The Handmaid’s Tale – S04E02 – Nightshade [Transcript]

June plots revenge at the local Jezebels, before she and the Handmaids plan to leave the farm for the next safe house. In Toronto, Moira deals with the fallout of June's choices. Serena and Fred are bound together by a miracle.
The Handmaid's Tale - S04E02 - Nightshade

Original release date: April 27, 2021

Using the farmhouse as their base of operation, June prepares to take out a compound filled with commanders and stealing documents that will help Mayday. June learns that Nick is stationed at the compound and he promises to help, sending a subordinate who is sympathetic with Mayday to help them gain entrance. However, the other handmaids don’t trust Nick and June agrees to complete the mission solo and instructs Janine to take her fellow handmaids further north if she doesn’t return. June is then betrayed by Nick, who takes her prisoner. Former Martha Rita struggles with her new freedom in Canada, as the rescued children are reunited with family in Canada, though several express a desire to return to their family in Gilead. Aunt Lydia meanwhile undergoes a brutal interrogation at the hands of the Eyes, as she declares June a menace that must be destroyed before she takes down Gilead.

* * *

[dogs barking]

[June exhales]

[June] Okay, go.

[water splashing]

[pigs grunting]

[Alma] They’re here for us.

Nope. Not with just one car.

Just stay calm and keep working.

Janine, come here.

Come with me.


I need you not to run, okay?



[June] Come here.

[cow mooing]

[Guardian] Blessed day, ma’am.


[breathing rapidly]

Look at me. It’s gonna be all right.


All right?

Good girl.


Now go find Alma.


Wait, where are you going? [breathing heavily]


[Guardian] Oh, that’s all right.

I’m sure he’ll turn up somewhere.

[speaking indistinctly]

[indistinct radio chatter]

Would you like some lemonade?

[Guardian] Thank you, no. We’ll just be a minute.

I’m embarrassed to say that this has happened before with Guardian Pogue.

He’s been written up twice in the last month.

[Mrs. Keyes] Really?

Passed out in someone’s stable once.

[indistinct radio chatter]

We haven’t seen him.

[Commander Keyes grunts]

[cane thuds]

[Commander Keyes mumbling]

[Mrs. Keyes] Drink this, dear.

[Guardian] Is he okay?

He’s fine.


It helps him with his pain.

Could we speak with your Marthas?

[controlled breathing]

[Mrs. Keyes] They’re in the middle of bottling cider.

I could go and get them.

[Guardian] They can finish their work.

‐[controlled breathing]

[Guardian] We’ll come back.

[Mrs. Keyes] Of course.

Blessed day.

Blessed day, ma’am. I’ll show myself out.

[indistinct radio chatter]

[door opens]

[door closes]

[Commander Keyes exhales]

[sighs in relief]

How did I do?



You did great.

I can wash that for you.

What does it mean… that they came here?

It means I have to leave.

We always knew we’d have to leave sometime.

The plan’s the same. Mayday will help us.

They’ll get us to a cell on the western border.

No, thanks. I want out of this fucking place.

I hear the Republic of Texas is letting people in.

You cannot go all that way on a rumor.

Are we any safer with Mayday?

They’ve gotten us this far.


[Brianna] I don’t want to fight.

None of us wanted to, at first.

[door creaks open]


Did you hear from Mayday?

The contact will only talk to you.

Let’s go.

Well, why can’t they come here?

Well, you can leave. She can’t.

[indistinct radio chatter]

[Janine] June.



Be careful.


[Luke] Some of you know my wife.

She’s a beautiful person, capable of great things.

[woman] Hey, it’s good to see you.


It took some very brave people to make Angels’ Flight happen.

June was one of them.

Would you like to meet another?

[all applauding]

Rita Blue, she was a Martha, and…

And she was on that plane.

[applause continues]

Come on up.

[Rita] Thank you for coming.

You were great.

When I first met June, I didn’t think that she could do something like this…

Save all of these children…

Save me.

Angels’ Flight is because of her.

She got us out.

And she stayed behind to keep fighting, even knowing what that could mean.

Gilead has a way of bringing out the worst in people.

But in June it brought out the best.

[voice shaking]

And… [voice breaking] And… I’m sorry, uh…

You’re doing great, you’re doing great.

Look, as far as we know, June is still alive.

And that hope is what keeps us going, and what keeps the mission going.

So thank you.

Thank you, yes!

[Luke] Give it up!

[all applauding]

You did great. You did great.

[chuckles softly]

This is the, uh, point where I’m supposed to subtly shift the subject to money.

[audience titters]

Hi. You did so great.

[Luke] Look, we all know…

[Rita exhales]

…why we’re here, right?


[Moira] Okay.

And some of our ace fundraisers, they’re gonna be coming around…

[speaking indistinctly]

[Luke] Come on up, guys, and…

[Moira] Hi.


And what you give today helps the staff and the volunteers…

Volunteers, raise your hand!

Yeah, these fine folks, it helps them continue what June started, and that’s reuniting families, it’s making homes, and…

Thank you.

Thank you.

[Luke] And that means clothes and books.

You can help these kids start their new lives outside of Gilead.

Thank you.

[all applauding]

[Moira] Thank you.

[applause continues]

[Moira] Hey.


You did great.

I don’t know.

Luke’s so good at this.

Oh, yeah, he… He surprised me.

Um, but thank you… for speaking.

Well, Luke asked me, so I couldn’t say no.

Sure you could.

“Free” means you’re free to say no.

Well, being here is a gift.

I thank God for it every day.

And for June.

Well, June’s still there and raisin’ hell.

I keep her in my prayers.

Pray for Gilead.

[David] Get back.

[brakes screech]

Pickup for Commander Keyes.

All right.

[indistinct radio chatter]

[brakes screech]

[David] Stay here.

[Guardian 1] Blessed day.

[David] Blessed day to you.


Commander Keyes sent me.

He’s got a shipment to pick up.

[indistinct radio chatter]

[Guardian 1] I don’t know about anything, but let me check.

[David] Okay.

Let’s wait inside.

[indistinct radio chatter]

How are you doing?

Blessed day.

Commander. It’s been a while.

[breathing unsteadily]

[birds chirping]

[door unlocking]

[controlled breathing]

[indistinct shouting]

[door unlocking]

Follow me.

[indistinct shouting]

[birds twittering]


[indistinct conversations]

[June] Places like this have always been about fantasies.

[woman moaning in pleasure]

[June] They were built so men could act like country lords.

Pretend you’re rich for a weekend.

Now they’re for fantasies of a different kind.

[indistinct conversations]

[Commander 1 laughs]

[Commander 2] I mean, you have short, simple…

[Commander 1 laughs]

[indistinct chatter]

[glass shatters]


[water trickling]

[door closes]

[water flowing]

[woman] I thought you’d be taller.

The Handmaid that killed Commander Winslow.

Where’d you get the knife?

It was a pen.

You’ve been busy.

First, Winslow and then your Air Canada thing.

What have you heard?

They’re keeping a lid on it, officially.

But word’s gotten out.

People are doing stuff.

Slashing tires, cutting power lines.

[heels clicking]

Someone blew up a checkpoint.

[chuckles softly]

All of those kids… free.

I can’t believe you did that.

They took my daughter.

Do you have a safe house for us?

Yeah. The Murrows.

It’s a yellow farmhouse about 13 miles west of you down Highway 44, in a stand of poplars.

Stick to the woods.

A quilt hanging on the line means it’s safe.

[men laughing]

Can you leave tomorrow night?

No. Guardians came to the house today.

I need to leave tonight.

I can’t send the word until tomorrow.

If they’re not expecting you, you’ll get a face full of buckshot.

How did you know about Winslow?

I was in Boston before this.

And after he went missing, they cleaned house.

I was one of the lucky ones.

I saw some military Commanders on the way in.

Yeah, they’re here for a couple more days.

One last party before Chicago.

Why are they going there?

To lead some new offensive, I think.

Just fucking sitting ducks.

Mayday should do something.

You really think that Mayday would liberate this place?


I fucking gave up on that a long time ago.

Hey, it isn’t an army.

We are Mayday.

They’re people just like us.

[machine whirring]

Did he do that?

Not directly.

It was an appropriate punishment under Gilead law.

Over there.

[doctor] Did your husband ever sexually assault you?

[camera shutter clicks]


[nurse] Turn.

[doctor] Did he ever have unprotected sex with anyone besides yourself or your Handmaids?

[camera shutter clicks]


[nurse] Turn.

[doctor] How many partners?

I don’t know.

He frequented a brothel.

[camera shutter clicks]

[doctor] We’ll want to check for STDs.

We’ll draw some blood and get a genital swab.

I know this is difficult, Mrs. Waterford.


[doctor] Over here.

[vials clinking]

Were there any other instances of physical abuse?



He struck me here.

[doctor] Another appropriate punishment?

It’s not that simple.

[doctor] I’m sure. May I?


[vials clinking]

[doctor] Looks like it didn’t leave a permanent mark.

Look, I understand what you’re saying, and…

[rain pattering]

And I’m trying, but I just don’t feel comfortable with this approach.

Except that it is your best chance to get this charge dismissed.



Then we can restore your immunity deal.

And get Nichole back in your life.

By playing the victim.

By establishing a pattern of abuse.


That will help the judge see that you’ve acted out of fear for your own safety.

But it wasn’t abuse.

Not exactly. [sighs]

Okay, I, uh… I’m gonna step out and make a few calls.

I’ll be back in a bit.

[knocks on door]

[door unlocks, beeps]

[footsteps receding]

[door locks, beeps]

Ms. Mathis just wants you to consider what’s in your best interest.

Well, you might have thought about that when you served the warrant.

You arrested me.

Now you’ve got an accused sex offender as your key witness against Fred.

[Mark sighs]

None of this is easy.

I know.

He acted out of anger.

He probably regrets it.

I… I don’t understand why you’re giving him the benefit of the doubt.

After all he’s done. Just…

Because I knew him before Gilead.

Could I see him? Alone?

I’m going to get Fred to drop the claim.

I’ll see what I can do.

Okay. Thank you.

‐[knocks on door]

[door unlocks, beeps]

[door locks, beeps]

[Moira mumbling]

Aw, shit.

The Spencers fell through.

They were for Alyssa.

Said it’d be “too confusing” for their own kid.

Okay. Well, back to the list.

[Moira] That’s it for family.

[Emily] We have survivors from her church.


We’ll find her a good home.

So many people want to adopt.

Yeah, and they all need to be vetted.

[sighs] At least they’re here.

Better than there.


Uh, did you ask the Reids for Asher’s SIN form?

Mm. They didn’t come in today.

Should I leave them another message?

[Oona] You look cute. [chuckles]


[Oona] How was it?

It was good.

But now I have to stay here and do all the things I didn’t do because I was there.

Oh, so no dinner.

I’m sorry.

It’s all right.

[Oona] I leave for the resupply to Thunder Bay tomorrow night.

[Moira] I know.

Can I come over later?

Can you sleep over later?


She looks cute in her mouthguard too, you know.



‐[Moira] Why would you say it?

[Oona chuckles]

It’s true! Text me.



You should go, have dinner.

Don’t waste that outfit on me.

Nah, I’m gonna stay here and help out till you’re ready to go home.

Okay, um, I’ll go visit the Reids tomorrow.

She’s seen you in your mouthguard?

Go fuck yourself.


Oh, my God.

[Alma] June, this is a terrible idea.

I can handle it. No one’s asking you to do anything.

[Alma] No one’s asking you. You could just leave.

We could all just leave.

I won’t have a chance after tomorrow.

Still waiting to hear why.

‘Cause I think these women deserve to be free.

Is that it?

Or do you just want to kill a bunch of Commanders?


And help the people in Chicago.

I can’t not do this, Alma.

[Martha coughing]

So, you’re just gonna Rambo in there and shoot the place up? Get yourself killed or caught?

Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.

I… I think that we need a, um, like, a time bomb.

You know? Do you know how to make one?


[Janine] No?

[June] No, I don’t.

So, what then?

I don’t know yet, okay?

[door opens]

[glasses clinking]

[dog barking]

You stopped talking when I came in.

I don’t like that.

[murmuring indistinctly]


We weren’t talking about you. Did you need something?

Those Guardians are gonna come back.

They’ll keep asking questions.

Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.

[door creaking]

[June] There’s a lot of farms for them to check.

It’s nothing for you to worry about.

[Mrs. Keyes] I can worry if I want to.

[sighs wearily]

So, we’re gonna leave tomorrow night.

[voice shaking]

Take me with you.

It’s not safe where we’re going.

It’s not safe anywhere!

I know that you think you can’t trust me, but you can.

[sobbing] Don’t leave me here alone.



[softly] Please.

All right.


[Mrs. Keyes sobs]



[sniffs and clears throat]

We’re gonna have to do something about the Commander.

Have… Have you been poisoning him?

You learn things on a farm.

Can you teach me how to make more?

[Mrs. Keyes] We’re going to need a lot.

In September, there’s fresh berries.

They’re sweet.

You can bake them into a cobbler.

[June] When did you start doing this?

Not soon enough.

I only give him a little, to keep him from being a bother.

My Martha showed me how.

He’s not a good man.

Maybe there are no good men in Gilead.

I think there are good men everywhere.

Even here.

It’s just complicated, you know?

Gilead makes it really hard to be good.


[door unlocks, beeps]

[door closes, beeps]

I hear you’re still not sleeping well.

You asked?


You’re still my wife.


[chuckles softly] Reminds me of those airport chapels.

Do you remember the one in Dallas?

Like on the book tour?

An island of grace in all that chaos.

A very small island.

[inhales deeply]

That’s how they think of God in this place.

They’ve made Him small.

My attorney told me what to expect at the motion‐to‐dismiss hearing.


It’s just a legal strategy.

You’re willing to expose every… detail of our lives, our faith, to complete strangers.

No, I don’t want to.

It doesn’t have to be like this.



Oh, you’ve gotten rusty.

You used to be so good at getting me to do what you want.

[inhales deeply]

But my eyes are open now.

[sighs] Fred, please. I just want my daughter back.

Nichole… is not your daughter.

Any more than she is mine.

And if you think I’m gonna let you have her and walk free, go start some new life, you are delusional.

You know, I thought that once you were out of Gilead, once you were out of that uniform, that you would come back to yourself.

[smacks lips] I am as you made me.

As you made us.

As I have made us?

Fred, you never once stood up for me. Not once!

Not once you got a taste of power!

I thought that was my fault!

I thought that I deserved everything that you did to me!

You know, I… I think I gave you too much freedom.

So you’re right.

It doesn’t have to be like this.


[door closes]

[children chattering]

[knocking at door]

I’m sorry. I’ve got it somewhere.

Hands full, you know.


I do know.

Instant parenthood’s not somethin’ you can really prepare for.

[indistinct chattering on TV]



You remember me, Asher? Moira?


How are you, buddy?


Well, I made three different lunches, and he wouldn’t eat any of it.

Chicken fingers. Buttered noodles. Pizza.


[Jean] What kid doesn’t like pizza?

[Moira] Mmm.


Mm. Your aunt’s a good cook.

[objects clattering]

It’s different here, huh?

[Asher] I hate it.

He keeps saying that.

I miss my Martha. And my room.

And my mom and dad.


Those people are not your mom and dad, sweetie.

Please tell him. He won’t listen to me.

It’s better if you don’t correct him.

He needs to feel what he’s feeling.

It’s okay if you miss them.

Am I gonna see them again?


And I’m sorry.

It is okay if you are sad about that‐‐

I wanna go home.

[Jean] No, get back here!

Get back here and apologize right now!

It’s all right.

It’s natural for Asher to be angry.

His name is James.

Same as my brother.

His actual father.

Excuse me.

[elevator bell rings]

[indistinct chatter]

I got the form.

What happened?

The kid’s fucked up. He misses Gilead.

Like you said, better that they’re here than there.


I mean, right now it sucks for a lot of them.

The ones that got ripped from the only families they remember.

I guess June didn’t think that part through.

‘Cause that’s what she does.

Takes the big swing, and fuck the consequences.

Look, God knows I can be a messy bitch, but that one, she… I love her, right? And I miss her, and I am worried about her.


I love Nichole but I never wanted to be a mom.

Why do you feel you have to clean up June’s messes?

Fuck if I know.

Making up for when I got out and she didn’t, I guess.

But I’m tired of feeling guilty.

I get it. She gave me her baby and stayed behind.

Who does that?




Are we terrible people?


But I don’t think so.

[Moira] I just hope she’s okay.

[dog barking]

June, are you sure you don’t want someone to come with you?

That… That place sounds kinda scary.

I’ll be all right.

I need you to stay here and take care of everyone, okay?

Get them ready for tonight.

[Janine] Okay.

Make sure she has good shoes.

Okay? It’s a long walk.

I will.

Red Leader standing by.

Thank you. I’ll be back soon, I promise.

Get them ready for tonight.

[dogs barking]


This is Rita. She’s a friend.

Blessed evening.

Blessed evening.

You were on the plane.

I was.

That was a really scary night, wasn’t it?

I thought so too.

Asher, so Rita’s gonna stay the night and cook dinner while your Aunt Jean catches up on a few things.

Some of my favorite dishes.

From home?

Yes. And I could use some help.


Could you take this off my hands?

Where’s the kitchen?

[Asher] Over there.

[Rita] All right.

Want to grab this?

All right. Thanks.

Are you sure you won’t stay?

Yeah. I, um… I’ve got plans.

[door opens]


You should’ve texted.

Oh, what, and ruin my big romantic gesture?


We can have a special dinner next week when I’m back.

My Lyft is, like… Hm, 8 minutes away.

Then we have 8 minutes of Pad Thai.

I want to have dinner with you tonight.

[car honking]

[both giggling]


I’m sorry‐‐

But seriously‐‐

Other people’s always taste better!

I got you that ’cause you said it was your favorite!

[giggling] I’m sorry!



You know… [clears throat]

you could always come with me.


[jazz music playing]


[June] Listen to the drivers, too, and grab whatever you can, car keys, radios, everything.

I don’t think I can do this.

I do.

We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for.

It’s what my mom used to say.

Daisy! What are you doing back there?

Give it to me.

I, uh…

She was just tryin’ to get something to eat, ma’am.

I told her to wait until dinner but you know how they get.

Well, make it quick.

Commander Lowe is looking for you.

Nothing too fattening, little piggy.

Yes, Aunt Wendy.

And I’ll take some tea.

[footsteps receding]

[woman singing]


[indistinct chatter]

It’s up to you.

I can just dump this out if you want.

[breathing nervously]

Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.



[woman continues singing]

Sure you don’t want to stick around for the fireworks?

[jazz music continues playing]

[exhales sharply]

[siren wailing at distance]

[door creaking open]

[car honks]

[Mark speaking indistinctly on phone]

[Serena] Where’s Dawn?

Look, I don’t know what the legal requirements are, but I need to separate my interests from Fred.

I am done with him.

We can talk about that later.

No, we can talk about it right now.

You’re pregnant, Serena.

The results from your blood test came back.


[footsteps receding]

[sighs softly]

[“Suffragette City” playing]

[indistinct shouting]

♪ Hey, man, oh, Henry Get off the phone ♪

♪ Hey, man I gotta straighten my face ♪

♪ This mellow thighed chick Just put my spine out of place ♪

[Commander 1] What’s your name? You? Yeah.

♪ Hey, man My work’s down the drain ♪

What’s going on?

♪ She said she had to squeeze it But she then she ♪

♪ Oh, don’t lean on me, man ♪

♪ ‘Cause you can’t Afford the ticket ♪

♪ I’m back on Suffragette City ♪

[woman laughing]

♪ ‘Cause you ain’t got time To check it ♪

♪ You know my Suffragette City ♪

♪ Is outta sight She’s all right ♪

♪ A Suffragette City ♪

♪ A Suffragette City ♪

♪ I’m back on Suffragette City ♪

♪ I’m back on Suffragette City ♪

♪ Ooh, Suffragette City ♪

♪ Ooh, Suffragette City ♪

♪ Ooh‐ha! Suffragette City ♪

♪ Ooh‐ha! Suffragette ♪

♪ Oh, wham‐bam Thank you, ma’am ♪

♪ A Suffragette City ♪

♪ A Suffragette City ♪

♪ Quite all right ♪

♪ A Suffragette City ♪

♪ Too fine ♪

♪ A Suffragette City ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Suffragette ♪

Something’s wrong.


[engine idling]

[vehicle door opens]

You should go. Now.

I’m not leaving you.

[breathing heavily]


[breathing heavily]



[breath trembling]

[Nick] Where are the Handmaids?

I’m trying to keep you alive.

[soldier] Move in!

[indistinct radio chatter]


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