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Recap / The Handmaids Tale S 1 E 4 Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum

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Confined to her room for thirteen days now, Offred reminisces about her daughter, and about her fleeting conversations with Moira in the Red Centre. Offred finds graffiti scratched on the floor of her closet. "Nolite bastardes carborundorum." It's also time for another Ceremony.Offred looks back on her Red Centre training, and Moira's escape.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: June's feet are whipped after her foiled escape.
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  • Believing Their Own Lies: Serena Joy and Fred, discussing a piece printed in the ''Toronto Star''.
  • Disguised Hostage Gambit: Along with a little of Didn't Think This Through, Moira and June try to escape from the Red Center in this way. It doesn't work out very well.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Rita thinks this when she finds Offred on the closet floor. It scares the hell out of her.
    • Offred's predecessor hanged herself.
  • No Woman's Land: When Moira and Offred escape Offred seems disturbed at all the men walking the streets freely, while there are no women anywhere.
  • Slut-Shaming: Aunt Lydia, calling Offred by her real name, tells her she was an "adulterer" (Luke was married previously before his relationship with Offred) and a slut, and has been given a "second chance."
  • Split Screen: How Offred's conversation with Moira is framed by the washroom stalls.
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  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: To make a bad situation even worse, Fred can't perform his monthly duty.
  • Title Drop: The title of the episode comes from the graffiti scratched into Offred's closet.
  • Token Good Teammate: The doctor is one of the few people who talks to Offred like she's a real person. He reveals to her that in fact many of the Commanders are infertile, offering to impregnate her so things'll be easier for her. Offred declines.


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