Missed the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale or just need a refresher? Check out our recap of season 3, episode 7 below!
June is back from her trip to D.C. and joins the other Handmaids for a ritual execution led by Aunt Lydia. A man and two women are hanged with the assistance of the Handmaids, who pull the ropes to remove the platform under their feet. We later learn that this is the fourth hanging June has participated in this week.
After the hanging, the Handmaids head to the store. During the walk, June’s shopping partner Ofmatthew is in pain and admits her pregnancy has been difficult. June tries to break through to the woman by talking about her own experiences carrying Nichole, but her pious shopping partner quickly shuts her down.
In the store, several Handmaids collaborate to help June speak with the MacKenzie’s Martha in the refrigerated aisle. The woman received a message from June to meet there. June tells her that Commander Lawrence can get herself, the Martha, and Hannah out the country. The Martha says Hannah/Agnes is happy where she is, but agrees to let June ask the girl whether she wants to leave. Before she departs, the Martha tells June to speak with Guardian Parker at Hannah’s school for help. He’s a safe contact. In the distance, Ofmatthew looks on with suspicion as the two women chat.
In Canada, Emily is questioned about any possible criminal activity she engaged in while living in Gilead. This is part of the Canadian government’s negotiations with Gilead over the fate of baby Nichole. Emily’s wife, Sylvia, is upset with the questioning as it portrays Emily unfairly. She doesn’t care what Emily did to survive that place. But Emily still holds her secrets closely – refusing to open up to Sylvia.
In D.C., Serena and her host Mrs.Winslow go for an unplanned house hunting excursion. Mrs. Winslow wants the Waterfords to make a home in this city. Serena says she’ll consider it, clearly daydreaming of the children she could raise here.
Meanwhile, Commander Waterford is greeted by cheerful news from Commander Winslow. The Canadians are willing to discuss sending Nichole back to Gilead. But the conversation quickly turns when Winslow mentions that keeping Nichole in Canada will allow Gilead to maintain an important bargaining tool. Fred seems disappointed for a moment that the girl will not return, but we may expect his hesitation to pass if he can leverage more power from this.
Back at the Lawrence household, June is determined to get to Brookline by 3 pm to see her daughter at school. June proposes a field trip to Mrs. Lawrence, who hesitates for only a moment to think of what Commander Lawrence would say if she left the house without permission. June is aware that Mrs. Lawrencene’s behavior can be unpredictable and create suspicion in public, but she is desperate to see Hannah.
Mrs. Lawrence is predictably strange on their walk and makes Mrs. Putnam uncomfortable during a brief meeting on the street. Mrs. Lawrence shares with June that she wishes she could have had children of her own. June feels guilty after the woman confides in her, and admits that she tricked Mrs. Putnam to come out so she could get to Brookline to see Hannah. But instead of turning around to go home, Mrs. Putnam agrees to go with her.
Back across the border, Moira meets with Emily for coffee. Moira is headed to a protest, and Emily joins her. They confront the Canadian Minister of Security and demand that Canada end negotiations with Gilead about returning refugees. The Security Minister says that Nichole’s birth mother surrendered custody, and Emily speaks up to deny this story – shouting that he should do his job to keep Nichole safe. They are arrested.
While waiting to be bailed out of jail, they swap stories about people they murdered in Gilead. Emily is struggling to cope with what to tell Sylvia. But Moira doesn’t think their history is a problem – they haven’t killed anyone since coming to Canada.
Back in Gilead, June and Mrs. Lawrence arrive at Hannah’s school. Guardian Parker is not there – and there are guards everywhere. Mrs. Lawrence requests a tour of the grounds and is allowed inside the gates, but June is locked out. June wanders around the perimeter of the school, listening to laughter from the playground. A Guardian finds her there and leads her back to Mrs. Lawrence, who is having a meltdown and asking to see the children at the school. June intervenes to resolve the situation and the two women return home.
That night, Commander Lawrence tucks an exhausted and upset Mrs. Lawrence into bed. June apologizes to the Commander for putting Mrs. Lawrence in danger but also tells him that she saw Eleanor come alive outside the house.
In D.C., Serena and Commander Waterford share dinner together and reminisce about the old days. Fred promises that he will bring Nichole back, even though some think she should stay in Canada.
After dinner, the Waterfords are split up in a ballroom. Both meet with important people. Serena takes note of a comment from one of the Wives she meets that they have extramarital affairs. It’s clear that not everything in the capital is at it seems. Then, she and Fred take to the dance floor. The crowd watches them interestedly.
Back at another hanging, Alma informs June that the MacKenzies are gone. No one knows why or where. But then, Hannah’s Martha is marched in front of the crowd to be hanged. She is charged with endangering a sacred child. Ofmatthew looks smug as she sees June struggling with the death of the woman. Without promoting, Ofmatthew says that she and Aunt Lydia saved June by turning in the Martha she spoke with at the store. By having her killed, they removed any temptation for June to talk to the woman. June knows she’s lost her only connection to her daughter. She attacks Ofmatthew in the street and has to be pulled off her by other Handmaids.