The Handmaid's Tale S02E09 "Smart Power" Recap

Fred informs Offred that he and Serena will be travelling to Canada on a diplomatic mission. Nick will be accompanying them and another man has been assigned to watch over the house while they are all away. Serena later tells Fred that she would rather stay home since it's the third trimester, and likely also due to her wish to distance herself from him after he beat her, but she eventually agrees. Before leaving for Canada, Serena informs Offred that she will be transferred as soon as the baby is born, leaving Offred horrified.

After the Waterfords arrive in Canada, Moira points them out on the news to Luke. They meet with their local case worker and beg her to have Fred arrested for being a war criminal but she explains to them that there is nothing they can legally do but there are many protests planned against the Waterfords and the Gilead movement. As the Waterfords and Nick are driven through the city, Serena is reminded of her old life before Gilead.

Serena is approached by Mark in the hotel bar. He works as a spy for what's left of the US government and based in Hawaii. He offers to help Serena defect from Gilead and the opportunity to share her story the way she wants to. He points out that the fertility crisis has been blamed on women but many scientists have found that the origins of it lie in men and more women may be able to have children soon. Serena ultimately declines his offer but he politely points out that perhaps they'll get another opportunity to meet, also leaving behind his cigarettes and Hawaii matches for her.

Back at the Waterford's residence June watches in quiet contemplation as Rita tends to the household duties of preparing food for the residents. June privately tells her how Serena intends to have her sent away immediately after the baby is born. June also shares how she and Luke chose godparents for Hannah when she was baptised and asks Rita to be the godparent of her baby when it is born, wanting this child to have someone kind in her life. Rita points out how she herself has to live under harsh restrictions as a Martha and baptisms have been prohibited by the Gilead government but still promises to do whatever little she can.

Luke confronts the Waterfords when they arrive at their hotel for a US refugee protest while holding a photo of himself with June and Hannah, furious at him for raping his wife. Serena appears shaken by the experience but not nearly as much as Nick, who is also present for the encounter. Later on, Nick leaves to find Luke and tells him that June is pregnant and safe, also giving him the bundle of letters from women that have been enslaved in Gilead, hoping that Luke can do something good with them.

Aunt Lydia visits June to check on her. June shares how Serena has ordered her to leave the house as soon as the baby is born, which Aunt Lydia seems to very discretely disagree with, though she would never publicly say as much. June asks Aunt Lydia to look after the baby and keep them safe since the household can be rather difficult. June says that any man who would hurt a woman would also hurt a child so the baby needs protection. Aunt Lydia assures her she would never let anything happen to a baby.

Luke brings the letters home and goes through them with Moira and Erin. They decide to publish the letters to the media, prompting a public outcry that leads to the Canadians cancelling the rest of the summit and expelling the Waterfords from Canada. One of the Canadian women on the staff that had previously spoken cordially with Serena now shames her, saying she doesn't know how Serena can live with herself. While the Waterfords are driven to the airport, Serena is increasingly emotional. Moira manages to get to the Waterfords' car and holds up a sign that says "My name is Moira," which shows Fred that Moira managed to successfully escape from Gilead. He had previously known Moira as "Ruby" at Jezebel's.

When the Waterfords return to their home, Serena burns the Hawaiian matches Mark gifted to her. Nick also visits June to tell them that Luke and Moira are both alive and well in Canada. June tells him that Moira is Hannah's godmother and expresses happiness that Moira made it safely to Canada.

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


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