“We aren't concubines. We're two-legged wombs.”
— June (as Offred) reflecting on her new social role
"June" redirects here. For other meanings of 'June', see June (Disambiguation)
June Osborne, sometimes referred by her patronymic Offred #2 (and later Ofjoseph #4), is the main protagonist of The Handmaid's Tale (TV series). She is a woman in her 30s who is forced to serve as a Handmaid in the early years of Gilead, due to the fact she is still capable of bearing children. She is the wife of Luke Bankole and the mother of a young daughter, Hannah. She is portrayed by Elisabeth Moss.
- 1 Description
- 2 Story
- 2.1 Past life
- 2.2 Present: Season one
- 2.3 Present: Season two
- 2.4 Present: Season Three
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Quotes
- 5 Photo Gallery
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
Description[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
June has blonde hair and blue eyes. She is around 5 feet 3 inches and has a medium build. In the old world, she wore modern trendy clothing. In Gilead, she always wears the red robes and white head coverings that all Handmaids wear.
Personality[edit | edit source]
June is a little different from her book's counter part. She is more outspoken and rebellious. She is beloved by friends and family and she has a sweet heart. She has a special relationship and temperament with both of her children, Hannah and Nichole. She treats them with love, care and kindness.
With the Waterfords and in Gilead, June is forced to be a lot more direct, ruthless, brave, and protective. She protects the women and people around her when she can and she tries to stick up for herself and others, especially with the Waterfords and Aunt Lydia.
Story[edit | edit source]
Past life[edit | edit source]
Early years[edit | edit source]
In her childhood, June's mom takes her to a "Take Back The Night" rally. The women protesting are tossing paper slips with the names of their rapists on these slips into fires set in trash cans..
Before Gilead[edit | edit source]
Moira, her best friend, and June go to college together. They spend their spare time with sunbathing .
The first time she meets Luke, he is still married to another woman. They continue meeting up for innocent lunches, where she learns that Luke hasn't told his wife about them. After an affair with June he leaves his first wife for her.
Annie, Luke’s first wife, confronts June after a yoga class. She accuses her of sabotaging a vow made before God. June is clearly affected by the encounter. Luke brings June back to herself, saying "she doesn’t matter" because they’re "going to get married" and he's going to "make her happy.".
June's mom asks her if she likes the job at the publishing place. She says she does. Her mom tells her that she sacrificed for her and that she's settling. She asks about Luke and tells June that she doesn't think she should marry him. Her mom tells her that she thinks its a mistake.
In expectation of their daughter’s birth, Luke drives June to the hospital amidst crowds of people protesting the recent sharp decline in birth-rates. She is greatly relieved to learn that Hannah is a healthy baby. Shortly after her birth, June wakes up to find Hannah is gone. She initially assumes she’s been taken for a blood test, until sirens begin blaring throughout the hospital. Luke urges June to stay where she is whilst he goes to investigate. June follows Luke regardless and is horrified at the sight of one of the nurses lying on the ground in a puddle of blood, either dead or unconscious. June then runs into a woman holding Hannah. She insists Hannah is her child – it’s implied her own baby died, causing her to have a psychological breakdown. June watches in horror, futilely attempting to explain that Hannah is her baby. Luke arrives, prompting the woman to flee with Hannah. Fortunately, the police and Luke intervene, returning Hannah to June while the woman is arrested.
Annie runs into Luke, June, and baby Hannah at a coffee store. She and June make eye contact, and then Annie slips away.
June asks Luke to sign a form so that she can pick up her birth control prescription. As she's leaving, she suggests that she doesn't pick it up and surprisingly, Luke agrees. They kiss before June leaves to take Hannah to school.
June is called away from work to go pick up Hannah, who was running a fever, from the hospital. There she is asked several questions about her capacity as a parent. June then takes Hannah home from the hospital. Luke is waiting for them and they learn that there was an act of terrorism at the National Capitol. There was also an explosion at the White House and that martial law was declared. ("June")
During the coup d'etat[edit | edit source]
In a retrospect from the present, Offred blames herself (and the former society around her) for having been "asleep" at that time, which was "how we let it happen": "When they slaughtered Congress, we didn't wake up. When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Constitution, we didn't wake up then either. They said it would be temporary. Nothing changes instantaneously. In a gradually heating bathtub you'd be boiled to death before you knew it."
After the takeover[edit | edit source]
June and Moira learn that the government has frozen all women's bank accounts and suspended use of their credit cards. June and all the other women in her office are "let go" from their jobs, due to the new law stating women are no longer allowed to work or hold property. June and Moira take part in a protest against the new laws, only for a line of guardians to turn mercilessly open fire against the crowds using machine guns. The protesters flee, with June holding Moira's hand and narrowly escaping by hiding in a shop.
June, Luke and Hannah try to escape to Canada and hide in the trunk of their car while a man called Mr. Whitford drives them to a secluded cabin near the border. Mr. Whitford tells them he still needs to grab them Canadian passports, because U.S. passports "don't mean shit no more". Before he leaves, Mr. Whitford teaches Luke how to shoot a gun, which he is clearly uneasy about.
After learning that Whitford has been killed, they try to reach the Canadian border on their own, but their car is spotted by a patrol. They crash at the side of the road, and Luke tells June to take Hannah and run from the Guardians pursuing them . June runs through the woods with Hannah, pausing when she hears gunshots. She tries to hide with Hannah behind a rock, but they are eventually caught. Hannah is torn away from June, who tries to struggle free, only to be knocked unconscious. She wakes up as she is being transported in a van.
At the Red Center[edit | edit source]
June and various other women are brought in the Red Center, where their ears are forcibly tagged. Aunt Lydia then indoctrinates them into their handmaid roles, telling them about declining birth rates and that they are "special", serving a Biblical purpose. June and Moira are reunited.
Janine is forced to 'confess' her sins and tell the story of her gang-rape. Aunt Lydia explains that Janine brought the rape upon herself and the other Handmaids are made to shame Janine. As June hesitates, she is slapped by "Aunt Margaret".
Aunt Lydia shows them a slideshow of all the horrible things that have happened. One of the pictures is of June's mother in the Colonies. Later, in bed, Moira asks June how she thinks they got her Mom. She doesn't know but that she told her that it wasn't safe what she was doing. Moira tells her that she was right but June says so was she. That she knew this would happen. June says that she waited before but she swore she wouldn't do that again.
June attempts to escape with Moira; they take Aunt Elizabeth captive and Moira takes her clothes and pass to disguise herself as an Aunt. They make it to the train station, but June draws the attention of a Guardian who becomes suspicious. Seeing Moira has a chance to escape on the train that has just arrived, June silently gives her her blessing and Moira flees, whilst June is taken back to the Red Center.
Aunt Lydia has June tied down whilst Aunt Elizabeth whips the soles of her feet as punishment. June's fellow Handmaids later secretly rally around her, giving her scraps of food they've saved from meals.
June eventually completes her training at the Red Center. She is assigned to an unknown couple, though fails to produce a child before she is reassigned to the Waterfords after the suicide of their previous handmaid.
Present: Season one[edit | edit source]
June, now called by her patronymic Offred, has been assigned to the household of Commander Fred Waterford and his wife Serena Joy. She goes shopping with Ofglen, whom she initially thinks of as “pious little shit with a broomstick up her ass”, and has a brief conversation with Nick; she is clearly wary of his attempts to befriend her, wondering if he could be an Eye. On the way back from the store, June and Ofglen stop by the Wall and see the bodies of three executed men. June recalls her time at the Red Center and her friendship with Moira. She narrates that the fact Moira is not up on the Wall gives her hope.
That evening, Offred has to prepare for the Ceremony. When it is over, Serena Joy angrily orders June to leave. June hesitates and says that having her rest on her back increases the chances of conceiving, but Serena orders her out regardless. That night, June, distraught by the Ceremony, runs outside in only her nightgown and retches. She realizes Nick is watching her and hurries back to her room, worried he may report her. The next day, Offred must attend a Salvaging. She sees Janine there, who tells her Moira is dead – she allegedly attempted to run away, was caught and sent to the Colonies, leaving Offred reeling.
Aunt Lydia announces that they are here to execute a man who was convicted for raping a pregnant Handmaid, resulting in the baby’s death. This enrages Offred, who is already distraught over the news of Moira’s death. Offred is first of the Handmaid’s to strike the man, kicking him to the ground and beating him. Afterwards, Offred seems stunned and remorseful over what she did. As she is walking home with Ofglen, the latter expresses sympathy for what happened to Moira. Offred tentatively reveals she knew Moira both at the Red Center and in the time before. The two women end up outside a clothing store, which Ofglen reveals was once an ice cream parlour. When she claims the ice cream was “better than good sex”, Offred realises Ofglen is not a true believer in the regime after all. Ofglen in turn reveals she always thought the same of Offred, saying that Gilead is good at turning women against each other.
Offred tells Ofglen about her family and failed escape attempt, whilst Ofglen in turn reveals she had a wife and son, Oliver, who fled to Canada. At the gate of Offred’s house, Ofglen warns Offred that an Eye is a member of household. Offred is left wondering which member of the house could possibly be the Eye. She witnesses Waterford heading into a meeting with other Commanders, before being sent to her room by Serena. Sitting alone in her room, Offred vows to find a way to survive for her daughter’s sake and reveals her true name is June.
Offred goes shopping with Ofglen. They come across the remain of St Paul’s cathedral, which Gilead is in the process of destroying. Offred is upset at the sight, remarking that it was her father’s parish and that her daughter was baptised there. Ofglen adds that they blew up another cathedral in New York and dumped the remains in the Hudson River, prompting Offred to ask how she knows this and how she knows there’s an Eye in her house. They see a man being dragged off the street by two Eyes and bundled into the back of a van. Offred seems relieved it wasn’t her, though sympathetic towards the man, and Ofglen remarks it’s okay to feel relief. As they reach Offred’s house, Ofglen reveals she is part of a rebel group, simply saying she could “join us”. She explains that Offred’s Commander is very high up in the government and urges Offred to find out anything she can.
Whilst taking her cloak off after being caught out in the rain, Offred has a brief conversation with Nick. She accidentally uncovers her bare leg; Nick stares at her, but merely says she should be careful. He tells Offred she shouldn’t trust Ofglen, because she’s “dangerous”, surprising Offred. She is in for another shock, as Nick then informs Offred that the Commander wants to see her tonight in his study. After some time, a Birthmobile arrives at the house to pick Offred up to attend the birth of a baby. In the Birthmobile, Offred is informed that Janine, as Ofwarren, is the one who has gone into labor. On the way to Commander Putnam’s house, Offred has flashbacks of her own daughter’s birth.
At the Putnam house, Offred is clearly amused by the sight of Naomi pretending to be in labor in a symbolic gesture, but quickly goes upstairs when Serena Joy catches her eye. Offred helps the other Handmaids and Aunt Lydia support Janine throughout the birth, with Offred assuring her she’s doing fine and touching her belly. Offred has more flashbacks to Hannah’s birth.
Offred sees Ofglen and tells her that her Commander wants to see her in private. Ofglen is worried about this and offers to try and find out what Fred might want with her. Some of the Wives offer Offred a cookie. She accepts, having little other choice, prompting the Wives to patronizingly remark how “well behaved” she is. Serena sends Offred back upstairs. As she walks out, she overhears the Wives remarking that all the Handmaids are “little whores, but you have to take what they give out”. Feeling unwell, Offred goes to the bathroom and spits out her mouthful of cookie, then defiantly leaves the chewed remains in the sink.
Janine gives birth to a healthy girl, who she names Charlotte. She is immediately given to the Wife, who names her Angela. Offred tries to comfort Ofwarren, assuring her that her baby is healthy and hugging her. Whilst riding the Birthmobile back home, Ofglen says she was unable to find out what the Commander might want, but tries to reassure Offred, saying he “probably just wants a blowjob”. Offred is extremely nervous going to meet the Commander. To her complete shock, the Commander simply asks her play Scrabble with him. He reveals he’s going away to Washington, DC next week to attend meetings, but says he’d like to see Offred again in private when he returns. After coming back to her room, Offred begins laughing hysterically, trying to muffle the sound with her hand. The next day, Offred is on her way to meet Ofglen and seems amused by Nick’s apparent jealousy over her secret meeting with the Commander. Offred intends to tell Ofglen what happened, but when she approaches her, she is shocked to see a completely different Handmaid. Wary of her, Offred gives out the usual greetings before tentatively asking if Ofglen has been reassigned so soon. The other Handmaid merely replies that she is Ofglen and makes no other comment. Offred is forced to accept this, mentally exclaiming “Fuck!”.
Late[edit | edit source]
Rita and Serena Joy begin treating Offred far more kindly, including giving her treats and flowers. She is initially confused, until Rita explains that, due to her period being late, they hope she might be pregnant. Serena invites Offred to the Putnams to see baby Angela. Offred gets to hold Angela and learns that Janine bit Mrs Putnam when she tried to take Angela. Offred goes to see Janine, who tells her that her Commander is love with her and wants to run away with her. Offred is surprised and skeptical, but says nothing.
Whilst Nick is driving Offred home, she attempts to make conversation, noticing he seems upset about something. As they pull up to the house, Nick says she needs to remember two things: being tough or brave won't work because they break everyone in the end and she should tell them everything. Offred then sees a black van parked in the drive.
Inside the house, Offred is interrogated by an Eye and Aunt Lydia about Ofglen. She answers as honestly as possible whilst omitting the fact that Ofglen is a member of a rebel network. They then suggest that Ofglen may have tried to "touch" Offred, which she denies. When Offred admits that she knew Ofglen was a 'Gender Traitor', they ask why she didn't report the conversation. Offred replies that Ofglen was her friend. Aunt Lydia tells her that Ofglen was a "beast" and "abomination against God", angering Offred. When Lydia tells her to "remember her Scripture", Offred defiantly quotes another Scripture passage: "And blessed are those who suffer for the cause of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".
Infuriated, Lydia tasers Offred and begins beating her, but is stopped by Serena, who declares she's pregnant. Offred, recuperating in her room, is visited by Nick, who has brought her ice for her injuries. He confesses he wished he'd just driven away with her, moving Offred, and they share a brief but intimate moment before Nick abruptly leaves. Later that night, however, Offred realizes she's not pregnant when she starts her period.
The next morning, Offred reluctantly goes to tell Serena Joy, who is clearing out a spare room, apparently to make a nursery. She tells Offred how she and Fred struggled for years to conceive, but she never lost faith and believes God delivered a miracle to her in the form of Offred. She is then forced to confess that she began her period. Serena is enraged by this, dragging Offred to her room, throwing her to the ground and shouting at her that she is not to leave. She threateningly reminds Offred that "things could get a lot worse for you" before leaving Offred lying on the floor, crying.
Offred has been confined to her room for the past week. She becomes increasingly depressed, trapped inside without anything to do. Whilst exploring her closet, she discovers her predecessor had carved the words 'Nolite te bastardes carborundorum' in the wall near the floor. She has flashbacks to visiting a fairground with Luke and Hannah and also to her time at the Red Center, when she and Moira plotted to escape.
Offred ends up falling asleep in the closet and is found by Rita when she comes to give her food. Rita is shocked at the sight, dropping the tray and waking Offred. She helps Rita clean up the dropped food and insists she is fine, claiming she fainted. She begs Rita not to tell anyone, but Rita tells Serena Joy, who says she should go to the doctor's for a check-up.
Offred is looking forward to being able to go outside, only to be told Nick will be driving her. At the clinic, the doctor suggests to Offred she sleep with him to conceive, as the Commander may not even be able to get her pregnant due to sterility. The doctor says he has done this with other Handmaids, assuring her it "only takes a minute" and reminding her that she will be blamed if she cannot get pregnant. Offred, however, declines his offer, saying it is too dangerous.
On her way home, Offred has more memories of her day out with her family and has a small break-down, crying, screaming and hitting the car door. During the Ceremony, the Commander is unable to get an erection and Serena Joy orders her to leave. Later, Offred goes to see the Commander in his study. She asks him about the Latin phrase. He reveals it is pseudo-Latin meaning "Don't let the bastards grind you down" and Offred realizes her predecessor heard it from him. He asks if Offred knew the previous Handmaid; Offred is evasive and asks what happened to her. The Commander reveals she hanged herself from the chandelier that used to be in her room. Offred, seeing a chance to manipulate the Commander, persuades him to allow her outside, saying she has been feeling like "giving up".
Offred is happy to finally be allowed outside again. She joins the new Ofglen and other Handmaids on her way to the store, reminding herself of the phrase her predecessor carved as a message for her.
Offred and Commander Fred continue their nightly game of Scrabble. On one of these nights, the Commander gives Offred a present; a fashion magazine from before Gilead. Serena Joy calls Offred outside to tell her she's asked Nick to try and impregnate Offred. She suspects the Commander is infertile, so before the Ceremony, Serena Joy plans to take Offred to Nick's apartment.
While grocery shopping, Offred and a few other Handmaids run into Ofsteven (formerly Ofglen) where she learns about Mayday. The new Ofglen grabs Offred before she can learn anything else. She tells Offred that she used to be a junkie, and that she likes being a Handmaid because she has a safe place to sleep and her people are nice.
Serena Joy secretly brings Offred to Nick's apartment, where she waits as they have sex. They finish, and Serene Joy tells Offred to lie down in her room, after saying a prayer to encourage her to become pregnant.
Later that night, during the Ceremony, the Commander touches Offred's thigh and looks at her, which is forbidden. She tries to tell him so, but is scolded, called an adulteress, and told to leave. In their ensuing conversation, the Commander admits that while they thought they were building a better world, they knew that "better never means better for everyone - It always means worse for some." Offred gets sick and goes to throw up in the kitchen sink, where she runs into Nick. She asks him if he's an Eye, and he tells her yes. He apologizes for earlier, and explains that he couldn't say no to Serena Joy.
The next day, at the market, Offred runs into Ofsteven, who encourages her to find Mayday. She also tells Offred her real name, Emily, before stealing a black Mercedes sedan and running over one of the guards. She's taken away as the Handmaids look in horror and panic.
Upon arriving home, Offred sneaks into Nick's apartment, where they have sex.
Mexican delegates visit the Commander's home in an effort to create partnerships in trade and see the effects of the Gilead cultural movement. The head of the Mexican delegation, Ambassador Castillo, is a woman who questions Offred about her experience in Gilead. With great self-control, Offred tells them, "I have found happiness". After the meeting, Offred visits the Commander's office for their usual discussions where some tensions flare up between them. He asks her to kiss him "like you mean it". She kisses the Commander and leaves, ferociously brushing her teeth afterwards. The handmaids are then taken to a party to honor Gilead and show the foreign delegates their success, including presenting the children of Gilead. Alma remarks that the delegates are interested in fertile women as a commodity to be traded between the two nations.
After the dinner, Offred visits Nick, fiercely blaming herself for keeping quiet about the brutal truth of her fate. She reveals him her real name June.
The next day, as the delegates are leaving, Offred tells them the brutal truth about Gilead and accuses them of human trafficking. She pleads for their help, but the Mexican ambassador claims that she cannot help Offred and explains her own country's dire situation. When Offred is left alone with Assistant Flores, the ambassador's assistant, he informs her that Luke is alive and well in Canada, whereas Offred had assumed he was killed when they were captured at the border (though she did not witness his death, she heard shots being fired and never saw him again). Mr Flores knows Luke's full name, birthdate and birthplace, and also knows Offred's real name prior to meeting her, implying that what he says may be true. Mr Flores offers to help Offred contact Luke he can send a message to him.
Offred sits on the bed as Nick sleeps, trying to remember her husband Luke. It becomes evident that they both really care for each other. Offred returns to her room and is surprised to find Commander Waterford waiting for her with gifts including makeup, a revealing dress and high-heeled shoes. After shaving her legs and getting dressed up, the two, driven by Nick, head to a surprise destination. Disguised as Serena Joy, Offred slips by guards.
Fred, June, and Nick enter the back of a building, meandering through hallways and elevators, finding themselves in Jezebel's, a secret brothel/sex club where well-to-do men frequent. Visibly shaken, Offred sees Moira across the bar. Having to hide the shock, Offred excuses herself to the women's restroom and finds Moira. The two have an emotional reunion, but Moira is shooed out by a superior. Moira tells Offred to find her later.
Mr. Waterford and Offred are in a hotel room and as Waterford tells Offred all about his current frustrations and fears, he seduces her. Offred silently cries as he advances on her. Later while Mr. Waterford is sleeping, Offred sneaks down to see Moira. Moira tells her about her escape, the last time they saw each other, and how she found her post at Jezebel's. After insisting that they can't escape, Moira shuts Offred down and sends her away.
Serena Joy returns from her mothers house the next morning. As Nick brings her bags through the kitchen, Offred notices Nick's aloofness and asks if she can see him later. When he says he doesn't want to see her anymore because it's too dangerous, she demands a reason stating that if she indeed is murdered for her actions, at least someone will remember her. She mentions that she knows nothing about him and he tells her that his full name is Nick Blaine and that he is from Michigan, but that is all. Offred leaves the room upset.
On her way up to her room, Serena Joy stops her and gives her the gift of a music box with a ballerina spinning to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Offred uses the key to carve "You Are Not Alone" next to the Latin message in the closet.
Offred reaches out to Alma to become a part of "Mayday" and contribute to the resistance movement. Alma resists at first but ultimately accepts Offred's offer and gives her her first assignment - get a mystery package from "Rachel at the bar" in the Jezebel's club and hold on to it until further notice.
Offred goes to Mr. Waterford's office to flirt with him and convince him to take her again to Jezebel's. He complies and they sneak out that night after Mrs. Waterford goes to bed. When they're in the club, they go straight to the room. Mr. Waterford ordered Offred a "surprise" - a girl, Ruby, aka Moira. He noticed that they looked friendly the last time they were at the club so he thought it would be a nice surprise. Moira is furious that June is back at the club and a part of the rebellion movement. She refuses to get Rachel's Package for Offred.
Offred isn't able to retrieve the package when she's at the club, they return home. The next morning, Mrs. Waterford wakes up Offred to rush to help Janine, who is threatening to jump off a bridge with her daughter to be free. Offred convinces her to release the baby, which Janine does right before she jumps off. She ends up in a coma.
Offred is next seen going to the supermarket where she orders some meat. The butcher slyly gives her the secret package that she was supposed to retrieve at Jezebel's, with a note from Moira attached.
Night[edit | edit source]
Serena Joy discovers that Offred went to the Jezebel's club with Commander Waterford and strikes Offred down on the ground to punish her. She then forces Offred to take a pregnancy test, which then shows that Offred is pregnant. Offred is miserable after hearing the news because she doesn't want to bring a child into this unjust world. She then reveals to Nick that she is pregnant, much to his shock. Knowing that the child is almost certainly his, they share a brief tender moment.
Serena Joy then takes Offred on a surprise trip, several hours away. Serena meets with Hannah, Offred's daughter, to show Offred that if she harms herself or the baby then Hannah will be in danger. Offred screams in misery and calls Serena an evil monster. Offred then runs to Mr. Waterford to ask him to protect her daughter.
All of the handmaidens are called to come together to stone someone who endangered a child. To their surprise, that someone is Janine. The handmaids hesitate and Ofglen #2 is brutally beaten by a guard when she breaks rank and voices her angry refusal. The other women, beginning with Offred, drop their stones, each saying "I'm sorry, Aunt Lydia" (a phrase they were taught early in their indoctrination). The guards are ready to kill them all, but Aunt Lydia frantically tells them that the handmaids are her responsibility. Aunt Lydia promises that they will all be punished and sends them home.
In the last scene, Offred is in her room waiting for someone to come and punish her. Nick comes in and tells Offred to "Just go with them" and insists that she trust him. Two armed guards come in and lead Offred away, to the surprise and horror of Serena Joy and Fred. Offred walks off willingly, unsure if this is her end or a brand new beginning.
Present: Season two[edit | edit source]
June[edit | edit source]
Offred, along with other handmaids, is taken to an abandoned baseball field, quickly revealed to be a deserted, run-down, but very much still recognizable Fenway Park. There there are scaffolds erected with nooses. Each handmaid is given a noose and the lever is pulled. Instead of dropping down completely and breaking their necks, the platform only drops a few feet. It was all just a scare tactic set up by Aunt Lydia in order to give them a lesson that they'd remember.
The handmaids are all forced to sit in the rain with their hands extended while holding a rock. Aunt Lydia walks around electrocuting them but stops when she is informed of Offred's pregnancy. Offred is removed from the exercise and taken inside to get dry. Aunt Lydia, excited about the prospect of a new child, goes and rings the bell.
Aunt Lydia offers Offred a bowl of soup but she says she isn't hungry. She tells her that they are going to take care of her while she's pregnant just as long as she's a good girl. Janine is mentioned and Aunt Lydia tells Offred that she was sent to the colonies. To show her what will happen if she continues to be defiant, Aunt Lydia takes her to see another pregnant handmaid. This one is chained to a small living space. Offred decides that she is hungry and is taken back to the cafeteria. There the other handmaids a brought in soaking wet and forced to form two straight lines. Aunt Lydia takes them one by one and chains them to the stove. She burns their hands as punishment for their defiance.
Offred is taken to be examined by a doctor. The Waterfords are there with her. They are shown their child on the monitor and Serena kisses Offred's forehead in thanks. Offred is left alone and begins to put her shoes on when a key falls out from her boot. The key gets her into the stairwell and she follows red marks that lead her down into a long tunnel beneath the facility. At the end, there is a refrigerated truck loaded with hogs waiting for her to take her away from this place.
Serena evesdrops on her husband as he tries to find Offred. She goes up to Offred's old room and sits on her window sill.
When the truck stops again, a butcher leads her into an empty corporate building and asks her to stay until someone comes for her. Nick is there waiting. He tells her to get out of her clothes and to cut her hair. She takes off her clothes and burns them along with the locks of hair that she cut off. She uses the scissors to remove the tag from her ear. She is finally free.
June is laying in the back of a truck as they move her to a safe location, which looks to be a generic abandoned industrial building, but later reveals to be the home of the Boston Globe newspaper. She hears sirens approaching and freaks out but nobody comes inside to find her.
June wanders around the Boston Globe. Walking among office cubicles, she silently ganders at the materials and matter which characterized the world before Gilead. Sports merchandise (Boston Red Sox in particular), family photos, and knick-knacks all decorate the abandoned cubicles; she even finds a DVD of the TV show Friends. June later wanders down to the basement, where she stumbles upon a line of nooses hung on the rafters. She then turns to the wall, which is stained with blood and littered with bullet holes. June is horrified and sickened at the sight of what was obviously a massacre, and briefly cries in silence. Suddenly, she hears noises. She hides but its only Nick. She asks him to get her out of here because it's a slaughterhouse. He tells her that she has to wait a couple of weeks. She tells him that they need to find Hannah but he says no. She asks for him to give her his keys to the car. He gives them to her and he gives her a gun. She goes to the car and gets in to leave. Nick stands there watching her. She starts to hit the steering wheel because she knows she isn't going to leave. She gets out of the car and gives him back the keys and the gun. They begin to kiss and have sex. They finish and she looks at him. He tells her he can't anymore. She says to try.
June watches FRIENDS on a laptop. She suddenly gets up and grabs a box. She goes desk to desk and picks stuff from each one to put into it. She sets up a candle vigil for the people who had been murdered downstairs.
June is seen running through the Boston Globe as she exercises. She stops in front of the mural, and we learn that she's been in the building for two months. We see her listening to a recording of an interview with an early "Sons of Jacob" member and digging through newspapers cutting out clippings. She pins the clippings to the walls under categories like 'Power Structure', 'Militarization' and 'Curtailment of Civil Rights'. While staring at the wall, she 'tells' the clippings in a voiceover "You were there all the time but no one noticed you". She adds "not no one" and then thinks about her mother and how she took her to a "Take Back The Night" rally once when she was young. The women protesting were tossing paper slips with the names of their rapists on these slips into fires set in trash cans. Meanwhile, in the present, Nick arrives and gives June coffee. He tells her that he should probably get going soon, and tells her that she might be leaving the Boston Globe soon. He promises to come back on Tuesday. June says that she can't leave, and Nick says it will be better for everyone. June replies that better doesn't always mean better for everyone, and after some comforting, they hug.
June checks the garage and is told that she will be leaving. After being assured that the stuff she left behind will be disposed of, she grabs her coat and climbs into the back of the truck. She looks back at the building as they drive away, lamenting about the time that June goes to her mom's house to pick up a mixer, and while she's there, she tells her mother's group of friends what she does for a living. Everyone seems to be impressed, with the exception of June's mother, who seems to be more interested in Moira's activities. June is dropped off at another location and told that someone would come along to get her soon. She looks around and finds lots of signs that have been taken down, since they have words on them that women could read. Suddenly, someone asks her if she's a good witch or a bad witch. Startled, June turns to find a man, Omar, looking at her. He tells her to come with him, and that they're going to smuggle her into Canada. She asks who is they and he says someone brave, stupid, or both. As they are walking to his car, he gets an alert that the safe house he's about to take her to isn't safe. He tries to leave her behind but June begs him to take her with him. Caving in, the man puts her into the back of his car. She thanks him but he tells her to get down.
He takes her to his home where his wife Heather doesn't approve of her being there, and has a discussion with her husband. While they talk, their son plays with June until they come back out. The wife says that she can't believe that June would let her baby be taken away. The next day, the family leaves for church, while June stays at the apartment, reassured that the couple would return by 2:00. During a flashback, June's mom asks her if she likes the job at the publishing place, to which June replies positively. Her mom tells her that she sacrificed for her and that she's settling, and then asks about Luke and tells June that she doesn't think that June should marry him. Her mom tells her that she thinks it's a mistake. Just as June comes back to reality, someone knocks at the door. June hides under a bed, where she discovers a hidden Koran. as well as a carpet for praying. June then wanders around the apartment because out of boredom while thinking about Hannah. Eventually, once it is 2:00, the couple don't return like they promised.
June starts thinking about the time that Aunt Lydia showed the handmaids a slideshow of all the horrible things that have happened to the unwomen, and Gilead's plan to refertilize the Colonies. and one of the pictures is of June's mother working in the colonies, which leaves June distraught, and Moira puts her hand on June's to comfort her. Later in bed, Moira asks June how she thinks they got her mother. Moira says she doesn't know how June's mother was caught because the clinic destroyed all of the record. June comments that she told her mother what she was doing (giving abortions) wasn't safe, to which Moira responds "you were right" and after a breif pause June responds: "so was she", that her mother had a feeling that this would happen. June says that she "waited before", but she swears she won't repeat her mistakes. She then steals one of the econowife's outfits, and walks to a train station. She gets on a train and pulls out a map she hid in the uniform to check where she's going, and decides to take the train all the way to the last stop. When she gets off, she goes through the woods. She thinks about Hannah as she runs and how Hannah left her once but now June has to leave her. She gets to a field appearing to have housed a regional airport pre-Gilead, runway and all.
After some brief questioning by the Mayday people smuggler she was supposed to meet, June boards a plane with another refugee who claims to have been a chauffeur for Commander Wells. June reminisces about her mom and how they sang Hollerback Girl in a car during a roadtrip, as well as thinking about Hannah. However, just as the plane departs, Guardians intercept the aircraft and shoot at it, a stray bullet hitting the other refugee in the car, and forcing the plane to land. The pilot is forced out of the plane and executed (presumably) for treason. Following this, Guardians open the cargo hold, first grabbing a chauffeur, and forcing him (screaming) out of the aircraft, and then, despite her best attempts to escape, grab June and force her out as well.
June is taken back to the Red Center, where she is retagged and chained to a small living space. As Aunt Lydia explains, the Waterfords are willing to take June back for a "trial run". June’s other option is to stay in that room, counting flowers on the bedspread (there are 71), and to be eventually executed after giving birth.
The Waterfords greet her stiffly and formally. Commander Fred speaks of the tremendous effort it took to save June from her “kidnapping” at the hands of an "insidious terrorist network." Serena later dashes into June’s bedroom and pins her into a chokehold. As June catches her breath she reminds Serena that "as long as my baby is safe, so is yours." Aunt Lydia watches June bathe and makes sure she scrubs the "nasty bacteria down there".
On June’s first morning back in the Waterford house, Rita returns June the package of letters from Mayday that she’d been saving for the past 92 days because "she can't" anymore. June hides the letters behind the tub.
Downstairs, everyone’s preparing for the baby shower party that afternoon. Aunt Lydia is still around and forces June to drink a specially prepared vitamin shake, which she spits up.
At the party, Serena opens up a bunch of handmade presents from the other Wives. June, who’s supposed to stay silent, pipes in by saying that the baby kicked for the first time last night. Serena retreats to the yard with a cigarette. Lydia tells Serena that everything that happens now must be for the good of the child, and thus she should stop smoking cigarettes.
When some fellow handmaids arrive to the party, Alma briefly informs June that Mayday has gone silent and is "done helping handmaids". She adds that Ofglen (#2) had her tongue cut out, which is the part that is not June's fault, pointing on her scarred wrist.
Aunt Lydia takes June to the river, where men are hanging on The Wall. Lydia identifies one as Omar, the van driver who harbored June. Lydia informs June that his wife became a handmaid and the son was given away. Lydia emphasizes that June is responsible for Omar’s death, not Offred.
That evening, June begs for forgiveness in front of all the members of the Waterford household and to be again Offred. Serena later crawls into bed with Offred and caresses her stomach. When Serena leaves, Offred goes into the closet, repeating to herself: “My fault. My fault. My fault."
Seeds[edit | edit source]
Aunt Lydia is still regularly monitoring Offred’s pregnancy at the Waterfords. She weighs her, measures the size of the baby, considers her mental state. She even gets to take notes with a pencil, in a case of "special dispensation" for aunts, as she explains to an astonished Serena, who encourages Aunt Lydia to leave and takes clear offense when Lydia says one of her jobs is to observe the "mood" of the home in which Offred is carrying the baby.
Serena takes Offred out for a walk where they run into Grace, Naomi, and Janine’s child, who is already teething (and thus a bit twitchy), Angela. Naomi thinks that teething is a way for God to "test" her.
While on the toilet, Offred sees she’s bleeding. Later, she’s soaking in a bathtub full of blood. She maintains her routine after, however, carrying on like nothing’s wrong. Only Rita notices she’s weakening.
The Waterfords head to a Prayvaganza chaired by Commander Pryce in which the handmaids and wives sit in rows while a ceremony takes place down below. Nick, among other Guardians, is escorted out to the main floor. Young brides, their faces covered by veils, then march onto the floor and stand opposite the men being “honored.” As Nick lifts his bride's veil, he sees a girl, Eden, who is much younger than him
The Waterfords with Offred, Nick, and Eden return from the Prayvaganza. When Offred retreats to her chamber, she struggles up the stairs, still evidently bleeding. She moves around her room.
In the meantime, Nick and the Commander share a “celebratory” drink to close out the night, toasting “to good women.” When heading back to his quarters in the pouring rain, Nick finds Offred outside, passed out and covered in blood, and screams for help.
Offred wakes up in a hospital bed, Serena sleeping in a chair opposite her, and appears stunned by her and the baby’s survival. She goes to get the doctor. Left alone, June talks to her unborn child: “You’re tough, aren’t you? I will not let you grow up in this place. I won’t do it. Do you hear me? They do not own you. And they do not own what you will become. I’m going to get you out of here. I’m going to get us out of here. I promise you.”
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".
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. Meanwhile, Serena sits by the couch while Offred gets ready to go to sleep and lets Serena put her hands on her belly.
The next day, Eden tells Offred about Nick's permanent aloofness. She fears he is a gender traitor. Offred reassures her he will be "a great father for her children".
Conversation with Serena in the nursery See also: Serena and June
Serena invites four handmaids (Alma, Ofglen (#2), Oferic, and Ofsamuel) for a surprise lunch with Offred. 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.
When Nick runs into Offred soon after, she insists he has to deflower his wife. That night, Nick and his new bride have sex for the first time.
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, which the commander takes as an invitation to start pawing at her belly, then her breast, telling her he missed her. She responds that sex probably wouldn’t be great for the baby. He backs off quickly, leaving the photo with her.
To the opening of the new Rachel and Leah Center, Commanders from all of the districts are there. As Commander Waterford addresses the men who’ve gathered, a whole bunch of 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 everyone can see that she’s holding a detonator. The women start to run. Ofglen then runs into the assembly, holds up her hand once more and presses the button. As the red-clad women run for safety, a huge explosion rocks the center.
After[edit | edit source]
In the aftermath of the Red Center attack, the handmaids, all in black coats, gather in a funeral garb. Aunts are lining the path to the red caskets waiting for them to mourn. Aunt Lydia reads the (patronymic) names of the 31 deceased handmaids. In the vehicle on the way home, the handmaids talk about those they lost. Homes all over town are marked with bodies hanging in front of homes, showing the wrath of the Republic.
Offred stores her mourning outfit away into a little suitcase. Shortly afterward, Rita announces that there is a visitor for Offred. Commander Cushing is at the house for Offred, and orders Rita to leave him alone with the handmaid. Instead of asking about her walking partner Ofglen, Cushing wants to know who helped her try to leave Gilead. He doesn't believe her story was of a kidnapping and asks if Commander Waterford assisted her in running away instead. Offred sticks to her story, which makes him highly unpleasant. Outside the front door, a Martha is shot in the street.
Offred gets to the hospital. Serena Joy is happy to see her and to show Fred his baby is safe. Offred leaves the room and sees Nick. 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 Offred when she ran. Nick promises he won't "let anything happen" to her.
At home, Serena Joy talks about Ray Cushing with Offred and says that he's always been a blowhard even when they vacationed in Antigua together with his wife Sonia. She wants her to be very careful about what she says to Cushing. Offred reminds "Serena" that Commander Deeds' entire house was slaughtered, and if Cushing came to believe she has a connection to the underground, he won't hesitate, nor would he ever let a baby grow up in that house.
In the grocery store, Janine greets a surprised Offred. She says God has a plan for both of them, pointing in the direction of Emily. Offred greets Emily then reveals that her name is June, acknowledging that she never got a chance to tell her. Feeling driven, Offred introduces herself as June to Oferic who reveals her name to be Brianna. Spurred on by confidence, the handmaids in the grocery store begin to exchange their real names to each other.
Serena Joy asks June to accompany her to the office where she has already put together new security policies, explaining she'd like things to start getting back to normal. Reminding her of her former profession as editor, she asks June to read over the policy drafts. June grabs a pen.
June and Serena work together to do Commander Fred's work while he's in the hospital. The Commander returns to the house after being hospitalized and is welcomed back by Serena and the staff. Serena goes over the work she did for him while he was away. He's grateful but ushers her out of the office so that he can look over it. Upstairs, June finds a music box and a rose on her bed, supposedly a gift from Serena. Eden asks Nick if she can spruce up their home and he tells her to do whatever she wants. Serena tells June that baby Angela isn't well. She leaves to go offer Naomi support.
June walks to the store where she runs into Janine and Emily. Janine calls her new posting a "blessing from God" since it is "only the Ceremony", to which Emily replies being raped is not a blessing and anyone helping Gilead deserves to be blown apart. An ambulance drives by causing everyone to kneel and pray for the baby. Brianna tells Janine she heard it's Angela. As Janine panics, June promises her she'll find out more about what's going on.
Later, Serena tells June that the baby isn't doing well and that they don't know what's wrong with her. June asks if there is something they can do and Serena says that they could ask one of the top female doctors but that would mean bending the law. June says that if it was her baby that she'd do whatever she could. Serena asks Fred if he can allow the female doctor, who is now a Martha, check on the baby. Fred says no because they can't question the will of God. Serena tells June that Fred said no. June tells Serena about Janine and how she knows about the baby. June asks if Janine could see the baby but Serena tells her to not be stupid.
In the hospital, Serena Joy asks Naomi if Janine, who is brought by Aunt Lydia, could see the baby, after June suggests it as a way to save an already unstable Janine after hearing the bad news about her daughter. Her husband does not mind, but Naomi is more than apprehensive about allowing their estranged handmaid to see Angela. June takes an emotional Janine to see the ailing baby in the ICU. A former famed neonatologist named Dr. Hodgson arrives as a Martha and is briefed on Angela’s condition by Dr. Epstein, who is very happy to see Dr. Hodgson. She runs several tests on the baby, but is still unable to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with Angela. Naomi and Warren recieve the bad news from Epstein as Janine helplessly watches. Serena is greatly upset at Dr. Hodgson, but the doctor explains that there is not much more she can do and suggests that Angela should be made to feel comfortable and warm. Upon June’s suggestion, Janine is able to hold her daughter, and even removes her mask and gloves in order to touch and kiss her baby.
Serena and June arrive home and are told by Nick that they are wanted in the Commander's office. Fred tells them that he knows that Serena forged his signature so that the Martha could see the baby. He asks June if that's her handwriting on one of the papers and she says yes. As punishment, Fred whips Serena with his belt and forces June to watch as he does.
Serena is in her room crying as she looks at the scars on her buttocks. June asks her if there is anything she can do but Serena only sends her back to her room. Instead, June goes downstairs and apologizes to Fred for what she did. She asks if he'll forgive her and he says to go to bed.
Rita comes to June's room and tells her that they've been summoned. They are told by Commander Fred that he and Serena are going to Canada, introducing a new Guardian, Isaac, to watch over the house during his absence. Serena tells Fred that he doesn't need her to go but Fred says that they need to show Canada that women aren't oppressed in Gilead.
Nick loads up the car with their luggage when Eden shows up and gives him some cookies to take with him. She tells him that she's going to miss him but he says he's only going to be gone a couple of days. Serena goes to see June before she leaves. She tells June that she'll be leaving the house as soon as the baby is born.
Back in Gilead, Isaac is escorting June and Janine on a shopping trip. When Janine starts talking loudly, Issac orders her to be quiet and refers to her as "unwoman," referring to her prior status as a prisoner in the Colonies. When Janine replies that she and June are having a conversation and tells Isaac to "suck [her] dick", Isaac hits her in the mouth with his gun, knocking her to the ground. He then roughly escorts June home.
When June and Isaac return home without any shopping, Rita questions Isaac about what she is supposed to make that night. When he curtly tells her that the shopping trip was cut short, Rita backs away and begins to prepare whatever is still in the house. He then sends June upstairs for a nap and begins talking to Eden about the strawberry jam she is making.
Upstairs, June talks to Rita about how Serena wants her to leave the house once the baby is born. She asks Rita to watch out for her daughter while she's gone because she wants her child to know only kindness, and Rita says she'll do what she can.
At the protest, Luke confronts Commander Fred. He's taken away by the police but not before Serena and Nick realize that he's June's husband. Serena and Fred head up to their room where Fred says that they've made progress with the Canadian government. Nick goes looking for Luke and finds him in a bar. He tells Luke that June is alright but Luke says that she isn't fine. Nick tells her that June is pregnant. This upsets Luke and he tells Nick to get out but then changes his mind and goes after him. He asks about Hannah but Nick doesn't know if she's okay. Nick gives Luke the stack of letters June gave him and tells him to get them out somehow. Luke asks Nick to tell June that Moira got out.
Aunt Lydia visits June. June tells her about how Serena wants her to leave right after the baby is born. Aunt Lydia tells her that it is Serena's prerogative. June tells Aunt Lydia that the baby needs protection. Aunt Lydia promises that she will let nothing happen to the child. As she leaves, she sadly tells June that she was once the godmother of her sister's child in the time before, which died at four days old.
Nick visits June and tells her about how the letters were leaked to the public, how he met Luke, and how Moira got out. She starts to cry and he says that he loves her before he heads back to Eden.
Emily is forced to have sex with Commander Roy in the Ceremony with his wife. He collapses afterwards. While his wife goes to get help, Emily kicks him in the balls. At the grocery the next day, Alma and Brianna talk about the incident. June runs into Eden who is being escorted by Isaac. June tells Emily that Moira made it to Canada and assures her she's going to see her son again when she suddenly starts to get contractions. She is taken home by ambulance where Nick helps her into the house. While he is escorting her up the stairs, Eden watches. Serena comes out and greets June before she is taken to Serena and the Commander's room.
Aunt Lydia and other handmaids arrive. They begin to set up the room for the birth of the child. Downstairs, the Marthas are setting up the kitchen with snacks and delicacies. Also, Commander Fred is handing out cigars. Serena is in another room surrounded by wives as she pretends to have a baby. Aunt Lydia interrupts the ceremony and tells her that June was only having false contractions. They call a doctor to come inspect her and learn that she isn't even close to giving birth. This upsets Serena who tells June that after the birth she is to be transferred to another district. June approaches Commander Fred about what Serena wants and asks for his help. She asks to be moved to her daughter's district. This upsets the Commander who asks her to get out. Before she leaves, June tells him that he'll never know what it's like to have a child of his own.
Commander Fred and Serena talk about the baby. Serena says that the best way for the baby to come is the most natural way. Rita tells June that Serena wants to see her. As she leaves, Rita tells June that she'll tell the baby about her. Serena forces June onto the bed as Fred forces himself into her. He sexually assaults her in order to get the baby to come early. After, Serena and Fred both leave the room leaving June alone as she cries. Eden takes out the trash and runs into Isaac. They share a kiss as Nick watches from the balcony. Eden realizes this and runs up to the house to apologize. He says not to worry about it and Eden asks why he doesn't care that he just caught her cheating on him. He doesn't say anything and Eden realizes that he likes June. Nick tells her that he'd never get involved with a handmaid. She realizes that he just doesn't love her and starts to cry.
June is laying in bed when Fred comes into her room. He tells her that he's planned a surprise for her. He puts her in a car and instructs Nick to bring her back in 3 hours. On the drive to where they're going, Nick asks her what happened but she doesn't respond. They arrive at a house where inside Hannah is waiting. She rushes towards her but Hannah gets scared and hides behind a Martha. June asks if she remembers her and Hannah nods, the Martha telling June that Hannah's name has been changed to Agnes. Hannah asks if it hurt when they hit her on the head and if she tried to find her. June says yes but Hannah asks why she didn't try harder. Hannah tells her that it's okay because she has new parents now. Hannah notices that June's pregnant and tells her that she doesn't get to keep it. The guard says that it's time to go so June tells Hannah that she'll always love her and that she should enjoy her life. The guard separates them but Hannah runs back to June. June tells her that she has to go and that she loves her. Hannah leaves leaving June kneeling in the snow as she cries.
Suddenly, Nick hears other cars approaching so he puts June into the house. He tells her to go inside and hide while he waits outside to see who it is. Two men appear and attack Nick, taking him hostage and leaving June alone. She's left alone in the middle of nowhere.
June has been left behind at the abandoned mansion. She is standing outside in the cold, staring at the drive to the road. As she turns around, she sees a detached garage. She tries to open the side door, but can't. She looks in the garage door windows, and sees a car hidden inside. She tries to open the garage door, but can't. She looks up, and sees a wolf watching her.
As she returns to the house, she apologizes in her narration for the broken structure of this story, "like a body caught in crossfire or pulled apart by force." Inside, she begins looking through drawers. She discovers an office. There are hunting trophies (taxidermy) on the walls. Behind the desk, where there is a photo of Hannah and her placement mother with a caught fish, and on the desk there is a picture drawn by a child, presumably Hannah. It is of the house, a dark child, in the middle, a woman in green on the right (her placement mother?), and a smaller women in red on the left (June?). She remembers a day she left Hannah at school and how Hannah didn't want to let her go after "last hugs."
In the office, she finds keys to the garage. She goes to the garage and finds a neglected yet preserved green 1975 Chevrolet Camaro. She starts the car, tunes the radio and hears Radio Free America that news that US Capital in Anchorage has received economic aid from India and China; that more sanctions against Gilead have been received from the UK, and that the UK is planning to raise the limit on American refugees relocating from Canada. The announcer then says, "the next tune is to remind everyone who is listening, American patriot or Gilead traitor, we are still here. Stars and Stripes forever, baby." This makes June smile, and gives her hope. Bruce Springsteen's Hungry Heart begins to play. "I have a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack....I went out for a ride, and never went back. Like a river that doesn't know where it's flowing, I took a wrong turn, and just kept going." June strokes her belly and talks to her baby as she considers her next decisions. Bruce continues "Everybody's got a hungry heart."
June gets out of the car and goes back into the house. She gathers up an escape bag of food, first aid, and blankets. She puts that in the car and goes back upstairs and grabs the Commander's heavy coat. In front of his armoir, she looks at her pregnant profile in the full length mirror. She remembers when she was very pregnant with Hannah, and was getting ready for a book release party with Luke, with many sweet interactions between the expectant parents. Her memory ends as she hears a vehicle approaching.
The Waterfords arrive looking for June. When they enter, Fred calls out to Commander MacKenzie and his wife. Serena runs upstairs, and notices the clothing armoirs have been uncovered. She sees June's cloak and head cover, and runs downstairs show it to Fred. Serena and Fred argue over June. Serena blames him for them running off together. He says Nick would not be that disloyal, and that he let June see her daughter, which he believes would have made her grateful. Serena tells him he is stupid and that they hate him, which is why June keeps running away from him.
Fred blames Serena constant cruelty to June for her escape attempts. She tells him he raped June last night, he points out that was her idea, and says this was "to fix her mess." Serena in her anger says that Nick is the father of June's baby, and he should have expected them to run after seeing Hannah/Agnes. She asks Fred if he expected to June to return after this visit and thank him. She calls him an idiot and he calls her a bitch. Serena says they can't explain it away or even report it. Especially to have a handmaid run away twice, and how they will think that they are part of the Resistance. She says they will hang them on the wall, and he comments it would be his bad luck to be next to her. She chastises him for making jokes.
In an upper level of the home, June spies a open box of ammunition on a storage chest. Inside, she finds a shotgun and loads it. Downstairs, Serena quietly confesses she gave up everything for "the cause," and all she wanted in return was a baby. Fred pins her against the wall telling her she demanded a baby. She cries that he has left her with nothing. At the same time, June has quietly opened a window in the breezeway, and has aimed the gun at them. Serena cries that she will never hold her baby, and Fred consoles her. June hears the entire conversation. Serena pushes Fred away, and June gasps as her target moves out of her sight.
Fred continues to console her, telling her they can't have gotten far and he will call local security. He urges her to leave, and they move outside. June relaxes as they drive away.
June continues to decompress from event, and has an intense contraction. She flashes back to when she went to visit the birthing center that her mom worked at. June wants to have her baby in a hospital with "doctors, nurses, and lots of drugs." Her mother insists she'll be there for the birth, although June has her doubts that mother will be there.
She returns to the garage where she tries to open the garage door with the electronic controls (which have no power) and then manually, but can't. She climbs into the car and tries to drive through the door but it doesn't budge. She goes outside and tries to dig out but slips and falls. As she lays there she realizes that her water has just broke, and weeps. She looks up to see a black wolf watching her, which focuses her attention. She gets up, goes back inside the house, and prepares a birthing area in front of a lit fire. She lays in front of it and thinks of when she gave birth to Hannah. June is progressing through labor with Luke and Moira. She asks Moira if her mom has called and Moira says she'll text her again. When June wakes up, she sees a puddle of blood has formed beneath her. She sits up, and reassures her baby (and herself), that it is going to be okay.
June goes back outside with the shotgun and has another intense labor pain, falling to her knees. The hears a sound, and the wolf again watches her. She fires two shots into the air hoping to catch anyone's attention. She looks the direction of the animal, and it is gone. She reloads and shoots again. She goes back inside, removes her clothes, and starts the delivery process on her knees in front of the fire. She remembers her birthing process with Luke and Moira, and then Lydia's coaching when Janine gave birth to baby Angela, She finally gives birth to her baby. As she talks to her new baby, she remembers holding newborn Hannah, when her mother arrives. She introduces Hannah to her grandmother, Holly. In the present time, she whispers to the new baby that her name is Holly. She tells her about that she has a big sister that she will one day meet. In June's narration, she tells Holly that that she wants her to hear this (her) story, and that she will hear Holly's if she ever gets the chance, whether meet or she escapes, be it in the future or in heaven. She tells Holly she believes in her and her future.
As they're laying there, a car drives up outside. June whispers, "We did it, Holly."
At the Red Center, June is seen using a breast pump when Aunt Lydia arrives. She commends June on her surviving and giving birth on her own. Aunt Elizabeth mentions that June's milk is less than yesterday. Aunt Lydia says she knows this already. Apparently, Mrs. Waterford wants the milk. Aunt Lydia tells June that other families have made offers for her to be in their households.
Aunt Lydia leads June to meet with the Commander and Nick who have brought Nicole. June refuses to see the baby but Aunt Lydia tells her that it'll help her produce more milk. It's true because no sooner does she say this that her breasts start to leak. Fred turns to leave by June offers to nurse Nicole. Fred says no but Aunt Lydia convinces him to take June back to the house so that she can pump there. June returns with Fred but this upsets Serena. She says that June can't touch the baby and that she pumps in the room.
June is using the breast pump when she hears Nicole gurgling. She walks downstairs with the milk and runs into Eden in the kitchen. Eden asks her if she agrees that a baby should be raised by two people who love each other. June tells her that she thinks they should grab love wherever they can. The next day, Nick is looking for Eden but can't find her. Nick tells her that their baby is so beautiful and that he wishes he could hold her. June says her too. June tells him that she wants to name her Holly after her Mom. Nick tells her it sounds right.
June is in the kitchen helping clean the kitchen when Rita is called by Serena. June takes the chance to smell some of Nicole's clothes. Commander Fred walks in and asks her why Eden would runaway. June says she doesn't know and he asks where she was hiding when they went searching for her in the house. She says the attic and he says that she was avoiding going home with him. June tells him that she wanted to spend more time with Hannah and he asks how was her reunion. June says she was surprised to see her. Fred says that he was glad he made it happen for her. She thanks him and he asks if that's all the thanks he gets. She offers to play scrabble with him.
Rita wakes up June and tells her that they brought Isaac and Eden back. Nick tries to convince Eden to lie on the stand but she won't. She asks him to forgive her but he asks her to forgive him because he wasn't kind to her. Eden and Isaac are lead to a swimming pool, chained, accused of adultery, and ordered to repent but the two of them refuse, and Eden instead recites 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. They are pushed into the pool, and both of them drown and die as a result.
June goes downstairs and finds Nick sitting at the table. She tries to offer comfort but he just gets up and walks away. As she's going back upstairs, she spots Serena in the baby's room. She asks Serena if she's okay. The baby starts to cry and Serena surprisingly offers the baby to June. June sits and holds Nicole. She begins to breastfeed her as Serena watches.
June and Rita are doing the laundry. Rita confesses that she treated Eden badly. June reveals that she slept with Nick. Rita says that she should've tried harder. June continues to go through Eden's things. She finds a Holy Bible. June goes to see Serena and shows her the bible and how Eden wrote notes all over it. Serena says that Eden has been hiding a multitude of sins. This upsets June who asks Serena how she's going to raise Nicole. Serena Joy says that she'll be raised properly and understand the Word of God. June says that she won't be able to read it, and leaves, upset.
Nick gets visited by Eden's father who apologize for Eden. Commander Fred asks if he has another daughter and he says yes. Commander Fred tells him to make sure that their other daughter is raised better. Eden's father tells them how he was the one who turned in Eden to the authorities. This shocks June who asks Commander Fred what he'll do when they come for his daughter. He closes the door and slaps her. She slaps him back. He grabs her by the face and shoves her down. Later, Rita helps June by giving her an ice pack. Nick arrives so Rita leaves to give them some alone time.
June tells him that it's okay. They hear the baby downstairs so both of them go to check on her. Rita is holding her but gives her to June. June in turn gives her to Nick. She tells him to look at what they made and that she loves him. The next day, the handmaid's go for a walk and come to the place where Eden and Isaac are hanging from. She tells the handmaids about the Bible she found among Eden's things.
Emily tells them about how tonight is her first night doing the ceremony with her new family. Emily also mentions that next week is her son's birthday. June says that they should celebrate. Emily says that she's glad she got to see June again.
June opens the front door and lets Serena and Fred inside the house. Serena can barely walk so Fred guides her to their room. He tells June that they had a difficult day but that from now on everything will be better. June waits until he leaves before she asks Serena what happened. Serena begins to unwrap her hand and shows her that they took one of her fingers. She says that she tried and June sits on the bed and holds her hand.
June goes downstairs into the kitchen where Fred is calling for Rita. She tells him that she can't believe he let them do that to Serena. He says that they all have roles to play and that Serena needed to be reminded of hers. Fred tells her that maybe June could stay in the house with her baby and that they could try again but for a boy this time. She tells him to go fuck himself. He then brings up Hannah and how if she agreed she'd be able to see her more. He tells her to think about it as he goes back upstairs.
June is feeding Nicole when she hears a commotion outside. Rita comes in and tells her that they can get her out but that she needs to leave now. Rita tells her where to go so June hugs her and then leaves. Inside, Fred watches what's going on from his office. He goes and asks Rita what's going on but she says she doesn't know. Realizing something is up, he runs upstairs to check on Nicole. Nick follows him up and when Fred tells him to put together a search party Nick tells him to stay inside.
Serena spots June with Nicole and tries to stop them. June tries to convince Serena to let them go. Serena asks to hold the baby one last time, and June lets her. Serena hands the baby back and watches as they leave. June goes from Martha to Martha as they guide her out of Gilead. They lead her to the train tracks where she waits. She remembers when she sang to Hannah. She shows the picture of Hannah to Holly and tells her that maybe she'll meet her one day. That she is going to meet her one day. A car pulls up and Emily gets out. They embrace but Emily asks what is happening. June tells her that she's getting out. She leads Emily to the car but doesn't get in. Instead she gives her the baby and stays behind.
Present: Season Three[edit | edit source]
The episode opens right where season 2 ended with a shot of the vehicle that is smuggling baby Nichole and Emily while a voice over of June praying to God to protect Nichole and addresses Nichole saying, "I'm sorry, baby girl. Mom's got work." Commander Lawrence's car, a grayish-black Tesla Model X, disappears from sight as June chases after him. After a moment of panic, his car comes back into view as he picks up June. He is shocked that June didn't get in the truck and tells her to get in the car, so they can meet up with the truck before it crosses the Canadian border. June refuses and asks to be taken to Commander MacKenzie's to get her daughter Hannah (Agnes in Gilead) before heading north. With great conviction, June states that she can't, and won't, leave without her. After June mentions the Wall, Commander Lawrence agrees to take her to MacKenzies.
Outside of Commander MacKenzie's house, June looks into their house door and sees a Martha. She walks into the house and startles the Martha asking "Where is she?" to which the Martha tells her that Hannah and the wife are asleep upstairs, and the Commander is away. Offred goes upstairs despite the pleas of the Martha. She looks in to see Hannah sleeping, while at the same time she hears the sirens of the Guardians pulling up to the house with guns. All that she can do is go into Hannah's room, cry, and tell her sleeping daughter that she loves her and will never leave her. June quickly ties a piece of red string around Hannah's wrist next to friendship bracelets and kisses her on the forehead. Then June kneels outside Hannah's door with hands on her head, waiting for the Guardians to come and detain her. As June is escorted out of the house, Mrs. MacKenzie stops the Guardian and then asks to speak to her. Mrs. MacKenzie tells June that "this has to stop," because of how damaging the interactions between Hannah and June have been. She reveals that Hannah had nightmares for weeks after the secret visit at the summer house. In response to the look on June's face, Mrs. MacKenzie says, "Of course she told me. I'm her mother." Before finally leaving the house June asks what Hannah is like. The two women share a moment of motherhood and love for Hannah. Mrs. MacKenzie asks one more time for June to stop, saying it will only end with June getting shot in front of her daughter. June gets in the last word stating that she is Hannah's mother, creating tensions as she is forcibly dragged out the door.
June is brought back the Waterford house and is called in to speak to Serena and Fred alone. Where Fred yells at June telling her that they will all end up on the Wall, but June only speaks to Serena telling her that the baby is safe. Serena gets very upset knowing that Nichole was handed over to Ofjoseph #1 (Emily), grabs Offred and tells her that she killed her baby by giving her to a "murderer." The women emotionally speak to each other where June says that what is happening to Serena right now is like what happened to her when she and Hannah were captured trying to escape the first time.
June steps out of her room and sees wisps of smoke, she senses something is wrong. Going downstairs, she notices light coming from Serena and Fred's bedroom, so she opens the door and sees Serena facing her burning bed. Sensing that the whole house is about to burn down, she beckons to Serena and reaches out her hand to her. Serena takes it and June leads them out of the room, on the way Serena asks Rita to leave quickly. As June leaves the house, it continues to go up in flames.
June is punished by scrubbing floors in the Red Center, the soles of her feet battered. A Handmaid with a bucket lets her know that Emily and Nichole made it safely to Canada, giving her some hope. While in the dormitory, Aunt Elizabeth tells June to get her things and is driven to a new house - Commander Lawrence's. June promises him that she won't be any trouble.
June meets her new walking partner Ofmatthew and learns the Gileadean army is about to violently seize Chicago, IL, before answering Ofmatthew's question to "Ofjoseph's" whereabouts by "I am Ofjoseph". The women go to Loaves and Fishes, where June briefly talks to Alma who remarks Marthas don’t trust Handmaids .
When she returns home, June finds Aunt Lydia sitting in the parlor with the Lawrences. The Commander describes to her the recent Ceremony as "aces" before escorting Eleanor out. Aunt Lydia, suspicious of Commander Lawrence, reminds June to report anything “unseemly”. When she stumbles as they start to go upstairs to June's room, June offers to help her only to be tased by her cattle prod. A suddenly infuriated Lydia points out that unlike Aunt Elizabeth, she would have sent June to "the Wall" rather than to a new household for her stunt at the MacKenzie household, adding "Ofjoseph" was seen unacceptedly "gossiping" at Loaves and Fishes. She leaves the house in her wheelchair.
In the Lawrence kitchen, June runs into Beth and Cora who are about to harbor the runaway Martha Alison planning to help her escape. A suspicious Commander Lawrence wants to call a Guardian to send her home but June convinces him to "let her have a chance for something better".
Along with June dressed as a Martha, Beth and Alison head into town to drop the latter at a relay point in a mass laundromat. After the successful drop, June learns from Beth that Alison, a former chemistry teacher, is actually not fleeing from Gilead but getting "deeper in" the resistance to "make bombs” to clear out Gilead from Chicago.
At the Lawrence home, Alison suddenly shows up with an injured Martha and they hide her in the basement, but the Guardians that shot her are close behind. An incensed Commander Lawrence calls Cora a "liar" as she excuses the noise in the basement by the sighting of a rat. He orders June to fix things. As he makes to let the Guardians in, June realizes that the woman’s blood is on the wall. As Mrs. Lawrence takes over the job of cleaning up, June returns downstairs. The guardians are looking for the fugitives outside the window and in the house, June desperately trying to calm down the injured woman's moaning to stop her from drawing the Guardians’ notice. The Guardians eventually leave, but the woman dies.
Commander Lawrence, enraged, demands that June dispose of the Martha’s body all by herself. It takes her a while, but she digs a grave and puts the woman in it, then says a prayer over her final resting place. As June soaks in the tub later, Beth comes in with some salve for June’s ripped-up hands. She reports that Lawrence has sent Cora away since "he doesn’t like liars”.
The next day June and Ofmatthew talk about Ofjohn #2 who recently died in a traffic accident. Just when a bus passes by, June remarks that it was Ofjohn #2's walking partner who pushed her in front of a bus. As June returns home, Mrs. Lawrence is planting flowers on the dead Martha's grave.
June, Alma, and Janine stand on a street corner, peering up at the corpses hanging from the street lights above her. Though not expecting Cora up there, June decides (in a voice-over) to search for "allies with power" to "survive this". Back at the house, Beth and the new Martha, Sienna, are preparing for a big meeting: All of the Commanders come to Lawrence , because he won’t attend meetings. Beth and June whisper about the dwindling flow of information, likely due to recent roundups among Marthas.
When the Commanders start to arrive, Fred Waterford and June have a brief conversation in the dining room. She wonders how Serena is doing, and he says she’ll be OK. Then she asks what he knows about Lawrence. He calls him “an interesting man” and a “visionary” who helped bring Gilead into being, but admits he’s always been hard to read. When she presses him for more, Fred says, “He does not like to be bored.”
June enters the study, which is now full of commanders, she is surprised to see Nick sitting among them. The men are discussing a "shipment" of women from Chicago bound for the Colonies . As a discussion about the difference in gender abilities comes up, Lawrence mocks June's former profession as book editor and then commands her to fetch Charles Darwin’s "The Descent of Man" from his bookshelf. She retrieves the book in question and kneels to give it to him, and he dismisses her remarking "Women can be useful".
June visits Lawrence in his study where he's poring over some files "full of women". He starts quizzing her on whether she’s good at making friends, influencing people, and “intimacy”, getting closer to her face only to ask if this "really worked on Fred" and how the Waterfords could not notice how "transactional" she is. He then explains he helped Emily because she was smart and could be "useful" to the world while he sees June as "useless" since she never tried to "help anyone", bringing up some details from her past. June replies if he hadn’t created the system that made Gilead possible, none of them would be in the situation they’re in now, which makes him "far worse than ‘useless'".
Lawrence then announces they’re going to take a drive and brings June to a warehouse where hundreds of women are being held in cages. They’re bound for either the radioactive Colonies or summary execution the next day, but he hands her the binder and tells her she can save five, who will be made into Marthas. As she won’t choose, he tells her she’s condemning all of them to death, calling her objection, it is actually him and Gilead responsible for their deaths, a “technical distinction” that won’t matter to the women in question. June returns to the car and cries.
Nick reappears at Commander Lawrence’s home. He wants to say goodbye since as a Commander he’s getting deployed to the front at Chicago. June is annoyed and leaves the room but returns after a quick change of heart. She draws him back into the room and closes the door.
June comes down to find Serena in the Lawrences’ parlor who asks her how to stop thinking about their daughter. June urges her to think about all the women who’ve had their children ripped away from them. She adds that they have to help each other and may be stronger than they think.
Later, Lawrence comes upon June sitting with the files from the night before, handing him her five selections. Then she walks into the kitchen and announces to Beth that they’ll have five new, hand-picked Marthas for the resistance: an engineer, an IT tech, a journalist, a lawyer, and a thief.
In a voice-over, June talks to her missing mother Holly: “You wanted a women’s culture. It wasn’t what you meant, but it exists.” And addressing the men of Gilead: “We’re coming for you. Just wait.”
Inside, the handmaids who have given birth get prime seating. The district’s new "parents" bring up their babies to the altar, among them Ofmatthew's son. June tells Ofmatthew that her son is cute.
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 Lydia, yelling at 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.
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.
June shares the confirmation that Nichole is safe (and with Luke) with her fellow Handmaids at the supermarket. While most of them congratulate, Ofmatthew tells June that she’s praying for Luke to return Nichole to her "rightful home."
Commander Lawrence refuses to help June find out whether Luke is in imminent danger by stating "We’re all in danger".
Serena and Fred show up at the Lawrences’ home and ask an initially reluctant June to call Luke and ask him to agree to a visit in Canada. Only when June learns it is essentially Serena's personal request to meet Nichole, she eventually agrees, pointing out she wants Serena "to owe her".
With the Waterfords and Commander Lawrence looking on, June phones her husband and reassures him that she and Hannah are both OK. She then tells him to bring Nichole to meet the Waterfords at the Toronto airport the next day. Luke agrees to see "not him, just her." The call cuts off as June is telling him she loves him.
Mrs. Lawrence later remarks to June in a private conversation that is was important that “the love came through” — like it did when Joseph wooed her via mixtape in college. She also mentions that she’s still got all of these tapes in the basement. Later we see June in the Lawrences’ basement, recording a message to her husband on one of Mr. Lawrence's old mixtapes.
At the supermarket, Ofmatthew informs June that she’s pregnant again when some Eyes show up and load June into the back of a van without telling her where they’re going. Aunt Lydia is there when she arrives at her destination and gets June dressed in a new red gown, then deposits her on a soundstage. Fred and Serena are there, too; the set is dressed to look like they’re in their living room. Aunt Lydia reminds June not to try any funny business before some TV cameras turn on and start rolling.
In Canada, Moira runs home to tell Luke he’s got to turn on the TV. When he does, he sees the Waterfords telling the world that they are a “family in mourning” who just wants the Canadian government to return their daughter to Gilead. Back on the set, the camera zeroes in on June’s face, her expression pure rage.
Household [edit | edit source]
The episode opens with several Marthas and Econowives praying for the return of Nichole to Gilead. June prays for their prayers to go unanswered and for Serena to realize that Nichole is safer in Canada and for her to tell Fred to stop before they both get hit by a truck.
At Commander Lawrence's household, Lawrence tells June that Fred want to enlist her help in forcing the Canadians to repatriate his daughter. June tells Lawrence not to call Nichole Fred's daughter. Lawrence tells her that the Waterfords are participating in a public prayer in Washington, DC to implore the Canadians to return Nichole.
June travels on a train to Washington, DC. On the way, she notices from the window that the Washington Monument was surprisingly converted from an obelisk to a massive cross. At the new train station, she and Aunt Lydia take an escalator. Aunt Lydia tells June that the old Union Station was designed by a heretic, and was "destroyed for the glory of Gilead". She tells June that nobody likes a "sour puss". Before leaving, Aunt Lydia tells June to go to her spot and warns her to be a "good girl."
June walks to her spot and greets the other Handmaids, and a local Aunt, who welcome her to Washington. June is joined by Fred and Serena, who tell her they are guests of High Commander George Winslow. June walks with Rita, who tells her that the baby is the only thing that Serena wanted.
June and the Waterfords travel to Commander Winslow's house. Serena thinks they should have stayed in a hotel but Fred reassures them that he is humble and "down to Earth." June and the Waterfords wait in the living room with two birds in a cage. Winslow greets the Waterfords, and then he and Fred talk about the preparations for their ceremony.
June leaves the living room with two Marthas, one of which is Rita, who take her up a flight of stairs to her quarters. They tell her to stay with Ofgeorge before leaving. June passes a photo of the Winslow family, who have three sons and three daughters.
In her room, June tries to make conversation with Ofgeorge only to discover that her lips have had rings sewn to their mouths. June is horrified by the treatment forced onto her and the other DC handmaids.
The following day, June and the other handmaids for a semicircle around a statute of angel wings. Aunt Lydia notices Ofgeorge's sewn lips. Fred asks June and Serena to stand at front of the statue. When June asks how many videos he is going to do, Serena replies as many as it takes. Nick enters the chamber and chats with Fred. He has been sent by Commander Lawrence to keep watch.
While posing for a photo, Nick stands beside June and the two hold hands briefly. Fred then stands beside June and Serena for the video shoot. June and the other handmaids kneel while Fred calls the prayers.
At the Winslow household, June enters the living room where the Marthas are attending to the children. June greets Serena. She tells Serena that she knows she doesn't want this. Serena is initially reluctant to talk to June. Serena is still bitter about the loss of Nichole. June says that Nichole didn't change this place and that she deserves better than Gilead. June tells Serena that she knows that to be true.
Fred asks Rita to steam his jacket. He tells Serena and June that the Canadians have asked the Swiss to conduct interviews. Fred reassures Serena that it will be a small step for Nichole. He tells June to put on a clean dress because they want to make a good impression.
June and the Waterfords travel to a large building. Having interviewed the Waterfords, the Swiss diplomat insists on speaking to June, who is now known as "Ofjoseph." Fred says that it is not appropriate in their culture. The Swiss official insists on speaking to June alone if she has no objection. June says she has no objection. Before the interview, Serena warns her not to be stupid.
The Swiss diplomat pours June a glass of water before leaving her to speak with the Swiss team. When the Swiss team asks her how she wants to be addressed, June chooses her birth name. She agrees to speak if the guards leave the room. June tells the Swiss diplomats that she is the child's mother and insists that Nichole stays in Canada. The female diplomat says she understands her feelings but that the situation is complicated.
June tells the diplomat that Fred is not the child's father. The female diplomat say their associates in Canada told them about an audio cassette. June asks if Nichole can stay there if that is what both of their parents want. A male diplomat explains that Gilead is a powerful country that Canada wants to avoid antagonizing. June asks what she can do to guarantee that Nichole remains in Canada.
The female diplomat asks for intelligence about Canada. June offers to put them in contact with a Commander, hinting at Nick. The male diplomat is doubtful this will succeed but June says that she will persuade Nick. The female diplomat asks if she is still in a relationship with Nick. June says it is complicated. The male diplomat says that if Commander Blaine talks with them it will help them to protect Nichole. He tells June to bring them Commander Blaine and they will have a deal. June shakes the male diplomat’s hand before leaving.
June smiles as she walks out of the meeting room. Commander Winslow chats with Commander Waterford while playing snooker. Regarding the Swiss mediation as a triumph, they drink a toast to the latter. Polly invites him and Fred for a tea party.
June later meets with Nick outside the Winslow household and embraces him. She tells Nick that she made a secret deal with the Swiss to pass them information. Nick is reluctant and says the Swiss are politicians with their own agenda. June replies she also has her own agenda. June tells Nick that this is his one chance to be a father to their daughter.
The following day, June is surprised to see the female Swiss diplomat at the Winslow household. The diplomat tells her that they are recommending that discussions continue. June is opposed to the idea of bringing Nichole back to Gilead. June is upset that Nick Blaine won’t be part of the discussions. The female diplomat replies that she does not know who Nick is and who he was. She says that their research indicates that he is not to be trusted. June offers to talk to Nick but she tells him that he has left for Chicago.
Fred and Serena soon arrive. Fred asks the female Swiss diplomat if she wants to see the tape but she replies that she will wait for the finished product. June asks Serena what Nick did before he worked as their driver. Serena replies that Nick served Gilead. When June asks for details, Serena tells her that Nick served as a soldier in the Crusades and that they wouldn’t be here without him. Serena senses that June is shocked that Nick disclosed his past.
Meanwhile, Nick arrives in a tunnel where he is saluted by Gilead soldiers. Later, Aunt Lydia inspects June in her room. June tells her she is tired. Aunt Lydia hands her a mask but June is reluctant to put it on. June asks Aunt Lydia if she wants them all to be silent. Lydia reassures her that she does not want them.
Lydia admits the trip is tiring but that she still tries to think of the good that she can do in God’s world. She says that if she can just help one soul that is enough. Lydia tells June that she thinks of her before hugging and comforting her. A tearful June allows Lydia to put the harness around her.
Later, June visits the Lincoln Memorial where a statute of Abraham Lincoln has been beheaded. Serena approaches her from behind and says the silence is now for a change. June tells her to return a favor, and walks away but Serena tells her to stop. Serena says that they can go home and that they will be free of each other. June replies that she will never be free until both of her children are safe. Serena says that is her constant prayer for Nichole.
June angrily tells Serena that she trusted her to give Nichole a better life. Serena counters that she trusted June to stay with Nichole. June says she named the child Nichole to honor her and that she will not let her go. Serena says that she loves Nichole but June says that she doesn’t know love. She tells Serena that she built this whole world to have someone but that it didn’t work. June tells Serena that she is small, cold, and empty and that she will always be empty.
Serena angrily responds that she should've put a ring in her mouth the day they met. June replies that she should have let her burn in the fire. Serena walks away while June touches her head against the desecrated statute of Abraham Lincoln. She stares at the statue before donning her cap and mask.
Several handmaids who have gathered at the site of the Washington Memorial, where the obelisk has been reshaped into a cross. Fred and Serena stand before the sea of handmaids. June joins them. Fred leads the assembled masses in prayer. June kneels and the other Handmaids follow.
The episode opens with June and the other Handmaids participating in a particicution under the supervision of Aunt Lydia. They are tasked with executing a man and two Econowives. At her signal, the Handmaids pull several red ropes which cause the condemned to fall down a long drop, executing them.
Following the execution, Ofmatthew says that she heard one of the women mistreated a child, thinking that her execution was merciful. June doesn't share Ofmatthew's enthusiasm. Ofmatthew has difficult breathing so June tells her to take a deep breath. Ofmatthew reveals that she loves being with child but that her assignment is with child. She says that she doesn’t know what is wrong with her. June tells Ofmatthew that she was pretty scared when she was bearing Nichole. Ofmatthew prefers not to think and says that her child is a blessing.
June visits a supermarket and chats with the other handmaids. Alma tells June that they have finally gotten hold of that cocktail shipment she was after. Ofmatthew says she loves fruit cocktail but is distracted by Brianna under a pretext. When they're alone, Alma tells June that Frances, the Martha stationed at the MacKenzie household, wants to meet up with her.
In the frozen section, Frances tells June that Mrs. MacKenzie tells her to stop. June says she can't and asks how Mrs. MacKenzie is. She tells her that her daughter Hannah is at a school. June doesn't think the situation is ideal and tells Frances that her commander can help them escape to freedom. Frances says that Hannah is a child and that to put her in danger is selfish.
June disagrees and says that Hannah should be with her real parents. June convinces Frances to arrange a meeting with Hannah at her school. June says that she has just come from her fourth hanging this week and doesn’t think it will get better. Frances tells June to go to the gate where a friend will help her.
Back at Commander Lawrence's household, Beth tells June that Commander Lawrence is away. June tells Beth that she has be in Brookline by 3pm so that she can see her daughter. Beth is reluctant to accompany June to Brookline due to the presence of Guardians. June offers to bring tea up to Mrs. Lawrence in order to curry her favor.
Mrs. Lawrence invites June into her quarters. June opens the curtains. Mrs. Lawrence, who has not been outside for a long time, is initially struck by the bright sunlight. June convinces her to accompany her for a walk, promising that nothing will happen to her. The two walk through the snowy streets of Boston together. They encounter Mrs. Putnam, who greets Mrs. Lawrence, having not seen her for a long time. Mrs Lawrence greets baby Angela. Mrs. Putnam wishes Mrs. Lawrence all the best in getting a child through her handmaid.
June says that being a mother in Gilead poses its own challenges. June admits that she lied to Mrs. Lawrence and that she arranged the walk so that she could meet her daughter at her school in Brookline. June apologizes for misleading Mrs. Lawrence and offers to take her home, but says she is willing to continue the walk because she is keen on an adventure. The two walk through a subway tunnel.
Mrs. Lawrence and June approach the school in Brookline, which is heavily guarded by Guardians. They see three children being led out by an aunt with a rope. Mrs. Lawrence approaches the guards, seeking a Guardian named Parker. Though Parker is away, another Guardian speaks to her. Mrs. Lawrence claims that she was promised a tour of the school grounds due to her status as Commander Lawrence's wife.
Mrs. Lawrence is allowed inside the building but June is kept waiting outside the gates. The building rings with the laughter of children playing. June walks around the wall, which is ringed by barbed wire. She skirts the perimeter of the building and tries to make out her daughter's voice. June cries out to Hannah and pressed her hands against the wall. June experiences a flashback of playing with her daughter under a blanket. A high angle shot of June separated from the children by a high wall is made.
Back at the gate, Mrs. Lawrence remonstrates with the Guardians, claiming that she was promised a tour of the school. June returns with two Guardians. One of the Guardians tells June that she won’t stop talking about the children. June explains that Mrs. Lawrence is confused and has health issues. June apologizes for taking advantage of her. June leads Mrs. Lawrence home.
Back at the Lawrence household, Commander Lawrence gently leads his wife to her room. Mrs. Lawrence apologizes to June, calling her "Ofjoseph." Commander Lawrence gently helps his wife into bed and removes her shoes. June tells Commander Lawrence he had not intention of putting Mrs. Lawrence in danger. She tells Commander Lawrence that she came alive during their walk.
The following morning, June and the other Handmaids gather for a particicution. Alma tells June that the MacKenzies are gone and that not even her Commander knows. Aunt Lydia asks the Handmaids why they have "long faces" and implores them to "take a moment to abide in the sunlight of His grace”. Two figures are standing in the gallows. Aunt Lydia announces that they are individuals including a Martha for endangering the "child she was trusted to protect". June recognizes the Martha as Frances, who is gagged and makes tearful noises.
The Handmaids assume their places under Aunt Lydia’s orders. June is reluctant but complies. The Handmaids pull the ropes. Frances weeps as a noose is placed around her neck. June bids Frances farewell before taking part in the particicution. Aunt Lydia tells them let that be a lesson to them before ordering the Handmaids to disperse. June is the last to drop her rope and eyes Lydia menacingly before dispersing.
June brushes past the other Handmaids. Ofmatthew tells her she should be thankful. June asks Ofmatthew what she did. Ofmatthew tells June that she reported her encounter with Frances to Aunt Lydia. June asks what she said to Lydia. Ofmatthew replies that she and Lydia saved her. June takes off her cap and angrily grabs Ofmatthew around the neck, asking if she knows what she did. June is restrained by Alma and Brianna, but angrily storms off.
Unfit[edit | edit source]
The Handmaids attend Ofandy's birth at the Allston household. When Ofandy’s labor stalls, though, Aunt Lydia takes them to the Red Center, where she puts June in the center of a shame-circle, blaming her for her "responsibility" in Frances' execution. When Aunt Lydia puts Ofmatthew on the stand for her doubts in her pregnancy, she cracks and cries while the other Handmaids point at her for being a "crybaby".
Commander Lawrence gruffly tells June he doesn’t know anything about where the MacKenzies or Hannah are now, and “Don’t ask me again.” That night, Ofandy’s labor begins again. While Ofandy is giving birth, Mrs. Allston acts out the process of labor behind her, accompanied by the other wives. When Ofandy's child is stillborn, Mrs. Allston flies into a fit of rage and grief for "her daughter," being comforted by the other Wives, while the Handmaids circle Ofandy with sympathy to embrace her. June later realizes that she was relieved to see that the little girl died.
At home, when Commander Lawrence asks June to spend time with his wife since she's "good for her", she gruffly blames the world that he built to be destroying his wife, adding by keeping her "hostage" instead of taking her out of Gilead he is actually killing her.
Ofmatthew greets June for a routine trip to Loaves and Fishes. When they arrive, Aunt Lydia informs June that she is to be reassigned to another household. In the background, we see Ofmatthew begin to tense, holding a can of tomatoes. She then begins to bludgeon Janine with the can, drawing the attention of Aunt Lydia and the nearby Guardians. When one approaches, Ofmatthew strikes him with a glass jar, slicing his neck with a shard. She draws his gun, pointing it around the market before landing on June and then Aunt Lydia. June gives her a glance, signaling Ofmatthew to fire. Just then Ofmatthew, whose real name is revealed by Lydia as Natalie, is struck through the shoulder, the bullet protruding out her chest. Two Guardians then drag her body out the market while June stares motionless.
Natalie's excessive blood loss means that she is brain dead and kept on life support throughout her pregnancy. An increasingly deranged June is kept in her hospital room; a means of punishment by Aunt Lydia for June orchestrating the humiliation of Natalie.
Throughout Natalie's pregnancy, she is visited by Aunt Lydia and the other Handmaids in her district, who pray for a safe delivery for Natalie's unborn child. During one of the prayer sessions, Brianna tries to hold June's hand but is struck by Aunt Lydia.
In addition, Mrs. Calhoun brings Wives along with her to pray for Natalie's unborn child. As time passes, June asks Aunt Lydia if she can return to the Lawrences but Lydia reminds her that she has to serve her punishment for causing Natalie's condition.
As June's sanity slips, she is compelled to kill Natalie twice. During the first attempt, she attempts to twist Natalie's oxygen pipe but gives up the attempt when it triggers an alarm. During the second time, June is stopped by Janine, who has been sent to the hospital due to her infected eye socket. Disgusted by June's perceived selfishness and nihilism, she convinces June that Natalie is "one of us" because she is a Handmaid.
Later, June attempts to stab Serena Waterford with a scalpel she had stolen from the medical waste disposal box. Serena fights back and cuts June in the arm. Serena alerts Dr. Yates telling him that June stabbed herself.
June is initially afraid of Dr. Yates but he outwardly buys Serena's story that June cut herself in despair. While stitching her wounds, Yates expresses sympathy for her, privately praising her for taking on Serena. June confides that her mother once worked as a doctor who delivered babies. Yates confides that his patient is Natalie's baby but explains that he is saving the babies in order to honor their mothers.
Natalie has frequent seizures, but doctors manage to treat them. Natalie hemorrhages excessively while she is pre-term, and a premature son is delivered via cesarean-section, who is quickly taken to the NICU. Doctors note that Natalie will not survive much longer. June is allowed to return to the Lawrences.
When she is leaving, she meets Rose, a young girl, who offers to carry her suitcase. She accepts and Rose asks if June had a baby, to which she says no, saying she is visiting a sick friend. Rose tells June she reached menarche and was brought to the hospital for an exam, and that she will marry and have children in a few years. June asks Rose if she wants to have children. She nervously replies affirmative before being called away by her mother.
Outside the hospital, June asks Aunt Lydia's permission to stay by Natalie's side before she dies and returns back to Natalie's room. Aunt Lydia also shows a softer side when she gifts Janine an eye patch to help conceal her disfigurement.
June apologizes to Natalie for her bad treatment, saying that she had "lost her way" in a world where they took everything away. She tells the brain-dead Natalie that her newborn son is beautiful and is a fighter. To honor Natalie, she vows to get out as many children from Gilead as she can, including Hannah, and vows to put and end to the hostile and autocratic Gilead entirely.
June returns to the Lawrence home from the hospital still hobbling, and Aunt Lydia advises her to take a nap, adding they’re home just in time for this month’s Ceremony. The books and art at the Lawrence home are gone from most of the rooms, as a response to some new regulations Commander Waterford has put forth since returning from Washington, DC
In the kitchen, Beth is surrounded by baskets of scones. Since “Scones mean no,” as June learns, the Marthas' network won’t be able to get any more black market mood-stabilizing medicine for Mrs. Lawrence, who is getting worse. Though impressed, Beth deems June's plan to move children out of "this deadly hellscape" as a suicide mission.
Upstairs, Eleanor and Joseph argue loudly. She kicks him out of her room and he retreats to his study; June follows him and notices that most of the books have been stuffed here before urging him to "get a truck, get her out, and get her the help that she needs". In a voice-over, June realizes he’s scared and sees his fear as a "great motivator".
At Loaves and Fishes, Alma denies June’s request for help. Some chimes then sound for "another" inspection, as Alma confirms. Aunt Lydia gathers all the handmaids to welcome “our very special visitors,” High Commander Winslow accompanied by the Waterfords. Fred shares some weird small talk with June raising the idea of arranging her transfer to D.C. to which June reminds him that his "wife is here." Meanwhile, Winslow is irked that Janine is wearing a non-regulation eyepatch and that none of the women are wearing the mouthrings and veils that the D.C. handmaids do. Fred notes that they’re rolling it out slowly.
At home, Mr. Lawrence is out to a meeting. June sneaks into his office and starts poking around in his files. As she is caught by Mrs. Lawrence, she confesses to be looking for her "friends' children." Eleanor leads her to the basement where Joseph keeps the Red Center dossiers. Downstairs, June sits on the ground and starts poring through several boxes of the handmaids' files. She eventually finds her own. When she suggests Eleanor leave Gilead along with her husband, she declines, pointing out that Joseph as a war criminal would be jailed—or killed—as soon as he crosses the border, admitting "he would deserve it." She leaves June alone with the files. June learns that Janine’s son, Caleb, died four years earlier in a car accident, remarking that it’s been five years since she and the other handmaids were detained.
Beth beckons a surprised June to the sitting room where Winslow, Aunt Lydia, and the Waterfords have gathered. June recalls they used to send "bearing witnesses" in the first months of Gilead when some households resisted the Ceremony. After some Bible verses, Joseph, Eleanor, and June go upstairs to the bedroom.
Joseph suggests to wait for a while and then simply go back downstairs, but June reminds him that a doctor would check her afterwards, which puts Eleanor in rage. June points out they "do have" to do something. Eleanor is sent in an adjacent room. June coaches her commander to "treat it like a job and see it from the outside, as a transaction." Afterwards, Joseph goes down to his study without a word to their guests. The doctor checks June out, and Aunt Lydia announces that it’s been “a successful ceremony.”
After everyone’s left, Lawrence passes June a packet of birth-control pills. He then promises to get her a truck to get his wife out of Gilead. June suggests him to come along bringing some stolen children of Gilead with them, which makes Mr. Lawrence consider to become a hero.
The next day at Loaves and Fishes, June brings Alma news of her son, who is 5 and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with a Commander and his family. She adds that her truck will fit 10 people, but she’s not going to be one of them since she won’t leave without Hannah. Janine also offers to help and asks about Caleb. June lies that his family was transferred to California. Janine is comforted by the idea of her son playing on the beach.
When she returns home, June finds the kitchen covered with muffin baskets. Since muffins mean yes, the Martha network will help June get kids out of Gilead. June realizes they'll need a "bigger boat."
Liars[edit | edit source]
The episode opens with June Osborne contemplating a vow by several Marthas and Handmaids to smuggle 52 children to Canada. June later finds a deranged Eleanor Lawrence holding her husband Joseph, who tries to reason with her, at gunpoint. June tells Eleanor to lower the gun but Eleanor wants to kill him for raping June during the ceremony. June sympathizes with Eleanor but tells her to control herself. June tells Eleanor that she needs her and Commander Lawrence’s help to smuggle children out of Gilead.
After calming Eleanor down, June spends time with Commander Lawrence in the living room. She tells Lawrence about her plan to evacuate 52 children out of Gilead with the help of Marthas. June tells him that this can help him to make amends for his role in creating Gilead. Lawrence replies that he overlooked mental health and maternal love and that he struggles to live with the regret. Lawrence says that he needs to get his wife out. June convinces Lawrence to supply her with more trucks. June asks Commander Lawrence to toy with the prospect of becoming a hero.
At the Lawrence household, Beth leads June to a secret meeting with the Marthas. One of them asks June whose plan it was to get the kids out. June confirms it was her idea. She thinks June’s plan is foolish and that it interferes with their plans. She warns that they can kill June and make it look like an accident. June is determined to proceed with her plan to rescue 52 children from slavery, rape, torture, and death.
June tells them that her Commander Lawrence can provide trucks. One of the Marthas criticizes June for jumping on a moving train. June is adamant on proceeding with her plan and Beth speaks up for June including her role in saving the five women from Chicago. The Martha tells Beth of an upcoming shipment.
Beth promises not to interfere with their plans. The other Martha says they have been working on their plan for a long time. She reluctantly approves June’s plan to rescue the children but warns that the Marthas who volunteer will be doing it of their own volition. She warns June that they will not offer assistance or shelter to her but that they will not stand in their way.
Back at the Lawrence household, Beth asks June about her plan. June says that a bartender named Billy from Jezebel's is crucial to their plan. In Lawrence’s study, they find that the Lawrences have already fled and left behind shredded documents. June hurls a book in rage. She searches through the drawers and picks up a telephone, which is still working.
Beth thinks their plan is over but June sees hope in the Martha shipment. She proposes contacting Billy to get a plane to fly in and evacuate the children. Just then, Sienna comes in and says that she is scared. June tells them to leave.
Later, June is surprised to see that Commander Lawrence has returned. June is angry that Lawrence reneged on her promise to help her because she has made certain promises. Lawrence tells June that his wife is more important to him. He confirms that he was unable to get out due to the stricter authorizations. Lawrence admits that he cannot get a truck out and that the authorities are closing in on him. Lawrence promises to keep June away from the Colonies and to find her a kind Commander.
June convinces Lawrence to drive her into Boston. He drops her off at Jezebel's and promises to wait for her. At the brothel, she gets a glass of wine and asks the bartender if he is Billy. She tells him that she is a friend of Beth. June reassures Billy that Beth is alright. She tells him about a plan to evacuate Beth, Commander Lawrence, his wife, and 52 children in a cargo plane. June offers to trade a house full of art paintings, which Billy recognizes as Commander’s Lawrence’s house. June leaves Billy to consider her offer.
High Commander Winslow spots June and invites her over to his suite for a drink. June claims that Commander Lawrence brought her here for fun. When Winslow asks why Lawrence is not around, she makes up the story that he likes her to come and tell him what happens. Winslow extends his hand to June and invites her into a bed. June tells herself that she will get through this.
June complies with Winslow’s orders to undress and to lie on her belly. When he approaches, she strikes him. The two fight and June kicks him in the face. He grabs her and pins her to the ground. Winslow tries to choke June but she stabs him several times with a pen, and then clubs him to death with a small statuette despite his pleas to her that he has kids. She breathes deeply as she reflects on her actions.
Later, a nearby Martha named Maureen enters and finds High Commander Winslow’s bloodstained body. She thanks June for saving her life, revealing herself as one of the five Chicago women that she saved. She tells June to escape through a service elevator. June reunites with Commander Lawrence in the car and tells him to drive.
June wakes up in her room in the Lawrence house and gets ready to face another day. She sits at her window seat, Commander Lawrence walks in with a gun. He gives it to June telling her "they'll be coming for us". Nodding, June takes it with the morning sun leaving her in silhouette.
The episode opens with June Osborne looking out a window and fiddling with her pistol. She hears a van approaching and parking. As she hears boots walking up the stairs, June raises her gun. However, it turns out to be Eleanor Lawrence, who tells her that there are several men with Joseph. Eleanor tells June that Beth will need help to serve coffee and sandwiches to the men downstairs. She advises June to leave her gun upstairs.
June walks slowly down the stairs, approaching an armed Guardian who greets her "Blessed Day." Beth gives June a day off because of her actions the previous night, telling her she is "fucking fantastic." She tells June that Billy has agreed to help and has arranged a flight a week from today. She passes June a basket of muffins. Sienna tells June that the Commanders are talking about launching an attack. June volunteers to bring tea and coffee out to the Commanders to find out what is going on.
After the Commanders have left, Joseph tells June that she is lucky to be off the Wall. He explains that they believe High Commander Winslow is only missing and there is speculation that he has been kidnapped by the Americans. June learns that the Waterfords are in American custody in Toronto. Joseph explains that they went on a rogue mission to get their baby back but were ambushed. June asks if they are in prison and learns that they are facing trial as war criminals. Joseph thinks that they failed because they did not bring 52 kids with them. June tells Lawrence that the plane will come in a week and he replies that it could not come sooner. He tells June to cheer up because the Waterfords are toast and that June just got away with murder.
In private, June laughs with joy as she contemplates the recent turn of events. Later, June walks in the rain with an umbrella. She visits the Loaves and Fishes where she tells Alma that the flight is happening in a week from today. They line up beside the meat section, which is almost empty. June tells Alma that they will bring the kids to the Lawrence house after dark and he will bring them to the plane. When June asks if she can trust her Martha, Alma replies that she is a "bitch" but can still help with the plot. June reassures Alma that she will always be her son's mother.
After picking up her meat, June meets up with Rita at the carrot section. Rita is also involved in the plan to evacuate 52 children. Rita and June are pleased that the Waterfords have been captured by the Canadians. She tells June that the Eyes came to speak with her but that she told them that Serena Waterford was overjoyed before she left. June explains that she is only nice when she is planning something. Rita says she can help bring a child and asks June if this is her idea. She praises June for being a boss and tells her that she is proud of her.
Back at the Lawrence household, June finds Eleanor breathing heavily by a cupboard. She says she should go back because Joseph would want her to. Eleanor thanks June for being kind to her. The two enter the living room where Joseph is hosting Olivia Winslow and Naomi Putnam. Joseph leads them in prayer over Winslow, who is officially believed to be missing. Olivia is afraid for her children.
June says that she will pray for Commander Winslow's safe return. Olivia expresses frustration that the other Commanders are more preoccupied with blowing things up then finding her husband. Olivia begs Joseph to get George back because she fears that her six children will be taken away if her husband is not found. Eleanor almost tells Olivia about June's plan to liberate children from Gilead but Joseph clarifies that they will take the Winslow children in if George is not found. Olivia thanks Eleanor. Olivia adds that the Eyes questioned them about Fred and Serena and expresses relief that people know where they are.
June finds Joseph arguing with another Commander in the phone against waging war on Canada. He also is opposed to closing the border because it will have a negative effect on trade. Joseph slams the phone and dismisses the other Commander as an idiot. When he sees June, he remarks that he should put a blowhole around her neck. June asks if he is facing trouble and he tells her about his frustration with more hawkish elements of Gilead’s elite.
June replies that it doesn't work like that and that he has to make the flight look legitimate because the plane is on a weekly schedule. June tells Joseph to convince the other Commanders not to close the border with Canada.
Eleanor tells Joseph that she is going to visit another household to get a boy named David out. June reassures Eleanor that she has other people looking after that. Eleanor wants to tell the parents of the blonde girl living down the street about their plans but June tells her that she is not going to tell her parents because she does not know where the MacKenzies are. June reminds Eleanor that she has to keep their operation a secret and shakes her.
Joseph tells June that it's enough. Eleanor apologizes for not thinking and June accepts her apology. Joseph tries to comfort Eleanor by telling her to think about their lives once they have left Gilead. Eleanor asks can they really do that before walking away. Joseph sends Eleanor upstairs to take a rest.
June brings refreshments to Eleanor in bed but finds that she has overdosed on her medicine. June tries to wake Eleanor and considers calling for help. However, she pauses and instead decides not to call for help; believing that June is a liability to her plan. June waits in silence and sits beside the stricken Eleanor, waiting as she breathes her final breath. June kisses Eleanor in the head and spends some time with her. She then quietly exits the room and leaves the refreshments outside the door.
June quietly returns to her bed where she lies down until morning. When day comes, the Marthas find that Eleanor has passed away in her bed. June lies on her bed.
Back at the Lawrence household, June helps the Marthas in the kitchen prepare a meal. Joseph arrives and gives June two of the late Eleanor's wine bottles, which she had hidden in the basement. After the Marthas exit the kitchen, Joseph tells June that he was saving the wine bottles for he and Eleanor’s anniversary. June tells Joseph that Luke left some bottles of Pinot overnight in the car. The glass bottles shattered in the ice and the wine was wasted.
Joseph tells June that he managed to keep the border with Canada open. He says that he managed to convince the Council because they did not want to argue with a man in mourning. June expresses her condolences for Eleanor’s passing. Joseph describes his wife as fragile and blames himself for her death. June tells Joseph not to blame himself and lies that she could have checked on her. June also tells him that Eleanor was a very kind woman, which he agrees.
June, who is dressed in black, and Aunt Lydia join the wives including Naomi Putnam at Eleanor's funeral. Joseph and the other Commanders are also present. Joseph officiates over the funeral and asks for the Lord to forgive her sins, show her mercy, and welcome her to the gates of Heaven. Another Commander begs for forgiveness because they did not ease her pain and save her troubled soul. June watches solemnly over the funeral.
After the Commanders and their Wives disperse, June convinces Aunt Lydia to let her spend time with Joseph. She asks if he would rather be alone. Joseph allows her to stand beside him and the two reflect over the grave of Eleanor.
The episode opens with a flashback of June Osborne and other women being herded by Guardians into pens for forced processing after being captured by Gilead forces. She asks a guard to help her find her daughter but he tells her to be quiet under the threat of execution. She and the other women are loaded into a container. One of the captive women is Janine, who shouts angrily at the guards, threatening to sue them a lot of money which she plans on using to buy and own a beach house in Stone Harbor. June comforts Janine and the two women cling on to chains as improvised handlebars.
In the present, June recalls that the guards were ruthless and ponders on where this talent for ruthlessness came from. While gazing outside a shop, another Handmaid passes June a soap bar in her bag. She surmises that victory goes to the ruthless of heart. June reflects on her plan to bring 52 kids to the Lawrence household at dusk. While crossing a diagonal crossing, other Handmaids pass her packages. She resolves to get children to the airport.
June encounters Janine, who passes her a gift. At the bridge, she meets Aunt Lydia who asks her what that was all about. June says it was just Janine. Lydia wants to check that June has not acquired too many bad habits and tells June that the other girls look up to her. She then reminds June that popularity is not a contest but a responsibility and warns her not to endanger the other girls because her next Commander will not tolerate any of her “subversive nonsense.” June promises to reduce it and is then allowed to leave.
Back at the Lawrence household, Sienna asks June how many soap bars that Loaves and Fishes gave her. June claims they were on sale. June asks where Beth is and Sienna tells her that Beth is freaking out. Sienna said that Beth told her to take care of the Commander. Sienna tells June that she was studying to be a radiographer and is not a child. June tells her to stop waiting for somebody to hold her hand.
Commander Lawrence asks Sienna to unwrinkle his jacket but she apologizes that she is busy because "Ofjoseph" needs her help. Lawrence does not object and allows her to enter the basement. When Lawrence remarks that Sienna is prickly, June replies that maybe he has forgotten how a strong woman looks like. Lawrence raises concerns about Beth’s sickness.
June also smudges the windows while the Marthas tear up bed sheets and place an improvised lamp. While June is oiling the gate, she sees a frightened young girl, Kiki, with a Martha outside. June leads them inside the house. The other Marthas are upset that the Martha brought the child before dark. The new Martha, Maggie, asks if it is Mayday and June confirms this is the case.
Back at the Lawrence household, June cleans Kiki's foot wound , who tells her that she is from Lexington. June praises Kiki for her bravery. The girl asks if she knows what it is like outside. June says that it was like how things were like before Gilead. Kiki can’t remember what things were like before Gilead.
June tells her that she will be free and that she can wear whatever she wants and that nobody can hurt her for reading or tell her what to think or who to love or what to believe in. She also tells Kiki that she doesn't have to be a wife or mother if she does not want to. When Kiki asks what she will then be, June tells her that she can be herself. The girl asks if God will still love her and June says yes. June asks if Kiki is hungry and passes her a bread roll. Kiki gives a short prayer before eating.
Maggie panics and says she wants to leave because the plane is taking too long. The other Marthas try to convince her otherwise. Maggie says that her mistress is understanding and kind but Beth points out that she drugged her mistress and that the Eyes will be after them. Maggie wants to tell the truth but the Marthas tell her that she cannot leave. June walks upstairs and retrieves a hidden pistol from under a bed. She forces Maggie to stop at gunpoint, warning that she will shoot her if she tries to run. Maggie lets Kiki go and runs out.
June pursues her and tries to shoot her but the woman escapes into the bush. June finds herself pointing a gun at Kiki's face. Beth pulls Kiki away and asks June what has gotten into her. June regrets that she pointed a gun at Kiki's face. She reflects on her actions in the living room.
Later, Commander Lawrence returns unexpectedly. He explains that he made a regretful exit but June tells him that he has to be there. Lawrence apologizes and asks how Kiki is. June reassures her that the child will be fine because they will get her out of here. Lawrence wants to evacuate the child to Lexington but June disagrees.
Lawrence tells her that someone spotted a Martha with a child near Lexington who shouldn't have been moving. Lawrence warns here that the district has sent search parties. Lawrence wants to pull the plug on the operation but June is unwilling to allow Kiki to be married of at 14 years. She is determined not to send Kiki back to be raped and maimed in the insane world that he helped build. Lawrence tries to reassure her that Kiki will be safe because her father is a Commander. June disagrees and says that too many have suffered. Lawrence remarks that the universe doesn't have a balance sheet but June begs to differ, admitting that she almost shot Kiki for crying.
June says that this couldn't have been for nothing. Lawrence asks June to return the gun and she places it on the table. She tells Lawrence that he is not in charge but that she is in charge. June tells Lawrence to go to his office and find her a map. Lawrence angrily responds that Kiki is still in his house but June implies that this is no longer his house. She looks outside a window before hiding her pistol in a boot.
Back at the Lawrence household, June, Beth, and Sienna discuss their travel plans to the airport, which is five miles away. Beth suggests making several trips in Lawrence's car. Sienna suggests waling along the creek and June takes up the idea. Just then, June hears dogs barking outside and goes out to investigate. She initially sees nothing but then sees two Marthas and a child creeping under a bush. June and the Marthas help to usher the children into the Lawrence household under the cover of darkness.
Rita and another Martha bring a baby to the Lawrence's, with Rita telling June that the other Martha killed the parents because they wouldn’t let them leave. June and the Marthas then check the trail to the airport. They tie white clothes on the branches to mark their path.
June and the Marthas return to the Lawrence household where they find Commander Lawrence reading a story to the children and Marthas in order to comfort and encourage them. June also meets Janine who hugs her and tells her that the authorities have arrested Maggie. They learn that the authorities are searching house to house for the Lexington girl. The women and children file out of the Lawrence household.
Commander Lawrence reminds June of her promise there would be no trouble. June pleads with Lawrence to come with them, saying that Eleanor would have wanted that. Lawrence replies that he is not a big fan of flying. He says that Eleanor would have wanted him to stay and clean up his own mess. June says may God grant him peace and Lawrence also gives her a blessing as well.
The convoy eventually reaches the outskirts of the airport but their situation is complicated by the presence of a Guardian patrol. June tells the Marthas to follow the fence and get a safe place for them to cross. June says she will distract the guards and apologizes to Kiki for the difficulty of their journey. Kiki understands and says that sometimes you have to do the things you have to do. June tells Rita to take care of Kiki and to get the kids on the plane. The Marthas promise and give June a blessing before they part ways.
To distract the guard, they hurl rocks at an armored 2007 Chevrolet Suburban nearby. The guard fires the machine gun attached to the SUV at the rebellous crowd. This distraction enables the children and the other Marthas to cross the fence into the airport. The women hurl rocks in a second round and dive for safety. Several including Janine are hit. June comforts the wounded Janine, telling her that it will be okay.
June steps out into the rays of a search light. The Guardian tells her to surrender but she flees back into the forest. June is pursued and dodges bullets as she raises through the forest. June is hit and falls to the ground. The Guardian converges on her and orders her not to move. However, June shoots him down. She points her gun at the Guardian and convinces him to tell his comrades that it is all clear. After he has carried out her order, she thanks him before killing him. A wounded June lies on the ground while the plane flies over the forest as it journeys to Canada.
Six Handmaids including Janine, Alma, and Brianna stumble on the fallen guard and a wounded June at daybreak. June experiences a flashback of herself, her daughter Hannah, and Luke enjoying themselves at a playground. June carries Hannah while Luke reads through his book. Luke then takes a break from his book to chase Hannah. They play in the grass. In the present, the six Handmaids including Janine lift up the wounded June, telling her not to worry. They carry her through the forest on a makeshift stretcher, as June recites the words of Exodus 3:7-8 while slowly closing her eyes until the next time. It is unknown if she had survived from her wounds at the moment.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Luke is June's husband (from before she was abducted into Gilead). They had a loving relationship and had one child together, Hannah Bankole.
Nick is a driver who works in the Waterford household in Gilead. Serena asked him and June to have sex so that she could have a baby, since Mr. Waterford's sperm wasn't viable. Nick and June ended up having a connection and started to sneak around to see each other romantically in Gilead.
Nick and June conceived a baby together, named Nichole Osborne.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
There was an Offred before me. She helped me find my way out. She's dead. She's alive. She is me.
Do not let them grind you down. You keep your fucking shit together. You fight!
Photo Gallery[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The name June is derived from the Latin Juno, which was the name of the Roman goddess of marriage, childbirth and women, the wife of Jupiter, the ruler of the gods, and the Roman counterpart of the Greek goddess Hera. This matches well with the different roles of Offred (whose real name is possibly June) plays: she is Luke's wife, a mother and later a 'breeder' for Gilead, and finally, a voice for the women of Gilead.
- The number in June's ear tag is 1985, after the year the book was originally published.
- Episode 1, "Offred"; see also: Novel, Section 23 in "VIII Birth Day"
- Episode 2.3, "Baggage"
- Episode 1.1, "Offred"
- Episode 5, "Faithful"
- Episode 2.4, "Other Women"
- Episode 1.2, "Birth Day"
- Episode 3.4, "God Bless the Child"
- Episode 3, "Late"
- Episode 7, "The Other Side"
- Episode 10, "Night"
- Episode 4, "Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum"