The sixth episode of Hulu’s dystopian series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ season 5, titled ‘Together,’ revolves around the aftermath of June Osborne and Lucas “Luke” Bankole’s capture at No Man’s Land. The men who capture them lock them up without revealing who they are or what their intentions are. Serena Joy Waterford’s stay at Ryan and Alanis Wheeler’s house gets more intricate as she realizes that she is under house arrest at the place. The engrossing episode ends with an astounding development, which raises significant unanswered questions. If you are trying to make sense of the same, let us help you! SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 6 Recap
‘Together’ begins with June and Luke getting taken to a secret facility in No Man’s Land to lock them up. June tries to find out the identities of the men who captured her and her partner but fails. When Serena sets out to leave for the hospital for the routine ultrasound checkup, her gynecologist meets her at the Wheelers’ house and informs her that they can do the checkup at the house itself. The doctor leads her to a room in the house with all the equipment necessary for Serena’s tests and eventual delivery of her baby. Her gynecologist also asks her out, leaving her confused about the entire predicament.
Aunt Lydia arrives at the hospital to meet the recovering Esther Keyes, only to find out from the latter’s doctor that she is pregnant. Lydia asks Esther what really happened on the day of Commander Fred Waterford’s funeral and the latter replies that Commander Warren Putnam raped and impregnated her. Lydia takes the issue to Commander Joseph Lawrence, seeking punishment for Putnam. However, Lawrence tells her that Putnam hasn’t done anything wrong to deserve any punishment. Lawrence joins Commander Nick Blaine to meet Putnam, who lauds himself over Esther’s pregnancy and criticizes Lawrence for not seeking any physical pleasure.
Alanis encourages Serena to date the gynecologist but the latter makes it clear that she isn’t ready for the same right after losing Fred. When she expresses her wish to go for a walk, Alanis stops her furiously and commands her to go back to her room. Ryan Wheeler meets Serena and informs her that his men have captured June and Luke. When he shares his plan of killing June and eliminating the threat she poses, Serena asks Ryan’s permission to meet her nemesis to see her husband’s killer’s death with her own eyes. Even though Ryan has second thoughts about the same, he eventually accepts the request. Wheeler’s men separate June and Luke and take the latter to an undisclosed location.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 6 Ending: Why Doesn’t Serena Kill June?
After convincing Ryan, Serena sets out to kill June with Ezra. She gets her enemy at gunpoint and forces the latter to be on her knees. However, instead of killing June, Serena shoots down Ezra and flees away from the scene by forcing June to drive her car. Although Serena very much wants to kill June, she is prioritizing her and her unborn baby’s freedom over her vengeance at this point. After staying a few days at the Wheelers, Serena realizes that she is under house arrest at the place and she and her unborn baby aren’t safe with Ryan and Alanis at all.
Ryan and Alanis’ obsession with Serena’s unborn baby indicates that they are most likely considering her as nothing short of a Handmaid for them. They must be plotting to take away Serena’s baby once she gives birth, which also explains why the Wheelers set up a “birth suit” at their house. Since the couple doesn’t have any children, it isn’t a surprise that they are yearning for one. Killing June will help Serena to quench her thirst for vengeance but she will need to return to the Wheelers to be their Handmaid. To avoid the same, she needs assistance and she cannot ask for someone better than June, who has survived every single obstacle that threatened her life.
Serena must be seeking a safe place to stay away from the Wheelers and she may force June to find one for her by threatening to kill her. Since Serena is pregnant, she knows that she will not be able to do anything for herself and her baby alone. Having June on her side at her gunpoint will help her someway to conceive an escape plan. Thus, Serena decides against killing June because survival takes precedence over vengeance.
Why is Commander Putnam Executed?
When Aunt Lydia initially reveals the truth about Esther’s pregnancy to Lawrence, he dismisses her by responding that Putnam has the right to impregnate Esther as her lord. Still, he teams up with Nick to garner a death sentence to execute Putnam from the High Criminal Court of Gilead upon finding him guilty of apostasy and sins of the flesh. They execute the death sentence as Nick fatally shoots Putnam down. Although it seems like Lawrence and Nick are just executing the sentence, there can be more to it.
Lawrence and Nick can be trying to reform Gilead and they are starting with Putnam’s death. Putnam is one of the most powerful commanders in the totalitarian regime and most importantly, one of the harshest critics of Lawrence. Nick and Lawrence realize that they cannot implement any changes in the regime as long as Putnam is alive and they make sure that he doesn’t live enough to become an undefeatable force. Lawrence also knows that his authority as a commander is under threat as long as Putnam is alive.
Nick and Lawrence have the authority to save Putnam but they choose not to. Impregnating the handmaid that’s verbally assigned to him is not something that gets one executed in Gilead but the commander duo makes sure that it is in the case of Putnam. Lawrence must have put in the effort to execute Putnam to implement his “New Bethlehem” mission, which Putnam dismissed without even considering its importance. By killing Putnam, Lawrence will be able to implement his plan, which will make Gilead more approachable among other nations. As Nick says to his wife Rose, he wants Gilead to be a place that deserves his child, and executing Putnam can be the first step in making the nation a safe region.