The Handmaid's Tale is an American web television series created by Bruce Miller, based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. It was ordered by the streaming service Hulu as a straight-to-series order of 10 episodes, for which production began in late 2016. The plot follows a dystopian future following a Second American Civil War wherein women, called "Handmaids", are forced into sexual and child-bearing servitude.
The first three episodes of the series premiered on April 26, 2017; the subsequent seven episodes aired on a weekly basis every Wednesday. In May 2017, the series was renewed for a second season scheduled to premiere on April 25, 2018. The Handmaid's Tale received widespread critical acclaim and won eight Primetime Emmy Awards from 13 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, becoming the first series on a streaming platform to win an Emmy for Outstanding Series. It also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Drama and Best Actress for Elisabeth Moss.
In the near future, human fertility rates collapse as a result of sexually transmitted diseases and environmental pollution. With this chaos in place, the totalitarian, Christian theonomic government of "Gilead" establishes rule in the former United States in the aftermath of a civil war. Society is organized by power-hungry leaders along a new, militarized, hierarchical regime of fanaticism and newly created social classes, in which women are brutally subjugated, and by law are not allowed to work, own property, handle money, or read. Worldwide infertility has resulted in the conscription of the few remaining fertile women in Gilead, called "Handmaids", according to an extremist interpretation of a Biblical account. They are assigned to the homes of the ruling elite, where they must submit to ritualized rape by their male masters in order to become pregnant and bear children for those men and their wives.
Alongside the red-clad Handmaids, much of society is now grouped into classes that dictate their freedoms and duties. Women are divided into a small range of social categories, each one signified by a similarly styled dress in a specific color: Handmaids wear red, Marthas (who are housekeepers and cooks) wear green, and Wives (who are expected to run their households) wear blue. Econowives, the lower-class women who still have minimal agency, are sort of a mixture of all these categories, and they wear gray (a departure from the book, in which Econowives wear stripes). Another class of women, Aunts (who train and oversee the Handmaids), wear brown. Additionally, the Eyes are a secret police watching over the general populace for signs of rebellion, Hunters track down people attempting to flee the country, and Jezebels are prostitutes in secret brothels catering to the elite ruling class.
June Osborne, renamed Offred (Elisabeth Moss), is the Handmaid assigned to the home of the Gileadan Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski). Offred is subject to strict rules and constant scrutiny; an improper word or deed on her part can lead to brutal punishment. Offred, who is named after her male master like all Handmaids, can remember the "time before", when she was married and had a daughter, a job, a bank account, and her own name and identity, but all she can safely do now is follow the rules of Gilead in hopes that she can someday live free again and be reunited with her daughter. The Waterfords, key players in the rise of Gilead, have their own conflicts with the realities of the society they have helped create.
|First released||Last released|
|1||10||April 26, 2017||June 14, 2017|
|2||13||April 25, 2018||July 11, 2018|
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Offred"||Reed Morano||Bruce Miller||April 26, 2017|
|A family is pursued by a group of armed men. The woman is caught, and separated from her young daughter and husband as shots are fired in the distance. She is now known as Offred, the Handmaid to Commander Fred Waterford. While walking with another Handmaid, Ofglen, she and Ofglen pass by a wall on which men have been hanged for crimes such as being gay, working in an abortion clinic, and being a Catholic priest. In a flashback, various women are indoctrinated into their Handmaid roles by Aunt Lydia, and Offred notices Moira, a woman she knew in college. Handmaid Janine taunts Aunt Lydia and is shocked with a cattle prod, later her right eye is removed as punishment. In the present, Commander Waterford tries to impregnate Offred during "the Ceremony" as she lies in the lap of his wife, Serena Joy. The next day, the Handmaids are encouraged to beat a man to death after Lydia announces he raped a pregnant Handmaid. Janine tells Offred that her friend Moira is dead. On the way home, Ofglen tells Offred that she had a wife and son, and warns her there is an Eye in the Waterford house. Offred affirms to herself that her true name is June and that she intends to survive to find her daughter.|
|2||2||"Birth Day"||Reed Morano||Bruce Miller||April 26, 2017|
|Offred and Ofglen go shopping, and they reveal more personal information about themselves to each other. While they are walking, they see St. Paul Catholic Church, their local church, being destroyed by the new régime. Ofglen tells Offred that the régime also bulldozed St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan to try to "erase" the fact that it ever existed. When Offred asks how Ofglen knows this information, she reveals that she is part of a resistance movement against the government, but Offred declines to join. Commander Waterford's driver, Nick, tells Offred that the Commander wants to see her alone later that night, which is forbidden, and warns her it's dangerous. Offred and other Handmaids visit a home to witness the birth of Ofwarren (Janine)'s child, named Angela by the Puttnams, but Charlotte by Ofwarren. In flashbacks, June (Offred) remembers the birth of her and Luke's daughter, Hannah. At that time healthy births were already rare, and a woman who tried to kidnap baby Hannah was arrested. Warily, Offred goes to the Commander's office, but he just wants to play Scrabble, to her relief. The next day, when Offred prepares to tell Ofglen what happened that night, a different woman introduces herself as Ofglen.|
|3||3||"Late"||Reed Morano||Bruce Miller||April 26, 2017|
|In flashbacks, the rise of Gilead is detailed. June and all the other women at her office were fired, and the government froze women's bank accounts and ruled they could no longer own property. In the present, Serena takes Offred to see Ofwarren and the baby, and Offred fears Ofwarren is delusional. Back home, Offred is interrogated by an Eye and Aunt Lydia about her knowledge of Ofglen. Offred eventually reveals she knew Ofglen was gay and quotes one of the Beatitudes from the Bible. For this, Aunt Lydia shocks Offred with a cattle prod. Before she can leave the room, Offred again quotes the Bible, which would have earned her a much more serious beating, but Serena intervenes, believing that Offred is pregnant. When Offred later tells Serena that she's not pregnant, Serena angrily locks her in her room. In a flashback, June and Moira attend a protest against the new laws amidst automatic gunfire and explosives. In the present, Ofglen and the Martha she's in a relationship with are charged with "gender treachery". The fertile Ofglen receives a lesser sentence, but the Martha is executed by hanging as Ofglen watches, sobbing and horrified. Later, Ofglen (now referred to by her "old" name, Emily), to her grief and anger, undergoes female genital mutilation surgery as explained by Aunt Lydia.|
|4||4||"Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum"||Mike Barker||Leila Gerstein||May 3, 2017|
|Banished to her room, Offred retreats to her closet where she finds what appears to be a Latin phrase, Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum, scratched discreetly into the wall. When Rita, the Commander's housekeeper, finds Offred lying on the closet floor, Offred tells her that she fainted. Serena then has Offred sent to the hospital for a check-up. During the examination the physician remarks that the Commander is most likely sterile, as is common. He offers to personally impregnate her but she declines. In flashbacks, Aunt Lydia teaches the Handmaids about The Ceremony in which a Commander endeavours to fertilize a Handmaid. Later, June and Moira assault Aunt Elizabeth, and Moira takes Elizabeth's outfit. June and Moira plan to escape via train to Boston, which has safe houses. Moira manages to catch the train without June, who lets Moira know it's okay. June is later caught and punished by having her feet whipped. Commander Waterford has an unsuccessful Ceremony night with Offred, but later that night, they have another game of Scrabble. She asks him about the Latin phrase, and he tells her it means, Don't let the bastards grind you down. When she inquires about the previous Offred, he tells her that she committed suicide because life was unbearable. He then releases Offred from her solitary confinement.|
|5||5||"Faithful"||Mike Barker||Dorothy Fortenberry||May 10, 2017|
|Serena suggests to Offred that she have sex with Nick in case Commander Waterford is sterile. Later that day, Serena leads Offred up to Nick's room and waits by the door while Offred and Nick have detached, Ceremony-like sex. Flashbacks detail Luke and June's first meeting and courtship. At the grocery store, Offred talks to the original Ofglen, now called Ofsteven, but Ofsteven is not as responsive as she used to be. During a Ceremony night, the Commander touches Offred's thigh, which she later tells him never to do again. In their ensuing conversation, the Commander admits that while they thought they were building a better world, they knew that "better never means better for everyone." Nick reveals to Offred that he is indeed an Eye. At an open-air market, Offred questions Ofsteven about the resistance group called Mayday. Ofsteven jumps behind the steering wheel of a security car and drives erratically around the plaza. She hits a guard, and is caught and put into a black van. Offred returns to Nick's coach house alone, and they have passionate sex.|
|6||6||"A Woman's Place"||Floria Sigismondi||Wendy Straker Hauser||May 17, 2017|
|Mexican trade delegates visit the Commander's home to evaluate the effects of the Gilead cultural movement. The female head of the delegation questions Offred about her experience, but she lies, saying that she is happy. Offred visits the Commander's office later, but there is tension. She reluctantly obeys his demand to kiss him, but ferociously brushes her teeth afterward. The Handmaids and children are then taken to a function to demonstrate Gilead's success. Offred's friend remarks that the delegates are only interested in fertile women. The next day, as the delegates are leaving, Offred tells them the brutal truth about Gilead. She pleads for their help, but in response, the Mexican ambassador explains her own country's dire situation. However, the ambassador's assistant quietly claims June's husband is alive and that he can deliver a message to Luke. A flashback details Serena and Fred's life at the beginnings of the Gilead movement when Serena was a conservative cultural activist with passion and intelligence equal to her husband's. Serena Joy wrote a book about her beliefs, titled A Woman's Place. However, after the takeover, she is completely shut out of the new government planning and accepts her new limited role in the society she helped create. A copy of her book is seen being thrown out with the trash.|
|7||7||"The Other Side"||Floria Sigismondi||Lynn Renee Maxcy||May 24, 2017|
|A flashback chronicles Luke's story after he becomes separated from his wife and daughter. Luke is shot by Gileadan guards, but he escapes when the ambulance crashes, and he takes some medical supplies. He reaches a small abandoned town and, after passing out from his wounds, is rescued by a resistance group traveling to Canada. These survivors included a Roman Catholic nun, an escaped Handmaid, a homosexual man, and a daughter of a US Army soldier. Initially reluctant, Luke joins them after one of the survivors, Zoe, shows him that Gileadan authorities hung townspeople from the rafters of their church for resisting. As they board a boat, Gileadan guards open fire, killing several members of the group, but Luke and Erin Way survive. A further flashback shows Luke, June, and their daughter Hannah before they were separated. June and Luke are helped by Mr. Whitford, a man who knew June's mother. He leaves them at a secluded cabin in the woods while he arranges documentation for them to escape to Canada. Later, a local hunter tells them Whitford has been caught and hanged, but the hunter helps them cross the border. Three years later, in the present, Luke and Erin live safely in "Little America", based in Toronto, Ontario. While in the main administrative office, Luke receives the letter from June, which reads "I love you so much. Save Hannah."|
|8||8||"Jezebels"||Kate Dennis||Kira Snyder||May 31, 2017|
|Commander Waterford gifts Offred with makeup and a dress as he is taking her out for the night. Nick drives them to Boston to an underground brothel, where prostitutes (known as "Jezebels") work. Offred spots Moira working in the club, and they briefly reunite. Nick trades drugs and pregnancy tests for alcohol with one of the brothel's Marthas. Offred goes to see Moira again, and she explains to Offred how Quakers tried to help her escape but were caught. Moira had the choice of being sent either to the colonies or one of the brothels. Moira tells Offred, "Forget about escaping. This is Gilead. No one gets out." Offred reveals to Moira that she knows Luke is alive. Flashbacks detail how Nick got involved with the Gilead movement and how he became an Eye after reporting a Commander for breaking protocol with his Handmaids. There are other flashbacks to the suicide of the previous Offred, with Serena pointedly saying to her husband, "What did you think was going to happen?" In the present, after Nick drives Waterford and Offred home, he ends his relationship with Offred, which upsets and angers her. Offred receives a gift from Serena, a music box. The episode closes with Offred etching "You are not alone" into the closet wall.|
|9||9||"The Bridge"||Kate Dennis||Eric Tuchman||June 7, 2017|
|Ofwarren's daughter is handed over to Commander Putnam and his wife, and Ofwarren is transferred to another couple and renamed Ofdaniel. However, Offred is worried about Ofwarren/Ofdaniel's mental state. During the first Ceremony night with her new Commander, Ofdaniel forcefully stops it. At the market, Alma pulls Offred aside, tells her that she is involved with the resistance group Mayday, and requests that Offred retrieve a package from the bar at Jezebel's. Offred convinces Waterford to take her to Jezebel's again that night. After Offred and Waterford have sex in their room, Waterford presents Moira, as he believes they have a sexual attraction. Offred asks Moira to retrieve the package, but she refuses, seemingly resigned to her fate. The next day Offred is taken to a bridge where Ofdaniel is standing on the edge with baby Charlotte, while Gileadan guards, the Putnams, the Waterfords, and Aunt Lydia stand fearfully by. Ofdaniel shouts that Commander Putnam promised to leave his wife for her. Offred convinces Ofdaniel to give her the child, and Ofdaniel then jumps into the icy water below. Later, while Ofdaniel lies comatose in hospital, Commander Putnam is led away by guards. When Serena Joy tries to offer comfort to Mrs. Putnam, she reminds Serena of the first Offred's fate, causing Serena to doubt her husband's loyalty. At the market, Offred is given a package by the butcher, sent by Moira from Jezebel's. At the brothel, Moira kills a client and takes his clothes, then jubilantly drives off in his car.|
|10||10||"Night"||Kari Skogland||Bruce Miller||June 14, 2017|
|A flashback shows June’s capture and indoctrination by Aunt Lydia at the Red Center. After Serena discovers Fred's trips to Jezebel's, she forces Offred to take a pregnancy test. It is positive. Serena then angrily accuses her husband, telling him the child is not his. Upon learning the news, Nick shares a brief, tender moment with Offred. Serena takes Offred to where Hannah now lives, but Offred is unable to attract her daughter's attention. Serena warns Offred that Hannah will be cared for as long as the unborn child is safe. Fred participates in Commander Putnam’s trial advocating leniency, but Mrs. Putnam wants the harshest punishment possible, and ultimately Putnam's left arm is amputated at the elbow. The package from Jezebel's contains letters from women who have lost family members and been enslaved in the Gilead takeover. Later, an emotional Aunt Lydia gathers the Handmaids for the execution of Janine/Ofdaniel. The Handmaids hesitate, and Ofglen #2 is brutally beaten when she voices her angry refusal. Offred, then the other Handmaids, drop their stones. The guards prepare to kill them all, but Aunt Lydia saves them, although assuring them that there will be consequences. Not long afterward, a black van comes for Offred. Nick urges her to trust him and go with them, and Offred whispers to Rita where to find the hidden letters. In a side story, Moira reaches Canada and is reunited with Luke.|
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|11||1||"June"||TBA||TBA||April 25, 2018|
|12||2||"Unwomen"||TBA||TBA||April 25, 2018|
A straight-to-series order by Hulu of The Handmaid's Tale was announced in April 2016, with Elisabeth Moss set to star. Based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, the series was created by Bruce Miller, who is also an executive producer with Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, and Warren Littlefield. Atwood serves as consulting producer, giving feedback on some of the areas where the series expands upon or modernizes the book. She also co-wrote every episode and played a small cameo role in the first episode. Moss is also a producer. In June 2016, Reed Morano was announced as director of the series. Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, and Ann Dowd joined the cast in July 2016. Joseph Fiennes, Madeline Brewer, and Yvonne Strahovski were cast in August 2016, followed by O. T. Fagbenle and Amanda Brugel in September 2016. In October 2016, Ever Carradine joined the cast, and Alexis Bledel was added in January 2017.
Filming on the series took place in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Oakville, and Cambridge, Ontario, from September 2016 to February 2017. The first full trailer of the TV series was released by Hulu on YouTube on March 23, 2017. The series premiered on April 26, 2017.
On May 3, 2017, The Handmaid's Tale was renewed for a second season to premiere in 2018. Moss told the news media that the subsequent episodes will cover further developments in the story, filling in some of the unanswered questions and continuing the narrative already "finished" in the book. The second season will consist of 13 episodes and began filming in fall 2017. Alexis Bledel will return as a series regular. Showrunner Bruce Miller stated that he envisioned 10 seasons of the show, stating, "Well, you know, honestly, when I started, I tried to game out in my head what would ten seasons be like? If you hit a home run, you want energy to go around the bases, you want enough story to keep going, if you can hook the audience to care about these people enough that they're actually crying at the finale."
The first three episodes of the series premiered on April 26, 2017; the subsequent seven episodes were released on a weekly basis. In Canada, the series is broadcast by Bravo; the first two episodes premiered on April 30, 2017. In Scandinavia, the series is available on HBO Nordic. In the United Kingdom, the series premiered on May 28, 2017, on Channel 4. In Ireland, the series premiered on February 5, 2018 on RTÉ2, with a showing of the first two episodes.
In New Zealand, the series was released on the subscription video on demand service Lightbox on June 8, 2017. In Australia, the series premiered on the TV channel SBS's video streaming service SBS on Demand, on July 6, 2017.
The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 13, 2018.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 95% based on 106 reviews, with an average rating of 8.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Haunting and vivid, The Handmaid's Tale is an endlessly engrossing adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel that's anchored by a terrific central performance from Elisabeth Moss." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 92 out of 100 based on 40 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter called it "probably the spring's best new show and certainly its most important". Jen Chaney of Vulture gave it a highly positive review, and wrote that it is "A faithful adaptation of the book that also brings new layers to Atwood's totalitarian, sexist world of forced surrogate motherhood" and that "this series is meticulously paced, brutal, visually stunning, and so suspenseful from moment to moment that only at the end of each hour will you feel fully at liberty to exhale".
There was much debate on whether parallels could be drawn between the series (and by extension, the book it is based on) and American society following Donald Trump and Mike Pence's elections as President and Vice President of the United States, respectively. A comparison has also been made to the Salafi/Wahabbi extremism of ISIL, under which enslaved women of religious minorities are passed around and utilized as sex objects and vessels to bear new jihadis.
|2017||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Drama Series||Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Boccia (producers), Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Ilene Chaiken (executive producers), Sheila Hockin, Eric Tuchman, Frank Siracusa, John Weber (co-executive producers), Kira Snyder (supervising producer), and Leila Gerstein (consulting producer)||Won|||
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Ann Dowd||Won|
|Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series||Reed Morano (for "Offred")||Won|
|Kate Dennis (for "The Bridge")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series||Bruce Miller (for "Offred")||Won|
|Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series||Alexis Bledel||Won|
|Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series||Russell Scott, Sharon Bialy and Sherry Thomas||Nominated|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour)||Colin Watkinson (for "Offred")||Won|
|Outstanding Period/Fantasy Costumes for a Series, Limited Series, or Movie||Ane Crabtree and Sheena Wichary (for "Offred")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More)||Julie Berghoff, Evan Webber and Sophie Neudorfer
|Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role||Brendan Taylor, Stephen Lebed, Leo Bovell, Martin O'Brien, Winston Lee, Kelly Knauff, Zach Dembinski, Mike Suta and Cameron Kerr (for "Birth Day")||Nominated|
|Gold Derby TV Awards||Drama Series||The Handmaid's Tale||Nominated|||
|Drama Actress||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Drama Guest Actress||Alexis Bledel||Won|
|TCA Awards||Program of the Year||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|Outstanding Achievement in Drama||Won|
|Outstanding New Program||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Drama||Elisabeth Moss||Nominated|
|2018||ACE Eddie Awards||Best Edited Drama Series for Non-Commercial Television||Julian Clarke and Wendy Hallam Martin (for "Offred")||Won|||
|Art Directors Guild Awards||One-Hour Contemporary Single-Camera Television Series||Julie Berghoff (for "Offred", "Birth Day", "Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum")||Won|||
|Andrew Stearn (for "The Bridge")||Nominated|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – One Hour||John J. Thomson, Lou Solakofski, Joe Morrow and Don White (for "Offred")||Nominated|||
|Costume Designers Guild Awards||Excellence in Contemporary Television Series||Ane Crabtree||Won|||
|Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Drama Series||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|Best Actress in a Drama Series||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Ann Dowd||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Television Series – Drama||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Ann Dowd||Nominated|
|Location Managers Guild Awards||Outstanding Locations in Contemporary Television||John Musikka, Geoffrey Smither||Nominated|||
|Producers Guild of America Awards||Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|Satellite Awards||Best Drama Series||The Handmaid's Tale||Nominated|||
|Best Actress in a Drama / Genre Series||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Film||Ann Dowd||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Best New Media Television Series||The Handmaid's Tale||Pending|||
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Ann Dowd, O. T. Fagbenle, Joseph Fiennes, Tattiawna Jones, Max Minghella, Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski and Samira Wiley||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Elisabeth Moss||Nominated|
|USC Scripter Awards||Best Adapted TV Screenplay||Bruce Miller and Margaret Atwood (for "Offred")||Won|||
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Drama Series||Ilene Chaiken, Nina Fiore, Dorothy Fortenberry, Leila Gerstein, John Herrera, Lynn Maxcy, Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder, Wendy Straker Hauser, Eric Tuchman||Won|||
The first situates the Gilead regime's quest to control the means of reproduction in the context of an enormous fertility collapse, caused by the combination of environmental catastrophe and rampant S.T.D.s.
Now, in the era of the Trump administration, liberal TV watchers find a perverse sort of comfort in the horrific alternate reality of the Republic of Gilead, where a cabal of theonomist Christians have established a totalitarian state that forbids women to read, sets a secret police to watch their every move and deploys them as slave-concubines to childless elites.
A clear example of Atwood´s focus on the Reconstructionism of theonomy is his way of representing the death penalty.
They walk past a priest, doctor and gay man hanging dead from a wall in their Cambridge, Massachusetts neighbourhood along the river; they see St. Paul's Catholic Church where Offred was baptized, being torn down.
In the screen version, Offred and her friend Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) surreptitiously lament the demolition of St. Paul’s, their local church.
On their stroll, they walk past the remains of St. Paul's, a historic cathedral in Boston. Burned and bombed, it resembles the churches of Europe during WWII. Offred pauses to remember her daughter's baptism, which took place there years prior, and Ofglen notes that Gileadean thugs were also successful in taking down St. Patrick's cathedral in New York City. "They blew it up and dumped every stone in the Hudson River. They erased it." Upon hearing this bit of news, Offred asks, "How do you know that? And how do you know there's an Eye in my house?"
The group has a plan to escape, but Luke won't go, refusing to leave his wife and daughter behind — until Zoe (Rosa Gilmore), one of the rebels, shows him a whole town that was hanged from the rafters of their church after trying to resist.
Finally, one of these guardian angels discreetly escorts him to a local church building, driving home the point of what’s at stake for those who attempt to survive and resist from within. This mass-hanging in the belly of a church is more than just the episode’s visual centerpiece: it’s a wake-up call, underscoring once and for all that Gilead isn’t a religious movement or a political revolution, it’s not something you can reason with or withstand on your own.
Following her great escape from Handmaid training, Moira is helped by a Quaker family.
Since we last saw the escapee, she made it to Boston, hooked up with some Quakers who had ties to the Femaleroad that helped smuggle handmaids out of the country. She didn't make it farther than an office park outside the city. "They shot the guys who helped me," Moira sadly tells Offred, adding that because she was a "corrupting influence," she was interrogated and then given a choice: the colonies or the jezebels.