The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2, episode 10 recap: ‘The Last Ceremony’


Just when we thought The Handmaid’s Tale couldn’t get more heart-breaking–it did.

As we near the end of the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale, things are getting gloomier, freakier, and more frightening. In this week’s episode, June has a false alarm when she starts to have contractions, leading Serena and the others to believe the time has arrived.

In preparation for her delivery, the handmaids, Marthas, and wives all come together to perform some sort of ceremony. It is such a jarring feeling watching Serena prepare for delivery when it is June who will give birth. But, that’s classic The Handmaid’s Tale stuff, isn’t it?

As the handmaids try to settle June in, the wives are busy prepping Serena as she breathes in and out. However, this moment is interrupted when Aunt Lydia comes bearing news that June was simply having Braxton-Hicks contractions.

Credit: Hulu

Of course, Serena is extremely disheartened over the false alarm and is ready to dive into motherhood–even if it’s the last thing she does. She wants June gone, and for her and the Commander to have the baby in their arms. Serena suggests that they try remedies that will induce labor, but the doctor and Aunt Lydia don’t agree.

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And all the while, June wants to postpone having the baby in Gilead as much as she can, and is on board with the delay. Noticing her reluctance to have the baby, Serena speaks to the Commander about it, and they decide to take matters into their own hands–inducing labor via sex. In a horrifying rape scene, the Commander has sex with June against her own will, while Serena pins her down.

It is such an uneasy and saddening scene to watch unfold as June squirms around to break free, yelling for them to stop. But alas, they don’t. And while this doesn’t induce her labor just yet, Serena feels they are further along than before.

Credit: Hulu

After the horrific situation the Waterfords put her through, the Commander decides to reward June by allowing her to see Hannah. And while it’s such a joyous moment, the beauty of it is stripped because of what preceded it. When June and Hannah lock eyes, Hannah is hesitant to reciprocate June’s adoration and love.

“I have new parents now,” says Hannah to June. Quite possibly one of the hardest scenes to watch take place in The Handmaid’s Tale, especially for June who has waited so long for this reunion to happen. Luckily, Hannah begins to melt and get comfortable with June as she recalls the last time she saw her mother and what life has been like since.

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Something about this scene is so raw and real and resonates far too much with the current political environment. Their meeting was always meant to be short-lived, but seeing them torn apart from one another doesn’t make it any easier.

In the final moments of the episode, Nick rushes June inside the home as the Eye shows up. Angered by his presence, they abduct him and drive off–leaving a super pregnant June all alone in the house. What will happen next? We’re too scared to find out.

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