Journal Type Entry #16: Quick Reflection of 25 Years

A classmate of mine posted a picture from high school. It happens to be our 25th high school reunion this weekend. As I looked and read about everyone attending, some of them had kids already in college, some are still having kids, some didn’t want any kids (including myself), some are still married, some are divorced, some remarried, some never married (including myself). A lot of us gained weight while some are the same size or lost weight.  Most of us have white and gray hairs unless they dyed their hair. I’m realizing now my high school biology teacher did that every month. I’m also realizing I don’t remember certain things that happened way back then and some things I wish I could forget but never will. I lost touch with all of my class, but reconnected when Facebook came onto the scene. Good friends from high school are no longer friends for one reason or another. We grew apart and went our separate ways. I guess this is what life is all about. Some of it is downright shitty while other parts of it are just okay.

Since being out of high school, I’m learning to justify myself less and understand everyone screws up more than once in their lives, but more see this is on everyone’s life chart whether realized or not. Screwing up, some more than others, and then learning to forgive yourself is a human process for every living person. It doesn’t skip over any person as much as I would prefer it to be this way. It’s the hardest thing to contend with for many people. We really are the product of our upbringing, but for those of us who are taken out of something horrible, there’s something that’s different with us. It completely revamps who you are personality wise.  Hopefully, it will come through in a creative way in one of my book ideas. I believe it will be my most powerful story I will ever write. This is, of course, if I do it the right way. As I grapple with certain things I know to be true concerning my own life, I can’t help but think of people who sacrifice themselves.

I’m hoping there won’t be as many unresolved emotions and feelings to deal with ten years from now, but people are complex and there are many layers.  If people are like onions, they resist being peeled. I have stories that will make people cry.  I also have stories that will make people appreciate life. It’s the in crap in between I’m trying to reach, to resolve, to better myself and others.  The one thing I’ve always found satisfaction in is when I attain solitude. I might not have the calmest of minds, but I try to incorporate it into my weekly life in some way. The bottom line is I’m doing the best I can within my grasp.  I’m not the person I was in high school and going back to any reunion isn’t for me, but I wish everyone has a blast as I’ll be devoting the weekend to rewriting.  If I expose myself to more people, I prefer to do it through my writing.  This will be the greatest reward life can give me and that I can give myself (for now anyways).  Cheers and enjoy your weekend.

2019

Flying Bug

Blurry picture because I have a crappy iPhone still, but I take them anyway.

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In the Order of Roman Kings, Roman Republic, and Roman Empire

Here’s a list of the Roman Kings, Republic, and Empire from 753 BC to 476 AD and the Byzantine Empire 330 to 1453 AD.  Romulus Augustulus was the last Western emperor.  The Eastern or Byzantine Empire fell in 1453 AD making Constantine XI its last emperor.  With an empire lasting over a thousand years, it’s a place I want to eventually visit.  I put in a brief amount of information about the Roman Kings and Roman Republic and a little bit of information about the Roman Empire.  Enjoy this weird thing I call a hobby as it took me a while.  I think I need to find a different one that isn’t so time consuming.  The source material came from Wikipedia.

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Forbes Quotes #2

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Forbes Quotes #1

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UFC 241: The Aftermath of the Fights

After what seemed like 30 minutes in total of signing up to UFC+, I was finally able to buy and stream UFC 241.  I was mainly looking forward to watching the fight between Diaz and Pettis, but all the main title card fights were great to watch.  This was definitely the night of the underdog as Stipe Miocic, Nate Diaz, Paulo Costa, and Derek Brunson showed being the underdog doesn’t hold that much weight (this time).  I have yet to watch the under card fights, but I will list the outcomes below.   I watched the post fight interviews as Nate Diaz is always entertaining, but I enjoyed the others too.

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Let’s start in the order the main title fights played with Ian Heinisch and Derek Brunson. first.  Right off the bat middleweight Brunson took a nice kick to the head by Heinisch.  Being the seasoned fighter, Brunson was able to avoid Heinisch’s takedown in round one and paced himself throughout.  In round two and three, Heinisch lost some power and tired.  Brunson won the fight with all three judges scoring the fight 29-28.

The next fight was between Sodiq Yusuff and Gabriel Benitez.  This was a quick fight as it ended in round one by a TKO by Yusuff as a featherweight, but not before they swung and kicked at each other if their lives depended on it.

The third fight was between Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa.  This was where it got exciting and the first time I’ve watched UFC where a fighter sticks out his tongue repeatedly.  Romero and Costa as middleweights came out swinging in the first round.  The younger Costa definitely had something to prove to Romero and stays on him like glue except when he “accidentally” kneed Romero in the groin.  The second round continued at nearly the same pace as the first in a flurry of action.  Romero was fast with his combinations and takes down Costa.  The last round was where both fighter were clearly tired, but they continued their combinations of kicks and punches.  The fight was stopped one more due to Romero eye poking Costa.  The judge’s decision was booed by the crowd with all three judges scoring the fight 29-28 for Costa.

The fourth fight was between Anthony Pettis and Nate Diaz.  The welterweight fight I’d been waiting for and the main reason I watched UFC 241.  It was not as close as I thought and would like to see them fight again given Pettis broke his foot in the first round.  I found this out after the fact.  To say it didn’t affect him during the fight is stupid, but as UFC fighters they continue through the pain.  Diaz never let Pettis be flashy as he liked and was able to take him down.  Pettis tried to get Diaz in a guillotine, but that didn’t work as he has a great ground defense.  In the second round Diaz showed his fighting skills and I’m surprised he wasn’t the trash talking fighter he usually is, but as he said when the fight was over he was fucking tired.  The third round Diaz kept the pressure on Pettis, much of it on the cage, and by the end Pettis was surviving.  They hugged at the end, but Diaz was still out to fight more gangstas, notably Jorge Masvidal.  Diaz won the fight with two judges scoring the fight 30-27 and one judge scoring 29-28.

The title fight was between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic.  I was not expecting this possible five round fight to turn out how it did.  I don’t get too excited about heavyweight fights compared to other weight classes, but this was interesting in the size difference and fighting styles of Cormier and Miocic.  In round one Cormier dominated Miocic and even picked him up what seemed like a long time and slammed him down.  Round two and three, Cormier had some tongue hanging out of his mouth as Romero did earlier although not as much.  It was just something I noticed, but he’s quick with his hands. Miocic ate a lot of punches to his face, but kept pushing forward.  Miocic showed he was in great shape.  In round four something clicked in Miocic’s brain and started punching at Cormier’s torso.  After four or five punches, Cormier started to wince and then the fight was stopped about 4 minutes into the fourth round due to TKO.  Miocic gets his heavyweight title belt back while Cormier is stunned, but not before what looks like a nod to traditional Irish dancing.   While talking to Joe Rogan, Cormier said he may or may not retire.

Under Card Fights

Khama Worthy won over Devonte Smith in the first round with TKO at 4.15 minutes.

Cory Sandhagen won over Raphael Assuncao by two judges scoring it 30-27 and one judge scoring 29-28.

Drakkar Klose won over Christos Giagos by three judges scoring it 29-28.

Casey Kenney won over Manny Bermudez by three judges scoring it 29-28.

Hannah Cifers won over Jodie Esquibel by one judge scoring it 30-28 and two judges scoring 30-27.

Kyung Ho Kang won over Brandon Davis by split decision by one judge scoring it 28-29 and two judges scoring 29-28.

Sabina Mazo won over Shana Dobson by one judge scoring it 30-24 and two judges scoring 30-25.

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Movie Review: The Predator (2018)

Quote from The Predator by Casey Bracket

“A predator kills its prey to survive. I mean, what you’re describing is more like a bass fisherman.”

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There are minor spoilers in this review so don’t continue if you want to be surprised while watching The Predator, but honestly there aren’t too many surprises in it.

The Predator Schmedator

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This was one of the movies I wanted to see in the theater in 2018.  Good thing I never went to see it.  What a disappointment on many levels.  Not that any of the other Predator movies prior to it was Oscar worthy, but they were good when compared to this dump.  I had high hopes, being it was directed and half written by Shane Black, but  somewhere too much was cut out or changed.  Whatever it was, this movie morphed into a giant predator mess.  It became one of those movies where I finished it only because I started it.  If another one is made, I hope it’s a better story because sometimes humans and non humans don’t get along no matter what the circumstances.

The Individuals Behind The Predator

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The Predator is an action, adventure, sci-fi movie with a running time of one hour and 47 minutes.  It’s MPAA rating is R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, and crude sexual references.  The executive producers are Bill Bannerman and Ira Napoliello.  The writers are Fred Dekker and Shane Black (screenplay) and Jim and John Thomas (characters).  It’s directed by Shane Black.  The major cast is Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey, Jacob Tremblay, Yvonne Strahovski, and Brian A. Prince.  This 20th Century Fox movie is about what happens when you accidentally invite genetically enhanced predators into your town.  It’s bad guys with some good qualities who are recruited to battle against these predators and ugly looking dog like creatures because no one else will do it.  The biologist is correct in saying the predators have evolved: bigger, stronger, taller, and uglier looking.

    The Watch the Trailer if You Dare

    The Don’t Mess With Me Stance

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    The movie begins with Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) on a mission in Mexico.  He comes into contact with a predator who crashed his ship while there.  After the predator is subdued, it’s brought back to Project Stargazer lab for inspection.  A biologist named Casey Brackett (Olivia Munn) is there alongside Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown) while they conduct the examination.  Quinn’s son, Rory, decides to go out in a mask not intended for Halloween.  By wearing this mask, he starts a chain reaction of events.  Back to Quinn, he’s evaluated and loaded onto a bus with other government prisoners.  They include Nebraska Williams (Trevante Rhodes), Baxley (Thomas Jane), Coyle (Keegan-Michael Key), Nettles (Augusto Aguilera), and Lynch (Alfie Allen).  They pass the time telling crude jokes and by insulting each other.  In the lab, Casey meets Dr. Peter Keyes (Jake Busey) and learns of the predator’s human DNA.  They find it isn’t only them interested in the smaller predator as another ship is coming their way with a much bigger genetically enhanced predator.  The prisoners and Casey find safety in a motel room.  Quinn puts two and two together and searches for Rory.  When they find him, it leads to a battle between the predators.  Traeger is still invested in the predator species and they all search for the remaining predator and abandoned ship.   Somehow they find the ship and work together to save Rory.  After the fight is over, it’s clear not everything returns to normal.  The lab has a new doctor and this is where Rory finds himself spending his time outside of school.  As Dr. Yamada, Quinn, and Rory watch the black armor cover the person closest to it, they are all excited for what the future holds.

    The Evaluation of The Predator

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    I don’t recommend this movie to adults because you will be disappointed.  I don’t recommend it to young children because they will be disappointed too and not suitable for them anyway.  Compared to Predator, Predator 2, and even Predators, I don’t know how else to put it that this one lacks story, sense, and decency.  The jokes weren’t funny.  The action was subpar.  The plot had holes.  The characters felt like paper cut outs.  I know action movies aren’t noted for their great dialogue, but the words spoken felt shallow.  Even the tension between the predators was too short and there weren’t enough predators to make me feel as if earth dwellers were in real danger.  I admit you don’t want to bombard the screen with predators or their dog like creatures, but more than one wouldn’t hurt or increase the tension and danger in some way.  It made no sense when the dog stayed with the humans instead of staying alongside his owner/master.   I wouldn’t be thrusting my child into a world of predators and possible danger after all was said and done, but this is what Quinn does.  As much as I enjoyed a few scenes, the rest was questionable.  I haven’t seen such a poorly crafted in a long time, but this was definitely one of them.  Sorry, Shane Black and cast members.

    I rate The Predator BAD with TWO FINGERS at 61%.

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    2019

    10 Movies I Recommend from My Shelves

    Watch these movies at your own discretion. I am not responsible for time lost or gained.

    The Terminal (2004) stars Tom Hanks as Victor Navorski who is stranded at the JFK airport.  He meets a flight attendant named Amelia Warren, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and has instant attraction to her.  He meets more people the longer he is there, becoming friends, until is able to leave.  It’s a feel good story.  It also stars Stanley Tucci, Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Jude Ciccolella.  It is rated PG-13 for brief language and drug references.  This drama, comedy, romance film runs 2 hours and 8 minutes.

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    Whiplash (2014) stars Miles Teller as Andrew and J.K. Simmons as Fletcher.  This relationship between student and teacher pushes both of them to the edge.  This is a great portrayal of a student’s talent and how a teacher with the best intentions leads to a obsession and disregard for those he’s teaching.  It also stars Paul Reiser, melissa Benoist, and Austin Stowell.  It is rated R for strong language including some sexual references.  This drama and music film runs 1 hour and 46 minutes.

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    Enemy of the State (1998) stars Will Smith as Robert Clayton Dean who’s a lawyer.  When it becomes clear the N.S.A. and a politician named Thomas Reynolds is following his every move, he seeks help from Rachel F. Banks played by Lisa Bonet.  After meeting Edward Lyle, played by Gene Hackman, he attempts to get his life back.  It also stars Jon Voight, Regina King, Gabriel Bryne, and Barry Pepper.  It is rated R for language and violence.  This action and thriller film runs 2 hours and 12 minutes.

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    Pain & Gain (2013) stars Mark Wahlberg as Daniel Lugo, Dwayne Johnson as Paul Doyle, and Anthony Mackie as Adrian Doorbal.  This is based on a true story where these bodybuilders build their American Dream the wrong way.  It also stars Stanley Tucci, Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Jude Ciccolella.  It is rated R for bloody violence, crude sexual content, nudity, language throughout and drug use.  This drama, comedy, crime film runs 2 hours and 9 minutes.

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    Narc (2002) stars Jason Patric as a disgraced police officer, Nick Tellis.  He pairs up with Henry Oak, played by Ray Liotta, to find why an undercover narc died.  It leads them chasing clue after clue.  It also stars Krista Bridges, Lloyd Adams, and Chi McBride.  It is rated R for strong brutal violence, drug content, and pervasive language.  This crime, drama, mystery film runs 1 hour and 45 minutes.

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    The Last Station (2009) stars Christopher Plummer as Leo Tolstoy.  It focuses on the writer’s later life and his desire to get rid of material wealth.  His wife, Countess Sophia, works to persuade her husband to protect his monetary assets.  It also stars Helen Mirren, Paul Giamatti, and Anne-Marie Duff.  It is rated R for a scene of sexuality and nudity.  This biography, drama, romance film runs 1 hour and 52 minutes.

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    Affliction (1997) stars Nick Nolte as Wade Whitehouse and his difficult father Glen Whitehouse played by James Coburn.  Wade must solve a murder and deal with this family.  It takes place during the winter where relationships are as frozen as the ground.  It also stars Jim True-Frost, Sissy Spacek, and Willem Dafoe.  It is rated R for violence and language.  This drama, mystery, thriller film runs 1 hour and 54 minutes.

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    Godzilla (2004) stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ford Brody who joins his father Joe, played by Bryan Cranston, as he searches for clues to his wife’s death.  They uncover secrets and find themselves face to face with terrifying creatures at the nuclear power plant.  These MUTO’s (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) are about to breed unless Godzilla emerges.  It also stars Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, David Strathairn, and Carson Bolde.  It is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem, and creature violence.  This action, adventure, sci-fi film runs 2 hours and 3 minutes.

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    Prizzi’s Honor (1985) stars Jack Nicholson as Charley Partanna and Kathleen Turner as Irene Walker.  They are professional killers who fall in love.  Things get complicated as they do with crime families and the hit men/women they hire.  It also stars Robert Loggia, William Hickey, Angelica Huston, and Lee Richardson.  It is rated R.  This comedy, crime, drama film runs 2 hours and 10 minutes.

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    Gosford Park (2001) stars Michael Gambon as William McCordle and his family.  Just because it takes place in an English country house doesn’t mean things can’t unravel to the end result of murder.  It also stars Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jeremy Northam, Emily Watson, Ryan Phillippe, and Stephen Fry  It is rated R for some language and brief sexuality.  This comedy, drama, mystery film runs 2 hours and 11 minutes.

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    2019

    Netflix Docu-Series Recommendation: Dirty Money (2018-)

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    Creator: Alex Gibney

    Executive Producers: Adam Del Deo, Alex Gibney, Brad Hebert, Yon Motskin, Lisa Nishimura, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, Jason Spingarn-Koff, and John Turner

    Directors: Erin Lee Carr, Alex Gibney, Kristin Jacobson, Brian McGinn, Jesse Moss, and Fisher Stevens

    MMPA Rating: NA but would say not suitable for young children

    Episode Running Time: 1 hour

    *******

    Dirty Money is a Netflix original television series that has interesting stories about corporate corruption, greed, and scandal.  There are only six episodes in the first and only season until the second one is released.  They are informative but at the same time loaded with emotions for the victims/little people involved.  I’d say the HSBC bank money laundering for the cartels was the most eye opening and the inaction from the government to curb it maddening.  For all the hard work being done on the front lines with the illegal drug trade, it seems futile if it’s “legal” for banks to launder billions of dollars with little consequence.  The other episode about drug companies and one in particular, Valeant, was as scandalous as HSBC bank.  The greed among pharmaceutical companies is massive.  This company fattened the pockets of their shareholders while not caring that people were dying when they hiked up prices of their drugs so much they could not afford them.  The last episode focuses on Donald Trump.  It delved into his business practices during the 1980s and 1990s and how transforming his image in the 21st century saved him from complete financial ruin.  Each documentary styled episode has a sobering reality where  businesses have its flaws and even when identified nothing really changes despite the whistle blowers.  Welcome to the Wall Street jungle where money is the main crop raised, cultivated, and unevenly distributed.

    Pisaries Creator rates Dirty Money

    Four Fingers and One Thumb at 100%

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    2019

     

    Hulu TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 (2019)

    Do not read if you haven’t seen all seasons from The Handmaid’s Tale!!!

    Quote from The Handmaid’s Tale by Moira

    “Everybody’s talking about happily ever after, but there’s just after.”

    *******

    Creator: Bruce Miller

    Directors: Mike Barker, Kari Skogland, Daina Reid, Reed Morano, Kate Dennis, Floria Sigismondi, Jeremy Podeswa, Amma Asante, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Dearbhla Walsh, and Colin Watkinson

    Writers: Bruce Miller, Lynn Renee Maxcy, Margaret Atwood, Nina Fiore, John Herrera, Kira Snyder, Eric Tuchman, Dorothy Fortenberry, Yahlin Chang, Leila Gerstein, Wendy Straker Hauser, Marissa Jo Cerar, and Jacey Heldrich

    Major Cast: Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne, O-T Fagbenle as Luke Bankole, Jordana Blake as Hannah Bankole, Samira Wiley as Moira Strand, Clea DuVall as Sylvia, Alexis Bledel as Emily Malek, Amanda Brugel as Rita, Madeline Brewer as Janine Lindo, Nini Kiri as Alma, Bahia Watson as Brianna, Kristen Gutoskie as Beth, Ashleigh LaThrop as Natalie, Sugenja Sri as Sienna, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia Clements, Edie Inksetter as Aunt Elizabeth, Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello, Bradley Whitford as Joseph Lawrence,  Julie Dretzin as Eleanor Lawrence, Stephen Kunken as Warren Putnam, Ever Carradine as Naomi Putnam, Christopher Meloni as George Winslow, Elizabeth Reaser as Olivia Winslow, Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford, Joseph Fiennes as Fred Waterford, and Max Minghella as Nick Blaine

    TV Rating: TV-MA for sex/nudity, violence/gore, profanity/alcohol/drugs/smoking, and frightening/intense scenes

    Episode Running Time: 60 minutes although season finales run longer

    Not everyone enjoyed the third season and recognized some noticeable flaws.  I choose to overlook them and the feasibility of certain scenes.  The Handmaid’s Tale is still a TV show I’ll watch and will continue to watch until it ends.  Most of us know it’s an adaptation from Margaret’s Atwood’s book with the same title and about living in an autocracy with limited freedoms and bathed in religious doctrine.  We were still learning about Gilead in the first season and the second season continued to explore the reality of the situation presented to those enslaved and those who escaped.  We learned what happens to undesirables and the forced participation of violence by the handmaids.  The season finale of season two left you cheering and screaming at the same time.  It doesn’t take long to realize why June’s decision was made.

    The first episode of season three begins after June made the decision to stay in Gilead instead of leaving it. We see the unusual relationship between Commander Lawrence and his wife in their home.  We get a good picture of how horrifying it really can be for the handmaids in the Capitol.  Christopher Meloni is great in his role as Commander Winslow as he is proud of his dutiful wife and army of children.  The relationship between Mrs. Waterford and June/Offred gets interesting as each other question the other’s intentions, sacrifices, and bravery or lack of.  I find the character of Serena Joy Waterford defeated and lost as she battles within herself what she has done.  You can see it on her face, but in the season finale, she had what was coming to her.  There’s a definite shift of power happening between those in leading and those following in Gilead.  The fourth season will more than likely focus on Gilead commanders trying to defend their practices and beliefs to the United States and Canada on a larger scale and smaller scale the consequences of what the handmaids and marthas did to hurt Gilead’s stability.

    There’s some heartbreaking moments in this season for June, Luke, Emily, and Sylvia.  We learn more about Aunt Lydia before Gilead and how much it has affected her negatively.  Her apple didn’t fall far from the tree before Gilead.  There will be more opportunities for June to show her heroics, but it’s come at another cost.  This is clear as she’s letting nothing stop her agenda as she’s willing to kill in the name of justice.  I enjoyed this season because June has grown as a character, gotten stronger in some respects and weaker in others.  The effects of Gilead is more pronounced, but she still is a fighting force.  By her not being on the wall means she’s a valuable member and I’m looking forward to seeing how the show angles this because her recent action alone would lead to a painful, slow death.  Being she is the driving force behind the resistance and basically central character of the show, June will not be killed, but those angry with what she has done will make question her sanity.  The fourth season will be released sometime in 2020.

    Pisaries Creator rates The Handmaid’s Tale Season Three

    Four Fingers and One Thumb at 100%

    pcratingfive

    2019

     

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