The Handmaid’s Tale season 2, episode 7 recap: After


The Handmaid’s Tale is making some major changes after this week’s episode–with continued resistance against the leaders of Gilead.

In the aftermath of the Red Center explosion, The Handmaid’s Tale concentrated on the state of Gilead as Commander Waterford lay injured in a hospital. Many things are changing, and not in the way we expect. Thanks to Ofglen, activism is taking a step in the right direction, and it was shocking to see to what extent.

The episode begins with a creepy, somber note as the Handmaids mourn the deaths of all those who lost their lives in the explosion. Perhaps the most jarring moment of this scene is seeing all the outfits the Handmaids are adorned in–black cloaks with a red cloth covering their faces. More than 30 Handmaids passed away from the explosion–but don’t worry June leaves to see another day.

Gilead is more or less in a state of panic after such a catastrophic incident took place without anyone noticing. Brutal murders are taking place–more so than usual. June is even caught off-guard when a Martha is shot dead in the street because of suspected involvement. And with Cushing in charge after Pryce’s death, things are tougher than usual–way tougher.

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Cushing has one mission and one mission only–to get to the bottom of who perpetrated the attack, by any means necessary. First on his list of suspects? The Waterford house. He is suspicious about June’s disappearance and is certain someone from the house helped her do it.

He asks June if Fred was the one who helped her, and though she denies it, he persists to find out. When June goes to see Fred at the hospital later, she runs into Nick and tells him about Cushing. But they’ve pretty much hit a dead-end and June has no other choice but to speak to Serena.

Serena insists that June continue to stick to her story because Cushing is a very dangerous man–and there’s no telling what lengths he will go to get his way. And this begins a pretty epic rest of the episode as Serena has Nick take over Fred’s duties–even signing documents on his behalf or rather as him.

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Seeing Serena this week is such a stark difference between the Serena we’ve become accustomed to seeing over the last two seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale. She used to be outspoken and fierce, and this week we’re starting to see some of her old-self coming back. She manages to get Cushing named a traitor, with Nick’s help, and off he goes taking all their troubles away with him.

And then something unexpected happens, Serena asks June to help her edit press releases. Say what? It’s such a thrilling feeling when June asks Serena for a pen and is handed one. It’s such a powerful moment for her character who has suddenly been woke from all the oppression she’s been subjected to. A-a-a-a-mazing.

This week also takes us to Canada as Luke and Moira learn about the explosion in Gilead. Of course, they’re waiting to hear if June was one of the unfortunate individuals who died. We also learn more about Moira’s past and her girlfriend Odette. Even more surprising, we find out she was a surrogate for a British couple so she could make some decent money.

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Moira ends up looking through the library archives that holds pictures and information about all the unknown bodies that were found in Gilead. She comes across the picture of her ex-girlfriend whom she met while she was pregnant–and her reaction is absolutely heart-breaking.

Next: The Handmaid’s Tale season 2, episode 6 recap: First Blood

Thankfully, Moira doesn’t get all bad news when she learns June is still alive and well. The episode ends on an uplifting note when June bumps into Janine and Emily in the market. The two, along with others, are back in Gilead after being taken out of the Colonies to replace the Handmaids that died.

When June and Emily meet, June whispers her name to her for the first time, and this begins a cluster of whispers amongst all the Handmaids who start sharing their names. What an oddly peaceful way to end the episode, right?

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