Luke's Hipster Survival Guide: 'The Handmaid's Tale' Recap

You know how when you’re watching The Handmaid’s Tale you often think, “yes, but what about the men’s stories? I want to hear more from the men!” And remember how when we met Luke, Offred’s hipster husband from before everything went to crazy town you were like, “Let’s follow this riveting character for an entire episode!”

Yup. This week was a whole episode of just Luke. No Offred. No Serena Joy. We don’t even get Crazy-Ass One Eyeball Janine. Just Luke, two seconds of Offred, their gorgeous child, and a shitload of random Canadian hipsters.

This. Is. Not. What. I. Watch. This. Shit. For. We were literally just starting to get to the actual sexy sex (aka “consensual sex”) parts and then the writers decide to throw us a full episode of Luke in the tundra clutching a gunshot wound? No thank you. If I wanted to watch men run around in the woods I would have watched The Revenant instead of immediately dumping my boyfriend for suggesting it.

Anyway, here’s the recap:

As we all know, last episode we found out that Luke was alive and Offred was able to get a message to him via the Mexican ambassador’s friend, who turned out to be a very clutch person.

Offred: But he was shot! I heard the gunshots.
Mexican Ambassador’s Friend: Hearing gunshots but not seeing a body is a common storytelling device for revealing at a later time that a character is still alive! Jesus, they really don’t let you read, do they?

We open on Luke, Offred, and Gorgeous Baby Hannah hauling ass to Canada. Things are going fine until Luke, for literally no reason, drives off the road into a ditch.

Now is really not the time to be distracted by your aux cord, dude.

The rest is a recap of what we already know: Offred and Gorgeous Baby Hannah bolt to the border only to be caught by the Guardians (aka the cops), Luke gets shot and left for dead.

What we didn’t now is Luke’s not dead. He’s just shot pretty bad. Honestly, if you didn’t see this coming from a mile away go to the optometrist because you need stronger contacts.

Luke blacks out from the whole blood loss thing and wakes up in an ambulance, which is cool for about two seconds until that ambulance also gets into a car accident and flips over.

Two car accidents in the span of 30 minutes? Get you a man who can do both, I guess.

Luke survives yet again, leading me to believe that the real story here is that Luke is some kind of superhero with regeneration powers. Like Hayden Panettiere in that show about the cheerleader.

Luke sets off on priority number one when you’ve just been in two car accidents, shot, and your wife and kid are missing: finding his Warby Parkers and throwing on a sweet cardigan.

Mission accomplished. Luke seamlessly transitions his look from “two car accidents and a bullet wound” to “recurring character on Girls” and sets off into the woods. Honestly, this dude’s dedication to style is really admirable.

Cut to an eternity of Luke all dazed and wandering through the woods. I get up. I make myself some popcorn. I come back. He’s still in the woods. I text some people. Start some drama. Look up from my phone. Luke is still in the woods. I call the people I texted before. I tell them I’m sorry. We solve it. Luke is still in the woods. I go on Tinder. Swipe right. Meet someone. We go out. We date a little bit. It doesn’t work out because the sex was bad. I ghost him. I come back. Luke is still in the woods.

And so on and so forth until the day I die.

Luke finally finds refuge in an abandoned town with a bunch of anti-gay slurs spray painted everywhere and glass all over the place. So basically like, fraternity row during the summer.

It appears to be cold AF.

Luke: *is dying*
Audience: Ugh I hope he fucking kicks the bucket soon so the episode can switch back to Offred’s POV.

Flashback to Offred and Luke on their way to flee the border. They gave Gorgeous Baby Hannah a shitload of pills, so she’s either sleeping or tripping balls. Either way, she’s quiet.

They meet some shady old border crossing dude who is clearly their contact for getting into Canada to chill with Justin Trudeau (I’m assuming Justin Trudeau is still Prime Minister in this universe).

Border Crossing Guy: Leave your backpack. If they think you’re fleeing they’ll kill you.
Luke: But what about all our photo albums!
Offred: Um hey dude I’m like five minutes from being sold into religious reproductive servitude so let’s do what the guy says and give him the fucking backpack, we’ll take pictures when we get to Canada thankssomuch.
Luke: I hear that. I respect that. I’m taking the photo albums.

Luke, Offred, and Drugged Out Baby Hannah pop in the trunk of border crossing guy’s car, and shit is all good until they’re stopped by the cops. You think the jig is up, but then the cop who inspects the car pretends not to see them.

Border Crossing Guy: Haha yeah that cop’s my friend. I fucked his sister once and now he owes me a favor.
Luke: Uh…what?

They arrive at Border Crossing Guy’s house and Hannah is still dead asleep, meaning they must have really put her on some good shit. Like, they’ve been through hours of driving, a ride in the trunk, and a brush with the police and homegirl is still dead asleep. Can someone please get me Offred’s dealer? I don’t believe for one second this is Benadryl.

Border Crossing Guy: Hey Luke have you ever used a gun?
Luke: Literally look at me. Have you seen my scarf? Of course I haven’t ever used a gun. Unless by “used a gun” you mean “read a New Yorker cartoon,” in which case—
Border Crossing Guy: *shows him how to use a gun*

Cut back to present-day Luke, being rudely awoken by some chick with a flashlight.

Flashlight Girl: *looks at his gunshot wound* You’re gonna bleed to death.
Luke: You know I was kind of getting that feeling.

Luke gets carted away by a group of freedom fighter looking types, who happen to all also be hipsters. Has Luke found his tribe?? Based on the number of beanies per capita in this bus, I’d say yes. Honestly I’m surprised no one has tried to feed him a vegan kale smoothie or asked him if he’s seen the new Twin Peaks. Am I really supposed to believe that this guy survived the downfall of the American government?

Flashback to Luke, Offred, and Hannah casually playing outside while waiting for Border Crossing Guy as if they’re not like, in fucking hiding and shit. They get spotted by someone because, of course they did.

Cut back to Luke, who has decided he’s getting off the Bonnaroo bus and going back to find Offred and their Xanax child. The girl who found Luke, who appears to be the leader of the hipsters, replies with a hearty “nah.”

Luke: Stop the bus I’m getting off.
Leader Of The Hipsters: Lol I have a gun sit the fuck down.
Luke: Okay well I tried.

Flashback to Offred and Luke being rudely barged in upon by the guy who spotted them before. Luke does literally nothing while Offred immediately pulls out a gun.

Who run da world?

The random man tells them that their border crossing guy was killed, and that they have to GTFO right now because the police know about them. Fuck. Okay.

Random Guy: This is all pretty fucked up, huh?
Offred: They’re going to steal my daughter and make me fuck old people for a living.

Cut back to Luke, who has finally been let off the bus and is planning to head back into the U.S. to try and find Offred and Hannah.

Hipster Leader: Hey, before you go, let me show you a bunch of dead bodies I found.
Luke: Okay, okay I’ll go with you to Canada.

We’re finally at the border crossing and there’s a problem: the hipster tourbus only paid for five people to cross, and now that Luke is there, there are six.

New Border Crossing Guy: I need payment.
Luke (after two seconds of thought): Here is my wedding ring.

Damn. That’s a pretty quick turnaround from “I’m going back into Gilead to save my family” to “here is my wedding ring, take it, it’s trash.”

Luke, I see you.

Hipster Leader, Luke, and this chick who has been crying the whole time go to get on their border crossing boat when out of nowhere, people start shooting at them like crazy. Hipster Leader gets shot and dies.

RIP Leader of the Hipsters. You had great eyebrows, and for that, you will be missed.

Chick who has been crying the whole time is really crying now. She’s the Crazy-Ass One Eyeball Janine of this episode.

We jump a full three years into the future. Luke has made it to whatever is left of the United States. We know this because like the current United States, there are fucking flags everywhere. He’s casually chilling with Girl Who Cries All The Time; she’s stopped crying.

Luke gets a strange phone call and hauls ass to an American government office, where a lady tells him what we already know: Offred is alive, and she has a message for him.

Luke. Is. Stoked. Somewhere back in Gilead, Offred is looking determinedly off into the distance (like she does).

We finally hear what Offred’s letter said:

I love you.
So much.
Save Hannah.

And with that, Offred rolls up in the last 30 seconds to steal an episode she literally had four lines in. Let’s hope we get back to her story next episode. 

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.