Did Waterford Set Nick Up? This 'The Handmaid's Tale' Theory Will Give You A Stomachache
After two seasons, The Handmaid's Tale finally broke me. In Season 2 Episode 10, "The Last Ceremony," June's entire world came crashing down when her lone protector, Nick, was taken into custody by the Guardians. The moment was a major shock to viewers, but now that the dust (or snow) has settled, fans are starting to wonder if the show is purposefully leaving us in the dark. Was Nick's capture sheer bad luck, or is there something much more sinister going on? Did Waterford set Nick up? A new fan theory suggests that Commander Waterford orchestrated Nick's arrest, and now, I have some serious anxiety about this entire situation.
At the end of Episode 10, Waterford sends Nick and June to an abandoned farmhouse as a "surprise" for the very pregnant handmaid. The two have no idea what to expect, but when they arrive, they're shocked to learn that Waterford has actually done something nice: He's arranged for June to have 10 minutes with her daughter, Hannah (now named Agnes). June and Hannah share a bittersweet moment, but it's cut short when Hannah's driver says that they have to leave immediately.
As soon as they leave, another car approaches, and Nick rushes June inside. Two Guardians approach Nick and ask him what he's doing there, and they barely give him a chance to answer before a shot rings out. Nick looks alive — he struggles as they grab him — but he's quickly arrested and shoved into the car. It speeds away, and in an instant, June is left alone in the middle of nowhere.
Nick was arrested so suddenly that I barely had time to think about what happened, but luckily, there are some amazing Handmaid's Tale sleuths out there. As soon as the episode hit Hulu, fans began to suspect that something fishy is going on with Nick's arrest, and it wasn't long before they were accusing Waterford of setting him up.
I have to say, this theory has some serious merit. Early in the episode, June finally told Waterford that the baby isn't his, and he seemed beyond shocked to learn the truth. Pretty much everyone in the Waterford house knew this already (after all, Serena Joy organized Nick and June's relationship), but the Commander is so ignorant and self-important that he assumed the baby was his all along. Now that Waterford finally knows the truth, I wouldn't put it past him to get his revenge on June and Nick by sending them into the woods unarmed and unprepared for an attack.
It's also possible that Nick's arrest was a project organized jointly by Eden, Nick's wife, and Waterford. The night before Nick and June visit the farmhouse, Eden confronted Nick about his feelings for "the handmaid," and he didn't exactly deny it. It's clear that Eden knows something is up, but would she go so far as to take those concerns to the Commander, a man she barely knows? Eden may be a wife, but in reality, she's still a teenage girl, so it's nearly impossible to know what she'll do next.
To play devil's advocate, if Waterford (with or without Eden) did set up Nick, I'm curious about his plans for June. In the promo for Episode 11, June seems to be going into labor all alone at the farmhouse, which is the worst-case scenario considering that she's expected to have a "high-risk delivery," as the doctor told Serena in Episode 10. Even though the baby isn't biologically Waterford's, the baby will belong to him (per Gilead's rules), so I have a hard time imagining that he'd willingly put the baby's life in jeopardy.
Also, the promo shows a very pissed Serena, and she basically rips Waterford apart for giving into his "sick infatuation" with June. If Waterford planned all this, wouldn't Serena have some idea about it? And wouldn't he say something to ease her worries?
Until I get all these questions answered, I'm going to have a serious stomach ache. Do they have ginger ale in Gilead?