The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 has 13 episodes this season, which means the series is just reaching the midway point. In most series, this is where the major twist in the season goes and did the show deliver this year. Perhaps you might have seen the ending to episode 6 coming, but it personally took me completely by surprise. Who planned the attack in The Handmaid's Tale? Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 follow.
In hindsight, an attack on the brand new Red Center should have been obvious. (And hindsight when it comes to terrorist attacks is 20/20, ask anyone on CNN.) The new center Captain Waterford was in charge of creating wasn't just a brand new facility in which to indoctrinate generations of women to come into baby making. It also represented Gilead's economic success and a major step forward in the country's Final Solution to Infertility.
No longer would they be conducting bloodshed horrors in breaking women down into sexual reproductive slavery in abandoned gymnasiums. Now Gilead's Aunts would have state of the art buildings created for them, in order to process hundreds upon hundreds of women by the score. In terms of a society, this building represented a step forward in making Gilead a long-term government instead of an upstart theocracy using the bones of the country it overthrew. Is it any wonder then that someone would take it upon themselves to take it down?
But did anyone really see it coming that this someone would be the second Ofglen?
Let's be honest, some of the handmaids are more background noise than others. In the first season, Ofglen was Emily, and when she was taken away, Ofglen #2 was less a character than a setback in human form. Fans did learn a bit about her over the season, mostly the tragic fact this life was an upgrade from her old one. In America, she was a homeless junkie living in the streets, so living in the attic of a rich man's house to attempt to have his babies was good enough. She refused to stick her neck out for anyone.
And yet, when it came time to stone Janine in the season finale, the new Ofglen not only couldn't bring herself to do it, she took the beating from the guards when she vocally refused. For this rebellion, viewers learn, her tongue was cut out, much to Offred's horror.
So what was it that drove the now silenced handmaid to take her own life in an attempt to destroy the new Red Center?
It's hard to say exactly what drove her to snap. Perhaps it was simply learning that more women would go through this. Perhaps it was the loss of her tongue. Perhaps it was Mayday going silent, refusing to help handmaids anymore, so she decided handmaids needed to now help themselves. Perhaps it was a little bit of that luncheon for Offred that Serena Joy invited her, Ofrobert, Ofsamuel, and Oferic to, and the talk of the world before, reminding everyone in the room of everything they'd lost.
Like many suicide bombers, viewers will be left without easy answers of what motivated her, since the woman who did it is gone, sacrificing herself in a doomed mission to bring down Gilead, one Red Center at a time. It's also clear, at least for those at home, that Ofglen acted without the knowledge of the rest of the handmaids, who fled in shock and terror when they realized what she was about to do.
And yet, Ofglen's message was loud and clear for anyone who could hear it. Gilead could take her tongue, but they couldn't take her voice.