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Other Women is the 4th episode of Season 2 on the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale.

Plot Edit

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.

In the meantime, Commander Fred is out skeet-shooting with some other Commanders (among them Putnam, Pryce, and Cushing). He insinuates that he’d like to travel to Canada along with Cushing to "ease sanctions" and states to have his house in order, to which Pryce replies "back in order".

[...]

In a flashback, 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." Years later, Annie runs into Luke, June, and baby Hannah at a coffee store. She and June make eye contact, and then Annie slips away.

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."

Notes Edit

Commander Fred says about Offred "she's nothing". Aunt Lydia says "she's strong".