“It must have been a Martha who got it for Serena. There's a network of the Marthas, then, with something in it for them. That's nice to know.”— Offred reflecting on the origin of her daughter's photo, in XII Jezebels, Section 35 .
See also: The Marthas' Network (Category)
The Marthas' Network is a self-organized network of Gileadean Marthas. While primarily used to exchange news and gossip (see e.g. "Late"), some Marthas use it to form and coordinate cells for active members of and fighters for the resistance ("Mary and Martha", "Liars").
In the TV series, when a Martha in the network asks questions about resistance plans, the others respond by sending baskets of baked goods to her. A basket of scones means "no", while a basket of muffins means "yes" .
- "It must have been a Martha who got it for Serena. There's a network of the Marthas, then, with something in it for them. That's nice to know"
Mentions in the Storyline (TV Series)Edit
In the kitchen, Beth is surrounded by baskets of scones. Since “Scones mean no,” as June learns, the Marthas' network won’t be able to get any more black market mood-stabilizing medicine for Mrs. Lawrence (who is getting worse).
Muffins mean yes
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 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.