Episode 8 of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 starts with Luke’s phone ringing. It’s Serena from the Immigration Detention Center, and she wants June’s help. June points out that she didn’t want Serena’s son to die out in the woods, which is why she helped. However, there are bigger problems afoot as protests begin to kick up about immigration.
In Gilead, Lawrence goes ahead with his New Bethlehem plan. He wants the refugees back and intends to put them on this island. He likens it to their Hong Kong, believing it neutralizes the threat of democracy from the US, as Lawrence retorts that Gilead will eventually spread across the entire US.
In the detention center, Serena is visited by Noah’s foster mother who takes the milk Serena extracted and intends to leave. She’s not exactly happy, given Serena shot Ezra. As a result, Serena is prevented from being reunited with her child, and sees the horrors of Gilead from another angle, given Mrs Wheeler refuses to even pick up their child, letting him cry it out.
Lawrence meets with June, offering her to go and live in New Bethlehem and stay with Hannah. This is the only way she’ll be able to see visit and with her about to start her own family, Lawrence suggests they live a life there. Lawrence encourages her to think it over, while Luke outright rejects the idea. Predictably, the pair butt heads.
Mark arrives at June’s house, pointing out that Lawrence’s goal is to kill off America. If June willingly walks back into a Gilead settlement and starts living there again, it sends a message to the resistance that it’s safe and they’ll follow. Mark points out that she’s undermining the resistance but June doesn’t care, she just wants Hannah back.
Mark continues on, claiming there’s classified information he can’t share with them. The only thing he can say is that they’re prepping for military action and there could be a large-scale assault. June can’t wait though and decides it’s a risk worth taking to actually see Hannah again.
Joseph Lawrence next heads off to see Serena, where she’s allowed to go back to stay with the Wheeler’s in their house. The only reason though is to nurse the child and stop him from crying. And if that wasn’t bad enough, June shows up and admits that she and Serena are not friends.
June also taunts her, claiming she’s a better Christian than Serena ever was. June also tells her to go back to the Wheeler residence and act like a Handmaid. The entire time she needs to plot against them and her revenge. This, of course, echoes exactly what June has been doing all these years.
June shows back up to see Lawrence and matter of factly claims that Gilead is rotten to its core. As he can’t stop Hannah being thrown into an arranged marriage, the only other solution is to set up New Bethlehem. Joseph wants to try and right the wrongs in Gilead and believes reforms in 5-10 years would spread across the rest of Gilead to create a “better” autocracy that would allow them to leave anytime they want. “Come help me fix it.” Joseph pleads.
June thinks it over, heading home where she receives a package. Inside happens to be a tape showing footage of Hannah. June decides she needs to get Hannah back but Luke is incredulous, laughing in disbelief as he points out that what June has is never good enough. June blames herself for leaving Hannah behind after promising to save her.
The guys give this footage to Mark, who pleads with them for some time so they can figure out where the footage may have been taken.
Meanwhile, Serena heads back to the Wheeler household, getting a taste of her own medicine as she’s forbid from seeing her own son until it’s time to nurse. When she hears Noah cry though, Serena rushes upstairs to hold her child, and nurse him anyway.
June receives a call from Mark who reveals that he’s found Hannah and knows exactly where she is. They have a plan to get her, but it would appear this doesn’t include diving headfirst into New Bethlehem. A weight is seemingly lifted from June as she hurries out the store and rushes down the street. She heads home and tells Luke and Moira that they’ve found Hannah and will be bringing her back.
The Episode Review
So it seems like Hannah could well be on her way back to June but given this show has already been renewed for another season, and there are now plans to lead this into The Testaments, it would appear that this isn’t going to be a straightforward path.
June finally shows herself to Serena and seemingly gets her revenge after the bizarre tonal shift last week with June helping Serena and not actually showing any sort of animosity toward her.
Either way though, this is set up nicely for the rest of the season, which promises to be quite the dramatic ordeal.