June negotiates a truce in the Waterfords’ fractured relationship.
Bells toll as everyone gathers in a Prayvaganza to celebrate all the babies recently born in the district. As the Handmaids approach the church, Aunt Lydia rides by on a scooter, reminding her girls to be on their best behavior.
Afterwards, the Putnams invite Aunt Lydia and the handmaids to their house for a reception. Naomi Putnam thanks June for what she did on the bridge and addresses a "bless you" to Janine. She then sends Aunt Lydia and the Handmaids in a separate back room.
When Serena arrives, she and June have a quick exchange of words in the hallway. June reminds her that a number of women who shared her plan to teach Gilead’s girls to read hadn’t abandoned her, and explains her she didn't escape when she had the chance because there was still hope she would get to see her daughter again.
Fred gets a moment alone with June to tell her he’s concerned about Serena. He’s sure Serena isn’t satisfied “planting flowers and knitting sweaters.” June suggests him to give Mrs. Waterford “a real voice behind the scenes”.
June follows Serena to the Putnams’ indoor pool room, where Serena is smoking on a chaise lounge, announcing her that she made a suggestion for Serena to have more freedom in her marriage. Serena hands her the cigarette case and lighter, and the two women sit there, smoking in silence.
Naomi brings baby Angela down to the parlor. Janine breaks protocol when she approaches the Putnams and asks to hold her daughter but Naomi allows it. Janine voluntarily hands the baby back only to start insistently suggesting that she could move back into the house and give Angela a brother or sister, concluding she "just wants to be with her daughter". An incensed Aunt Lydia strikes Janine down and continues to beat her. June calls for someone to stop her, but as none of the Commanders or their Wives react, she throws herself between Janine and Aunt Lydia, yelling at Aunt Lydia who eventually comes to her senses and stops. Janine is carried off by guardians. Lydia looks around, muttering an apology to the guests, except for Janine, before leaving the parlor. She walks into another room in the house and sits down on a chair where she starts to cry, showing some remorse for what she had just done to Janine.
While June is waiting to leave the Putnams’ house, Serena creeps close to tell her how she can see Hannah playing outside after lunch at her school. A few minutes later, an officer of the Eyes comes in and wants to see Commander Waterford immediately: He’s got a video of a Canadian protest showing solidarity with Chicago. Luke is at the protest, and he’s wearing Nichole in a carrier. The Waterfords have June confirm Luke’s identity, which she does reluctantly. She walks out of the room and sits on the floor. She smiles as a tear slides down her faceOliver's room, it’s covered in photos of her and them as a family. Oliver comes home and runs upstairs. Emily is so happy to see him, and they reunite passionately.
At bedtime, Oliver asks Emily to read him a bedtime story. While she does, both she and Sylvia start crying so hard that Oliver eventually decides to take over reading the book himself. After he falls asleep, Emily joins Sylvia for a beer and some conversation on the porch.
Luke and Moira make arrangements to have Nichole baptized because "this little one should be absolved of their sins", as Luke points out.
Sylvia's street number is 451. "Fahrenheit 451" (the temperature at which book paper catches fire) is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury of a future American society where books are outlawed. (Cultural References/Literary Works)
- Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne
- Joseph Fiennes as Fred Waterford
- Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford
- Alexis Bledel as Emily
- Madeline Brewer as Janine
- Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia
- O-T Fagbenle as Luke Bankole
- Samira Wiley as Moira
- Cherry Jones as Holly Maddox
- Clea DuVall as Sylvia
- Ashleigh LaThropp as Ofmatthew
- Ever Carradine as Naomi Putnam
- Steven Kunken as Warren Putnam
- Nina Kiri as Alma
- Bahia Watson as Brianna
- Jonathan Watton as Matthew Calhoun
Bach - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
- This is the first episode to feature a flashback since "Holly" (S2E11).
|Season 1||Offred | Birth Day | Late | Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum | Faithful | A Woman's Place|
The Other Side | Jezebels | The Bridge | Night
|June | Unwomen | Baggage | Other Women | Seeds | First Blood | After | Women's Work|
Smart Power | The Last Ceremony | Holly | Postpartum | The Word
|Night | Mary and Martha | Useful | God Bless the Child | Unknown Caller | Household | Under His Eye | Unfit | Heroic | Witness | Liars | Sacrifice | Mayday|