Mary and Martha is the second episode of the third season of The Handmaid's Tale.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

June helps a group of Marthas with a dangerous task while navigating a relationship with her pious and untrustworthy new walking partner.

Plot[edit | edit source]

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 Aunt Lydia points out that unlike Aunt Elizabeth, she would have sent June to "the Wall" rather than to a new household, adding "Ofjoseph" was seen unacceptedly "gossiping" at Loaves and Fishes. She leaves the house in her wheelchair.

In Canada, we see Luke digging through some annoying paperwork. Baby Nichole is now living with Luke, Moira and Erin. Emily is being checked out by a doctor. They have a symbolic conversation about her scarring, with Emily showing her own considerable medical knowledge.

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 at a commercial laundry facility in a section of the city where handmaids are not permitted because of chemicals. 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.”

Back in Little America, 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.

At the Lawrence home, Alison suddenly shows up with an injured Martha and they hide her in the basement, with the Guardians that shot her 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 stop the injured woman from moaning in pain, drawing the Guardians notice. The Guardians eventually leave, but the woman dies.

Infuriated by the attention they've drawn, Commander Lawrence 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. Ofjohn #2's walking partner pushed her in front of a passing bus. As June returns home, Mrs. Lawrence is planting flowers on the dead Martha's grave.

Emily gets new glasses and then decides that it’s time to call her wife. Sylvia, who is driving at the time, picks up the phone. They both start to cry while Sylvia causes a traffic jam around her car.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Starring[edit | edit source]

Guest Starring[edit | edit source]

Additional Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Katerina Taxia as Aunt Rebecca
  • Victoria Fodor as Cora
  • Natalie LIsinska as Dr. Phillips
  • Kathryn Greenwood as Alison
  • William Matthews as Checkpoint Guardian
  • Seema Doad as Hurt Martha
  • Riley Gilchrist as Guardian #2
  • Alanis Peart as Optometrist

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Beth reveals about Alison that the bomb in the Red Center was "her work".

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Music[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit source]

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