The Handmaid’s Tale season 2, episode 4 recap: Other Women


This week’s The Handmaid’s Tale takes June’s freedom away–and places her right back in the middle of Gilead during “Other Women”

This week is so horrifying and so agitating on The Handmaid’s Tale as we see June’s quest to be free come to an abrupt halt when she is caught. And before we know it she is right back in her handmaid’s outfit sitting in Gilead with Aunt Lydia. “Other Women” is extremely heartbreaking because we see June transform from being badass to a brainwashed handmaid by the very end.

“Other Women” highlights a myriad of issues including what happens when someone tries to resist the power of Gilead and just how powerful and manipulative that world is. June and Aunt Lydia’s dynamic is at the forefront of this week as we see June head back to the Waterfords’ wand watch the gradual progression of her completely giving up.

At some point, June pleads to be let back into the Waterfords’ home–something we wouldn’t have expected to see happen just a couple of episodes ago. However, before she completely breaks down, there are remnants of her escape adrenaline residing inside of her. She scoffs when she learns that her running away is being twisted into a kidnapping–to save face.

But with June back, there is great discomfort lingering in the Waterford household. Serena is angered over June’s escape and physically assaults her the first chance she gets in “Other Women”. However, June reminds her that she ought to tread carefully. All the while, Fred is completely checked out of the entire situation and is trying to go to Canada to work on sanctions for Gilead.

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And if things aren’t tense already, Serena and June have a baby shower for “them”. The animosity and rising anger between the two is palpable but Aunt Lydia stands guard to maintain the peace. But leave it to June to throw in a snide remark when one of the wives talks about the baby kicking–June informs Serena the baby already has.

June starts to break down when she learns of the repercussions of her escape on those around her. The operation has gone silent, Ofglen’s tongue was cut off, and Omar has been hanged. His wife will now live a life of a handmaid–which Aunt Lydia reminds June is her doing.

As June starts to fill with guilt, she reflects back on her relationship with Luke, which began with him cheating on his wife with her. We see his wife confront June and beg to put an end to their relationship, a path we know June never went down. This is an interesting juxtaposition in the episode as June starts to grapple with her own sins and where they may have led her.

Next: The Handmaid’s Tale season 2, episode 3 recap: Baggage

By the end of “Other Women”, we see June completely forego any power she had as she pleads to be let back into the Waterford home. It is excruciating to watch her submit to a life she once fought so hard to get out of and reach her mental limit of fighting back–because she is after all, human.

The episode closes with June walking outside as Nick calls out to her. Her response? “We have good weather.” Sigh.

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