The Handmaid’s Tale season 2, episode 5 recap: Seeds


The Handmaid’s Tale defines misery, horror, and anguish in this week’s episode and presents one of the toughest episodes they’ve had to date.

Watching June give up on life has been a difficult thing to stomach since last week’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. And that sentiment continues through this week as we witness multiple soul-crushing moments she has to endure. She walks around with no purpose and has completely handed herself over to the mercy of the Waterfords.

There isn’t even a narrative voiceover this week, which further demonstrates how far gone June has become. She can’t even talk to Nick, a man she once shared moments of passion with, and treats him as if he is above her in station. Aunt Lydia checks in periodically to check June and the baby’s health, and while she gives them a clean bill of health, we soon learn that is not truly the case.

This episode shows great character development for Serena who is caught in a situation where she isn’t loved by her husband and is dying to be a mother to a child. The interesting juxtaposition of her life is depressing, saddening, and really sets the tone for her misery. She is even irked by June’s demeanor and quietly following every command given to her.

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Serena’s increasing frustration manifests in a backhanded, horrendous way when she tells the Commander about Nick’s affection towards June. While he seems to pay no mind, he has heard her loud and clear and intends to do something about it. An event called the “Prayvaganza” takes place in the episode in which a ceremony takes place–a wedding ceremony.

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All the men that are being honored, including Nick, learn that they are being married off to the women escorted into the hall. One by one a woman lines up in front of “her man”, and before we know it a handful of marriages take place.

Nick is absolutely devastated as he looks towards June, and the misery is crystal clear on her face too. But she swallows her pain as she has been doing, and simply claps as the newlyweds are taken off the stage. What a nightmare!

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What the others are completely unaware of is June’s deteriorating health. Early on in the episode, she notices spots of blood in her underwear. Is she having a miscarriage? It would appear so as she continues to bleed profusely throughout the episode. There is even a haunting, silent scene of her lying in the bathtub full of her own blood.

After Nick’s “wedding”, the couple heads back to the Waterfords to celebrate, but of course, Serena kicks June out as the celebration only involves couples. In his misery, Nick steps out and finds June outside soaked in a pool of her own blood.

This week also takes us back to the morbid, horrendous Colonies. We last left this dreadful place when Janine showed up there and oddly enough, she tries to remain optimistic about her surroundings because according to her its all part of God’s plan.

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Emily does her utmost best to help Janine navigate through the harsh climate of the Colonies and warns her to tread carefully. Janine’s ability to see good in this extremely horrible situation rubs Emily the wrong way because she is sick of this life.

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

After Nick finds June outside, she wakes up to find herself in a hospital bed with a fetal heart monitor attached to her. Despite the odds, this baby is fighting to live–unaware of the horrors that lie ahead. And something changes within June as we get a glimpse of her resistance and fight.

She speaks to the baby and promises that she will not let the baby be born into this world, and they will get out of there. It’s quite the promise, but we believe June will fight through and our fingers are crossed that she manages to escape again–this time for good.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Share your thoughts below!

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