The Handmaid's Tale season 2: Is Fred Waterford dead? Episode 6 ending could change everything

An already busy episode saw a dramatic conclusion

Christopher Hooton
Wednesday 23 May 2018 16:09
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The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Trailer

They cut out her tongue so she spoke the only way she could, with violence.

The Handmaid's Tale season 2 episode 6's 'First Blood' title turned out not only to refer to the bleeding Offred experienced during her pregnancy but a bloody blow to Gilead, as Ofglen detonated a bomb at the launch of Fred Waterford's new Rachel and Leah Centre.

To recap, Fred had been making final preparations earlier in the episode to the building, which was to house and train new handmaids. Unofficially known as 'Red Centers', this latest vast and shiny one represented a further dehumanising of the handmaids, an industrial, institutionalising approach to the birth rate problem by the government that would allow women to be processed like cattle.

Ofglen (the second, Emily being the first Ofglen we were introduced to), who had her tongue cut out off-screen earlier in the season for speaking out against the stoning of Janine, symbolically destroyed the centre by breaking away from the other handmaids at the launch to carry out a suicide bombing.

The blast, which we can assume was planned with help from the Mayday resistance group, was large and almost certainly killed everyone at the launch. Ofglen was standing right next to Fred when she hit the button, and his boss was only a few feet away.

“In a terrible way, I wanted to see if people could feel sorry for the suicide bomber,” show creator Bruce Miller told Vanity Fair. “If you could feel sympathy and be on their side..."

He pointed out that the attack also cost the lives of several housemaids, not all of whom fled.

"I just wanted to show that having a violent group supporting you, it doesn’t help that they’re supporting you," he added. "You’re not safe. Violence is violence.

“I just like underlining the idea that a violent world hurts everybody. It doesn’t just hurt the people you’re aiming it at.”

Serena will now be left to grieve her dead husband in episode 7 while Offred/June will likely feel conflicted, as his last interaction with her involved an act of kindness, Fred having given her a picture of her daughter (if just to try and persuade her into having sex with him).

The Handmaid's Tale continues on Hulu and a few weeks behind on Channel 4 in the UK.

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