A Trip Abroad - The Handmaid's Tale
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Recap

June looks around her room, considering it's possibilities -- an air bnb, not a very good one, an occasional rape even if the view of the yard is nice, as is the couple running it. A place for ladies with reduced circumstances because that's what she is now, but at least she still has circumstances, running water, sunshine, the kicking of the baby inside her.

She wishes she could want the impossible, but knows it doesn't do any good to want it. Hannah, Luke, a good dive bar or even a really big machete.

Rita knocks. They've been summoned.

The Commander is taking a short trip for work and Mrs. Waterford and Nick will be joining him. Isaac will watch over the house and the baby. Blessed be the fruit.

Elizabeth Moss always looks one step away from gritting her teeth and hissing at everyone around her.

The Waterfords are visiting Canada. Praise the fuck be. You can tell June's head is swirling.

The Commander finds Serena in the greenhouse. She doesn't want to go on the trip. The baby is in its third trimester. She wants to stay. As she looks at the greenhouse walls, her face is full of fear as her husband walks closer. It's different than it once was.

When Fred says he needs her to show the importance of a strong, Gilead woman (virtuous, of course), he touches her arm, and Serena flinches.

Eden made cookies for Nick and his international travels. Nick can't help but roll his eyes when he looks at Eden, but she continues to pour on the honey, saying she'll miss him and it's an honor that he's going.

When he climbs into the car, her face changes as she looks around the house behind her.

Serena Joy visits June in her room. She's trying to remain as emotionless as possible. She sits close to June, places her hand on June's stomach and says she needs to leave. June assures her they will be fine. Promises her such. She tries to connect with blessings for a safe trip. While she thanks her, she also says she'll be leaving the house as soon as the baby is born.

Serena says it with resignation, as a woman who has been beaten down. Shaking her head no, June says yes, and agrees they've all had about as much of each other as they can handle.

When the Waterfords arrive in Canada, Moira spots them disembarking the plane. Luke gets up close to the TV. They head to the embassy. They want him arrested. There are protests planned, but as guests of the Canadian government, there is nothing they can do to arrest the Commander. Moira and Luke walk away disheartened.

Serena comes alive in the limo. Nick watches her as she practically hangs out the window taking in the sites like a little girl. Fred looks annoyed at the first smile he's seen on her face in ages.

When they meet the diplomats who are greeting them, a man says he used to love visiting the states, with his husband. Fred says he hopes tourism will once again be a huge part of their economy and that they'll return. The fellow says he'll consider it again when they feel welcome.

Serena is met by a woman and given a schedule of activities that looks like a play mat at a local restaurant that she can color in her spare time. There are no words on it.

A woman says she heard she loves knitting, and Serena agrees with her. Lying during polite conversation is sad.

Janine and June chat on the way to the store. Janine is talking about Angela, how she smells like the baby. June admits Serena won't let her stay, and Janine gets angry. When Aaron butts in, Janine tells him to suck her dick and he pummels her with the butt of his rifle.

At the elevator to the hotel, a little girl stares at Serena Joy and wonders if she's a princess. When the woman won't share the elevator with Serena, Serena insists they take it first.

Joel from Parenthood is in the bar when Serena Joy sits for a glass of Riesling. He lights a cigarette and is told to go outside. She laughs at the rule he's breaking.

When she grabs a table, he asks to join her. His name is Mark and he's a representative of the American Government.

He wants to whisk her away from Canada, bypass Gilead and take her straight to Honolulu. She can write her story. There was a lot of research on her and the Americans have done a lot of it too on fertility. It's mostly the men who have fertility problems and women who thought they couldn't, can have their own. Serena almost tells Mark he didn't do all his research because she can't have kids anyway.

Back at the house, Rita wants to know where the hell the chicken in that they're going to eat for dinner. Aaron doesn't really give a shit. She says fine, they'll eat beans to get protein for the baby. As she begins getting beans out, June has a smile on her face, asking the overworked Rita to bring her a glass of warm milk.

With the warm milk, June asks for something else. Kindness for her baby because it's something she can't provide herself when she's tossed out. Rita says that young man downstairs can do anything to her he wants and nobody will say a word, but she'll do what she can to ensure June's baby understands kindness in this world.

Back in Canada, the streets are lined with former Americans holding vigil for their loved ones. Luke's photo of his family is the size of a billboard. Is it possible The Waterfords will not see it?

It's right at the hotel. When Fred exits, Luke strikes.

As the two men clash, Nick and Serena note the photo in his hands. They're immediately struck with pained looks across their faces.

Fred acts as if he wants Luke to be treated mercifully. Serena looks incredibly concerned, and Nick looks as any man would when he's the other man on the other side of the border who had impregnated a man for whom he can't help but feel compassion.

In the hotel room, Fred brags about what they may have accomplished at the summit.

Nick goes out in search of Luke and finds him. Luke's greeting isn't so great, but Nick doesn't hesitate. He says he knows June. She's my friend.

First, Luke tells Nick to get out. Then he pulls him back. Has he seen Hannah? No, but he has something for Luke from June. The stack of letters. Maybe Luke can get them out. Luke wonders if Nick can look after June. Tell her he loves her and he's not gonna stop. Then Nick tells him his name.

I'm so damn torn!!

Aunt Lydia is measuring June's pregnancy when Aunt Lydia says she heard there was a problem. June says she spoke out of turn. Aunt Lydia says a rush of hormones will do that, but just try to remember to follow the rules.

June also takes her time with Aunt Lydia to soften her to the fact Fred is harming women, and a man who harms a woman will do the same to children.

Luke, Moira, and the blonde whose name I can't remember are going through the letters. Moira hoped the package would be full of C4 to make Gilead go boom. The blonde assures Moira this could go boom.

The next morning, Fred is told there will be no further sessions. They can go straight to the airport. He and his wife are no longer welcome in Canada. Yesterday, someone uploaded a bunch of letters to the internet. Serena sees the new signs, "I am AVA," I am a bunch of women's names. Again, Serena is horrified. The Commander is angry. Nick is Nick. Moira gets right up to the window of the limo and bangs on the window showing her sign.

Later in the house, everyone is happy to learn the "motherfuckers are officially out of Canadian airspace."

The group breaks out into America the Beautiful. It makes me cry.

At least they've been assured they have a safe place to be, but what does it mean for those left behind? Will they ever be allowed to use paper and pens again?

Serena and Nick exit the car first. Nick sees June in her window.

Fred is worried about the mess and never hearing the end of it. He thanks Serena for coming and says they're lucky in a lot of ways, but ends it with a question. Aren't we? She agrees. Does she believe it or feel she has nothing else to say?

In the bedroom, she turns around to look at her closet full of teal clothing and hesitates.

She looks at the matches in her pocket from Hawaii and with a furrowed brow, burns them in the fireplace.

Later, there is a knock at June's door. It's Nick. He says the letters from Jezebels got out and made a difference. She can't believe it.

He can't look her in the eye. But he does the right thing and tells her everything.

Hannah's Godmother got out. It was impossible, but she did it. June knows she should accept the reality of her baby being born in Gilead, but fuck that.

Show:
The Handmaid's Tale
Season:
Episode Number:
9

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Episode 9 Quotes

Serena Joy: Offred, I've given it some thought, and you'll be leaving the house as soon as the baby is born.
June: No. Handmaid's stay until the baby is weaned.
Serena Joy: I think we've all had more than enough of one another, don't you?
June: [shakes her head no while saying] Yes, Mrs. Waterford.

This trip is for the baby. We're building his future. You're a crucial part of that. The Canadians think women here are oppressed, that they're voiceless. I need you to show them a strong Gilead wife. Look to find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies. Why don't you get cleaned up?

Fred