The Handmaid's Tale S02E02 "Unwomen" Recap

June is transported to the former headquarters of The Boston Globe, which is another safe place that's been arranged by Mayday. She is told that she must stay there for a couple days and if she is still there then another transport will come to bring her to the next location.

Emily is revealed to have been taken to the Colonies, a place where disobedient and lower-class infertile women (referred to as "unwomen") are forced to perform the hard labour of digging on highly toxic land. Many of these unwomen become sick from the chemical exposure, and Emily does what she can to help them.

A flashback of Emily's life begins after the attack on the Capitol Building and the White House. She works at a university where her boss, Professor Dan, informs her that she will not be teaching the following semester at the university. Instead he gives her a lower position in an effort to keep her hidden so she won't be criticized or attacked for her sexual orientation. Professor Dan is also gay, so he is not taking these actions from a homophobic place, but merely because he thinks he is doing what will keep Emily safe.

Nick visits June at the Boston Globe and she becomes angry at him when he tells her she will need to wait for several weeks before it will be safe enough to leave since numerous parties have been sent out to find her. Nick decides to give her keys to a car and a gun, if she really feels that she's better off trying to escape early, but after getting into the car she changes her mind and comes back inside where she initiates sex with him.

In another flashback into Emily's life, Professor Dan is hanged at the university with the word "faggot" spray painted underneath him. This prompts Emily to try to emigrate to Canada with her wife Sylvia and their son Oliver. But they run into some trouble at the border when their same-sex marriage is no longer recognised by the government, meaning she is no longer able to leave the country Sylvia. Through the line of questioning it's also revealed that she is the biological mother of Oliver. Sylvia is able to leave with Oliver due to her being Canadian.

A commander's wife is brought to the Colonies and the unwomen are entirely unwelcoming to her, with the exception of Emily who decides to befriend her. Emily learns that the woman was sent to the colonies for committing a "sin of the flesh" which happened when she fell in love with a man that wasn't her husband and she had sex with him. The woman starts to get sick from the chemical exposure and Emily give her some tablets which are later revealed to be poison that kill her. Emily blames her for "holding a woman down while her husband rapes her." After the woman dies, the unwomen are warned that they will be subjected to consequences for this death. Janine arrives at the Colonies, where Emily briefly greets her before Janine is dragged off to go through whatever protocol newcomers must go through.

June arranges a memorial for the Boston Globe employees who were executed at the newspaper's former headquarters and prays to God to send an angel to watch over it.

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


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