The Handmaid’s Tale: Where did we leave off?

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Fred and Serena Joy

It’s admittedly hard to want a happy ending for Fred Waterford and his wife, Serena Joy. They were both instrumental, as we learned, in bringing Gilead into existence. They both continue to occupy a place of leadership in the Republic, though Serena Joy is obviously relegated to the submissive wifely role. Both treated June in awful ways individually, and both have been complicit in the atrocious acts that maintain the structure of their government.

And yet, after the way season 1 ended, I can’t help but be curious about how things will play out for the both of them. Depending on what June is being taken away for, these two could face consequences as well. If June is being carted off for what happened with Janine, then they’re probably safe. But if Nick is indeed with the Eyes and has informed on the various illicit goings-on in the Waterford house, then one of them could be in deep crud. I hope it’s Fred.

Serena Joy is in an interesting position. The Hulu series has given more information about her background as a writer and leader who helped build Gilead. When the new order took over, much of her freedom and power was taken from her. She, too, has lost a lot, but her response to that loss was to turn around and exercise control over the few people and things she could: namely, June. That said, she’s frustrated enough that I wonder if she will begin fighting back in her own way. She certainly doesn’t have much spark for Fred left, anyway.

The trailers for the season reveal that not all is well in the Waterford house, and that they may be under suspicion of being with Mayday. Neither of them are innocent, and they’re both disposable enough to the Republic. It’s tempting to want to watch their power burn, especially since a redemption arc for either seems too far-fetched in this particular dystopia.