The Handmaid's Tale S02E08 "Women's Work" Recap

June continues to help Serena on Fred's work for a few months while he continues to recover from his bomb injuries, as June used to work as an editor and is an ideal candidate to help Serena with the various documents. But the work is set to slow down since Fred will be returning home the following morning. However, Fred quickly shuts Serena out from his work upon his return.

Serena informs June that the Putnams' child, Angela, has fallen sick. Angela is Janine's biological child, and Janine refers to her as Charlotte. Janine is alarmed upon hearing that her baby is sick, a fact that June had tried to keep quiet from her so she wouldn't panic. Janine begs June to help her see her baby but June tells her that it can't happen. Janine responds that June sounds like "one of them."

Serena asks June what she thinks would be the best way to help the sick baby and June advises that the best treatment should be pushed forward, even if it is something against the law. Serena then proposes to Fred that the best neonatologist in Gilead (who was once the best in the entire nation) be permitted a temporary transfer to check on the baby since it's a woman now working as a Martha, since women are no longer allowed to work as doctors. Fred says that they must trust the will of God. When Serena tells June about Fred's decline of the proposal, June proposes that Janine be allowed to see the baby. Serena is against the idea at first but later decides to suggest it to the Putmans. Naomi Putman is against the idea but her husband Warren overrules her and agrees to let Janine visit, as there are all but no options left yet.

Janine is brought to the hospital and allowed to see the baby, but Aunt Lydia warns June that she will hold her personally responsible if anything goes wrong with Janine's visit. Secretly, Serena forges Fred's signature to transfer the Martha to the hospital for the day to check on the baby. However, the Martha is unable to find anything physically wrong with the child even after numerous medical tests. She advises that they all unplug the baby from the various machines it is hooked up to and try to make her feel safe and warm. Janine is finally permitted to go in and hold the baby.

Serena and June return home where Nick informs them that Fred is waiting to see them in his office. Fred has discovered that Serena forged his signature to temporarily transfer the once-physician, now-Martha. As punishment for her transgressions as well as getting June involved, he ritualistically beats Serena with his belt while forcing June to watch.

Meanwhile, Eden has been working hard to try to please Nick as her wife but once she rearranges his trunk and its contents, she uncovers the bundles of handmaids' letters he had recovered from June. Nick becomes angry and demands to know if she read them and she says she only placed them by his bedside. He orders her to never touch his belongings again and she agrees to abide by his wishes.

June tries to apologise to Serena for what happened with Fred but Serena furiously rejects the sympathetic gesture.

Finally, Janine is shown in the hospital with her baby, singing "I Only Want to Be with You" while partially undressed. The skin-to-skin contact and mother/child reunion have shown to do wonders for the baby's health as it is now happily gurgling while Janine gently bounces it.

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


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