Recap: “Vows” Are Tested in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4, Episode 6


Previously on The Handmaid’s Tale, Nick was forced to bomb Chicago despite knowing June was wandering around. The bombs hit, Janine was lost, and Moira, on a humanitarian mission with Oona, found a shell-shocked June wandering through the smoke.

A flashback to June and Moira’s time as roommates opens as Moira’s calls to June fade into the past and we’re transported back to pre-Gilead times to a moment of peace between the two women in simpler times. Moira calls out to the stunned June in Chicago again, June still not responding. She doesn’t believe that’s really Moira, and continues her search for Janine. Moira convinces June to go to the medical tent, citing that if Janine is around, she’s in the medical tent.

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

June is still out of it as they drive to the tent, the med staff with them telling Moira she definitely has a concussion. June finally recognizes Moira, and she’s afraid that Moira is back in Gilead, but Moira is just ecstatic she’s finally found June.

Moira gets June to safety but Oona breaks the news that they have to leave; Gilead is going to start bombing again, and Oona tells her that they cannot take June with them. If Gilead finds out that they took June, their humanitarian efforts will be shut down immediately. She’s not willing to risk helping everyone needing aid to save one person.

Despite her girlfriend’s instructions, Moira isn’t leaving without June. She tells June the plan, that she needs to run to the boat as fast as she can, and when June protests in favor of finding Janine, Moira tells her she’s probably dead.

Don’t make me leave you again! Don’t f*cking do that to me!


The pair argue, June unwilling to leave without Hannah, and Moira convinces her that she isn’t going to find her anyway. She’s hurt, she doesn’t even know where Hannah is, and if June stays in Gilead she’s going to be killed. If she wants to help Hannah and fight Gilead, she can do it from Canada.

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As the humanitarian team rushes to the boat, Moira convinces June to flee without Hannah and back to everyone who loves her in Canada. She hides her away and as the boat takes off, the citizens of Chicago break through the fencing scrambling to try and board and get themselves to safety.

In another flashback, June is packing her things as she readies to start her life with Luke, which Moira doesn’t think is a good idea. She doesn’t trust Luke on account of him cheating on his first wife with June, suggesting maybe it has to do with the ability to have a child. June defends her relationship, a rift clearly forming between the two.

Oona and Moira meet on the dock of the boat, Oona checking in on her after seeing all that pain and suffering and having to leave June behind. Moira had no intention of telling Oona about their extra passenger, until Oona tells her they have to pass a Gilead port inspection. A very thorough inspection. Moira has to confess what she’s done.

The team meets below deck and debates what to do with June. Some say they should turn her in, others say she should find a way to get her to safety, knowing that if she gets turned in she’s as good as dead. Moira is desperate to get June to Canada, trying everything in her power to convince them to find somewhere to hide her, until June insists they turn her in.

My life isn’t worth more than anyone else’s.


Horns blare, signalling that Gilead is approaching for their inspection. June tells them she’ll take the fall, she snuck on the boat of her own accord, and Oona thanks her. Moira still isn’t accepting it, not after everything June has been through. She deserves to be free.

As they watch Gilead get closer, Oona has a change of heart. They’re going to disguise June as a volunteer and get her into Canada.

Every volunteer has to be vetted by Gilead, and June barely makes it through. Moira helps her, blaming her head injury, and the Guardian lets her pass. The boat sails away from Gilead and its treachery. June is free.

Luke and June are moving into their apartment. Moira’s insecurities about Luke and June’s relationship is pouring out into June’s conversation with Luke about their upcoming ceremony. Luke reassures her that this marriage is nothing like his first, and it doesn’t bother him in the slightest if children aren’t in their cards. She asks if maybe she isn’t who he thinks she is, and he tells her he’ll love whoever she turns out to be.

Oona and Moira are arguing about the ramifications saving June has brought upon their entire mission, June listening from the front of the boat. Oona and Moira break up, Oona unable to forgive Moira for what she did.

Moira finds June trying to escape on a lifeboat. She wants to go back for Hannah. Moira is furious, telling her she’s either going to die in the water or die in Gilead, and that if June is heading to her death she’s going with her. June feels like Moira tricked her into fleeing and leaving Hannah behind. She tells Moira about what happened with Hannah days before at the hands of Gilead, that Hannah doesn’t even know who she is anymore. June blames herself for everything that’s happened. And then the truth comes out, she doesn’t want to face Luke without having Hannah with her.

Somehow, Moira convinces June that it’s okay, no one is expecting her to have saved everyone, not even Hannah. She tells her that Luke has waited for June all these years, he’s never given up on her, and that June needs to find out what Luke can handle herself by going to Canada.

Another flashback shows June breaking the good news to Luke: they’re having a baby. The pair are ecstatic. A small montage of Luke, June, and Hannah plays showing some of their fondest memories.

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

They’ve made it, the boat has docked in Canada. Moira goes to get June, telling her to take her time. June is nervous and suddenly she hears Luke approaching. He busts into the room she’s in and June walks up to him and apologizes for not having Hannah. He hugs her as she voices the disappointment she thinks he has, that’s it’s just her.

The couple leaves the boat, Luke guiding her to her new life as a free woman. With a deep breath, June sets foot onto the ground in Canada.

What will happen now that June is in Canada? Will she find a way back to Gilead? What will Gilead’s response be to June getting out of their clutches for good?

You can watch the first six episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, and episode 7 will release next Wednesday, May 26.

Kaity started with Harry Potter in second grade and it’s been a losing battle ever since, or maybe a winning one ... She lives in New England with a small herd of cats, two dogs, three chinchillas, and one daughter. You can definitely find her either watching anime, reading manga, or playing the same five video games over and over again. Contact:

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