First Blood is the sixth episode of the second season of The Handmaid's Tale.


Offred finds unexpected allies and obstacles in her search for a way to protect Hannah. The Commander prepares for the dedication of a new Red Center. Nick struggles with his new assignation.


During an ultrasound, the doctor tells Serena that Offred’s bleeding was due to a subchorionic hematoma and she should be fine now, adding the baby "needs harmony within the household". Back at home, Serena has Offred move in the sitting room so she doesn’t have to go up and down the stairs. In a moment alone with Offred, Nick points out he didn’t have a choice to marry Eden and still thinks about "the three of us".

Commander Fred inspects the almost finished construction site of the new Red Center, along with Aunt Lydia and the Commanders Pryce, Putnam, and Cushing. Aunt Lydia is pleased about the increasing number of "girls" they "can process here". Waterford assures a suspicious Pryce that the "finishing touches" on the site will be done within two days.

That night, Nick and Eden have dinner at their apartment, where she tells him that her mother taught her "about everything" that would be expected of her as a wife. Nick steps outside to smoke.

Serena sits by the couch while Offred gets ready to go to sleep. When Serena asks what it's like to have a human life inside of her, she lets Serena put her hands on her belly. She awakens to get a drink, finding Commander Fred in the kitchen. She asks if he's mad at her. He says that he's just busy. They joke about Aunt Lydia and he says that pregnancy suits her.

The next day, Eden looks for Mrs. Waterford but only finds Offred. She tells Offred about Nick's permanent aloofness and fears he is a gender traitor. Offred reassures her he will be a great father for her children.

Serena invites four handmaids (Alma, Ofglen (#2), Oferic, and Ofsamuel) for a surprise lunch with Offred. Serena awkwardly tries to get the girls to talk and feels left out when the baby begins to kick. She goes outside to a greenhouse. She tends to her plants.

Conversation in the nursery (Relationships/Serena and June)

Later, Serena takes Offred up to the nursery to see how she’s decorated it. Offred tells her it's beautiful. Serena promises to be the best mother possible, making Offred uncomfortable. She tells her about Hannah's room. When Offred asks to see Hannah, Serena sternly refuses and tells her to get her things out from downstairs to go back to her old room. Both women cry as Offred leaves.

As Offred comes in, she runs into Nick. She explains what happened with Serena Joy and tells Nick to sleep with Eden, since she will make trouble. Nick protests due to her age, but she says that he must because she can't lose him too. He says that he loves her (June), but she answers "She's your wife."

Nick recites Genesis 1:28 and asks if she's sure. Before they begin, she says he'll be a great father. He inserts himself through a hole in the sheet and quickly finishes. He asks if she's okay and she says she hopes it worked and that they'll have to keep trying, if not.

Fred finds his wife in the greenhouse and says that Rita said she'd be in there all afternoon. She tells him that Offred wanted to see Hannah and calls her devious. After she hurts herself, he says that he prays to be worthy for her.

In a flashback, Serena nervously prepares to speak in front of a crowd on a college campus to promote her book "A Woman’s Place," where the audience is already booing loudly before she even gets to the podium. When someone throws a water bottle at the stage, the organizers hustle her out, with Fred loudly protesting that she has a right to speak, because "This is America".

On her way out, she shouts that they're living in a privileged bubble and tells the women to embrace their biological destiny. When heading back to the car, Serena's manager is shot in the chest and she is shot in the stomach by a sniper.

In the hospital, Fred and Serena write a speech for her. When he sadly says that he shouldn't have allowed her to speak in public, she tears her hand away and tells him to be a man.

Fred later catches the sniper. He is tied up and Fred recites Ecclesiastes 3:17, while the man's wife is present. Fred asks the man if he knows what it's like to pray to God for his wife. He shoots his wife and says that he does now. They drag him away and leave his wife's corpse on the ground.

In the present, Fred sneaks into Offred’s room while she sleeps and shows her a Polaroid of Hannah in her pink Subservient-in-Training uniform. Offred thanks him and cries as she stares at the photo. He says that he missed her and begins groping her. They begin kissing and he says that he wants her. She stops him, saying that she's worried about the baby. She grabs his hand, thanking him, and he says that it's their little secret. He leaves the room and she cries, still looking at the photograph.

To the opening of the new Rachel and Leah Center, Commanders from all of the districts are there. When Nick sees Commander Pryce, he begs for reassignment and says there’s a lot he hasn’t divulged about Fred. He then asks Pryce to promise to "protect the handmaid" to which Pryce replies he has his word.

Offred sits silently in front of her plate and says that she is not hungry. Serena asks Rita to wrap it and says that Offred will eat it later. Eden arrives and offers to help in the house. Serena says that she wishes Offred was as helpful. She throws her needle on the floor and as Eden is about to pick it up, Serena orders Offred to do it instead. Serena then tells Eden to throw the needle on the ground and make Offred pick it up as well. Offred says she felt a cramp and does not want to hurt the baby, allowing her to leave the needle on the floor. She goes to her room and looks at the photograph of Hannah.

Ofglen attack2
As Commander Fred addresses the men who have gathered for the opening of the new Rachel and Leah Center, handmaids stand along the auditorium’s back wall. Ofglen#2 steps out of line and turns to face her fellow maids, raising one hand so the handmaids can see that she is holding a detonator. The women start to run. Ofglen#2 then runs into the assembly, holds up her hand once more and presses the button. As the handmaids run for safety, a huge explosion rocks the center.



The Red Center symbol in Holly's apartment (see "Baggage", at 13:16) and in the opening ceremony

The Red Center symbol on the big poster in the hall could already be seen in a flashback of Baggage, on a wall in Holly's apartment. (Symbols)


"My mother taught me how to cook and keep house. She taught me all about marriage. About everything. I know what's expected of me. What God expects of me."
- Eden to Nick
"This is my house. I hoped that she could manage things at home, but I see now I have to step in and keep the peace. I have something for you. ...It's good to see you happy again."


Starring Edit

Guest StarringEdit

Additional Cast Edit

  • Elise Bauman as Jenny
  • Adrian Falconer as College Dean
  • Allie Dunbar as Student Host
  • Karina Bradfield as Heckler #1
  • Luc Trottier as Heckler #2
  • Yasmijn Nicole as Heckler #3
  • Christopher Thompson as Gunman
  • Caitlin McConkey-Pirie as Girlfriend
  • Kevin Herod as Red Center Commander



  • "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" by X-Ray Spex.


References Edit

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