The Handmaid's Tale S01E05 "Faithful" Recap

Offred continues to play Scrabble with Commander Waterford. He likes it when she flirts and she likes it when he lets her win. He even shares his alcohol with her and gifts her a woman's magazine. She is shocked, as they were said to have all been destroyed. It's now allowed for her to read but she says she is allowed with him. In a flashback, June recalls meeting her husband for the first time and the instant attraction that was there. In the present she is pondering if Nick is attracted to her.

Serena calls Offred outside and reveals some suspicions she has about the Commander being sterile. She wants to try having Offred be with another man to see if it will result in a pregnancy. Officially, it's forbidden but there are stories of other men being used to impregnate handmaids when the man is infertile. The Commander doesn't know about this plan but Serena wants to have Nick be the one to do it, since it's someone they trust and reveals that he has already agreed to participate. Offred begrudgingly agrees too, with Serena saying they will do it that day after the shopping.

At the grocery store, Offred and the other handmaids see that Emily (the old Ofglen) is back. Offred approaches her to see how she is doing. Emily is now known as Ofsteven and admits she was taken but is back now. She is now detached and isn't part of the resistance anymore, which is named "Mayday". She left after what happened to her, believing it to be too dangerous to continue helping. The new Ofglen warns Offred to not get mixed up in anything that will bring her down too, as she likes her new existence relative to her old life of being a drug addict turning tricks for a fix.

Serena escorts Offred to the adjacent property where Nick's room is. Offred ponders why this act feels more like cheating on her husband Luke then the ceremony sessions with the Commander. She remembers the first time she had sex with him. Nick gets on top of Offred and has detached, Ceremony-like sex with her. She briefly touches his arm during the act but Serena doesn't notice.

That night, the Commander has sex again with Offred and when he observes that his wife isn't paying attention to the act, he begins to stare at Offred and puts his hand on her thigh. She visits him later and orders him to never do that again because she could end up being sent to the colony or worse if Serena were to see. He apologises and agrees not to do it again. He offers her a drink, which she declines, and then the magazine again. They have a conversation about their philosophical ideals, with the Commander revealing that when they made changes to build a better world, they always knew that it wouldn't be better for everyone. He also reveals that Ofglen had genital mutilation surgery.

Offred leaves and is so nauseated by the conversation that she throws up in the kitchen. Nick comes in apologises to her for their earlier interaction, saying that when Serena asked him, he knew he couldn't say no. She asks him if he knew about what happened to Ofglen and whether he's an Eye and he says yes to both.

June and Luke are revealed to have been having an affair, as Luke was already married. But what was meant to be casual developed into them falling in love and Luke agreed to leave his wife for her.

Offred visits an open-air market and spots Ofsteven, whom she questions about the resistance group, Mayday. She tells Offred to find Mayday and be the one to help them, as she can no longer be the one to do so. She reveals that Emily is her real name but Offred is pulled away before she can share hers too. Emily steals a car and begins to drive around before she is surrounded by guards. She backs up and hits one and runs him over, killing him in a vibrant display of blood and flesh being sprayed. Then she's pulled out of the car and taken away in a black van. The new Ofglen walks Offred home and promises her things will be okay and that they'll look out for one another.

That night, Offred thinks about how Emily couldn't have everything taken away. She still had the will to fight even after such horrific treatment and mutilation. She then sneaks out and goes to Nick's place. He lets her in and the two have passionate sex.

The Handmaid's Tale is available for streaming on Hulu.


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