The Handmaid’s Tale

Links to every Metawitches post related to Margaret Atwood and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, in order, so y’all can skip the tag. I’ll add future seasons (and the rest of S3) as they arrive.

Season 1

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale: Watch the New Trailer– Series description and trailer analysis.

HULU’s The Handmaid’s Tale Season 1 Analysis and Commentary– Review and in depth analysis.

Season 2

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 1: June Recap– The handmaids face consequences for standing up to Aunt Lydia, but June is quickly singled out because she’s pregnant. At a doctor’s appointment, June is presented with an opportunity.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 2: Unwomen Recap– While June hides at the former offices of the Boston Globe newspaper, Emily and Janine toil with the Unwomen in the Colonies. Emily’s life before Gilead is shown in flashback.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 3: Baggage Recap– When she’s moved from her hiding place, June reflects on her relationship with her mother, Holly. At the same time, she faces leaving her daughter behind in Gilead when she escapes. Moira and Luke share an apartment in Toronto.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 4: Other Women Recap– Aunt Lydia works to turn June back into Offred. June remembers meeting Luke’s first wife, who blamed her for ending their marriage. Serena’s friends throw her a baby shower.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 5: Seeds Recap– In a depersonalized haze, Offred ignores a threat to her pregnancy. Nick makes a new commitment, thanks to Fred and Serena’s schemes. Janine refuses to let the Colonies take her humanity.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 6: First Blood Recap– June comes home from the hospital. Nick and Eden’s relationship deteriorates. At the opening ceremony for the new Red Center, OfGlen2 takes decisive action. In flashback, Serena faces opposition to her ideas during a college speaking engagement.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 7: After Recap– Following the events of episode 6, Fred is in the hospital, Gilead is in turmoil and the Americans in Canada wait for news of their loved ones. Serena, Nick and June must work together in Fred’s absence. Moira looks for closure on the loss of her fiance.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 8: Women’s Work Recap– The women work together to save Janine’s baby and maintain Fred’s position while he’s in the hospital. In return, Fred violently reminds Serena of her place.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 9: Smart Power Recap– Fred, Serena and Nick visit Canada. Nick passes messages to Luke. Serena meets a diplomat from the US, Mark Tuello. Eden makes a new friend. June chooses Godmothers for her baby.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 10: The Last Ceremony– Emily’s Commander can’t complete the Ceremony. June goes into labor. Fred and Serena cross an unforgivable line. Eden also crosses a line. Fred tries to make it up to June by giving her a gift.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 11: Holly Recap– June gives birth under extraordinary circumstances while remembering Hannah’s birth in flashback. The Waterfords have a vicious argument.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 12: Postpartum Recap– June lives at the Red Center, expressing breast milk and awaiting her next placement. Serena adjusts to motherhood. Eden and Isaac run away. Emily is placed with a new Commander.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 13/Season Finale: The Word Recap– Emily has a run in with Aunt Lydia. Commander Lawrence gives her a second chance. Serena organizes the wives to ask for more rights. Rita arranges an opportunity for June and Nichole.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Finale: Did June Betray Rita and the Marthas by Staying in Gilead?– Further analysis of the first two seasons, leading up to the events of the season 2 finale. June has the right to freedom- that includes the right to make her own decisions.

Season 3

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 1: Night Recap– June visits Hannah before returning to the Waterfords, where she faces the family’s anger. Serena decides to end it all. Emily and Nichole reach the Canadian border.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 2: Mary and Martha Recap– June gets to know the members of her new household and helps the Marthas with a Mayday mission. Aunt Lydia, who’s still recovering from Emily’s attack, has a bad day. Luke and Moira adjust to parenting Nichole.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 3: Useful Recap– When the entire council of Commanders pays a visit, June realizes that Commander Lawrence holds a powerful position in Gilead. June speaks to Fred and Nick, who is now a commander. Joseph decides June might be more interesting than he thought and offers her a chance to help. Serena attends a prayer meeting at her mother’s house. Emily has dinner with Luke and Moira.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 4: God Bless the Child Recap– Emily reunites with her wife and son. The handmaids attend a community wide naming ceremony for recently born children. At the following reception, Lydia loses her temper with Janine.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 5: Unknown Caller– June deals with the fallout from a protest video of Luke and Nichole. She helps arrange a visit between Luke, Serena and the baby, supervised by Tuello. June sends a message to Luke. Ofmatthew shares a secret.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 9: Heroic Recap– As June sits vigil by Natalie’s bedside, she comes to understand the other woman better. The rest of the handmaids, Aunt Lydia, the wives and the doctors come and go from the room while June and Natalie remain there together.

The Testaments

Book Review- The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood– Review of the book, with minimal spoilers.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: Spoilery Discussion– Commentary and analysis which assumes the reader is familiar with the book. [SPOILERS]

Season 4

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 1: Pigs Recap– The rest of the handmaids carry a gravely injured June away from the airfield. Mayday contacts help them find a safe place to hide with a young Commander’s wife, Mrs Keyes. Angels’ Flight successfully escapes Gilead and arrives in Canada.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 2: Nightshade Recap– As the handmaids prepare to leave the farm, June plans a mission with the local Jezebels. Moira and Emily help settle the refugees into their new homes while Luke holds a fundraiser. Tuello gives Serena some surprising news.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 3: The Crossing Recap– June is imprisoned and tortured. Nick begs her to give the interrogators what they want so they don’t kill her. Luke wrestles with June’s choices and what they mean for him and Nichole. Joseph and Lydia struggle to regain their former positions in Gilead. 

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 4: Milk Recap– June and Janine hop a train toward Chicago. Janine’s life before Gilead is shown in flashback. The Waterfords fight over Rita’s loyalty.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 5: Chicago Recap– June and Janine acclimate to war-torn Chicago and disagree about their next move. Nick, Lawrence and Lydia scheme separately and together.

The Handmaid’s Tale and Its Film Noir Influences– As The Handmaid’s Tale has shifted away from its season 1 dependence on the original book’s plot line, it’s frequently drawn from the dark, mature themes of 1940s and 50s films of the Film Noir genre. Nick, June, Fred and Serena in particular tend to be involved in Film Noir plotlines.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 6: Vows Recap– Moira’s vow that she won’t leave June behind again conflicts with June’s vow that she won’t leave Gilead without Hannah. Through flashbacks, we’re reminded of how close the friendship is between the two women.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 7: Home Recap– June is reunited with Luke, then Rachel and Mark officially accept her into Canada as a refugee. She attempts to fast track her return to normal life, along with catching up with old friends and enemies from Gilead.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 8: Testimony Recap– This episode examines how the characters are coping, or not coping, with their trauma. June faces Fred in International Court, their first meeting since S3Ep10, Witness, when he forced Joseph to perform the Ceremony.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 9: Progress Recap– June has an unexpected visit with Nick, where she receives new information on Hannah. Fred receives a visit from Warren Putnam, while Naomi pays a call to Serena. Janine has a talk with Esther in the Red Center.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 10: The Wilderness Recap– As June tries to come to terms with Fred Waterford’s imminent release from prison, she makes irrevocable choices about who she is and what she’s willing to do to fight for the world she wants for her daughters.

Season 5

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 1: Morning Recap- Picking up moments after the end of S4 Ep10, June spends the episode coming to terms with her actions from the night before. Tuello informs Serena that her life has changed forever.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 2: Ballet Recap– June attempts to return to normal life while Serena travels to Gilead for Fred’s funeral. Aunt Lydia prepares Esther for her first placement as a handmaid.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 3: Border Recap– June and Moira visit a resistance camp hoping to get a message through to Nick. Serena schemes to make a place for herself and her son in Gilead. Aunt Lydia prays for Janine to recover.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 4: Dear Offred Recap– Serena sets up camp in the newly renovated Gilead Information Center, while June, Moira & Luke deal with the fall out from Hannah’s TV appearance and Serena’s return to Toronto. Aunt Lydia receives a challenge from Joseph and helps Janine heal from her injuries.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 5: Fairytale Recap– June and Luke travel into the woods in No Man’s Land to gather information on Hannah’s new school. Serena learns she’s in the Wheelers’ custody rather than their guest. Putnam threatens Joseph’s new project.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 6: Together Recap– June and Luke are held prisoner in No Man’s Land by Gilead sympathizers. Aunt Lydia learns Esther is pregnant and asks Lawrence to look into it. Serena grows desperate to escape the Wheelers’ stifling control.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 7: No Man’s Land Recap– June and Serena are on the run in No Man’s Land as Serena’s labor intensifies. Flashbacks show a birth both women attended in Gilead shortly after June was placed with the Waterfords.

Images courtesy of Hulu.