Who's Your Mommy? 'The Handmaid's Tale' Recap

After last week’s deeply boring episode (crazy how an episode where the protagonist gives birth in an abandoned house while a wolf stalks her is boring, but that’s Handmaid’s for ya) I was ready for this episode to pop the fuck off and, boy did it ever. TBH this episode featured an image that I truly never believed I would see on television. Something that in the hours since seeing it, I have thought about approximately one million times. But we’ll get to that, dear reader. We’ll fuckin’ get to that…

Baby Holly

We open on baby Holly, who is cute as hell despite being born under incredible duress. All is well until we pan out and…fuck! She’s with Serena Joy! This cannot be good.

So this episode they just opt to skip over:
– June being found in the house with the baby.
– The Waterfords finally receiving said baby.
– Nick recovering from being shot in the leg/any info on wtf happened to him.
– Baby Wife (aka Eden) acquiring some kind of lady pilgrim’s outfit.
– 2-3 weeks of June breast pumping in solitary confinement.

I’m actually low-key fine with the fact that they skipped that last point.

Serena is looking picturesque holding her new baby, and we are actually able to see all of it because the sheer joy of new motherhood has prompted SJ to finally purchase a damn lamp. It’s crazy what a daylight blub can do for a horrific abuse palace home.

Cut to: June serving us full Resting Breast Pumping Face.

Aunt Lydia is there to give June the good news – erry’body in Gilead is tryna get her pussy in their casa. People are sending scones, they’re sending muffins, they’re sending all kind of baked goods in hopes of getting this fertile cow living human woman into their home.

How many dry looking muffins are worth a woman’s freedom? According to Aunt Lydia, 5-6.

But as touching as this new scene is, there’s a problem. Because this is Handmaid’s Tale and there’s always a problem. Offred’s boobs are not making enough milk because Serena Joy won’t let her stay in the house.

So which will Serena Joy choose? Pettiness, or motherhood? I’d choose pettiness, but that’s why I’m “legally barred from having children” in most states or whatever.

At The Waterford House

I am happy to inform you that while the nursery does appear to have a lamp and some natural lighting, the rest of the Waterford house is still as dark as Nick’s brooding, thoughtful eyes. Some things never change.

Speaking of Nick, he’s back from being shot in the leg and like, totally over it. He also has a mini limp now which makes him even hotter. Eden watch out.

Mr. Waterford is also looking happy, which is unfortunate. He and Nick are now doing that guy thing where they pretend they’re cool with each other, even though they’re not. Men are so out of touch with their emotions.

Mr. Waterford: Hey thanks for not telling anyone about literally anything that has happened in this house, and sorry about that whole misunderstanding where you got shot in the leg.
Nick: No worries dude we still on for bball later?

Next up: a weird dick-measuring contest where Mr. Waterford makes Nick hang up a painting of his family, as if to say “I have your baby and I have your girlfriend and you got shot in the leg, fuck you.”

Hmm okay so can we talk about this cursed image for a sec:

So I’m gonna go out on a limb right now and say that this painting is 100% haunted. Like, future families will try to remove this painting from the wall but find it is impossible. Serena Joy’s dead eyes will follow guests as the move around the room.  Mr. Waterford’s mouth will open and bats will fly out. The baby in the painting will age and become grotesque while the real baby Holly stays young forever.

I hate this painting.

In The Nursery

Serena Joy is in the nursery talking to Baby Wife (Eden), who is wearing what appears to be a leftover costume from The Sound of Music:

When does Eden get to wear blue? Someone put this bitch in blue ASAP.

Once again, everyone is just sitting around talking about Offred’s boobs, and not in the good “Omg did you see Offred’s latest insta her boobs look amazing” way. It’s in a bad “hmm Offred’s breasts are not producing enough milk to sustain this baby” way. So unfortunate.

Serena Joy can’t fake pregnancy her way out of this one. Her tits are either completely dry, or full of the straight Jack Daniels she drinks daily to make the pain go away.

Me during this scene: Hmm yeah this seems like a pretty insurmountable problem. Serena Joy is going to have to cave before she does something insane like try to stick her own milk-less titty into a newborn baby’s mouth, which would be over the top even for her. Like, Serena is not that crazy.

Narrator: Serena is exactly that crazy.

Offred’s Milk Bar

Cut to: Aunt Lydia taking June somewhere, which is never good. Like, if there are two rules I know in life it’s:
1) Never sleep with a guy without a bed frame (more than once).
2)  Never go anywhere with Aunt lydia.

And of course she’s taking her into a weird church to see both her baby daddy and her pseudo baby daddy. Of course she is.

June as soon as she sees Mr. Waterford:

It is at this point we learn that the Waterfords have named baby Holly “Nichole,” which I regret to inform you is spelled with a ‘CH’. These people are truly monsters.

You know, when they revealed their first handmaid had actually killed herself I thought, “these people aren’t great.” When they literally tried to assault Offred into giving birth to a baby they intended to immediately steal I thought, “Wow these guys have crossed a line.” But now that I’ve heard they named their baby Nicole with a ‘ch’, I’m sorry but I’m done. This was the final straw. These fuckers have got to go.

“Nichole” starts crying and Offred’s boobs go fucking nuts with milk. They literally start spraying milk everywhere. Things watching Handmaid’s Tale has forced me to Google on my work computer:

1) Can having sex with a pregnant woman make her go into labor?
2) Does a lactating mom’s boobs go crazy when she hears a baby cry?

The answer to both, btw, is yes. If we see a sudden sharp drop in the birth rate among millennial women with Hulu subscriptions, Handmaid’s Tale is to blame.

At The Waterford House


The bitch is back!!! That’s right! Offred, and more importantly, Offred’s boobs, had to be moved back into the Waterford house so they could hear the baby crying.  Pregnancy. Is. Crazy.

Serena, as you can imagine, is pissssed.

She’s like, just found out your ex is hanging out with that bitch you always knew he wanted to hang out with mad

She’s like, your bf liked a photo of that bitch you told him never to like a photo of mad.

She’s like, Sami when Ronny made fun of her big toe mad.

It’s not good.

Emily’s New Job


Cut to: Aunt Lydia and Emily going to her new job. I wonder how you skate over the fact that your last employer died inside you in a job interview.

And Emily’s new boss is…Josh Lyman from The West Wing!!!

Emily: May the Lord open.
Him: Super.


Why do I immediately get the feeling he’s going to be okay? He’s got a weird vibe, sure, but this man worked for the Bartlett Administration!

Then he immediately threatens to beat his off-screen wife and I’m like, “Hmm perhaps I trusted him too soon…”

At The Waterford House

Cut To: Offred and Baby Wife in the kitchen.

Eden is still in her lederhosen, just dicking around in the kitchen. Eden is a sober over share-er, which is one of the worst things to be. She’s that girl who sits down at your lunch table in sixth grade and starts to tell you all about her parents’ divorce and you’re like, “Uh I just asked if you were gonna finish those fries…”

Baby Wife: Does it hurt to pump?
Me: Actually I did have that exact question…
Baby Wife: I can’t wait to feel it.
Me: Ugh okay Eden you already made it weird.

She and June still have a nice moment here where June tells Baby Wife to “snatch up love wherever you can get it.”

Baby Wife: I will take this good ad vice and use it to literally destroy my own life.

Cut to: the next morning, when no one can find Eden.

Nick: Anybody seen my child bride?

Rita: I have a baby to take care of and now I have to take care of your wife?

Lol at this shade from Rita. I’m starting to feel like we need 100% more Rita in the seasons to come.

June: Maybe she went to the mall, I heard there was a sale at Old Navy.

Another sick burn from a member of the Waterford household. Eden totally would shop at Old Navy.

Once Nick and Offred are done making fun of the way Eden dresses (there’s a lot to say), they decide to talk about their baby.

Nick: We should run away.

Me: Um you guys have tried that twice this season already don’t you remember?

Finally people are discussing Hawaii as an option. I can’t believe everyone has been so focused on Canada when you could go to Hawaii this whole time. Just talk to that guy who smokes cigarettes inside!

June tells Nick the baby’s name is Holly, and she didn’t even spell it weird or anything, further proving Offred is a better mom than Serena Joy.

Then Mr. Waterford walks in and drops a bomb: Isaac, the 20-year-old guard who Eden kissed and talked about soup with, is also missing.

HE AND BABY WIFE RAN AWAY! YASS BABY WIFE GO GET THAT DICK, GURL!! Guess you did have some personality under that braid crown!

Nick tells on Baby Wife right away and, tbh, I think that was very fucked up of him. He really had to tell Mr. Waterford what was up at that exact second? He couldn’t have let her get a little bit of a head start considering all the shit he’s pulled? You couldn’t let them have another hour of food-based conversation and light kissing before you blew up their spot?

Damn, Nick. That’s cold.

The Nursery, Oh God, The Nursery

Cut to: Serena and her baby having zero fucking chemistry

Anybody else feel like this emphasis on biological motherhood is all kind of mean to adoptive parents who definitely love and raise babies all the time even if they can’t breast feed them? Did I eat too many edibles to prep for this episode?

Whatever – it’s fine – it’s not like they’re going to show something so disturbing it’ll freak me out for days to co – OH MY GOD SERENA JOY IS GOING TO TRY TO BREAST FEED THIS BABY WITH HER DRY ASS WHSKEY TITTY.

Here are all my thoughts, in order, exactly as I recorded them:


Three rules I know in life:

1) Never sleep with a guy without a bed frame (more than once)
2)  Never go anywhere with Aunt lydia.

3) Do not eat edibles before Handmaid’s Tale.

Offred vs. Fred

Mr. Waterford is raging around the kitchen, slut shaming Eden, which is p. rich for a guy who once raped a pregnant lady.

Mr. Waterford: Why would a girl risk so much to leave?


Once again, Mr. Waterford seems genuinely surprised and hurt that Offred doesn’t like him. He’s shocked she didn’t come down from the attic when he and Serena came to the abandoned house. He’s butthurt and confused about his whole life. He’s brimming with emotion. He’s the Drake of Gilead.

Mr. Waterford: KIKI OFFRED DO YOU LOVE ME?!??!

June then offers to play Scrabble with Mr. Waterford in the most menacing way anyone has ever offered to play Scrabble ever.

Offred (external): Hey want to play scrabble?
Offred (internal): I am going to kill you the next time we are alone.

The Gilead Wing Starring Emily

Back to Emily, whose sad-ass life is about to get even sadder.

Emily is about to get ready for bed when in the mirror appears – A FACE!!! Who is this ghostly bitch? From whence did this spooky skank appear? How did she get in Emily’s bedroom? What does she need us to do in order to help her soul find peace?

Oh no it’s just Commander Lawrence’s wife. And she is here to spill TEA, henni! Yaas!

Ghost Bitch: You know I don’t want to start drama but like, Commander Lawrence totally invented the colonies and that’s why I don’t fuck with him no more.


Just when the goss is getting good, Commander Josh Lyman shows up and drags his wife out like she’s Sarah Sanders at the Red Hen. So sad.

Commander Lawrence then invites Emily to an impromptu dinner, where she stays totally silent which is probably a good idea since her new boss is apparently Joseph Goebbles.

Side note: What does “inventing” the colonies mean? He came up with the idea of forced labor in a toxic setting? That doesn’t feel like it would require much brain power.

Commander Lawrence then starts alternately hitting on and terrifying Emily, which is kind of like the “U Up?” text of Gilead. It’s the #1 method of flirting.

Emily takes a big gulp of the wine he poured for her because I guess she figures, “Well, if I’m going to have to live with the guy who invented the colonies, I might as well get drunk.” I respect that.

Commander Lawrence then brings up the fact that Emily had her clit removed which is, frankly, rude in polite conversation.

Justice For Baby Wife

Baby Wife has been found (thanks Nick) and shit is pretty serious.

I do just want to say, that it is truly so Baby Wife of Baby Wife to run away with a guy she kissed one time. Like, here is an accurate representation of every conversation she and her new lover have had:

Eden: I know how to make soup.

Isaac: That sounds good.

Eden: I can also make pie.

Isaac: Yum.


Isaac: Hi

Eden: Hi

**Starts making out immediately**

I guess what I’m saying is, Eden, girl, you do not have to die for your first boyfriend. Like, I’m not out here risking it all for Stephen R. from my 8th grade Algebra class. You can let this guy go.

But no, Eden is determined to die for this guy, even though she finally got the one thing every woman has ever wanted – her ex to apologize for being such a dick.

Eden starts praying like a lunatic and you know she’s really serious. She’s not going to apologize. She’s not going to try and get out of it. She’s literally going to die for a dude who kissed her on the neck once and talked about borscht.

Honestly, this was not how I expected her to go.

At The Pool

Cut to: …the pool? Why are we at the pool? Is Eden about to compete in her high school’s swim meet? She’s going to dazzle us with a high dive? and in that dress?

Nope, of course not. This is just yet another one of Gilead’s bizarre murder methods. These people know that guns exist, right? Like, there’s no reason to waste a perfectly good indoor pool with murder. These people do not have their priorities straight.

Serena Joy brought the baby with her to the execution, because why not start them on that shit early. Her name is already Nichole. She has nothing to lose.

Again, this moment is supposed to be very emotional because they’re so in love that they’re going to die for each other, but I can’t help but think about all the guys I’ve kissed since my first kiss, and how I wouldn’t drown in a pool for a single fucking one of them.

And then everyone just watches Baby Wife and her boyfriend drown in the pool. They hit the bottom and we see all these other ball and chains, showing that Gilead does this kind of a thing a lot. Once again, these people have no respect for the sanctity of an indoor pool.

At The Waterford House

Despite the fact that literally everyone ignored/made fun of her when she was alive (see: Offred’s Old Navy joke from 5 minutes ago), the whole house is pretty upset that Baby Wife got drowned in the pool.

For a brief moment, Serena and Offred are able to put their shit aside, even though Serena has the same annoying habit Eden did of launching into lengthy prayers at inappropriate times.

Baby Nicholly starts crying and I’m like, “Offred get out of there! She’s gonna try to breast feed from her non-lactating breast again! Save yourself you know not what horrors will unfold!”

Luckily, the loss of Baby Wife has temporarily returned some of SJ’s sanity, and she decides instead of praying for God to milk-ify her breast, she’ll just let the baby’s actual mother touch it for once.

It works, obviously, either because the baby was comforted by its mother’s embrace, or because it finally gets to hang out with the one person who doesn’t call it “Nichole.”

Next week is the finale, and if we already got to “non-lactating woman attempting to get a nursing baby to suck on her dry nipple” then God only knows what they have in store for us next week.

Alise Morales
Alise Morales
Alise Morales is a comedy writer and performer. She is the writer of the Betches Sup Newsletter and co-host of the Betches Sup Podcast.