The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 has really ramped up the stakes in the past two weeks, ever since Ofglen's terror attack on the Red Center. But with rebellions now squashed both in the street and in the home, Commander Waterford is back in control, and Offred is back to square one, with even less time to escape before the baby is born. But this coming episode looks to be bringing a reprieve from her overlords as The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Episode 9 promo shows Fred and Serena Joy are heading off to Canada.
This is a moment that's been promised since the trailers before the season began, that the Waterfords would be sent as envoys to Canada, in order to negotiate better relations for the theocracy that's suddenly sprung up south of the border. Obviously, there will be protests from those in Little America. Since Moira and Luke actually know these are the people who are holding June captive, will there be a showdown this week between those who love June and those who own her? Or will they fail to meet?
The title for the forthcoming episode hasn't been released, but here's this week's synopsis:
Offred seeks support from allies, and The Waterfords weigh their options during a trip abroad.
And here is this week's trailer:
Before we get to the Canadian part, let's consider Offred's play here. She knows she can't keep the baby, that's not how it works here, she said it herself last week, in an attempt to get Janine to calm down. So what exactly is she attempting to get Aunt Lydia to do exactly, other than sewing seeds of doubt about Commander Waterford's fitness to be a father?
Consider too, Gilead's rule of law makes the women of any household the property of the Commander. He is free to beat his wife. She is his property, as he would be free to beat Offred, should he decide to do so. (For that matter, if Nick were to take a belt to Eden last week for touching those goddamn letters, he'd be within his rights to do so too.)
Is this is a misstep by Offred, assuming that the social mores of 2018 America apply to Gilead? Does she think the sheer lack of infants born in their country will be enough to have the Waterfords lose the rights to theirs?
Now, let's consider Canada. Waterford is basically getting to go to this because of Serena Joy's actions in removing the Cushing shaped object who was ahead of him in line for this trip. So he's already under extra pressure she doesn't know about because he was not the first choice, and he's considered a beta male among his peers. Viewers should also assume he might not be very good at these negotiations either, with or without Luke trying to get a face-to-face showdown.
But the real question, other than how badly Waterford does or doesn't bungle this trip, is how Serena handles all this. Last season we learned Gilead was partly her baby, one that was taken away once it actually came into being. One would think the chance to argue on its behalf via her husband is one she'd relish.
But this season the show has hinted she might regret the loss of America, even as she sneers at the American Government rep who introduces himself to her. Those moments remembering little lunch shops, or more directly, getting to go back to writing again with Offred as her editor. Now she's being given a chance to show up the man who just humiliated the hell out of her in front of her handmaid, by doing what she's best at: Writing.
Will Serena succumb to temptation? And if so, will Offred get to edit her drafts?