Women's Work is the eighth episode of the second season of The Handmaid's Tale.



Offred and Serena work together to do Commander Fred's work while he's in the hospital. The Commander returns to the house after being hospitalized and is welcomed back by Serena and the staff. Serena goes over the work she did for him while he was away. He's grateful but ushers her out of the office.

Upstairs, Offred finds a music box and a rose on her bed, believing it to be thanks for her work.

Eden tries to talk to her husband. He seems unenthused about her plans and quickly leaves again. In the kitchen, Rita asks that she get more honey as she doubts she'll get it back from her. Serena tells Offred that baby Angela isn't well. She leaves to go offer Naomi support.

Offred walks to the store where she runs into Janine and Emily. Janine calls her new posting a "blessing from God" since it is "only the Ceremony", to which Emily replies being raped is not a blessing and anyone helping Gilead deserves to be blown apart. An ambulance drives by causing everyone to kneel and pray for the baby. Brianna tells Janine she heard it's Angela. As Janine panics, June promises her she'll find out more about what's going on.

Later, Serena tells Offred that the baby isn't doing well and that they don't know what's wrong with her. Offred asks if there is something they can do and Serena says that they could ask one of the top female doctors but that would mean bending the law. Offred says that if it was her baby that she'd do whatever she could.

Serena asks Fred if he can allow the female doctor, who is now a Martha, check on the baby. Fred says they can't question the will of God, refusing. Serena tells Offred that Fred said no and that they must pray for the best. Offred tells Serena about Janine and how she knows about the baby. Offred asks if Janine could see the baby but Serena tells her to not be stupid.

In the hospital, Serena Joy asks Naomi if Janine, who is brought by Aunt Lydia, could see the baby. Though Naomi is unhappy, Commander Warren thinks they should.

June takes an emotional Janine to see the ailing baby in the ICU. A former famed neonatologist named Dr. Hodgson arrives as a Martha and is briefed on Angela’s condition by Dr. Epstein, who is very happy to see Dr. Hodgson. She cries as she puts on her hospital wear.

She runs several tests on the baby, but is still unable to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with Angela. Naomi and Warren receive the bad news from Epstein as Janine helplessly watches. Serena is greatly upset at Dr. Hodgson, but the doctor explains that there is not much more she can do and suggests that Angela should be made to feel comfortable and warm. Upon June’s suggestion, Janine is able to hold her daughter, and even removes her mask and gloves in order to touch and kiss her baby.

Serena and Offred arrive home and are told by Nick that they are wanted in the Commander's office. Fred tells them that he knows that Serena forged his signature so that the Martha could see the baby. He asks Offred if that's her handwriting on one of the papers and she says yes. As punishment, Fred whips Serena with his belt and forces Offred to watch as he does.

Nick goes home to Eden and finds that she's organized the house. He sees the stack of letters Offred was burning on the nightstand and asks her if she read them. She says no and he forbids her from ever touching his things again.

Serena is in her room crying as she looks at the scars on her buttocks. Offred asks her if there is anything she can do but Serena only sends her back to her room. Instead, Offred goes downstairs and apologizes to Fred for what she did. She asks if he'll forgive her and he says to go to bed.

Aunt Lydia wakes up in the ICU and finds Janine in her underclothes holding a cooing and happy baby, seemingly cured by her mother’s touch.







  • "Easy" by Lionel Richie
  • Matt Monro - Rain Sometimes
  • I Only Wanna Be With You by Volbeat


References Edit