The Handmaid’s Tale: 9 Key Moments from the First Three Episodes

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The Handmaid’s Tale — “Birth Day” — Episode 102 — Offred and her fellow Handmaids assist with the delivery of Janine’s baby, prompting Offred to recall her own daughterÕs birth. Offred draws closer to Ofglen while dreading a secret meeting with the Commander. Offred (Elisabeth Moss), second from right, shown. (Photo by: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

The Curious Case of Ofglen

Early on in “Birth,” Ofglen (Alexis Bledel’s Ofglen, for reasons which will become apparent by the end of the episode) encourages Offred to consider joining “us.” Offred’s voiceover casually mentions that if there’s an “us,” then there is also a “them,” with the clear implication that the “them” is the government, represented by the Commander.

But even as the voiceover continues, there’s a sunshower going on. (Yes, it is entirely possible for the sun to be out and for rain to start falling at the same time.) There’s a curious amount of symbolism there. Offred has already expressed her intentions to “survive” by the time we see this. So which is survival here? Is it complying with the Commander’s wishes purely to please him? Or is it trying to gather information for Ofglen’s “us”?

Even before Offred really has a chance to make a choice, though, that’s taken away from her. How? The next morning, she meets a new Ofglen. The third episode shows where Bledel’s character is going — but more on that later. Much as events like salvaging and births bring the handmaids together, it’s quite clear that the community it creates is only meant to hide how quickly things can change.