially to the viewer, but it appears she was literally telling them to follow the kangaroo technique. Janine was the only one to understand this command, which is why Charlotte survived.˛* The Vietnamese translation deliberately used loanwords from Chinese to translate the terms (Handmaid, Unwomen, etc.). This gives the series an archaic feeling, symbolizing Gilead's intention to return to "traditional" values, with the added weight of historical restraints placed on women in a Confucian system in Vietnam and China's feudal pasts. The book cover also reflected this by using a font that is closely associated with Chinese novels published in Vietnam, accompanied by the image of a woman whose face is hidden by a white cowl, revealing pale skin and red lips, the ideal of ancient aristocratic beauty.˛* One would assume that Gilead would reference the original inspirations for their Handmaids more often - Hagar, Bilhah, and Zilpah - but they seem to prefer the names of their mistresses. The Rachel and Leah Center, for instance. But then they also take away the names of the Handmaids themselves, so they probably wouldn't want to humanize these women's "role models" either.˛** This could go along with the idea they don't let women read the Bible so they don't realize their laws are just a QuoteMine blender. Yes, Bilhah and Zilphah being "handmaids" in our sense, may seem like they were trusted companions and confidants, but really they were slaves, and Hammurabi's Code dictated that if you couldn't get pregnant, you had your husband impregnate the slave and raise the child for your own. Hagar is likely never brought up because of the full story: Sarah was impatient that God wouldn't give her a child, so she had Abraham sleep with (ie rape) her handmaid, but grew jealous and ran the pregnant girl out of town, but she returned. After the baby was born, she ran the child and the mother into the desert to die, but Hagar only returned because an angel commanded it. And when Isaac was born, he and his teenaged brother, Ishmael argued often. A Handmaid, if permitted to read, could bring this tale up as a reason for why the Handmaid system is flawed, which Gilead certainly wouldn't want. ˛* In a flashback, we see that Moira was an egg donor and gestational carrier. The show seems to be trying both to be fair to consensual surrogacy and also fighting against any argument that would say that the Handmaid situation is anything like that. Moira had some strong emotions, but she isn't devastated like Janine or June, who are having their children stolen.˛* In season 2's "Holly", June several times sees a black wolf while trying to escape the mansion. The wolf never does more but watch her, perhaps leaving the question what the purpose of its appearance was. Considering the handmaids' clothes' bright red colour and protruding hoods, and the image of June alone in the woods (some shots of the episode even highlighting this), it is all possibly meant to serve some ''Literature/LittleRedRidingHood'' imagery. ˛* There's a very subtle hint that Commander Lawrence is a good guy as shortly after he's introduced, he has a small argument with his Martha who keeps making a mess due to her missing eye, and the Martha casually talks back to him, showing that despite being a Martha, she isn't afraid of the Commander as she freely argues back to him with no consequences. ˛* I viewed it as bad writing in Season 2 how Fred went from a somewhat complicated character in Season 1 to a one-dimensional monster and a plot device in Season 2. However, the Season 1 finale ended with his best friend being harshly punished for adultery, and only being saved from death because of the DoubleStandard of his position, compared to the woman he had an affair with. Fred himself has MANY hypocrisies that could probably lead to him losing more than just his left arm; Warren's amputation and the birth of his first child was a wake-up call that it was time to hide his sins. In Season 2 alone, his pregnant Handmaid started it off by refusing to stone said woman and escaped her position for 92 days, almost succeeding in getting out of Gilead. He became a [[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask man wearing the mask of a Commander]] [[NiceJobFixingItVillain to avoid getting in trouble again]].˛˛! Fridge Horror˛* If what the doctor tells Offred is true, and it is actually the men who are sterile, it means that the entire Handmaid system is doomed to fail. If all "fertile" women have become handmaids, and only a small portion of them can have children (because many of the Commanders are sterile), and the unruly ones are executed, they will eventually just run out of them.˛** Seemingly confirmed in Season 2 when Serena has her chat with the American Agent, and he talks about the progress the Government-in-Exile has been making with fertility treatments. ˛* With Offred out of the way, whatever her fate, there's no reason to hold Hannah's safety over her head and therefore no reason to keep Hannah alive or safe, except the lack of children.˛** Possibly lessened with the fact that we learn in Season 2 it was virtually illegal for Fred to arrange a clandestine meeting. It was more Serena was trying to keep June in line the same way a parent promises they'll throw away all your toys or take away your iPad if you don't eat your dinner or clean your room, but at the end of the day, just say it to get you to behave.˛* Offred's doctor offers to try to impregnate her himself, so she won't get in trouble for repeated failures with the likely sterile Commander. That night the Commander suffers from TheLoinsSleepTonight, meaning if she'd accepted the deal and did get pregnant from it, she would have been immediately discovered to have had sex outside the arrangement and punished even worse, especially as she's already considered an "adulterer."˛** Not necessarily. If the ceremony's every month, she could be a month pregnant without anyone realising it. A baby coming at eight months instead of nine might cause some worry, but eight month preemies can be perfectly healthy. Besides, in this one instance, Serena would find a way to protect her due to wanting the baby so badly. If June was discovered to be carrying someone besides Fred's baby, the baby wouldn't be hurt, but there's a chance it wouldn't go to the Waterfords. Whether helping actively deceive Fred or just doing what she did with June carrying Nick's baby, i.e. telling him he's not the biodad and to suck it up, she'd do it.˛** They don't have one ceremony a month. The ovulation window of a cycle is generally not one day only. They have two to three a month. After the one where he can't get it up, there's immediately mention of another the next night. There's no way they wouldn't try to optimize ovulation as much as possible, and only have one a month.˛* You might be wondering why the Commander whips Serena, but not Offred for their "illegal" activities. The FridgeHorror here is that if Offred wasn't pregnant at the time, she would have been whipped and dismissed from the household, and probably her hand amputated. It really shows how desperate and megalomanically selfish the Waterfords appear that they would shirk their beliefs for their own child, but condemn actions to save the Putnam's baby girl.˛* As if having to live through the Gilead regime tearing your family apart in the country isn't bad enough, imagine if you were an immigrant from another country, became a US citizen, but still got caught in the coup and the consequences it brought while your family members, be it your parents, siblings, any relatives you could think of, in your country of origin watch what's occurring there in horror, have no idea what happened to you and frantically wonder if they'll ever see or hear from you again. ˛** Alternatively, imagine if you were a US citizen who lives abroad and divorced their spouse but your children are living in the US with said ex-spouse who either remarried or is raising them as a single parent. If they were unfortunate enough to live in an area which Gilead already conquered then your children most likely got taken away while your ex-spouse was punished for their divorce by either execution, sent to the colonies, or getting turned into a Handmaid if they were a woman with viable ovaries. There is a good chance that you in the other country would never see your own kids again because Gilead sure as hell ain't letting them go anywhere and barred any possible communications that you used to have to them.˛** Even worse, imagine that three weeks before the coup, you were sent out of the US for official business, (EG: As a diplomat, or even as a teacher)and all of a sudden you are cut off from all communications with your loved ones/friends, you have no idea what's happening, and when news does get out, you are left to imagine the worst has happened. Same goes vis-versa with your loved ones.˛˛* The evidence of Gilead's poisonous indoctrination already showing in the children and teens growing up in the regime.˛** Adam in "Baggage" playing with his firetruck with June. She asks what the bell does and he says it's to warn people to come and help. He has no concept of what actual firetrucks were pre-Gilead. It's a little thing, but it's actually a window into the possible propaganda Gilead might be teaching. ˛** What are the little girls of Gilead being taught if women can't read or write in this regime? These children probably aren't even read stories to, since the female teachers can't read either. ˛*** This is not quite true if they are being taught by Aunts (who are exempt from the no-reading/no-writing policy), though one could hardly imagine they are read anything that conflicts with Gilead's policies.˛** There is no chance for a child to discover their true identity. The girls are all in pink uniforms, boys in lederhosen. This is going to be a very conformist generation and conformity as a norm never bodes well. ˛** Eden is so scarily naï ve and her mother has engrained into her that her only purpose is to care for the home, her husband, and to bear children. A fun reminder that she is only ''fifteen''. ˛** Hannah in "The Last Ceremony" seems so frighteningly withdrawn for seeing her real mother for a long time. Her answers to June's questions are heartbreaking, admitting that her new parents hit her when she misbehaves. ˛** Children born of the Handmaids will be curious of their birth stories probably. If June's baby grows up with the Waterfords, what the hell is ''that'' story gonna be like? "Oh, we both just ''violently raped the Handmaid'' to get you to come out early. Praise be."˛*** I highly doubt they would ever tell the truth. They'd lie like everyone else does.˛*** Actually, it's kind of worse. When Hannah sees June, she says that June is going to have a baby, and then says that June doesn't get to keep it. They're telling the kids something closer to the truth than we'd expect.˛*** FridgeTearjerker in a sense. As the daughter of Commander Mackenzie, Hannah is probably being groomed to be a Wife herself, and there is the possibility of her being sterile, which would mean that she needs a Handmaid. Further Tearjerker, as, if the Commanders told the Ambassador that Handmaids chose their roles, what are the odds that they aren't telling the children of Gilead the same? It'd be easier to brainwash these children, but it'd still be heartbreaking. Imagine being a young child and told that your loving mother purposefully chose to abandon you and give you to people who beat you, in order to make children they'll abandon down the line and give to these same people.˛* Everything with Nick and Eden. In present day America and other Western countries, it is possible for a fifteen-year-old teenager to genuinely consent to sex (although not, generally speaking, to consent to sex with someone Nick's age, given the power and experience disparity, which is why we have statutory rape laws). In this case, however, she's been brainwashed from a young age, likely can't read, was never given a chance to healthily develop her sexuality in age-appropriate ways, and doesn't realise a fifteen-year-old girl being thrown into a marriage with an unknown adult man is not a good thing; even if she has feelings of something being wrong, she's been taught to discard those feelings. Adult Nick genuinely does not want to have sex with a teenager but is literally facing the threat of horrible punishment or death if it gets out that he isn't. On top of all this, Eden is trying to make an actual marriage out of the situation, and Nick is more-or-less treating her like someone he's being forced to babysit. At first, he sort of humored her, then, he lost his temper, and now, he's trying his best to ignore her. What happened with Isaac shows she's a confused, largely ignorant, though, not unintelligent, teenager who could do something that hurts many people, including possibly herself, soon, and it won't truly be her fault or Nick's, but still. Horrible situation.˛* Rather more disquieting - it hasn't been anything like fifteen years since Gilead was founded, going by the fact that Hannah seems only a few years older than she was when we (chronologically) last saw her. So, either Eden was indoctrinated before Gilead ever came into being, or they've broken her so thoroughly in less than five years that she sees nothing wrong with the way things are, despite having been at least ten when Gilead was founded.˛** FridgeTearker, since Eden could've very well grown up among the Quiverfull movement or some similar Christian fundamentalist group that preaches that women are to be homemakers and [[BabyFactory Baby Factories]]. It's still heartbreaking. ˛** Fred and Serena's speaking tour of American colleges seems to hint toward an answer for this question. Serena doesn't think she'll persuade anyone to their ideology, but Fred points out it's not about persuading, it's about introducing their ideas to mainstream conversation. The Alt-Right holds similar views when on speaking tours: Show up, say inflammatory things in pseudo-intellectual speak, and cause a riot so ''you'' look like the calm one. Gilead's tenets might have spread to mainstream America in a similar way. Even if most Americans didn't agree with them, the fact that their ideology is talked about ensures it will spread.˛* In "June" Aunt Lydia takes June to meet another Handmaid, Ofwyatt. She tried to drink drain cleaner, so they chained her to a bed in a gymnasium the Red Center until she's due to give birth, with only the Aunts to keep her company. A few episodes later in "Other Women", this fate befalls June after she's captured, with Aunt Lydia explaining that if she chooses to be "June" she'll be imprisoned until birth and then executed. Is this the fate that'll befall Ofwyatt? After she gives birth, will she be executed, too? Or will they give her Redemption and do who know's what? Considering this is Gilead and there's many crimes with Biblical precedent, what could befall her?˛* What exactly happened to celebrities who didn't have the means to leave the USA or chose not to? Did people like Taylor Swift get executed or turned into Handmaids because of her "slutty image?"˛** Judging from real-life authoritarian regimes such as Chile under Pinochet, they were probably publicly executed, perhaps after being forced to recant their old lives.˛* Alma's son is mentioned to be five years old in the present day. Since Gilead's regime is established as being five years old, this would mean that she has only recently given birth when her son was taken from her. ˛* [[KickTheSonOfABitch Your mileage may ' 'definitely' ' vary on whether or not this is horror]], but the former Gilead will see the mother of all backlashes. The former Commanders, including Fred Waterford, are likely to be executed. Serena and the Aunts will most likely be unable to go in public for the rest of their lives. If Christianity isn't outright outlawed, churches are going to be watched very closely.˛˛!! Fridge Logic˛* The majority of the men in this society are a) armed and b) do not expect to have a chance at a woman — read: any legal sexual outlet whatsoever — unless they're really, really lucky because those government-run brothels are only for the high-ranking members of the government and foreign officials. Gilead shouldn't have lasted seven weeks, let alone seven years.˛** It's mentioned that some soldiers are hanged for "gender treachery" (i.e. turning to homosexual sex, probably due to this), but that just means a revolt should have been even likelier.˛*** Not necessarily. The regime may be counting on a code of masculine silence to keep their troops in line. In a toxic patriarchal culture, a man will cut off his own hand before admitting that he doesn't have sex regularly or is an "incel". ˛* In addition, there's never any hint of action from the rest of the world regarding this- considering that any non-white, non-male, non-... whatever denomination of Christianity Gilead practices individual is either persecuted or executed, there must be some outcry from the rest of the world. At the very least, the UN would be giving the Republic of Gilead major sanctions for human rights violations. In the TV adaptation, Commander Waterford does mention sanctions against Gilead by the European Union.˛** The fourth episode mentions the UN discussing sanctions as well.˛** Other countries likely don't invade Gilead for the same reason other superpowers don't take up arms against North Korea or Iraq: because it isn't their problem, and would cause way more trouble than its worth. Due to the similarities between Nazi Germany and Gilead, many of the superpowers knew about the Holocaust, but didn't intervene, because they couldn't end it overnight and they were already fighting a war in the rest of Europe and Asia.˛*** The show has implied that the fertility crisis doesn't affect just what remains of the USA, as Mexico is undergoing it, which could extend to the continental North/South America. Even if they did want to start a war against Gilead, they would likely get into trouble due to a lack of soldiers, or the effect it would have if a significant amount of soldiers died fighting a war against them.˛* The pilot explicitly mentions lower status men being assigned wives and more to the point, the show jetisons the white supremacist element of the series, meaning that the supply of women of all races are presumably available to the men of Gilead so there is no real shortage; whereas in the books, where minority women were either killed off or exiled.˛** Fridge Logic is easily explained by having an Unrealiable Narrator and the fact that it's highly implied throughout the book that the Republic is lying about almost everything to maintain some sort of semblance of function.˛** Odds are good that there's a lot of unreported rape and harassment of Marthas going on, that the Marthas don't report because they know they'd be blamed for their own assaults.˛** There's also the Fridge Brilliance that this isn't a functional society but a Nazi-esque reactionary one, that we eventually learn blows up within a generation. It still doesn't mean there's not a massive amount of pain, horror, and anger before it collapses. Fascist, but Inefficient indeed.˛* Where did [[spoiler:the new Ofglen]] come from? Surely all Handmaids are already assigned to households (we even see that [[spoiler: Janine]] is taken straight from her old posting to the new one, so it's not like there are Handmaids sitting around, waiting to be assigned.˛** There might be, though. The government is probably always in the process of bringing in new handmaids to train and send to postings. It might be her first posting. It's also possible that in this system, some Commanders are high ranking enough that they ''always'' have a Handmaid, so there is always an automatic replacement if necessary. [[spoiler:Ofglen 2]] might have been up and removed from her previous posting if her Commander was lower-ranking, because they needed someone to fill the spot.˛** Or her previous Commander could've just plain died. The elite men of Gilead tend to be ''old'' men, and their medical science leaves a lot to be desired.˛*** Though probably not the case with the new Ofglen, who appeared mostly ok with her lot as a handmaid and didn't have much reason to avoid it, a lot of women are made handmaids after they commit a crime. So if you're a fertile Econowife and you break the law, you can be turned into a handmaid. ˛* Chalk this up for ArtisticLicenseBiology: how the hell do the Waterfords honestly think ''raping Offred'' is going to go for them? "Oh, you know what will speed up this birth? TRAUMA." Plus, I don't think that sex (not that I'm calling that fiasco sex--that was RAPE, definitely) was even proven to induce labor outside of a thinly-sourced magazine article. ˛** The belief that sex works to induce labour is actually fairly widespread. It's the most-discussed means of naturally inducing labours, and has actually been recommended by doctors since the Victorian era. The theory is that ejaculate works to soften the cervix, but this is unreliable and most doctors agree that none of the traditional at-home methods work most of the time. However, this is a genuine old wives' tale that the Waterfords might well genuinely believe. Not that it excuses what they did at all, or diminishes the fact that there was probably a bit of common-or-garden vindictiveness in their motives as well.˛** There's also the fact they more or less did it to punish June, Serena for the false labor and embarassing her in front of Aunt Lydia and all the Wives, and Fred for saying the child would never be his. It was more like a two birds, one stone deal: they get a baby quicker and they keep their unruly Handmaid in line out of spite.˛* How Gilead carried out its coup is {{handwave}}d in the show, but logistically it makes very little sense. It's said in {{flashback}} {{exposition}} from Fred Waterford that Gilead took over the country with "three attacks", presumably targeting the President, Congress, and Supreme Court.˛** There are as of the show's debut nineteen people in direct succession to the Presidency alone[[note]]In order, the vice president, the Speaker of the House, the president ''pro tempore'' of the Senate, and the Cabinet secretaries in order of date of creation of their department, starting with the Secretary of State and, at time of airing, ending with the Secretary of Homeland Security.[[/note]] and the Cabinet secretaries would not necessarily be affected by an attack on the White House as they each work out of their own buildings in Washington most of the time.˛*** Given how every politician in America has to wear their religion on their sleeve, how many might secretly be members of the Gilead ideology?˛*** For starters, 95 percent of one of the two dominant political parties in America wouldn't.˛** Even assuming all 535 members of Congress are present in the Capitol at the time of the attack, they still have to deal with fifty state governors, who would be responsible for appointing new representatives to replace the fallen.˛*** See above. As difficult as it is to take a cabinet position as a member of a pseudo-Christian Conspiracy, ''nobody'' in America pays attention to local elections. State Legislatures and Governors could easily fall under the sway of Gilead or be part of the conspiracy from the beginning, especially if that state's culture lines up with Gilead's values.˛** The US military doesn't swear an oath to the President or to the government, but to the United States Constitution. As well, the aforementioned state governors are each the commander-in-chief of a portion of the National Guard. (Not even Americans often realize just how much power US states have when compared to other countries.) It is very unlikely either would stand idly by when blatantly unconstitutional orders, especially to give up their arms to a private army, start issuing from any kind of "interim government".˛*** Oaths are one thing, but soldiers are human beings too. They vote, have religious beliefs, and have human needs. If the chain of command is destroyed, the State Governor declares support for Gilead's interim government (especially if it forms with members of the [[TheQuisling original government]] as the leadership), or if society just descends into anarchy- what would ''you'' do? Honor a promise to a scrap of paper that is probably on fire right now, or run for the hills and protect your family?˛*** Militaries are surprisingly durable during times of crisis and are trained to stay together; e.g, at the end of the Roman Empire, the Roman army was essentially the only organ of the empire still functioning.˛*** Still doesn't make sense. At the very least there would be extreme pockets of resistance and fighting militarily. At best America would have turned into Bosnia, or ''worse''... Syria. There's no way a coup would be that clean. Gilead's government isn't all that steady, but its steadier than it has any reason to be realistically. ˛** And all this is ''before'' you consider how such a massive plot could avoid the notice of several ''dozen'' state, federal and foreign intelligence agencies (indeed, one of the flashbacks to before the coup mentions the FBI sniffing around the cult).˛*** See FBI/CIA/NSA muck-up of Al-Qaeda pre-9/11. All the signs were there that extremists were planning to hijack planes and use them as cruise missiles. Interservice rivalry, bureaucratic red tape, and good-old-fashioned Washington policy making (ignore this threat, focus on that one) could have combined to prevent anyone from doing anything to stop the attack.˛-->'''Condoleeza Rice''': "I believe [the memo] said 'Bin-Laden determined to attack the U.S.?'"˛** The problem is that the aftermath is depicted as a ''little'' too clean cut. Truthfully America would be a constant warzone. like the InUniverse, example Chicago, but more wide spread. It's easy to buy an American Coup happening given the right circumstances. The problem is that it's hard to believe that Giliad would have been created so cleanly without turning into an Americanized version of the aforementioned Bosnia or Syria.˛*** [[https://the-handmaids-tale.fandom.com/wiki/Geography_of_Gilead?file=Gilead_map_%281%29.jpg Promotional maps]] for the TV show seem to indicate a few things. California and the Pacific States, the Deep South (like, the Caribbean coastline and Florida), northern Michigan and its Upper Peninsula, and the Canadian border (barring Maine and New York) are in the hands of Loyalists. The Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and the central United States (Flyover Country) are the colonies or Disputed territories- implying widespread fighting and nuclear meltdowns/detonations. Gilead as we see it on the show is basically New England (minus New Hampshire and Vermont), the Rustbelt, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Everything else is contested in one way or another. This also lacks the nuance of modern insurgency warfare. The United States "controlled" Iraq during the Second Gulf War if you ONLY looked at a map and didn't turn on the news. Basically we're seeing the state of the States from the most stable and secure part of Gilead. If the show branches out or continues, it will likely show more about the state of the States.˛* The Canadian government inviting the Waterfords to negotiations in Toronto, rather than the capital Ottawa, at first comes off as odd but Canada wants to deal pragmatically and quietly with the Gileadan regime. If they had hosted the Waterfords in Ottawa it likely would have drawn the ire of the rest of the international community.˛** It also could have been another way to purposely show Canada does not actually approve of their actions. Not only did Canada assign lower-ranking civil servants who represented groups that Gilead oppresses (women and LGBT), they made sure Fred and Serena were hundreds of miles from the Prime Minister and rest of Canada's government.˛** From a production standpoint it also makes sense since the show is filmed in Toronto.

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