Smart Power is the ninth episode of the second season of The Handmaid's Tale.


The Waterfords embark on a diplomatic trip abroad. Serena faces the temptation of life outside Gilead. Luke and Moira grapple with survivor's guilt. Offred seeks support from allies.


Rita comes to Offred'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 Offred before she leaves. She tells Offred that she has given it some thought and that she will be leaving the house as soon as the baby is born. Offred is upset and says that the Handmaid is supposed to stay until the baby is weaned. Serena answers that they have all had more than enough of one another.

The Commander and Serena 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. consulate and ask Rachel Tapping to arrest Fred but she tells them that it is not possible since it is not their country. She encourages Moira and Luke to attend a planned protest.

Serena watches the people go about their daily activities as she rides by in a limo. Fred is greeted by Canadian delegates: Stuart Williston, Claudine Fournier, and Kevin McConnell. As they are introduced, McConnell comments to Commander Waterford that he and his husband were frequent visitors to the former United States. Waterford suggests that they both visit Gilead in the near future, to what Mr. McConnell answers "when we feel welcome." They leave Serena alone with Genevieve, a female delegate, who gives her a schedule of planned cultural activities, with only symbols and pictures rather than written words.

Visiting a garden, Genevieve asks Serena if gardening is a common hobby for wives. Serena answers that yes and asks her if she does. The delegate says that she would like to, but she has too much work.

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.

Serena sees a mother and her child near the elevators but the mother wants nothing to do with Serena. She later heads to the bar where a man named Mark Tuello approaches her. Initially, Serena assumes that he works with the press. He reveals to her that he is a representative of the US Government-In-Exile. He attempts to persuade Serena to start a new life away from Gilead, offering safe passage to Honolulu and encouraging her to write a book about the Republic that they will publish.

Serena realizes that he seeks to use her a propaganda tool. Mark appeals to her desire to have a baby, arguing that American scientists have been working on the fertility crisis for years and have the ability to make her fertile again. She would also be guaranteed 'freedom'. Serena states that she will never betray her country, to which Mark says that she already did.

When Offred 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 Offred upstairs for a nap and begins talking to Eden about the strawberry jam she is making. Before heading to her room, Offred asks Rita if she could bring her a cup of hot milk. Upstairs, Offred 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 is 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, accusing him of raping June. Fred responds by claiming that the world’s perception of Gilead is wrong. Fred’s only other defense is to quote scripture. Luke is taken away by the police but not before Serena and Nick realize that he is Offred's husband, as he is holding a picture of himself, June and their daughter. Serena and Fred head up to their room where Fred says that they have made progress with the Canadian government. Fred also remarks that the confrontation outside was unpleasant and Serena shouldn’t have to witness such things.

Luke telling Nick about June
Nick goes looking for Luke and finds him in a bar. He tells Luke that June is his friend and that she is alright but Luke says that she is not fine. Nick tells him 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 does not know if she is 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 and that he loves her.

Aunt Lydia visits Offred. Offred tells her about how Serena wants her to leave the house as soon as the baby is born. Aunt Lydia tells her that it is Serena's prerogative. Offred tells Aunt Lydia that the Waterfords house can be difficult and that children need a safe place. She adds that "any man who would hurt a woman would hurt a child" and that the baby needs protection. Aunt Lydia promises that she will let nothing happen to the child. As she leaves, she sadly tells Offred that she was once the godmother of her sister's child in the time before, but the child died at four days old.

Luke, Moira, and Erin go through the stack of letters. Moira is upset that it is not 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 to go directly to the airport because the letters were uploaded to the Internet and the public outrage was overwhelming. McConnell bluntly tells the couple that they are no longer welcome in Canada. As they leave, one of the female delegates tells Serena that she doesn't know how she lives with herself. At the airport, they can barely pull their car onto the tarmac. Moira is there protesting with a sign that shows Fred that her name is Moira, not Ruby.

Moira and Luke singing "America the Beautiful"
Later, Moira and Luke are celebrating their departure with a large group of people. They begin to sing "America the Beautiful." Fred and Serena arrive home. While unpacking, Serena comes across the matches that she was given by the American representative. She throws it into the fire. Nick visits Offred 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.







  • Rihanna - "Consideration"

References Edit

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