Welcome to Episode 7 of season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale! If you haven’t watched the episode yet, please do so and then come back here.

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

 

And here…

 

 

we…

 

 

go.

 

This week’s episode starts with a funeral for all those Commanders. Including Fred? Is he dead? It seems like he is. I shed zero tears.

The Handmaids “mourn” them in a prescribed and mandatory ceremony led by Aunt Lydia.

She says, “I wish I could give you a world without violence, without pain. It’s all I ever wanted.”

On their way home, some of the Handmaids ride together in the back of a van. We find out that 26 Commanders died and 31 Handmaids died. Offred looks out the window and sees many hanging bodies in front of homes, “The Eyes have been through here.”

Oops, Fred’s not dead. We see Serena with Fred, who is bruised and battered in a (secret) hospital. Nick comes to visit.

Commander Price didn’t survive. Again, zero tears shed. But Nick’s like, grrrrrreat, there goes my transfer.

Commander Price’s replacement, Commander Cushing, vows to find and punish everyone who was involved in the attack.

At The Colonies, a caravan of security vehicles rolls up with a list of names. They take the Unwomen on the list out of line and put them in the vehicles, including Emily and Janine.

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

In Little America, Luke and Moira get the news there was a bombing in Gilead and some Handmaids were killed. Luke’s reaction is not like Moira’s. Moira wants to stay and get more info while Luke’s ready to go grab some dinner.

When questioned by Moira, he responds, “She’s alive. Have faith that she’s alive.” We all handle stress and crises differently so no judgment.

In a flashback, Moira and June chat as Moira fills out paperwork to be a surrogate for another couple. She’s going to get $250,000 for it. June warns her she might get attached to the baby.

Back in the present, Moira begs for more information, not about June, but about her fiancé, Odette. Her fiancé? Did we know this? I don’t remember this.

She’s led to a room with files full of information about everyone who was rounded up and taken in Gilead, including children.

Flashback to Moira getting an ultrasound because yes, she’s pregnant. Again, this is new information!

Back in the records room in Little America, it’s clear that Moira also wants to know what happened to her baby. The answer may very well be among these records.

Moira takes a binder off the shelf and opens it. The pictures are of corpses. Corpses, guys. Oof.

Over in Gilead, at her room in the Waterford house, Offred packs her suitcase. Rita retrieves her because Commander Cushing is there to question Offred.

We find out the bomb detonator was Ofglen, the one whose tongue they cut out after she refused to stone Janine to death. He wants Offred to tell him about Ofglen. He wants to know who helped Offred try to escape Gilead when she ran away.

D*MN. This is bad.

He tells her she can trust him. She tells him she was taken against her will. But he knows better.

He gets up and touches her belly, uninvited. These men with their hands. I want to cut them all off.

Outside, some Gilead Fascists shoot a Martha in the street. This place is ON EDGE.

Offred shows up at Fred’s hospital room and Serena is happy. Offred is NOT happy because to her surprise – Fred is alive. She assumed he’d died.

Nick is there, in the hallway. He catches up to Offred as she leaves the Fred’s room. She tells him Commander Cushing questioned her about who helped her when she ran away.

They kiss.

Back at home, Serena finds Offred at the table in the kitchen. Serena tells her re: Fred, “God will speed his recovery.” Let’s hope not.

Serena doesn’t love Commander Cushing, he’ll “be the death of us all.” He’s always been a blowhard, according to her.

When Offred tells her he came there to question her, Serena is none too pleased. Offred relays that Ofglen’s Commander and his entire household were executed as punishment for what Ofglen did. WOW.

Offred makes sure to put the fear of losing the baby in Serena’s mind and heart.

She lets Serena know, look, b*itch, it’s getting real now. Time to strategize.

Back in Little America, Luke brings Moira some food while she continues to look through the corpse binders. Moira is still searching for Odette.

She tells Luke, “What if I don’t find her?”

He responds, “Welcome to my world.”

In a flashback, Moira (very pregnant at this point) and June are at Lamaze class. She’s very hormonal and irritable. June calms her down.

In Gilead, Nick heads home through the streets – they look like a war zone – helicopters overhead, police dogs barking, sirens wailing.

Serena is in his apartment waiting for him. She asks him if he’s ever helped Fred submit warrants to the “Consular of Divine Law,” which, incidentally, will be the new job title Trump gives Jeff Sessions, or whoever replaces him when he gets fired.

Nick says that he has, in fact, helped Fred do this. She wants him to help her do it, whatever that means.

In a flashback, Moira is about to turn over her baby boy, Gavin, to his parents, The Watsons. Moira pretends to be fine but says, “It’s weird to be alone.”

A few months later, she runs into her Lamaze coach/OB doctor, ODETTE, and they flirt.   

Back in Little America, Moira is still flipping through corpse binders. She finds Odette, who, like all the others in the photos, is dead. Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Oh, man. Samira Wiley – THE BEST. Her performance is heart-wrenching.

At the Waterford house, Commander Cushing shows up – just as a bunch of Gilead cops pull up to arrest him. It’s a coup! Perpetrated by Serena, with Nick’s help. “Commander Waterford” signed the warrant for Cushing’s arrest for “apostasy and treason.”

He’s led away in the back of a van while Serena and Offred watch from inside the Waterford house, satisfied.

At the store, Offred shops when who should surprise her? JANINE, in her Handmaid garb. She’s there because “there were so few Handmaids left after the bombing” they brought some of the Unwomen back from the Colonies. The old “beggars can’t be choosers” sitch.

Janine declares, “God saved us. He has a plan. He has a plan.” We see Emily there too, in her Handmaid costume.

Offred tells Emily, “My name is June.”

Then she tells another Handmaid, “My name is June.” She responds, “I’m Brianna.” Then Brianna goes to Alma and introduces herself. Alma responds with her own name. And it goes on, and on, and on. YES, YES, 100% YES. Shake off the chains that bind you!

Child-bride is watching. And she does not approve. That pious little sh*t is very, very dangerous.

In Little America, the names of the deceased Handmaids from the bombing are announced, while a photo of each woman is shown on a screen. Lillie Fuller was the bomb detonator (Ofglen).  

Later, Moira posts a framed photo of Odette on a memorial wall people have created in Little America. Luke joins her there and grabs her hand while she cries.

At the Waterford house, Serena summons Offred to her, I mean Fred’s, office. Serena has drafted new security orders, à la HBIC.

These new orders Serena drafted will remove checkpoints and get the Guardians out of the streets.

She says, “It’s about time things started to get back to normal around here. Don’t you think?”

OKAY, YES, OF COURSE, WE ALL DO – BUT WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER NORMAL, SERENA?!?!

THEN.

Serena says, “You’re an editor, is that right?”

She wants Offred to read over these new orders she’s drafted. Guess this makes Offred HEIC?

Offred tells her, “I’ll need a pen.”

This is a crossroads. Which way is Serena going to go?

Serena hands her a pen, purposefully, then takes her seat in Fred’s desk chair.

I think we have Serena’s decision.

Unrelated (but not totally) – may I please remind you all to vote in your primary elections, should you have any coming up in the next few weeks?  Democracy dies in the darkness.

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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 8!

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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.*

Nevertheless, she persists.
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