5 questions we have for the rest of The Handmaid’s Tale season 1

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The Handmaid’s Tale — “A Woman’s Place” Episode 106 — A Mexican Ambassador visiting Gilead questions Offred about her life as a Handmaid. Serena Joy reflects on her marriage and the role she once played in Gilead’s inception. (Photo by: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

What actually happened to the rest of the world?

We have more clues than ever as to what’s going on outside Gilead with the Hulu series, especially with the recent visit of the ambassadors from Mexico. The war has turned many (most?) places into wastelands with pollution, making it difficult to grow food efficiently. The population is dwindling due to extreme infertility — the ambassador says her hometown hasn’t had any children born for six years, in stark contrast to the kids Gilead trots out at the banquet.

But we never quite get a sense of the scale of what’s going on. Canada, apparently, is okay, since folks were fleeing up that way. We haven’t heard anything about what’s happening across the ocean.

Are the problems as widespread as they seem? How big even is Gilead? If the handmaids present at the banquet are all they have, I’m not sure they can afford to trade them with anyone (logistically speaking). Seeing things from the perspective of an outside nation in episode 6 was an interesting glimpse into the kind of situation it took for this uprising to happen at all, and I’d like to see more in a future episode or even next season.