After is the seventh episode of the second season of The Handmaid's Tale.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Following the bombing of the new Red Center, Commander Pryce is killed in the bombings and is replaced by Commander Cushing, who increases military presence throughout Gilead, and more checkpoints. However, when his scrutiny surpasses Serena's comfort zone, conflict arises.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In the aftermath of the Red Center attack, the handmaids, all in black cloaks and dresses (red veils), gather for a funeral. Aunts are lining the path to the red caskets waiting for them to mourn. Aunt Lydia reads the (patronymic) names of the deceased handmaids. In the birthmobile on their way home, Dolores says she heard that 26 commanders and 31 handmaids died in the bombing. The handmaids start talking about those they lost. Along the way, homes all over town are marked with bodies hanged in front of their respective homes, indicating that their district is now under martial law.

Commander Waterford is lying semi-conscious in his hospital bed. Nick offers to take Serena home for sleep and a change of clothes. She refuses his offer. Commander Putnam enters the room with a visibly injured Commander Cushing and announces Commander Pryce "has gone home to God" and Cushing will be taking on Pryce's "security duties". Cushing promises he will find everyone responsible for the gruesome attack.

In the Colonies, some black GMC Yukon XL squad cars stop by as a line of prisoners walk to the work. A list of names is presented to the guards, who forcibly pull several women out of the line and put them into the vehicles, among them are Emily and Janine.

At the U.S. consulate in Canada, a large crowd had gathered to get word about the bombing in Gilead. Ms. Tapping, an official of the US consulate, says that there were many fatalities including a number of high-level government officials. Luke and Moira are there and Moira asks if any Handmaids were killed. Ms. Tapping answers that yes, civilians were killed and among them were Handmaids. However, the names of the deceased are not yet known. Ms. Tapping tells everyone that they do not have more information and promises that they will let them know as soon as more information becomes available, asking the crowd to go home. Luke leaves, certain in his belief that June is alive. Moira does not want to leave until she can be sure.

Moira then tells Ms. Tapping that she is looking for somebody else, not related to the bombing. She gives Moira the opportunity to check a library full of binders in order to see whether her fiancee, Odette, who was rounded up before the war, has been executed. The binders are filled with images of the unidentified dead. Moira asks what the white binder is and Ms. Tapping answers that those are the children. Moira then starts looking at the binders.

June stores her mourning outfit away in a little suitcase. Shortly afterward, Rita announces that there is a visitor for her. Commander Cushing is at the house for "Offred", and orders Rita to leave him alone with the handmaid. They briefly talk about Ofglen #2, but he then asks June who looked after her when she ran away. She answers that she did not see them. He says that she can trust him and asks again who helped her. June insists that she was taken against her will. He touches her stomach and holds her chin, saying he needs to know if the house is infected with terrorists. He hears a commotion outside and leaves the house. June looks out of the window and sees a Martha being shot in the street. Cushing steps over her corpse before looking back at June.

Offred gets to the hospital. Serena Joy is happy to see her and to show Fred his baby is safe. He touches her belly and tells her that she is bigger. Serena tells her that her husband needs to rest. Offred leaves the room and sees Nick. He asks her if she is ok. She cries on his shoulder saying the Martha was just reaching for her pass when she was shot, and that Cushing wants to know who helped June when she ran. Nick promises he "won't let anything happen to [her]." She asks about him and they begin to kiss before she walks away.

At home, June sits before a plate of food. Serena Joy comes in and tells her to go to sleep. She asks how is Commander Fred and Serena answers that he is very strong. She talks about Cushing with June and says that he has always been a blowhard, even when they vacationed in Antigua together years ago with his wife Sonia. When June tells her that he came to the house to talk with her, Serena wants her to be very careful about what she says to Cushing. June reminds Serena that Commander Deeds' entire household was slaughtered due to Ofglen's actions and he would do the same to any households connected with insurgents. When Serena says that Fred wouldn't allow that, Offred answers, "He isn't here, Serena".

In Canada, Moira is still looking at the binders for her fiancee. Luke brings her food and says that Odette wouldn't want her to push herself so much. She says she just wants to know if she died alone. He leaves and she continues looking.

Nick walks home alone and returns to his room. He finds Serena inside waiting alone. She tells him that Eden went to help to the Websters, the family whose Martha was shot in the street. She asks him if he ever helped Fred submit warrants to the "Consular of Divine Law". Nick answers that he did and that those documents need the Commander's signature. Serena says that she knows Fred will forgive her trespasses and asks Nick to walk her through the process.

At the U.S. consulate, Moira finds the page that shows Odette's corpse. She begins crying and holds the book to her chest as she rocks back and forth.

Nick exchanges glances with the guards in front of the Waterfords' house and heads to the front door. As Commander Cushing comes up to the house, a guardian prevents him from opening the gate. Shortly after, several guardian units arrive and surround him as a black Ford Transit arrives, meaning the Eyes have all come for him. Commander Putnam explains he is being stripped of his command and arrested for "apostasy and treason" on the word of Commander Waterford, due to his collusion with "terrorists" and their plot to wipe Gilead off the map for good. Putnam states to Cushing that the evidence submitted by the Eyes is "overwhelming". Cushing reluctantly enters the van while forced at gunpoint by other guardians as Nick, June, and Serena all watch from the house.

In the grocery store, Eden announces what she will cook for dinner, to the annoyance of June, who Janine then unexpectedly greets her from behind. She asks how she is there and Janine answers that there were so few Handmaids left after the bombing they brought some of them back from the Colonies. She adds that God has a plan for both of them, pointing in the direction of Emily. June greets Emily then reveals her real name to her in response, acknowledging that she never got a chance to tell her. Feeling driven, June introduces her real name to the other handmaids in the grocery store (Brianna, Alma, Dolores, and many others), who in turn begin to exchange their real names to each other, much to Eden's disgust.

In Canada, Ms. Tapping announces the women who were deceased as a result of the bombing, showing their photos as they were from before. At this point, the real name of the bomber, Ofglen #2, is revealed to be Lillie Fuller. Later, Moira puts a photo of herself with Odette at a memorial. Luke joins her and they hold hands.

Serena Joy asks Offred to accompany her to Fred's office where she has already put together new security policies, explaining she would like things to return to normal. Reminding her of her former profession as editor, Serena asks Offred to read over the policy drafts, and Offred grabs a pen.

Flashback[edit | edit source]

In a cafe, Moira tells June that she is going to get $250,000 for being a surrogate mother for a couple in England. Luke jokingly offers Hannah instead. June wonders if she won't get attached to the baby instead.

Moira and June go to an ultrasound. Moira refuses the photo, though June pushes her to.

Moira goes to a birthing class with June. She looks around at the happy couples and becomes insulted when June tells her that Luke used to rub her feet every night when she was pregnant. Moira becomes insulted that she "throws Luke in [her] face". June answers that their marriage is not perfect and jokes about Luke's inability to load the dishwasher. Moira has given birth and gives her baby, Gavin, to a doctor. He begins crying after leaving her arms. She watches as he is given to a new couple. June says that she forgot how small they are, to what Moira answers that she "[is] still sitting on ice". She continues to watch the baby with his new parents.

The parents send Moira a card on Gavin's six-month birthday. Later, she runs into Odette, the doctor who helped with her pregnancy. She helps her pick out wine and tells her to call her by her first name since she is not her patient anymore.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Starring[edit | edit source]

Guest Starring[edit | edit source]

Additional Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Helen King as Aunt Pauline
  • Krista Morin as Rachel Tapping
  • Nina Iordanova as Refugee
  • Sehar Bhojani as Elise Watson
  • Roger Bainbridge as Paul Watson
  • Danielle Height as Meredith
  • Jamila Fleming as unknown handmaid
  • Natalie Dale as Claire
  • Brianne Tucker as Molly
  • Tasha Attey as Amber

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Music[edit | edit source]

  • "My Life" by Patricia Kaas
  • "Venus" by Shocking Blue

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The order of names sixteen deceased are announced as follows:
  1. Jennifer Briggs
  2. Mae Cohen
  3. Nora Ford
  4. Patricia Frank
  5. Lillie Fuller - identified as the possible attacker
  6. Cheryl Gardini
  7. Joanna Grant
  8. Lindsay Hayes
  9. Tiana Moore
  10. Jada King
  11. Megan Young
  12. Chloe Washington
  13. Adriana Hall
  14. Helen Campbell
  15. Isabella Lopez
  16. Odette Johnson

References[edit source]

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