“Come on. You know I'll take care of you.”
Lucas "Luke" Bankole is the husband of June Osborne and the father of their daughter before Gilead's formation. He is separated from his wife and child when they are captured trying to flee the country. In the book, it remains unknown whether he is alive or dead. In the series he successfully escapes to Canada. Luke is portrayed by O-T Fagbenle. His character remains largely the same, although one difference is that in the TV adaption, he is depicted as biracial, whereas in the book he is Caucasian.
His full name is stated as Lucas Bankole. He was born on April 29, 1980 in Nyack, New York.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Luke is a tall man with dark black hair, a black beard, and dark brown eyes. He is good looking and has a big smile. He wore eyeglasses before Gilead rose to power.
Personality[edit | edit source]
When with family and friends, Luke has a happy-go-lucky personality. He is a warm person who is kind, generous, and loving with those around him. In other situations, such as being confronted with the Waterfords in regard to the kidnapping of his wife, Luke is strong, forward, and isn't afraid of saying what's on his mind. He is a smart man who is trying to make the best out of the situation while figuring out how to get his family back.
Before Gilead[edit | edit source]
The first time Luke meets June, he is still married to another woman named Annie. 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. After Annie confronts June at her workplace, Luke calls her and angrily tells her their relationship is over and that she has to move on.
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 that 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, but this prompts the woman to try to flee with Hannah. Fortunately, the police and Luke intervene, returning Hannah to June while the woman is arrested.
After the takeover[edit | edit source]
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. Shortly after, Luke is taken captive by Guardians. They place him in an ambulance after he is shot in the stomach, and intend to question him.
The ambulance veers off the road, and both his captors die in the accident. He takes a first aid kit and a gun from a dead Guardian and goes off to find his wife and daughter. After stumbling in the woods for a bit, Luke sees his daughter's shoe, her stuffed bunny rabbit, and what appears to be June's belongings. He takes this to mean that they were captured before they could reach the border.
Luke finds a small town and rests inside of a bar of some sort, where are bullet holes all over the walls and windows. He is found there by strangers who are also on their way to the border. They think he is a Guardian at first, but after determining he is on their side, they carry him to a battlebus, where the leader, Zoe, cleans out his bullet wound. The people on the bus are introduced as Christine, Lyla, and Peter, or: "an army brat, two strays, a gay, and a nun". They tell Luke that Zoe and a group of US Army soldiers she was stationed with in South Carolina rescued a girl, Erin, from one of the Red Centers, but they don't even know the extent of what's happening .
Luke, still in the battlebus, plans to leave the other and head back to Boston. Zoe brings him inside of a church and shows him what happens to people who try to fight back. The townspeople who hid their fertile women were all hung and strung up inside the church by the Guardians. Luke decides to go with the others to New Brunswick in Canada. They get into a motorboat, but not before they are hailed with bullets from Guardians. Zoe dies from the gunfire, and Luke is seen escaping with the others.
Present, season one[edit | edit source]
June is informed by Mr. Flores, the Mexican ambassador's assistant, that Luke is alive, whereas she 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. He asks her to write a short message for Luke .
In "Little America", Toronto, Canada, Luke is shown with Erin. He gets a phone call and goes into a government office filled with flyers of missing persons. A woman brings Luke into a room where she hands him the note June wrote him via the Mexican ambassador's assistant. The note, read in June's voice, says: "I love you so much. Save Hannah." Realizing they are both still alive, Luke cries while he smiles.
Moira manages to escape to Ontario, Canada. She ends up in a refugee camp where she is given clothes, a phone, money, and food. Luke comes and finds her there and she bursts into tears when they are reunited (In large part because Luke reveals she's part of his family in his eyes).
Present, season two[edit | edit source]
Luke is seen living with Erin and Moira in a small appartment.
The Waterfords land in Canada. Moira recognizes Fred and she points him out to Luke and Erin as they watch television. Moira and Luke go to the U.S. embassy and ask Rachel to arrest Fred but she tells them that it isn't possible. She encourages Moira and Luke to attend a planned protest.
At the protest, Luke confronts Commander Fred. He's taken away by the police but not before Serena and Nick realize that he's Offred'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.
Luke, Moira, and Erin go through the stack of letters. Moira is upset that it isn't something they can use against Gilead but Erin says that this is something that they can use against them. The next day, Commander Fred and Serena are told they are no longer welcome because the letters were uploaded to the Internet and the public outrage was overwhelming. Later, Moira and Luke are celebrating their departure with a large group of people. They begin to sing "America the Beautiful." .
Present, season three[edit | edit source]
Luke rushes to the post office with Moira hot on her heels. He receives an envelope, inside is a picture of Hannah. Luke is relieved that she is safe. Emily appears behind him with Nichole, telling him his wife (June) saved her life.
In Canada, we see Luke digging through some annoying paperwork. Baby Nichole is now living with Luke, Moira and Erin. Emily comes over for dinner and a visibly primed Luke asks her why she hasn’t yet contacted her wife Sylvia or their son Oliver. As it gets awkward, Luke storms out, to which Moira explains “He looks at you, he sees June”, adding he’d want Hannah and Nichole’s mom to call if she made it to safety. Emily says June would call, because “she’s a lot stronger than me.” Moira says she understands Emily’s fear, because a lot of the reunions aren’t the storybook endings that people imagine.
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.
Luke and Moira make arrangements to have Nichole baptized because "this little one should be absolved of their sins", as Luke points out.
In Gilead, June shares the confirmation with her fellow Handmaids at the supermarket that Nichole is safe, and with her husband Luke. While most of them congratulate, Ofmatthew on the other hand, tells June that she’s praying only for Luke to return Nichole to her "rightful home", meaning Gilead. Commander Lawrence later refuses to help June find out whether Luke is in imminent danger by stating "We’re all in danger".
The Waterfords show up at the Lawrence household and ask an initially reluctant June to call Luke and ask him to agree to a visit in Canada. 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.
At the airport, a wary Luke won’t shake Serena's hand she extends to him, cradling a sleeping Nichole to his chest. Serena thanks him for agreeing to the meeting, but he makes it clear that he’s only there because June asked. Serena promises that June is safe and gives him the name of June’s new Commander. He refuses to promise that he will tell Nichole about her, harshly informing her she will never "be anything to her" since the girl's story is "how brave her mother was for getting her here". When a crying Serena points out it was her to let Nichole go because both June and her wanted a better life for her, adding she also "protected" June, he pockets the case with the necklace that Serena offers him. He eventually allows her to hold the baby, who’s woken up, before they part.
Luke pops a tape into a Walkman, listening to the opening bars of “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.” But after a moment, June’s voice cuts in. She lets Luke know Nichole's real name, Holly, and that of her biological father, and that Nick helped her to survive. Then she promises her husband that she’s trying to get to Hannah, and that she loves him.
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, June standing in the background in her Handmaid dress.