Next week's episode of The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 is setting itself up for a potential showdown for the ages. Thanks to Serena Joy's work in taking out Commander Cushing, Waterford is now the one from the Gilead government being sent to Canada in order to try to get sanctions lifted. Sadly, Offred will not be going (too risky), but both Moira and Luke are in Canada. So will Luke and Commander Waterford meet?
It's a distinct possibility. As viewers will remember Moira not only knows that Waterford is the Commander to whom June is assigned, but she's met him and would recognize his face. Hulu's trailer for Season 2 showed her standing on the side of the road as part of the protest as the Waterfords' car rolls by. Imagine the horror she's going to feel when she recognizes him.
Worse, imagine the horror Luke's going to feel when he realizes the man who owns and rapes his wife on a regular basis is right there, in the same city as he is. Or worse, when he learns she's carrying Waterford's baby.*
*And by "Waterford's" baby, I mean Nick's.
But just because Moira recognizes Waterford doesn't necessarily mean that she or Luke would be in any position to get close to him, let alone meet. For Moira especially, coming face-to-face with the Waterfords would be intensely dangerous. She's a fugitive from the country, a runaway handmaid. They could kidnap her and take her back to Gilead once more.
Luke would be the one in a better position to attempt a one-on-one meeting to confront the Gilead representative. But what are the chances the Canadian government would allow this? Luke could lie, naturally, make something up in order to be granted access to a visiting dignitary. But Luke doesn't always seem to be the savviest of men.
Chances are he'd more likely attempt an ill-advised ambush, one which, at best, would find him face-to-face with Waterford's security, which would be Nick. Worst case scenario, he finds himself thrown in jail for physical assault.
Viewers should also consider that it's not like Luke would actually accomplish anything by meeting Waterford. Though it would probably be emotionally satisfying to see June's husband threaten, or even punch out her captor, it's not like Waterford is going to care the woman he calls Offred was once Luke's wife.
Luke isn't going to walk in and introduce himself and Fred will suddenly have a massive change of heart. "Oh, she's your wife! Oh, my mistake! Well, this is a bit awkward, but tell you what, once she has my baby, Serena here will wrap her up and ship her across the border to you. Come now my good man, let's exchange addresses." That's not how any of this works.
No, the far more interesting (and far more likely) meeting would not be with Waterford at all. If Luke were to turn up, trying to confront Waterford, the first line of defense, as I noted earlier, is Nick, the real father of June's baby, and a man who is deeply in love with her.
A confrontation between Nick and Luke would be far more fascinating. June really does have feelings for Nick too. How would Nick react to meeting Luke? How would he handle realizing she has a whole different man waiting for her across the border? Would it change the dynamics of him trying to help her escape? Would he tell her they met?
Would Luke freak out if he were to realize June is having an emotional affair with someone new, and carrying someone else's child? Maybe it will be Nick he physically assaults instead.
Personally, this is the meeting I'm rooting for next Wednesday when the next episode of The Handmaid's Tale arrives on Hulu.