A woman flees from a group of men with guns, but she is captured and separated from her young daughter and her husband is killed. This woman is known as Offred, a handmaid to Commander Fred Waterford. Offred goes out grocery shopping with her companion Ofglen. On the way home, they pass by a wall of men who have been hanged due to committing crimes (such as being gay, working in an abortion clinic, and being Catholic).
In a flashback to the Red Center, various women are indoctrinated into their handmaid roles by Aunt Lydia, who tells them about declining birth rates and that they are "special", serving a Biblical purpose. Offred enters the room and notices Moira, a woman she knew from college. One of the women in the class, Janine, talks back to Lydia and is shocked with a cattle prod. Later, Janine is revealed to have been punished by having one of her eyes removed. Janine is later 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 Offred hesitates, she is slapped by "Aunt Margaret".
In the present, Commander Waterford tries to impregnate Offred as she lies in the lap of his wife, Serena Joy. The next day, all the Handmaids gather in an open field where Aunt Lydia announces a man has raped a pregnant handmaid. For punishment, the handmaids are allowed to brutally beat the man. Offred learns from Janine that Moira is dead.
On the way home, Offred tells Ofglen about her family and failed escape attempt, whilst Ofglen in turn reveals she had a wife and an almost five year-old 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.
You Don't Own Me - Leslie Gore
- The existence of a four year-old child from a same-sex marriage implies that that the coup d'etat which created Gilead occurred at most only five years before the main narrative of the TV series.
|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