A return to Jezebel's puts everything in jeopardy. Serena Joy and Commander Waterford take a clandestine trip.
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.
The following morning, Serena Waterford discusses preparations for an overnight trip with Rita. Serena is confident that Gilead’s diplomatic efforts to recover Nichole will succeed. Rita asks if she is sure that this is the best thing for Nicole. Serena thanks Rita and wishes her all the best before departing with her husband Fred Waterford, who has obtained a new car, a black 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 [A207] convertible.
At the Lawrence household, Beth leads June to a secret meeting with Marthas from a resistance cell. 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.
Meanwhile, Fred and Serena take a drive along the open road. Fred and Serena talk about their plan to meet Mark Tuello. They drive along several fields which used to be occupied by derelict factories. They hear a broadcast from Radio Free America but Fred turns it off. Fred offers Serena to have a turn at driving, assuring her that there are no Guardians watching them for miles.
Serena takes over the wheel with the top down on the convertible and she puts on her favorite music. Serena and Fred stay in a country guest house along the way run by Econopeople. Serena is impressed by their large family. The Econowife says it takes a village to raise children.
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.
Meanwhile, Fred and Serena dine with the family, who sing the song Dona nobis pacem. While the family sings, Fred and Serena head into a nearby wood to spend time alone. Fred senses that Serena is worried about bring Nicole back. Serena replies that she is fine. She asks Fred if he remembers their time at a café. Serena responds that she wrote her first book there.
Fred says she is a good writer but Serena is bitter that he took that right away from her. Fred admits that he did not realize how much it would cost her. Serena asks him to imagine how their lives would be like if Gilead never happened. Fred replies that he would still be in marketing and might quit his job. Fred admits that he has been sterile all along. Fred thinks of the prospect of retiring to a quiet town. Fred vows not to give up on getting Nichole back, saying that she will grow up to be just like Serena. In bed, the two share a tender moment together.
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 ballpoint 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 Martha named Maureen enters and finds High Commander Winslow’s bloodstained corpse. 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.
Meanwhile, the Waterfords arrive at an abandoned gas station on the Gileadean side of the border where they rendezvous with Mark Tuello’s car, a 2018 Dodge Charger GT [LD]. He asks them to follow his car into a safe place where they will be able to talk just "up ahead." After reaffirming that Mark is trustworthy, Serena ultimately convinces Fred to follow his vehicle, though he becomes increasingly suspicious when he realizes that the journey is much longer than expected. It becomes clear that Mark has lured him and his wife into Canada. Citing war crimes and documented international human rights violations, Mark carries out an arrest on Fred with the help of the Canadian military.
Fred and Serena are both detained and separated as Mark watches. Fred tells the Canadian soldiers not to hurt his wife but Serena tells him to do what they say. Tuello warns that Fred may be transferred to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands on charges of kidnapping, slavery, and rape. Several officials from the exiled American Government are also present.
At Jezebel's the next morning, the Marthas get to work in High Commander Winslow’s former suite. They clean up the suite leaving no trace of what happened, and stealthily dispose of Winslow's body in the incinerator. The scene alternates with June waking up in her room in the Lawrence house and getting 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.
- Dona nobis pacem is Latin and means "Give us peace". It is also the last phrase of the Agnus Dei invocation in the Christian Eucharist (Lord's Supper). (Cultural References/Christianity)
- Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne
- Joseph Fiennes as Fred Waterford
- Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford
- Bradley Whitford as Joseph Lawrence
Also Starring Edit
- Julie Dretzin as Eleanor Lawrence
- Christoper Meloni as George Winslow
- Kristen Gutoskie as Beth
- Amanda Brugel as Rita
- Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello
- Daniel Jun as Billy
- Elizabeth Whitmere as Maureen
- "Lets Twist Again" by Chubby Checker
- "Cloudbusting" by Kate Bush
|Season 1||Offred | Birth Day | Late | Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum | Faithful | A Woman's Place|
The Other Side | Jezebels | The Bridge | Night
|June | Unwomen | Baggage | Other Women | Seeds | First Blood | After | Women's Work|
Smart Power | The Last Ceremony | Holly | Postpartum | The Word
|Night | Mary and Martha | Useful | God Bless the Child | Unknown Caller | Household | Under His Eye | Unfit | Heroic | Witness | Liars | Sacrifice | Mayday|