Wait, Should Handmaid's Tale Fans Trust Nick's New Wife?
She knows so much!
In the final episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4, June finally got what she’d been longing for: Time with both Nick and Nichole as a family unit. It was a stolen moment in an abandoned house, and it was beautiful. But that moment came at a price, as Nick was hiding something from June — before he went into the house to see her, he’d slipped off a wedding ring so she didn’t know he’d gotten married. Now, Season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale has introduced Mrs. Rose Blaine, and fans learned a few surprising facts about her from the jump.
Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5, Episode 3 follow. Rose (Carey Cox) was introduced in the Season 5 premiere, meeting Nick as he returned home after releasing Fred Waterford into the woods for June to murder. Like Nick’s first wife, Eden (played by now-icon Sydney Sweeney), she seemed to be strictly adherent to the ways of Gilead, hustling off to sure him coffee with platitudes about serving one’s husband the way she does God.
However, unlike Nick’s poor, deceased first wife, Rose is not a child. She’s at least his age, if not older. She’s also living with mobility issues, tapping about with her cane as she bustles around the kitchen, fretting over making Nick’s coffee properly. But what shocked fans the most was that Rose knew where her husband had been. She knew all about June and that Nick had done something June needed. She told Nick she hoped it would bring June peace and that she’d pray for her.
Exactly what Rose knows was left to the imagination after that scene, but Episode 3 shed more light on who the woman is. First of all, she’s the daughter of a high-ranking man in Gilead, High Commander Warten, who is part of the D.C. ruling class. He’s also friends with the McKenzie family — the ones who adopted June’s daughter, Hannah, and renamed her Agnes.
Commander McKenzie is worried that Nick married Rose for her proximity to power, not for affection. But Nick seems fond of her, mentioning how much he enjoys talking to her and suggesting she’s pretty intelligent. Moreover, it becomes clear at dinner — as McKenzie heatedly rants about taking down “that monster woman Osborne” — Rose *does* know quite a bit about June. At least enough to know her husband has deep feelings for her. As Nick sits stiffly, trying not to react, Rose keeps glancing over as if she wishes to comfort him.
An honest marriage in Gilead is a surprising thing. However, perhaps because she’s gotten used to being treated like a second-class citizen and pitied, Rose is remarkably clear-eyed about her husband’s life. She seems fully aware of his connections to Canada, and though she may not know the extent of his work to take down Gilead, she appears perfectly happy to keep his secrets. As he told June when he finally revealed he has a wife, “You’d like her.”
It remains to be seen just how far Rose is willing to let her husband live his life. The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 continues with new episodes streaming every Wednesday on Hulu.