The Other Side is the 7th episode of Season 1 on the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale.
In a flashback, we see June and Luke's escape attempt to Canada. After their car gets stuck in a snowy embankment, Luke tells June to take their daughter and run. Shortly after, he is taken captive by Guardians. They place him in an ambulance after he is shot in the stomach, and intend to question him.
The ambulance veers off the road, and both his captors have died in the accident. He takes a first aid kit and a Glock 17 handgun from a dead Guardian and goes off to find his wife and daughter. After stumbling in the woods for a bit, Luke sees his daughter's shoe, her stuffed bunny rabbit, and what appears to be June's belongings. He takes this to mean that they were captured before they could reach the border.
Luke finds a small town and rests inside of a bar of some sort. There are bullet holes all over the walls and windows.
In another flashback, he reflects on the moment he and June hid in the trunk of their car while a man called Mr. Whitford drives them to a secluded cabin near the border. Whitford refers he helps them escape because he still owes June's mother, who performed a vasectomy on him "a few years back after they made it illegal". He tells them he still needs to grab them Canadian passports, because U.S. passports "don't mean shit no more". Before he leaves, he teaches Luke how to shoot a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver, which he is clearly uneasy about.
Back in the present, Luke is rescued by strangers who are also on their way to the border. They think he is a Guardian at first, but after determining he is on their side, they carry him to a schoolbus, where the leader, Zoe, cleans out his bullet wound. The people on the bus are introduced as Christine, Lyla, and Peter, or: "an army brat, two strays, a gay, and a nun". They tell Luke that Zoe and a group of US Army soldiers she was stationed with in South Carolina rescued a girl from one of the Red Centers, but they don't even know the extent of what's happening.
In more flashbacks we see the events that lead to June and her daughter's capture. After learning that Whitford has been killed, the family tries 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.
In the present, Luke, still in the schoolbus, plans to leave the other and head back to Boston. Zoe brings him inside of a church and shows him what happens to people who try to fight back. The townspeople who hid their fertile women were all hung and strung up inside the church by the Guardians. Luke decides to go with the others to New Brunswick in Canada. They get into a motorboat, but not before they are hailed with bullets from Guardians. Zoey dies from the gunfire, and Luke is seen escaping with the others.
3 years later, in "Little America", Toronto, Canada, Luke is shown with one of the women he escaped the U.S. with. He gets a phone call and goes into a government office filled with flyers of missing persons. A woman brings Luke into a room where she hands him the note June wrote him via the Mexican ambassador's assistant. The note, read in June's voice, says: "I love you so much. Save Hannah." Realizing they are both still alive, Luke cries while he smiles.
Whitford addresses those who made vasectomies illegal as "they", as well as those who "can track" cell phones "location services or not". The latter "they" clearly refers to the Gilead regime and its representatives.
The events of this episode are happening three years before the main storyline, which in turn takes place at most five years after the Takeover (see Offred (TV Episode)/Notes), i.e. the escape takes place at most two years after the D.C. events. This means vasectomies became illegal already in the pre-Gileadean (and presumably democratic) era.
This could be a clue that the conspirators had already notable influence, or even members, in the pre-Gileadean government.