The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 1 and 2 Recap and Ending, Explained

The fifth season of Hulu’s dystopian series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ begins by depicting the aftermath of Commander Fred Waterford’s murder. In the first episode of the season, titled ‘Morning,’ June Osborne startles her partner Lucas “Luke” Bankole by deciding to confess to the murder of the commander. Since the murder happened in no man’s land, the Canadian police refuse to proceed with an investigation, much to the disappointment of Fred’s wife Serena Joy Waterford. Serena visits Gilead with the dead body of her husband, paving the way for intriguing consequences. The second episode of season 5, titled ‘Ballet,’ ends with astounding developments that happen in Gilead. If you are up for a detailed look at the same, you are at the right place! SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 1 and 2 Recap

‘Morning’ begins with June letting Luke and Moira Strand know that she has killed Fred. The other former Handmaids who accompanied June to kill the commander ask her assistance to kill more commanders who hurt them, only for June to let them know that it’s not practical. ICC officials move Serena from her prison to a highly secure facility upon discovering Fred’s body. Mark Tuello reveals to Serena that her husband got killed and she should be in a safer place so that she and her unborn baby will not be harmed. After going through a photograph from the crime scene, she tells Tuello that June killed Fred.

Image Credit: Sophie Giraud/Hulu

June comes to know that Dr. Emily Malek has returned to Gilead for Aunt Lydia. She realizes that she may never see Emily again. She also thinks about reuniting with her daughter Hannah Bankole ever. June gets obsessed with Serena as she anticipates what her next move will be. In addition, she also confesses to killing Fred to Toronto PD, expecting imprisonment, possibly to divert Serena from her family. But the police officers let her know that the murder didn’t happen in Canadian territory for them to arrest her. Luke asks June to stop obsessing over Serena.

‘Ballet’ begins with Serena traveling to Gilead with the dead body of Fred as she wants her husband to rest in the country he co-founded. Commanders Joseph Lawrence and Nick Blaine hesitantly welcome her. The wake of Fred happens at Commander Warren Putnam’s house. Serena demands a grand funeral for her husband when Lawrence shows her a little church to conduct the service. However, the higher officials of the nation let her know that Fred, an apparent traitor, doesn’t deserve anything better. Still, she convinces Putnam and other commanders to prepare for a distinguished funeral for her husband with the help of Lawrence and Nick.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 2 Ending: Are Esther and Janine Dead or Alive? Why Does Esther Poison Janine?

Ever since Esther Keyes has become a Handmaid, Janine Lindo has taken a special interest in her. Janine comes in between Esther and Aunt Lydia and makes the former calmer about the whole affair. She also protects the recruit from Aunt Lydia’s atrocities. Naturally, they end up sharing a bond and Esther makes progress in her adaptation to become a Handmaid, with the help of Janine, impressing Lydia. The latter takes Esther to Commander Warren Putnam’s house for her to become his new Handmaid. Lydia also indicates the possibility of Janine visiting Esther at Putnam’s house to guide the new Handmaid.

Image Credit: Sophie Giraud/Hulu

After Putnam accepts Esther as his new Handmaid, she shares chocolates with Janine, only for both of them to start vomiting blood. Esther has poisoned Janine and herself as she doesn’t want to lead a life as a Handmaid. She believes that Janine helped her to become a capable Handmaid expecting her to get assigned to Putnam’s house so that she can visit her daughter Angela while visiting Esther. The belief leads her to think that Janine has used her for her personal gain without considering the hardships she has to endure once she becomes Putnam’s Handmaid.

Esther poisons Janine since she believes that the latter manipulated her and hastened her suffering. After the first meeting with Putnam, Esther must have realized how difficult it will be to serve him and how much she will suffer as his sex slave. Rather than becoming the same, Esther chooses to die. But she wants to see the death of Janine, who has paved the way for her selection to serve Putnam, as well. Janine is paying the price for aspiring to see her daughter once in a while through Esther.

Even though Esther and Janine vomit blood, they may get saved as Lydia and the other Handmaids see them. Lydia may arrange necessary medical interventions for two of her Handmaids before they die. Since Putnam has taken a liking toward Esther, he may try his best to save at least her as well.

Why Does Serena Broadcast Fred’s Funeral?

After arriving at Gilead for Fred’s funeral, she demands a grand funeral for her dead husband. Her aspiration results in such a funeral and the global broadcast of the same. When Serena initially demands such an occasion, Putnam realizes that it can send a message that Gilead is even merciful towards the traitor who betrayed the nation to add to the appeal of the country among other nations. However, Serena has a personal reason to broadcast her husband’s funeral. Serena wants June to see the broadcast and realize that she knows what the latter has done to her and her husband.

Serena arranges for Hannah, June’s daughter, to hand over a flower bouquet to her during the funeral procession so that June will realize that her daughter’s life depends upon Serena’s decisions. The widow broadcasts the same as a statement and testament of her potency. Serena wants June to know that she hasn’t lost the battle between them and she is powerful enough to step into Gilead and overtake the control of Hannah’s life despite being the widow of a traitor. As Serena broadcasts the same on several screens all over the city of Toronto, Hannah also realizes how much helpless she is as a mother.

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