The Handmaid's Tale S02E01 "June" Recap

Offred and numerous other handmaids are taken to Fenway Park and made to believe that they will be hanged as punishment for their disobedience. But just as they're seemingly about to be hanged, the whole scene is revealed to be a charade to frighten them into compliance.

In flashbacks throughout the episode, June's life with her husband Luke and daughter Hannah are shown. The time period is after the conservative regime had started to gain power and they struggle to cope with the effects of it. Hannah is admitted to the hospital when she comes down with a fever at school. June has to leave work to go pick her up and upon reaching the hospital, one of the workers questions June about if she had medicated Hannah to try to bypass the school's fever policy and other questions to ascertain if she and Luke are fit parents. Later, June brings Hannah home where Luke is watching a news story about the Capitol building and the White house being attacked by terrorists.

During another punishment, the Handmaids are forced to kneel and hold a rock with their arm extended out for a tremendously long period of time while they are rained upon with no cover from the cold. When Aunt Lydia learns that Offred is pregnant, she is excused from completing her punishment. Offred is brought inside to change out of her wet clothes and be tended to in order to ensure that her baby is cared for.

Aunt Lydia brings Offred a meal but she refuses to eat it. Aunt Lydia warns her that all of her friends that followed her disobedience will be punished while Offred will be exempt due to her pregnancy but Offred still refuses to eat. Aunt Lydia brings Offred to a prison room to show her another pregnant handmaid, Ofwaytt, who is chained up after she attempted to kill herself with drain cleaner. Offred relents and agrees to eat, but Aunt Lydia torments her by bringing in all of her friends and has them burned with a gas flame one by one while Offred finishes her meal.

Offred attends a pregnancy check-up where Serena and Fred each visit her in the medical room, separately. Serena threatens her to behave herself and be obedient before Fred also enters the room. The first ultrasound shows an image of the embryo in development, although it's too early to be able to hear a heartbeat. Serena is more polite to Offred after getting to see the image of the embryo, having been emotionally moved by the experience. As Offred is finishing her check-up, the last guard to leave the room addresses her as "June," much to her shock. As she begins to put her belongings back on, she finds a key that's been left for her with a red square on the end of it inside one of her boots. She finds another door in the room marked with a red square and exits that way. She follows a series of red squares left behind that lead her to a van parked underneath the hospital. Upon getting inside, the van drives her away.

Fred uses his status to order a highly resourced search for Alfred after she goes missing.

The van brings June to a safe house in Back Bay. The driver tells her to wait in the entry way, saying that someone will come for her. She hugs him and thanks him before he leaves. It's Nick who emerges to meet her and she embraces him. He warns her that people are looking for her and tells her to get undressed to change out of her handmaid's dress. He also tells her she'll need to cut her hair to further her disguise. He tells her that he's set up a place for her to stay until it's safe enough to sneak her out of the city. June burns her handmaid's dress before cutting off her hair and then cutting the red cattle tag out of her ear.

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


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