With the Commander (Joseph Fiennes) still in the hospital, the Waterford home has settled into a new routine. At night, Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) writes government warrants under her husband’s name, and Offred (Elisabeth Moss) edits them. As they work, Offred muses that she was already on Gilead’s “naughty list,” but Serena is a new convert. She asks how Serena feels about having given up her career and submitting to Gilead’s ways, and though she’s cagey at first, she ultimately confides in Offred and says she “truly detests” knitting.
Offred finishes editing, shares her notes with Serena and compliments her writing finesse. Serena informs her that their little writers room sessions will soon be coming to a close, as the Commander is set to return tomorrow (groan). They both say, “Praise be,” but the look in their eyes says they’ll miss their freedom. We don’t blame you, ladies.
Right on time, Commander Waterford returns home the next morning with the help of a cane. Serena excitedly meets him at the door, but he hardly gives her a peck on the cheek. At her request, the other women of the household have situated themselves in the foyer to welcome the Commander with gifts and well wishes. He’s appreciative and greets Offred by saying, “Our divine miracle. Glad to see you looking so healthy.” Way to be creepy, dude.
In private, Serena updates him on various upcoming meetings and the bills she’s been churning out on his behalf. While he’s distracted, she places the red pen Offred used to edit her work back in its place on his desk. Before long, he excuses her from his office and condescendingly says she’s probably grateful to get back to normal life.
After enduring the Commander’s homecoming, Offred returns to her room to find a gift from Serena: a single white rose and ballerina music box. There’s no note, but Offred knows it’s a sign that, despite their differences, she enjoyed their time working together. She thanks Serena later, and she shrugs it off, saying she’s distracted because the Putnams’—or rather Janine’s (Madeline Brewer)—baby, Angela, is sick.
Meanwhile in “Maison Blaine,” Eden (Sydney Sweeney) tries to make conversation with Nick (Max Minghella) when he arrives home. Eager to be the best Stepford Gilead wife she can be, she says she wants to redecorate the house with yellow because it’s a happy color, and as her mom says, “Happy home, happy husband.” Barf.