This week on The Handmaid’s Tale, we learn what happened to June and Luke after they were abducted in No Man’s Land. Meanwhile, Aunt Lydia learns some surprising news, and Serena begins to fully realize how dangerous the Wheelers may be.
Note: This recap contains mentions of rape.
The episode picks up not long after episode 5’s ending. June and Luke are brought into a large warehouse-type building. June tries to glean information and talk her way out, to no avail. She and Luke are put into cages. Luke is panicked and irritated, but June is calm until she snaps at Luke. After a beat, he shares his regrets and June tries to offer reassurance. The guards return and take June’s fingerprints and reveal she’s going back to Gilead. They go to Luke next. He tries to make a break for it. As you can imagine, this does not go well and Luke is badly beaten, soon losing consciousness. When he wakes up, June apologizes because she believes this is her fault. Luke is worried they won’t get to say goodbye again, but June reminds him that they never gave up hope before and they won’t now.
Serena is heading out for an ultrasound appointment when the doctor, Dr. Landers, shows up at the house instead. Serena is confused, but Dr. Landers brings her to an upper level where the Wheelers have set up a full birthing suite. You know, for safety reasons. Serena is once again deeply unsettled. The exam goes well with only high blood pressure as an issue. Afterwards, Dr. Landers asks Serena to dinner (boundaries, my dude), but she doesn’t give him a direct answer (that we see, anyway). She later tells Mrs. Wheeler about this, and Mrs. Wheeler is thrilled. However, Serena isn’t sure it’s such a good idea and that she doesn’t intend to re-marry anytime soon. At this, Mrs. Wheeler does a 180 and says that the baby having two parents is more important than Serena’s feelings. Serena wants to leave the conversation and begins to head out for a walk, but Mrs. Wheeler blocks her and sends her to her room.
Later, Serena goes to talk with Mr. Wheeler. He tells her that June was apprehended by his team in No Man’s Land. Serena won’t have to deal with her again. He adds that he’s going to send Ezra to deal with June and Serena wants and needs to go. After explaining why, Mr. Wheeler agrees, and Serena and Ezra eventually head out.
Punishment for Putnam
Aunt Lydia is at the hospital after learning that a procedure for Esther was canceled, due to the fact that Esther is pregnant. Aunt Lydia is rather shocked as Esther hadn’t been posted yet. She goes to see Esther and asks if she acted in any way (consciously or not) that would’ve prompted Commander Putnam to do something. Esther says he didn’t; he raped her. Aunt Lydia is somehow surprised at this and isn’t quite sure how to respond. She tells Esther to get some rest, but Esther (bound to the bed) thrashes and screams at Aunt Lydia to leave.
Fueled with a newfound quest for justice, Aunt Lydia tries to tell Commander Lawrence that Putnam should be punished. Lawrence doesn’t really care. Aunt Lydia, though, is incensed that this happened outside of the Ceremony and leaves. Later, Lawrence, Nick, and Putnam are talking. Lawrence brings it up, but Putnam doesn’t view it much as a problem and instead throws it back at Lawrence.
But what goes around, comes around. As the Putnams are out to breakfast, a group of guards escort Commander Putnam outside, much to Mrs. Putnam’s confusion. The guards drop him in front of Nick and Lawrence who tell Putnam he’s been found guilty of raping “unassigned property.” Putnam claims it wasn’t a crime and mere moments later, Nick shoots and kills Putnam. After all this, Nick goes home where we learn Rose is pregnant. Meanwhile, Putnam goes on the wall.
June and Luke are escorted out of the building but are separated again as Luke is sent back to Canada and June is placed on a bus going elsewhere. Ezra meets up with the bus for June. Outside, June sees Serena and the two toss some snark back and forth. Serena tells June to get on her knees and pray, so she kneels. Ezra pulls a gun, but Serena takes it from him, which is when June begins to pray. When she’s done, Serena shoots. But don’t worry; she shoots Ezra, who was wearing a vest but still goes down from the impact. She points it again at June and commands her to get in the car and drive. So, June gets in the car and drives with Serena in tow.