The final episode of the season begins with a flashback to the Handmaids’ introduction to the Red Center, where they are called sluts for their clothing. “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up”–they are taught to be demure and submissive. At the end of the opening scene, Aunt Lydia takes June to a room with a single chair, where a tag is put on her ear, and she reflects on how the handmaids looked at each other then–with terror–and that they don’t look at each other that way anymore. “They should never have given us uniforms if they didn’t want us to be an army,” she says, foreshadowing events later in the episode.

In the present, Offred hides the package she got from the grocer for May Day behind the bath tub. As she leaves the bathroom, Mrs. Waterford slams her into the doorframe and confronts her with the dress she wore to Jezebels. She then forces Offred to take a pregnancy test and prays over it as Offred drips blood into the tub from the wound on her forehead (a result of being slammed into the doorframe). Mrs. Waterford shows her a positive pregnancy test and says “It’s the answer to our prayers.” Offred replies, “You think I prayed for this?”

June lies in bed and flashes back to when she was pregnant with Hannah, feeling her move in her belly.

Mr. Waterford comes home to find Mrs. Waterford in his office. Mrs. Waterford asks if he wants to play Scrabble, but he says he is busy and that she knows the law (women are not supposed to read or write). She says she knows–she helped write it. She then tells him that he needs to keep his hands off of Offred so that she doesn’t end up hanging from the ceiling or stepping in front of a train. Mr. Waterford tells her that if he lusted, it’s Mrs. Waterford’s fault–she brought it into the house. She tells him that Offred is pregnant, and that it isn’t his–she tries to hurt him by saying he can’t father a child because he’s not worthy.

Rita (household Martha) makes Offred a special breakfast, and Nick comes in after Offred has sat down to eat. He asks June what happened to her head–June tells him that Mrs. Waterford found out about Jezebels, and then tells him that she’s pregnant. Nick holds her belly. She says it’s terrible. He says it isn’t, and they hold hands as he kneels beside her. Mrs. Waterford comes in and sees them in this position of affection. She tells Offred to get her cloak.

Elsewhere, Moira is running across a snowy field, having escaped from Jezebel’s last episode. She makes it to a farm and wipes clean the license plate on an old car in the barn. The plate says Ontario–she has made it to Canada. She lies on the ground and laughs.

In the car, Mrs. Waterford knits. Offred eyes the knitting needles (perhaps thinking of hurting the unborn child or Mrs. Waterford). Mrs. Waterford won’t tell Offred where they are going. When the van stops, Mrs. Waterford goes into a building and brings out Hannah, but leaves Offred locked in the vehicle. She tries to get out–she screams for Hannah and pounds on the window. When Mrs. Waterford returns to the van, she says that as long as her baby is safe, so is June’s. June calls her evil and a string of curses–Mrs. Waterford tells her not to get upset, as it’s not good for the baby.

Commander Putnam (Warren) faces justice for his actions with Ofwarren. Commander Waterford is in support of lenience, presumably because of his awareness of his own guilt, while the rest of the council disagrees. Mrs. Putnam wants the harshest possible punishment because she fears for her husband’s immortal soul (supposedly). They surgically remove Commander Putnam’s left hand.

Offred goes to see Mr. Waterford. She says she needs his help, and asks him to protect her daughter from Mrs. Waterford. He says Mrs. Waterford would never hurt a child and asks Offred if the child is his. She says of course. He knows she is lying.

Offred is back in her room. She keeps playing swan lake on the music box Mrs. Waterford gave her. She retrieves the package from the bathroom and finds that it’s a package of letters from women like her, looking for help and looking for their children. She cries over them, spread across the bathroom floor.

In Ontario, Moira is at a place meant for refugees. She is given an ID card and told she’ll be given a permanent case worker and a cell phone and money. Insurance, too. Clothing. She seems overwhelmed by the choices.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Waterford is putting together the nursery. Mr. Waterford offers to help, and Mrs. Waterford asks him why he is really there. He apologizes to her and asks for forgiveness. Mrs. Waterford cries–Mr. Waterford reassures her that once the baby is born, Offred will be gone and they’ll be a family.

June wakes up on the bathroom floor surrounded by letters. Three bells chime–someone is going to be savaged. The handmaids gather to participate in the stoning of someone who has hurt a child. When the victim is brought out, we see it is Jeanine. Aunt Lydia cries as she explains what is supposed to happen, and Jeanine, kneeling in the center of a circle of handmaids holding stones, asks them not to throw too hard. Ofglen objects. She’s hit in the face by a rifle and dragged away. The girls cannot throw their stones, although Aunt Lydia commands them to. June steps forward and the guards point a gun at her. Aunt Lydia intervenes to protect June, telling the men that she is in charge of them. June drops her stone and apologizes to Aunt Lydia. The other girls drop theirs and say “I’m sorry Aunt Lydia”. They are told to go home and that there will be consequences. June is somewhat protected, since she is pregnant–or so we think.

In Ontario, Moira sees Luke. He was called because she was on his list to call if she showed up.

June waits for her punishment. She feels serene when she should be terrified.

They come for her. June is taken from the house against the protestations of Mr. and Mrs. Waterford. As she is put into the van, June is still calm, and reflects only on whether this is an end, or another beginning. As the season closes, June is being taken away to uncertain punishment, pregnant.

 

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