Handmaid In The Streets, Freak In The Sheets: 'The Handmaid's Tale' Recap

The good people at Hulu hit us with a double-dose of Handmaid’s Tale this week and, tbh, I think I speak for everyone when I say that I am drained, I am scarred, and I am literally dying to see episode three. This week, the writers of Handmaid’s Tale seek to answer the age-old question: what’s worse than living in Gilead as a sex slave? The answer: living in the colonies as a former sex slave.

Good to know.

Offred’s Escape Room

Before we get into anything colony related, we have to check in with our girl Offred at her Airbnb provided by Mayday, the mysterious rebel group that, tbh, should probably step up its rebelling game. Shit is getting serious.

Offred: Gilead is inside you — like the spirit of the Lord, or the commander’s cock, or cancer.

Offred is escorted to her new hiding place by a man who, based on his speech pattern, is some sort of old timey sea captain and/or pirate.

Offred: What’s next?

Offred After She’s Left Alone In The Warehouse: Wait! You never told me the wifi password!

Sidenote/poll: Should we be calling Offred June now? Am I participating in Offred’s continued oppression by not calling her June? Am I overthinking this given the fact that Offred is, like, not a real person? LMK…

The Motherfuckin’ Colonies

Time to see what Rory Gilmore – I mean Ofglen – I mean Emily – is up to.

Didn’t realize that cleaning up toxic sludge in what used to be rural Wisconsin could actually be worse than what I’d imagined, but here we are.

Everybody in the colonies has terrible skin. Like, really bad. I guess they don’t have face masks in the colonies, further underscoring how terrible a place it must be.

Flashback To Professor Ofglen

Professor Ofglen: Class, I want you to smell yourselves! Smell your armpits for science!
*Students all open their laptops and collectively drop her class*

Student: Professor Ofglen, do men get less sexist as you get older?
Professor Ofglen:

Ofglen’s Boss: Hey girl, amazing news! You’re not teaching anymore.
Professor Ofglen: ….where was the good news there?

We can all smell the homophobia from, like, a mile away here, but it takes Ofglen’s boss a hot sec to get to it. Finally, he spits it out:

Ofglen’s Boss: You have a pic of your wife on your phone, and the board thinks that creates a hostile learning environment.
Me: Wait til you hear about how she made her students smell themselves.

Ofglen’s boss tries to convince her that this isn’t a demotion, it’s actually an opportunity. An opportunity to not have her job anymore.

Ofglen’s response:


Then we find out that Ofglen’s boss is ALSO GAY because the Handmaid’s Tale is full of surprises.

Back To The Colonies

Cut to: obligatory scene of people getting tased. Based on how much taser use there’s been in season 2 so far, I think it is safe to say that tasers are one of Gilead’s main exports.

The colonies are basically every office during flu season: everybody is sick, but still working. This collective illness either comes from cleaning up toxic waste all day, or from being in the Midwest. There’s really no way to know.

Me: Honestly, the colonies are bad, but they don’t seem that bad. Like I bet I could rock it
*Woman rips off her own fingernail*

Just when you thought, “eh someone just ripped their own fingernail off so I think I’m done with Handmaid’s Tale,” Marisa Tomei shows up as at disgraced former wife who had an affair and had to be sent to the colonies, and suddenly you’re drawn back in.

Damn you, Handmaid’s Tale. Just like a guy who’s bad at texting but smells good, you make me feel terrible and yet I keep coming back.

Back To Offred’s Escape Room

Cut to: Offred crying alone in her room like she’s me when I experience a minor inconvenience or something.

Nick: Offred, what happened?
Offred: I mean, are you talking about just now, or throughout my entire life?

Offred is pissed because she realized her new sublet used to be a slaughterhouse where many innocent people were either shot or hanged. This is why I always Google an address before moving in.

Nick: Yeah, so I get you don’t like it here, but you have to stay.

Offred then stages a very big and dramatic fight with Nick, wherein she threatens to leave him, but ultimately it turns out she just wanted to hook up. Who does she think she is, me?

Cut to: Montage of Nick and Offred aggressively fucking in every position imaginable, all over the abandoned slaughterhouse, to the point of exhaustion.

You know what they say, handmaid in the streets, freak in the sheets.

Marisa And Rory Become BFF

So the colonies are basically the movie Holes with more toxic waste and less Shia LaBeouf. Got it.

Ofglen decides to make nice with social outcast Marisa Tomei. Most women there were handmaids, so they’re not suuuuper into bringing one of the wives into their friend group. Makes sense.

Marisa Tomei: Before the war I had an MFA in interior design!
Ofglen: Yeah cool I was a fucking scientist.

Marisa wastes no time revealing that, in addition to being a hyper-religious oppressor who aided in the state-sponsored violation of women, she’s also really fucking annoying and asks the same questions over and over again. Noted.

Flashback To Professor Ofglen’s Last Day At Work

Ofglen: Wow! Can’t wait to get to work and show this world that I’m not afraid! Nobody can scare me into not tea – OH MY GOD THEY HANGED MY FRIEND FOR BEING GAY.

A world where you can’t even be gay in college? No. Fucking. Thanks.


Ofglen hauls ass to the airport with her wife and child, and it is a shit show. ACLU and ICE people are running around all over the place which is Handmaid’s Tale’s cute way of telling the audience, “this could happen to you!” This whole episode had a very “actually happening in 2018” vibe and I don’t appreciate it.

Ofglen’s wife has the good fortune of being Canadian, so they’re allowed to leave the country.

Immigration Police to Ofglen’s Wife & Child:

Immigration Police to Ofglen:

What follows is truly the longest and most emotionally devastating escalator ride since Trump’s 2015 golden Trump Tower escalator ride where he announced he was running for president, which I assume also took place in the Handmaid’s Tale universe.

Me after watching this scene:

Murder In Murdertown

Ofglen stumbles upon Marisa Tomei, who appears to be suffering from a wicked hangover.

Marisa Tomei: Ugh, I drank too much last night.
Ofglen: Nah bitch, I poisoned you.

Turns out, Ofglen was never intending to be BFF with Marisa Tomei. She just wanted to trick her into eating poison. Put that down in the fake friendship hall of fame.

Me: Seems a little intense to poison this lady just because she was a wife….
Ofglen: You held a woman down every month while your husband raped her.

Ofglen then hangs Marisa Tomei’s dead body up in the front yard, like ya do. The next morning, everyone comes out and unanimously agrees their new lawn ornament is dope.

Then, who pulls up out of nowhere but Crazy-Ass One Eyeball Janine! Omg! Reunion! Ofglen and Janine hug for a quick sec (hugging is obviously not allowed in the colonies) before Janine is rushed away.

Ofglen and Janine:

Cut To: Offred Watching Friends?

In another very rude attempt to make us all feel like The Handmaid’s Tale is real, the final scene of this episode begins with Ofglen watching Friends reruns on her boyfriend’s iPad.

Hey Handmaid’s Tale, next time you want to use scenes from my own life, @ me, okay?

On the bright side, at least Offred finally got that wifi password.

Turns out the warehouse she’s been staying in is the old headquarters of the Boston Globe, and it’s littered with leftover belongings from the people who worked there.

Like Offred, I also wonder wtf happened to the woman who left behind a single beige kitten heel. Guess we’ll never know.

Offred holds a little vigil, either for the people who died in the slaughterhouse, or for my sense of emotional wellbeing after getting through this episode. Could really be either…

Images: Giphy (11); Hulu (1)

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.