In the world of The Handmaid's Tale, nothing is ever good for long. June finally delivered her baby, Holly, in Episode 11, but it doesn't seem like their postpartum bliss will last: The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Episode 12 promo shows that June is back at the Waterfords, which spells bad news for both mother and child. June may have given Serena Joy the one thing she wanted — a baby — but judging by the promo, she's being treated even worse than she was before giving birth. I guess I'm naive for thinking that the Waterfords couldn't possibly be more evil. Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 follow.
The Episode 12 promo begins with an ominous shot of Fred in his office (aren't all shots of Fred ominous?) as looks away from a picture of himself, Serena Joy, and Holly. Clearly, some time has passed since Holly's birth, but the promo doesn't explain exactly how long it has been — or how June escaped the abandoned farmhouse. At first, it seems like Fred is alone, but it's quickly revealed that he's with Nick, who has finally resurfaced after being captured by the Guardians in Episode 10. "We always look out for each other, don't we?" Fred asks. Fred does not sound genuine, so could he be confirming that he set Nick up to be captured? Nick doesn't answer, but I'm hoping that the long-awaited confrontation between the two is finally here.
Elsewhere in the house, Serena Joy stares at Holly, who is bathed in a shower of golden light. The baby looks healthy and happy — two things that are not a guarantee for babies born in Gilead. Serena looks absolutely in love with the baby, but under the surface, her rage is boiling over. As Serena coos at the newborn, her voiceover begins. "Did you let her touch my child?" Serena practically spits at Fred. Fred insists that he would never, but Serena Joy isn't satisfied. "So instead you brought her straight home," she says.
OK, so Fred brought June back from the farmhouse? Did Serena help him set up Nick? I have a lot of questions about what Serena does or doesn't know about Fred's shady behavior, and I can't wait for the last two episodes in Season 2 to answer them.
Apart from being on Fred's bad side, Nick has some problems of his own. Eden, his Gilead-assigned wife, seems to be missing, and she's taken plenty of information about Nick and June's relationship with her. "Seen Eden around?" Nick tries to ask June nonchalantly, but you can tell he's stressing. "She was gone when I woke up this morning," he says. June simply shakes her head — she's got baby snatchers to worry about — but she knows that Eden's departure has some potentially awful consequences. If Eden tells Gilead's leadership about the illicit stuff happening in the Waterford house (and there's plenty of it), everyone is totally screwed. As in, hanging-on-the-wall screwed.
In the second half of the promo, the action shifts away from the Waterford house and focuses on Emily, who has been relocated after the sudden death of her previous Commander. "You're running out of chances. You must behave," Aunt Lydia warns Emily before introducing her to Commander Lawrence (Get Out's Bradley Whitford).
Once inside, Emily reveals that she's done "something terrible," but it's unclear exactly what she means. Is she talking about poisoning the wife in the Colonies? Did she have something to do with her previous Commander's death? Is she going to kill Commander Lawrence? "It's poison!" she says. Awesome, now I have about 100 theories floating around my head.
There are only two episodes left in The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, and the action is just beginning. If you thought this season was intense, just wait until you see the season finale.
The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Episode 12 hits Hulu on Wednesday, July 4.