Need a refresher on last week’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale? We’ve got you covered with a recap of season 3, episode 11 below! Things are really starting to heat up in Gilead and you don’t want to miss a single moment of the action!
In episode 10 of this season, we learned that a network of Marthas and Handmaids have volunteered to help get 52 children out of Gilead. Unfortunately, the van Commander Lawrence has promised to get for them will only hold 10.
June’s rebellious planning is interrupted by a commotion in the study. She finds Eleanor with a gun to Lawrence’s head. Mrs. Lawrence has become increasingly violent and prone to impulsive behavior since they have been unable to get her medication. She wants to murder Lawrence for raping June – and for everything he did to create Gilead. June talks her down, saying that she needs Joseph alive to help rescue the children.
After Eleanor is settled, June joins Commander Lawrence for a drink in the study. She tells him that there are more children to get out and more Marthas to help than they expected. At first, he laughs at the number. But she stays firm. They will rescue 52 children. He owes her this. He says he’ll do what he can to get more trucks. He needs to get his wife out of Gilead.
Leaders of the Martha network visit the basement of the Lawrences’ home and ask June some tough questions. They don’t approve of her plans and think she is being reckless. They have an important shipment coming that they’ve been working on for a long time. Any interference from June could mean a security crackdown that will disrupt their plans. Beth vouches for June – listing what she has done to help the resistance. She helped smuggle the bombmaker out, and she rescued the five Marthas from Chicago. The leaders agree that if June doesn’t interrupt their plans they won’t interrupt hers. But they also remind her that she will have a lot of blood on her hands if she fails.
Shortly later, June and Beth discover that Lawrence is gone – and he’s taken Eleanor with him. He’s left nothing but piles of shredded papers and a note that says, “Sorry”. Beth immediately panics, while June scrambles to think of another way to take action without Lawrence’s help.
Meanwhile, Serena and Fred are headed off for more negotiations to get Nichole back. Fred drives them – and lets Serena take the wheel when they are in a remote area. When they arrive at the house where they’ll stay for the night, they talk about what might have been if Gilead had never existed. That night, Serena invites Fred into her bed.
Back at the Lawrence house, Joseph has returned with Eleanor. He couldn’t get past the new checkpoints without updated security clearances. He won’t be getting anyone out of Gilead anytime soon. June tells him to take her to Jezebel’s. She wants to speak with Billy – the man helping the Marthas with their shipment.
When she arrives at Jezebel’s, she has a brief conversation with Billy at the bar – and he agrees to consider getting the 52 children out on the cargo plane he’s using for the Marthas’ shipment. As June is turning to leave, Commander Winslow spots her. He takes her upstairs and asks her why she’s here. She makes up a lame story, and then he asks her to get on the bed. But before he can rape her, she attacks. She is ruthless, drawing blood any way she can – including with a ballpoint pen she grabs from the floor. Before she can deal the final blow, he asks her to think of his children. She seems to be thinking of exactly that as she ends his life.
June sits in shock until a Martha enters to clean the room. She is one of the five Marthas June saved from Chicago when Commander Lawrence made her choose who would be spared from the colonies. She tells June how to escape from the building without being seen.
Up north, the Waterfords drive to an abandoned gas station to meet Tuello – the American ambassador who Serena believes will help them get Nichole back. Fred is uncertain as they follow Tuello’s car to an even more remote rendezvous point, but Serena reassures him. However, when Tuello’s car finally stops, they discover that they have crossed the border into Canada. Serena and Fred are both arrested and put in separate military vehicles.
In the final scenes of the episode, we see a team of Marthas cleaning up the mess in the suite where June killed Winslow. They shampoo the bloodstained carpet, wash the sheets, and incinerate the body. Back at the Lawrences’ house, Joseph gives June a gun. They both know there will be consequences for what she did at Jezebel’s.