Welcome to Episode 5 of season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale! If you haven’t watched this episode yet, please do so and then come back here.

{SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS} from here on out . . .

 

And here…

 

we…

 

go.

 

The episode opens with Offred, who is up in middle of night, in the kitchen, burning the hidden letters she had from all those Handmaids begging for help.


Nick finds her in there and realizes she is out of her d*mn mind.

In the morning, Offred undergoes her weigh-in and baby bump measurements with Aunt Lydia and Serena Joy. Serena Joy is astounded, just *astounded* that Aunt Lydia has a pencil and paper. I mean, can you imagine?!?! Just imagine?!!?!? Escanadalo.

Later, Aunt L finds Serena in the living room talk and tells her how it was hard for her to quit smoking too, trying to blame quitting smoking for Serena’s sh*tty attitude.

Serena points out that Offred isn’t herself. Uh – DUH. Then they have an awkward exchange about God that is very passive aggressive – mostly on Aunt Lydia’s part.


At the Colonies, the ladies are singing a religious song, I assume. “Praise” is repeated a lot. That’s a requirement in religious songs, I’m 99.9% sure.

The women who have died in their beds are being carried out, to make room for new Unwomen, I’m 100% sure.

Crazy Janine (Madeline Brewer) quotes Aunt Lydia to Emily because she’s crazy. Emily reminds her that there’s no noble reason for them to be there. God isn’t watching over them, “We come here. We work. We die.”

Back at the Waterford’s, Offred, in the restroom, notices some blood in her underwear.


Uh oh.

Serena and Offred take a walk, as if they’re old friends – which they are not.

Janine’s baby is at a park with her dumb “mom,” Mrs. Commander Putnam (Ever Carradine), and she’s crying because you would too if you were that baby and that woman was your “mom.”

Serena is super peeved about Offred not wanting to gossip with her like a couple of gal pals. Okay, b*tch well don’t help your husband rape her and maybe she’d dish with you a little about the neighbors. Otherwise, a-ha ya burnt!

Back at home, Serena sends Offred to her room. Nick asks Serena if Offred is okay. He’s worried about her “mental state.”

Serena’s about to ignore him and leave but what’s this? Nick stops her. With his hands! He says, “She doesn’t have anyone to look out for her.”

Serena tells him firmly, “The Handmaid is not your concern.” The Handmaid. Ok, SJ, we see you. “The Handmaid.”


Fred is at the dining table on his laptop planning ways to keep all the raping and oppression of all women, non-whites, and non-two percenter white men going along as planned. Without looking, he clinks his spoon on the side of his coffee cup, and says, “Warm it please, Rita.” Rita, how about dumping that pot of hot coffee on his bathing suit area and scalding him? She doesn’t though.

Serena tries to chat with him, but he’s not listening. So in order to get him to listen, she tells him how sweet it was that Nick was waiting for her and Offred when they got back from their walk, “He is very concerned about her.”

It worked. He listens.

At work, Fred updates his boss, Andrew (Robert Curtis Brown), on Gilead garbage. Then he makes a quick request re: his driver. NICK.

Freddie wants to transfer Nick somewhere else, somewhere distant, like D.C. Andrew suggests that Freddy keep him around since he’s so trustworthy. Instead of transferring him, he should be promoted!

At home, Offred lies in the tub. And it’s bad. See below.


Serena finds Offred in the kitchen drinking her shake. She wants Offred to come with her to the “Prayvaganza.” I didn’t make that word up. I know it looks like a word I would make up but I promise, I didn’t. Fred did (in actuality Margaret Atwood did – it’s from the novel). Even Serena thinks it’s a bit much. It IS what I’m going to call church from now on, you can count on that.

Offred isn’t doing well at all but she goes to the Prayvaganza. Everyone’s there! It’s a who’s who of Gilead! Commanders! Commanders’ wives! Ritas! Handmaids! Econowives! Think Met Gala but even more bible-y.

This particular Prayvaganza is to honor “their most valiant Guardians.” Including Nick.

Sh*t is about to get weirder so hold on tight.

The Guardians are getting married. Right then and right there. They weren’t aware of this beforehand. They’re getting married to women they’ve never met. Ever.

Andrew reads from the bible as the brides are marched in to the room. The brides’ faces are completely covered. They can’t see. It’s so creepy and gross.


Offred is not cool with this, and neither is Nick. Fred and Serena, however, couldn’t be happier.

Guys. Guys. Guys.

They remove the face coverings from the brides and they’re all like 14 years old. Maaaayyyybe 15. I swear one of them looks 12.


Be right back. Going to research “child bride” and “laws” and “international” and “how can I stop it” and “why” and “gross” and “but they are children.”

K. I’m back.

RELATED: Read all of our recaps for The Handmaid’s Tale

Andrew reads from the bible, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Just like that, they’re married.

At the Colonies, Janine stares at flowers when they’re supposed to be digging up mud. I mean, leave it to Janine. She finds the one flower in all that mud.

She and Emily discuss God. Janine believes in God, and Emily doesn’t.

Kit (Novie Edwards), a sick Unwoman, collapses in the mud.

At the Waterford house, Nick reads from the bible. Gotta be honest, this episode’s met its bible reading quota from where I’m sitting. WE GET IT. Everything you do is according to that book. Got it.

Nick’s child bride is named Eden Spencer (Sydney Sweeney). Insert your own bible comment here re: EDEN cause I’m bibled out.

Fred tells Rita to bring champagne, so they can celebrate. But only the husbands and wives. Serena sends Offred to her room. Which is pretty much the Meanest Mean Girl thing Serena could do at this point. I mean, apart from holding Offred down while her husband rapes her. That’s meaner.
 
In the hallway, Rita catches Offred and tells her she can’t believe how young Eden is. Then she asks if she can make Offred some cinnamon milk. What. is. cinnamon. milk? I want some. But if it means I have to be a pregnant Handmaid to have any, forget it.

In her room, it looks like Offred is miscarrying. There is a LOT of blood.

At the Colonies, Emily pulls out one of her teeth, actually it sort of just falls out. Not a good sign.

One of the Unwomen, a rabbi, conducts a marriage ceremony for Fiona (Soo Garay) and Kit, who’s in bed, dying. The wedding was Janine’s idea. Emily is not happy. She reminds Janine that if the Aunts see this, they’ll punish them. But Janine believes that God is watching over them. Emily doesn’t. Because of everything.

Their argument is about more than just the marriage ceremony and being punished. It’s much bigger than that.

At Nick’s, Serena shows Eden her new apartment, the one she’ll share with her husband who is old enough to be her father. She has the “birds and the bees talk” with Eden – sort of. Serena lets her know she should become closer to Nick through “the act.” Make sure to refer to it this way next time you’re going to engage in it. Call it “the act.” See how well that goes over (mood killer).

Fred and Nick share a drink, pretending to be pals. Fred toasts to “good women.” I broke a pencil in half my hand when he did this. Just cracked it in half, like Wonder Woman but on a much, much smaller scale.


Nick pretends to be grateful to Fred for arranging the whole wedding to a child/fake promotion.

Nick heads back to his apartment but stops to smoke on the way. It’s a long walk. Like 20 steps.

Something gets his attention in the bushes.

Someone, I mean.

He finds Offred in the bushes, bloodied, passed out!


He yells for help.

At the colonies, Kit dies in her bed. Emily announces, “It was a beautiful wedding.”

This is her way of apologizing to Janine.

As some of the Unwomen bury Kit, we see the number of other Unwomen they’ve had to bury in the same field. It is . . . upsetting.


June wakes up in a hospital bed. Serena is there. She runs out to get the doctor.

June has on a fetal monitor. There’s a heartbeat! The baby is alive!!!!! Still alive!!!!!

June says, “You’re tough, aren’t you?”


She tells the baby, “I will not let you grow up in this place. I won’t do it. Do you hear me? They do not own you. And they do not own what you will become.”

It’s beautiful.

She promises to get them both out of there.

……………..

What’d you think about this episode? Let me know in the comments below or contact me on Twitter!  Looking forward to next week, episode 6!

 

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Kim Bowman

In addition to recaps, Kim writes witty ensemble TV comedies with strong female leads, none of which have been produced *insert sad trombone sound here.*

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