The Handmaid's Tale is not known for making things easy for its characters, especially June. In its July 3 episode, the Hulu drama provided yet another devastating blow for its protagonist when it was revealed that the Mackenzies, the family June's older daughter Hannah is living with, had been relocated. All of June's efforts to get to Hannah, had failed miserably. Now, June — and all the viewers at home — are desperately wondering: Where are the Mackenzies on The Handmaid’s Tale? Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Episode 7.
To put it lightly, June has had a lot to worry about during the past three seasons, but her main mission has always been to save her children from the horrors of Gilead. At the end of Season 2, she helped smuggle her second daughter, Nichole, into Canada, but when given the chance to go with her, she instead opted to endure her life in Gilead in hopes of rescuing her firstborn.
Season 3 Episode 7 opened with a stomach-churning scene in which June and her fellow handmaids participated in the hanging of Gilead law-breakers. It was the first time audiences saw a group of handmaids being forced to carry out an execution like this, but it was revealed to be a regular practice for them — one that unfortunately foreshadowed what was to come later in the episode.
June then went to the market (a totally normal next stop after a trip to the gallows), where she surreptitiously met with the Mackenzie family's Martha to arrange another secret visit with her eldest daughter. The Martha, initially hesitant to aid June in getting Hannah away from the Mackenzies, ultimately gave in and gave her tips for how to find Hannah.
June, accompanied by a reluctant-to-leave-home Mrs. Lawrence, set out to see Hannah at her school in Brookline, but that's when it all started to fall apart. First, the guard who was supposed to help June was off-duty, and then Mrs. Lawrence, who was revealed to have an untreated mental illness, had a breakdown, and was asked to leave.
The incident at the school was bad, but it was nothing compared to what happened to June next. Back at another gathering at the gallows, June found out the hard way that her plans had not been kept a secret: Ofmatthew, her obedient walking partner, had seen June's secret meeting with the Mackenzie family's Martha, and tattled on them to Aunt Lydia. According to another handmaid, the Mackenzies were gone, relocated to an unknown location. June then looked up to the gallows to see it was the Mackenzie's Martha who she would be helping to hang, for "the endangerment of a sacred child," according to Aunt Lydia.
All at once, June was forced to participate in the hanging of the woman who helped her, and grapple with the fact that her chance to rescue daughter slipped right through her fingers. Hannah and her new family could be anywhere in Gilead, and June was left with no clues to figure out where she went. The one person close to Hannah who could help was dead, and judging by the severe and public punishment of her, it is not be likely other Marthas will be jumping at the chance to aid June now.
Outside of the Boston area, the only other city in Gilead the show has really explored is Washington D.C. Could this be where the Mackenzies have gone? The promo for Episode 8 reveals no clues.
What fans do know is June is hell-bent on saving Hannah, and she is not going to give up on her child just because of this obstacle.
Also, Ofmatthew better watch her back.
Season 3 of The Handmaid's Tale continues on Wednesday, July 10, on Hulu.