“We aren't concubines. We're two-legged wombs.”— Offred reflecting on her new social role
June Osborne is the main protagonist of The Handmaid's Tale. She is a woman in her thirties who is forced to work as a Handmaid in the early years of the Republic of Gilead, due to the fact she is still capable of bearing children. Offred recounts her life - before, during and after the creation of Gilead - to an unseen audience; it is revealed at the end of the novel that she has recorded her story on a series of tapes. Offred's final fate is left ambiguous. She is the former wife of Luke and the mother of a young daughter; she later begins a relationship with a Guardian named Nick, whom she develops romantic feelings for.
Early years Edit
In her childhood, June's mom takes her to a "Take Back The Night" rally. The women protesting are tossing paper slips with the names of their rapists on these slips into fires set in trash cans..
Before Gilead Edit
The first time she meets Luke, he is still married to another woman. They continue meeting up for innocent lunches, where she learns that Luke hasn't told his wife about them. After an affair with June he leaves his first wife for her.
Annie, Luke’s first wife, confronts June after a yoga class. She accuses her of sabotaging a vow made before God. June is clearly affected by the encounter. Luke brings June back to herself, saying "she doesn’t matter" because they’re "going to get married" and he's going to "make her happy."
June's mom asks her if she likes the job at the publishing place. She says she does. Her mom tells her that she sacrificed for her and that she's settling. She asks about Luke and tells June that she doesn't think she should marry him. Her mom tells her that she thinks its a mistake.
In expectation of their daughter’s birth, Luke drives June to the hospital amidst crowds of people protesting the recent sharp decline in birth-rates. She is greatly relieved to learn that Hannah is a healthy baby. Shortly after her birth, June wakes up to find Hannah is gone. She initially assumes she’s been taken for a blood test, until sirens begin blaring throughout the hospital. Luke urges June to stay where she is whilst he goes to investigate. June follows Luke regardless and is horrified at the sight of one of the nurses lying on the ground in a puddle of blood, either dead or unconscious. June then runs into a woman holding Hannah. She insists Hannah is her child – it’s implied her own baby died, causing her to have a psychological breakdown. June watches in horror, futilely attempting to explain that Hannah is her baby. Luke arrives, but this prompts the woman to try to flee with Hannah. Fortunately, the police and Luke intervene, returning Hannah to June while the woman is arrested.
Annie runs into Luke, June, and baby Hannah at a coffee store. She and June make eye contact, and then Annie slips away.
June asks Luke to sign a form so that she can pick up her birth control prescription. As she's leaving, she suggests that she doesn't pick it up and surprisingly, Luke agrees. They kiss before June leaves to take Hannah to school.
June is called away from work to go pick up Hannah, who was running a fever, from the hospital. There she is asked a bunch of questions about her capacity as a parent. June then takes Hannah home from the hospital. Luke is waiting for them and they learn that there was an act of terrorism on the capital. There was also an explosion at the White House and that martial law was declared. ("June")
During the coup d'etat Edit
In a retrospect from the present, Offred blames herself (and the former society around her) for having been "asleep" at that time, which was "how we let it happen": "When they slaughtered Congress, we didn't wake up. When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Constitution, we didn't wake up then either. They said it would be temporary. Nothing changes instantaneously. In a gradually heating bathtub you'd be boiled to death before you knew it."
June and Moira learn that the government has frozen all women's bank accounts and they cannot use any of their credit cards. June and all the other women in her office are "let go" from their jobs, due to the new law stating women are no longer allowed to work or hold property. June and Moira take part in a protest against the new laws, only for the police to turn violence, using machine guns against the crowds. The protesters flee, with June holding Moira's hand and narrowly escaping by hiding in a shop.
June, Luke and Hannah try to escape to Canada and hide in the trunk of their car while a man called Mr. Whitford drives them to a secluded cabin near the border. Mr Whitford tells them he still needs to grab them Canadian passports, because U.S. passports "don't mean shit no more". Before he leaves, Mr. Whitford teaches Luke how to shoot a gun, which he is clearly uneasy about.
After learning that Whitford has been killed, they try to reach the Canadian border on their own, but their car is spotted by a patrol. They crash at the side of the road, and Luke tells June to take Hannah and run from the Guardians pursuing them . June runs through the woods with Hannah, pausing when she hears gunshots. She tries to hide with Hannah behind a rock, but they are eventually caught. Hannah is ripped away from June, who tries to struggle free, only to be knocked unconscious. She wakes up as she is being transported in a van.
At the Red Center Edit
June and various other women are brought in the Red Center, where they forcibly get their ears tagged. Aunt Lydia then indoctrinates them into their handmaid roles, telling them about declining birth rates and that they are "special", serving a Biblical purpose. This is also where June and Moira meet again.
Janine is 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 June hesitates, she is slapped by "Aunt Margaret".
Aunt Lydia shows them a slideshow of all the horrible things that have happened. One of the pictures is of June's mother working on a farm. Later, in bed, Moira asks June how she thinks they got her Mom. She doesn't know but that she told her that it wasn't safe what she was doing. Moira tells her that she was right but June says so was she. That she knew this would happen. June says that she waited before but she swore she wouldn't do that again.
June attempts to escape with Moira; they take Aunt Elizabeth captive and Moira takes her clothes and pass to disguise herself as an Aunt. They make it to the train station, but June draws the attention of a Guardian who becomes suspicious. Seeing Moira has a chance to escape on the train that has just arrived, June silently gives her her blessing and Moira flees, whilst June is taken back to the Red Center.
Aunt Lydia has June tied down whilst Aunt Elizabeth whippes the soles of her feet as punishment. June's fellow Handmaids later secretly rally around her, giving her scraps of food they've saved from meals.
Present: Season oneEdit
June, now called by her patronymic Offred, has been assigned to the household of Commander Fred Waterford and his wife Serena Joy (which she states is her second posting). She goes shopping with Ofglen, whom she initially thinks of as “pious little shit with a broomstick up her ass”, and has a brief conversation with Nick; she is clearly wary of his attempts to befriend her, wondering if he could be an Eye. On the way back from the store, Offred and Ofglen stop by the Wall and see the bodies of three executed men. Offred recalls her time at the Red Center and her friendship with Moira. She narrates that the fact Moira is not up on the Wall gives her hope.
That evening, Offred has to prepare for the Ceremony. When it is over, Serena Joy angrily orders Offred to leave. Offred hesitates and says that having her rest on her back increases the chances of conceiving, but Serena orders her out regardless. That night, Offred, distraught by the Ceremony, runs outside in only her nightgown and retches. She realises Nick is watching her and hurries back to her room, worried he may report her. The next day, Offred must attend a Salvaging. She sees Janine there, who tells her Moira is dead – she allegedly attempted to run away, was caught and sent to the Colonies, leaving Offred reeling.
Aunt Lydia announces that they are here to execute a man who was convicted for raping a pregnant Handmaid, resulting in the baby’s death. This enrages Offred, who is already distraught over the news of Moira’s death. Offred is first of the Handmaid’s to strike the man, kicking him to the ground and beating him. Afterwards, Offred seems stunned and remorseful over what she did. As she is walking home with Ofglen, the latter expresses sympathy for what happened to Moira. Offred tentatively reveals she knew Moira both at the Red Center and in the time before. The two women end up outside a clothing store, which Ofglen reveals was once an ice cream parlour. When she claims the ice cream was “better than good sex”, Offred realises Ofglen is not a true believer in the regime after all. Ofglen in turn reveals she always thought the same of Offred, saying that Gilead is good at turning women against each other.
Offred tells Ofglen about her family and failed escape attempt, whilst Ofglen in turn reveals she had a wife and 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 memberrr 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.
Offred goes shopping with Ofglen. They come across the remain of St Paul’s cathedral, which Gilead are in the process of destroying. Offred is upset at the sight, remarking that it was her father’s parish and that her daughter was baptised there. Ofglen adds that they blew up another cathedral in New York and dumped the remains in the Hudson River, prompting Offred to ask how she knows this and how she knows there’s an Eye in her house. They see a man being dragged off the street by two Eyes and bundled into the back of a van. Offred seems relieved it wasn’t her, though sympathetic towards the man, and Ofglen remarks it’s okay to feel relief. As they reach Offred’s house, Ofglen reveals she is part of a rebel group, simply saying she could “join us”. She explains that Offred’s Commander is very high up in the government and urges Offred to find out anything she can.
Whilst taking her cloak off after being caught out in the rain, Offred has a brief conversation with Nick. She accidentally uncovers her bare leg; Nick stares at her, but merely says she should be careful. He tells Offred she shouldn’t trust Ofglen, because she’s “dangerous”, surprising Offred. She is in for another shock, as Nick then informs Offred that the Commander wants to see her tonight in his study. After some time, a Birthmobile arrives at the house to pick Offred up to attend the birth of a baby. In the Birthmobile, Offred is informed that Ofwarren is the one who has gone into labour. On the way to Commander Warren’s house, Offred has flashbacks of her own daughter’s birth.
At Commander Warren’s house, Offred is clearly amused by the sight of Warren’s Wife pretending to be in labour in a symbolic gesture, but quickly goes upstairs when Serena Joy catches her eye. Offred helps the other Handmaids and Aunt Lydia support Ofwarren throughout the birth, with Offred assuring her she’s doing fine and touching her belly. Offred has more flashbacks to Hannah’s birth.
Offred sees Ofglen and tells her that her Commander wants to see her in private. Ofglen is worried about this and offers to try and find out what Fred might want with her. Some of the Wives offer Offred a cookie. She accepts, having little other choice, prompting the Wives to patronisingly remark how “well behaved” she is. Serena sends Offred back upstairs. As she is walking out, she overhears the Wives remarking that all the Handmaids are “little whores, but you have to take what they give out”. Feeling unwell, Offred goes to the bathroom and spits out her mouthful of cookie, then defiantly leaves the chewed remains in the sink.
Ofwarren gives birth to a healthy girl. She is immediately given to the Wife, who names her Angela. Offred tries to comfort Ofwarren, assuring her that her baby is healthy and hugging her. Whilst riding the Birthmobile back home, Ofglen says she was unable to find out what the Commander might want, but tries to reassure Offred, saying he “probably just wants a blowjob”. Offred is extremely nervous going to meet the Commander. To her complete shock, the Commander simply asks her play Scrabble with him. He reveals he’s going away to Washington DC next week to attend meetings, but says he’d like to see Offred again in private when he returns. After coming back to her room, Offred begins laughing hysterically, trying to muffle the sound with her hand. The next day, Offred is on her way to meet Ofglen and seems amused by Nick’s apparent jealousy over her secret meeting with the Commander. Offred intends to tell Ofglen what happened, but when she approaches her, she is shocked to see a completely different Handmaid. Wary of her, Offred gives out the usual greetings before tentatively asking if Ofglen has been reassigned so soon. The other Handmaid merely replies that she is Ofglen and makes no other comment. Offred is forced to accept this, mentally exclaiming “Fuck!”.
Rita and Serena Joy begin treating Offred far more kindly, including giving her treats and flowers. She is initially confused, until Rita explains that, due to her period being late, they hope she might be pregnant. Serena invites Offred to the Putnams to see baby Angela. Offred gets to hold Angela and learns that Janine bit Mrs Putnam when she tried to take Angela. Offred goes to see Janine, who tells her that her Commander is love with her and wants to run away with her. Offred is surprised and skeptical, but says nothing.
Whilst Nick is driving Offred home, she attempts to make conversation, noticing he seems upset about something. As they pull up to the house, Nick says she needs to remember two things: being tough or brave won't work because they break everyone in the end and she should tell them everything. Offred then sees a black van parked in the drive.
Inside the house, Offred is interrogated by an Eye and Aunt Lydia about Ofglen. She answers as honestly as possible whilst omitting the fact that Ofglen is a member of a rebel network. They then suggest that Ofglen may have tried to "touch" Offred, which she denies. When Offred admits that she knew Ofglen was a 'Gender Traitor', they ask why she didn't report the conversation. Offred replies that Ofglen was her friend. Aunt Lydia tells her that Ofglen was a "beast" and "abomination against God", angering Offred. When Lydia tells her to "remember her Scripture", Offred defiantly quotes another Scripture passage: "And blessed are those who suffer for the cause of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".
Infuriated, Lydia tasers Offred and begins beating her, but is stopped by Serena, who declares she's pregnant. Offred, recuperating in her room, is visited by Nick, who has brought her ice for her injuries. He confesses he wished he'd just driven away with her, moving Offred, and they share a brief but intimate moment before Nick abruptly leaves. Later that night, however, Offred realises she's not pregnant when she starts her period.
The next morning, Offred reluctantly goes to tell Serena Joy, who is clearing out a spare room, apparently to make a nursery. She tells Offred how she and Fred struggled for years to concieve, but she never lost faith and believes God delivered a miracle to her in the form of Offred. She is then forced to confess that she began her period. Serena is enraged by this, dragging Offred to her room, throwing her to the ground and shouting at her that she is not to leave. She threateningly reminds Offred that "things could get a lot worse for you" before leaving Offred lying on the floor, crying.
Offred has been confined to her room for the past week. She becomes increasingly depressed, trapped inside without anything to do. Whilst exploring her closet, she discovers her predecessor had carved the words 'Nolite te bastardes carborundorum' in the wall near the floor. She has flashbacks to visiting a fairground with Luke and Hannah and also to her time at the Red Center, when she and Moira plotted to escape.
Offred ends up falling asleep in the closet and is found by Rita when she comes to give her food. Rita is shocked at the sight, dropping the tray and waking Offred. She helps Rita clean up the dropped food and insists she is fine, claiming she fainted. She begs Rita not to tell anyone, but Rita tell Serena Joy, who says she should go to the doctor's for a check-up.
Offred is looking forward to being able to go outside, only to be told Nick will be driving her. At the clinic, the doctor suggests to Offred she sleep with him to conceive, as the Commander may not even be able to get her pregnant due to sterility. The doctor says he has done this with other Handmaids, assuring her it "only takes a minute" and reminding her that she will be blamed if she cannot get pregnant. Offred, however, declines his offer, saying it is too dangerous.
On her way home, Offred has more memories of her day out with her family and has a small break-down, crying, screaming and hitting the car door. During the Ceremony, the Commander is unable to get an erection and Serena Joy orders her to leave. Later, Offred goes to see the Commander in his study. She asks him about the Latin phrase. He reveals it is pseudo-Latin meaning "Don't let the bastards grind you down" and Offred realises her predecessor heard it from him. He asks if Offred knew the previous Handmaid; Offred is evasive and asks what happened to her. The Commander reveals she hanged herself from the chandelier that used to be in her room. Offred, seeing a chance to manipulate the Commander, persuades him to allow her outside, saying she has been feeling like "giving up".
Offred is happy to finally be allowed outside again. She joins the new Ofglen and other Handmaids on her way to the store, reminding herself of the phrase her predecessor carved as a message for her.
Offred and Commander Fred continue their nightly game of Scrabble. On one of these nights, the Commander gives Offred a present; a fashion magazine from before Gilead. Serena Joy calls Offred outside to tell her she's asked Nick to try and impregnate Offred. She suspects the Commander is infertile, so before the Ceremony, Serena Joy plans to take Offred to Nick's apartment.
While grocery shopping, Offred and a few other Handmaids run into Ofsteven (formerly Ofglen) where she learns about Mayday. The new Ofglen grabs Offred before she can learn anything else. She tells Offred that she used to be a junkie, and that she likes being a Handmaid because she has a safe place to sleep and her people are nice.
Serena Joy secretly brings Offred to Nick's apartment, where she waits as they have sex. They finish, and Serene Joy tells Offred to lie down in her room, after saying a prayer to encourage her to become pregnant.
Later that night, during the Ceremony, the Commander touches Offred's thigh and looks at her, which is forbidden. She tries to tell him so, but is scolded, called an adulteress, and told to leave. In their ensuing conversation, the Commander admits that while they thought they were building a better world, they knew that "better never means better for everyone - It always means worse for some." Offred gets sick and goes to throw up in the kitchen sink, where she runs into Nick. She asks him if he's an Eye, and he tells her yes. He apologizes for earlier, and explains that he couldn't say no to Serena Joy.
The next day, at the market, Offred runs into Ofsteven, who encourages her to find Mayday. She also tells Offred her real name, Emily, before stealing a car and running over one of the guards. She's taken away as the Handmaids look in horror.
Upon arriving home, Offred sneaks into Nick's apartment, where they have sex.
Mexican delegates visit the Commander's home in an effort to create partnerships in trade and see the effects of the Gilead cultural movement. The head of the Mexican delegation, Mrs. Castillo, is a woman who questions Offred about her experience in Gilead. With great self-control, Offred tells them, "I have found happiness". After the meeting, Offred visits the Commander's office for their usual discussions where some tensions flare up between them. He asks her to kiss him "like you mean it". She kisses the Commander and leaves, ferociously brushing her teeth afterwards. The handmaids are then taken to a party to honour Gilead and show the foreign delegates their success, including presenting the children of Gilead. Alma remarks that the delegates are interested in fertile women as a commodity to be traded between the two nations.
After the dinner, Offred visits Nick, fiercely blaming herself for keeping quiet about the brutal truth of her fate. She reveals him her real name June.
The next day, as the delegates are leaving, Offred tells them the brutal truth about Gilead and accuses them of human trafficking. She pleads for their help, but the Mexican ambassador claims that she cannot help Offred and explains her own country's dire situation. When Offred is left alone with Mr Flores, the ambassador's assistant, he informs her that Luke is alive and well in Canada, whereas Offred had assumed he was killed when they were captured at the border (though she did not witness his death, she heard shots being fired and never saw him again). Mr Flores knows Luke's full name, birthdate and birthplace, and also knows Offred's real name prior to meeting her, implying that what he says may be true. Mr Flores offers to help Offred contact Luke he can send a message to him.
Offred sits on the bed as Nick sleeps, trying to remember her husband Luke. It becomes evident that they both really care for each other. Offred returns to her room and is surprised to find Commander Fred Waterford waiting for her with gifts including makeup, a revealing dress and high-heeled shoes. After shaving her legs and getting dressed up, the two, driven by Nick, head to a surprise destination. Disguised as Serena Joy Waterford, Offred slips by guards.
Mr. Waterford, Offred and Nick enter the back of a building, meandering through hallways and elevators, finding themselves in Jezebel's, a secret brothel/sex club where well-to-do men frequent. Visibly shaken, Offred sees Moira across the bar. Having to hide the shock, Offred excuses herself to the women's restroom and finds Moira. The two have an emotional reunion, but Moira is shooed out by a superior. Moira tells Offred to find her later.
Mr. Waterford and Offred are in a hotel room and as Mr. Waterford tells Offred all about his current frustrations and fears, he seduces her. Offred silently cries as he advances on her. Later while Mr. Waterford is sleeping, Offred sneaks down to see Moira. Moira tells her about her escape, the last time they saw each other, and how she found her post at Jezebel's. After insisting that they can't escape, Moira shuts Offred down and sends her away.
Serena Joy returns from her mothers house the next morning. As Nick brings her bags through the kitchen, Offred notices Nick's aloofness and asks if she can seem him later. When he says he doesn't want to see her anymore because it's too dangerous, she demands a reason stating that if she indeed is murdered for her actions, at least someone will remember her. She mentions that she knows nothing about him and he tells her that his full name is Nick Blaine and that he is from Michigan, but that is all. Offred leaves the room upset.
On her way up to her room, Serena Joy stops her and gives her the gift of a music box with a ballerina spinning to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Offred uses the key to carve "You Are Not Alone" next to the Latin message in the closet.
Offred reaches out to Alma to become a part of "Mayday" and contribute to the resistance movement. Alma resists at first but ultimately accepts Offred's offer and gives her her first assignment - get a mystery package from "Rachel at the bar" in the Jezebel's club and hold on to it until further notice.
Offred goes to Mr. Waterford's office to flirt with him and convince him to take her again to Jezebel's. He complies and they sneak out that night after Mrs. Waterford goes to bed. When they're in the club, they go straight to the room. Mr. Waterford ordered Offred a "surprise" - a girl, Ruby, aka Moira. He noticed that they looked friendly the last time they were at the club so he thought it would be a nice surprise. Moira is furious that Offred is back at the club and a part of the rebellion movement. She refuses to get Rachel's Package for Offred.
Offred isn't able to retrieve the package when she's at the club, they return home. The next morning, Mrs. Waterford wakes up Offred to rush to help Janine, who is threatening to jump off a bridge with her daughter to be free. Offred convinces her to release the baby, which Janine does right before she jumps off. She ends up in a coma.
Offred is next seen going to the supermarket where she orders some meat. The butcher slyly gives her the secret package that she was supposed to retrieve at Jezebel's, with a note from Moira attached.
Serena Joy discovers that Offred went to the Jezebel's club with Mr. Waterford and strikes Offred down on the ground to punish her. She then forces Offred to take a pregnancy test, which then shows that Offred is pregnant. Offred is miserable after hearing the news because she doesn't want to bring a child into this unjust world. She then reveals to Nick that she is pregnant, much to his shock. Knowing that the child is almost certainly his, they share a brief tender moment.
Serena Joy then takes Offred on a surprise trip, several hours away. Serena meets with Hannah, Offred's daughter, to show Offred that if she harms herself or the baby then Hannah will be in danger. Offred screams in misery and calls Serena an evil monster. Offred then runs to Mr. Waterford to ask him to protect her daughter.
All of the handmaidens are called to come together to stone someone who endangered a child. To their surprise, that someone is Janine. The handmaids hesitate and Ofglen #2 is brutally beaten by a guard when she breaks rank and voices her angry refusal. The other women, beginning with Offred, drop their stones, each saying "I'm sorry, Aunt Lydia" (a phrase they were taught early in their indoctrination). The guards are ready to kill them all, but Aunt Lydia frantically tells them that the handmaids are her responsibility.. Aunt Lydia promises that they will all be punished and sends them home.
In the last scene, Offred is in her room waiting for someone to come and punish her. Nick comes in and tells Offred to "Just go with them" and insists that she trust him. Two armed guards come in and lead Offred away, to the surprise and horror of Serena Joy and Fred. Offred walks off willingly, unsure if this is her end or a brand new beginning.
Present: Season two Edit
Offred, along with other handmaids, is taken to an abandoned baseball field, quickly revealed to be a deserted, run-down, but very much still recognizable Fenway Park. There there are scaffolds erected with nooses. Each handmaid is given a noose and the lever is pulled. Instead of dropping down completely and breaking their necks, the platform only drops a few feet. It was all just a scare tactic set up by Aunt Lydia in order to give them a lesson that they'd remember.
The handmaids are all forced to sit in the rain with their hands extended while holding a rock. Aunt Lydia walks around electrocuting them but stops when she is informed of Offred's pregnancy. Offred is removed from the exercise and taken inside to get dry. Aunt Lydia, excited about the prospect of a new child, goes and rings the bell.
Aunt Lydia offers Offred a bowl of soup but she says she isn't hungry. She tells her that they are going to take care of her while she's pregnant just as long as she's a good girl. Janine is mentioned and Aunt Lydia tells Offred that she was sent to the colonies. To show her what will happen if she continues to be defiant, Aunt Lydia takes her to see another pregnant handmaid. This one is chained to a small living space. Offred decides that she is hungry and is taken back to the cafeteria. There the other handmaids a brought in soaking wet and forced to form two straight lines. Aunt Lydia takes them one by one and chains them to the stove. She burns their hands as punishment for their defiance.
Offred is taken to be examined by a doctor. Commander Fred and Serena Joy are there with her. They are shown their child on the monitor and Serena kisses Offred's forehead in thanks. Offred is left alone and begins to put her shoes on when a key falls out from her boot. The key gets her into the stairwell and she follows red marks that lead her down into a long tunnel beneath the facility. At the end, there is a refrigerated truck loaded with hogs waiting for her to take her away from this place.
Serena evesdrops on her husband as he tries to find Offred. She goes up to Offred's old room and sits on her window sill.
When the truck stops again, a butcher leads her into an empty corporate building and asks her to stay until someone comes for her. Nick is there waiting. He tells her to get out of her clothes and to cut her hair. She takes off her clothes and burns them along with the locks of hair that she cut off. She uses the scissors to remove the tag from her ear. She is finally free.
June is laying in the back of a truck as they move her to a safe location, which looks to be a generic abandoned industrial building, but later reveals to be the home of the Boston Globe newspaper. She hears sirens approaching and freaks out but nobody comes inside to find her.
June wanders around the Boston Globe. Walking among office cubicles, she silently ganders at the materials and matter which characterized the world before Gilead. Sports merchandise (Boston Red Sox in particular), family photos, and knick-knacks all decorate the abandoned cubicles; she even finds a DVD of the TV show Friends. June later wanders down to the basement, where she stumbles upon a line of nooses hung on the rafters. She then turns to the wall, which is stained with blood and littered with bullet holes. June is horrified and sickened at the sight of what was obviously a massacre, and briefly cries in silence. Suddenly, she hears noises. She hides but its only Nick. She asks him to get her out of here because it's a slaughterhouse. He tells her that she has to wait a couple of weeks. She tells him that they need to find Hannah but he says no. She asks for him to give her his keys to the car. He gives them to her and he gives her a gun. She goes to the car and gets in to leave. Nick stands there watching her. She starts to hit the steering wheel because she knows she isn't going to leave. She gets out of the car and gives him back the keys and the gun. They begin to kiss and have sex. They finish and she looks at him. He tells her he can't anymore. She says to try.
June watches FRIENDS on a laptop. She suddenly gets up and grabs a box. She goes desk to desk and picks stuff from each one to put into it. She sets up a candle vigil for the people who had been murdered downstairs.
June is seen running through the Boston Globe as she exercises. She stops in front of the mural, and we learn that she's been in the building for two months. We see her listening to a recording of an interview with an early "Sons of Jacob" member and digging through newspapers cutting out clippings. She pins the clippings to the walls under categories like 'Power Structure', 'Militarization' and 'Curtailment of Civil Rights'. While staring at the wall, she 'tells' the clippings in a voiceover "You were there all the time but no one noticed you". She adds "not no one" and then thinks about her mother Holly and how she took her to a "Take Back The Night" rally once when she was young. The women protesting were tossing paper slips with the names of their rapists on these slips into fires set in trash cans. Meanwhile, in the present, Nick arrives and gives June coffee. He tells her that he should probably get going soon, and tells her that she might be leaving the Boston Globe soon. He promises to come back on Tuesday. June says that she can't leave, and Nick says it will be better for everyone. June replies that better doesn't always mean better for everyone, and after some comforting, they hug.
June checks the garage and is told that she will be leaving. After being assured that the stuff she left behind will be disposed of, she grabs her coat and climbs into the back of the truck. She looks back at the building as they drive away, lamenting about the time that June goes to her mom's house to pick up a mixer, and while she's there, she tells her mother's group of friends what she does for a living. Everyone seems to be impressed, with the exception of June's mother, who seems to be more interested in Moira's activities. June is dropped off at another location and told that someone would come along to get her soon. She looks around and finds lots of signs that have been taken down, since they have words on them that women could read. Suddenly, someone asks her if she's a good witch or a bad witch. Startled, June turns to find a man, Omar, looking at her. He tells her to come with him, and that they're going to smuggle her into Canada. She asks who is they and he says someone brave, stupid, or both. As they are walking to his car, he gets an alert that the safe house he's about to take her to isn't safe. He tries to leave her behind but June begs him to take her with him. Caving in, the man puts her into the back of his car. She thanks him but he tells her to get down.
He takes her to his home where his wife Heather doesn't approve of her being there, and has a discussion with her husband. While they talk, their son plays with June until they come back out. The wife says that she can't believe that June would let her baby be taken away. The next day, the family leaves for church, while June stays at the apartment, reassured that the couple would return by 2:00. During a flashback, June's mom asks her if she likes the job at the publishing place, to which June replies positively. Her mom tells her that she sacrificed for her and that she's settling, and then asks about Luke and tells June that she doesn't think that June should marry him. Her mom tells her that she thinks it's a mistake. Just as June comes back to reality, someone knocks at the door. June hides under a bed, where she discovers a hidden Koran. as well as a carpet for praying. June then wanders around the apartment because out of boredom while thinking about Hannah. Eventually, once it is 2:00, the couple don't return like they promised.
June starts thinking about the time that Aunt Lydia showed the handmaids a slideshow of all the horrible things that have happened to the unwomen, and Gilead's plan to re fertilize the Colonies. and one of the pictures is of June's mother working in the colonies, which leaves June distraught, and Moira puts her hand on June's to comfort her. Later in bed, Moira asks June how she thinks they got her mother. Moira says she doesn't know, and June says that it isn't safe what she's doing. Moira agrees with her, and June says "so was her", that her mother had a feeling that this would happen. June says that she "waited before", but she swears she won't repeat her mistakes. She then steals one of the econowife's outfits, and walks to a trainstation. She gets on a train and pulls out a map she hid in the uniform to check where she's going, and decides to take the train all the way to the last stop. When she gets off, she goes through the woods. She thinks about Hannah as she runs and how Hannah left her once but now June has to leave her. She gets to a field appearing to have housed a regional airport pre-Gilead, runway and all.
After some brief questioning by the Mayday people smuggler she was supposed to meet, June boards a plane with another refugee who claims to have been a chauffeur for Commander Wells. June reminisces about her mom and how they sang Hollerback Girl in a car during a roadtrip, as well as thinking about Hannah. However, just as the plane departs, Guardians intercept the aircraft and shoot at it, a stray bullet hitting the other refugee in the car, and forcing the plane to land. The pilot is forced out of the plane and executed (presumably) for treason. Following this, Guardians open the cargo hold, first grabbing a chauffeur, and forcing him (screaming) out of the aircraft, and then, despite her best attempts to escape, grab June and force her out as well.
June is taken back to the Red Center, where she is retagged and chained to a small living space. As Aunt Lydia explains, the Waterfords are willing to take June back for a "trial run". June’s other option is to stay in that room, counting flowers on the bedspread (there are 71), and to be eventually executed after giving birth.
The Waterfords greet her stiffly and formally. Commander Fred speaks of the tremendous effort it took to save June from her “kidnapping” at the hands of an "insidious terrorist network." Serena later dashes into June’s bedroom and pins her into a chokehold. As June catches her breath she reminds Serena that "as long as my baby is safe, so is yours." Aunt Lydia watches June bathe and makes sure she scrubs the "nasty bacteria down there".
On June’s first morning back in the Waterford house, Rita returns June the package of letters from Mayday that she’d been saving for the past 92 days because "she can't" anymore. June hides the letters behind the tub.
Downstairs, everyone’s preparing for the baby shower party that afternoon. Aunt Lydia is still around and forces June to drink a specially prepared vitamin shake, which she spits up.
At the party, Serena opens up a bunch of handmade presents from the other Wives. June, who’s supposed to stay silent, pipes in by saying that the baby kicked for the first time last night. Serena retreats to the yard with a cigarette. Lydia tells Serena that everything that happens now must be for the good of the child, and thus she should stop smoking cigarettes.
When some fellow handmaids arrive to the party, Alma briefly informs June that Mayday has gone silent and is "done helping handmaids". She adds that Ofglen (#2) had her tongue cut out, which is the part that is not June's fault, pointing on her scarred wrist.
Aunt Lydia takes June to the river, where men are hanging on The Wall. Lydia identifies one as Omar, the van driver who harbored June. Lydia informs June that his wife became a handmaid and the son was given away. Lydia emphasizes that June is responsible for Omar’s death, not Offred.
That evening, June begs for forgiveness in front of all the members of the Waterford household and to be again Offred. Serena later crawls into bed with Offred and caresses her stomach. When Serena leaves, Offred goes into the closet, repeating to herself: “My fault. My fault. My fault."
Aunt Lydia is still regularly monitoring Offred’s pregnancy at the Waterfords. She weighs her, measures the size of the baby, considers her mental state. She even gets to take notes with a pencil, in a case of "special dispensation" for aunts, as she explains to an astonished Serena, who encourages Aunt Lydia to leave and takes clear offense when Lydia says one of her jobs is to observe the "mood" of the home in which Offred is carrying the baby.
While on the toilet, Offred sees she’s bleeding. Later, she’s soaking in a bathtub full of blood. She maintains her routine after, however, carrying on like nothing’s wrong. Only Rita notices she’s weakening.
The Waterfords head to a Prayvaganza chaired by Commander Pryce in which the handmaids and wives sit in rows while a ceremony takes place down below. Nick, among other Guardians, is escorted out to the main floor. Young brides, their faces covered by veils, then march onto the floor and stand opposite the men being “honored.” As Nick lifts his bride's veil, he sees a girl, Eden, who is much younger than him
The Waterfords with Offred, Nick, and Eden return from the Prayvaganza. When Offred retreats to her chamber, she struggles up the stairs, still evidently bleeding. She moves around her room.
In the meantime, Nick and the Commander share a “celebratory” drink to close out the night, toasting “to good women.” When heading back to his quarters in the pouring rain, Nick finds Offred outside, passed out and covered in blood, and screams for help.
Offred wakes up in a hospital bed, Serena sleeping in a chair opposite her, and appears stunned by her and the baby’s survival. She goes to get the doctor. Left alone, June talks to her unborn child: “You’re tough, aren’t you? I will not let you grow up in this place. I won’t do it. Do you hear me? They do not own you. And they do not own what you will become. I’m going to get you out of here. I’m going to get us out of here. I promise you.”
During an ultrasound, the doctor tells Serena that Offred’s bleeding was due to a subchorionic hematoma and she should be fine now, adding the baby "needs harmony within the household". Back at home, Serena has Offred move in the sitting room so she doesn’t have to go up and down the stairs. In a moment alone with Offred, Nick points out he didn’t have a choice to marry Eden and still thinks about "the three of us".
That night, Nick and Eden have dinner at their apartment, where she tells him that her mother taught her "about everything" that would be expected of her as a wife. Nick steps outside to smoke. Meanwhile, Serena sits by the couch while Offred gets ready to go to sleep and lets Serena put her hands on her belly.
The next day, Eden tells Offred about Nick's permanent aloofness. She fears he is a gender traitor. Offred reassures her he will be "a great father for her children".
Serena invites four handmaids (Alma, Ofglen (#2), Oferic, and Ofsamuel) for a surprise lunch with Offred. Later, Serena takes Offred up to the nursery to see how she’s decorated it. When Offred asks to see Hannah, Serena angrily refuses and orders her to get her things out from downstairs to go back to her old room.
When Nick runs into Offred soon after, she insists he has to deflower his wife. That night, Nick and his new bride have sex for the first time.
Fred sneaks into Offred’s room while she sleeps and shows her a Polaroid of Hannah in her pink Subservient-in-Training uniform. Offred thanks him and cries as she stares at the photo, which the commander takes as an invitation to start pawing at her belly, then her breast, telling her he missed her. She responds that sex probably wouldn’t be great for the baby. He backs off quickly, leaving the photo with her.
To the opening of the new Rachel and Leah Center, Commanders from all of the districts are there. As Commander Waterford addresses the men who’ve gathered, a whole bunch of handmaids stand along the auditorium’s back wall. Ofglen (#2) steps out of line and turns to face her fellow maids, raising one hand so everyone can see that she’s holding a detonator. The women start to run. Ofglen then runs into the assembly, holds up her hand once more and presses the buttom. As the red-clad women run for safety, a huge explosion rocks the center.
In the aftermath of the Red Center attack, the handmaids, all in black coats, gather in a funeral garb. Aunts are lining the path to the red caskets waiting for them to mourn. Aunt Lydia reads the (patronymic) names of the 31 deceased handmaids. In the vehicle on the way home, the handmaids talk about those they lost. Homes all over town are marked with bodies hanging in front of homes, showing the wrath of the Republic.
Offred stores her mourning outfit away into a little suitcase. Shortly afterward, Rita announces that there is a visitor for Offred. Commander Cushing is at the house for Offred, and orders Rita to leave him alone with the handmaid. Instead of asking about her walking partner Ofglen, Cushing wants to know who helped her try to leave Gilead. He doesn't believe her story was of a kidnapping and asks if Commander Waterford assisted her in running away instead. Offred sticks to her story, which makes him highly unpleasant. Outside the front door, a Martha is shot in the street.
Offred gets to the hospital. Serena Joy is happy to see her and to show Fred his baby is safe. Offred leaves the room and sees Nick. She cries on his shoulder saying the Martha was just reaching for her pass when she was shot, and that Cushing wants to know who helped Offred when she ran. Nick promises he won't "let anything happen" to her.
At home, Serena Joy talks about Ray Cushing with Offred and says that he's always been a blowhard even when they vacationed in Antigua together with his wife Sonia. She wants her to be very careful about what she says to Cushing. Offred reminds "Serena" that Commander Deeds' entire house was slaughtered, and if Cushing came to believe she has a connection to the underground, he won't hesitate, nor would he ever let a baby grow up in that house.
In the grocery store, Janine greets a surprised Offred. She says God has a plan for both of them, pointing in the direction of Emily. Offred greets Emily then reveals that her name is June, acknowledging that she never got a chance to tell her. Feeling driven, Offred introduces herself as June to Oferic who reveals her name to be Brianna. Spurred on by confidence, the handmaids in the grocery store begin to exchange their real names to each other.
Serena Joy asks June to accompany her to the office where she has already put together new security policies, explaining she'd like things to start getting back to normal. Reminding her of her former profession as editor, she asks June to read over the policy drafts. June grabs a pen.
June 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 so that he can look over it. Upstairs, June finds a music box and a rose on her bed, supposedly a gift from Serena. Eden asks Nick if she can spruce up their home and he tells her to do whatever she wants. Serena tells June that baby Angela isn't well. She leaves to go offer Naomi support.
June 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 June that the baby isn't doing well and that they don't know what's wrong with her. June 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. June 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 no because they can't question the will of God. Serena tells June that Fred said no. June tells Serena about Janine and how she knows about the baby. June 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, after June suggests it as a way to save an already unstable Janine after hearing the bad news about her daughter. Her husband does not mind, but Naomi is more than apprehensive about allowing their estranged handmaid to see Angela. 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 runs several tests on the baby, but is still unable to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with Angela. Naomi and Warren recieve 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 June 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 June if that's her handwriting on one of the papers and she says yes. As punishment, Fred whips Serena with his belt and forces June to watch as he does.
Serena is in her room crying as she looks at the scars on her buttocks. June asks her if there is anything she can do but Serena only sends her back to her room. Instead, June goes downstairs and apologizes to Fred for what she did. She asks if he'll forgive her and he says to go to bed.
Rita comes to June'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 June before she leaves. She tells June that she'll be leaving the house as soon as the baby is born.
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.
When June 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 June upstairs for a nap and begins talking to Eden about the strawberry jam she is making.
Upstairs, June 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's 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. He's taken away by the police but not before Serena and Nick realize that he's June's husband. Serena and Fred head up to their room where Fred says that they've made progress with the Canadian government. Nick goes looking for Luke and finds him in a bar. He tells Luke that June is alright but Luke says that she isn't fine. Nick tells her 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 doesn't know if she's 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.
Aunt Lydia visits June. June tells her about how Serena wants her to leave right after the baby is born. Aunt Lydia tells her that it is Serena's prerogative. June tells Aunt Lydia that the baby needs protection. Aunt Lydia promises that she will let nothing happen to the child. As she leaves, she sadly tells June that she was once the godmother of her sister's child in the time before, which died at four days old.
Nick visits June 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.
|airdate = June 20, 2018
Emily is forced to have sex with Commander Roy in the Ceremony with his wife. He collapses afterwards. While his wife goes to get help, Emily kicks him in the balls. At the grocery the next day, Alma and Brianna talk about the incident. June runs into Eden who is being escorted by Isaac. June tells Emily that Moira made it to Canada and assures her she's going to see her son again when she suddenly starts to get contractions. She is taken home by ambulance where Nick helps her into the house. While he is escorting her up the stairs, Eden watches. Serena comes out and greets June before she is taken to Serena and the Commander's room.
Aunt Lydia and other handmaids arrive. They begin to set up the room for the birth of the child. Downstairs, the Marthas are setting up the kitchen with snacks and delicacies. Also, Commander Fred is handing out cigars. Serena is in another room surrounded by wives as she pretends to have a baby. Aunt Lydia interrupts the ceremony and tells her that June was only having false contractions. They call a doctor to come inspect her and learn that she isn't even close to giving birth. This upsets Serena who tells June that after the birth she is to be transferred to another district. June approaches Commander Fred about what Serena wants and asks for his help. She asks to be moved to her daughter's district. This upsets the Commander who asks her to get out. Before she leaves, June tells him that he'll never know what it's like to have a child of his own.
Commander Fred and Serena talk about the baby. Serena says that the best way for the baby to come is the most natural way. Rita tells June that Serena wants to see her. As she leaves, Rita tells June that she'll tell the baby about her. Serena forces June onto the bed as Fred forces himself into her. He sexually assaults her in order to get the baby to come early. After, Serena and Fred both leave the room leaving June alone as she cries. Eden takes out the trash and runs into Isaac. They share a kiss as Nick watches from the balcony. Eden realizes this and runs up to the house to apologize. He says not to worry about it and Eden asks why he doesn't care that he just caught her cheating on him. He doesn't say anything and Eden realizes that he likes June. Nick tells her that he'd never get involved with a handmaid. She realizes that he just doesn't love her and starts to cry.
June is laying in bed when Fred comes into her room. He tells her that he's planned a surprise for her. He puts her in a car and instructs Nick to bring her back in 3 hours. On the drive to where they're going, Nick asks her what happened but she doesn't respond. They arrive at a house where inside Hannah is waiting. She rushes towards her but Hannah gets scared and hides behind a Martha. June asks if she remembers her and Hannah nods, the Martha telling June that Hannah's name has been changed to Agnes. Hannah asks if it hurt when they hit her on the head and if she tried to find her. June says yes but Hannah asks why she didn't try harder. Hannah tells her that it's okay because she has new parents now. Hannah notices that June's pregnant and tells her that she doesn't get to keep it. The guard says that it's time to go so June tells Hannah that she'll always love her and that she should enjoy her life. The guard separates them but Hannah runs back to June. June tells her that she has to go and that she loves her. Hannah leaves leaving June kneeling in the snow as she cries.
Suddenly, Nick hears other cars approaching so he puts June into the house. He tells her to go inside and hide while he waits outside to see who it is. Two men appear and attack Nick, taking him hostage and leaving June alone. She's left alone in the middle of nowhere.
June has been left behind at the abandoned mansion. She is standing outside in the cold, staring at the drive to the road. As she turns around, she sees a detached garage. She tries to open the side door, but can't. She looks in the garage door windows, and sees a car. She tries to open the garage door, but can't. She looks up, and sees a wolf watching her.
As she returns to the house, she apologizes in her narration for the broken structure of this story, "like a body caught in crossfire or pulled apart by force." Inside, she begins looking through drawers. She discovers an office. There are hunting trophies (taxidermy) on the walls. Behind the desk, where there is a photo of Hannah and her placement mother with a caught fish, and on the desk there is a picture drawn by a child, presumably Hannah. It is of the house, a dark child, in the middle, a woman in green on the right (her placement mother?), and a smaller women in red on the left (June?). She remembers a day she left Hannah at school and how Hannah didn't want to let her go after "last hugs."
In the office, she finds keys to the garage. She goes to the garage and finds a preserved 1980's Camaro. She starts the car, tunes the radio and hears Radio Free America that news that US Capital in Anchorage has received aid from two countries; that more sanctions have been received from the UK, and that the UK is planning to raise the limit on American refugees relocating from Canada. The announcer then says, "the next tune is to remind everyone who is listening, American patriot or Gilead traitor, we are still here. Stars and Stripes forever, baby." This makes June smile, and gives her hope. Bruce Springsteen's Hungry Heart begins to play. "I have a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack....I went out for a ride, and never went back. Like a river that doesn't know where it's flowing, I took a wrong turn, and just kept going." June strokes her belly and talks to her baby as she considers her next decisions. Bruce continues "Everybody's got a hungry heart."
June gets out of the car and goes back into the house. She gathers up an escape bag of food, first aid, and blankets. She puts that in the car and goes back upstairs and grabs the Commander's heavy coat. In front of his armoir, she looks at her pregnant profile in the full length mirror. She remembers when she was very pregnant with Hannah, and was getting ready for a book release party with Luke, with many sweet interactions between the expectant parents. Her memory ends as she hears a vehicle approaching.
Serena Joy and Commander Fred arrive looking for June. When they enter, Fred calls out to Commander McKensie and his wife. Serena runs upstairs, and notices the clothing armoirs have been uncovered. She sees June's cloak and head cover, and runs downstairs show it to Fred. Serena and Fred argue over June. Serena blames him for them running off together. He says Nick would not be that disloyal, and that he let June see her daughter, which he believes would have made her grateful. Serena tells him he is stupid and that they hate him, which is why June keeps running away from him.
Fred blames Serena constant cruelty to June for her escape attempts. She tells him he raped June last night, he points out that was her idea, and says this was "to fix her mess." Serena in her anger says that Nick is the father of June's baby, and he should have expected them to run after seeing Hannah/Agnes. She asks Fred if he expected to June to return after this visit and thank him. She calls him an idiot and he calls her a bitch. Serena says they can't explain it away or even report it. Especially to have a handmaid run away twice, and how they will think that they are part of the Resistance. She says they will hang them on the wall, and he comments it would be his bad luck to be next to her. She chastises him for making jokes.
In an upper level of the home, June spies a open box of ammunition on a storage chest. Inside, she finds a shotgun and loads it. Downstairs, Serena quietly confesses she gave up everything for "the cause," and all she wanted in return was a baby. Fred pins her against the wall telling her she demanded a baby. She cries that he has left her with nothing. At the same time, June has quietly opened a window in the breezeway, and has aimed the gun at them. Serena cries that she will never hold her baby, and Fred consoles her. June hears the entire conversation. Serena pushes Fred away, and June gasps as her target moves out of her sight.
Fred continues to console her, telling her they can't have gotten far and he will call local security. He urges her to leave, and they move outside. June relaxes as they drive away.
June continues to decompress from event, and has an intense contraction. She flashes back to when she went to visit the birthing center that her mom worked at. June wants to have her baby in a hospital with "doctors, nurses, and lots of drugs." Her mother insists she'll be there for the birth, although June has her doubts that mother will be there.
She returns to the garage where she tries to open the garage door with the electronic controls (which have no power) and then manually, but can't. She climbs into the car and tries to drive through the door but it doesn't budge. She goes outside and tries to dig out but slips and falls. As she lays there she realizes that her water has just broke, and weeps. She looks up to see a black wolf watching her, which focuses her attention. She gets up, goes back inside the house, and prepares a birthing area in front of a lit fire. She lays in front of it and thinks of when she gave birth to Hannah. June is progressing through labor with Luke and Moira. She asks Moira if her mom has called and Moira says she'll text her again. When June wakes up, she sees a puddle of blood has formed beneath her. She sits up, and reassures her baby (and herself), that it is going to be okay.
June goes back outside with the shotgun and has another intense labor pain, falling to her knees. The hears a sound, and the wolf again watches her. She fires two shots into the air hoping to catch anyone's attention. She looks the direction of the animal, and it is gone. She reloads and shoots again. She goes back inside, removes her clothes, and starts the delivery process on her knees in front of the fire. She remembers her birthing process with Luke and Moira, and then Lydia's coaching when Janine gave birth to baby Angela, She finally gives birth to her baby. As she talks to her new baby, she remembers holding newborn Hannah, when her mother arrives. She introduces Hannah to her grandmother, Holly. In the present time, she whispers to the new baby that her name is Holly. She tells her about that she has a big sister that she will one day meet. In June's narration, she tells Holly that that she wants her to hear this (her) story, and that she will hear Holly's if she ever gets the chance, whether meet or she escapes, be it in the future or in heaven. She tells Holly she believes in her and her future.
As they're laying there, a car drives up outside. June whispers, "We did it, Holly."
At the Red Center, June is seen using a breast pump when Aunt Lydia arrives. She commends June on her surviving and giving birth on her own. One of the Aunts mentions that June's milk is less than yesterday. Aunt Lydia says she knows this already. Apparently, Mrs. Waterford wants the milk. Aunt Lydia tells June that other families have made offers for her to be in their households.
Aunt Lydia leads June to meet with the Commander and Nick who have brought Nicole. June refuses to see the baby but Aunt Lydia tells her that it'll help her produce more milk. It's true because no sooner does she say this that her breasts start to leak. Fred turns to leave by June offers to nurse Nicole. Fred says no but Aunt Lydia convinces him to take June back to the house so that she can pump there. June returns with Fred but this upsets Serena. She says that June can't touch the baby and that she pumps in the room.
June is using the breast pump when she hears Nicole gurgling. She walks downstairs with the milk and runs into Eden in the kitchen. Eden asks her if she agrees that a baby should be raised by two people who love each other. June tells her that she thinks they should grab love wherever they can. The next day, Nick is looking for Eden but can't find her. Nick tells her that their baby is so beautiful and that he wishes he could hold her. June says her too. June tells him that she wants to name her Holly after her Mom. Nick tells her it sounds right.
June is in the kitchen helping clean the kitchen when Rita is called by Serena. June takes the chance to smell some of Nicole's clothes. Commander Fred walks in and asks her why Eden would runaway. June says she doesn't know and he asks where she was hiding when they went searching for her in the house. She says the attic and he says that she was avoiding going home with him. June tells him that she wanted to spend more time with Hannah and he asks how was her reunion. June says she was surprised to see her. Fred says that he was glad he made it happen for her. She thanks him and he asks if that's all the thanks he gets. She offers to play scrabble with him.
Rita wakes up June and tells her that they brought Isaac and Eden back. Nick tries to convince Eden to lie on the stand but she won't. She asks him to forgive her but he asks her to forgive him because he wasn't kind to her. Eden and Isaac are lead to a pool. They are both chained. They ask them to renounce their sins and plead for mercy but the two of them don't. They are pushed into the pool and the both of them drown.
June goes downstairs and finds Nick sitting at the table. She tries to offer comfort but he just gets up and walks away. As she's going back upstairs, she spots Serena in the baby's room. She asks Serena if she's okay. The baby starts to cry and Serena surprisingly offers the baby to June. June sits and holds Nicole. She begins to breastfeed her as Serena watches.
June and Rita are doing the laundry. Rita confesses that she treated Eden badly. June reveals that she slept with Nick. Rita says that she should've tried harder. June continues to go through Eden's things. She finds a Holy Bible. June goes to see Serena and shows her the bible and how Eden wrote notes all over it. Serena says that Eden has been hiding a multitude of sins. This upsets June who asks Serena how she's gonna raise Nicole. Serena Joy says that she'll be raised properly and understand the Word of God. June says that she won't be able to read it, and leaves, upset.
Nick gets visited by Eden's father who apologize for Eden. Commander Fred asks if he has another daughter and he says yes. Commander Fred tells him to make sure that their other daughter is raised better. Eden's father tells them how he was the one who turned in Eden to the authorities. This shocks June who asks Commander Fred what he'll do when they come for his daughter. He closes the door and slaps her. She slaps him back. He grabs her by the face and shoves her down. Later, Rita helps June by giving her an ice pack. Nick arrives so Rita leaves to give them some alone time.
June tells him that it's okay. They hear the baby downstairs so both of them go to check on her. Rita is holding her but gives her to June. June in turn gives her to Nick. She tells him to look at what they made and that she loves him. The next day, the handmaid's go for a walk and come to the place where Eden and Isaac are hanging from. She tells the handmaids about the Bible she found among Eden's things.
Emily tells them about how tonight is her first night doing the ceremony with her new family. Emily also mentions that next week is her son's birthday. June says that they should celebrate. Emily says that she's glad she got to see June again.
June opens the front door and lets Serena and Fred inside the house. Serena can barely walk so Fred guides her to their room. He tells June that they had a difficult day but that from now on everything will be better. June waits until he leaves before she asks Serena what happened. Serena begins to unwrap her hand and shows her that they took one of her fingers. She says that she tried and June sits on the bed and holds her hand.
June goes downstairs into the kitchen where Fred is calling for Rita. She tells him that she can't believe he let them do that to Serena. He says that they all have roles to play and that Serena needed to be reminded of hers. Fred tells her that maybe June could stay in the house with her baby and that they could try again but for a boy this time. She tells him to go fuck himself. He then brings up Hannah and how if she agreed she'd be able to see her more. He tells her to think about it as he goes back upstairs.
June is feeding Nicole when she hears a commotion outside. Rita comes in and tells her that they can get her out but that she needs to leave now. Rita tells her where to go so June hugs her and then leaves. Inside, Fred watches what's going on from his office. He goes and asks Rita what's going on but she says she doesn't know. Realizing something is up, he runs upstairs to check on Nicole. Nick follows him up and when Fred tells him to put together a search party Nick tells him to stay inside.
Serena spots June with Nicole and tries to stop them. June tries to convince Serena to let them go. Serena asks to hold the baby one last time, and June lets her. Serena hands the baby back and watches as they leave. June goes from Martha to Martha as they guide her out of Gilead. They lead her to the train tracks where she waits. She remembers when she sang to Hannah. She shows the picture of Hannah to Holly and tells her that maybe she'll meet her one day. That she is going to meet her one day. A car pulls up and Emily gets out. They embrace but Emily asks what is happening. June tells her that she's getting out. She leads Emily to the car but doesn't get in. Instead she gives her the baby and stays behind.
- The name June is derived from the Latin Juno, which was the name of the Roman goddess of marriage, childbirth and women, the wife of Jupiter, the ruler of the gods, and the Roman counterpart of the Greek Hera. This matches well with the different roles of Offred (whose real name is possibly June) plays: she is Luke's wife, a mother and later a 'breeder' for the Republic of Gilead, and finally, a voice for the women of Gilead.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Episode 1, "Offred"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Episode 2.3, "Baggage"
- ↑ Episode 5, "Faithful"
- ↑ Episode 1.2, "Birth Day"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Episode 3, "Late"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Episode 7, "The Other Side"
- ↑ Episode 10, "Night"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Episode 4, "Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum"