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Between its chilling depiction of the unhinged society, Gilead, and Elisabeth Moss’s award-winning portrayal of Offred, The Handmaids Tale is a show like no other. Sure, the first season was harrowing, but season two extends beyond Margaret Atwood’s novel and explores other ways the patriarchal government controls its citizens (*cough* the Colonies). Here, recaps for every gut-wrenching season two episode. 

Handmaids tale season 2 june bloody
Hulu

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode 1 Recap: ‘June’

The handmaids learn that disobeying Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) has serious consequences, but thankfully, Offred’s pregnancy protects her from Gilead’s wrath. Then, Offred attends her first ultrasound appointment with Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) and Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and makes her great escape.

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Alexis Bledel Handmaid s tale
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode 2 Recap: ‘The Unwomen’

We visit Emily (Alexis Bledel) in the Colonies, where she makes a new friend (kinda) and reunites with an old one. Meanwhile, Offred June adjusts to life in hiding and grapples with the true extent of Gilead’s crimes against humanity.

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June resting in a field Handmaid s Tale season 2 episode 31
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: ‘Baggage’

June questions the relationships between mothers and daughters as she prepares to escape Gilead for good. But will she make it out alive? We also check in with Moira (Samira Wiley) who’s not living her best life in the Great White North. As they say, the grass is always greener.

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Handmaids tale season 2 episode four recap2
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‘THE HANDMAID’S TALE’ SEASON 2, EPISODE 4 RECAP: ‘OTHER WOMEN’

After getting a brief taste of freedom, Offred tries to readjust to handmaid life and tensions in the Waterford home rise. Serena celebrates Offred’s homecoming by throwing herself a baby shower, Aunt Lydia plays referee and Rita gets served a heap of misplaced anger.

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The Waterfords and Eden handmaid s tale season 2 episode 5.
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode 5 Recap: ‘Seeds’

Serena tries to bond with Offred in several painstaking ways, but still, the tension is palpable. Nick gets a brand-new child bride courtesy of Gilead, and Offred can’t help but feel like chopped liver. To make matters even worse, Offred’s body wages war against her, but thankfully her baby lives. *Phew* 

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Serena and eden handmaid s tale1
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: ‘First Blood’

Offred and Serena try their hand at playing nice, but they can only keep it up for so long. Commander Waterford is under pressure as an important deadline quickly approaches. Eden makes a deadly threat to ensure that she gets her precious nuclear family, and Gilead’s rulers experience a blow that no one saw coming.

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Elisabeth Moss season 2 handmaid s tale hospital with Waterfords
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode 7 Recap: ‘After’

Everyone is on edge after a handmaid’s attack on Gilead, which ultimately leads to Emily and Janine returning to their old jobs. Serena and Offred work together (much better this time) to protect themselves—and the baby—from a could-be tyrant. Moira grapples with an emotional issue she can no longer avoid. 

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Handmaids Tale Season 2 Janine holding Angela1
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode 8 Recap: ‘Women's Work’

Serena and Offred team up to try and save a child clinging to life, and Commander Waterford is none too pleased. Nick and Eden’s marriage takes one small step forward and two giant steps back. Janine returns to Gilead’s good graces when she brings about a miracle. 

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Handmaid s tale commander waterford and serena1
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‘THE HANDMAID’S TALE’ SEASON 2, EPISODE 9 RECAP: ‘SMART POWER’

The Waterfords travel to Canada, where things don’t go quite as planned. Serena is presented with a tempting offer to escape the clutches of Gilead, and Nick meets Offred’s other beau. Moira, Luke and Erin bring the horrors of Gilead to light, while Offred scrambles to make sure her baby is properly cared for after she’s gone.  

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Offred cradling pregnant belly handmaids tale
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode 10 Recap: ‘The Last Ceremony’

Offred finds herself in the throes of false labor, leaving the Waterfords so frustrated that they take matters into their own hands. Eden cheats on Nick with another Guardian, forcing them both to grapple with the sad state of their relationship. After way overstepping boundaries, the Commander takes pity on Offred and lets her see her daughter, Hannah. Spoiler alert: It ends terribly.

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'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 11 Recap: 'Holly'

The Waterfords are outraged to learn they’ve lost Offred (again) and wonder if their carelessness will cost them their lives. All alone in an abandoned house, Offred prepares to escape Gilead, but a little thing called labor gets in her way. She delivers her baby, Holly, and makes the difficult decision to return to Gilead for their safety. 

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Offred shocked handmaid s tale
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode 12 Recap: ‘Postpartum’

Offred returns home so she can produce adequate breast milk for baby Nicole. Thankfully, Nick is alive but he isn’t out of the woods yet. Eden runs off with Isaac and they’re forced to pay with their lives. Emily moves in with Commander Lawrence and learns that he played a major part in creating Gilead.

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Offred holds her baby1
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2, Episode Finale Recap: ‘The World’

Serena calls for change in Gilead and loses a finger for it. Ofjoseph stabs Aunt Lydia in the back and Commander Lawrence opts to help her flee instead of turning her in. Rita and Nick work together to help Offred escape with baby Nicole, but she can’t leave Gilead without Hannah. 

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