Even since Offred returned to the Waterford house this season on The Handmaid's Tale, it's been hard to watch her regression. Between the failure to escape at the 11th minute to the reveal her capture not only hurt those who helped her, but also hurt the Mayday organization to the point where they won't help Handmaids anymore, it's been a steep mental slide. But Nick at least has been there, watching out for her. That is, until this week, when he was married off to someone else. So, who is Nick's wife on The Handmaid's Tale? Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 follow.
After Aunt Lydia's work in breaking Offred and "bringing her to heel" as it were last week, this week's episode found her completely out of it. At her weekly weigh in with Aunt Lydia and Serena Joy she is completely obedient from all angles. Ironically, this seems to only put Serena Joy out more, to Lydia's utmost frustration. She's broken the girl down, what more could a Wife ask for?
Broken women aren't exactly good at the self-care needed to bring a baby to term. When Offred starts spotting later in the morning, she doesn't even seem to register her baby is in danger. She's got to follow orders, come when called, drink her ungodly protein shake and go on her morning walks. And above all, she cannot get into trouble again, even if it means burning the letter package from last season in the middle of the night.
Only one person is paying attention to Offred and cares that she is not OK, and that's Nick. In all honesty, trying to get Serena Joy to notice the woman supposedly carrying her baby is completely out of it is not the smartest of moves. But Nick is not the smartest of dudes. Instead of getting Serena Joy to maybe focus on the health of the mother, her jealousy now extends to Nick caring more about the Handmaid than her own husband seems to do about her. In retaliation, she pushes her husband to have Nick reassigned so no one will look after Offred at all.
This is where this season had been getting more interesting. Captain Waterford, it turns out, is not doing well in his job. He doesn't know his bible backward and forwards and most of his colleagues look down on him, which means he has no clout to get Nick moved anywhere.
But he can get Nick promoted to the point he'll be assigned a wife. This effectively gets Serena another free servant and Nick a distraction from Offred. Not exactly what his wife demanded, but close enough.
The wedding is held in a mass service as part of an award ceremony for Guardians who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Here is a metal to wear on your chest, here is a child bride to take to your breast. The show makes sure to work this reveal in deep with each bride revealing herself after the ceremony and not one of them is anywhere near 18 years old if they're a day. Some might be as young as 12. Nick is relatively lucky, his new wife isn't that young; she is a farm girl, bused into the city, ripped from her family to be assigned as a wife and start breeding for god and Gilead.
Nick is frankly horrified by the entire situation. He really does love Offred, and he didn't ask for this pious innocent child to be his responsibility. It's a telling moment at the end of the hour, instead of heading home to his wedding night, he looks back towards Offred's window...only to see her collapsed on the ground, now bleeding profusely, in the middle of losing her baby and perhaps her own life.
How bad will this new marriage go? If it's Gilead, then fans know it can only get worse.