The Handmaid’s Tale season 2, episode 1 recap: June


The Handmaid’s Tale premieres season two with a bang–and some blessed fruit.

This week brought the highly-anticipated return of The Handmaid’s Tale–and boy, was it epic. Not only did the series return for its second season, but fans were treated to two episodes back-to-back. There is a lot to recap, so let’s get right into it, shall we?

Of course, in true The Handmaid’s Tale nature, the episode began with all kinds of W.T.F. moments. Even Offred commented by stating, “What the actual f—?”. We last left pregnant Offred in the back of a van, and while we think this is her escape, she is shipped off to a stadium alongside dozens of other handmaids.

They are all gathered there as punishment for not stoning Janine as they were asked to. And let us tell you, things got really scary, really fast. Everyone is wearing some sort of muzzle as they are escorted onto the field–in front of a stage of bodies hanging from a noose. One by one, each handmaid lines up as the noose is tied around their neck.

Because the primary goal is to torture the crap out of these poor women, they aren’t actually executed. Can we say, savage AF? The whole exercise is designed to instill fear into these women to follow the rules they are given, and not to defy any orders.

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The torture continues when their punishment comes in the form of holding out stones in the pouring rain for an indefinite amount of time. If anyone’s arm began to fall, they would receive an electric shock. Offred is let off the hook when Aunt Lydia hears the news that she is with child.

There is a sudden change in attitude towards her because of this, not that this means much in the world of Gilead. Offred is taken inside and given the “royal treatment” with warm clothes and soup to drink. When she refuses, Aunt Lydia reminds her that she is still subject to any torture they wish to bring upon her.

The season two premiere takes us back in time to the days before Gilead ruled the world. Luke and June talk about having another child. There’s an interesting tidbit here where she decides not to take birth control but wouldn’t have been able to get it if Luke refused to give her permission.

While at work, June gets a call that Hannah is sick at school and rushes to check in on her after she is taken to the hospital. When she arrives, June has a rather unpleasant experience with the nurse who seems to be a bit too judgy about how June chose to take care of Hannah.

Things are drastically changing when June gets home with Hannah because the federal government has declared martial law–just as there is an explosion at the White House. This is the moment we start to see the shift towards what we assume becomes the world of Gilead.

Back in the present, Offred pays a visit to the OBGYN alongside the Waterfords’ where they learn the baby is healthy. As the appointment wraps up and everyone leaves, a tech greets Offred but calls her June. Offred quickly realizes he is there to help her and finds a key in her boot.

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One thing leads to another and before we know it, Offred is sitting in a truck headed to an unknown destination–and hopefully, to safety. When the truck stops and she arrives at a building, Nick is there to greet her with open arms. Since leaving the city is not feasible, she has to hide out and change her appearance in the meantime–aka chop off her hair.

As she burns her clothes and cuts her hair, she also removes the tag inserted into her ear, causing a bloody, horrific mess in the final moments of the premiere. And just like that June/Offred is free–at least for now.

What was your favorite moment from the season two premiere? Share your comments!

The Handmaid’s Tale streams new episodes every Wednesday on Hulu!